Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

2 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

THE REFORM MOVEMENT.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

THE REFORM MOVEMENT. PUBLIC MEETING AT TIIE TOWN-HALL, CARDIFF. On Friday evening last, a very large and enthusiastic public 'meeting was held at the Town-hall, for the purpose of supporting 'the motion of Mr. Hume on Parliamentary reform. Shortly after seven o'clock, on the motion of W. T..Edwards, Esq., M.B., se- conded by Mr. G. Sully, CHARLES VACIIELL, ESQ., was voted to the chair, amidst loud applause. Silence being re- stored, the Chairman said,— Gennllemen, the requisition presented to the Mayor to convene this meeting has been Signed by (54 re- spectable inhabitants of this town, among whom there are many greatly distinguished for their knowledge, their character, and itheir attachment to the institutions of their country. I deeply la- ment that no person of a higher standing in suciety and moce -competent than myself, does net fill the chair this evening. 1 must throw myself oil your indulgence, and J will do what I can to take your views (cheers). I trust you will asiist me in keeping order, and I hope all will be united together in an effort for the good of the whole. You are aware, gentlemen, that a very impor- tant motion is to be brought forward by Mr. Hume on TuefH y ^next, for taking into consideration the present representation of t he people m the House of Commons, Lord John liusseli, whom I was always glad to support as far as I could, has declared in his place in the House of Commons, that the middle and working classes do not want reform. This has occasioned a movement in almost every important town throughout the kingdom, and the reaul unitedly declare the important fact that he was entirely mistaken, and that the people are not ta'isfied with the present "8 ate of things (cheers). The present system .is working .for the benefit of the few, and not for the benefit of all. The British con- stitution is formed of three elements-the monarch, the aristocracy, and the people. It is generally admitted that the people is the most important element, because they possess influence and strength, and bear the burden of taxation (cheers). It is fair, therefore, that they should have a fair share in the representation. This is the just theory of the constitution but from some unfor- tunate cause it is not so in practice. I and my friends will not give way to the very highest in our loyalty to the Queen and at- tachment to the constitution. We consider ourselves the true conservatives (laughter). But such bad been the effects of taxa- tion that vast sums of money are annually extracted from the pockets of the people, which ought to be employed for their own use. And why ? because they were not fairly represented (cheers). Most ruinous wars have been carried on in which the people had very little share or very little feeling (hear). Places have been created, and thousands of pounds are squandered, and where does the money come from ?-from the bones and sinews of the working-classes (great cheering). I do not desire to change the constitution we only want to restore it to what it ought to be, and thus make this country the most powerful in the world. The elements of discord are abroad in other countries as well as at home. In other countries they complain of being too heavily taxed, as we are. When the claims of the people are brought be- fore the Legislature, we have instanees of their being treated with derision. The present Parliament has not been famous for any- thing so much as for laughing. We now spend nine millions more than in 1835; and, recollect, that wai during the Duke of Wel- lington's Government. When any attempt is made to reduce our expenditure, it is met with a sneer and with a laugh. It is there- fore time to answer Lord John Rtissell's challenge, and to let him know this evening in unmistakeable language, that we are not sa- tisfied with the present state of things, and that we are anxious for further reform. I have just alluded to our being conservatives. I wish to explain in what sense we are so. If what is right and pro- per for every man is not granted, it will be a fair pretext for the turbulent and factious to excite discontent, and the proper order of society will be disturbed. We are all men of peace, and wish to see realised the beautiful song of angels when Christ was born, Peace on earth and good will towards men" (loud and prolonged cheers). Mr. William Williams, draper, moved the first resolution, which is as follows: That the fundamental principle of the British constitution recognises the right of the people to a full and fair re- presentation in the House of Commons and that, in the opinion of this meeting, the House of Commons, as at present constituted, does not fairly represent the population, the property, or the in- dustry of the country, from which has arisen great and increasing discontent in the minds of a large portion of the people." After stating that it was the duty of religious men to attend to poli- tical matters, and that every man had several classes of duties for the performance of which he is accountable to his Maker and to his fellow men, Mr. Williams argued at considerable length that the Christian was the true hero, and that it was his incumbent duty to take part in the mighty movements now transpiring. He then proceeded to remark that discontent was prevailing in all gradations of society was a fact which no one can controvert. The