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sterling. In consequence of the changes introduced, though of a very minor character compared to what still remains to be effected, the exports were quadrupled. They amounted in 1840 to more than two millions.*

In the ensuing session Mr Thomson had to defend, on several occasions, the alteration in the wine duties, which formed a part of Lord Althorp's financial scheme. He also experienced the most obstinate and continued resistance from the West India interest to the continuance of the act by which foreign sugars were admitted to be refined in this countrya permission by which Britain obtains a very valuable carrying trade, and is made the entrepôt of much international commerce.

In the same manner he had to contend in the next year against repeated motions for continuing exorbitant duties on foreign gloves and silks ; and to defend the policy of Mr Huskisson's alterations in the navigation laws against the inveterate and persevering hostility of Mr Robinson, the member for Worcester, and other supporters of the restrictive system.

He moved for and presided over a committee to inquire into the state of the silk trade ; and the report subsequently drawn up by the committee, as the result of their inquiry, at length set at rest for ever that long-disputed question, by proving that the abolition of the protective duties, which were declared so essential to the trade, had been productive of the most remarkable improvement in its condition and prospects.

He likewise introduced and carried through parliament, in the session of 1832, a very large alteration and consolidation of the customs duties or tariff.

In the summer of this year Mr Thomson was called upon for an exertion of moral courage which, in many persons in a similar position, would have been found wanting. An action was brought against him in the Court of King's Bench by a person of the name of Bushell, an outvoter of Dover, for the

* The principal modifications obtained by the commissioners in the tariff of France were-

The admission of cotton twist of the higher numbers.
The lowering of the duties on British tin.
The removal of the prohibition on the export of French raw silk.

The lowering of the tonnage on British vessels to one-third of its previous amount.

The diminution of the duty on coals.

The foundation was also laid of the Post Office arrangements since carried into effect between the two countries ; and the first severe shock was given to the prohibitory system in France, of which both countries cannot fail before long to reap the full benefit in a free and unrestricted exchange of their surplus productions.

32

FREE TRADE AND THE LEAGUE.

amount of expenses falsely alleged to have been him, on Mr Thomson's account, in the last De He determined to resist this imposition at all ris will be believed to have been considerable by t member the bitter and malicious spirit in which members of the administration were continually the opposition press, and the eagerness with whi cumstance in their private conduct which could of was tortured into a ground for the most odiou ening charges against them. The result of his this occasion afforded a proof that it is far wi attacks of this kind with boldness and determinat yield to them in any degree, from the desire to brought before the public in a manner which may misconstruction. His journal expresses his gra the result of the trial.

14th July.-—A. came from the city to say tha with Bushell was decided. I have come off with fly His own witnesses put him out of court. Scarlett any for me, and the jury stopped the judge as he to sum up, and declared themselves satisfied. I of course, carries costs, and is most honourable. I to Scarlett, who is said to have exerted himself m have spoken of me in flattering terms. This, A. s bell, who led for Bushell, did too. John William met at Tunbridge Wells this evening, was in cour clares that nothing could be more satisfactory th proceedings. I own I am much pleased. The made me feel an emotion, a new one, which is now ra little are the opinions of even the best counsel to be on! Scarlett, two days ago, was very unfavoura cause, and recommended a reference in the strong And yet to-day he wrote to A., in court, that the plaintiff was the weakest possible. He has certainly friendly to me, and I must not forget it. The jury special and five talesmen. I left town at three Tunbridge Wells."

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sterling. In consequence of the changes introduced, though of a very minor character compared to what still remains to be effected, the exports were quadrupled. They amounted in 18+0 to more than two millions.*

In the ensuing session Mr Thomson had to defend, on several occasions, the alteration in the wine duties, which formed a part of Lord Althorp's financial scheme. He also experienced the most obstinate and continued resistance from the West India interest to the continuance of the act by which foreign sugars were admitted to be refined in this country, a permission by which Britain obtains a very valuable carrying trade, and is made the entrepôt of much international commerce.

In the same manner he had to contend in the next year against repeated motions for continuing exorbitant duties on foreign gloves and silks; and to defend the policy of Mr Huskisson's alterations in the navigation laws against the inveterate and persevering hostility of Mr Robinson, the member for Worcester, and other supporters of the restrictive system.

