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THE

ANNUAL REGISTER,

For the Year 1823.

THE

HISTORY OF EUROPE.

Internal prosperity of the Country- Complaints of the Agricul

turists-County Meetings--Petition of the County of Norfolk - Increased Popularity of the Ministry-Official ChangesMeeting of Parliument-Speech from the ThroneAddress moved in the House of Lords : Amendment proposed by Lord Stanhope : the course of Observation followed by Lord Lansdown and Lord Liverpool | Address moved in the House of Commons : Mr. Brougham's Dissection of the Diplomatic Notes of the Allied Sovereigns, and his invective against them and their Policy : Mr. Peel's Remarks--Effect of the Disposition and Temper exhibited by Parliament.

a

TH

HE country, in the beginning quence of augmenting exportation,

and throughout the wholeof the the demand for iron, hard-ware, present year, exhibited the most une- and cutlery, was reviving from the quivocal marks of a steady and pro- state of stagnation in which it had gressive prosperity. Every branch been since the conclusion of the of manufacturing industry, was in war. The shipping interest, too, a flourishing state. The cotton- which had experienced more than wool, wrought up in 1822, exceeded proportional share of the late dethe consumption of the preceding pression and embarrassments, paryear, by one-fifth; there was a ticipated in the general improveconsiderable increase in the quan- ment. Not only was there emtity of silks and woollen-cloths ployment for the good vessels that manufactured ; and, in conse were in the docks, but the shipVOL. LXV.

[B]

war:

builders yards began, again, to pre- purposes:-1. An appropriation of sent a scene of busy industry. a part of the property of the church

The agricultural distress had di- to the liquidation of the debt: 2. minished in the course of the for. A reduction of the standing army, mer year ; but the effects of the including staff, barracks and colby-gone change in the circum- leges, to a scale of expense as low stances of many owners and cultiva- as that of the army before the last tors of the soil were still felt in a

3. A total abolition of all degree strong enough to give a sinecures, pensions, grants, and plausible pretext for complaint. emoluments, not merited by public

These complaints were uttered services: 4. A sale of the crown most loudly in various county- lands, and an application of the meetings, held immediately before, money towards the liquidation of or shortly after, the meeting of par- the debt: 5. An equitable adliament; at which, under pretext of justment with regard to the public assigning the causes or suggesting debt, and also with regard to all remedies of the agricultural dis- debts and contracts between man tress, the necessity of diminishing and man. But, as to effect these the taxes, of reforming the consti- purposes might require a lapse of tution of the legislature, and fre- months, the petitioners further quently of plundering the church, prayed, that parliament, in order and the public creditor, was some

to afford immediate protection times insinuated, and sometimes against ruin, would be pleased, boldly avowed. Among the coun- 1. To suspend, by law, for one year, ties which voted petitions on this all distresses for rent, and to cause subject to the House of Commons, distresses already issued to be set were Norfolk, Somerset, York, aside; 2. To suspend all process Berks, Hereford, Middlesex, and for tithes, for the same period ; 3. Surrey. In the meeting held at To suspend, for the same period, Norwich, on the 3rd of January, all processes arising out of mortthe Whigs, who had convened it gage, bond, annuity, or other conand meant it to be a vehicle for tract affecting house or land ; 4. their own opinions, were To repeal the whole of the taxes pletely defeated by the unexpected on malt, hops, leather, soap, and appearance of Mr. Cobbett, on the candles. stage ; who, after having exposed The Whig aristocracy of Norfolk, the fallacy and incoherence of the indignant that such principles resolutions proposed by them, should be supposed to emanate moved an address of his own, from their county, caused pewhich was carried triumphantly titions to be prepared and numeby the acclamations of the assem- rously signed in distinct hundreds, bled mob, or at least of that part reprobating the petition adopted at of it, which was nearest to the Norwich, but complaining bitterly hustings. This petition, after the of agricultural distress, and calling usual complaints against sinecures, loudly for parliamentary reform. taxes, the church, and the national The original petition and also the debt, prayed an efficient reform of counter petitions were presented parliament, in order that such par- to the House of Commons, by Mr. liament might adopt the measures Coke, who, on that occasion, denecessary to effect the following clared his dissent from Mr. Cob

