was under discussion, by a distin- from Cuba, Porto Rico, Pernamguished American statesman, to the buco, Cadiz, and Palermo. He effect “ that when England con

added - “ Vessels from British summated that act of her com- America, which, after disposing of mercial revolution, she dug the their cargoes of fish in the West grave of her political power.' He Indies, generally came to this ended by moving an Address to country in ballast, now bring sugar the Crown, praying that measures and molasses, and then return might be adopted pursuant to the homewards with cargoes of breadclause referred to in the Act of 12 & stuffs.” Mr. Labouchere thought 13 Vict. cap. 29, for countervailing the House would at once see how the disadvantages to which the important the new trade was which British shipowner was now ex- had been given to the British posed.

shipping, by doing away with the Mr. Labouchere encountered absurd restrictions upon our trading Mr. Herries’ arguments by others with the United States. He could of a directly opposite description. multiply cases, but it was unne

He began by reminding Mr. cessary. Herries, that he himself had been But for the relaxing of those assailed by exactly similar repre- restrictions, we should have lost sentations when he was associated the trade with California—a great with Mr. Huskisson's reciprocity and increasing trade.

He saw measures. He also quoted recent that in one month no fewer than speeches by Mr. George Frederick 18 ships had arrived from Australia Young, evincing that gentleman's with cargoes for San Francisco. hostility to reciprocity, and there- Statistical returns established the fore his antagonism to Mr. Herries. fact, that the progress of shipMr. Labouchere showed that there building continued, although there had been a corresponding decrease was some diminution in numbers, for 1850 in the exports and im- the average tonnage was larger. ports of the United States : but it Already considerable progress had was idle to take single years. The been made with negotiations for lowering of freights was explained reciprocal treaties : we had obby the fact, that the removal of tained reciprocity with the Baltic restrictions on trading with third powers, Holland, Sardinia, and the countries enabled vessels which United States, and negotiations made voyages in ballast to dimi- were at that very time proceeding nish the cost by carrying cargoes with France, Spain, and Belgium. in that part of their voyage. The Mr. G. F. Young followed up British Consul at Philadelphia, in Mr. Herries' arguments, but cara dispatch of the 12th of May, ried them still further in favour of 1851, stated that out of 111 absolute restriction. He stated it to British ships entering the port in be the fact that in 1850, 1100 ships 1850, 18 came from a third coun- had left the United States for Catry, which they could not have lifornia, many of them with the done before the repeal of the Na- intention of taking away our Eastvigation Laws. In the first four ern trade. months of 1851, out of 50 British Mr. James Wilson supported vessels entering Philadelphia, 15 Mr. Labouchere in an argumentabrought cargoes from foreign ports tive speech, which he fortified by VOL. XCIII.


a considerable amount of statis- this—that a bonus should be given tical details.

to the producer at the cost of the Mr. Disraeli, after ridiculing the consumers, who were the taxannouncement that negotiations payers of this country. As for rewere proceeding with so small a taliation upon foreigners, it was number as three foreign States, like what was called, in vulgar admitted, at the same time, that phrase, cutting off one's nose to the fact opposed a difficulty in the spite one's face.

There was a way of the present motion. two-fold benefit arising from free

Ministers had announced, that dom of trade : there was the beunder the clause in question they nefit of receiving his productions were engaged in active negotia- from the foreigner, which we entions with three powers. Under joyed; and there would be the other these circumstances, he did not benefit, if the foreigner would agree see how his right hon. friend to accept it, of sending our prothe Member for Stamford could ductions to him. Because we could press to a division a motion not obtain the latter of these bewhich might interfere with those nefits, we were asked by Mr. negotiations. Such being the case, Herries and his friends to deprive he thought his right hon. friend, ourselves of the former. having obtained a full discussion The motion of Mr. Herries was of the question(Cries of " Oh, then, by leave, withdrawn. oh!") He had no doubt that gen- •An account has been given in tlemen on the back benches of the the second chapter of this volume Ministerial side of the House, who of the motion of Mr. Locke King were not in office, and therefore at the beginning of the session, not responsible, were prepared for for leave to bring in a Bill to assianything, even for interference milate the franchise in counties to with negotiations now in progress; that of boroughs, and of the signal but the Opposition had some re- defeat sustained by the Governsponsibility. Therefore, when the ment, by a majority of 100 against Government virtually stated that 52 in favour of the motion. the proposed amendment would in- Mr. Locke King brought in his terfere with negotiations with three Bill pursuant to the leave thus powers, he could not see how, after given, and moved the second readthat, the amendment could be pro- ing on the 2nd of April. He obceeded with, and he hoped his right served that the position of the adhon. friend would not press his vocates of the measure was greatly amendment to a division.

