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PARLIAMENTARY JOTTINGS. IN London during the past week nothing has been talked about so much, both within the Houses of Parliament and without, as the riots in Hyde- park. Every well-thinking person concurs in the feeling that it is a pity such a thing should have occurred. It was not the desire of the Reform League that riotous proceedings should have attended their meeting. It was not the wish ef Government that free discussion upon political matters should be prevented. It was not the artisan, or those who may properly be called the "working man," who took part in these riots. Placards announced that a meeting would be held in Hyde-park to consider the question of Reform, which was followed by an official notice from Sir Richard Mayne, as Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, that such meeting would be illegal. As we all know, the gates of the park were closed, the park railings were thrown down, the rabble, the scum of London, rejoiced in an opportunity for mischief, and hence the result. I do not think that members of the Reform League took any part in the work of devastation, but rather prevented it whenever they had an oppor- tunity. However, it is not my purpose to record what the newspapers have given so fully, but I may give a little insight into the manner in which it was brought about by my own observations on the second day of the riot. I entered the park in the morning there were the iron railings lying full length on the ground all the way from the Marble Arch down Park-lane almost to Apsley House, and, in fact, wherever it was possible, on the Bayswater-road and the Knightsbridge-road, the fencing was rased to the ground. The flowers in the ornamental grounds were in many parts trampled down, young trees torn from their roots, and general havoc was observable amongst seats, hurdles, &c. I looked round me and saw a crowd of young urchins, perhaps averaging fourteen years of age—none older than eighteen. Many of these belonged to what are termed street Arabs; they had made profit during the night of the occur- rence. With chisels, hammers, and such like instru- ments, they had extracted the lead from the mortice holes where the iron rails had rested, and disposed of their plunder to marine-store dealers, who were quite ready to purchase. Some boasted that they had made two shillings, others eighteen pence, some a shilling, &c. Strange to say, the policemen did not interfere with the lads whilst this abstrac- tion was going on. At midday about 1,000 of these idle boys mustered in a body, the leaders carrying sticks, and those who possessed such an article as a pocket handkerchief floated it as a banner. I did not see a man amongst them. As long as they quietly marched from one end of the park to the other no notice was taken of them, but presently they commenced knocking down the seats which had not previously been interfered with; then they espied a water-cart on the bank of the Serpentine. This they seized, and with wild hurrahs backed it deep into the water. Three policemen coming up at the time, many of the young wretches fled, but presently you heard some voices shouting, "Keep together," "Keep together, lads," "Here's a lark," &c. Then a hob- bledehoy of about seventeen called out, "Sticks-- now fire!" and away went about fifty of those missiles at the devoted heads of the policemen, who, finding they could not hold their ground, took to their heels, followed by this juvenile mob, looking like so many hares before a hungry pack of hounds. The policemen had not gone far, however, before they were met byabout half-a-dozen more of the force. They then made another stand, but the lads were too much for them, and drove them fairly #V*V. PS'SHi A ftoi' this the little rascals lanciecl ttiey Iiaa the park to themselves, and, sur- rounding some young trees, tueyiam., <_ ,.1,^0. cu™ down. Shortly after this about 30 policemen made their appearance, when the lads formed in lines and pelted them with sticks and stones until they were obliged to seek further assistance. Matters were becoming serious; the police had tried to take several of the ringleaders into custody, but they were invariably rescued by their fellows. At this juncture Captain Harria appeared on horseback, followed through the Marble Arch by about 60 policemen. On they came full trot, and drove the mob of youths before them some hundred yards, then halted. They had no sooner done so than the lads, who had got behind the hurdles, pelted them with sticks and stsnes; they had formed themselves into two attacking parties, and when the policemen directed their attention to the right the missiles came from the left, and vice versa. A further number of the force having ar- rived, Captain Harris ordered the whole lot to charge with their staves the mob, and follow them up. It was a curious sight; over the hurdles went the policemen, and any one in their way they turned over or pushed along without inflicting punishment; but some of the youths got behind, and away flew sticks and stones. Captain Harris then gave orders for several policemen to pick up the missiles when thrown, and armful after armful were safely deposited. This seemed to have the desired effect, and I thought all was over; not so, however, in a few minutes up came about 2 000 or 3,000 boys, all armed with sticks or brickbats, and again charged the policemen, who were then ordered to use their staves effectively, and some very ug y blows were given, the unfortunate part of it being that the innocent had to suffer with the guilty, for every one who stood in the way had a ckance of being knocked down. Your correspondent, can assure you, had as much as he could do to ^eep out of danger, and after looking round at bloody noses, wringing of arms and legs with pain, and sundry cries of agony, I thought it best to depart. I merely, however, give you this sketch to show