Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

ollack; but, to all the other perversions of " offers of settlement in the Russian territhe meaning of words, to Bank restriction," lories - Poor soul! What he means and to all the other inventions in this way, by the fallen state of the public mind'? it required the atrocious impudence of our is that state which indicates a resistance to hired writers to apply the epithet defensive the insolence and oppression of despots. to the act of running away. If I were to And who is this Count Bellegarde? Why, employ a dozen of men to defend my house, a general whom the French beat to a mumand they upon the approach of the expect-my. The French would, I dare say, be ed assailant, were to leave the house to very glad to get rid of the whole of the defend itself

, should I pay them for what Austrian Officers. They have sergeants they had done? Should I commend them? | and corporals enough of their own to put in Should I say that they had fulfilled my their stead. But the most impudent part inlentions ? No; and io tell the people of of this paragraph relates to the Austrian England, that the Russians are now doing soldiers, who are represented as having what they intended to do is certainly a peculiar cause of discontent against the mark of such insolence as has seldom been French, when, as all the world knows, a

equalled. However, in the end, it will French soldier is a gentleman compared to . answer no purpose. Events will tell the an Austrian soldier.- -No, no! Liberal

truth. Facis, in the end, speak for them- offers of settlement in the Russian territoselves ; and they now tell us to mistrust ries would do nothing. The French army all that these hired literary ruffians say; knows that it can make settlements for it for, while these are endeavouring to make self; and besides, how the hypocrite peeps us believe, that Napoleon is hated in out here ! This same writer was telling France, and that the people long to put us just before, that the Russians were doing him down, we see him leave the country just what they intended to do; that the for months together, and place himself at French were going on into a trap ; and, of the head of an army 600 miles distant from course, the more there were of them the his capital. This fact alone is an answer better. But, now, behold! he has a to all that we have been told of his unpo- scheme for seducing the French army

from pularity. To me it appears, that he their commander ! will not be long in setiling affairs in the Norih. I do not believe one single word Sir FRANCIS BURDETT'S ADDRESS.of what the hirelings tell us of the zeal of I subjoin this Address together with the the people against him. On the contrary Speech by which it was preceded, as I I see the people of Poland rising for him, find them in the news-papers. There will calling for blessings on him for having re- a time offer for remarking on them in fustored them to liberty. The wiseacre of ture; in the meanwhile the public will the Times news-paper has the following observe, that they have passed uncontraobservations, under date of the 4th in- dicted by any one in the House, and, as stant : “ In the fallen stale of the public far as I have observed, out of the House. The 6 mind on the Continent, it is gratifying to speech (imperfect as the report must neso find some exceptions among the men cessarily be) contains some very curious 366.whose feeling is the most important at statements as to the amount of pensions and " this time. We have been already told sinecures, and the savings that might be “ of the strong disgust of the Prussian made in the public expenditure. troops, and some of the more distin

WM. COBBETT. “ guished of the Prussian Generals, on Botley, 5th August, 1812. 16 their junction with the French service. .66 We are now informed, that General 66 Count Bellegarde, a celebrated Austrian " Officer, and others of his countrymen,

SIR FRANCIS BURDETT's 66 have refused to take commands in the Speech and Address, spoken and moved in " Austrian auxiliary force. If this be the House of Commons, on Tuesday, 28th " true; and our accounts give it implicit July, 1812, according to the Report, 46 credit; what must be the sentiments in given in the Morning Chronicle of the " those lower ranks of the Austrian army, 166 which feel the injury more keenly, as Sir F. Burdett, in consequence of his " they are not allowed to express it ? and notice upon this subject, rose, and observ66 whát a diminution of the French force ed that since public grievances required 6 might not be effected by some liberal public remedies, and since those grievances

29th of July.

