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no control over the expenditure of the grounds to get clear off from what revenues of the royal burghs, but that you mentioned regarding your vote, they had no voice whatever in the for you certainly have not been well election of those very magistrates who used. disposed of their property. That “ If an application is made to you grievance, he supposed, the learned from the Hamilton family to promise Lord meant to leave wholly untouch- your vote, I think you should not ed. He regretted now, that he had grant it, until I see you in Glasgow, been prevented by the expectation of when I will tell you all about the matthis measure, from introducing the ter. Sir Alexander Cochrane is not subject to the House on a more ex- at home just now, otherwise I would tended scale. The bill was read a have written you more particularly: first time ; but a considerable number have the goodness not to mention this of petitions were presented against it, matter until the whole is arranged. and it was generally considered, by I will write you when the noddy is the persons interested, as unsatisfac- painted, and I hope to have the pleatory and inadequate. Being found, sure of seeing you and Mrs Dykes at therefore, rather to aggravate the dis- Glasgow. I am, dear sir, your most content which it was intended to sooth, obedient servant, the Lord Advocate finally determined
Thomas Ferguson.” to withdraw it.
(Addressed) Lord Archibald Hamilton, on the William Dykes, Esq. of Lambhill, 10th April, brought forward a motion
by Strathaven. respecting the interference of a peer in the election of a member of the Lord Archibald acknowledged the House of Commons. It had occur- receipt of a letter from Lord Douglas, red in the course of his Lordship’s giving a general denial, that the letcontest with Sir Alexander Cochrane ter in question was written by his aufor the county of Lanark. The of- thority. He insisted, however, that fence was contained in the following this did not supersede inquiry; and, letter, from a person pretending to besides, the answer which he had rehave the authority of Lord Douglas: ceived from the noble Lord to the
communication which he had made “ Glasgow, May 24, 1817. to him, was, as he had before obser
No. 50, Miller street. ved, couched in terms so general, as “Dear Sir,-According to yourde- not to be altogether incompatible with sire, I communicated to Lord Douglas the inference that Ferguson's letter your wish to have a situation under had been written with the noble lord's government for your young friend Mr authority.--Mr Wynn said, that this Dykes; and I am authorized to state, was a case of direct bribery-a most that if you support bis Lordship's serious invasion on the privileges of views in politics, at the first election, the House. The Lord Advocate inhis Lordship will secure an eligible sisted that there was no proof of the situation for your friend, which will object of the motion,--the interference be of great advantage to him ; and as of a peer in the Common's election. you are independent of the Hamilton They had the positive denial of Lord family, I think you should accept of Douglas, while the person using his Lord Douglas's offer. If you have name was not even a factor on any of not made a promise to Lord Archibald his estates ; nor, so far as he knew, at Hamilton, I think you have good all in his employ. He thought the more proper course would be to put for the removal of Ferguson from Ferguson upon his trial; and he would the office of surveyor of taxes which be ready, to the best of his abilities, he now held. This very office rento execute any order the House might dered it illegal for him to interfere, give upon this subject. Lord A. Ha- yet he had not only done so, but had milton having complained of other un- used, without any authority, the name handsome measures used to exclude of a peer of the realm. Mr Wynn him from Lanarkshire, the Lord Ad- endeavoured to prove that dismissal vocate declared, that he knew of, and from office had been the uniform had been concerned in none; but he punishment inflicted by Parliament could not help observing, that the in such cases. Sir F. Burdett, howDuke of Hamilton had made, out of his ever, moved the reading of the petigreat estate in Lanarkshire, thirty tion of 1793 from the friends of the votes, called parchment votes, to se people, stating that a majority of the cure the election of the noble Lord. House were nominated by peers ; After some farther debate, it was de- and also the resolution of the 18th termined to refer the question to a April 1793, relating to the great committee of privileges.