how in a population like London the evil-disposed create mischief and the well-regulated get blamed for it. A friend of mine suggested that it Sir Richard Mayne had ordered so many fire-engines to be brought and deluged this unwashed lot of boys with pure water, they would have driven them away as from the face of an enemy they could not withstand. As to what occurred in Parliament the news- papers have given a faithful record of the debates. Palace-yard, however, had a peculiar aspect on Monday night. There was an evident feeling that members of Parliament were in danger, and every cab and carrIage was carefully examined to see if the occupant was a veritable member, before he was admitted to the entrance of the House. One almost fancied that a (iuy Fawkes' conspiracy was -about to be enacted. The members themselves laughed at this extreme caution, and, seeing no crowd and only a number of policemen, they won- dered what it all meant. The reporters were the worst off. A ticket is given to each privileged member of the press, which admits the bearer upon all occasions to the gallery of either Lords or Commons; but as they are all well known it is not customary to carry these tickets with them, and as one after another was challenged as he attempted to enter Palace-yard on this occasion he became indignant, and it ended in some instances by the reporter turning back, in others by the policeman accompanying him to the door to be convinced by the messenger of the right of entrance. The night wore on, however, without anything being said in Parliament. Ominous whispers there certainly were, and the members' smoking-rooms were more than ordinarily filled. Here the meeting in Hyde- park was discussed, and many an exaggerated tale reached the ears of members, so much so that they began to fear the danger of a drive home. It was net till the Tuesday's sittings that any notice of the riots took place. All the Ministers were in their places at an early hour, and Mr. Bernal Osborne was the first to break the ice. In a sarcastic tone, he asked the Home Secretary if he would be kind enough to state to the House what had occurred in reference to the meeting proposed to be held that evening in Hyde-park. Before Mr. Walpole could answer, Mr. Ayrton moved "the adjournment of the House," in order to enable him to make a speech upon the subject, in which he carefully avoided all approval of the rioters, but mischievously suggested that their acts had been provoked by the unfair, special appropriation of the park to the upper classes. He then made an onslaught upon the Government for attempting to close the gates against the people. "Oh, ohs" were uttered from the Minis- terial benches, whilst cheers greeted him from Opposition members below the gangway. Mr. Walpole then rose very nervously. He was visibly affected, and as he proceeded his voice trembled, and at times he almost lost his power of expres- sion. I thought he was going to break down, but the right hon. gentleman gathered courage as he proceeded, and at every sentence the House cheered him lustily, as if to indicate that his motives were above suspicion. His reference to Mr. Bright's letter, which he said had encouraged the people to act in defiance of the Government, with- out daring himself to be present, was loudly ap- plauded, whilst sundry "Oh, ohs" were heard from Opposition members. Mr. Oliphant followed Mr. Walpole, and spoke with authority as an eye- witness. He was all for the people and all for the police, but all against the authorities, upon whom, he eontended, rested the blame of bring- ing the people and the police into conflict. Mr. Cochrane thought the Government were right, but Mr. Layard had quite a contrary opinion, and said a great deal about the people's rights and privileges, but in such an unconnected manner that he lost his point, whereupon a con- stant laugh was kept up by the Ministerial side of the House, which caused the hon. gentleman to sit down quite disgusted. Sir George Grey did his best to gallantly support his successor in office, and considered that Hyde-park was not a proper place to meet for political purposes. Mr. Cowper thought the people should have some place where they could assemble for such purposes, and sug- gested Primrose-hill. Mr. Mill was very indig- nant with the Government, and got into such a passion, that his voice, never very loud, could scarcely be heard by reason of its guttural accents. He denounced the Ministers for having perpe- trated a job which it would take much wiser heads than theirs to put right." Mr. Disraeli, in his happiest manner, approved of public meetings generally, because when held at a proper time and place they conferred an advantage upon society, but he repudiated, with indignation, the feelings and motives attributed to the Government by Mr. Mill. The opinions which they had expressed with regard to the illegality of using Hyde-park for the purposes of public meetings had been equally expressed by the highest authorities on the other side of the House. The working classes, he said, were sensible and loyal subjects, but there was a floating scum in every large town, composed ofspersons always ready to take advantage of such circumstances as that afforded on the previous evening. He asked only for the fair consideration of the House. When the subject was again brought on in the forthcoming evenings, members were in better humour; even Mr. Mill apologised for Mr. Beales, and the Government and the Reform League agreed to submit the right of entering the public parks to the legal functionaries of the Crown-the latter undertaking to hold no more meetings in these places until something definite had been settled. Mr. Hughes (Tom Brown) took the bold step of saying he would withdraw nia suv-r. • <.1-. T a, "1 hO atxr/wn in «. Hpftttiftl constable if this determined conflict was to continue.





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