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able J. S. Cocks, and seconded by the throne, was carried by a majority the Honourable E. Cust. Mr Tier- of 381 to 150. ney entered at great length, and with On the same day, Lord Castlemuch minuteness of detail, into the reagh laid upon the table of the topics which we have already refer. House, a variety of documents * rered to, and concluded by moving an lative to the internal state of the amendment substantially the same country, and to which reference had with that proposed by Earl Grey in been made in the speech from the the House of Peers. Lord Castle throne. reagh replied with great animation On the 25th, Mr Cocks brought to the statements and reasonings of up the report on the adı ress, when the right honourable gentleman, and the discussion of the transactions at went into a detailed history of the Manchester was resumed, and proprogress and various ramifications secuted to considerable length; the of sedition, concluding by declaring only remarkable feature of the dehis intention to support the original bate being a declaration, on the address. A long and keen debate, part of Mr Denman, that he con. in which the principal speakers on ceived the meeting of the 16th of both sides of the House took part, August to have been “ perfectly now followed ; and so eager did legal.” Pltimately, the report was every body appear to deliver his agreed to without a division. sentiments on the present occasion, On the 29th Lord Sidmouth called when the feelings of all men both the attention of the House of Peers in and out of Parliament had been to the measures which Ministers more or less excited, that the House meant to propose in the present diswere compelled to adjourn the dis- turbed state of the country. cussion till the following day, when first, a bill to curb the licentiousness the contest was resumed with undi- of the press, provided no increased minished vigour. In the course of punishment for the first offence, but, this adjourned debate, Mr Canning on a second conviction for publishmade one of the most eloquent and ing a blasphemous or seditious libel, splendid speeches which has for a long the offender would be liable to the time been heard within the walls of punishment of fine, imprisonment, Parliament. Ultimately, however, banishment, or transportation. In the original address, which, as usual cases of second conviction, it was was a mere echo of the speech from also proposed that a power should
• These papers are so voluminous as to preclude the possibility of giving an idea of their contents, in any abstract consistent with our limits. They consist chiefly of communications from the Lord Lieutenants and Magistrates of those districts, where the practices of the Radicals had been carried to the greatest and most alarming extent. From these documents it appears incontestable, that nocturnal training had been systematically pursued, and that efforts had been made to procure clandestine supplies of arms.
Numerous af. fidavits attest the manufacture of pikes; but it does not very distinctly appear whether the training stated to have been practised related to the use of these weapons, or to that of firearms. The industrious circulation, even gratis, of treasonable and blasphemous publications, is fully established by the communications of General Byng, (the brother of Mr Byng, one of the members for Middlesex,) and others. How necessary religion is to the secure maintenance of civil order, may be learned from the industry with which it is sought to make men first traitors to their God, in order to pre them more effectually for the commission of treason against the laws and constitution of their country. The whole of the early part of the French Revolution is only a commentary on this important text.
be given to seize the copies of the gainst the proposed measures, partilibel in the possession of the publish- cularly that which affects the liberty er; such copies to be preserved un- of the press, which he considered the til it should be seen whether an ar- severest blow that had for a long rest of judgment was moved, and course of time been inflicted on then returned to the publisher. In that palladium of our rights. With another place it was intended to pro. the exception of the bill empower. pose, that all publications consisting ing magistrates to search for arms, of less than a given number of sheets the Earl of Liverpool denied that should be subject to a duty equal to any of the proposed measures invadthat paid by newspapers, and that ed' the rights or privileges of Engthe publishers should enter into a lishmen; and even with regard to recognisance, or give security to a that bill, it was notorious, that the certain amount, so as to ensure the population, endangered and intima. payment of any fine inflicted on dated by the acts of the seditious, them in case of delinquency. In called upon Parliament to enact some another place, also, a bill would be such measure for their security. brought in for regulating meetings On the same day, Lord Castlefor the discussion of grievances, and reagh having moved that such part for petitioning Parliament, which in of the speech from the throne as reits provisions would be found not lated to the disaffected state of the to trench on the Petition of Rights. country should be read by the Clerk, A bill to prohibit military training, proceeded to explain to the House of except under the authority of Lord Commons the nature of the meaLieutenants or Magistracy, was ano. sures which Ministers had deemed it ther measure which he would have necessary to propose for meeting the to propose to the consideration of dangers by which the country was their Lordships. A large proportion threatened. The measures which of the disaffected were possessed of he intended to propose divided themarms; and therefore it was proposed selves into five distinct heads; and to give to the Magistrates a power of these five he should take that first of seizing and detaining them in the which he considered most pressing, disaffected districts, upon any well- and that last which he considered founded suspicion that they were most important to the tranquillizaintended to be used against the tion of the country. The first relatpeace of the country. These were ed to the tumultuous assembling of the measures intended to be prope, the people ; the second to a system sed to Parliament, for the welfare of which had been produced by the exthe people, and the safety of the traordinary circumstances of the State; and his Lordship called upon times, and which, if not checked, those who differed with Ministers, would rapidly extend itself-the both on subjects of foreign and do- training of large bodies of men for mestic policy, to join them in pre- military, or rather rebellious purpoventing anarchy, and the destruction ses, without the authority of ihe of property. His Lordship then crown; the third was, an act of lopresented the bills for regulating the cal power, and intended to confer press and for preventing military upon magistrates in the disturbed training, and moved that they be districts the same powers which read the first time.
