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them the opportunity of reconsidering their decision; and my full belief is that a course like this, taken without passion and without collision, would have been met in a proper temper by that House ; this difficulty would have been got over, and in all probability both Houses for the future would have proceeded more regularly and easily than they are likely to do under the plan proposed by the noble Lord.

Having stated that I shall leave the question of these Resolutions, I say there is no reason whatever in the arguments which have always been used why this duty should have been maintained, or why it was perilous to remit it. Its repeal was consistent with the policy of the Whigs before Sir Robert Peel came into power, with the policy of Sir Robert Peel's Government, of Lord Aberdeen's Government, of Lord Palmerston's Government, of Lord Derby's last Government, and of the existing Government. The policy of the repeal of the paper-duty is the recognized policy of this House, and it is the admitted interest of this country. Then, why, unless it be for a party triumph, unless it be to attack a particular minister, why is this question of £700,000 this year, and less than double that sum in future years, raised to an importance which does not belong to it? and why, for the sake of a party triumph, are the great interests connected with it to be damaged and tortured, as they are now, by the action of one House of Parliament ? I am told there are members of this House who would not support the Government in this course, and I should certainly hardly expect that all the gentlemen on the benches opposite would lend it their sanction. Yet I doubt whether if the noble Lord at the head of the Government were to act in the manner I have indicated, the great majority of them would be induced, upon reflection, to adopt the policy which they have pursued with respect to these Resolutions; and whether the House of Commons would not have passed a second bill even by a larger majority than that by which we passed the last.

There is a rumour that some gentlemen on this side of the House object to such a course of proceeding, and hon. gentlemen opposite have, perhaps, on that account been led to take up a line of action upon this question in which they otherwise could not hope to succeed. An hon. gentleman behind me, from whom ì should have expected something better, said only last night, in speaking of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that he was a reckless and unsafe Finance Minister. That observation he no doubt confined to the question of the repeal of the paper-duty ; but I cannot forget that in 1853 we had the same Chancellor of the Exchequer as to-day, and that it was asserted then also that he had committed great errors. [Cheers from the Opposition.) Yes; but your Chancellor of the Exchequer was not in office long enough to perpetrate any great mistakes. Not long after that right hon. gentleman acceded to office, he brought in a Budget which the House of Commons rejected ; and upon the next occasion on which he proposed one, he found it necessary to shift the burden of responsibility to the shoulders of his successor. But in 1853, when the right hon. gentleman, the member for the University of Oxford, was Chancellor of the Exchequer, I put it to those among us who were then Ministers of this House, whether it is not the fact that the strength of the Government of Lord Aberdeen, of which he was a member, was not mainly to be attributed to his dealing with the taxation of the country in a manner which met with universal approbation out of doors ?

We come now to the present year, and while I do not wish to depreciate the popularity, or the character, or the ability of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, or any of his colleagues, still I undertake to say that the power and authority which his Administration has acquired during the present session it has gained mainly as the consequence of the beneficial propositions which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made. I heard somebody last night-I am not quite sure it was not the right hon. gentleman below me to-night-talk of the House of Commons having been partly charmed and partly coerced into the acceptance of these propositions. But if that be so, and if we have proved ourselves to be soft-headed children who could be so swayed, I must say it appears to me very strange that such should be the case; for I think the House of Commons has, upon the contrary, shown wonderful independence, and has proved itself to be extremely free from all those ties, the acting in accordance with which usually enables a government to conduct the business of a session with success. Be that, however, as it may, I repeat that the Budget of the right hon. gentleman, the Chancellor of the


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Exchequer, when it was laid before the country, was received throughout all the great seats of industry, and among the farmers, too—for it tended to benefit them as the inhabitants of towns-with universal approbation.

