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"crown, shall be capable of serving as a
"member of the House of Commons."
This clause was, in part, repealed in the
4th year of the reign of Queen Anne, and
in part since. It is no longer law, I know
very well; but, does that circumstance
render it absurd? This act of parliament
it was, which placed the crown upon the
heads of the king's family. This is no
common act of parliament. It is one of
the great constitutional laws. It changed
the dynasty of the kingdom; and, it was
made for the express purpose of further
limiting the crown, and better securing the
rights and liberties of the subject.".
Now, Mr. Sturges, will you tell me, that
this law, like the act for a toll-gate, may
be repealed at pleasure, and ought not to
be so much dwelt upon, as if its provisions
were unchangeable? Will you tell me
this, Sir? Well, then, why did you and
your party appeal to it; appeal to this
very law against the prayers of the Roman
Catholics, and tell us, that if the king
consented to those prayers, he would
violate the act which placed him upon
the throne?- -Pray answer that, Sir?
-At that time, we heard a great
deal about the principles which placed the
family of Brunswick upon the throne.
True, it was one of those principles, that
the Roman Catholic religion should not be
suffered to predominate; but, the prohi-
bition contained in the clause I have cited
above was not less one of those principles,
and, give me leave to add, that it was a
principle of much greater importance to the
nation. And yet you (a lawyer, I believe)
tell us, that it "never was law!" What
would you say, Sir, to any one who should
assert, that the family of Brunswick came
to the crown without law? Yet, it was that
very act of parliament, of which this
clause forms a part, that gave them, as all
the world knows, their title to the crown.
Queen Anne's brother was the heir to the
crown, she leaving no child; but, the
nation, fearing that this brother would,
like his father, violate their rights and
liberties, passed an act transferring the
right of succession from the House of
Start to the House of Brunswick; and public thanks to an Hon. Gent. for his pa-
this, which I have quoted from, was that "triotism, he would as soon vote them to
act. And you are reported to have said, "Mrs. Clarke for her virtue. (A laugh,
that the part which I have quoted “never "hear! hear!) He would not be deterred
“was law;" and Mr. Bragge calls it an "from his opinions by the sentiments of
"extraordinary proposition." That it "any SET of people. The expressions he
was a most wise provision reason itself "had heard impated to an Hon. Gent.,
would have taught us, if experience, woe- "did him no credit as an Englishman.
ful experience, had not impressed it upon" He hoped always to see respectable per-
our minds. Had this provision always re- "sons opposing Government. They were

mained in force, we never should have had
to thank Mr. Wardle for what he has done,
because neither he nor any one else would
have had it to do. Was it not striking;
was it not, Sir, sufficient to strike the most
stupid observer, that, against the Duke of
York not one of the placemen or pensioners
was found to vote?—But, if the princi-
ple, for which I contend, never was sanc-
tioned by law; if it be so very absurd;
why did not you, Sir, when you heard me
maintain it, at the last nomination at Win-
chester, expose my ignorance and absur-
dity? You were present; you heard me ;
and why did you not, when the county
was assembled to witness your exploit,
put me down? Come, come; it will not
do to say, that I was beneath your notice.
That will not do any longer. The time
for that is passed, and you will never see
it return. People are now disposed to try
things as well as men by the test of truth;
and to no other test will they suffer an
appeal. Calumny and out-cry have lost
their power. If you put me down, there-
fore, you must do it by true facts or fair
argument; and, if you remain silent, the
conclusion will be in my favour.-Be-
fore I come to what was said as to the
general disposition of the Meetings to ex-
cite suspicions against, and to make an
attack upon, all public men, I must quote
from the speech of another member, a
gentleman, as it is given in the report, of
the name of Gooch, who is stated to have
said, "that if the speeches attributed to
'particular persons were literally so, they
"went near to destroy what was the most
"desirable of all things in the present
"state of the country; he meant the una-
nimity of the public mind; and tended to

