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question would still remain to be discussed. It was said that landlords in Ireland were too prone to subdivide their estates, with the view of obtaining political influence; but this evil might safely be left to cure itself.
He believed this statement was not borne out by facts, and that in reality the system was the other way. During the last three or four years, attempts had been made to thin the population of Ireland, and advance its social condition, without considering the misery which such efforts occasioned to large bodies of people. It was said that the present measure would have the effect of giving to Ireland substantial yeomanry
Honourable members would not wait until the progress of events worked out this desirable object; but were determined to cut the matter short, and effect it at once by legal enactment. If the bill were passed, and a £10 yeomanry established, could they be compared with the yeomanry of England ? It would soon be discovered that the £10 yeomanry were of too low a denomination, and that it was necessary to raise the qualification to £20, and indeed it would be difficult to know at what point to stop. The subdivision of property iu Ireland depended mainly on the state of society in that country, and any sudden attempt at consolidation in a country where there were no manufactures to afford employment to the superabundant population, could only be productive of extensive misery. In Ireland, the population of which was seven millions, there were only thirty towns which contained more than 5,000 inhabitants, whilst in Scotland, whose population was but two million, there were thirty-three towns containing more than 5,000 inhabitants. It was in vain to endeavour, by arbitrary enactments, to anticipate the progress of society. He trusted Government would consent to let the present elective system of Ireland remain, contenting itself with correcting the abuses connected with it.
How Lord Palmerston contrived to make his peace with the Duke of Wellington, for presuming to differ from the Commander-in-Chief,” we know not; but in advocating the grand measure, the repeal of the Catholic disabilities, his lordship managed to make ample amends for his previous delinquency. He delivered a speech in support of the bill, which was highly applauded at the moment, and is still regarded as the ablest address that was produced in the House of Commons on that memorable occasion. Though it suffers not a little from the imperfection which must unavoidable attend a newspaper report, it is still worthy of being preserved as a record of the noble viscount's enlightened judgment and superior talents.
Lord Palmerston said, the honourable member for Newark, (Mr. Sadler,) who had last night spoken in that house for the first time, had, in his eloquent and able speech, thought it necessary to apologize for even touching upon the state of Ireland -an apology altogether unnecessary, and somewhat curious. The honourable member seemed to think that although the state of Ireland was the cause of the measure upon which he addressed the House, yet that he might deal with the poor-laws, with political economy, with education, and with all other matters, but the great matter of all, the state of Ireland—the state of the country most concerned in the question-was not to be mentioned at all. It was, however, upon a view of the condition of Ireland that he (Lord Palmerston) was prepared to support the bill. But before he proceeded further, he wished to offer a few remarks upon some arguments which had fallen from the member for Corfe Castle and another honourable gentleman. He esteemed as much as any honourable member could, the character and the conduct of those great men who effected the revolution of 1688; and he thought it was but a very ill compliment to the memory of those illustrious persons to say, that their steps were followed by illiberality, excluding any of our fellow-subjects from the blessings of the constitution in consequence of their religious opinions. He read a very different version from some honourable gentlemen, in the motives and proceedings of those men. The honourable member for Corfe Castle had brought forward the declaration of the Prince of Orange, as a proof of the correctness of the view which that honourable gentleman took of the question, when he opposed this bill, and contended that that declaration was framed and entirely directed to the exclusion of the Roman Catholics from political power. He would not deny that much was levelled against the Roman Catholics; but he had greatly misread that declaration, who confined its intention to so narrow a view. If properly read, it took a much more comprehensive and enlightened scope.
The noble lord then went through the different clauses of the declaration, and contended that it was levelled not merely or principally against the Roman Catholics, but against the perversion of the laws, and the establishment of despotic power.
That declaration described who the evil counsellors were to whom it alluded, and set them forth as persons who—when they found they could not by intrigue or violence command the votes of parliament-recommended to the king that the parliament should be dissolved. And what was the remedy proposed by it? Why, a new parliament or convention was summoned, and for what purpose? Why, for the purpose of preparing such new laws, and making such new provisions and arrangements, as should be considered by it necessary for the settlement of the kingdom; and also for the purpose of establishing a good understanding between the Protestant established church and the Protestant Dissenters. The latter object had not been effected, however, until last year, when it was happily consummated. And the last great object for which that convention met was, to secure to all persons who had lived peaceably and properly, perfect security and toleration in their religious opinions, the papists themselves not even being excepted. These were the opinions of that great religious radical, King William ! If the objects and opinions of that monarch had really been such as they had been represented to be, there would be every reason to deplore his ever having landed in this country, rather than to rejoice in the event, and to bless his memory. King William, however, came not with Protestantism in one hand and the axe of intolerance in the other : he came with peace and toleration on his lips, and religious and civil liberty upon his banners.
