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amidst the unanimous cry from all parts of the House, to his seat. On the 21st of January, the Lord Chancellor read the Prince Regent's Speech, the contents of which were to the following effect: My Lords and Gentlemen; We are commanded by his Royal Highness the Prince Regent to express to you the deep regret which he feels in the continuance of his Majesty'slamented indisposition. In announcing to you the severe calamity with which it has pleased Divine Providence to visit the Prince Regent, the Royal Family, and the nation, by the death of her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom, his Royal Highness has commanded us to direct vour attention to the consideration of such measures as this melancholy event has rendered necessary and expedient with respect to the care of his Majesty's sacred person. . We are directed to inform you that the negotiations which have taken place at Aix-la-Chapelle, have led to the evacuation of the French territory by the allied armies. The Prince Regent has given orders, that the convention concluded for this purpose, as well as the other documents connected with this arrangement, shall be laid before you; and he is persuaded that you will view with peculiar satisfaction the intimate union which so happily subsists among the powers who were parties to these transactions, and the unvaried disposition which has been manifested in all their pro
ceedings for the preservation of the peace and tranquillity of Europe. The Prince Regent has commanded us further to acquaint you, that a Treaty has been concluded between his Royal Highness and the government of the United States of America, for the renewal, for a further term of years, of the Commercial Convention now subsisting between the two nations, and for the amicable adjustment of several points of mutual importance to the interests of both countries : and, as soon as the ratifications shall have been exchanged, his Royal Highness will give directions that a copy of this treaty shall be laid before you. Gentlemen of the House of Commons; The Prince Regent has directed that the estimates for the current year shall be laid before you. His Royal Highness feels assured, that you will learn with satisfaction the extent of reduction which the present situation of Europe, and the circumstances of the British efnpire, have enabled his Royal Highness to effect in the naval and military establishments of the country. His Royal Highness has also the gratification of announcing to you, a considerable and progressive improvement of the revenue in its most important branches. My Lords and Gentlemen; The Prince Regent has directed
to be laid before you such papers
as are necessary to show the origin and result of the war in the
His Royal Highness commands us to inform you, that the operations undertaken by the governor#. in council against the indarries, were dictated by the strictest principles of self-defence; and that in the extended hostilities which followed upon those operations, the Mahratta princes were, in every instance, the aggressors. Under the provident and skilful superintendence of the marquis of Hastings the camFo was marked, in every point, y brilliant achievements and successes; , and his majesty's forces, and those of the East India Company Ş. as well as European) rivalled each other in sustaining the reputation of the British arms. The Prince Regent has the greatest pleasure in being able to inform you, that the trade, commerce, and manufactures of the country are in a most flourishing condition. The favourable change which has so rapidly taken place in the internal circumstances of the United Kingdom, affords the strongest proof of the solidity of ItS resources. To cultivate and improve the advantages of our present situation will be the object of your deliberations; and his Royal Highness has commanded us to assure you of his disposition to concur and co-operate in whatever may be best calculated to secure to his majesty's subjects the full benefits of that state of . which, by the blessing of rovidence, has been so happily re-established throughout |. rope. The Prince Regent’s Address to both Houses was replied to in a strain of compliment by two
and Lord Saltoun,
noble lords, the Earl of Warwick of whose speeches it is unnecessary to make any extracts. The Marquis of Lansdowne next rose, and after a general declaration of his unwillingness to oppose an address to the crown, he said that he found himself bound to state a few considerations which presented themselves to his mind, not as objections to the motions now made, but as omitting the notice of other topics. He began with touching upon the state of France, respecting which, he was happy to find that there was a general agreement respecting the liberal manner in which she ought to be treated. Among the omissions he, however, re
the manner in which it was passed
over in the speech gave a too plain indication of the want of success of its efforts. The state of the revenue, in which the speech had shown a gradual improvement, was, he said, chiefly valuable as furnishing an index of the revival of active industry; but whether it had extended to the labouring and agricultural classes was still a matter of doubt. In the meantime he must remind their lordships, that the prospect was by no means such as to relieve them from the necessity of increasing their endeavours to reduce the expenditure of the country to a more economical scale. For this purpose his lordship attempted to show, that all the im
provements still left a deficiency
of 14 millions to raise the amount of the income to a parity with that ofthe expenditure. A subject offar
[B 2] greater greater importance remained untouched, which was, the restriction of the Bank from paying in specie; respecting which, notwithstanding the approaching expiration of that period, he would ask whether any man in the kingdom would rely upon the resumption of cash payments? Such were the principal topics which were touched upon in the 'speech of the noble marquis. The Earl of Liverpool, who spoke next, found little more ground for his address than a resumption of the subject already contained in the speech of the Prince Regent. There was, in'deed, one topic upon which, as an important minister of the crown, he ventured to give a free opinion. He had no hesitation in saying that, considering the present state of the exchanges, and the proress of the pecuniary operations alluded to in the last session, he thought it impossible that cash payments could with safety be restored on the 5th of July next. If such should be found to be the case, it would be prudent to ex'tend the Bank Restriction act till the succeeding session, when the whole question might be deliberately weighed, and finally decided on. After a short reply from the Earl of Lauderdale, the Address was unanimously agreed to. In the House of Commons, the correspondent address to the Prince Regent was moved by Mr. Brownlow, who was seconded by Mr. William Peel. Mr. Macdonald then rose, and
'said, that he could by no means ‘passage in the Speech—on the
concur in the opinion of the
Speech took of public affairs.
