“党员议事厅”——重庆九龙坡区石杨三社区破产企业党建探索

The third topic discussed at these conferences was the nature of the relations then subsisting between France and Spain, and the projects of the former power in reference to the latter. These were explained by the Minister without any reserve, and with no symptoms of apprehension that they would be disagreeable to Britain, or of anxiety as to the result, whether they were so or not. He frankly avowed that, under cover of the sanitary cordon, 100,000 French troops were assembled; that it was proposed to throw them in two columns into Spain; that one column, of 40,000 men, was to pass into Catalonia, while the other, of 60,000, was to march by the great road through Irun upon Madrid. He stated that the sole object of this invasion was to insure the personal safety of the king, to afford him the opportunity to collect a native force strong enough to enable him to protect himself against the schemes of the Revolutioniststhat is, to put down the Constitution. Of course, France said she entertained no views of conquest or aggrandisement, or even of prolonged occupation. She would withdraw her troops whenever the King of Spain said he could do without them, and yield up every inch of territory. In reference to this matter the Duke of Wellington wrote home for instructions, and in reply Canning said:"If there be a determined project to interfere by force or by menace in the present struggle in Spain, so convinced are his Majesty's Government of the uselessness and danger of any such interferenceso objectionable does it appear to them in principle, as well as utterly impracticable in executionthat when the necessity arisesor, I would rather say, when the opportunity offersI am to instruct your grace at once frankly and peremptorily to declare that to any such interference, come what may, his Majesty will not be a party." To say that England peremptorily declined "to be a party" to the invasion of an independent state, in order to force upon the people a government contrary to their will, was not saying very much, nor putting the objection very strongly. We are assured, however, that the Duke steadily set his face against the project, pointing out that the step would be not only unjust, but impolitic; that it would precipitate the catastrophe which the French Government feared; that the Revolutionists would probably remove Ferdinand from Madrid as soon as they heard of the passing of the frontier by the French troops, and that, even if these troops should reach the capital, the Spaniards would not therefore submit, nor would the king be set at liberty. He argued that a war between France and Spain for such a purpose would be pronounced a war to put down free institutions, and that if France sought the support of her allies, the only one amongst them that had free institutions would feel it her duty to meet such a request with a refusal. Europe would be ranged into two hostile camps, that of absolutism on the one side and of revolution on the other; amid which not thrones only, but settled governments in every form, might be overthrown. In reply to these arguments, both the king and his Minister stated that whatever France might do in the matter she would do single-handed, and that she would not only not apply for assistance from without, but that, if such assistance were offered, she would refuse it. The Duke could not, however, prevail upon the French Government to refrain from bringing the question between France[234] and Spain before the Congress. The king and his Minister both contended that vast moral good would accrue from a joint remonstrance on the part of the Allies against the treatment to which the King of Spain was subjected, and a joint threat that if any violence were offered to his person or family all would unite to avenge the outrage.

The new Premier, however, was resolute, and persevered with his arrangements. He found an excellent successor to Lord Eldon, as Chancellor, in Sir John Copley, the Master of the Rolls, who was created Lord Lyndhurst. Mr. Peel, as Home Secretary, was succeeded by Mr. Sturges Bourne, who retired after a few weeks to make way for the Marquis of Lansdowne. He represented a section of the Whigs, prominent among whom were Brougham, Tierney and Burdett, who gave[259] their support to the Ministry. The Duke of Clarence succeeded Lord Melville as First Lord of the Admiralty, and the Marquis of Anglesey the Duke of Wellington as Master-General of the Ordnance. Viscount Palmerston was appointed the Secretary at War, with which office he commenced his long, brilliant, and popular career as a Cabinet Minister. The new Master of the Rolls was Sir John Leech, the Attorney-General Sir James Scarlett, and the Solicitor-General Sir N. Tindal. Mr. Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne, succeeded Mr. Goulburn as Chief Secretary of Ireland.