Gagging bill had been passed to meet this dis- content but that bill did not prevent us to meet together in an orderly manner like this to petition for the redress of grievances. Meetings of this kind had been held at Haverfordwest and Newport, when men came forward to advocate reform, as he understood from the PRINCIPALITY, that their fellow-townsmen had beforehand little conception of their worth. They complained first that the franchise was not as extensive as it ought to be. The promoters of this meeting advocated household suffrage, but he had been fully convinced during the last two months that universal suffrage was better. His convictions had been considerably strengthened during the last two days, as he had found many householders very ignorant, and the limiting the franchise to them would shut out a far more intelligent class, namely, the lodgers. Universal suffrage meant that every man of 21 years of age, who is untainted with crime, should have a vote. Mr. Williams was proceeding to ar- gue in favour of universal suffrage when The Chairman intimated that he had better confine himself to the object of the meeting, in order to prevent any difference of opinion among reformers. Mr. Williams was going to say that there were, at a very low computation, at least 100,000 persons of great intelligence, such as clerks, students, &c., who live in lodgings, and who would be left unenfranchised by Mr. Hume's motion but as it was better to have half a loaf than no bread at all, they desired household suf- frage (cheers). Secondly, they advocated triennial Parliaments. If the representative should prove recreant to his principles, seven years was a very long time for him to do mischief; it was, there- fore, but reasonable that he should be called to account sooner. Short accounts were better than long ones. That was the ad- vantage of triennial Parliaments (cheers). Vote by ballot was intended for the safety of the voter. If he could keep his own secret no one could revenge upon him for giving his vote to the candidate he liked. Equal electoral districts was another impor- tant point. Before the last Reform Bill was passed, Old Sarum, where there were only two houses, sent two members to Parliament, when Birmingham, with 100,000 inhabitants, sent none. We want th-2 representation fair and equal. The way to have it so was to divide the country into equal electoral districts, according to the number of the population. He also said that Parliament should reduce the national expenditure (cheers). He thought that it was fair that those who received £ 10J,000 for battles fought long since, should say, in these times of distress,come and take half ofihis away. He believed our amiable Queen, whom he greatly respected and admired, would set the example. He consi- dered her the most independent and best sovereign that has ever sat on the throne of England (cheers). Lewis Williams, Esq., seconded the resolution, and said tha the meeting had been called to try to get a little more reform. They want three-fourths of the six points. He thought they were more likely to get four points than six. He hoped themeetings which had been held since Mr. Hume had given notice of his mo- tion, would convince Lord John Russell of his error in declaring that the people did not want reform. Lord George Bentinck had succeeded in throwing the motion aside for a time, and had thereby given them time to petition. If Lord John was there to-night he would find his mistake. He is very much like boys in the country, who amuse themselves by damming up streams of water. The boys knew well enough that the water would have its own way. 0 Lord John is like the boys; he has been trying to make a dam. The boys knew well enough that the more they would dam, the, greater would be the force of the water. Mr. Williams hoped Lord John would take a lesson from the boys. When he should receive many thousands of petitions, he would be convinced that the wa- ters would carry everything before them. He would find that he was in error, and that under present circumstances, it would be the wisdom of Parliament to grant to the people the reforms they desire (cheers). Mr. John Edy begged to support the motion. Meetings of this description were excellent things to break down Lord John's dam (cheers); and it would be very well if he were not carried away with the stream. The country was not truly and fairly represented, if it were, there would be no occasion of our petitioning, petitioning, petitioning without end. He had resided for thirty-six years in that town, and within the last few years they had had occasion to get up many petitions. Now, if we had been fairly represented, there would be no occasion to get up petitions continually (hear, hear). In the signatures that had been attached to the petition which he then held in his hand, there was an ocular demonstration that the people were not fairly represented in the House of Commons. Our representatives care but little about the real state of the people. We are for ever urging them to do their duty. What would we think of servants that it would always be necessary to watch? We should be very glad of an opportunity to send them away. We want Trien- nial Parliaments then, that we may be able to send off bad representatives on a short notice. Then in regard to the ballot, the strongest arguments that he had ever heard urged against it was, that it was un-English, which, as he supposed, meant that it was not practised in England. But if the gentry and aristocracy be followed to their clubs