Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

11 articles on this Page

flartrg. .-.--.

[No title]


ittfcrrllattrattff* ............-..'b.



[No title]




HOUSE OF COMMONS. THURSDAY. Lord COUIITENAY rose to move an address embodying the topics of the speech. He declared his peculiar satisfactiqn at the adjustment of the differences with America, by reason of her common origin, language, and laws, and the influence which must be produced on the whole civilized world by the state of the relations between two countries circumstanced like England and the United States. Ile, congi-atulated his. hearers on the successes in Affghanistan, doing justice to the exploits of military valour, and to the no less striking examples of. female fortitude, as exhibited in the East. He rejoiced in the fortune which had attended our efforts in China, and hailed in their results a hope of extended markets for our domestic produce., The motion was seconded by W P. MILKS. Mr. C. WOOD desired to reserve nis judgment upon most of the points of the speech nntil the House should be in posses- sion of further information. Generally speaking, be believed the speech would be satisfactory; but he lamented that on the subject of domestic distress it held out only sympathy, and no practical relief. In Lancashire and in Scotland, thfe great seats of our trade, the suffering was almost unabated. The late Ministers, to cure these evils, had attempted measures for the extension of trade. A similar disposition had in the last session been evinced by the present Alinistry; but there was no indication of that disposition in the pQtsent speech. None of the reductions made last year had cheapened any material article of consumption. Wheat, had indeed, been at a low price, but not, he believed, by reason of the change in the corn laws. Never was any alarm more groundless than that which had last year arisen among the agriculturists. After a pause of about one minute, Sir ROBERT PEEL rose. He trusted by the tone of the House, that the address to be laid before ller Majesty would, be unanimous. On the subject of the American treaty he should be prepared to show, that, if it had not obtained for us all which we were strictly entitled to expect, it was, on the whole, an eligible adjustment, giving us more than had been awarded by the arbitration of the King of the Netherlands, and securing to us all that was really important in our States, and his earnest desire to preserve a good understanding with, their people, made it painful to him to say that the recent message of the President did not give an accurate representation of what had passed in the negotiations. We had not claimed the right of search, which was a belligerent right! what we had claimed was only the right of visitation—the right to visit a vessel bearing the American flag for the purpose of ascertaining whether she be really American; which if on that visit she should turn out to be, she must be liberated, even though she should clearly appear at all points a slaver. On the subject of finance, be admitted that there was a great deficiency. He bad stated last year that, in addition to the deficiency which he had found on coming into office, he proposed to cause a further deficiency still. He had accordingly remitted duties on 700 articles; reductions had all taken effect; but the income-tax imposed to meet them had not yet come into pro- ductiveness. Undoubtdly there had been a great falling off in the excise, mainly on the article of malt; bnt that had arisen in a great degree from the very unfavourable harvest of 1841. This was not a fit occasion for entering at large upon financial statements; but he did now discern some favourable changes on which he could not forbear from founding good hopes, It was complained that the speech announced no new measure with respect to corn. He had no such great measures of change to propose as gentlemen seemed to expect. Whenever he should make a change, it would be a change ac- cordant with the principles he had propounded but he must always remember that in this country the general rule bad been protection. He believed the reduction which had already taken place in the price of the necessaries of life had actually verified his prediction that the income tax would be campensated by the general cheapness of living. Lord JOHS KUSSELL, adverted to some Indian topics npon which he deemed it requisite that further information should be previously furnished—one, the vindictive excesses said to have been committed by our troops; the other, the share of Lord Kllenborough in issuing the directions which led to our successes. There were a couple of proclamations too remark- able to be passed over. One of them contained such a inisre- presentatian of a preceding Governor's policy as was seldom uttered even in the heat of party debate; and it breathed, with respect to Affghanistan itself, a spirit rather of revenge than of calm and statesmanlike policy. Coming now to do- mestic affairs, he would declare that the experience of the past year had confirmed him in his objection to the sliding scale, and in his conviction that a fixed duty was the thing required. Under the present scale, the foreign wheat was poured in just as the home harvest was becoming available- the garden was watered at tbe moment it was beginino- to rain. He had, however, beard nothing to-night which convinced him that Sir R. Peel would not yet make much further altera- tion in the Corn Laws. But on such a question to withhold alterations which were really intended was vastly inconvenient a and injurious, and left evrything unsettled both for the grower and for the labourer- The agricultural members were now placed by the Government in a very awkward situation; the arguments on which they were pnt to defend the taritl' were arguments which forced them to condemn the Corn Law, and vice versa. He was no subscriber to tho opinions of the Anti- Corn Law League; be wished the Ministers would propound something which should put an end to agitation. He was £ lnd to hear that the prospects of the revenue were more favourable than they had been 'tiupposed but he must say that the opinion he had always expressed, by his vote and otherwise, against the income-tax had been confirmed by the' experience of what had recently happened. Sir C. NAPIER condemned Lord Ashburton's treaty. Mr. WALLACE was sure the speech would be received with dissatisfaction in every quarter of the kingdom. Lord STANLEY, after bestowing a few words on Mr. Wal- lace, addressed himself to the speech of Lord John Russell, whom he blamed for a premature introduction of the questions connected with Affghanistan. He would, however, now de- clare, that it was the intention of Ministers, on the approach- ing motion for a Tote of thanks, to claim for Lord Kllenborough a share in the honour of our Indian successes. On the results of the Chinese war, Lord PALMERSTON ex- pressed himself glad to concur in the congratulations of the speech. As he and his friends had been responsible for beginning that war, they could not but rejoice in its success- ful conclusion and it was but fair to admit that the pre- sent Ministers had conducted it with as much earnestness and vigour as if they had themselves commenced it. As to India, he wished to know whether the thanks proposed were to include Lord