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more mischief than all their authors "could retrieve, if they lived to sit in the "House for an hundred years to come. "He would give his feeble assistance to "the prevention of real abuses, but not to "those general attacks of abuses, never "known as such till these pure days! "These public Meetings could only do "mischief. He did not impute improper "motives to individuals, but as to voting

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known to be the constant eulogist of the present ministry, and who, at the Meeting, was, if possible, still louder and more decided than any other person in praise of Mr. Ward.e, and told us that he came to the Meeting for the express purpose of giving to Mr. Wardle his decided, his warm, his heart-felt thanks. So that, as to this point, even the partizans of the ministers; their devoted part zans. "out of doors," as it is called, differ from Mr. Gooch and Mr. Canning, for the loss of whose thanks Mr. Wardle will, probably, be able to console himself, when he reflects that that loss has gained him an expression of the thanks of the whole nation.- Mr. Gooch, like the two gentlemen before-named, complained of general attacks upon public

"the guardians of the public interest; "but there was a power behind those "benches (the Opposition benches) greater "than those benches themselves. That "power looked not to Parliament, but to 66 a faction who would get rid of all par"ties.' Now, taking these several points in their due order, how does Mr. Gooch make it out, that the speeches at public Meetings have tended to destroy the unanimity of the public mind. If ever there was, in the whole history of this country, a question upon which the people were unanimous, they are so upon the question relating to the Duke of York. How, then, have the speeches, which have been made for the purpose of in lucing the people to express their sentiments upon the subject, tended "to destroy the unani"mity of the public mind?"Mr. Gooch speaks ironically of these pure "days" but, so did not Mr. Perceval speak, when, as Attorney General, he prosecuted the poor, ignorant, HAMLIN, the Tin-man of Plymouth. He, then, talked, in good set terms, of the purity of the present times; and said, that it was due to the age and country, in which we had the honour to five, to declare, that there was no such thing as corruption amongst pub-Nay, at this very time, there is a government prosecution going on against the office-sellers in the city, ordered by a ministry, of which Lord Castlereagh is still a member! So, really, I think that the friends of the ministers ought not to make a jest of the purity of the times.- Mr. Gooch would not give Mr. Wardle thanks for what he has done. Very well; and Mr. Canning said before hand, that he would oppose a vote of thanks to that gentleman, if it was proposed. That was very well too; but, the nation have felt and acted differently; they have thought that he deserved their thanks, though he might not deserve the thanks of the ministry or the regular Opposition. Their thanks they are giv-ment were taken up in mutual accusations ing him; and, I beg those who talk of the "ferment in the public mind;" who talk of "popular fury;" I beg them to observe, that these Meetings have been held by grave corporate bodies as well as by counties and in common-halls. And, I would beg to remind Mr. Sturges, that, at the county-meeting in Hampshire, all those, who spoke against the adoption of the Resolution, which was proposed by me, did, nevertheless, decidedly approve of a vote of thanks to Mr. Wurdle, not excepting even the Rev. Mr. Poulter, who is well

Why, it was formerly the practice to complain of personality. That was the cant cry about a year or two ago. But, how does the fact stand as to these geacral attacks? The Duke of York was individually accused; Lord Castlereagh was so accused; and Mr. Perceval is now so accused, as we have seen, by Mr. Maddocks. What ground is there, then, for this complaint of general attacks? To be sure, there are very general suspicions, end, pray, was not Mr. Creevey's honest and bold declaration very well calcainted to excite such suspicions; especially as no one was found to deny the charge made by that gentleman?In answer to this com plaint of Mr. Gooch, we have, I think, only to quote the speech of MR. CREEVEY and the answer of MR. PERCEVAL, of the 20th of last month; and, these may, too, serve as an answer to what the Gentleman said about the attempts to cry down both parties; for, we shall see, that according to the news-paper report of that memorable debate, the answer of Mr. Perceval did not contain any denial of the charge, but a recrimination upon the late Ministry; and, indeed, who can have forgotten, that several months of the last session of parlia

of the two parties; not that I complain of their time having been so employed, being convinced that their falling out had an excellent effect upon the nation, but, after that, I really think it a little hard that the people should be so abused for entertaining suspicions of both parties; or for making one general attack upon them. Surely the people may be allowed to think of both, that which each of them boldly says of the other.But, let us hear Mr. Creevey and Mr. Perceval. "Mr. Creevey said, that the Noble Lord was

