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immense productions of those places (from which formerly we received but little property direct except bullion) now comes to fill the warehouses, and for a time to exhaust the capitals of the merchants of this country, Our conquests also have had the same tendency in addition to the produce of the old British Colonies, we now receive that of Martinique, Guadaloupe, St. Cruz, St. Thomas', &c. the greatest part of the produce of St. Domingo also now comes here. From Europe, the importations from places from which the British flag is excluded, have been immense-these causes. cooperating at a period when the situation of the United States has prevented their ships from introducing into Europe that large proportion of West India and South America productions of which they would have been the carriers, the effects have Leca more sensibly felt by our merchants." -Your committee, upon the whole, think themselves justified in stating, that the embarrassments and distresses at present experienced are of an extensive nature; and though they are most severely felt amongst the manufacturers and merchants in those trades which have been more particularly specified, yet, that they are also felt in a considerable degree in some other branches of trade; but they have the satisfaction of stating, that from the evi dence of a very extensive and experienced merchant, it does not appear that they are felt in the woollen trade, to such an extent as would at all justify a call upon Parliament for any extraordinary relief. That your committee are warranted in stating, that there appeared a general, concurrence of opinion amongst those of the witnesses who were examined, as to the expediency of affording parliamentary relief in the manner in which it was afforded by the issue of Exchequer Bills in the year 1793, although there was some difference as to the extent of benefit which might be expected to be derived from such relief. And your committee state it to be their decided opinion, that although there are many circumstances at the present time affecting the state of trade and commercial credit, which make a great difference between the present period and that of the year 1793; yet the distress is of such a nature and extent, as to make such parliamentary relief highly expedient and necessary; and that it promises to be productive of extensive and important benefit; that although in may cases such
aid may not be capable of effectually relieving the persons to whom it may be applied, from great losses arising from the state of circumstances; yet by affording them time gradually to contract their operations, to call in their means, to with-hold from immediate sale articles which at present can fetch only most ruinous prices, and to keep up the employment of their machinery and their workmen, though upon a very reduced and limited scale; it will divide and spread the pres sure of this distress over a larger space of time, and enable them to meet it with consequences less ruinous to themselves, and less destructive to the interests of the community.-That your committee referred to the manner in which relief was afforded in the year 1793, and have found that the provisions of that measure which, as appears by the report of the commissioners appointed on that occasion, was attended with the happiest effects, and the most complete success, are embodied in the Act 33 Geo. III. cap. 29, and the committee are of opinion, that similar provisions should be adopted with regard to the relief at present preposed; that the amount of exchequer bills to be issued should not be less, nor would the committee recommend that it should be more than £6,000,000, and that, considering the probable date of the returns of trade from South America, a greater interval should be given for repayment than was allowed in 1793, the committee being of opinion, that the time for payment of the first quarter's instalment should not be earlier than the middle of January next, and that the remainder of the sum advanced shou'd be required to be repaid by three equal payments, from three months to three months, so that the whole should be dis charged in nine months from the payment of such first instalment.
TO THE PRINCE REGENT. THE DUTIFUL ADDRESS OF THE HOUSENOLDERS OF THE CITY AND LIBERTIES OF WESTMINSTER.
May it please your Royal Highness!
Sincerely attatched to your person, as on the present occasion will be evinced, it is with a lively sensibility we participate in the sorrow your Royal Highness must feel for the cause of your having been called to your present situation.
But we trust that, by taking on you a nation's cares, demanding as they now sdo, an undivided mind, the private griefs of your Royal Highness must be less painfully felt.
it has been, Sir, with extreme dissatisfaction that we have contemplated those habitual suspensions of the royal authority, some of which have been but recently brought to light, that have been so derogatory to your Royal Highness, and are in their nature so portentous: but we trust, that a repetition of such suspensions, which we know not how to distinguish from usurpations, will be rendered impracticable.