He moved for and presided over a committee to inquire into the state of the silk trade; and the report subsequently drawn up by the committee, as the result of their inquiry, at length set at rest for ever that long-disputed question, by proving that the abolition of the protective duties, which were declared so essential to the trade, had been productive of the most remarkable improvement in its condition and prospects.

He likewise introduced and carried through parliament, in
the session of 1832, a very large alteration and consolidation
of the customs duties or tariff.
In the summer of this

year
Mr Thomson was called

upon for an exertion of moral courage which, in many persons in a similar position, would have been found wanting. An action was brought against him in the Court of King's Bench by a person of the name of Bushell, an outvoter of Dover, for the

The excessive application of Mr Thomson to publi during this session materially affected his health. A on some committees in the morning, his office, and passed in the house, often till two or three in the was more than any constitution could bear, any er cessfully contend with.

His journal, which from about this period was tolerable regularity, contains occasionally such entr

The principal modifications obtained by the commissioners in the tariff of
France were-

The admission of cotton twist of the higher numbers.
The lowering of the duties on British tin.
The removal of the prohibition on the export of French raw silk.

The lowering of the tonnage on British vessels to one-third of its previous amount.

The diminution of the duty on coals.

The foundation was also laid of the Post Office arrangements since carried into effect between the two countries ; and the first severe shock was given to the prohibitory system in France, of which both countries cannot fail before long to reap the full benefit in a free and unrestricted exchange of their surplus productions.

following:

VOL. II.

“ August 28th, Saturday.--A week of the hardest possible labour. I have not returned from the house any day till three o'clock; on Wednesday not till four. It is impossible to stand this! I find my body quite exhausted, and my mind equally worn out. All this week I have alternated between the bank and silk committees, and then the house. On Wednesday I carried my bill (the custoins duties) through the committee; was at it from five till two in the morning, nine mortal hours !......... I passed my bill to-day, thank God!"

At the close of the session Mr Thomson made a tour of a. couple of months through the manufacturing districts of Derbyshire, Lancashire, and the west of Scotland, visiting many of the principal factories and establishments, as well as Liverpool and Glasgow, and returning south by Edinburgh and the north road. He had been some time previously requested by a deputation from Manchester to offer himself as the representative of that borough, in the approaching general election under the reform act; but, unwilling to give up the time necessary for canvassing so extensive a constituency, he had declined the proposal. Upon being further urged, he expressed his willingness to sit for Manchester, if elected, but refused to take any steps to obtain the seat, and declared himself a candidate once more for Dover. On his visit to Manchester in August, he met with so friendly and flattering a reception, that he began to regret having put it out of his power to take any steps towards obtaining an honour, the value of which he had never underrated, but which he had overrated the difficulty of securing. In consequence of his former refusal, another gentleman, Mr Loyd, professing nearly the same political principles, had come forward as a candidate; and under these circumstances, it was too late for Mr Thomson to alter the determination he had avowed. He even went the length of authorizing Mr Loyd's committee to publish a denial on his part of any intention to offer himself for Manchester, and a declaration that he had been posted as a candidate without his authority. His enthusiastic admirers, however, would take no denial, and, in spite of everything, persisted in canvassing the borough for him; and the result proved that they had judged correctly of their fellow-citizens, who were too high-principled to require a personal canvass, or even an address, from a statesman sufficiently well-known to them by his public character and former parliamentary corduct.

When, at length, the general election came on, Mr Poulett Thomson attended at Dover, and was returned at the head of the poll. On arriving in London from thence, he was met

August 28th, Saturday.—A week of the hardest possible' labour. I have not returned from the house any day till three o'clock; on Wednesday not till four. It is impossible to stand this! I find my body quite exhausted, and my mind equally worn out. All this week I have alternated between the bank and silk committees, and then the house. On Wednesday I carried my bill (the customs duties) through the committee; was at it from five till two in the morning, nine mortal hours !......... I passed my bill to-day, thank God!"