The noble lord then alluded to the state of Ireland, and, after stating that it was the great reason why he supported this measure, he depicted its deplorable condition in glowing colours. In opposition to the measure, it had been observed, that if thirty, forty, or fifty Roman Catholics gained admission into that house, they would use their best endeavours to subvert the constitution; but it had not been exactly explained how they were to accomplish the task. It should be remembered, however, that although a small party might, by throwing its weight into nearly poised balances, give the preponderance to one, yet that the measures which it was supposed the Catholics would be desirous to carry, were of such a nature that they could succeed only when they could support them by a decided majority; and that being the case, it was impossible that thirty or forty Roman Catholics could effect their adoption. But it was said that in the case of a tottering, weak ministry, the Roman Catholics might, by their co-operation and assistance, obtain a mastery. Such a supposition was absurd." The
very moment a ministry so misconducted itself, it would be deserted by every Protestant, and crushed by its own baseness or folly, The honourable baronet, the
member for Kent, had said, that he did not object to the admission of the Roman Catholics to political power from any objection to their general conduct, but from some of their religious tenets. The honourable baronet of course could not allude to such imputed tenets as 66 there is no faith to be kept with heretics,” but referred, he supposed, to the presumption, that the Roman Catholics would give only a divided allegiance to the king. The Catholics positively and solemnly denied the tenets attributed to them : they had done so over and over again, and he believed them when they did
But even if they were not sincere in their denial, that would make no difference in his opinion, for he did not see what the objectionable tenets had to do with the question. If the question was, as to whether there should be any Catholics or not, he would say, as decidedly and as readily as the honourable baronet-No. But then the Roman Catholics were there —they were with their tenets, whether good or ill—and the only question to be considered was, what was to be done with them? The question was, whether a new attempt should be made to depress, subdue, or exterminate them, or whether, by conciliation and kindness, they should be converted into friends and supporters of the common interest ? For his own part, he hoped to see the latter course adopted.
The only professed objection to the admission of the Roman Catholics to political power was, that they held a divided allegiance. The Catholics utterly denied that such was the fact; and as a proof of the truth of his denial, said to the Protestant, “Frame what oath you please, binding me to temporal allegiance to the king, and I will truly take it.” And if it was said in reply, that oaths were but words, and words but air, he would remind those who made such an answer, that the Roman Catholics were admitted at present to the command of fleets and of armies, and might appeal to the exploits they had performed in their military capacity. If Catholics were likely or inclined to treat oaths lightly, in what situation were they so likely to do so as in the navy or army, where they were distant from control, and exposed to temptation? The act by which they were admitted to the command of the navy and army, was not framed at the time of the revolution of 1688. No, it certainly was not: it was passed in more modern times, and many of the opponents of the present bill allowed it to pass without opposition. What then was the fact? Why, you trust the outposts of your camp, you trust the outworks of your fortress, and the parts most accessible to intrigue and collision with the enemy, into the custody of Roman Catholics; but you will not admit them into the heart of your citadel, where they will be surrounded by guards and checks, if they should be disposed to play you false. They would give the Roman Catholics the command of fleets and of armies, even in those perilous times when the fate of the nation might depend upon the result of a battle, and they would do so without apprehension, but they would not consent to admit one Catholic into that House, where he would only be one among many, where his language and his actions would be made fully known, and whose proceedings were carried at the dawn of day, upon wings scarcely less swift than those of the winds, to the most distant parts of the empire, and everywhere freely discussed and canvassed.
Much had been said respecting the wisdom of their ancestors; and, certainly, upon the question before the House, their ancestors appeared to have the advantage. Their ancestors hated the Roman Catholics, and perhaps had some cause; they themselves hated the Roman Catholics, and had none.
Their ancestors attempted to extirpate the Catholics, and set about it in right good earnest, deeming a Catholic a sort of dangerous
and ferocious beast of prey, and, treating him as such, drove him into his fastnesses. They hated the Catholics, but permitted them to walk about their cities, to be seen in the neighbourhood of their gardens, and thought it sufficient if they only closed against them the portals of the temple of justice. If the Catholics were dangerous, they had gone too far-but they could not recede; and if they were not dangerous, they had not gone far enough. The elements of political power were numbers, wealth, and intelligence; and these they had permitted Catholics to acquire. Yet, while the Catholics were going on, daily adding to their importance, they still went on discussing the danger, if Catholics should acquire any further political power. Why, those persons who swayed the passions and commanded the actions of five or six millions of Catholics possessed political power, if there was any meaning in words. He called upon the house to strip these men of the dangerous power they possessed-to convert them into supports of the empire; he called upon the house, as skilful physicians, to extract the poison, and to convert it into a restorative.”
The remainder of the speech, which our limits compel us to omit, was in the same liberal and manly strain of just argument.