Independent of these constitutional proceedings, there had been much cause of complaint, if not of suspicion, in the obstacle interposed by ministers for preventing the accustomed access of the subject to their sovereign: wherefore, Sir, in now beholding your Royal Highness Regent of the kingdom, we are inspired with a cherring hope; because his Majesty, should his health be happily restored, will assuredly, through the faithful report of your Royal Highness, learn the true condition of his kingdom, and the real seathaents of his loyal and aggrieved people.
In habitual suspensions of the Regal Functions, it is not a mere token we discover whence to infer the existence of evil. Ja breaches of the constitution so flagrant we do not witness mere slight indications of something wrong; but they are so many proofs that a borough faction, trampling on the rights of crown and people, triumphant reigns. In the example now fresh in all our minds, the indignant nation hath seen, in full display, that faction's odious pretensions and your Royal Highness has been made sensible of its detested power.
Thirty years ago it was declared by Sir George Saville, in his place in parliament, that the commons house was no more a representation of the people of this kingdom, than it was of the people of France.
The seats in that house, both for close and for open boroughs, are notoriously marketable. One of them as we are credibly informed, was once bought by a French king's mistress, for her English correspondent, in time of war; and it stands on record, that at another time those seats were purchased wholesale by the Nabob of Arcot, for his intriguing agents. None then, Sir, can assure us, that at this day a whole
troop in the pay of a Napoleon may not sit and vote in that house.
The inveteracy of this disease was made manifest to the whole world, when, in the case of Mr. Wellesley, Lord Castlereagh, and the present minister, Mr. Perceval, all accused of trafficking in those seats, not only no punishment ensued, but the traffic was vindicated, and for this extraordinary reason, that it was become as notorious as the sun at noon-day.
Here, Sir, is the cancer of the state. With a house of commons rapidly becoming, by the virulence of this pest, a mere mass of corruption, death must ensue, unless the cancer to its last fibre be eradicated, and free parliaments restored.
For such a restoration, your Royal Highness must perceive that no talent, no wisdom, no virtue in ministers, can become a substitute.
Proud and light men have, indeed, in all ages, pretended to such a skill; puffed up with a conceit of their own suliciency, they have been abundantly ready to dispense with the constitution. But did not all history proclain the absurdity of such pretentions, that absurdity must, to every reasoning mind, be self-evident.
The nature of the nefarious system of government which hath grown with the growth, and strengthened with the strength of the borough faction, is ascertained to us by long and calamitous experience. Its root is tyranny, its fruit is ruin. It scourged America into resistance: Ireland it tortured into rebe!
lion. It disinherited your Royal Highness of many and flourishing states; and the numerous seamen of those states it a
lienated from the English navy.
It was this system of government which peopled our prisons with innocent persons, for the malignant prosecution of whom ministers took shelter under a bill of indemnity, passed by themselves and their abettors.
It is this system of government which hath pauperized more than a million of our English fellow subjects, and which daily augments their number.
it is this system of government that covers our once free land with bastiles and Barracks; that, brands the millions of English as cowards, needing foreign soldiers for defenders; and that brings back upen us the doctrines and the cruelties of the star chamber.
This system of government, by a blind
infatuation, confers on French and other, foreign Roman Catholic officers what it offensively refuses to native Irish, filling the hearts of the Irish millions with indignation and resentment :-combustible passions which, so pent up, cannot without terror be contemplated.
This system of government, hath in the end, demonstrated the wickedness, and exposed the folly of those, who, to tear from the people all hope of a just Reform forced them to an unjust war: For, after hundreds of millions have been insanely squandered, after rivers of blood have been inhumanly shed, after the nation, foiled and disgraced, has been reduced to a forlorn hope-after all this has been brought on us by corrupt, short-sighted, and tyrannical men, for putting down and treading under foot parliamentary reform; it is at length seen, that in this Reform, and in this Reform alone, national salvation can be found.
During the machinations for fettering your Royal Highness, and bringing you under the galling yoke, you must, Sir, have noticed the faction's base ingratitude to the King your father, for whom, with the deepest hypocrisy, they affect the greatest devotion. That system of government which has been our bane-that system of government which had its origin in the worst corruptions, and the most treacherous counsels of ill-advisers, they made no scruple to call the King's own system of government.