At the close of the session Mr Thomson made a tour of a: couple of months through the manufacturing districts of Derbyshire, Lancashire, and the west of Scotland, visiting many of the principal factories and establishments, as well as Liverpool and Glasgow, and returning south by Edinburgh and the north road. He had been some time previously requested by a deputation from Manchester to offer himself as the representative of that borough, in the approaching general election under the reform act; but, unwilling to give up the time necessary for canvassing so extensive à constituency, he had declined the proposal. Upon being further urged, he expressed his willingness to sit for Manchester, if elected, but refused to take any steps to obtain the seat, and declared himself a candidate once more for Dover. On his visit to Manchester in August, he met with so friendly and flattering a reception, that he began to regret having put it out of his power to take any steps towards obtaining an honour, the value of which he had never underrated, but which he had overrated the difficulty of securing. In consequence of his former refusal, another gentleman, Mr Loyd, professing nearly the same political principles, had come forward as a candidate; and under these circumstances, it was too late for Mr Thomson to alter the determination he had avowed. He even went the length of authorizing Mr Loyd's committee to publish a denial on his part of any intention to offer himself for Manchester, and a declaration that he had been posted as a candidate without his authority. His enthusiastic admirers, however, would take no denial, and, in spite of everything, persisted in canvassing the borough for him ; and the result proved that they had judged correctly of their fellow-citizens, who were too high-principled to require a personal canvass, or even an address, from a statesman sufficiently well-known to them by his public character and former parliamentary corduct.

When, at length, the general election came on, Mr Poulett Thomson attended at Dover, and was returned at the head of the poll. On arriving in London from thence, he was met

by an express forwarded from Manchester, he had likewise been elected for that place! rity, and this in his absence, without having or issued an address, nay, without having sanction to his nomination !

This was, indeed, an honour of which he i proud. Unconnected by business or residen trict, unknown to the electors personally, kno by his public character and parliamentary been spontaneously selected as one of their re parliament, upon the first occasion of their franchise conferred by the reform act, by the the most important seat of manufacturing empire. Instances of such elections have curred in France; but in the history of parl tions in England, such a mode of selecting a so honourable to both parties, the constituency of their choice, was, we believe, wholly unprece

To Mr Poulett Thomson the honour thus from many circunstances, peculiarly gratify earned it by his own exertions, unaided by ra influence, without a pledge, without even a that which his past conduct held out. It cor unquestionable seal of public approbation, th that had been formed of him by his friends no amply justified their recent selection of him It moreover proved the truth of what they hatained through the struggle for reform, as ness of the constituency which their measure at the same time, it imparted to them a new ele strength, in the unsolicited support and adhe munity capable of making so noble a use of its franchises.

It was impossible for Mr Poulett Thomson the choice he had now to make of sitting eithe Manchester. Though he had formed many at in the former place, and could not but feel regre lution of his connection with them, yet the bor too deeply imbued with the vices of the old

syst not to be always a source of very great troubl to its representative. And, under any circu representation of Manchester, by far them manufacturing constituency in the kingdom, wato be refused; a position which would necessar: increase of weight and influence, both in the government and in the House of Commons,

importance to the efficiency of his exertions in the public service. These were motives to which every other consideration must yield. And accordingly, in pursuance of them, Mr Poulett Thomson issued without delay a farewell address to the electors of Dover, and started for Manchester, where preparations were making on a scale of extraordinary magnificence for a public entertainment to the new members, Mark Phillips, Esq. and himself.

This took place on the 27th December in the theatre, the whole interior of which had been fitted up with great splendour, and was occupied by an assembly of more than eleven hundred persons, comprising a large portion of the wealth, respectability, and talent of the town and immediate neighbourhood, Mr B. Heywood, the late member for the county, being in the chair.

Mr Thomson's speech to this assembly was worthy of the occasion which called it forth, and may be read with deep interest even yet. Already there had appeared signs of something like difference among the members of the party by which the great measure of the reform act had been carried. The word finality had been spoken at Lancaster by Lord Stanley. It had naturally grated harshly in the ears of many ardent and conscientious reformers, who saw plainly that the evils of the nomination system were mitigated, but not eradicated by the reform act. These were naturally alarmed, and anxious to learn whether the principle of the finality of the act was to be the conimon motto of the entire government. On the other hand there were many who feared that no stopping-place could be found in the course of organic change once entered upon, and that the members of the government themselves would not venture to resist their partisans when urged forward by them to fresh innovations on the established constitution. The line taken by Mr Poulett Thomson in his speech at Manchester shewed the fallacy of both these anticipations. While repudiating the doctrine of finality, and admitting that imperfections must still remain in our representative system which future legislation might be called upon to correct, he boldly denounced the absurdity of frequent and unnecessary change in what is but the instrument of legislation; called on his friends to look to practical measures rather than theoretical grievances; and declared that he was prepared to resist the adoption of principles or measures, however good in themselves, if brought forward inopportunely, or so as to obstruct greater and more pressing objects.

After passing in review the leading questions which were

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