and different societies, it would be found that they practised the ballot (cheers). But if they allowed this privilege for the people their great influ- ence would be destroyed (cheers). In the constitution of this country, the Sovereign, the Lords, and Commons are recognised; but such is the influence of the upper classes, that the Sove- reign and Lords are the only two powers in the State (cheers). These things proved that the country was not fairly repre- sented (cheers). The resolution was carried unanimously amidst prolonged cheering. Mr. Evan Jones,, oftlic PRINCIPALITY, moved the third reso- lution. Tha;t this meeting approves of the motion of which Mr. Hume has given notice, for placing the Parliamentary suffrage on a more just and equal busis; for giving voters the protection of the ballot,; for limiting the duration of Parlia- ments and making a more equal appointment of members to the population." As Mr. Jones was not clever enough to speak and report at the same time, we are unable to insert his speech. The following outline, with the exception of a few sentiments, is taken from a second edition of the Guardian, published on the following morning :—After referring generally to the movement for reforrn which is now taking place in Elumerous parts, he said with reference to the object of the meeting, that he_preferred taking a portiou oithe ciep-t .tla.t was due to the people rather than to be without any part of it all. The question of the suffrage was founded on the rights < man, and not on the accident of his being a householder. 1 the present state of parties the mode of action intended to b adopted by this meeting was, probably, the shortest cut the: could make in order to restore the full enjoyment of the right of mankind (cheers). To him (Mr. Jones) it appeared quit, unintelligible why it was possible to deny any man the suffrage if you granted him liberty, because he believed that the suf frage was a necessary accompaniment of liberty (cheers). If; fellow-being was granted his liberty, how could that liberty b, complete unless he was given the right of showing by his voic, whether he consented to the measures and to the system unde) which and by which he is governed. It was not the iiitentioi of reformers to propose a change in the Constitution of th, country. He did not think that a change was necessary unde. existing circumstances. He had no doubt but that it woulc not be beneficial (cheers). He was a believer in Monarchy. As a Welshman he should not like to see the monarchical institu tions of this country displaced, especially while" the throm was so worthily and so virtuously filled by our present Queen, who had so much of the Tudor blood, the blood of hi- own nation, flowing in her veins (loud cheering). He believed that the institutions under which we were go- verned would admit of a change. Some years ago slavery was an institution in some parts of the British empire, and was pro- tected by law. It was not so at present,—a change had taken place. The words existing institutions" were often put for- ward as a bugbear to frighten the unwary; but he did not think that any man in the kingdom was perfectly satisfied with all our institutions. On that great and important question- the separation of the Church from the State—there was a large party in the bosom of the Church itself even favourable to it. It was perfectly evident that we lived under a constitution that admitted of changes—that our institutions must be remodelled —that they must be changed according as time and circum- stances demanded. Institutions must not be maintained for their own sakes, but on account of their usefulness. A Govern- ment was an institution that had been called forth for its utility, and not for its own sake. Persons were not appointed to office that they might exercise power, but because they might thereby be more useful to the community generally (hear). He then glanced at the theories which have been propoundel respecting the origin of Government; and said he believed that the great object of Government was the protection of life and property; and that form of Government was best which would best secure those objects. No more money should be expended than was absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the civil power, or it was clear that the object of protecting property was not kept in view. The barbarous splendour of former times should not be perpetuated by the lavish expenditure of public money. He argued at great length that all necessary changes might be produced by peaceful means, and said there was not the slight- est necessity in this country for rebellion. He wholly and energetically condemned all appeals to physical force, and de- nounced turbulence in unmeasured terms. All appeals should be made to reason and to the eternal principles of justice (hear). Let them appeal to truth, and the day of their triumph was not distant. The might with right And the truth shall be, And come what may to stand in the way, That day the world shall see" (loud cheers). Never yet had the power of truth failed. nor would it fail now. The charter he thought to be a harmless document—all its principles were quite debateable-there was nothing revolu- tionary in either of them; but unfortunately the charter had lost its reputation, and in the present state of public opinion there was no probability that it would be carried. Before have the working classes would get all they required they must the support of the middle classes and convince them by their or- derly conduct