improved by the division which Lord John Russell indulged in had taken place, amounting to some sarcastic remarks upon this nearly 2 to 1 in favour of the sudden discovery of an insuperable principle. Even Lord John Rusdifficulty in the way of the motion. sell had acknowledged the defiThe noble Lord expressed his con- ciencies of the Reform Act, and currence with those who had vin- Sir James Graham, after being dicated the policy of the Act of present at the discussion, had ab1849.

stained from voting. The duty of Colonel Thompson declared his legislating on the subject, Mr. opinion, that this outcry for pro. King considered to be urgent. The tection meant nothing else than House had not even an outline of the plan contemplated by the Ministry, tinctly given, and leave the matter and unless that plan were an ex

in the hands of the Government. tensive one, it would not satisfy A majority of the House had the country. Mr. King read state- affirmed the principle of the Bill, ments, showing that while the and he thought it would be unwise constituencies of the boroughs had to force on a division which, judgincreased, those of the counties ing from the aspect of the House, had diminished, and he urged the it was evident would be adverse to House to assent to a measure the Bill. founded on just principles, mode- Mr. Bright had listened to the rate in its extent, and simple in speech of Mr. Maule with conits provisions.

siderable satisfaction; but Lord Mr. P. Howard supported the John Russell, he remarked, had Bill.

not indulged the House with anyMr. F. Maule hoped Mr. King thing so distinct. He had adwould not press this measure, mitted that the class was entitled which, he admitted, had been un- to the franchise, but had, at the dertaken by him bona fide. He same time, suggested constitutional concurred in what had been said reasons why a franchise suited for by Lord J. Russell, that the class boroughs was not suited to counties. comprehended by the Bill was He(Mr. Bright) thought the House perfectly worthy to enjoy the fran. might discuss this Bill in order to chise; he believed that the time see whether it should not form had come when an extension of part of the proposed general meathe franchise might be conceded; sure. This was not a question of and the noble Lord had most dis- principle, as regarded the suffrage, tinctly given the House and the but merely one of limit. If the country to understand that, had noble Lord would frankly say what not other measures of importance kind of proposition he intended to intervened, he should have intro- submit to the House whether duced this session a measure for large and generous, or small and the improvement of the Reform peddling—and give some outline Act. He deprecated a bit by bit of the principles upon which it system of reform; he warned Re- would be founded, he had no obformers that their measures could jection to the Bill being withdrawn, be carried only by union among or even negatived, on the express themselves, and that there was à understanding that the question party in that House which did not would be considered in a generous recognise the nece

the necessity of reform, spirit. and was opposed to the party by Mr. Clay, Colonel Romilly, which measures of reform had been Mr. Pigott, and other members, carried. He asked them to place joined in advising Mr. Locke themselves under the banner of one King not to press for a division. who had led them to the greatest Mr. Hume dissented from this of those measures, and from whom view. He said he had been too they could not withdraw their con- long in the House to trust to Minisfidence without postponing further terial professions. They had been reform for an indefinite period. called upon to unite, but who had

Sir Benjamin Hall was inclined divided the Reformers but Her to accept the pledge now so dis Majesty's Ministers ? Mr. T. Dun


combe also expressed his distrust and confirmed character which the of the reforming professions of the institutions of this country have Government.

preserved. Lord John Russell put it to the After some other speeches, Mr. House whether it was advisable to King briefly declared that he left adopt one portion

of electoral his Bill in the hands of the reform now and another portion House. A division then took hereafter, instead of having one place with the following result:entire scheme for the extension of For the second reading