Grimsby Election, by which the On the 27th April, Mr Wynn pre- Hon. W, W. Pole was declared guilty sented the report of the committee, of bribery through his agents. Lord which bore, that Thomas Ferguson, Folkestone, however, could not agree, by the above letter, had grossly vio- that because great offenders escaped, lated the privileges of the House. On small ones should plead this escape the reading of this report, Ferguson to secure impunity. Mr Bathurst, was immediately ordered into custody. on the ministerial side, supported the
On the 5th May, Sir F. Burdett motion; but Mr Sturges Bourne, Mr moved for the immediate discharge of Lyttleton, Lord Binning, and Mr Ferguson. He insisted that his of- Canning, thought that Ferguson had fence was only similar, but in a smalle already been sufficiently punished; er scale, to that which had been pro- that it would be unfair to use his own ved against Lord Castlereagh, and evidence against himself, and also to some other members of administra- deprive him of all means of subsisttion. Yet Ferguson had been drag; ence. The motion was then negaged from his country and family, and tived by a majority of 106 to 57. shut up in Newgate, for an offence Meantime, Ferguson continued ten times less.
Lord Castlereagh still under confinement. Having, observed, that, without giving any however, on the 18th presented a opinion on the case of Ferguson, he petition for release, Lord A. Hamilcould not help reniarking, that the tion, on the following day, stated that only object of the honourable Baronet the House not having judged proper appeared to be, to lower the charac- to visit this person with loss of office, ter of the House. He did not feel at he considered his confinement to all sore on the personal allusions to have now continued for a sufficient himself; that subject having met with length of time, and moved that he the full consideration of the House. should be to-morrow called up and Mr Wynn strongly opposed the mo- discharged. The motion was acquition of Sir Francis, which was then esced in by Mr Wynn, and Ferguson negatived.
was accordingly discharged next day, On the 13th May, Mr Wynn moved with a severe reprimand.
State of Parties.- Law respecting the Press-Debates in the Two Chambers Rejected.-Law for the Recruiting of the Army-Agreed to.-The Budget - The Concordat.-Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. - Treaty for the Evacuation of France by the Allied Powers.
FRANCE, at the commencement of ginning to dawn, she applied herself the present year, might be consider- now to the settlement of her internal ed in a decidedly improved situation. administration. Almost all the meaEvery period, however short, which sures bearing this tendency, which elapsed without any actual commo- had been hitherto taken beyond the tion, was so much gained for the mo- charter, could only be considered as narchical and constitutional system. temporary and provisional; it was The failure of all the hopes and efforts now time to fix them on a durable of the votaries of the former regime, basis. France, thus occupying hertended much to lower the hopes self in tranquillity with the estawhich had hitherto buoyed them up. blishment of a new order of things, Those daring spirits, which had lived had many sources from which she in the lofty excitement of war and could cull improvement. She could adventure, began in despair to apply preserve or restore whatever was themselves to regular and peaceful worth preserving in her ancient reoccupation. A confidence in the per- gime; she could retain all the immanence of the existing order of provements introduced by successive things tended, beyond any thing else, revolutionary systems, cleared from to secure that permanence. This con- their attendant deformities; in fine, fidence began to diffuse itself even she could borrow from her neighamong the other powers of Europe; bours whatever appeared most eligiand France was allowed to hope for ble in their respective institutions. some release from those enormous These delicate operations, however, burdens, and that humiliating sub- were to be performed amid external jection, which had succeeded to her tranquillity indeed, but a violent conformer wide extended dominion. flict of parties within. The parties Finding thus, after such awful vicis- to which the French Legislative Assitudes, the sun of tranquillity be- semblies afforded the arena of contest, were arranged in a very unusual or- with a fatal frenzy, which made der. The natural division in a mix- him treat as enemies the only pered government, and that always ve- sons who were really attached to rified by British experience, is into himself and his cause; while some of the court and country party, the his worst enemies were counted in Whig and Tory, into one which the number of his friends. To this seeks continually to extend, and an- preposterous system they attributed other, which seeks to limit the power all the disasters which had befallen of the monarch. In France, on the the house of Bourbon since its first contrary, the moderation of the King, restoration, and augured others equal. with the delicate and perilous situa- ly fatal as likely to ensue from their tion in which he stood, made him obstinate perseverance in it. The more afraid of his too vehement opposite party considered the Court friends than of his open enemies. as its natural enemy, and though it His ministers endeavoured to take a pushed the opposition with rigour, middle station between the ultra- felt not those stings of disappointed royalist party on the one side, and expectation and personal enmity, by the ultra-liberal or semi-republican which the others were so deeply emon the other. They had thus to con
bittered. tend against not one, but two violent In this state of things, the session and inflamed oppositions. The strict of the Legislative Body, opened on ly ministerial party formed a decided the 5th November, 1817, excited an minority, as the votaries of plain rea- extraordinary interest. The first quesson must always be ; yet, by the in- tion which gave rise to discussion fluence of the Crown, and by con- was the law proposed by government cessions to the more moderate mem- relative to the liberty of the press. bers of the parties contending on A free press had been nominally either side, it was converted, on most recognised by Louis in the charter; questions, into a narrow majority. but subject to such regulations as The hope, which might seem reason- might be necessary to repress its able, of playing off one opposition abuses. The regulations made on against the other, was usually disap- this ground had been hitherto such pointed. When the vote came, these as to render the principle in a great two furiously hostile factions usually degree nugatory.
