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View Sample Pages : Atlas London Middlesex, February 17, 1838

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Atlas (Newspaper) - February 17, 1838, London, Middlesex ^ iSettet^al ^t^ipK^tx mtf $onvnul of muvatuvt. ON THE LABGESt SHEET PRINTED. No. 614. Vol. XIII] SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1838 r early edition in time for post. THB ATLAS OF THIS Politician ........ 97 Eaat India and ColonW Atlai . 98 Imperial Parliament ... . .100 Foreign News . ... . . . 101' BriHihNewB ... . . . . 101 Ireland.........102 Xaw Report*........102 Omnium......... 102 Banking and Monetary Atlai . . 103 Weekly Retrospect of the Money Market . ..... 105 Saturday. .........105 Leading Artidea .. -. ... .105 .Theatrlcil�,r. ..... . .105 . UtBBATVBE. Kamitive of the Retldehcei of the PertUul'Priti'., . . . . .107 ' Warner Arundel . . ,107 DAY CONTAINS :- The. Poetical Worki of Thomaj Prin^le........107 The Elopement.....; 108 Tales and' Sketches of the Scottish Peasantry.......108 The Poetical Works of Robert Southey........108 A Popular Catechism of the British Constitution. . . . . .108 An Historical SkeUh of the Royal Exchange.. . . . . . . .108 Music and Musiciians......108 Literary and Scientific Institutions. .........110 Universities ........110 Army..........110 Gazeitesi. . . .\.....110 Births, Marriages, and Deaths .110 The Markets ~.......110 Advertisements . . . . . . 110 THE POLITICIAN. TRADES' UNIONS. Times-The motion of Mr. Wakley for a mitigation of the punishment of the Glasgow cotton-spinners, who are sentenced to transportation for seven years for their outrages upon their non-comhining fellow-labourers came on on, Monday night in the House of Commons, and, mis-, chievous as in itself it must have been considered by every Well-wisher of the industrious classes, it was yet, by the turn of the debate, converted into an instrument of what we . trust will be eventual good-rra committee of general inquiiy into the nature and character-of the trades' unions. His opening speech was not easily followed. It dealt with questions of law, and evidence, and form of trial, of all of whiph it evinced ail entire ignorance; and it rambled &om particulars to generals, and firom generals back again to particulars, interspersing both with matterwhich would have been highly innammatory but for its exceeding triteness. He began by presenting a, variety of petitions, [ chiefly from persons of the classes least informed and InpLOst mistaken upon, such i subjects; and then inveighed . against the course pursued by the prosecution. A reward of 600/. had been offered for evidence, which he thought  destructiv^Of,jthe ciredibilibpf of the witnesses. Persons ; whp jli^en^^ they nught-bfe caUpd (m to ser;ve \on me^^wtyija^^ that the prisoners would ' challenge them/ ^^gihg that their minds were too much  prejudiced by adverse reports to do justice to the defence: from which he, ipferrftd, that the jury had been unduly biassed. The origitwl indictident had been withdrawn, and another substituted: and all this to the great delay of the trial, and for the purpose, as he intimated upon a, noble and lekrhed lord's authority, of hidmg or patching-some defect in that doctunent. Witneisses' had tieen allot^e^ItO prejudice the ca3e by talking of outrages previously committed: a^i^d,of those -nidtQesses there, were four, who had,been kept for some time before the trial in one room, where they may be supposed to have had ainp^^ opportunity of vamping their story together. Of the ' twelve counts in the indictnieiit, they w(ere found guilty upon only three, and sentenced tO^.transportation, the legality of which Mr Waklev was disposed to question, as well as the expressions of the judges on the trial. The - pperatiyes were, in his opinion, (and in that particular he i^iBOt.riiistaken,) entitled to copiibiire, and to lay by their tva;ges for the support! combination. Trades' � unions were tolei^ted in other classes of life, and why not intheir�? The combination of the landed interest to maintain'the corn laws was a tr&de union. The concert by wMch; Mr. Harvey was excluded from the bar was a trade union. This association of the spinners had been said to be" cemented, by some secret oatn. If this were true, which, however, he doubted, it was ncTmore than had been passed over in the instance of the Orange lodges. The Orange lodg;es had tiever been made the subjecte of prosecution, though iheir aims were decidedly politick. This analogy between the cotton-spinners and the Orangemen occupied a very large portion of Mr. Wakley's speech; but we own we were quite "Unable to apprehend it. He concluded by saying that he would noi persist in moving an address to the crown for mitigation; but he should persevere in the other branch of his motion, which sought a committee to inquire into the nature and objects of the Cotton Spinners' Association; aiid he did so in the hope that until such committee should have reported, the individuals sentenced to transportation would be retaihedih this country. The Lord-Advocate answered this speech, in most of those points which would have been materiiil if true. He justified the reward of 6.00/. by the diflibulty of procuring'testimony in the face of the powerful couspiiracy which was at work to deter all informants. Theletteirs of the applicants who requested to be omitted from .