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should at an early day call the attention of the House distinctly to the existing distress, with a view to procure an explicit declaration whether any legislative remedy could be found for it or not, Mr. Hume approved the treaty with America, and hailed the peace with China as likely to produce the greatest advantage to the country; he urgently called upon Sir Robert Peel for “a second Tariff,” and threatened to turn his back upon him, as he had upon Lord John Russell, for asserting the doctrine of finality. Mr. Ferrand made some severe observations respecting the manufacturers, and declared there would be no protection for the poor, unless machinery were taxed. Not only the manufacturing districts were in a state of ruin, but the agricultural districts also. Mr. Ewart censured the sweeping generality of Mr. Ferrand's imputations, and asked if he meant to include all manufacturers? (Mr. Ferrand intimated that he did not.) Mr. Ewart proceeded to argue in favour of free trade

in general, and recommended in particular the reduction of the duties on tea and sugar, the opening of the trade with Ceylon, and, above all, an alteration of the Corn Laws. Mr. Milner Gibson argued to shew that Sir Robert Peel must inevitably give his consent to a total repeal of the Corn Laws; and condemned his holding out to the occupying tenantry the notion, that without a repeal of the present duties, it would be possible for them much longer to employ their capital safely in the cultivation of corn-land. Mr, Brotherton followed on the same side, and asked whether Mr. Ferrand, in proposing to tax or abolish machinery, intended to include the plough and the harrow, Sergeant Murphy, Dr. Bowring and Mr. Mark Philips followed on the same side; and Mr. George Bankes spoke in favour of the Government. The motion for presenting the Address was then put, and agree to, without a division, and the House adjourned.

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CHAPTER II.

National Distress—Commercial and General Depression—Activity of the Anti-Corn-Lan League–Lord Hon'ick's Motion for a Committee and Consequent Debate of Five Nights' Duration—Lord Hon'ick's Speech—Comprehensive and able Reply of Mr. Gladstone —Speech of Mr. f...". Ferrand's Amendment—Mr. Enant resumes the Debate on the 14th–Speeches of Mr. Liddell, Lord Worsley, Mr. Gally Knight, Mr. Ward, Mr. D'Israeli, Mr. Ross, Dr. Bonring, Mr. Stenart Wortley, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Bickham Escott, Mr. C. Wood, Sir J. Graham, Mr. Borthwick, Mr. Cochrane, Mr. C. Williers, Lord Sandon, Mr. Muntz, Sir J. Hanmer, Mr. P. M. Stewart, Mr. Colquhoun, Mr. F. T. Baring, Mr. Goulburn, Sir A. L. Hay, Mr. Blackstone, Mr. M. Philips, Mr. Darby, Lord H. Vane, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. M. Gibson, Lord Francis Egerton, Mr. Cobden, Sir R. Peel and Lord John Russell

—Lord Howick's Reply—The Motion Rejected by 306 to 191.

To: wide-spread and alarming
distress which pervaded the
country at the opening of the Ses-
sion, and which was adverted to
in the Speech from the Throne
has been already remarked upon.
Amidst the general stagnation and
inactivity that prevailed, the
energetic appeals of the advocates
of Free Trade, and especially of
the Anti-Corn-Law League forced
themselves upon the public ear,
and they failed not to avail them-
selves freely of the themes of de-
pression and distress as irresistible
arguments against the continu-
ance of that system of protection,
which they defied the Government
with all its Parliamentary majo-
rities to maintain.
In this state of things the Motion
of which Lord Howick had given

notice for a Committee of the whole House to investigate the causes of distress, was anticipated with very general interest as likel

to produce a developement of the source of evils more or less experienced by all, and to draw from the Minister an exposition of the views and intentions of the Government. The debate commenced on the 18th February. Lord Howick commenced his Speech by calling attention to the following passage in the speech of the Lords Commissioners, which he caused to be read by the Clerk at the Table: “Her Majesty fears that it (diminished revenue) must be in part attributed to the reduced consumption of many articles caused by that o of the manufacturing industry of the

country which has so long prevailed, and which Her Majesty has so deeply lamented.” He then moved, that the House do now resolve itself into Committee upon the passage of Her Majesty's Speech, which had just been read, and supported the Motion in a Speech of great length. His object was to call on the House to pronounce a decided opinion whether the distress under which the country laboured was not of such a character as to impose on them the imperative duty of some legislative interference with respect to it. He disclaimed all hostility to the present Government in bringing forward the Motion, and only regretted that they had not further carried out the principles which had been so ably expounded by Mr. Gladstone and Sir Robert Peel the year before. He believed that the situation of the country was one of great danger, but that Parliament had it in their power to avert the overwhelming evils with which they were threatened. He admitted at once, however, that the House ought not to assent to the Motion except with the view to a practical result. He described the actual state of the country: the time was now to be reckoned, not by months, but by years, during which the manufacturing and commercial industry of the country had been in a state, to use Her Majesty's words, of depression. That distress which, in the first instance, affected only one great branch of the national industry, had lately—as must, in his opinion, always be the case— extended its operation to all others. It could not be questioned that the agricultural interest was now suffering great depression. He believed that honourable Gentlemen

opposite would not contest the truth of his assertion when he said, that the agricultural interest was in a state of great depression and distress—that depression arising from the diminished consumption of some of the most important articles of produce. The consequence was, that the farmers were everywhere exposed to very great difficulties—that, in many parts of the country, these difficulties extended from them to the agricultural labourers, whose wages had, in several districts, been materially reduced; and even where wages had suffered no reduction there was, he believed, almost universally, a growing scarcity of employment, often seriously aggravated by the return to the rural districts of numbers of men who, in more prosperous times, had for years obtained ample employment in the great seats of our commerce and manufactures. The mining and shipping interests of the country more than participated in the general pressure of distress. The retail tradesmen and shopkeepers, both in the metropolis and throughout the kingdom, were in a similar unfortunate condition. These classes were exposed to great difficulties by the increas: ing weight of the poor-rates; and it was well known that in many towns, in the course of the last summer, it had become a matter of no inconsiderable difficulty to collect those rates. But the classes to which he now referred were suffering also from most frightful diminutions in their business; diminutions which naturally followed from the reduced earnings of the working classes, as well as from the diminished incomes of persons in higher and more wealthy stations, Indeed, a large proportion