never prevailed to a greater extent than at the prisoner to challenge was restricted, the present moment, he felt it his duty, but the right of the Attorney General was even at this late period of the Session, to unlimited; this abuse was the corruption state his opinion, and to endeavour to per- of justice at its very source, and, if not resuade the Prince Regent to apply the only strained, would in time destroy what had remedy that could afford permanent and been of late years vainly called the pallaeffectual relief. Although the probability dium of British liberty. The intervention of success in the conflict on the Peninsula of the Master of the Crown Office further might be greater than in the commence- aggravated the evil.— The House and the ment of the campaign, he could not help country had been lately threatened with thinking that the Country was surrounded some violent exertion to support the laby more imminent dangers, foreign and bouring finances. Such a measure was, domestic, than had threatened it at any after the experience of former extortions former period. It would be utterly im- and exactions, indeed formidable. The possible for him to do more than to give a Honourable Baronet would recommend, that slight and imperfect sketch of the actual the exertions made should not be to raise state of our affairs, which menaced exten- but to save money; exertions of economy, sive disaffection and the most aggravated and not of taxation. He recollected three calamities by which a nation could be af former great exertions of a similar kind to flicted. The dangers were of various that lately alluded to: the first was the kinds ; but among the most alarming were imposition of the Income Tax; the second the inroads that had of late years been the increase of it to 10 per cent, and the made upon the Constitution, and which third the levy of the War Taxes. What had actually so incorporated themselves fresh attempts were to be made by the with it, that to a superficial observer the Chancellor of the Exchequer it was not one appeared even to form a part of the easy to imagine. An examination of the other. The invasions of the Common Law Report of the Committee of Finance for had been frequent, and the most dangerous 1810, would satisfy every unprejudiced symptom was the hostile manner in which mind that the most vigorous exertions of the Judges construed that law to the detri- economy were necessary, and would be ment of the subject. The danger was pe. effectual. He did not indulge the vain culiarly great where the Liberty of the hope of convincing the holders of sinecures Press was concerned ; and it was increased that they ought to be abolished, but he by that usurpation of power by the Attorney believed that he could astonish some of them, General, by Ex-officio Informations, where when he told them that for Scotland and - by an innocent man was placed in a situ- Ireland only they amounted to £.392,361. ation of peril, unauthorized by the Con- The Report alluded to likewise disclosed

stitution. In matters of lesser importance, many other important particulars. Under this assumption had been tolerated on the the most comprehensive title of “ ComMaxim De minimis non curat lex ; but it pensation for loss of office, on account of had been raised to a height even in the time the Union, or any other causes before or of Sir W. Blackstone, which alarmed that since that event” was embraced, no less a * Learned Judge, who maintained that Ex- sum than £.100,083, including a charge officio Informations were not legal, except that seemed most curiously forced in, of ing in cases where immediate interposition £.2,000 a year to the Prince of Mecklingwas necessary, to prevent further danger burg Strelitz. . In England, the charges by delay. It had now been carried to an for sinecures on the Post-office, Excise, extent which disgusted every man of com- Consolidated Fund, &c., was no less than mon understanding. Not contented with £.459,510, and all the salaries paid for the authority already conferred, the Legis- the discharge of no duties, ascended to the Jature had recently passed an Act, allowing enormous sum of £.952,684. The exthe Attorney General the additional power penses attending the American, Dutch, and of holding to bail. In prosecutions by the French Loyalists, the Prince Regent of Crown it now appeared that the Attorney Portugal, the Prince of Orange, the EmGeneral was entirely master of the Court, peror of Austria, (the ally of our deadly and for the first time in any proceeding for enemy,) and other Foreigners, exclusive an offence less than high treason, in the of their great military emoluments, formed case of the unfortunate Bellingham, the a charge of £:2,143,590, not including Crown had challenged no less than eight the sum improperly granted to the Duke of out of twelve jurors; by law the right of York in 1801, which had not been