Ellenborough for he was satisfied that Lord Ellenborough had not been the author of the instruc- tions by which the success had been directed and as to his proclamations, they had really become a laughing-stock. Instead of thanking such a Governor, the Cabinet should have recalled him. After a few words about Syria, whose present affairs he treated as of minor importance, he ad- verted to the hardships of the income-tax upon persons of small means. Perhaps they were unavoidable; and he concluded by asking whether the number of cruisers on the coast of Africa was about to be reduced, and whether any change had been made in their instructions 1 Sir R. PEEL answered both questions substantially in the negative and took that opportunity of expressing his regret that the attack on Lord Ellenborough had not been made earlier in the debate. Sir R. INGLIS would not condemn the general policy of Lord Ellenborough, but he must express his deep disappro- bation of that passage in one of the proclamations in which a Christian Governor, on a subject connected with religion, employed language such as no Mahometan ruler would have suffered to use. Mr. YILLIERS complained that the speech disregarded the sufferings of the people at home. It would not do to say there were no remedies. Remedies there were, and which the people expected and desired. They would not be satisfied with what had passed this evening. Sir R. Peel had uttered nothing which looked like an intention to repeal the Corn Laws, and the people were now, therefore, in a hopeless state. Their excitement was general. Lord HOWICK thought it the duty of the House, passing by all minor topics, to apply itself, to the subject of the national distress. The very length of its continuance proved that there must be some cause for it in the organization of society. Mr. HUME had disapproved the selection of Lord Ash- burton but had changed opinion when he saw how much temper and judgment that noble Lord had evinced in the conduct of the treaty. He complained of the present weight of taxation, observing that the low rate of profits and wages made it more difficult to pay a small impost now, than it had been to pay a much larger one in other days. Mr. PERItkXD said no good would come till machinery was taxed. The Opposition might cheer, and call upon the right hon. Baronet to carry out their principles; he had been seduced by their smiles last year; and how had his measures answered 1 Mr. Ferrand then challenged any of the members of the Anti-Corn Law League to meet him and argue their, question openly in any town of Lancashire or Yorkshire. Mr. M. GIBSON said, that the reason why the League audiences were admitted by tickets was, that paid parties had been sent in to disturb their conferences. If the mem- bers of the League had not subscribed to the Queen's letter, they had assisted poverty and distress in their own localities. Dr. BOWRING read some returns, Bhowing distress in Bolton. Mr. M. PHILLIPS assured the House that those who thought prosperity was returning deceived themselves. A momentary hope had been excited by the prospect of the Chinese markets but it had already ceased. The address was then carried without a disseiisient voice. FRIDAY. Lord COURTNEY having brought up the report of the Committee of the House of Commons on the Address, Mr. WALTER rose. He feared that one part of what he had to say would be unsatisfactory to those who sat near him, and the other part to those who sat opposite to him. After expressing his approbation of those topics of the Ad- dress which refer to our foreign relations, and commending the Government for the manner in which the late disturb- ances had been suppressed, he adverted to the Corn Law, and declared his opinion to be still, as it always had been, in favour of a fixed duty, as against a sliding scale. The greatest merit of the present law was, that it approached to the fixed duty. He hoped the country might look for some further change in the next session. The present law had this advantage—that instead of placing corn in the same category with other articles of importation, as a fixed duty would do, it furnished, by its variable nature, a handte to the allegation that Parliament was legislating for a class. His experience as the representative of an agricultural county, and his experience as the representative of a great manufacturing town, led him alike to the result he now maintained. With respect to the question between the la- bourers and their employers, he differed alike from the rural advocates of the workhouse, and from the Dissenting minis- ters of Manchester, who, with hearts bleeding for the operatives, upheld the same system. He had a great ob- jection to all leagues, whether of manufacturers or of agriculturists. But he equally deprecated leagues of a secret character, such as he conceived to be that which combined to carry out the New Poor Law, and of whose real, though concealed, motivei he would now give the House an unequivocal proof. Mr. WARD thanked Mr. Walter for the declaration which he had just made on the subject of the Corn Laws, and which, coming from that hon. member, was of great im- portance to the country. The existing Corn Laws could not stand; the agriculturists were becoming sensible to the necessity of changing it; and in the manufacturing districts the feeling against it was daily increasing. He had expected that Sir R. Peel would have advanced in the line for which he had last session declared his preference, and not have taken his stand upon the imperfect changes he had already made but it should seem that the minister was controlled by those who sat behind him. Mr. VILLIERS then asked whether Sir R. Peel had meant, in his speech of the preceding night, to declare himself against all change in the Corn Laws ? Sir R. PEEL said, that though in general he thought it an objectionable practice to answer questions respecting the future policy of Government, yet on a subject of so much importance as this he would not decline to state, that he did not contemplate any change in the general tenor of the ex- isting Corn Laws. He did not agree that it had failed nor had there been sufficient experience of its operation to justify the inferences of its opponents. When he heard Mr. Ward's observation about the effect of a fixed duty, he was at a loss to conceive how such a duty could be consented to by that hon. member, who had admitted that for £ 500 0C0 sterling acquired to the revenue from the two millions of quarters which might be usually imported, the country would pay a tax of two millions sterling on the twenty millions of quarters grown at home. He would resist any alteration in the existing law. He saw no other system which he thought likely to work so well; nor had he ever heard of any proposal which would give absolute security to the agriculturists against all changes, except, indeed, a total abolition of duty, which, to be sure, would protect them against further reduction, because it would leave nothing to be reduced. In what he now said, however, he desired to be understood as speaking only his present conviction, and not as pledging himself to anything so irrational as the unqualified maintenance, under all rossible circumstances, of any regulation not involving considerations of principle. The report of the address was then agreed to.

[No title]