George Grenville succeeded to both Bute and Dashwood, becoming first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the king announced that he had intrusted the direction of affairs to him, and the Lords Egremont and Halifax, the Secretaries of State, whence they soon acquired the name of "The Triumvirate." The Duke of Bedford quitted his post as ambassador at Paris, and was succeeded by the Earl of Hertford. The Earl of Sandwich became head of the Admiralty, and the Earl of Shelburne head of the Board of Trade. Old Marshal Ligonier was removed from the post of Master of the Ordnance to make way for the Marquis of Granby, but received a peerage. These changes being completed, the king closed the Session of Parliament on the 19th of April, with a speech, in which he declared the peace honourable to his Crown, and beneficial to his people. It was resolved to bring the matter before Parliament. Wilberforce gave notice of motion on the subject, but falling ill at Bath, Clarkson applied to Pitt and Mr. Grenville, and was strongly supported by Granville Sharp and the London committee. Pitt had not considered the subject till it was forced on his attention by the evidence before the Privy Council; but he had come to the conclusion that the trade was not only inhuman, but really injurious to the interests of the nation. He consented to introduce the question, and, on the 9th of May, gave notice that early in the next Session Parliament would take into consideration the allegations against the slave trade, made in upwards of a hundred petitions presented to it. He recommended this short delay in order that the inquiries before the Privy Council might be fully matured. But both Fox and Burkethe latter of whom had been thinking for eight years of taking up the questiondeclared that the delay would be as cruel as it was useless; that it did not become the House to wait to receive instructions from the Privy Council, as if it were dependent upon it, but that it ought to originate such inquiries itself. Sir William Dolben supported this view of immediate action, contending that at least a Bill should be brought in to restrain the cruelties of the sea-passage, which would otherwise sacrifice ten thousand lives, as hundreds of thousands had been sacrificed before. This was acceded to. Pitt's resolution was carried by a considerable majority; and Sir William Dolben, on the 21st of May, moved to bring in a Bill to regulate the transport of slaves. Sir William stated that there was no law to restrain the avarice and cruelty of the dealers, and that the mortality from the crowding of the slaves on board was frightful.

Grey and Fox then made an equally brisk attack on the support of Turkey by Ministers. They greatly applauded the Czarina, and Fox affirmed that so far from Turkey soliciting our interference, it had objected to it. On the same day, in the Lords, Lord Fitzwilliam opened the same question. He contended that we had fitted out an expensive armament to prevent the conquest by Russia of Oczakoff, and yet had not done it, but had ended in accepting the very terms that the Czarina had offered in 1790. Ministers replied that, though we had not saved Oczakoff, we had prevented still more extensive attempts by Russia. Though the Opposition, in both cases, was defeated, the attack was renewed on the 27th of February, when the Earl Stanhopean enthusiastic worshipper of the French Revolutionrecommended, as the best means of preventing aggression by Continental monarchs, a close alliance on our part with France. Two days afterwards Mr. Whitbread introduced a string of resolutions in the Commons, condemning the interference of Ministers between Russia and Turkey, and the needless expenditure thus incurred, in fact, going over[390] much the same ground. A strenuous debate followed, in which Grey, Fox, Windham, Francis, Sheridan, and the whole Whig phalanx, took part. On this occasion, Mr. Jenkinson, afterwards Earl of Liverpool, first appeared, and made his maiden speech in defence of Ministers. He showed that the system of aggression had commenced with Russia, and menaced the profoundest dangers to Europe; that Britain had wisely made alliance with Prussia to stem the evil, and he utterly repudiated all notion of the moderation of the Czarina, whose ambition he asserted to be of the most unscrupulous kind. On the 20th of May Fox moved for a Grand Committee on courts of justice, to inquire into some late decisions of the courts in cases of libel. Thomas Erskine, the eloquent advocate, had lately, in the case of the Dean of St. Asaph, delivered a most brilliant and effective speech on the right of juries to decide both on fact and on law in such cases, the duty of the judge being only to explain the law. Fox adopted this doctrine of Erskine, and framed his speech in the most glowing terms. He complained, however, that such was not the practice of the courts, and he particularly animadverted on the custom and the doctrine of Lord Mansfield on this subject. He observed that in murder, in felony, in high treason, and in every other criminal indictment, it was the admitted province of the jury to decide both on law and fact. The practice in the case of libel was an anomaly, and clearly ought not to be so. He said that the doctrine which he recommended was no innovation; it had been asserted by John Lilburne, who, when prosecuted for a libel under the Commonwealth, declared that the jury were the real judges, and the judges themselves mere cyphers, so far as the verdict was concerned; and Lilburne had been acquitted, in spite of the judge and of the influence of Cromwell. He reviewed the doctrines of the Stuarts regarding libel, and observed that these could not be wrong then and right now. He contended that the late practice had been a serious inroad on the liberty of the press, and noted the case of the printer of the Morning Herald, who had been tried for merely commenting strongly on the sending of an armament to Nootka Sound, and on the conduct of Parliament in granting supplies for this purpose. He had been condemned to a year's imprisonment and to stand in the pillory. Pitt observed that he had always, since he had had a place in the Ministry, condemned the use of the pillory, and that there could be no difficulty in remitting that part of the sentence in this particular case. He supported Fox's view of the law, and recommended him to bring in two short Bills, instead of going into committee on the subject. Fox followed this advice, and brought in two Billsone to remove doubts respecting the rights and functions of juries in criminal cases; and the other to amend the Act of the 9th of Queen Anne for rendering the proceedings upon writs of Mandamus and informations in the nature of a Quo Warranto more speedy and effectual. The first Bill passed the Commons on the 2nd of June, but was thrown out in the Lords, through the influence of Chancellor Thurlow, who had never forgiven Pitt his contempt of his conduct on the Regency question during the king's malady. This defeated the object of Fox during this Session, but it was carried in the next, and Lord Thurlow's opposition lost him his position. The Great Seal was put into commission.

