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be some kind of constitution, some un- being loudly called for, the House di. tried being, watered with blood, and flou
vided : rishing to destruction ; but from that mo. For Mr. Ponsonby's Amendment
112 ment the British Constitution was gone
264 (Hear, hear, hear!) The Hon. and Learn Majority in favour of the Address 152 ed Gentleman had called them wild and visionary Reformers, but they were in
January 31. fact the masters of the Hon. and Learned Sir F. Burdett, in presenting a Petition Gentleman, and of all those who called from Halifax and its neighbourhood on the themselves moderate Reformers; they subject of Parliamentary Reform, promade use of them as far as they suited tested against the recent doctrine, that their purposes, and treated their counsels, Members must read the whole of the Pea when they did not, with contumely and titions before they presented them to the scorn. The festal blaze of War bad ceased, House. He did not consider himself at but the sun of Peace had not attained its all answerable for the opinions and docmeridian: let not robbers and assassins trines they cootajned. take advantage of the twilight. England The Speaker said, there were two clear was not, he trusted, to be blotted from points on this subject. The first was, that the list of nations, because, after an over it was the duty of a Member to state the strained, though necessary effort, she was substance of the Petition he wished to sunik in comparalive exhaustion,
present. The House could then judge as “ Think you yon sanguine cloud,
to the propriety of receiving it; secondly, Rais'd by your breath, bas quench'd the it was the Member's duty to know if it orb of day;
was respectfully couched ; if not, he deTo-morrow he repairs his golden flood,
parted from the line of his duty in offerAndwarms the nations with redoubled ray." ing it. This was the established practice
of the House. Mr. Tierney observed, that the whole of After considerable discussion, Sir F. the Right Hon. Gentleman's eloquence Burdett said, he meant to steer a mohad been thrown away upon a subject derate rational course, and to endeawhich was not before the House, and to vour to unite all classes in an underwhich there was no reference, either in standing of the wishes of the great body the original Address or the Amendmeute of the petitioners, on the subject of ReHe (Mr. 'T.) avowed himself a friend to form. He would be sorry to bring the Reform, but not Annual Parliaments and House into contest with the Country OA Universal Suffrage. He ridiculed the a mere point of form, or personal conveidea of a Committee appointed by Minis- nience; and he had made the stand that ters, and consisting of their dependents he did against the rule laid down, not and adherents, doing any good. He no from any pertinacity, but because he ticed the appointment of Sir Geo. Hill to thought the right of petitioning involved be Vice-treasurer of Ireland, and several in the question. Some of the Petitions other appointments, to prove that there which he held in his hand he had read was no disposition to economize.
since he came iuto the House, and would After some desultory conversation, Mr. move that they be brought up (hegry hear!) Preston rose to speak; but the question Agreed to.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF SECRECY,
Presented to the House of Commons, Feb, 19. That it appears to your Committee, the works of a visionary writer, published after a' most attentive consideration of the above twenty years ago. That at meetings documents submitted to them from vari. of some of these societies it was urged, that ous parts of the country, that attempts Parliamentary Reform must be held out had recently been made to take advan as the ostensible object of their efforts, tage of the distresses of the labouring and and with a view to mislead their enemies; manufacturing classes of the nation, with a but that it was in fact only a half mea. view not only to effect a Parliamentary sure ; and that the people ought to look reform on the principle of annual Parlia to the possession of the land, and noments and universal suffrage, but to cause thing short of that ; and that as to the the total overthrow of all our institutions, constitution, of which so much had been and of every description of landed and said, this country had no constitution, for funded property.
it was not to be found in any book, nor That this system of general spoliation could any man tell what it was. In other chiefly proceeded from the doctrines societies, founded on the Spencean princimaintained by a number of societies dis- ples, it had been maintained, that the tinguished by the title of " Spencean," only remedy for the grievances of the whose tenets were principally drawn from people, was to hunt down the land
owners, and to deprive those still greater placards were exhibited in all parts of the wretches, the fundholders, of their pre town, of one of which the following is a tended rights.
