« VorigeDoorgaan »
above-mentioned proposition, in the openly bought and sold those seats, teeth of the clearest and most con- but kept, in a great degree, a monoclusive evidence, positive as well as poly of the market, and that it was circumstantial, written as well as perfectly well known, that a dissoVerbal; and upon which occasion it lution of parliament was not an ap appeared that all the King's mini: peal to the people but an appeal to sters; all the placemen, and all the the treasury; and that this-meeting pensioners then present, voted to have further observed, that, in angainst the said proposition.
swer to this statement of Mr. CrecThat, in the act of parliament, vey (for which that gentleman isencommonly called the bill of rights, tited to our particular thanks), the it is declared, “ That the election of King's minister, Mr. Perceval, did “ members of parliament ought to not attempt to deny the facts al« be free," and, in the same act it is ledged, but contented himself with declared," that the violating of the insinuating, that the opposite party, « freedom of election of members to when in power, had been guilty of "serve in parliament," was one of similar practices. the crimes of King James II. and That from the foregoing facts, as one of the grounds upon which well as from numerous others, nohe was driven from the throne of torious- to the whole nation, this this kingdom; bu that notwith- meeting have a firm conviction, that standing this law, which is said to it is in the house of commons, as at be one of the great bulwarks of the present constituted, that exists the constitution, and notwithstanding di- great and efficient cause of that provers other laws, made for the pur- fligacy of manners amongst so many pose of preventing undue returns of in high life; of that corrupt dispomembers of parliament, it does ap. sal of offices; of that endless train pear, from evidence given during of unpunished peculations ; of that the above-said inquiry, that Lord squandering of our earnings, and inClancarty and Lord Viscount Cas- comes; of that establishment of an tlereagh, both of them servants of army of foreigners in the heart of the King, and the later a privy 'our country; of that incapacity in counsellor, a secretary of state, and the conducting of public affairs, both a member of the house of commons, at home and abroad; and of all that did offer to give a writership in the national misery and disgrace which East Indies, in exchange for a seat in have been but too long so severely the house of commons, and that the felt, and the dangers to be apprę failure of that corrupt negociation hended from which have now atwas owing, not to any disinclination tracted the serious attention of even on their part, but on the part of the the most thoughtless and unobseryseat-seller, to whom the offer was ing. made!
That, therefore, this meeting, anxThat'this meeting have observed, ious alike for the preservation of his that during a debate in the house of Majesty's throne and legitimate aucommons, on the 20th of this month, thority, and for the restoration of upon the subjects of the aforesaid in- the rights and liberties bequeathed quiry, Thomas Creevey Esq. one of them by the wisdom, the fortitude, the honourable minority of 125, did and the valour of their forefathers, distinctly state, that, it was not on- hold it a duty which they owe to Jy his belief, but that it was within their Sovereign and his successors, his own knowledge, that seats in to themselves and their children, to parliament had been bought and the safety, happiness, and renown sold; that the treasury not only of their country to declare their de
cided conviction, that no change for City of London, on Tuesday, the the better can reasonably be expected, 1st day of August, 1809. without such a reform in the commons
RESOLVED, house of parliament, as shall make That this court did, on the 6th day that house, in reality as well as in of April last express its thanks and name, the representatives of the peo- gratitude to G.L.Wardle
, Esq. for his ple, and not the instruments in the conduct in bringing forward and subhands of a minister; and further to stanțiating serious charges against declare, that it will be expedient the late commander in chief, which for us, at a future convenient time, notwithstanding the majority in his to assemble in county-meeting, in favour, in the house of Commons, order to consider of a petition to the compelled his resignation.—That no King, praying that his Majesty will circumstance has since transpired be graciously pleased to afford us which can in any manner lessen the his royal countenance and support importance of that investigation, imin our constitutional efforts against peach his motives, or affect the merits a faction of borough-mongers, not of the case. On the contrary, his less hostile to the true dignity and unwearied exertions, perseverance, just prerogatives of his Majesty's and fortitude, under unexampled crown, than to the interests and threats and difficulties have develofeelings of his faithful, suffering, and ped a scene of scandalous abuse and insulted people.