And here he was compelled to say, that the extravagant representations of the state of the country which the speech contained, would justify many more observations than those with which it was his intention to trouble the House. He rejoiced to find that considerable reductions had taken place in our military establishment, and was ready to concede to government as much merit on this subject as they were entitled to ; but with respect to civil retrenchment and regulation, it would, in his opinion, have been much more satisfactory, if the Speech, instead of a vague promise of concurrenceand co-operation in any parliamentary measures to secure the full enjoyment
of the benefits of peace, had
pointed out such measures.
it not notorious that by the suppression of some of the superior
offices, not only a great saving would be effected in the expense of collection, but a better collec
'tion would be made 2 "Reformation of this nature, however, could scarcely be expectcd from such
ministers as the present. Then came the congratulatory increase of the revenue. It was well to hear that the people had been enabled to pay nearly four millions more than they had done last year; but it would be much better to be told that in future they would have to pay less. The omission in the Speech of all allusion to a reduction of our taxation was highly inauspicious.
increase cency. It
With unmingled satisfaction
would the people hail any improvement of the public revenue, if the past afforded them any assurance that that improvement would be the means of diminishing the evils under which they laboured ; but burthened as the country was, what prospect could the Chancellor of the Exchequer hold out of a removal, or even a considerable diminution of that #. taxation which it suffered.
e fact was, that a realization of the hopes which had been held out on that subject could be effected only by such a demand for our productions as would absorb a very large additional portion of our population in manufactures— an evil of the most serious kind, morally and politically. When he contemplated the mass of human misery which these circumstances occasioned, he could not help being surprised at those mutual felicitations on the state of the country which a little sober reflection, would have checked. If at a time of peace we were unable to diminish the public expenditure, how should we be prepared for a time of war? It might happen that we should be engaged in a war for the defence of every thing that was valuable to us. Were the House to listen to the tone of the royal
result of the congress, it seems
to be thought that no course could be resorted to but that of deprecating every species of discussion. There was one subject, however, to which the people of this country had looked with anxious expectation. They expected that at length the detestable traffic in human creatures would be denounced and finally extinguished, by the high and assembled professors of peace and of Christianity. It was, however, well known, that the power which had opposed so desirable a consummation, was France. France, a member of the holy alliance France, under the restored rule of his most Christian majesty . Thus it had appeared that all the sacrifices which this country had made in favour of the Bourbon dynasty, had been insufficient to obtain from the court of Louis Dix-huit a measure which was little more than one of de
It seemed to be thought by the hon. gentlemen who had moved and seconded the Address, that there was nothing so simple and natural as to admire every thing that was done by “ the powers that be,” and that no fault was to be found with any of their proceedings. For himself, it gave him little satisfaction to find general discontent in the country, and more especially when that discontent occasionally exhibited itself in an intemperate and malignant character. Whence came the extreme irritation among the people, the existing tendency to tumult and violence? How happened it that towards an administration under which, notwithstanding their egregious blunders, the military glory of the nation had been carried to the highest point, so much apathy had been shown by most classes of society, and so much decided disinclination by the remainder 2 It was because they were found deficient in those qualities, without the possession of which no administration could ever enjoy public confidence. When the opinion of government was called for on questions of the greatest general interest, it was discovered that they had no opinion. The hon. gentleman then instanced his proposition in Mr. Grenfell's question respecting Bank paper; in the subject of the poor laws; in that of the criminal code, introduced by Sir S. Romilly; in the discussions on the Catholic question, in which government pledged itself to remain neutral, while the Prince Regent was to avoid assisting in any
decision on the topic. In conclusion, he said, that the mover of the Address in reply to the Prince Regent must not be astonished if he found that a considerable portion of the House could not see in his recipe of union and harmony any thing but a general prostration at the shrine of ministers. Mr. Sinclair, who gave the last speaker the title of his honourable relation, was strenuous for approving the Address, which he considered as highly creditable to the candour and moderation of his majesty’s ministers. If, said he, we regard its general scope and tenour, we shall find that it contains such sentiments, and is couched in such language, as no friend to his country can reasonably object to. £o topic has been studiously avoided which could elicit any material difference of opinion, or excite any angry discussion. His honourable relation, however, had not thought proper to follow this example of forbearance ; and there is scarcely a single measure, either in retrospect or in contemplation, upon which he has not attacked with severity
the past conduct, or the pre
sumed intentions, of his majesty's advisers. Mr. S. however declared that it was far from him to expose his own presumption by entering the lists with one whom he so much respected. He also added, that he was far from being decidedly hostile to all the opinions which he had supported with so much eloquence; and he should think meanly of his own fairness and judgment if he did not always listen to his arguments