that they might safely be entrusted with political power. The suffrage was a right, not a favour; and the work- ing classes would eventually obtain that right. Let the work- ing classes support their claims by endeavouring to spread knowledge, by appeals to reason and not to arms, by appeals to moral and not to physical force, by appeals to the understand- ing and not to pikes, and they would by orderly conduct carry all their points without having recourse to the point of the pike (cheers). He said that the conduct of the working classes was generally highly meritorious. He adverted to the present qualification of voters, and from the tenor of his remarks seemed to condemn the present system, and to be in favour of universal suffrage. As the suffrage was a right, it was wrong that it should be made to depend upon accident. When he lived at Tredegar, though he paid three-fourths of the rent which he now pays, he had no vote; but having removed to Cardiff, he might claim to be put upon the register. He did not suppose that the air of Cardiff, 01 the fact of his paying a few pounds more in rent, rendered him better qualified to vote, either mentally or morally, than before. And if he should again have the good fortune to meet with a landlord considerate enough to rent him a house for Z9 10s., he should not be able to retain his vote. And if a farmer, who was this year on the register, should re- move to a farm where he only paid £ 49 in rent, though his in- telligence might remain the same, yet his vote would be no longer valid. He therefore believed that the immutable prin- ciples of justice required that the suffrage should not depend upon circumstances, but should be given as the inherent right of every man. Triennial Ptrlia, nents were also fair, though for his own part he should prefer biennial. They were not only perfectly fair, but also perfectly constitutional. It was not loJ years since the septennial act had come into oper- ation, and its workings were such that it might now be repealed without further trial (cheers). It had been tried and found wanting (cheers). Vote by ballot was highly necessary for the protection of poor voters. As matters now stood, the poor man might as well be without the suffrage as to have it. His vote was not his own but his landlord's. He was told how to vote; and unless he did so, he was ruined. The ballot, however, would protect him. It would then be in vain for the landlord to order, or for the agent to issue his behest (cheers). And then as to equal electoral districts, no greater farce can exist than the present electoral arrangements. Whilst there is one representative to every 18i of the population of England and Wales, in Ireland there is only one to every seventy. The contemptible boroughs of Harwich and Marlborough have now as much influence in the Legislature as the important consti- tuencies of Marylebone and Manchester (cheers). He did not think that these relic towns should so far remind us of feudal sway as to stifle the voice of such boroughs as he had named (cheers), In their own country, they might take the Carnar- vonsiiire boroughs for instance'. The liberals hid always the majority on the gross poll, until they came tJ Ciicieth, and there they were at a stand still; not a vote could they get. And thus Cricieth, for no earthly reasone that he was aware of save that it had an old castle, virtually returned the member for the boroughs and stifled the voice of the other contributary boroughs (cheers). And, if he mistook not, was it not the same at Cardiff (loud anJ long-continued cheering). However intelligent and liberal the electors of Cardiff might be, there was a small town, possessing in itself the shadow of ancient greatness, and the reality of modern feudalism, which would, at all events for a time, deprive Cardiff of the importance due to its intelligent and enterprising inhabitants (loud cheers). These things ought not to be so arid because they ought not to be so, he begged to propose the resolution (cheers). Mr. George Sully seconded the resolution. As Mr. Jones had done justice to the principle of the resolution he (Mr. Sully) would adduce a few statistics upon which he had not touched. The ex- penditure of the country was very heavy. The balance sheet of 1846 shows the revenue to be Z51,217,000 and that of 1848 was £ 51,340,000. But this was not all. Above four millions of money were paid fur collecting the revenue, and which did not appear in these returns (hear). Vast as this sum is, it is not sufficient for our government. On the 5th of January, 1846, the excess of income over expenditure was £3,850,000; on the 5th of January, 1848, the excess of expenditure over income was £ 2,956,000. Such being the case why were not reductions made in our establishments ? The taxation of the country was now £ 9,0^0,000 more than it was in 1835. General and local taxation was extivmely heavy. In his case the poor, the street, highway, and other local taxes amounted to 7s. (id. in the pound (hear). They knew then that taxation was heavy. Mr, J. B. Hopkins We feel it (cheers). Mr. Sully: They understood how this fifty-one millions of money were raised. It was by means of oppressive duties, and those chiefly on articles consumed by the poor. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had lately proposed to reduce the duty on spirits, but would not touch the duty of 2s. 2d. the pound on tea, which is an article largely consumed by the poor (cheers, and" question"). Some gsntlemen cried ques- tion,be thought this was the question, as it proved that if the poor did not pay direct taxes still that they paid vast Hums for articles of consumption (cheers). The duty on spirits was re- duced because that it would benefit the rich rather than the poor. He would theu show how the money is expended. They princi.