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"perfectly correct in stating, that seats in "nected.-(Loud cries of hear! hear!)— "Parliament had been notoriously bought " He could not recollect, however, that "and sold by the Treasury. He would "the hon. gent. (Mr Creevey).had, at the "say, that this was not only his belief, "time when a specific charge was brought "but that it was within his knowledge. The "against a Secretary of the Treasury for such "Treasury not only openly bought and sold those "interference, given the House the benefit of "seats, but they kept in a great degree the mo- "his knowledge. The House would pernopoly of that market. If this was at "ceive, that the case he alluded to was, tempted to be denied by Ministers, he "when a charge was brought against a "should be glad to have the opportunity of Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Free'proving it, and he could easily prove it from "mantle), for interference in the election of "the lips of any one who had ever been Score- "Hampshire, where he was undoubtedly a "tary of the Treasury. It was abso'ute "freeholder. The hon. gent did not then "nonsense and delusion on the pub'ic, for "tell the House a word of that practice "the House to spend their time in consi- "which was within his own knowledge, of dering abuses in the Commissioners of "Secretaries of the Treasury corruptly "the Lottery, and every other minor de- interfering in the election of Members "partment, when they knew, and when" of Parliament. When he had that "the public knew, that the greatest of all "knowledge, how did it happen that his "abuses was constantly practised by every patriotism was asleep on that remarkable Secretary of the Treasury, in buying" occasion ?". Thus, you see, Mr. "and selling seats in Parliament. To talk Gooch, here is no denial of the fact, but "of a dissolution of Parliament as an ap- merely a charge against the late ministers peal to the people was mere mockery of having done the same thing.- -Well, " and imposition. It was perfectly well then, Sir, can you complain of the people, "known that a dissolution of Parliament was that they entertain suspicions of, and that "not an appeal to the people, but to the Trea- they attack, both parties? How, after this, sury (Hear! hear !)-Although he had can they possibly have any confidence in great respect for the last government, either? It is not in nature that they "and owed some personal favours to them, should! and, abuse them who will, they yet he must say, that their dissolution of never will havé confidence in either again. Parliament, at the end of four years, like -Mr. Gooch has, it seems, no objec"the dissolution by the present Ministers, tion " to see respectable persons opposing "at the end of about four months, was the government; they are the guardians "not an appeal to the people but to the of the public interest;" but, he bittery Treasury (loud cries of Hear! hear!) complains of a power behind the opposi"Until the House was disposed to sup- tion benches, greater than those benches press this odious and unconstitutional themselves. Yes, yes; to be sure, an "traffic, the legislating on these minor opposition; a regular opposition; this is "abuses was mere mockery and delu- quite necessary, absolutely necessary, to "sion.". -These are pretty round asser- the support of the system; and, indeed tions. They cannot be misunderstood. it is notorious, that the par ies like one The man must be an ideot, who does not another well. Respectable persons, understand them clearly. And yet, I am such for, instance, as Mr. Sheridan, Gesure that Mr. Gooch will not deny, that neral Fitzpatrick, and Mr. Tierney; these, the constitution, for which we are called it seems, may oppose as long and upon, and are ready, to spend our last shil- loudly as they please; they are the ling and shed our last drop of blood, does" guardians of the public interest," though, not allow of this sort of traffic; but, on the contrary, distinctly forbids it, under heavy pains and penalties.Well, then, what says the king's minister, Mr. Perceval, to this? "MR. PERCEVAL said, that "the Noble Lord had stated his firm be"lief of the existence of such transactions, and the hon. gent. had gone further, and "stated, that it was within his absolute knowledge. The hon. gent. to be sure, "might have some knowledge, from the confi"dence which was reposed in him by the late "Administration, with whom he was con