returned, and for which no interest was would at all times support the just power paid. The expense of foreign corps was and dignity of the Throne. The House £.968,000, and the loans to Portugal, of Commons, a boroughmonger faction, and to the East India Company were four erected itself into an odious oligarchy, and millions. If the desirable object of an ex- usurped all the powers of the three branches change of prisoners were effected, another of the Constitution. In this cause most of million might be saved. The sum of our evils originated. The annual sum of £.176,000, annually granted for secret nearly 23 millions was paid as the Army services, was to be watched with peculiar Expenditure, but on calculating the pay of jealousy; how it was applied, none but the whole military force at the highest rate, Ministers knew; perhaps, to reward such it did not exceed six millions. To what agents as Captain Henry, or to pay inform- purpose, then, was the remainder applied ? ers to entrap men into offences. No less it was divided among the Officers, and than £.100,000 was annually allowed for was swallowed by jobs in the Barrack and the poor Clergy of the Church of England: other Departments. The same remarks why could not the poor be supported by applied to the Navy, and Lord St. Vincent the rich Clergy? In the Honourable Ba-(no light authority on this subject) had ronet's opinion, the slarving Manufacturers declared, that the marine affairs of the nawere much more deserving objects of cha- tion might be conducted at one-third of rity. Besides, these various charges, large their present expense. What then, it salaries were paid to the Cominissioners of would be inquired, was the remedy ? But public accounts, who had not saved the he was sure that those who put the question public as much money as would pay their could themselves answer it without promptexpenses for a single twelvemonth. The ing--Parliamentary Reform. On the many next head included sums which might be occasions when this question had been dismuch more fitly included under the title of cussed, some gentlemen had professed themjobs; among these were £.8,000 to the selves friendly to reform, but they did not Board of Agriculture, 2.68,000 for bridges see the benefit that would result from it. and roads in Scotland (exceeding the entire lf, as it could be proved, the present coramount of the land-tax of that country); rupt state of the representation was the real besides other large charges for improve cause of all the corruption in the various ments near Palace-yard, that ought to have branches of Government, the benefit that been borne by the Dean and Chapter of would result from reform, must be obvious Westminster, and for the erection of a new to all. The ministers themselves, although Mint, at a time when coin was out of cir- in the present state of things, they were culation. The erection of barracks, which supported by corruption, were compelled would have cost £.500,000, had been, to be responsible for many acts which orithis year, in part, prudently resigned. ginated in the defects of the House of ComThe whole of these expenses rose to the mons. Whether war or peace would be extravagant sum of nine millions, all, or the issue of our differences with America the greater part of which, might, with due was a question, compared with Parliamenmanagement, be saved to the nation, al- tary Reform, of little consequence, and ready sinking under burdens, which, by without it, the Regent might, with any minew exactions, were to be augmented. nisters, in vain attempt to satisfy his subWith respect to the million of money paid jects.- - The Honourable Baronet wished for the Civil List, the Honourable Baronet to state his opinion with respect to the lase thought that the Crown had made an im- overtures by France for peace, because on a provident bargain, and as the lands belong- former night he had failed in catching the ing to the Sovereign would let for much eye of the Speaker. The refusal was made more, although only 50 or £.60,000 was by this Government on the ground of a subproduced from them, if the contract were sisting treaty between George the Third! abrogated, another million might be saved, and Ferdinand the Seventh. It was an aband the King benefited.-- The greatest surdity to imagine that such a contract grievance of which the country had to com- could, under the present circumstances, plain was, the assumption by the House of exist. Ferdinand was not in a situation to Commons of the whole of the powers of the make or execute it; be was not King of State. He (Sir F. Burdett) had been con- Spain, in the usual acceptation of the words, stantly held up as the enemy to the consti- and had resigned his hereditary right of tuted authorities—to the authorities legally succession to the crown. The ground of constituted he was a sincere friend, and he refusal turned out to be a mere Rimsy pre