- pally went to the national debt and, the army and navy. In 1833, the estimates for the army and navy amounted to X 11,730,000 in 1847 they were L17,340,960, but in 1848 to £ 19,959,0C0. That is the way how some of the money goes (cheers). But why is it? Because the representation is not fair. Scotland has53 members aud 84,244 electors, but 31 English boroughs with only 9,8 ::2 voen eeturo the same number of rcprcocntattves. 6,6 t)glish counties with only 20,443 electors are equal in legislative otes to all the 105 members for Ireland returned by 117,448 lectors (cheers). Harwich contains a population of 3,730 with 81 electors, and returns two members to parliament; while [anchester bad no more than two members for its immense popu- ation. Lancashire has a population of 1,667,000, and returns 6 members, while Wiltshire has a population of only 258,000, aid returns 20 members-that is, about one-seventh of the num- ber in the latter county retifrna the same number as the whole of Lancashire (hear, hear). These were the facts which induced him to second the resolution (cheers). The resolution was carried unanimously. The Chairman Gentlemen, I must inform you that we are to have no gas this evening. The hall-keeper has told me that the 'ompany's workman came here about half-an-hour before the neeting commenced, and turned off the gas. On being asked .vhy he did so, he said that such were his orders (shame, shame). Ve are to have no light, but if the hall had been wanted for a :onjuror, there would have been enough of light (tremendous groans). Three groans for the Gas Company were then given. If the gentlemen had been present they would have done their hearts good, is they were very dismal and unearthly. John Batchelor, Esq., proposed the third resolution amidst great tpplause:—"• That this meeting, while it would render every as- sistance in its power to the constituted authorities in preserving order, and preventing anarchy, would nevertheless wish to impress upon the minds of Government and Parliament their firm convic- tion of the gross injustice under which the middle and working classes suffer from the present unequal distribution of taxation, which is in favour of the territorial and propertied class as contra- distinguished from the body of the nation; and the necessity that exists for retrenchment in the public expenditure." He said-I can assure you that I am but ill-prepared to address you to-night as I have been incessantly engaged for one or two days, and have been up all last night; but though I am not prepared to address you as I could wish, still I am prepared to avow my sentiments and express my adherence to what is right (great applause). Gen- tlemen, Lord John Russell has declared that the middle and work- ing classes do not want reform. He reminds me of a little child in a menagerie tickling the lion's mouth; he tickled it once too .often, and the lion roared and frightened him. The lion will roar, and frighten him, unless he will be careful. Mr. Jones has told you that a change is necessary. I say that a change must be but it will be for us to say what kind of change it must be. Mr. Jones has told you that a revolution is not necessary, but I go further, and say that a revolution is necessary, is imminent; but it is for you to decide what kind of revolution is necessary for lB. There are two revolutions. One is peaceful, benign, and good-begetting in its aspect. The other is violent, law-destroying, and evil-beget- ting in its tendency. A revolution must be, but which of the two ? Shall it be the peaceful (Yes, yes, and loud cheers) ? The Chairman I beg your pardon, but your allusion is so very strong, that I hope you will explain yourself so as to be fully understood. Mr. Batchelor: I hope, gentlemen, you will not mistake me. You will not mistake me for a pikeman. I believe in the strength of opinion, and I believe that it is so powerful that every vestige of tyranny shall be trampled underfoot before it. We want no vio- lence (long-continued cheers). Lord John Russell has dared the people by refusing the people their rights, and now in our turn, we dare him to refuse reform (loud cheers). Gentlemen, I have spoken to you of two revolutions. I have declared for the peace- ful, and you have done so. But, gentlemen, a change is necessary. Let us mark the signs of the times. Itead the present by the past. History has flung its glare on our path, and in its light let us walk. Discord is everywhere discovered like the heaving of the sea before the storm; taxation is increasing; the House of Lords is spitting on the Jew, and the House of Commons is playing the harlot with all religions (long-continued cheers). Now then is the time to avert the calamity that has come over all nations. If the middle classes do not come forward on the side of the people, nevertheless a change will be effected-a change which they do not desire, and one which they will deplore. My resolution speaks also of retrenchment. I am not prepared with the necessary facta to enter into this subject after what has been done by Mr. Jones and Mr. Sully. I coincide with what they advanced. I told you Before that I was ill-prepared to address you, but I could not rest satisfied without avowing my adherence to the principle