corruption, not only in the army Resolved Unanimously-That the but in various departments of the thanks of this meeting be given to state. Wm. Powlett Powlett, and W. Cob- That it has been discovered by the bett, Esqs. for the part they respece said investigation, that these abuses tively took in calling the meeting, have extended, not only to the disand for their conduct thereat. posal of church and East India pa
Resolved Unanimously-That the tronage, but also to the disposal of thanks of this meeting be given to seats in the legislature, and charges the High Sheriff, for his readiness in have been brought forward and convening the same, and for the im- proofs offered, implicating in such partiality with which he presided. corrupt and illegal traffic Lord Visa
Resolved Unanimously----That count Castlereagh, the Ilon. Spenthese resolutions be signed by the cer Perceval, and the Hon. Henry Sheriff, in the name, and on behalf Wellesley, all members of the house, of the meeting, and that the same and then and now holding ostensible be printed and published in the situations in his Majesty's governcounty papers, and in the States- ment, a traffick which, in the laninan, the Morning Chronicle, the 'guage of the Speaker of the house Times, and the Courier, London of Commons,
« WOULD BRING A newspapers;
and that the Sheriff be GRBATER SCANDAL UPON THE PARrequested to forward the vote of LIAMENT AND THE NATION THAN thanks to G. L. Wardle, Esq. THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER KNOWN Signed on behalf of the meeting, JOHN BLACKBURN, Sheriff. EXISTENCE."
That the said investigation has alCOMMON COUNCIL OF LONDON. so led to the discovery, that the (Second Meeting.)
said Lord Castlereagh, one of his Flower Mayor.
Majesty's secretaries of state, and At a Common Council, holden in the late President of the board of con
Chamber of the Guildhall of the troul, dick, in fagrant breach of his
SINCE PARLIAMENT HAS HAD AN
duty as a minister, abuse of his pa- honest application of our resources, tronage, and gross violation of the the people might be relieved from constitution, place a writership in heavy and oppressive barthens, if not the hands of Lord Clancarty, a mem- from the inquisitorial and most griezber of the same board, for the pur- ous of all imposts, the tax upon inpose of obtaining for him a seat in That his conduct on this occaparliament; which fact the said' sion seems to have drawn upon him, in Lord Castlereagh has himself ad- a high degree, the malice and ranmitted, and, notwithstanding there cour of those who are interested in appeared a smaller majority in his the continuance of these abuses. farour, than appeared in favour of That in the opinion of this court, the Duke of York, in manifest injus- individuals who devote their exertice to his "royal highness, and gross tions towards exposing and correctinsult to the nation, the said Lord ing public abuses, are at all times Castlereagh still retains its official si- entitled to the support and protectuation.
tion of the country, particularly at That these attacks upon the vital, the present moment, when there apprinciples of the constitution have pears an unabating effort on the part been made without punishment or of those notoriously under the incensure; and motions for inquiry fluence of government, or who parinto such practices have been rejec- ticipate in the existing frauds, corted upon the alleged frequency and ruptions, and peculations, to cry notoriety of them, and parliament down, vilify, and traduce every man has thereby, as well as by passing who has courage and integrity to a bill to prevent the sale of seats in expose such practices, in order to that house, recognized and acknow- mislead the public, and divert their ledged the corrupt influence under attention from these great evils. which it has been called together,
WOODTHORPE. and exercised its functions.
That it was stated by Mr. Wardle, COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX. that there was an office publicly
(Second Meeting.) kept open for the sale of places un- At a Meeting of the Freeholders of der government; and although such
the County of Middleser, held at statement, when made, only excited Hackney on August 9.. the derision of ministers and the IT WAS RESOLVED, house, it has since appeared, that That in a petition presented to the above statement was correct; and entered on the journals of the and his Majesty's ministers have in- house of commons on the 6th of dicted and convicted several persons May, 1793, it was averred, and concerned therein, and such practi- offered to be proved at the bar," that ces were declared in the said indict- " 154 individuals (peers and others) ment to have a tendency to degrade, did, by their own authority, ap. vilify, and traduce, and bring into
point or procure the return of 307 'contempt the administration of the
“ members of that house (exclusive country.
" of those from Scotland), who were That by various statements which “ thus enabled to decide all questions Mr. Wardle has lately submitted to " in the name of the whole people of parliament, it appears, that by a cor- 6 Great Britain." rection of the frauds, abuses, cor- That in a report lately presented ruption, and peculation, which have to the said house, it appears that a been found to exist in every branch of large proportion of the members the public expenditure to which in- thereof are placemen and pensioners, quiry has extended, and a wise and dependent on the crown.
That in a petition presented to the consideration the necessity of reform said house, and entered on its jour in the representation ; that he be renals, on the 9th of December, 1790, quested to renew his motion early in it was averred, that “ seats therein the next session. . And that we re
as notoriously rented and commend to counties, cities, large bought as the standings for cattle towns, and boroughs, to press the at a fair," which assertion was then subject on the attention of the house resented in that house as “ scanda- of commons, by respectful and earlous and libellous." But when Lord nest petitions. Castlereagh was, on the 11th of May It was moved and seconded that last, accused of having sold a seat, a petition be presented to the hor he was screened from punishment on nourable house of commons, which the plea of the extreme notority of petition having been read and agreed the practice; a practice which va- to, it was resolved rious of its members unblushingly That the petition now read" be justified.
signed by the sheriffs and freehole That when seats in the commons ders, and delivered to George Byng, house of parliament are bought and Esq. to be presented to the house. sold, the people, their laws and liber- That George Byng, Esq. and ties, are bought and sold.