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even of the more wealthy classes were directly or indirectly dependent for their incomes on the prosperity of some branch or other of the national industry; they, too, were beginning—though he feared at the present they were only beginning—to feel the effects of the present lamentable state of affairs; and even those whose incomes had not at once been affected by the prevalent distress had been exposed to that reduction of income which was occasioned by a new and direct demand to meet the exigencies of the public service. The consequence was that, whether in the upper ranks or whether in the lower, there was scarcely a family in the country which was not compelled to retrench some former expense, or to give up some luxury or indulgence to which they had formerly been accustomed. Such he believed to be an unexaggerated statement of the actual condition of the country.

'thi, general view Lord Howick supported by details, derived especially from Sunderland, to illustrate the condition of tradin towns, and from Romiji to illustrate that of the rural districts; describing the depressed state of the coal and shippin trades in Sunderland, of the retail trades, the diminished consumption of butchers’ meat, the increase of poor rates, the low price of live stock caused by that diminished consumption, the distress of the farmers now beginning to press on the labouring agricultural class, the distress of the retail traders who supply that class, and their difficulty of collecting debts, the aggravated competition in the country from the migration of work people from the distressed

towns, and the increase of casual poor from the same cause. Thence he passed to the deficiency in the Excise, of 1,157,300l. on the year, 717,000l. on the quarter, as a test of the deteriorated condition of the people. He compared the Excise revenue with that of 1840, (that for 1841 having been swelled by the efforts to reduce the balances in the hands of Collectors,) when it amounted to 4,016,000l., the amount for the last year, 3,022,000l., showing a deficiency of 994,000l. That statement could not be affected by the Temperance movement in Ireland, as the returns related to England alone; but its sole cause must be a forced economy, painful to every class; even the wealthy felt the privation of accustomed luxuries, how much more the poor man compelled to reduce his scanty expenditure! It was awful to think what would have been the distress if the winter had been a hard one; but such a state of things could not continue much longer, without extreme danger to the institutions of the country; and he pointed to the disturbances in the north as a warning, and as proof of something radically wrong. An historian, whose loss they had lately had occasion to deplore, had observed that the great mass

of mankind were so constituted

that they could rarely feel serious political distress unless when suffering from personal want, and that they were driven by this cause to feel discontent with the institutions under which they lived, and consequently to become impressed with the desire for change. Now these observations, he thought, were no less just than new ; and the cause was traced by that eminent historian to the country which has so long prevailed, and which Her Majesty has so deeply lamented.” He then moved, that the House do now resolve itself into Committee upon the passage of Her Majesty's Speech, which had just been read, and supported the Motion in a Speech of great length. His object was to call on the House to pronounce a decided opinion whether the distress under which the country laboured was not of such a character as to impose on them the imperative duty of some legislative interference with respect to it. He disclaimed all hostility to the present Government in bringing forward the Motion, and only regretted that they had not further carried out the principles which had been so ably expounded by Mr. Gladstone and Sir Robert Peel the year before. He believed that the situation of the country was one of great danger, but that Parliament had it in their power to avert the overwhelming evils with which they were threatened. He admitted at once, however, that the House ought not to assent to the Motion except with the view to a practical result. He described the actual state of the country: the time was now to be reckoned, not by months, but by years, during which the manufacturing and commercial industry of the country had been in a state, to use Her Majesty's words, of depression. That distress which, in the first instance, affected only one great branch of the national industry, had lately—as must, in his opinion, always be the case— extended its operation to all others. It could not be questioned that the agricultural interest was now suffering great depression. He believed that honourable Gentlemen

opposite would not contest the truth of his assertion when he said, that the agricultural interest was in a state of great depression and distress—that depression arising from the diminished consumption of some of the most important articles of produce. The consequence was, that the farmers were everywhere exposed to very great difficulties—that, in many parts of the country, these difficulties extended from them to the agricultural labourers, whose wages had, in several districts, been materially reduced; and even where wages had suffered no reduction there was, he believed, almost universally, a growing scarcity of employment, often seriously aggravated by the return to the rural districts of numbers of men who, in more prosperous times, had for years obtained ample employment in the great seats of our commerce and manufactures. The mining and shipping interests of the country more than participated in the general pressure of distress. The retail tradesmen and shopkeepers, both in the metropolis and throughout the kingdom, were in a similar unfortunate condition. These classes were exposed to great difficulties by the increas: ing weight of the poor-rates; and it was well known that in many towns, in the course of the last summer, it had become a matter of no inconsiderable difficulty to collect those rates. But the classes to which he now referred were suffering also from most frightsul diminutions in their business; diminutions which naturally followed from the reduced earnings of the working classes, as well as from the diminished incomes of persons in higher and more wealthy stations, Indeed, a large proportion

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