[ocr errors]

tence; or supposing such a treaty did or the constituted authorities, as they were could exist, one Administration was not called; he denied that he was so, however : bound to fulfil the engagements of another; he was ready to support the Crown in all cach was responsible for its own acts; and its constitutional powers; but he owned he it was, however, of little importance when was disaffected to the vile Oligarchy that ther Ferdinand or Joseph were the King of now governed both the Crown and the Spain. If, however, situated as this nation Country. To them he owed no allegiance; was previous to the breaking out of the new but on the contrary would rather swear war, wbich Russia had been rash enough to eternal enmity to them on the Altar of his commence, the offer made by France had Country. He had been accused, also, of been repeated to any impartial man, the being the protector of those who were the

Honourable Baronet was convinced that he disturbers of the peace. He was no such i would have thought that we could not have person; and neither was he the protector

done better than close with the proposal, of those who violated the constitution by as it would be a fortunate opportunity of calling in the military to kill and destroy getting out of our difficulties and embar- the people. He would contend there was rassments. - The truth was, not that we no necessity for such proceedings. The were fighting in the peninsula for Ferdi- constitution, if duly administered, was not aand, but for ourselves; and the real ques- so feeble as to require them ; it had no such tion was, whether we were to lay claim to inherent debility; it was not such a gaudy, the crown of Spain? The most sanguine unsubstantial thing as that, to be hung up hopes were indulged as to the issue of the merely on a fine day, as it were, to be war just commenced in the North. For gazed upon with curiosity, but not to be his own part, the Honourable Baronet touched. It had vigour enough in itself, if could not concur in the belief held out in that vigour was properly employed; and newspapers, that Buonaparté, from a want his disaffection was to the men who did not of provisions, would be compelled to with properly employ it. While such measures draw. Knowing himself nothing of mili: were pursued, he cared not who were Mitary tactics, the Honourable Baronet could nisters; he cared not what Oligarchs were not help believing that the Emperor of the in, or what Oligarchs were out, the counFrench, after all his experience, would be try was equally a loser. There was anas well aware of the dangers he was exposed other subject to which he wished to call the to as the writers of newspapers, or even as attention of the House, and which had been His Majesty's Ministers. Seeing who was already touched upon by the Member from at the head of foreign affairs, and that the Bedford on a former evening. It had two Noble Lords opposite (Castlereagh pleased Providence within the last few years and Palmerston) were to have the planning to permit events which had, in effect,'susof our expeditions, he entertained as little pended the constitution; and that House hope of their success against Buonaparté as had most unconstitutionally taken upon its he should of the success of a child engaged self powers to which it was not competent. at chess with the celebrated Phillidore. As, however, he did not wish to see similar It was with the hope, continued the Ho- proceedings, and as it was possible, every nourable Baronet, of ai least awakening in ore would allow, that the Prince Regent the mind of his Royal Highness the Prince might be taken from us while his father Regent a sense of the necessity of something was yet living, he could wish that some being substantially done; something that legislative measure should be adopted in might unite the minds and hearts of the anticipation of such a possibility, to prevent people, and that might obtain the redress the recurrence of the same exercise of unof grievances which now bore them to the constitutional power by that House, as had earth, that he had ventured to trouble the already taken place. The question was House with his sentiments. Measures of pregnant with great difficulties, and diffieconomy ought to be adopted. The' nation culties which that House 'ought to provide would bear the taxes, if necessary, without against. Whew, in the early part of the repining, when they saw that they were as present reign, his Majesty was afflicted with prudently applied to their legitimate pur- that malady which they all now had to deposes, as they were lavishly granted by plore, an Act of Regency was passed, sethat House. He could not expect that his curing, in the person of the Prince of sentiments would meet with the concurrence Wales, the exercise of the Royal functions ; of many who heard him. He knew he was and he could see no reason why a similar represented as one who was disaffected to precaution should not now be taken, especially when it was considered that the choice of its Ministers, and depriving the Princess Charlotte of Wales had now arrived at those years when a Regency might other of the election of its Representatives. be formed in her person, and ought to be If it were, at this day, necessary to point so formed. It was a matter of wonder and out the mischievous and disgraceful effects surprise to hiin, and he could not account of this unconstitutional and disloyal invafor it, but by supposing that the House meant to keep the whole government in its sion of the rights of King and People; hands.The Honourable Baronet con- if, after all the votes by which the worst cluded by saying, that in order to shew the sort of tyranny and corruption have been radical cause of all the evils he had adverted to in his speech, he should move, " That sanctioned; by which Ministers have been an humble Address be presented to his screened against a charge of trafficking in Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and in seats in this House, and an Attorney Genewhich Address all those objects would be embraced.” He then moved the following

ral against a charge of oppression and parAddress :

tiality; if after all that we have witnessed

in the course of the last twenty years, of TO THE PRINCE REGENT.

outrage upon the rights and liberties of We, His Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Englishmen, there still wanted proof of subjects, the Commons of Great Britain the pernicious and degrading influence of and Ireland in Parliament assembled, re the Borough Faction, that proof we must túrn our humble thanks to your' Royal now regard as complete, when we recollect Highness for having graciously attended to that at the end of several weeks, during the wishes of this House, expressed in its which the business in Parliament was susVote, intimating the necessity there was of pended, for the professed purpose of affordforming a strong and efficient Administra- ing time to your Royal Highness to form a tion ;-We, however, deeply lament that new Ministry, that same House of Comany Privy Counsellors of this realm could mons who had, by one vote, declared the accept of commissions to that end, without Ministers to be incompetent, recognized by explicitly laying before your Royal High- another vote the competence of these same ness the necessary means of accomplishing Ministers, leaving scarcely a possible doubt the object in view, which could only have as to the means by which the conversion been effected by restoring the people to had been effected. While we are convinctheir rights, and so placing your Royal ed, that posterity will never believe that a Highness's Government on the virtues and King and people of England were thus made affections of the nation. We lament that the sport and prey of a Borough Faction, your Royal Highness's beneficent intentions sustained solely by a fraudulent pretence of and ready endeavours produced no effect being the Representatives of the People, we advantageous to the country, and only gave of the present day feel too sorely the reality occasion to intrigues and cabals, not less of the fact, which has been manifested in a odious in their too obvious motives, than long train of useless wars and expeditions ; injurious to the character of the Govern- which, while attended with a dreadful ment; it being made manifest to all men, waste of treasure and of life, have almost that the persons who possess, and those uniformly failed in their professed object, who aspire to the Offices of State, no longer and have only answered the purpose of en. regard themselves as chosen by the Sove- riching the Borough Faction and their dereign, but as the Nominees of the Borough pendants, as a reward for political corrupOligarchy, who equally invade the pro- tion. In the rash rejection of the late vince of the Crown, and the rights of the Overture to treat for peace, made on the people, interposing with the one in the part of the Emperor of the French, on the

« ForrigeFortsett »