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degree to be connected with the people. It was the es→ sence of the constitution that the people had a share in the government by the means of representation; and its excellence aud permanency was calculated to consist in this representation having been designed to be equal, easy, practicable, and complete. When it ceased to be so, when the representative ceased to have connection with the constituent, and was either dependent on the Crown, or the Aristocracy, there was a defect in the frame of representation, and it was not innovation, but recovery of constitution, to repair it.


He would not in the present instance call to their view, or endeavour to discuss the question, whether this species of reform, or that, whether this suggestion, or that, was the best; and which would most completely tally and square with the original frame of the constitution it was simply his purpose to move for the institu tion of an inquiry, composed of such men as the House should in their wisdom select, as the most proper, and the best qualified for investigating this subject, and making a report to the House of the best means of carrying into execution a moderate and substantial reform of the representation of the people. Though he would not press apon their consideration any proposition whatever, he should still think it his duty to state some facts and circumstances, which, in his idea, made this object of reform essentially requisite. He believed, however, that even this was unnecessary; for there was not a gentleman in the house, who would not acknowledge with him, that the representation, as it now stood, was incomplete. It was perfectly understood, that there were some boroughs absolutely governed by the treasury; and others totally possessed by them. It required no experience to say, that such boroughs had no one quality of representation


in them they had no share nor substance in the general interests of the country; and they had in fact no stake for which to appoint their guardians in the popular assembly. The influence of the treasury in some boroughs was contested, not by the electors of these boroughs, but by some one or other powerful man who assumed, or pretended to, an hereditary property of what ought only to be the rights and privileges of the electors. The inte rests of the treasury were considered as well as the interests of the great man, the lord, or the commoner, who had connection with the borough; but the interests of the people, the rights of the electors were the only things that never were attended to, nor taken into the account. Would any man say, that in this case, there was the most distant idea or principle of representation? There were other boroughs which had now in fact no actual exist tence, but in the return of members of the House. They had no existence in property, in population, in trade, in weight. There were hardly any men in the borough who had a right to vote; and they were the slaves and subjects of a person who claimed the property of the borough, and who in fact made the return. This also was no repre

Another set of boroughs

sentation, nor any thing like it. and towns in the lofty possession of English freedom elaimed to themselves the right of bringing their votes to market. They had no other market, no other property, and no other stake in the country than the property and price which they procured for their votes, Such boroughs were the most dangerous of all others. So far from consulting the interests of the country in the choice they made, they held out their borough to the best purchaser, and in fact they belonged more to the Nabob of Arcot, than they did to the people of Great Britain. They were cities and boroughs most within the jurisdiction of


of the Carnatic than the limits of the empire of Great Britain; and it was a fact pretty well known and generally understood, that the Nabob of Arcot had no less than seven or eight members in that house. Such boroughs, then, were the sources of corruption: they gave rise to an inundation of corrupt wealth and corrupt members, who had no regard nor connection either for or with the the people of this kingdom. It had always been considered, in all nations, as the greatest source of danger to a kingdom, when a foreign influence was suffered to creep into the national councils. The fact was clear, that the influence of the nabobs of India was great: why then might not their imaginations point out to them another. most probable circumstance that might occur, the danger of which would be evident, as soon as mentioned. Might not a foreign state in enmity with this country, by means of these boroughs, procure a party of men to act for them under the mask and character of members of that House? Such a cabal was more to be dreaded than any other; and this, among other domestic evils, was to be apprehended from the present incomplete and improper form of representation. How many other circumstances were there, under which the various descriptions of boroughs in this kingdom were influenced and seduced from their real and direct duty?

Having mentioned these facts, by which experience came in aid of reason, to convince him of the inadequacy of representation, he conceived it would be perfectly needless for him to enter into any argument to prove the necessity that there was for a reform in this particular. He was convinced that every gentleman would acknowledge the truth of the fact, however they might differ about the means of accomplishing it; or about the delicacy with which they ought to meddle in any shape with


the constitution. He begged leave to. say, that there was not a man in that House, who had more reverence for the constitution, and more respect, even for its vestiges than himself.-But he was afraid that the reverence and enthusiasm, which Englishmen entertained for the constitution, would, if not suddenly prevented, be the means of destroying it; for such was their enthusiasm, that they would not even remove its defects, for fear of touching its beauty. He admired the one so much, so great was his reverence for the beauties of that constitution, that he wished to remove those defects, as he clearly perceived that they were defects which altered the radical principles of the constitution, and it would not be innovation, as he had said, but recovery of the constitution, to remove them gentlemen were ready to acknowledge the truth of this; but they stopped from the difficulty of accomplishing the necessary reform. Many propositions had been made from different quarters towards this great national object. In particular it had been said, that the purity and independence of Parliament would be the most easily accomplished, and the most effectually, by anihilating the corrupt influence of the crown. This he was

ready to acknowledge as a great, and powerful means of restoring independency and respect to parliament; and he was happy to see, that under the present ministry the corrupt influence of the crown would not be exerted. It might therefore be said with truth, that now the injurious, corrupt, and baneful influence of the crown was no more. Its effect would not be felt during the ministry of a set of men who were the friends of constitutional freedom. But it was the duty of parliament to provide for the future, and to take care that in no time this secret and dark system should be revived, to contaminate the fair, and honorable fabric of our government. This influence was of

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the most pernicious kind; and at all times had been pointed to as the fertile source of all our miseries. It had been substituted in the room of wisdom, of activity, of exertion, and of success. It was but too naturally connected with the extensive limits of our empire, and with the broad and great scale upon which its operations were conducted. It had been truly said of this corrupt influence, That it had grown with our growth, and strengthened with our strength.' Unhappily, however, for this country, it had not decayed with our decay, nor diminished with our decrease. It bore no sympathy, nor connection with our falling state; but notwithstanding the mad impolicy of a ministry who had contracted the limits of the empire, this corrupt influence was still found to exist in all its strength, and had supported that ministry for a length of years, against all the consequences of a mischievous system and a desolated empire. He thanked Heaven, that we had now an administration who placed their dependence on a more honorable basis, and who conceived nothing to be more necessary or essential to the permanent interests of their country, than the total overthrow and extinction of this influence.

It had been thought by some, that the best means of effecting a more near relation between the representatives and the people was to take from the decayed and corrupt boroughs a part of their members, and add them to those places which had most interest and stake in the country. Another mode of making the connection between the representative and constitution more lively and intimate, was to bring the former more frequently before the electors by shortening the duration of Parliament. But all these propositions he would beg leave, for the present, to omit entirely; and to deliver the matter to the committee to be chosen, free from all suggestions whatever, that they

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