com

bett's conclusions, and ascribed that to his colleagues a large portion of gentleman's triumph to the con- esteem and confidence from many, fusion of the meeting, and to the who had till now been more inignorance, in which the individuals clined to throw upon him blame composing it were, of what was than to yield him their applause. really said by the speakers. Mr. The Spanish question was the great James was the only member of topic of public anxiety; and upon Opposition, who expressed any ap- it there was a complete sympathy probation of the doctrines adopted between the government and the at Norwich. Yet the only essential country. For though there were difference between Mr. Cobbett men who, actuated by a generous and his adversaries, appears to have but unwise impulse, thought that been, that, both setting out from our ministers ought to do more than the same assumptions, Nr. Cobbett declare their condemnation of the pushed his premises to their utmost French aggression against Spain, consequences, while Mr. Coke and and that, instead of remaining his party, preferring prudence to neutral, they should become prinlogic, adopted the principles accep- cipals in the war, and pledge the table to their querulousness, and prosperity and constitution of Engyet disavowed the inferences to land for the dominion of the Cortes; which these principles, if fairly yet these quixotic schemes were followed up, necessarily led. Mr. confined to a few. To condemn Cobbett's success at Norwich, in the conduct of France and the duced him to attempt to play the Holy Alliance; to wish success to same part at Hereford: but there Spain; to abstain from war ourthe country-gentlemen were pre- selves and consequently from all pared to meet their antagonist ; menaces of war; such was the line and instead of carrying his point, of conduct which was generally the assembly would scarcely deign believed to be most consonant to even to hear him.

the principles and interests of EngThe language held at most of land; and it was in this course of these meetings was violent in the policy that Mr. Canning had extreme; but it was regarded by hitherto walked, and was still sober-minded men, as the effusion walking. of party spirit, and as being neither The changes, which took place in unison with the sentiments, nor in some important offices, were suitable to the actual circumstances calculated to strengthen the miof the nation. The people saw and nistry in the public opinion. Mr. felt, that many classes in the com- Vansittart, who had always gained munity were in a thriving state ; more respect by his virtues than and that the embarrassments, even admiration by his talents, retreated of the agriculturists, were becoming from the fatigues of finance to the every day less. A general opinion chancellorship of the duchy of prevailed, that, on subjects of in- Lancaster, and was raised to the ternal legislation, the ministry had peerage by the title of lord Bexley. shown more just and more enlarged Mr. Robinson succeeded him as views than their opponents: and chancellor of the Exchequer; Mr. the avowed dissent of Mr. Canning Huskisson was appointed president from the proceedings of the contie of the Board of Trade ; and in his nental monarchs, won to him and stead Mr. Arbuthpot became first

commissioner of the Land Revenue. position to cultivate with his mas The promotion of Mr. Robinson jesty those friendly relations which and Mr. Huskisson was exceedingly it is equally his majesty's object on acceptable, especially to the com- his part to maintain. mercial part of the community; “We are further commanded to for both these gentlemen were apprize you, that discussions havknown to possess a manly sense, and ing long been pending with the a liberality of opinion, from which court of Madrid, respecting depregreat benefits in commercial and dations committed on the comfinancial administration might be merce of his majesty's subjects in expected.

the West Indian Seas, and other On the 4th of February the grievances of which his majesty session of parliament was opened had been under the necessity of by commission ; his majesty being complaining, those discussions have prevented by indisposition from at- terminated in an admission by the tending in person. After the Spanish government of the justice royal commission had been read, of his majesty's complaints, and in the lord chancellor, on behalf of an engagement for satisfactory rethe other commissioners, read the paration. following speech :

“ We are commanded to assure "My Lords and Gentlemen,

you, that his majesty has not been “We are commanded by his ma- unmindful of the addresses prejesty to inform you, that since he sented to him by the two Houses last met you in parliament, his of Parliament with respect to the majesty's efforts have been unre- foreign slave trade. mittingly exerted to preserve the “Propositions for the more efpeace of Europe.

fectual suppression of that evil “Faithful to the principles were brought forward by his mawhich his majesty has promulgated jesty's plenipotentiary in the conto the world, as constituting the ferences at Verona, and there have rule of his conduct, his majesty been added to the treaties upon declined being a party to any pro- this subject already concluded beceedings at Verona, which could be tween his majesty and the governdeemed an interference in the in- ments of Spain and the Netherternal concerns of Spain on the lands, articles which will extend part of foreign powers. And his the operation of those treaties, and majesty has since used, and con- greatly facilitate their execution. tinues to use, his most anxious en- “ Gentlemen of the House of deavours and good offices to allay Commons, the irritation unhappily subsisting “ His majesty has directed the between the French and Spanish estimates of the current year to be governments: and to avert, if pos- laid before you. They have been sible, the calamity of war between framed with every attention to France and Spain.

economy; and the total expendi“ In the east of Europe his ma- ture will be found to be materially jesty flatters himself that peace will below that of last year. be préserved, and his majesty con- “This diminution of charge, tinues to receive from his allies, combined with the progressive imand generally from other powers, provement of the revenue, has proassurances of their unaltered dis- duced a surplus exceeding his ma

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