which you have met this evening to support (cheers). I hope the people will seek honestly, peacefully, but determinedly for their rights. Mr. Batchelor retired amidst loud and long-continued cheers. The Chairman; I will just state my own sentiments on this subject. I would abhor with my whole heart the most distant al- lusion to a revolution that would cost one human life. I would turn my back on the country where that would take place. For that reason I do not like the allusion. There is no necessity fora revolution. Public opinion is like a mighty stream. These prin. ciples will spread all over the kingdom, and the work shall be done and will be done (cheers). John Batchelor, Esq.: One word in explanation. I think it is necessary after what the Chairman has said. I ask the gentlemen present whether they can shut their eyes on the facts of history ? l,et them look at the state of other countries where reform has been delayed until they have been deluged with blood. It is be- cause that I know these things that I have appealed to you as friends of peace to put it utterly beyond doubt that we shall have no civil commotions (cheers). I abhor blood with all the ubbor- rence that a man can feel (cheers). I have nothing to explain- I adhere to every sentence I have uttered (cheers). If we love peace we must devise constitutional means to preserve us from a visitation so dreadful as bloodshed (loud cheers). The Chairman Perhaps that I spoke too strongly and that I ought to have said that I knew something of Mr. Batchelor. I well know that a man more amiable and affectionate iu his own family and more devoted to society at large, does not exist. C. R. Vachell, Esq., M. D., seconded the resolution and said, I much regret that a wrong impression should be made on the minds of any, by the remarks of Mr. Batchelor. I believe he meant no more than to say that errors and abuses have crept iv, and that it is absolutely necessary to reform them. The same sentiment is expressed by Lord Bacon when he says that Time is the greatest innovator." If time alters things for the worse, it is the part of true wisdom to restore them. The events that are taking place furnish abundant proof that our overnment would do well to attend to these matters (cheers). I most entirely con- cur in the remark that those are the true conservatives who timely reform abuses which threaten the safety of the constitution (cheers). The resolution was carried unanimously. William Thomas Edwards, Esq., M. B., moved "That this meeting do now agree to petition Parliament in support of Mr. Hume's motion, and such measures of reform as are essential to a full, fair, and free representation of the people; and that the pe- tition now read be adopted and signed by the Chairman on behalf of this meeting. THE PETITION. To the Honourable the Commons of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled. The Petition of the undersigned Inhabitants of Cardiff, in Public Meeting assembled, humbly showeth—That the present state of the country calls loudly for a great reduction in the na- tional expend, tu re, to secure which your petitioners pray that every householder in the kingdom may have the right of voting fur members of Parliament with the protection of the ballot; alsj that members may be elected from equal distiicts thiuugkvut tho country, and for a period not exceeding three years. And your petitioners will ever pray, &c." He said, that they had now come to the business part of the meet- ing. There were many present who had never enjoyed the right of voting; the only privilege they had had was that of peti- tioning; they were going to petition now, but he hoped for better days to come when all should vote (great cheering). After the eloquent addresses which had been delivered he would not detain the meeting. He avowed his sympathy with the movement, and had no hesitation in declaring that we are not fairly represented. There were numbers before him who by the mere accident of birth had never been able to exercise their proper influence in society. He agreed with Mr. Jones that tie suffrage was not a favour but a right—(cheers)—and he would do all in his power to promote the object of the meeting. At that hour he would do no more than to propose the resolution (cheers). The Rev. James James, Independent Minister Mr. Chairman and Gentletrien,-I am happy to second this resolution. You will agree with me that if there is a single spot in the universe where a man may make himself ridiculous, that spot is the platform, pro- vided that he takes a subject which he does not understand. It happens so with me. I am not apt in national affairs. I have the consolation that I have not obtruded myself on the meeting, but I was desired to come here. Having come, in addition to poet.c licence I will take the liberty to range just as I like, and to give utterance to any sentiment that may happen to present itself. All the blunders which I may commit must rest on those kind friends who have requested me to come hither. You know that i,t is an awkward thing for a man to be in a predicament (laughter). I dare say you have felt so, but there is an alternative for every man so situated, and that is to make the best he can of a bad job (laughter). I must do so. I have never studied politics. I am no civilian, and there is no danger that I shall ever be dubbed w.th the degree of Doctor of Civil laws; but I have been perfectly convinced that reform is necessary, and i3 best thing we can have. Nt",

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