In November 1830, the Wellington Administration terminated its existance, and in that which succeeded and which was hailed with the increasing confidence of the country Viscount Palmerston was appointed secretary for foreign affairs. His mind was prepared, as we have already perceived, to enter into those liberal measures for the furtherance of which the Whigs were particularly called into power, and we accordingly find Lord Palmerston advocating the Reform Bill with great clearness and energy of argument. On the 3rd March 1830, he made an able speech in support of this important measure, in which he insisted that the demand for Reform was national, and arose from every class of society in a people who “had always been remarkable for a tenacious attachment to their national institutions.” It was to an obstinate defiance of what was obviously the opinion of the public, that the late administration owed its fall. His lordship then declared that disregard of public opinion had been the occasion of much misgovernment at home, as well as of great and alarming dangers abroad. He very ably rebuked those who had thrown out taunts against himself and others, who had been the admirers of Mr. Canning.
“What Mr. Canning's opinion on the question of reform would now have been, had he lived to the present day, it was not for him to say; but they were bad expounders of Mr. Canning's opinions, who looked for them in particular sentiments, expressed at particular times, and did not scrutinize the principles by which his public life was guided. If any man took a great and enlarged view of human affairs, without doubt, that eminent statesman did ; and he would venture to say, that had Mr. Canning lived in the present day, and stood in the same circumstances in which he (Lord Palmerston) stood, his great genius would have at once comprehended the necessity on which the opinions of the government were founded, and would have stated to the house, in his (Lord Palmerston's) belief, the same sentiments which he (Lord Palmerston) was now expressing. If any honourable member wanted to learn the opinions of Mr. Canning, let him refer to the speech delivered by that gentleman in February, 1826, on the freedom of the silk trade, when he expressed himself in a manner very applicable to the present occasion-saying, “That those who resisted improvement, because it was innovation, might find themselves compelled to accept innovation, when it had ceased to be improvement." His Lordship proceeded to point out that the very limited reform that might have been possible in 1828, of transferring the elective franchise occasionally from the corrupt boroughs to the great manufacturing towns, was now impracticable. The representation of the people under the
2D. SERIES, NO. 47.--VOL. IV,
existiug practice presented five prominent defects—“the nomination boroughs-the gross, general, and barefaced corruption which prevailed, not only in small, but also in large places—the want of members for some of the greatest and most important manufacturing towns—the expenses of elections—and the unequal distribution among different classes of society of that power which resulted from the exercise of the elective franchise.” In demonstrating the excellence of mode by which the plan of the government applied sound and wholesome remedies to these glaring defects, his Lordship concluded a speech which is remarkable for blending much animation which clearness of detail.
We would easily enrich our pages with interesting extracts from Lord Palmerston's speeches, were it necessary to give further proof of his parliamentary tactics—but enough has been done for that purpose. The office which his lordship now fills is, in the present state of the Continent of Europe, one of no ordinary difficulty, and many of his state-papers, on the affairs of the continent are highly creditable both to himself and the country.
to transfer their labour to those other trades, ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH OCCASION EMPLOYMENT, OR A WANT OF EMPLOY.
the products of which are in request.
Sometimes the difficulty of changing is MENT,
created or enhanced by the obstacles raised (Concluded from p. 463.)
in the way of embarking in other occupaIn our last number we spoke of a want of tions, resulting from law, or customs and skill in workmen in those occupations, the rules of trade. produce of which is in demand in the The want of an equilibrium between the existing state of things, as being one great supply and demand of this labour causes a cause of their being unable to find full glut of the commodities it produces, and, employment.
together with a want of employment for A second great cause of this want of the workmen, an inadequate remuneration employment is to be found in a distribution for their labour. In the continually changof workmen in the different occupations in ing scene of life, we often find labourers in a ratio unequal to, or not in correspondence some branches of business out of employwith, the ratio of the demands of the market ment, ceasing to contribute to the general for the things supplied.
stock of the community, while they are a Although labour is of that nature that it burden upon it; or, if they continue at never exists in excess as a whole, or suffers work, they produce only things which are as a whole from competition 270.igst scarcely at all wanted, through the superworkmen, yet labour of every particular abundance of such things already existing. description, like commodities of particular The third circumstance mentioned as kinds, is continually liable to be super- sometimes occasioning a want of employabundant.
of quantity is ment is, that the price of labour is not low because it is improperly directed ; the enough for the existing state of the market, products created are unsuited to the exist- and so as to allow of the means of the ing demand of the market, and there is employers of labour, or purchasers of the more of some particular sorts than there is products it creates, taking off the whole occasion for. It is, however, a necessary quantity' of that particular kind offered. consequence, when some occupations are The inertia of ignorance is the vice of unci. overburdened with workmen, that others vilized life; the inaction produced by a have not enough. The want of employ- demand of too high a price is the vice of ment in some trades thus occasioned, 'is imperfect civilization, and is to be found in most commonly the unavoidable conse- countries where skill and knowledge exist quence of a want of knowledge and skill sufficient to afford full occupation, but in the workmen, sufficient to enable them where an excessive selfishness mars the