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when in
did
power, their party pension off
Mrs. Fox and her Daughters; but, persons
like Mr. Whitbread, Sir Francis Burdett,
Lord Folkestone, Mr. Wale, Mr. Lyttie-
ton, Mr. Coke, Mr. Brand, Mr. Madocks,
&c. &c. these " persons" must not at-
tempt to oppose government; no, nor to
express their opinions. It is odd enough,
at first sight, that the ministerial party
should be so very angry with these gen-
tlemen, and particularly with Sir Fran-
cis Burdett and Mr. Wardle, who have
distinctly declared that they do not wish

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When a cry was raised against public Meetings, because two Ministers "were charged with corruption, he felt "desirous to ask the Chancellor of the "Exchequer a few questions, with respect to the means of inflaming the public mind. Was it meant to say that the few "persons who were at the recent Meeting "could be so extremely dangerous? Was it "true or not that gross corruptions existed? He would admit not so gross as in for“mer times, but yet gross enough. Were so purified? Had we really done enough in the progress of Reform? No, we "could never do enough; if the work of "Reform ceased, while human nature was "human nature, corruption would suc"ceed and triumph.

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Corrupt conduct "was imputed to Mr. Spencer Perceval and Lord Castlereagh. The responsi"bility was on the mover, and let the House decide fairly; the withdrawing "the motion might carry the appearance of mistake in the mover. It might have been more prudent to consult the opi "nion of the Chair; but the motion being made, he thought the principle of "the right ought not to be yielded. This " was an attack, not on all public men, but an "their corrupt practices; and if defeated in "the question now, he hoped it would be brought on again almost immediately. They all knew of these practices, and they had recognized them. The House "of Commons had passed over a case provid "fore them, and the man remained a Mi"nister of State. Does not that transaction "shew that abuse is not corrected or checked?

for a change of Ministry; but, the reason is this: that these gentlemen wish to put an end to regulur opposition, without which both pardes well know, that there is neiindemnity for the past nor security for the future.". -I am quite surprized, that any man in his sober senses, should have conceived the idea of retrieving the reputation of parties. It is a thing as impossible as for him to raise the dead from the grave. Upon no point was the public mind ever more decidedly fixed, than upon this, dat both parties are alike with re-pect to the peop e, and that it is not of the smallest consequence to the people which of them is in power.To the speeches, which I have quoted from, there were most triumphant answers given by Mr. Biddulph, Mr. Whitbread, Mr. Brand, and especially by Mr. Lytleton, who said, that "If the House adopted a moderate and just reform, he believed that the public meetings would be fewer, and "less alarming to the Government. They "were the natural consequences of the miscon"duct of the House, and there was no pre"vention of them by absolute force, but by timely Reform. As for misrepresentations "of the press, which were complained of "by Gentlemen opposite, had not others, "and particularly an Ion. Baronet, bren "treated to the full, with as little ceremo"ny? He could not believe that the nation "would impute to the advocates of Reform "what the press imputed to them. In"deed such reports of public meetings "would be trampled upon, if the grievances "themselves did not actually exist. He con"cluded by declaring his opinion, that the "Ministers of the Crown possessed an un"due influence in that House."- -I could wish to insert the whole of Mr. Whitbread's Speech, but want of room prevents me. Those parts, however, which relate to Public Meetings and to Reform, I cannot refrain from inserting.- -He said that "a right hon. gent. had thought proper to make some remarks upon gentle"mens' attending certain clubs and socie"ties existing for the purpose, as he supposed, of exciting the public mind and inflaming popular passion. What had, "in fact, excited the public mind? What, charges. He saw no proof or just sus "but the results of recent investigations into picion of such a system as was alluded "transactions of public importance! What, "to. If the House would not give the peo"but the refusal of the House of Commons to pe the right of public investigation into "do justice on a Member and a Minister " abuses, the people may be contented and "who did not deny his offences. What, quiet; but they would see, that they who "without imputing such a design to Mi- "refused enquiry, refused to them the Bri"nisters, would be the consequence of an "tish Constitution."--The case is so clear, "attempt to stifle the expression of the public that no man can err in deciding upon it. The