The right hon. gentleman below me has been indulging himself to-night, in accordance with his custom, in condemning the French Treaty, and I must say we have heard a great deal upon that subject since it was first mooted in this House. We have heard it commented on by a great journal in this country, whose motive I will not attempt to divine, but whose motto must, I think, be that which Pascal said ought to have been adopted by one of the ancients—Omnia pro tempore, sed nihil pro veritate,—which, being translated, may be rendered—“ Everything for The Times, but nothing for the truth.” We have had, in short, every description of falsehood propounded with respect to this Treaty. The right hon. gentleman below me has not hesitated to give currency to representations with respect to it which are wholly inaccurate, and to which, if I were not here, I would apply a still stronger term. Did not the right hon. gentleman say our manufacturers were—I forget the word-plaintiffs—no, suppliants in the Ante-chamber of the Emperor of the French? The statement is one, I can tell him, which is wholly untrue; nay, more,—and I may say that, with the exception of some right hon. gentlemen sitting on the Treasury bench, there is no one more competent to give an opinion on the subject than myself, for reasons with which the House is of course acquainted, I tell the right hon. gentleman that nothing can exceed the good faith and the liberality with which that whole question is being treated by the Commissioners of the French Government. I would have him know that they are as anxious as our Commissioners that a great trade between England and France should spring up; and I will add that in the case of nations and governments in amity one with the other, whose representatives are endeavouring in all fairness and frankness to extend the commerce between both, he is neither a statesman nor a patriot who seeks to depreciate in the eyes of his countrymen the instrument by which it is hoped these results will be accomplished, and who thus does his utmost to prevent its success.

I come now to ask the House what is this reform in the tariff

introduced by the right hon. gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by which you are so frightened ? Is it something novel ? The right hon. gentleman below me says it is a scheme both new and gigantic in its proportions, and fatal in its principle. I was speaking last week to an hon. member for a south-western county who sits on the benches opposite, and he spoke in terms of exultation to me of the success of late years of that branch of industry in which you are peculiarly interested. Is it honest, then, that you should make such acknowledgments and not consent to extend further the principles which the whole country has pronounced to be sound and beneficial ? We boast of the freedom of our commerce. That commerce has more than doubled since I had first the honour of a seat in this House. When, therefore, you now attack, through the Chancellor of the Exchequer, principles the adoption of which has wrought this great good, you are not, in my opinion, pursuing a course which will enhance your reputation with the country which you profess to represent. There is not, I contend, a man who labours and sweats for his daily bread; there is not a woman living in a cottage, who strives to make her humble home happy and comfortable for her husband and her children, to whom the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer have not brought hope, to whom his measures, which have been defended with an eloquence few can equal, and with a logic none can contest, have not administered consolation. I appeal to the past and present condition of the country, and I ask you, solemnly, to oppose no obstacle to the realization of those great and good principles of legislation.

I will not enter further into this question. I am unable from physical causes to speak with clearness, and I am afraid I must have somewhat pained those who have heard me. I must, however, repeat my regret that the noble Viscount at the head of the Government has not shown more courage in this matter than he appears to me to have exhibited, and that the House of Commons has not evinced more self-respect. I fear this session may as a consequence become memorable as that in which, for the first time, the Commons of England has surrendered a right which for 500 years they had maintained unimpaired. I, at least, and those who act with me, will be clear from any participation in this; we shall be free from the shame which must indelibly attach to the chief actors in these proceedings. I protested against the order of reference which the noble Lord proposed, though I sat and laboured on the Committee with earnest fidelity on behalf of the House of Commons. I have felt it an honour to sit in this House up to this time, and I hope that hereafter the character of this House will not be impaired by the course which is about to be taken. I have endeavoured to show to my countrymen what I consider to be almost the treason which is about to be committed against them. I have refused to dishonour the memory of such members as Coke and Selden, and Glanville and Pym; and, if defeated in this struggle, I shall have this consolation, that I have done all I can to maintain the honour of this House, and that I have not sacrificed the interests which my constituents committed to my care.

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