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evidence which he doubts not has correspondence, infusing life into been produced to your lordships societies of Spencean Philanthrosecret committee to justify this pists, and producing, by these description, is wholly and entirely means, plans of conspiracy, revofalse, as your petitioner is ready lution, and treason! and though to prove, in the most satisfactory your petitioner is too well assured manner, at the bar of your right of the upright views and of the honourable House.
justice of every committee con“ Upon this important point sisting of members of your noble your petitioner humbly begs leave and right honourable House not to to represent to your right ho- be convinced that very strong evinourable House, that the London dence in support of these charges Union Society was founded in must have been produced to your 1812 by Mr. Edward Bolton Clive, lordships secret committee, your Mr. Walter Fawkes, the late co- petitioner cannot, nevertheless, lonel Bosville, Mr. Montague refrain from expressing most humBurgoyne, tbe present lord mayor, bly his deep regret, that your Mr. Alderman Goodbehere, Mr. lordships committee should not Francis Canning, Mr. William have deigned to send for the Hallet, gir Francis Burdett, major books and other testimonials of Cartwright, Mr. Robert Slade, the character and proceedings of Mr. Timothy Brown, Mr. J.J. the London Union Society, and Clarke, and several other indivi- your petitioner humbly begs leave duals equally respectable; that it to observe, that this omission apcontinued to hold meetings but a pears singularly unfortunate for very short time; that it never did the London Union Society, seeing any act except the publishing of that the secret committee of your one address to the nation on the lordships appear, in another part subject of reform; that it never of their report, to lament the want had any one “ Branch;" that it of means of obtaining the written never held any correspondence proceedings of societies, and seeing either written or verbal with any that it was natural to expect, that society of any sort; that it never a society having branches, an was affiliated to any society, or affiliation, and an active correbranch, or any body of men what spondence, had also a copious colsoever; finally, that it has not lection of written documents. met for nearly three years and a “ Your petitioner is aware, that half last past; and, of course, he has tres passed too long on the that it is not now in existence. patience of your lordships; but,
"What, then, must have been well knowing that your lordships the surprise and the pain of your seek only for truth as the basis humble petitioner, when he saw, of your proceedings, he humbly in the report of your lordships hopes that you will be pleased to secret committee, this London excuse the earnestness of his preUnion Society represented, not sent representation, and he also only as being still in existence, presumes humbly to express his but busily and extensively at hope, that your lordships will be work, establishing branches and pleased, in your great tenderness affiliations, carrying on an active for the character and liberties of his majesty's faithful subjects, to notice of the secret committee consider whether it be not pos- being omitted. No opposition was sible that your secret committee accordingly made to its reception; may have been misled, by what though not till several lords had they may have deemed good evie taken the opportunity of discussdence, as to other parts of their ing the conduct of the committee, recent report ; and, at the least, by way of attack and defence. your petitioner humbly prays that your lordships will, in your great
BILI. FOR SUSPENSION OF condescension, be pleased to per
HABEAS CORPUS. mit your petitioner to produce all' On February 24th, a bill for the the books and papers of the Lon- suspension of the Habeas Corpus don Union Society at the bar of act was moved in the House of your right honourable House, Lords. It was introduced by where your petitioner confidently Lord Sidmouth, who began his assures your lordships that he is speech by an eulogy upon the ready to prove all and singular manner in which the secret comthe allegations, contained in this mittee had laid its discoveries his most humble petition.
before the House. There were " And your petitioner will ever three principal features to which pray.
