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mitted on the persons or property of citizens of the United States, consented to appoint a successor to Mr. Raguet. Pedro thus narrowly escaped drawing upon himself the resentment of the United States, at a time, when a war with this country must very speedily have resulted in his total ruin.
Of events in PARAGUAY, and of the proceedings of its singular rulers, during the last years, no authentic information has met our notice. Rengger's lately published historical essay, on the revolution in that country, and on the dictatorial government of Francia, contains, it is true, many curious de. velopements concerning the recent political condition of Paraguay. But his account terminates in the year 1825, so far as it is founded upon his own personal knowledge. Nothing is correctly known of the actual state of affairs, except that the same system, which has hitherto distinguished Francia's govern.
ment, of interdicting communication between Paraguay and the neighbouring provinces, still remains in full vigour. It now ap. pears, that the power which he attained through artifice and treache ry, is maintained by the unrelenting policy of sheer military despot. ism. It further appears, that the statement which has been generally circulated, and generally belie ved, and which we mentioned in the preceding volume, that Francia had resigned in favour of a certain marquis de Guarany, was the fabri. cation of a Spanish adventurer, assuming that name, who appeared in Madrid, pretending to be the envoy of the dictator, and invented the story for some private ends of a questionable character. It is probable, therefore, that Francia continues to rule over the citizens of Assumption with a rod of iron, and still plays the petty tyrant in the wilds of Paraguay.
Great Britain.-New Parliament-King's Speech-Indemnity to Minis. ters-Joint Stock Companies-Aid to Portugal-Death of the Duke of York-Parliament re-assembles-Mr. Peel's Bills for amending Criminal Laws-Catholic Question—Amendment of the Corn LawsSickness of Lord Liverpool—Mr. Canning appointed Premier-Resig. nation of six Cabinet Ministers-New Appointments-Popularity of Mr. Canning-The Cabinet Organized-Parliament in May-Debates in the House of Commons on the Ministry-And in the House of LordsMr. Canning's Situation-Coalition with the Whigs-Mr. Canning's Budget-Bill for amending the Corn Laws-Disfranchisement of Penryn-Parliament Prorogued-Treaty for the settlement of Greece— Death of Mr. Canning-His Character-Lord Goderich's Ministry— Conclusion.
We resume the history of GREAT BRITAIN, at the period when the newly elected parliament assembled the first time for the despatch of business, on the 14th day of November, 1826. It was summoned to meet at this early period, in order to obtain an act of indemnity for the ministers, who, alarmed by the prospect of a deficiency in the crops, had authorized the importation of certain kinds of grain, with out waiting until it rose to the quarterly average price, when the importation could be legally permitted. On the appointed day, about one hundred members of the new house of commons, appeared
at the bar of the house of lords, and received the direction of the Lord Chancellor, as one of the royal commissioners, that they should proceed forthwith to the election of a speaker. The commons accordingly repaired to their own house, and unanimously re-elected to the chair Mr. Manners Sutton, the speaker of the house in the preceding parliament. The next day, the speaker being presented to the royal commissioners, was approved in the name of the king; and craving it in the customary form, re. ceived assurance of the ancient rights and privileges of the English commons. A week was occupied
in swearing in the members; and it was not until the 21st, that the king proceeded to the house of peers, and opened the new parlia ment in person with a speech from the throne, which will be found among the public documents.
Addresses in answer to the speech were carried in both houses, the opposition adopting the occasion, as usual, to criticise the expressions of the speech itself, and to condemn the policy and intentions of the ministry as unfolded by it. Nothing of any consequence took place until the 24th of November, when the house hav. ing resolved itself into committee, to take into consideration the corn acts; Mr. Husskisson explained the circumstances which produced the order in council permitting the importation of grain. During the month of August and early in September, the prospect of a failure in the crops of oats, beans, and peas, had been most alarming. The accounts received at that time respecting potatoes, had also excited the most serious apprehen. sions. Nothing, indeed, but the rains which followed, could have preserved Ireland from the calamity of a famine. The appearance of the harvest abroad too, was unpromising. In these difficult cir. cumstances, Mr. Huskisson said, the minister who should have hesitated to advise the admission of foreign grain, would have deserved
neither the favour of the monarch, nor that fair and liberal confidence, which is reposed in the servants of the crown, while parliament is not sitting. No wise and patriotic minister could for an instant hesitate to choose between a breach of the law on the one hand, or the risk, nay, the certainty, of famine on the other. length into an exposition of the circumstances connected with the orders, and its effects, and concluded with moving two resolutions, one declaratory of the opinion of the committee, that the parties advising the order in council, and acting under the same, should be indemnified; and the other recommending that the admission of foreign grain be permitted, on pay. ment of the duties specified in the orders. The proposed resolutions experienced no serious opposition from any quarter; and a bill introduced in conformity with them passed both houses, without any particular notice.