copy :It appeared also, that these, and other “ Britons to arms! The whole country societies of a similar character, had been only waits the signal from London. Break guilty of the most blasphemous and im open the gunsmiths'. Arm yourselves pious proceedings ; and that, as they with all sorts of instruments. No rise in assumed to be of a convivial nature, their the price of bread. No Regent. No Caspolitical discussions were followed by tlereagh. Off with their, heads ! No songs of the most inflammatory and sedi taxes. No bishops: they are only useless tious description, and by the recitation of lumber. profane parodies of the liturgy, and of “ N.B. 5,000 of these bills are posted various parts of the Holy Scriptures.' up in the town and in the principal parts
That in order to extend the principles of the neighbourhood.” of these societies over the whole kingdom, That the intended insurrection assumed the most active efforts were made by their all the symbols of the French Revolution. various members ; and in consequence That a committee of public safeig was those principles were disseminated in formed, cousisting of 24 members. That speeches at public meetings to the dis- fags and cockades were prepared for the charged soldiers and sailors, and to the occasion : but that on the 15th of Novem. distressed labourers and manufacturers of ber, when the first meeting took place, the country; and tbat, in aid of this ob. there was no violence (although there wa ject, incredible activity bąd been used to some plunder in the evening of the day), disperse cheap, and in many instances and chat the meeting adjourned to the ed gratuitous publications, unfolding the of December, by wbich time it was hoped doctrines of the societies.
means might be found to accelerate ihe That it had been proved to the entire accomplishment of the projected undersatisfaction of your Committee, that a taking. number of the members of these various That your Committee find that not a societies, acting in a body as delegates, moment was lost in the interval between .conceived and declared, that in their opi. the first and second meeting, lo lake adpion the objects which they bad in view vantage of every circumstance wbich might be and ought to be insured by an could further the attainment of the objects effort of the physical strengih of the peo
in view. Additional publications of an inple to overpower the constitutional autho flammalory nature were circulated every rities. That they considered the first step wbere. Endeavours were made to raise which should be taken by them for this a general subscription for the support of purpose, was by their individual exertions those who had relinquished their ordinary to discover and foment the discontents of occupations, to enable them to devote the metropolis and its vicinity: and that themselves to these purposes, which per. returns of their proceedings were made sons had hitherto chiefly been paid by a by the individual delegates to the general principal member of one of the societies. body.
A plan was formed for the seduction of That it appears to your Committee, the soldiers, by raising hopes of promotion that a plan was formed, by a sudden in the event of their joining in the aprising in the dead of night, to surprise the proaching attempt, and exciting disconsoldiers, and in the terror which would be tent among them by a story of the landing thereby occasioned, to set fire to the town of a large foreign force in the country. in various places, and to take possession It was again recommended, that the barof the Barracks, the Tower, and the Bank. racks should be the object of particular ob. That to assist in the execution of this pro servation. Those quarters of the towa ject, a formidable machine was invented where distress was most prevalent were with which the streets could be cleared of visited by individuals appointed to ioflame all opposing force. This plan was, how the people. . Those warehouses along the ever, relinquished as premature ; and it river, and those shops in various parts of was resolved that it would be more proper the town where arms were deposited, were to ascertain the strength of the popular carefully noted. A plan was also formed party, by convening meetings under the for the seduction of the sailors, by offerpretext of taking into consideration the ing them additional pay under the new legal mode of redressing grievances ; aud Government which was about to be estaa map of London having been examined, blished. Spa-fields was selected as the place whence That immediately before the meeting of an attack on the Bauk and the Tower the 2d of December many persons concould with the greatest facility he made. nected with these proceedings procured That the first meeting at Spa-fields was ac arms of various descriptiops.
It was cordingly advertised for the 151h of No. thought that sufficient means had thus vember, and that printed and written been obtained to carry on the intended
operations for at least two honrs, by which those multitudes whose distress they had time it was supposed enough would be got witnessed, and whom they had vaidly infrom the gunsmiths and other depots to stigated to revolt. That consequently it arm a considerable number of individuals.
was not merely the sudden ebullition of The inanufacture of tri.colour riband was the moment, or the unauthorized attempt encouraged, with a view of rendering it of any unconnected individual. familiar to the eyes of the public.