were granted in 1812, to enter the Earl Grey protested warmly a. houses of suspicious persons, and
ize such arms as they might find his Lordship construed into an acere; the fourth was, to procure a quiescence in the same doctrine. ore speedy execution of justice, in The first enactment would therefore ses of trial for misdemeanours; the be, the limitation of numbers; the th regarded the press.
second to prevent persons residing ard to the first of these measures, in distant districts from attending e must desire the House to con- meetings in districts where they did der the abstract right on which not reside; the third, to prevent the eeting to petition was founded. existence of simultaneous meetings. rom the mode in which this right from this proposition he would ex. ad recently been laid down, and cept county meetings, meetings callrom the doctrines which had been ed by corporate bodies, by grand ounded upon it, it appeared to him, juries, or by five magistrates. With hat unless common sense was ap- these exceptions every meeting must lied to the law which had recently be preceded by a notice, for a cerbeen promulgated on this subject, tain number of days, of the inten that law must inevitably lead to san. tion to call such a meeting, and guinary rebellion in the first case, must be within the parish. In conand that which was its never failing fining those meetings to their paconcomitant, military despotism, in rishes, it was proposed to make it a the second. It was obvious, that misdemeanour for any person, not without some qualification of the resident in the parish, to attend a right, thousands, tens of thousands, meeting in it. Two objects would hundreds of thousands, and even be effected by this regulation ; the millions, might meet in any one given first was to exclude strangers, with seplace, at any one given time, and curity to the right of public deliberathat it made no difference whether tion, and without injury to the pubthey met with or without arms, with lic peace; the second, to prevent or without flags, or with or without the distraction of the attention of all that novel paraphernalia which magistrates by vast numbers of sihad lately rendered those meetings multaneous meetings, not perhaps so conspicuous. Now, he would ask known to them till the very time of any prudent man, whether it was meeting, and then often correspondright to assert that the people, and ing with other public meetings or for the sake of the argument, he was markets. Therefore, it would be at liberty to assume the whole of the required to give notice of the meetpeople,) might meet at one place, ing six days beforehand, and the and to say that the magistrates were magistrates were to have the power to stand quiet, after the meeting was of postponing the day of meeting to assembled, until some positive da- a period not exceeding four days, mage was done? If such a principle and of preventing large meetings or could exist, it would prove that the simultaneous meetings.
With relaws of England were absurd and spect to the next measure, none powerless. His Lordship then enter. would be allowed to attend those ed at large into the question of the le- meetings either armed or in martial gality of the Manchester meeting, and array, nor with those symbols which referred to the opinion'expressed by threatened confusion and danger to Mr Plunkett of its decided illegality, the peaceable part of the community. and to the silence maintained on This would extend to county meetthis subject by Mr Scarlett, which ings, as well as to meetings confined to the parish; because a county meet. thing in the shape of a censorship ing in this country had been dis- or restraint upon individual discre. graced by radicals armed who at- ' tion. In the second place, nothing tended it. The next object to which should be done to affect the trial by he would call their attention, was jury. There was no intention to af. the practice of training and drilling; fect the tribunals appointed by law Training, with or without arms, and for the trial of libels, or to prevent all military manœuvres, would be any man from publishing his senti. prohibited. Meetings for these pur- ments in the first instance; but meaposes would be rendered illegal, and sures would be adopted which would magistrates might disperse them at go to cut off the pestilent abuses of their discretion. A distinction would the press, because nothing could be made between the drillers and the lower a free press more than such drilled, because the drillers must be abuses. The first part of the measupposed to be more intelligent than sure he would propose, was that do the drilled. For drillers, not only pamphlet, newspaper, or paper not would fine and imprisonment be as- exceeding two sheets, in short, no signed as a punishment, but trans- political publications within that portation might be inflicted, if the limit, would be suffered to be pubcourt saw proper.