There is no view, Sir, of the nation's affairs, but must impress on your Royal Highness a conviction of the pernicious consequences of a system of government founded on a house of commons in which the people are not represented.
Wherefore, the subject which, above all others, for its paramount importance, we are anxious to rivet on your thoughts, is that which your Royal Highness has found to be uppermost in our own-Parliamentary Reform.
It being our confident hope that the present session will not pass away without a renewal of parliamentary efforts in that cause, we believe, Sir, that a public know ledge of an earnest desire on the part of your Royal Highness for the success of those efforts, would assuredly cause their early triumph.
Convinced indeed we are, that when ever the Crown and the Subject, for mutual self-preservation, shall make common cause in pursuit of this indispensible ob
ject, the odious, the intolerable usurpation of the borough faction, smitten by the united rays of the law, the constitution, the throne, and the nation, must, like a noxious exhalation, melt in air, and disappear.
Against all counsel for protecting or fortifying the borough faction, who are hostile to your every interest, we trust your Royal Highness will be on your guard. Ours, Sir, were we entitled to offer it, would be counsel of another complexion; as will be that of all those loyal and faithful advisers, whose desire it is that your Royal Highness should escape the toils of the wicked, that you may not be unconstitutionally shackled, and made to appear the patron of a faction, instead of standing free, dignified, independent, and illustrious at the head of the nation.
Once, Sir, identified with the borough faction, farewell to greatness! Think, Sir, of a prince of Asturias and a Godoy! Surrounded by the toils of that traitor, the unhappy Prince became instrumental in undermining his own reversionary throne, and accelerating the downfall of the kingdom of his inheritance. In the borough faction, Sir, behold an army of Godoys!
It is this faction, Sir, ostentatious of its usurped dominion, which, for several months together, you have now a second time seen carrying on government over the English nation, without either a King or a Regent; thus striking in public opinion at the utility of the Kingly office; thus striv ing to deepen the root of their own usurpation, and to accustom the people to the most extravagant exercise of their hateful power.
Wherefore, Sir, we repeat, that it is a faction which alike tramples on the rights of Crown and People. Alf but the name of King this insolent faction hath usurped. Nay, Sir, with a King's authority it is not content: the faction aims at nothing short of being despotic.
When, therefore, your Royal Highness with us shall be convinced, that the usurp ed authority of the faction is utterly incompatible with "the safety, honour, and dignity of his Majesty, and the welfare of his people," which, as Regent," you have sworn you will in all things, to the utmost
of your power and ability, consult and maintain," that conviction in the mind of your Royal Highness will be to us a source of the most animating hope, and a presage of recovered Rights and Liberties.
Were it not, Sir, a law of nature, that
none can taste the god-like pleasure reserved to the patriot saviour, who hath not first acutely felt the pain of contemplating public wrongs and calamites, the citizens of Westminster would have to regret, that the wrongs and calamities of their country should have made the principal theme of this their first salutation of your Royal Highness, in the character of Regent.
But having not failed to dwell also with emphasis on that Reform, which is the sole remedy for the nation's political evils, they trust they have given the best proof of their anxiety that the blessings of a
grateful people should await your Royal Highness; and that by all posterity your name should be venerated as long as human records shall endure.
It is thus, Sir, the Citizens of Westminster give you their pledge, that, in all your exertions for saving the State, they, with life and fortune, are determined to stand by your Royal Highness.
The following Resolutions were then proposed, and unanimously adopted :Resolved, That this Meeting think it right to make it known to the PRINCE REGENT their sentiments on public affairs particularly on the absolute necessity of a Parliamentary Reform, not only for his Royal Highness's own consideration, but in a hope also, that, in case of surrendering his charge, he may report the same to his Majesty's evil Counsellors; having, for many years past, deprived the people of
this realm of access to the throne.
Resolved, That this Meeting approve and adopt the Address which has been now read.
Resolved, That the High Bailiff, togegether with Sir Francis Burdett, our Representative, are requested to present to the Prince Regent the dutiful Address of this Meeting.