William Mellish, Esq. our represenThat while these corruptions con- tatives in parliament, are hereby intinue to exist, the people are de- structed to support the same. prived of their lawful share of the That the thanks of this meeting government, by representation in be given to George Byng, Esq. one the commons house of parliament. of our representatives, for his gene- , which share has been usurped by a ral conduct in parliament, and for corrupt and unconstitutional oligar- his efforts in favour of a constituchy of borough-mongers.
tional reform in the representationThat reform on constitutional prin- (Carried unanimously). ciples encourages us to hope that the That the thanks of this meeting expences, disorders, and tumults at- be given to Joshua Jonathan Smith, tending elections would be avoided— Esq. and Claudius Stephen Hunter, the rights and liberties of the people Esq. the high sheriff of the county, secured-taxes reduced—the unequal for their attention to the freeholders, and grievous impositions of the pro- in so promptly calling this meeting, perty tax removed, and future bur- and for their impartial conduct in thens prevented — corruption then the chair this day--(Carried unaniwould be no longer necessary, much mously). less avowed to be necessary for the ad- That an address to his Majesty be ministration of public affairs.
now read and considered. That the King and his people have The address to the King having but one interest, but borough-mon- been read; gers have an interest separate from IT WAS RESOLVED, each, and inimical to both; and as a That this court having already complete reform in the representa- determined to present a petition to tion is the only means of destroying the house of Commons, any further the corrupt influence of the latter, petition or address is at present unneso it is particularly requisite in these cessary. times for the preservation of both That the thanks of this meeting King and people.
be given to Major Cartwright, for That the thanks of this meeting his perseverance and ability in the be given to Sir F. Burdett, Bart. for cause of parliamentary reform. calling on the house to take into That the above resolutions be
KINGDOM OF GREAT
signed by the sheriff, and published known as the modern practice of mennin the newspapers.
bers procuring their seats in your honourJ. J. SMITH,
able house by purchase, nomination, or C. S. HUNTER,
Sheriff. by barter of patronage.
That every departure from this un
doubted right of the people to a substanThe following is a copy of the tial representation in short parliaments proposed petition :
was a violation of the fundamental prinTO THE HONOURABLE THE COMMONS OF ciples of the constitution, and is a griev
ance dangerous alike to the liberties and BRITAIN AND IRELAND IN PARLIA- property of the people.
That this deplorable state of the reThe humble Petition of the Freeholders presentation co-operating with the sepof the County of Middleser, in full tennial duration of parliaments, has an County assembled.
alarming tendency to destroy the conSHEWETU,
stitutional balance which ought to subThat on the 6th of May, 1793, a sist between the three branches of the petition was presented to your honour- legislature, and threatens the free subable house, in which it is averred, that jects of these realms with a tyranny three hundred and seven of the honour
more hateful and degrading than a desable members for England and Wales potic monarchy—the usurpation of our only, are not returned to parliament by rights by an odious oligarchy of the prothe suffrages of the people, but are, prietors of boroughs. through numerous breaches, and eva- That the elective franchise ought to sions of the freedom of election therein be entrusted to those, and to those only, fully set forth, appointed by one hun- who are likely to exercise it for the comdred and fifty-four peers and commoners. mon good, which, by the act passed in
That evidence in proof of the facts the late session of parliament to regulate "contained in such petition was tendered the disposal of seats in your
honourable in support thereof, and the allegations' house, your petitioners conclude not to so stated in the said petition still stand be the case in the venal or depopulated on the journals of your honourable house boroughs. uncontradicted.
In the wisdom and justice of your That by the statute commonly called honourable house your petitioners the septennial act, the same house of confidently rely that honourCommons may sit for a period equal to able house will take their petition one half of the probable duration of hu
into your early and most serious man life, taken at the most favourable consideration, and will grant them age.
such relief in the premises as shall That the right of the Commons to be most consistent with that leadsend representatives to parliament was ing principle of our happy constiby our ancient constitution vested in the tution—a full and free representa freeholders and the house-holders; and tion of the people in parliament. long parliaments were heretofore as un- And your petitioners will ever pray, &c.
ence between the United States and
Great Britain, which it seems Mr. NEGOCIATION WITH BRITAIN, Erskine has been authorised to ar
Washington, April 19.-Since the range in virtue of powers received arrival of Mr. Oakely at Washing- from his government by the British ton, Mr. Smith, secretary of state, sloop of war, now lying at Hampton, and Mr. Erskine, the British minis- subject to his orders. The following ters, have
been, we understand, notes shew the happy result of these every day engaged in discussions in discussions : relation to the two points of differ