Mr. Villiers renewed his motion on the 26th of May, 1840, after the presentation of petitions in support of his views bearing a quarter of a million of signatures. These signs of the growth of public opinion had no effect upon the House. There was a fixed determination to give neither Mr. Villiers nor the petitioners a fair hearing. He was assailed with a volley of every kind of uncouth sounds. The Speaker's calls to order were utterly disregarded, and it was not until, losing patience, he commanded the bar to be cleared, and members to take their seats, that the advocate of Free Trade could be heard by the reporters. It was useless to carry on the discussion amid this deafening clamour. Lord John Russell weakly demanded what the Government could do when a majority of the House was against any alteration in the law, and said he would vote for the motion, but not with a view to total repeal, as his own opinion was in favour of a moderate fixed duty. The House again divided, when 300 members voted for the landlords' monopoly, against only 177 in favour of inquiry.

The French Chambers were summoned for the 28th of December, and the king opened them in person, reading a Speech which was vague, vapid, and disappointing. It contained one passage, however, which was sufficiently intelligible. It was a denunciation and a defiance of Reform. He said:"In the midst of the agitation fomented by hostile and blind passions, one conviction sustains and animates meit is that in the Constitutional monarchy, in the union of the great powers of the State, we possess the most assured means of surmounting all obstacles, and of satisfying the moral and material interests of our dear country." Next day a meeting of the Opposition deputies was held in Paris at the Caf Durand, in the Place de la Madeleine, when it was proposed that they should all send in their resignations. This would cause 102 elections, at which the conduct of the Government would be fully discussed at the hustings in different parts of the country. This was objected to by the majority, who were for holding a banquet in defiance of the Government. A committee was appointed to make the arrangements, and the announcement caused the greatest excitement. On the 21st of February, 1848, the Government issued a proclamation forbidding the banquet, which was to take place on the following day. The prohibition was obeyed; the banquet was not held. In the meantime, great numbers of people arrived in Paris from the country, and immense multitudes from all the faubourgs assembled at the Madeleine, in the Champs Elyses, and at the Place de la Concorde, consisting for the most part of workmen and artisans. The people seemed violently agitated, as if prepared for the most desperate issues. The troops were under arms, however, and the king, who was in the gayest humour, laughed with his courtiers at the pretensions of Barrot and the reformers. The excitement, however, increased every moment. When the troops came near the crowd, they were received with hisses and assailed with stones. The Rue Royale, the Rue de Rivoli, and Rue St. Honor, were cleared and occupied by cavalry, and the populace were driven into the back streets, where some barricades were constructed, and some occasional shots exchanged between the military and the insurgents. The principal struggles, however, were between the people and the Municipal Guard, which they abhorred. Wherever they met through the city, the conflict became fierce, sanguinary, and ruthless. But the National Guard had no such animosity against the people; on the contrary, they sympathised with them thoroughly, raised with them the cry of "Vive la Rforme," and refused to act against them. The king could not be got to believe this fact till the last moment.