Your Committee are further convinced 'Your Committee have further received that, notwithstanding the failure on the 21 uodoabted information, that a large quanti- of December, the same desigos still conty of pike-beads had been ordered of one tinue to be prosecuted with sanguine hopes individual, and 250 actually made by him, of success. and delivered and paid for. It was also Your Committee having thus stated undoubtedly intended to liberate the pri- the general result of the evidence which soners in the principal gaols in or about has been laid before them, respecting the the metropolis, in the hope of their con state of the metropolis, have now the no currence and assistance in the intended less painful duty of calling the attention insurrection. Addresses were introduced of the House to what has been passing into some of those prisons, and recom. during the same period in different parts mended to be communicated to others, in of the country, a subject of equally mowhich the persons coufined were invited, mentous consideration. The first thing in the name of the tri-coloured committee, which has here forced itself upon their to rally round the tri-coloured standarı, observation is the widely diffused ramifiwhich would be erected on Monday, De cation of a system of clubs associated. sember the 20, and to wear tri-coluired professedly for the purpose of Parliacockades them elves. It was promised mentary Reforni, upon the most extended that the prisoners should be liberated by principle of universal suffrage and annual force, and arms were stated to be provided Parliaments. These clubs in general defor them, and they were directed to be signate themselves by the same name of ready to assist in overpowering the turn Hampden Clubs. On the professed obkeys. A waggon was hired for the busi. ject of their institution, they appear to be ness of the day, in which the flags, and in communication and connexion with the banner, or standard, which had been club of that name in London. previously prepared, together with some It appears to be part of the system of these ammunition, were secretly conveyed to clubs to promote an extension of clubs of the place of meeting. From this waggon, the same name and nature, so widely as, before the ostensible business of the day if possible, to include every village in the commenced, in the other part of the kingdom. The leading members are acfield, the most inflammatory speeches tive in the circulation of publications were delivered, tending directly to excite likely to promote their object. Petitions, insurrection, concluded by an appeal to ready prepared, have been sent dowik the multitude assembled, whether they from the metropolis to all societies in the were prepared to redress their own grieve country disposed to receive them.
The ances. A tri-colour cockade was then ex communication between these clubs takes hibited, and the tri-colour flag was dis- place by the mission of delegates ; dele. played, and a number of persons followed gates from these clubs in the country it out of the field.
have assembled in London, and are exThe direction which they took was to pected to assemble again early in March. wards that part of the town previously Whatever may be the real object of these designed ; gunsmiths' shops were broken clubs in general, your Committee have no open, addresses and offers were made to hesitation in stating, from information or the soldiers at the Tower to induce them which they place full reliance, that in far to open the gates; but from the failure of
the greater number of them, and particu. the numbers expected to join the insur- Jarly in those which are established in gents, no attempt was made to force the the great manufacturing districts of Langales. An attack was, however, made cashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, npon the City Magistrates 'assembled in
and Derbyshire, and which are composed of the Royal Exchange, a shot fired, and a the lower order of artizans, oothing short tri-coloured flag and cockade openly dis of a revolution is the object expected and played and seized on the offender.
avowed. In reviewing the whole of the transactions Your Committee find, from equally unof the 2d of December, your Cominittee doubled inforınation, that the doctrines of : are firmly per:uaded, that, however impro- the Spencean Clubs have been widely dif. bahile the success of such a plan may ap fused through the country, either by the pear, it yet was deliberately premeditated extension of similar societies, or more freby desperate men, who calculated without quently by the intervention of missionareasonable ground upon defection in their ries or delegales, whose business it is to opposers, and upon active support from' propagate those doctrines throughout every
society to which they have access. It predicted. The news of the result was
sons when the general insurrection shall
existing form of Government. That the the middle class of society, and scarcely tine for attempting this enterprise was to
any of the agricultural population, have depend on the simultaneous rising of the lent themselves to the more violent of disaffected in England ; with some emis. these projects. Great allowance must be saries from whom occasional intercourse made for those who, under the pressure of appears to have taken place, and that urgent distress, have been led to listen to soine provision of weapons has been made plausible and confident demagogues, in by this association.