In the present coalesced against the measure of mi. proposition, the restraints were very nistry. They opposed it, indeed, on far from being abrogated. A discompletely contrary grounds; but tinction was made between crimes still they equally opposed it. The and offences against the law; the high royalists, perhaps, were those former, of rare occurrence, were alone who viewed the measures of the Court carried to the higher tribunals; the with the deepest hostility. These latter, including almost all those were men of principle, like the old which incurred the animadversion of English Tories; they supported mo- government, were placed under the narchy against monarchy itself-sup- jurisdiction of the police, before which ported it without hope of the usual were dragged the most distinguished rewards, but in the face of neglect authors along with the refuse of soand almost persecution. This body ciety. There was, nominally, no considered itself as deeply and more censorship, unless on the journals; tally wronged. The Sovereign ap- but an author was required, some peared to them to have been seized time before the actual publication of his work, to deposit a copy in the of- The first opponent of the measure fice of police; and this deposit was, was Baron Martin de Gray, who conin the eye of the law, considered as sidered the subjection of the press to a publication. In mitigation of this, the police, and the system of prosehe was, upon allowing the whole im- cution and seizure prior to publicapression to be seized, absolved from tion, as more injurious than censorany farther penalty. The offence ship itself. What the law called ofWas also proscribed at the end of a fences against the press, were much year, reckoning from the day of de- more important than what it called posit
. The censorship on Journals crimes. These last were only of rare and periodical works, which treated occurrence. Offences against the on politics, was proposed to be con. press differed from all other offences. tinued till the 1st January, 1821. They acted on the whole social sysThis last article was defended by M. tem. “ They are connected,” said the Pasquier, the keeper of the seals, as orator, with the liberty of thought, necessary in the situation of the on which all other liberties depend; kingdom, in circumstances improved for the manifestation of thought is doubtless
, but still serious, among a the moving and vital principle of people scarcely escaped from a long every free and representative governpolitical convulsion, which had seen ment. In the judges, who are to almost all its ancient legislation con- pronounce on those offences, how demned, without being able to con- important to secure impartiality, inceive for the new system that spe. dependence, intelligence, and almost cies of veneration which time alone a turn of mind expressly suited to brings in aid of human institutions. that particular object. Yet, in a
In France, all projects of law must country which has consecrated the pass through a committee before any institution of a jury, the police courts debate on them takes place. The are to decide on the exercise of a committee could not consider the de- right which is the very soul of our posit of a book as a publication ; at constitutional system ; these subalthe same time, they considered it ad- tern tribunals are to sit in judgment visable, that government, thus ad- on thought, on genius, on opinion, vertised of the existence of a work that queen of the world, as they sit dangerous to the state, should have on beggars and on vagabonds. You the power of prosecuting prior to the empower a common police-officer to actual publication. To exempt, how- fix the limits of thought, and to say ever, an author from prosecution, to human reason, thou shalt go no upon his agreement to suppress his farther.'-Another respect in which work, appeared to them " an awk- these offences differed from all others ward capitulation between the accu- consisted in the interest which gosers and the accused, suited to the vernment must always take in the dignity neither of the man of letters decision. All governments aim at nor of the judicial power.” It pro- the extension of their power : for posed to continue the censorship on they are composed of men ; they asthe Journals only till the end of the pire to despotism, and their main atfollowing session. Trial by jury, tack is uniformly directed against and even by a special jury for the the liberty of the press, because it is purpose, had been proposed by some the strongest barrier against absolute members, but rejected by the majo- power. Hence that natural, and as
it were innate struggle, between