With the reign of George III. commenced a series of improvements in the manufacture of iron, which have led not only to a tenfold production of that most useful of metals, but to changes in its quality which before were inconceivable. Towards the end of the reign of George II. the destruction of the forests in smelting iron-ore was so great as to threaten their extinction, and with it the manufacture of iron in Britain. Many manufacturers had already transferred their businesses to Russia, where wood was abundant and cheap. It was then found that coke made from coal was a tolerable substitute for charcoal, and, in 1760, the very first year of the reign of George III., the proprietors of the Carron Works in Scotland began the use of pit-coal. Through the scientific aid of Smeaton and Watt, they applied water-, and afterwards steam-power, to increase the blast of their furnaces to make it steady and continuous, instead of intermitting as from bellows; and they increased the height of their chimneys. By these means, Dr. John Roebuck, the founder of these works, became the first to produce pig iron by the use of coal. This gave great fame to the Carron Works, and they received large orders from Government for cannon and cannon-balls. It was some time, however, before enough iron could be produced to meet the increasing demand for railroads, iron bridges, etc.; and so late as 1781 fifty thousand tons were imported annually from Russia and Sweden.

Every one knows how well these instructions were carried out; how the final hope of Napoleon was destroyed by the conflagration of Moscow, and the terrors of that fearful retreat, in which clouds of Cossacks, mingling with those of the snow and hail, completed the most horrible tragedy which the history of wars from the world's foundation contains; with what consummate ability Bernadotte led his Swedes, through all the great and eventful campaign of 1813, from Leipsic to Paris, and how he received his rewardthe possession of Norway, and a family compact between himself and the Czar of Russia; while Denmark, with a fatal blindness to the signs of the times, adhered to the falling power, and became, like Saxony, dismembered and debilitated.

On the 31st of May, pursuant to notice, Sir Robert Peel brought forward a motion of want of confidence in the Government, in the following words:"That her Majesty's Ministers do not sufficiently possess the confidence of the House of Commons to enable them to carry through the House measures which they deem of essential importance to the public welfare; and that their continuance in office under such circumstances is at variance with the spirit of the Constitution." The right hon. baronet referred to a number of precedents for the course he adoptednamely, the cases of Sir Robert Walpole, Lord North, Mr. Pitt, Lord Sidmouth, Lord Liverpool, the Duke of Wellington, and himself, each of whom resigned, failing the support of a majority of the House of[478] Commons; and he insisted that Lord Melbourne was bound to follow their example. A debate of two nights followed: it was interrupted by the Whitsun holidays, after which it was resumed and lasted three nights more, during which all sorts of topics were discussed, and all the shortcomings of Ministers were dwelt upon, and urged against them with great earnestness. The burden of the charges against them was, that they were causing the greatest public mischief by leaving important questions in doubt, setting party against party, and stirring society to its very foundations. At length the House went to a division, when there appeared for Sir Robert Peel's motion, 312; against it, 311, giving a majority of 1 against the Government. At the meeting of the House on the following Monday the most lively anxiety was manifested as to the course Ministers would pursue. Lord John Russell stated that, after the late division, he felt that in that House of Commons the Government could expect no further majorities, and that they were resolved to appeal to the country. The determination, it is now known, had been opposed by the Premier, but he was overruled by the more sanguine members of the Cabinet.

That night Charles and his chief officers lay at Culloden House, the seat of the able and patriotic Lord-President, Duncan Forbes; but the troops were obliged to lie on the moor amid the heather, which served them both for beds and fuel, the cold being very severe. They were up early in the morning, and formed in order of battle on[106] Drummossie Muir, the part of the heath of Culloden near to Culloden House. No enemy, however, appeared, and there the poor hungry men lay for most of the day with no other food than a biscuit per man. A council of war being called, Lochiel stated this fact as a plea for delay; Lord John Drummond, the Duke of Perth, and others, were of the same opinion; but Lord George Murray declared for making a night march, and surprising the duke's army whilst it would lie, as they supposed, asleep in a drunken debauch. Charles, who had the same idea, but had not yet broached it, embraced Lord George with ardour, declaring it of all things his own wish. The idea was adopted, yet the slightest military wisdom would have shown them the futility of the scheme. The men were in a general state, not only of famine, but of discontent, from the non-payment of their arrears. The night was dark, and the men soon began to stumble through bog and mire, making their march heavy, and causing them to curse and swear. It was soon found that they were so feeble and incapable of walking, even, to say nothing of fighting after a fourteen or fifteen miles' march, on empty stomachs, that it was impossible to make the rear keep up with the van. They had calculated on being at Nairn at two o'clock, but it was that hour before they had all passed Kilravock House, only four miles from the English camp. It was clear that it would be daylight long before they reached Nairn, and they could only get there to be slaughtered in helplessness, for they would be too tired either to fight or run away. It was therefore agreed to return.