"Thomas CLEARY.” he would advert: 1. That no Some words applied by the Earl doubt was left in the minds of after he had read the petition, the committee, that a traitorous produced a warm attack upon correspondence existed in the me. him for the violation of order, in tropolis, for the purpose of overwhich other speakers defended throwing the established governhim. At length, upon his motion, ment: 2. That the committee are that it should lie upon the table, deeply concerned to report their a debate ensued, when Earl Grey full conviction, that designs of moved for an adjournment to the this nature have not been confined following Friday. This was dis- to the capital, but are extending posed of by Contents, 18; Non- widely through the most populous Contents, 64. The motion for and manufacturing districts : S. laying the petition on the table, That such a state of things cannot was then put and negatived. be suffered to continue without
On February 24th, Earl Gros- hazarding the most imminent and renor appeared again with Mr. dreadful evils. After descanting Cleary's petition, respecting which upon these points, his lordship he said, that the learned Lord on proceeded to set in a strong light the Woolsack had declared, that the actual danger into which the the petition could not be received, public welfare was brought; and because it alluded to the report of he touched upon the riot in the the llonse, of which the petitioner capital on December 21, and upon could not be cognizant, neither his own active services in sunhad it as yet been brought before pressing it He was thence led to the House. It was now tendered take into consideration certain in such a shape as, he trusted, provisions of former legislatures, would remove any objection, all to guard against public evils; and
Die he he intimated the intention of the tion, namely, a comparison bepresent ministers, to renew some tween the present day, with the measures of this kind. In fine, period of 1795; of which there he came to the direct point of the was the leading and undeniable suspension of the Habeas Corpus, distinction, that in the first case, of which he said he was sincerely all the mischiefs against which the grieved to be the instrument, enlargement of the powers of the especially in a time of profound crown went to provide, sprung peace. But it was one extraor- mainly from the French revoludinary quality of the British con- tion. From France the dangers stitution, that the powers of the were apprehended, and to the executive government could be machinations of agents from that enlarged, if by such means that country, the energies of the goconstitution would be better se vernment were directed. But to cured. He required the suspen- what were the principles of our sion of the Habeas Corpus act, in modern system of policy directed, pity to the peaceable and loyal in when our army in Spain was enhabitants of the country, for the gaged in a succession of triumphs, protection of the two Houses of and when the nations of the conParliament, for the maintenance tinent, in imitation of our exof our liberties, and for the se- ample, were resolved to make a curity of the blessings of the con- determined struggle for their institution. It was not merely the dependence? It was to this—that lower orders which had united in we had actually extinguished the these conspiracies; individuals of spirit of Jacobinism, and that the great activity, resolution, and war had assumed a different comenergy, were engaged in the con- plexion. The peace followed, and test,
it was one which the noble mar. The Marquis Wellesley said, that quis severely reprobated. To the when parliament was called upon want of stipulations in favour of to alter the existing laws of the England, he attributed the revival land, ministers should be able to of Jacobinism ; but how did it lay before it a plain distinct case, happen, said he, that ministers, founded upon powerful and irre- when they had ascertained the exsistible evidence, in order that it istence of a presumed traitorous should be justified in doing that conspiracy in the metropolis, and which in ordinary circumstances were aware, as they now profess, would be a direct infringement of that the provisions of the law the public freedom. Unless the were incompetent to control it, ministers of the crown could un- did not at once resort to measures questionably prove, that such a to put it down? case cannot be restrained by the After various other observations, ordinary course of law, they are which it is unnecessary here to renot warranted in demanding the peat, the Marquis concluded with extension of extraordinary powers. affirming, that he must conscienThis subject led him to consider tiously declare, that up to the what he must regard as the grand moment he was then speaking, he and prominent part of the ques. had not seen such evidence as
| convinced him that the danger be considered was, whether a
was so alarming as had been re- sufficient cause now existed for presented. Great discontents un- the suspension of the Habeas doubtedly existed ; seditious prac- Corpus ? On the present occasion tices evidently prevailed; yet he government had the fullest proof was not satisfied, that they existed (if they were to believe the report) in that shape and character which of a treasonable conspiracy in the justified the suspension of the metropolis to overturn the constiHabeas Corpus.