^^e jury, he referred to the natural indisposition of the writers to serve in ^ case which was expected to occupy an unusual length of time, and had in fact consumed eight days. Practically, the prisoners had enjoyed every advantage with respect to the jury: they had exercised all their challenges, while not one individual was challenged by the crown. In the rules of Scotch law, requiring confirmation of a witness, and a delivery to the prigoi^ers of a copy of the indictment and a list of the witnesses, they enjoyed yet further advantages. It was true that these particular prisoners had not been proved to be present when the pnncipal offences were committed against the dwellings and persons of their fellow-labourers ; but having been proved to have conspired for the purpose of procuring the crime, they w^re only the more mischievous if they nad the craft to conceal themselves, and put forward otheir and weaker instruments to perpetrate the actual violence. The confinement of the witnesses in one room was undoubtedly to be regretted; but the crowded state of the gaols had made it unavoidable. The sentence of transportation was strictly legal according to the code of Scotland; and as to the flaw in the indictment, it existed only in the imagination of the noble and learned baron, to whom the Lord-Advocate said, and with some warmth, that he would not yield in point of veracity and straightforward dealing, however unable to complete with him inability, The judges were not, in the Lord-Advocate's opinion, at all obnoxious to the censures thrown out^gainst their language; and he quoted, from the address of the Court in pronouncing sentence, an admirable passage, in which the judge, after admitting the fright of the operatives to combine, and explaining to them that it was not this combination which constituted their crime, proceeded to enforce the culpability of that which was really their offence-^the selfish and unjust attempt to deprive their fellow men of that liberty which belongs to each, of selling his labour oh his own terms. Sir Edward Sugden concurred in the opinions of the Lord-Advocate as tome fairness of the trial and the justiipe of the sentence. He enlarged upon the mischievous tendency of these conspiracies, and pointed out that no less than 11,000^. had been spent by the association in hiriiigruflians to intimidate, damage, and destroy; and dwelt on the murder of a poor man named Smith, who was shot in the back one evening, onhisretum with his wife fronimarkettoward their home, for no other offence than his refusal to- quit his master at the mandate of the conispirators.. Sir Edward rejected as a calumny'an imputation thrown out by Mr. Wakley, that the higher classes ha:d no sjrmpathy with the working people. Mr. O'Connellmovea^ as an amendment, that the committee should ts&e a wider scope; and inquire into the nature and infiueii^e of trades' unions in general. He explairiedthe view^;i)irM^^ him to the course he had lately/?idoptedj p^i tins .sultject in^ Dublin^ There the principle of ^mressivecomMnationi was displaying itself m violence anasoloodshed, and pro-; ducingthe most injtirious effecti^ to^the' operatives themselves, as well as to their einployersi'^^'A]^^^ thdiight, wece free to combine ^ but becaiaie ci^pinal w^ien they^ attempted to force their coxnbinatiQni.updniheir neighbours. This just distinction was not understood in Dublin. The artizans had rules forbidding^ their ass6ciates to work for! less than a stated price; the'effectpif which was to givie; too much to the bad workmim, andrtpp^'^l^^ tlie good one. They obli|redflie employer tp^talE&^e men a^ ing to the order in which the n{une� of those wanting work; were inscribedin a book keptforthepui^ose. If amSster obtained a profitable contract, a few of his worknieh coni-pelled the rest to strike unless their,y ages were raised to fulfil it. The result was to drive em,ployment and capital from Dublin to places less vexed by. such machinations. There was a striking example in the migration of the ship-building business, which had wholly quitted Dublin, and in the tailoring trade, where the, charges had been so much enhiEmced that any yonn^ inan of the middle class wanting a suit of clothes found It cheapen to take a trip by the steam-boat to Qlasgow and fit