the expectation of immediate relief. It is Your Committee have now submitted to be hoped, that many of those who have to the House what they conceive to be a engaged to a certain exfent in the projects fair and not exaggerated statement of the of the disaffected, but in whom the princiresult of their juvestigation. They have ples of moral and religious duły have not thought themselves precluded from insert been extinguished or perverted by the ing, in an appendix, the information from most profane and miserable sopbistry, which it is drawn, by the consideration, would withdraw themselves before those that unless it were extremely pariial and projects were pushed to actual insurrection. incomplete, they could not make it public But with all these allowances, your without hazarding the personal safety of Committee cannot contemplate the activity many respectable individuals, and in some and arts of the leaders iu this conspiracy, instances without prejudicing the due ad and the numbers whum they have already ministration of public justice.
seduced, and may seduce; the oaths by On a review of the whole, it is a great which many of them are bound together ; satisfaction to your Commitiee to observe, the means suggested and prepared for the that, notwithstanding the alarming pro forcible attainment of their objects ; the gress which has been made in the system of nature of the objects themselves, which extending disaffection and secret societies, are not only the overthrow of all the polii. its success has been confined to thej prin- cal institutions of the kingdom, but also such cipal manufacturing districts, where the a subversion of the righis aud priociples distress is more prevalent, and ournbers of property, as must necessarily lead to more easily collected; and that even ia general confusion, plunder, and bloodmary of these districts, privations have shed; without submitting to the most sebeen borne with exemplary patience and rious at ention of the House, the dangers resignation, and the aitempis of the dis which exist; and which the utmost vigilance affected have been disappointed ; that of Government, under the existing laws, few, if any, of the higher orders, or even of has been found inadequate to prevent.
ABSTRACT OF FOREIGN OCCURRENCES.
both Chambers with loud acclamations, The Chamber of Peers, after several and Addresses of Thanks were instantly days discussion, have adopted the law, as voted : the French funds rose to 61, and a set up by the Deputies on the subject of general feeling of satisfaction pervaded all. the Elections. There was considerable dis. The terms of the boon thus granted by the cussion ; and one amendment, for having Allies to France were already partially two degrees of election in the departs known. By the 1st of April vext, 30.000 inents, was lost by 14 only-93 against 79. of the allied troops, being one fifth of the
In the Chamber of Deputies, the de- whole, will quit the French territory; and tale on the law respecting public jour a loan has been obta ned on advantageous nais has terminated. It was voted bý a terms from foreign and French bankers : unajority of 128 againsi 19. All the jour so far is learnt by an official note signed mals of France are now, therefore, abso by the four Ambassadors of Austria, Jut-ly dependent upon the King's autlio Englaud, Prussia, and Russia ; but the rity ; which sanction may be, of course, Duke de Richelieu, in his communication at any iime withdratvn, and any of them to the Chambers, alluded to greater ame.. be immediately suppres.ed. The Report linrations in the financial embarrassments on the Badget has been brought forward of France. He staled, that the increased is this Chamber; the Committee appear pay to the allied troops, estimated in the to have ably performed their duty, in re Budget for the year at 25 millions of commending Ministers to enforce eco fraics, was postponed to a period at nomy in every department, particularly which the burden would be less severely as to pensions; the revenue is stated to felt; and also, ihat the instalments of the be 300 millions deficient.
indemnities had been arranged by the The Moniteur has published several of. Allies in the same magnanimous spirit of ficial documents on the recent pegocia. conciliation. The official note of the four tions between France and the Allies, for Pievipotentiaries declares, that the high the redaction of the Army of Occhipation. personal character of the King, and the The communicatious were received by principles and conduct of his present (GENT. Mag. February, 1817,