The measure lished without being regularly stampwould extend only to certain coun. ed. This measure would preserve ties, but it might be extended to the most respectable papers from beothers at the desire of the Lorde ing beaten out of circulation; or at Lieutenant of any county. Another least would make others more ex. measure which he had to submit to pensive. Another part of this subthem, respected the unbounded lic ject was one which also embraced a cence of delay which'existed in cer- principle already established and retain cases of misdemeanour, and it cognised by law. The name of the would provide that such persons person responsible for the publicashould go to trial immediately, un- tion was always known by being on less they showed cause to the con. the face of the paper. The present trary. At present there was a power object was only to prevent this law of putting off such trials for about a from being rendered nugatory by year and a half.
The object was, to mere form and mode. It was theremake such a regulation as would fore proposed to require from them bring misdemeanours more nearly, some previous pecuniary security; in that respect, to the state of graver that they should become bound, and and capital cases.
came find others to give security for them, to what he had postponed to the to abide any consequences for trealast, as being, in every constitutional sonable, and blasphemous, or seditipoint of view, the most difficult and ous libels. The third branch of this the most important; he meant the dan- subject was absolutely necessary to ger which arose from the abuses of give effect to the other two ; it was part of the public press. By this mea- to prevent hawking and vending sure, what he considered the two about publications not duly stamped great pillars of a free press would nor published by a responsible indivinot be affected. Every man would dual. In 1796 it was enacted, that be at liberty to publish his sentiments upon a second conviction for sedition, without any previous investigation a higher punishment might be impointo their nature, and without any sed; and, in addition to fine and im
prisonment, transportation or banishfore our readers. But while he | ment for seven years might be in- maintained that attempts to regulate
Aicted when a person had been con- public meetings ought to be viewed Į victed a second time, not for an ac- with the utmost jealousy, the right
cumulated charge of two offences. honourable gentleman seemed to
He proposed a similar measure, not doubt whether, in any former parts i to be compulsory but discretionary, of our history, meetings had occurred
for the judge to sentence a person so numerous as some of those which who had before been convicted of a had recently taken place, and whetreasonable, blasphemous, or sediti- ther, on that account, some legislative ous libel, to transportation. He interference might not be expedient. could not apprehend that this would He then proceeded to animadvert on be viewed either as an unreasonable the augmentation of the military or an unfair proposition. That per- force of the country, and asked, " If son who deliberately sinned after the Noble Lord thinks the new laws conviction had been once had against will be sufficient, where is the occahim, ought to be removed from the sion for the 10,000 men?” Concicountry, in order to protect the com- liation he warmly recommended; but munity against such deliberate offen- concluded without embodying his ces. Having raade these observa opposition in any substantive form.
. tions, he did not know any thing fur
Lord Folkestone and Mr Brougham ther which he had to state, except.
made each a few observations, the ing that it had been found necessary object of which was to represent the to augment the forces. This aug. proposed measures as subversive both mentation had been made in the man. of the liberty of the press and the ner which was conceived to be the rights of public meetings; after which most effective, and the least expen- the bill was read a first time, and the sive, or the least connected with any second reading fixed for the 2d of motive of interest or partial views.
December. His Lordship concluded by moving On the 30th, motions were brought for the introduction of the bills to forward in both Houses for the apwhich he had already alluded. The pointment of committees to inquire first of these would be a measure for into the state of the country; that the more effectually preventing sedi. in the House of Lords, which was tious meetings and assemblies in the introduced by the Marquis of LansUnited Kingdom.
down, being rather more compreMr Tierney strenuously denied hensive in its object than that subthat any case had been made out mitted to the House of Commons by which justified the introduction of Lord Althorp. The motion of the such measures as had been proposed. former nobleman embraced not mereHe contended, that the laws already ly an inquiry into the state of the in being were fully sufficient to re- country as regarded its tranquillity, press the disturbances that had arisen, but also into the causes and extent and to preserve public order and of the distress felt in the manufactranquillity; and, in support of this turing districts, together with the opinion, proceeded to comment in manner in which the laws had been detail on the series of measures which executed; while the motion of the had been proposed to the House ; latter simply proposed, that the paentering, at the same time, largely in. pers relative to the state of the counto those facts which are already be. try, which had been laid on the table