. 83 the suffrage at once before the

Against it

299 House. He had been asked to give some disclosure of the nature


216 of the changes he intended to propose, but he thought it inex- Another movement in the direcpedient now to do so. Considering tion of Parliamentary Reform, and the advances made by the country attended with very similar results, since 1831, and the defects in- was made by Mr. Henry Berkeley, separable from any great legislative who, late in the session, renewed measure, he repeated that he was his annual proposal for the adopof opinion that it would be de- tion of the Ballot at Elections. sirable at the very commencement The hon. Member, in support of of the next session to consider a his motion, recapitulated the usual measure for the extension of the and well-known arguments on the franchise.

necessity of protecting voters Mr. Disraeli briefly defended his against intimidation and undue party from imputations which had influence, and he replied to Lord been made against it. He repu- John Russell's assertion that the diated the description of the Oppo present electoral system“ worked sition given by Mr. Fox Maule, in well ” by asking how that could be the course of his almost con- said of any system which deterred vulsive effort to reconstruct a one-third of the electors from re. Reform party,

as being banded cording their votes, which gave to against every species of Parlia- certain peers the power of returnmentary Reform; " and while in a ing 98 Members of Parliament by broad view accepting the Act of direct interference, and coerced 1831 as a “great settlement,” he agricultural voters like a flock of yet entirely protested against sheep. But even supposing that what was popularly understood in it did work well, a good end was a political sense as the principle of effected by means the most abomi“ finality.” However he pledged nable and unconstitutional. In himself to oppose any measure of illustration of the actual working Parliamentary reform flagrantly of the system, Mr. Berkeley drew having for its object the retaining attention to certain transactions at and confirming in power of some elections which had occurred since political section; or the displace. his motion was made in the last ment of the proper territorial in- year, whence he deduced evidence fluence and power which he be- of the prevalence of intimidation, a lieved to constitute the best se- greater evil in the system than curity for our liberties, and the corruption itself, and one which best means of retaining that stable pressed with peculiar severity upon

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the agricultural tenantry, many of the means which had been emwhom he described as degraded ployed in the late election at which into actual slavery. Mr. Berkeley he had been returned for Bath, relieved the details of the subject said he could not, as an honest by several humorous illustrations man, abstain from declaring on and anecdotes, and concluded with this first occasion of his addressing an appeal to high authorities in the House, the absolute justice, support of the ballot, and by calling expediency, and necessity of shelupon Lord John Russell to re- tering men in the exercise of consider this question for the rights which the constitution gives sake of the people of England. them. If any better plan than

Mr. Ellis seconded the motion, the ballot could be produced, let and bore testimony to the great it be substituted, but none having amount of coercion and intimida- been suggested, they were bound, tion practised by both political as practical and honest men, to parties upon all descriptions of carry that out. voters, but especially upon the The House having divided, tenant-farmers.

Mr. Berkeley's motion was carried Mr. Hume considered that the against the Government by 87 to 50. arguments of Mr. Berkeley were The Bill of which the introducunanswerable, and impressed upon tion had thus been sanctioned, the Government the importance was brought in and read a first of granting a concession which he time, but made no further probelieved was essential to the future gress. welfare of the country. The mo- A case of flagrant corruption tion, however, he said, aimed at which was brought to light this only a part of his object; he had, session in the borough of St. therefore, moved as an amendment, Albans, led to the adoption of the to extend the elective franchise to same summary mode of proceedall men of full age rated to the ing which had before been applied poor ; to limit the duration of to certain other constituencies Parliament to three years; and to proved to have been tainted with make the proportion of representa- extensive bribery. A petition had tives more consistent with the been presented, complaining of amount of population and property. the return of the sitting Member, He urged at some length the ex- Mr. Bell, on the ground of bribery, pediency of these several changes, and was referred in the usual expatiating upon the evil conse- manner to a Select Committee. quences which had arisen and But all the efforts of that tribunal would arise from delaying them, to prosecute their investigation and he warned the noble Lord that into the proceedings at the elecunless the ballot formed a part of tion were baffled by the parties his scheme of reform next session implicated. Several of the witit would not give satisfaction. As nesses who were produced declined it was desirable to obtain the to answer questions tending to opinion of the House upon this criminate themselves, while others, question of the ballot, he should from whom inconvenient disclosures not move his amendment, but sup- were apprehended, were clandesport the original motion.

tinely conveyed away out of the Captain Scobell, adverting to reach of the Committee, after

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