He entered at some
Of the few other topics discussed at this session, previous to the consideration of the affairs of Portugal, the only important one related to the joint stock companies, which had so seriously affected the monied interest of the kingdom. On the 23d of November, the house being about to resolve itself into a committee of supply, Mr. Brogden, who had been chairman of that committee for many years, declin.
ed the honour of a re-election at present, in consequence of his character having been publicly assailed, on account of certain transactions of the directors of a company formed for purchasing and working the iron mines of Arigna. The persons who originated the speculation, and who obtained, the direction of it, had contracted to pay £10,000 for the mines, and charged them to the share-holders as having cost £25,000, thus making a clear gain of £15,000, which they divided among themselves and their dependants. Mr. Brog. den had suffered his name to be used as one of the directors; and of course, became indirectly impliIcated in these nefarious transactions. In the debates upon the address, alderman Waithman took occasion to refer to Mr. Brogden's connexion with these frauds, and expressed a design of opposing his re-election to the chair of the committee, until the affair was explained to the public satisfaction. Mr. Brogden stated at the time, that in fact he never had any actual participation in the concerns of the company, being nominally only one of the directors, and averred his total ignorance of the improper proceedings; in confirmation of which assertions, he referred to the report of a committee of the injured share-holders, who not only fully acquitted him, but declared that he had conducted throughout with
strict honour and integrity. Their opinion had afterwards been ratified, by four or five general meetings of the share-holders. But having been assailed by calumnies and aspersions the most unjustifiable and unfounded, and having his conduct even called in question in the house, he felt it his duty to demand an investigation; and until that was over, he would not offer himself to the house as a candidate for the committee's chair.
Alderman Waithman now testified no great readiness to propose the inquiry, which he had threatened. Members complaining of this procedure as unfair, the alder. man at last brought forward a motion on the 5th of December, "that a select committee be appointed to inquire into the origin, the management, and the present state of the joint stock companies, formed during the years 1824, 1825, and 1826, and to report on the same, together with any special matter touching any member of the house." Mr. Brogden himself seconded the motion.
Mr. Canning, however, objected to the extent of the proposed inquiry, which would have the ef fect of destroying the very object of the investigation. He therefore moved an amendment, limiting the committee specially to the manage. ment of the Arigna Mining Company. Mr. Huskisson also took part in the debate, for the purpose of vindicating joint stock compa
nies, from the unmeasured condemnation pronounced against them by alderman Waithman. Mr. Huskisson said, that on all proper occasions he had been ready to express his disapprobation of the bubbles of the last two years, ephemeral schemes fraught with fraud and delusion in many instances, and in others with obvious risk and hazard. But it ought to be the policy of the law, he maintain. ed, to encourage joint stock companies; it was a mischievous error to attempt to dissuade persons from engaging in them, or to take away their character; and when embark ed in properly and fairly, they were beneficial to the public interests and fraught with great pub. lic advantages. So far was it from being true, that mining, carried on by joint stock companies was a thing of recent date, that there had not been a mine worked in the country, time out of mind, except by means of joint stock companies; and without the formation of such companies those mines would not have been explored. Many of the great works in England, which distinguished it from other countries, advanced its commerce, and in creased its general wealth, were undertaken by joint stock companies, and successfully managed, so far as the public interest was concerned. A greater illusion, he inferred, could not exist, than to cry down joint stock companies of every description, as positive
This debate re
and public evils. sulted, as we might suppose, in the adoption of Mr. Canning's amend. ment in place of the original mo. tion.
But the most important business of the session, indeed the only important one, was the king's mes. sage respecting Portugal. desire of the minister to obtain indemnity for violating the corn laws, appeared hardly adequate cause for specially assembling parliament previous to christmas; and the session was passing off, having afforded little to interest the public, when, upon the 11th of December, at the very eve of adjournment, to the astonishment of the people at large, Mr. Canning, in the house of commons, presented the following message, one of the like tenor being at the same time, presented in the house of lords by earl Bathurst:
"His majesty acquaints the house of commons, that his majesty has received an earnest application from the princess regent of Portugal, claiming, in virtue of the ancient obligations of alliance and amity subsisting between his majesty and the crown of Portugal, his majesty's aid against a hostile aggression from Spain.
"His majesty has exerted himself for some time past, in conjunction with his majesty's ally, the king of France, to prevent such an aggression; and repeated assurances have been given by the court of Madrid, of the determination of his