Resolved, That the thanks of the Electors of Westminster are due, and are hereby given, to their faithful Representative, Sir Francis Burdett, for his unqualified denial of an assertion made in December last, "That the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons of Great Britain and Ireland, do lawfully, freely, and fully represent all the Estates of the People of this Realm.” contrary to notorious fact -a fact, and a wrong, of which the peo ple of this Realm have so long and so constantly complained, but unfortunately without redress.
SUBSCRIPTION IN IRELAND TO INDEMNIFY PETER FINNERTY.
Information was conveyed to Peter Finnerty, that a subscription had been opened in the North of Ireland. He thus writes in reply :—
Your kind letter has reached me, I am, I assure you, highly gratified to find that my conduct is honoured by the approbation of men of such sentiments. My exertions were such as I thought due to my
cause, my country, and
ter; and I had resolved so to act whatever consequences might follow. The consequences that have followed are severe enough to gratify malignity itself. The place in which I am allowed the opportunity of sleeping, is wretched, and the spirit of oppression extends to such minutiæ, that I really cannot help smiling at the impotent malice which institutes such arrangements. They shall gain nothing, for I am determined to lose nothing by such a system. They may injure my health, which thank God, notwithstanding all the privations to which I am subjected, is better than it was upon my arrival-but my mind-they cannot affect.
No; the position I have taken, I am resolved to maintain. I have always thought that the advocate of liberty who shrinks in the hour of trial, does a greater injury to the cause than the most unqualified tyrant; for cowardice is the great encouragement of tyranny. The tyrant, from feeling, would conciliate from policy, if convinced of the inefficacy of coercion. Yet how strong is the evidence which Ireland affords that coercion is not the system applicable to her government.How indocile are the knaves and fools who do not yet know us; who are not to be taught by the many impressive examples which our countrymen have af forded, that the history of the world does not present an instance of a nation so difficult to be subdued by force, and yet so easy to be conciliated by kindness. But if they will pursue their sys. tem, we must preserve our character; and let the care of every friend of liberty, be, that his conduct shall present nothing to encourage the calculation of any tyrant or to excuse the timidity of any slave. I have been and am most vigorously treated; the people of Lincoln feel very libe rally towards me. The English, living out of the pale of corruption and the court,
be supported in the person of Peter Fingerty. The people must now decide the ques tion. The liberty of the press can only be vindicated by producing the conviction, that the friends of free discussion will not be left unsupported. Between a shackled press, and an overbearing exertion of authority, which would prevent discussion, only so far as men in power might judge reasonable, there is no difference. If the people through a fear to give offence, or fro man ill-judged regard to selfish interests, neglect the cause of the liberty of the press, it will probably fall, and with it the liberties of the people will scon follow, either to fall to rise no more, or to be resuscitated with those convulsions which attend re-animation.
LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.
Crown and Anchor Tavern, London, 1811.
The committee "requested to manage the Subscription entered into for the purpose of indemnifying and supporting Mr. Finnerty have directed me to communicate the following resolutions, and to request your co-operation.
S. BROOKS, Esq. in the chair. Resolved, "That active means be taken for promoting the Subscription, the object of which is not only pecuniary indemnity, but also, by the number of the Subscribers, a manifestation of the feeling of the country, for the important service rendered by Mr. Finnerty, in his late manly and able effort to vindicate the Liberty of the Press.
"That it is desirable to have the Subscription published in the provincial papers, with the name of some gentleman in the neighbourhood added to the List of persons advetised to receive subscriptions, who should be requested to forward, from time to time, a list of the names and sums subscribed to the Secretary, in order to their insertion in the General List."
Annexed you have the Resolutions of the General Meeting.
Any communications addressed to me, at No. 110, Strand, will be punctually attended to.
I am, Sir your obedient servant,
A. THISTLEWOOD, Serdary.
At a meeting, convened by advertisement in the public papers, held at the Crown and Anchor tavern, in the Strand, on Wednesday, the 20th day of February, 1811, SIR FRANCIS BURDETT in the chair, resolved unanimously,