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cause of the Meetings is to be found solely in the existence, the known and acknowledged existence, of abuses, which are so injurious to the people, and the pecuniary pressure and constant difficulties and embarrassments arising from which, are so severely felt. This is the sole cause of the Public Meetings. Nor were the people hasty about it. They waited with great patience to see what the House of Commons would do. But, when they saw a committee of the House sending down proof, that a minister of state and a member of the House had been guilty of offering a place of profit to be given for a seat in that House, was it not time for the people to speak their sentiments touching the necessity of a Reform of parliament? And, when they afterwards saw a motion for censuring this member negatived, and the member still keeping his seat and holding his office as a great minister of state, were they still to be silent? Or, if they complained of this, were they to be represented as anarchists; as men bent upon the overthrow of the Constitution ?The House of Commons, by chearfully voting to Mr. Wardle those thanks which he so well deserved, would have prevented any Public Meetings for that purpose; and by now making such a Reform as the necessity of the case so clearly points out, they would prevent future Meetings for that purpose. But, until the people have this Reform, or see the House disposed to make it, they will meet, unless they be prevented, as Mr. Whitbread said, by force; and, in the end, that mode of prevention must be unavailing.

cheat their creditors. Is not this notorious? Well, then, does Mr. Curwen believe; can he possibly believe, that such men would be at all checked by any oath that he could devise? Nay, if there were a member, who would give his vote for the sake of getting, or of keeping, a place or a pension, can Mr. Curwen hope, that such a wretch would regard an oath? Oh, no! Oaths are made to bind honest men ; and an oath of the sort proposed might keep some such out of the House, but not. a single rogue, not a single hunter after place or pension; not a single man who would be liable to make use of his seat to the public injury.What is wanted is precisely that which would render oaths unnecessary.I do not see any great objection to five or six of the principal servants of the King, who have, every day, statements to make to the House, having seats in it, though I cannot see the necessity of it; but, is it not contrary to all principles of sound reason, that there should be amongst those, whom the constitution considers as a check upon the Crown, so large a portion who actually receive the people's money from that Crown, which money they themselves first vote? We, who wish for a Reform, are charged with desiring to degrade the House of Commons, when the fact is, that we desire to elevate the character as well of the electors as of the elected. We wish for nothing new; we wish to recur to the old principles of the constitution, which, indeed, are the dictates of common sense, that property should again, as it formerly was, be the basis of representation; or, in MR. CURWEN'S MOTION.- -There will, other words, that those who have interests hereafter, be opportunities enough for dis- to manage, should have the choice of the cussing this question; but, I cannot, even managers. The great alteration, which now, refrain from observing, that, if the time has produced, may call for some remotion be adopted, I do not see how it can gulat on by which trade and profession produce any real good. To impose oaths shall be admitted to share with property upon men disposed to act corruptly appears in land; but still the principle is the to me to be doing nothing at all. There same; and, my opinion is, that, unless is no such thing as a minister of state's that principle be acted upon, there will selling or buying a seat in parliament, be no Reform worth the paper upon which even now, without a breach of oath. the act shall be printed.--Universal sufThere would need no oaths at all, if the frage, though very fair in theory, is good system of representation was such as to for nothing in practice. They have tried give the voice of election to a sufficient this in America, and the consequence is, that portion of the property of the country, and the representatives are pretty much like the if care was taken to see that the pecuniary worst and most numerous part of the elecqualifications of members were real and tors, except in the cities, where the whole were to a sufficient amount. There have of the people have an opportunity of being been instances of men obtaining seats in well-informed. The truth is, that there parliament, in former times, at least, in is the same sort of likeness between our order to screen their bodies from the seiz-present system and that of universal sufure of a bailiff, and, in fact, in order to frage that exists between Popery and Me

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