tution, and that the same system The Earl of Liverpool, in his was spread over a great part of reply to the Marquis, began with the country. Was it then too absolutely denying, that the dis- much to contend, that under such content and distress under which circumstances it was proper to we laboured, were attributable to recur to the course which our the late peace; and he believed it ancestors had pursued in similar never entered into the heads of dangers ? He felt all the importany one to imagine that such was ance of the measure that was now the consequence. So far from the proposed; but he would not allow fact being such as the Marquis any imputations that might be instated, our trade and manufac- sinuated to preclude him from the tures were never so extensive as conscientious discharge of his during the years 1814 and 1815. duty. What he asked of parliaThe origin of our distress was to ment was to entrust the Prince be traced to a totally different Regent's ministers with that cause from that of foreign trade; power for a short time—a most in fact it might be originally odious one, he agreed and which traced to the distress of our agri- ought not to be confided to any cultural interest. The next topic man, or any set of men, except in of the Marquis's complaint was such cases as now, he apprhended, the meeting of parliament, and it justified him in calling for it. was asked, why it was not earlier Earl Grey, after various preliassembled, when ministers must minary remarks against the prohave known the dangers of the posed motion, argued in the first country: it did not however follow, place, that any conspiracy attended that because there were clubs, with an utter improbability, of meetings, and publications of a success, as the present was aldangerous nature, that therefore lowed to be, was not a case that there were distinct proofs of a called for a suspension of the conspiracy upon which govern- Habeas Corpus. Who were the ment might proceed capitally. In chief actors in this conspiracy? fact, it was not till within three Were they persons of great conweeks of the actual meeting of sequence and co. inexions in the parliament, that ministers were country? No. They were miserable in possession of that knowledge. wretches reduced to the lowest
The Earl then proceeded to poverty and distress. What was touch upon the question more im- - their object? To produce insurmediately before their lordships ; rection by calling persons togeand he said, that the real point to ther on the pretext of parliamen
tary reform, without any pre- temporary suspension of the vious concert and design, and Habeas Corpus act. trusting wholly to chance for sti. After these and some other mulating their instruments in the lords had given their sentiments work of sedition. This was the on the bill, the House divided for whole extent of the plot, and the its second reading, which was attempt was made in the way that carried by Content 84, Proxies 66, was projected. Those formidable Total 150; against, Not Content rioters Hed at the very mention of 23, Proxies 12, Total 35. Majoa dragoon. They did not wait to rity 115. see their horses' heads at the top A protest was then entered upon of a street, so admirable were the the Journals to the following military arrangements of that able effect : “ Dissentient. Because it commander, general lord viscount does not appear to us that, in the Sidmouth.
report of the Secret Committee, The Earl then took a review of there has been stated such a case the different societies designated of imminent and pressing danger in the report, and observed that as may not be sufficiently prothere were acts of parliament, vided against by the powers of the chiefly of modern date, under executive government under the which all these offences might be existing laws, and as requires the prosecuted and punished. He suspension of the most important would, however, have consented security of the liberty of the to a new law for preventing meet- country.” It was signed by eighings in the open air without a teen peers. previous notice to a magistrate; and would also cheerfully have BILL FOR PREVENTING SEDiTious agreed to a bill for the better secu
MEETINGS. rity of the person of the Prince Re On the same day, February 24th, gent. These two measures would, Lord Custlereagh rose in the House he conceived, together with the of Commons. He began with existing laws, have been amply assuring that assembly, that in sufficient to have met all the evils the whole course of his life, he dwelt upon in the report.
had never performed a more Lord Grenville considered the painful duty than that which he question before their lordships to was then called upon to discharge be one of the most important that He should have hoped, that after had ever engaged the attention of the dreadful record which the parliament He felt it his bounden French revolution had afforded of duty to declare, that the present the destruction brought upon its situation of the country appeared country, no individual could be to him one of extreme danger, found in Great Britain so dead to and that some extraordinary legis. a sense of private feeling, or lative measures were absolutely public duty, as to engage in necessary. Such being the serious schemes wbich would render the conviction of his mind, he was immediate and powerful aid of compelled to give his cordial, parliament necessary for securing though reluctant support for the the public pe:ace. Looking to the