himself there, than to employ a tailor of his native metropolis. THE BALLOT. ; Morning Chronicle--Mr. Grote'a motion fo;r the adoption of the ballot in the election of members of Parliament comes on for discussion this (Thursday) evening. We, of course, know what the result will be, and the only point of doubt is the proportion which the minority will bear to the majority. What the Tories, by way of odium, call secret voting," and what unquestionably merits so to be called, for secret voting istneVery principle and foundation of the hdllot, has been growing for some years in public estimation, but especially siiice the last election, when coercion, intimid^tjo^, and ih^u^nce were employed more or less in nearly every place where there was a contest ; and the question is, whether giving voters the means of exercising their franchise in seeret wUl not greatiy diminish, if not entirely put an end^to^ the evil. The opponents of the ballot cpiitehd in Amtn� that secrecy m voting is impossible. Why ? < They answer that electors cannot keep their own coiamsiel-T-that they will be sure to tell for which candidate they ^ have^ polled. Ninety-nine may not care whether the fact is or is not known; but if the hundredth man can prevent it from going beyond Jiis own breast, supposing him to be determined to conceal it, the object is accomphsbed. The. hundredth man may be thej^oor tenant-at-will or the shopkeeper, who is at the mercy of his powerful landlord brliis rich customer, and his living mw depend upon beihg able to keep his vote unknown. Therefore the question resolves itself into this -r-Is it possible to adopt any mechanical contrivance so fitted to the purpose that the elector may give his suffrage conscientiously, and, if he thinks fit, defy the world to discover which way he has voted ? This will only be denied by such as are driven to a desperate extremity for an argument on which to found their resistance, and we undertake that they shall be confiited by a house-carpenter. Mr. Grote has shown that it is easily practicable, and for ourselves we say that if it were not we should be ready at once to give up the question. We should consider the objectioii fetal; it would no longer be " secret voting," but voting that may or may not be secret according to circumstances, ; and the opponents of the system, in denominating it "secret voting," admit ex vi terminorum that discovery cannot be made. It either is or is not secret voting: if it be, that is all we want; and if it be not, we confess the whole project futile.*^ It may be contended that some good would be done by partial secrecy. Partial secrecy is no secrecy: it is a contradiction in terms; or admitting for a moment what is meant by those who use the words, we say that the secrecy which depends upon the indifference, carelessness, or want of watchfulness in an adversary is not worth having: it is worse than the present mode of polling, for it would,have such evils as some people argue belong to secret voting, with none of its unquestionable advantages. Besides, the negligence of the opposite party in such a case is the thing to be reckoned upon. Not a few who allow that,a mecnanical contrivance may be resorted to, which. wiU defeat all the eager prying of the most lynx-eyed enemy at an election, stiU argue Qiat, although secrecy is possible, it is in the highest degree improbable. Take it so; that is all we want; we ask no more than a method of giving the suffrage by which an electoi" may conceal his vote if he be reoivea to do so. How many may avail themselves of this strict secrecy we know not; but we insist upon it that the electors of the United Kingdom ought to have the choice of protection if they think they need it. We are not surprised that large landed proprietors and others cf wealth and influence should be opposed to the.balldt; but the more strongly they resist its adoption the more convinced are we that they are afraid it will uhderinine their power, ^nd we contend that for this very reason it ought to be madejpart of the law -of the land. If we saw the Tories indifferent on the subject-if they were lukewaiin in their opposition, or were, in a manner, silently consenting parties to the experiment of the ballot, we own that we might take the alarm, and be^n to fancy that we were linder ia. delusion as to its effects ih libehiting constituent cies from their thraldom. We should be iapprehensive ,that the Tories believed that the ballot would rather play their gaine than defeat it: But when wfe fittd/ year aftei year, that they resist it with all their energies-that they disp![ay towards it the ihost deadly anifiiosityr-tl^at t^ey dehciuiice it in eveiy ppissible Way, andthat With unabatr ing industry they furbish up all sorts, of arguments, good^ bad, and mdijQferent, plausible, ^pitiable, or desperate, iagaiiftst it, w;e cannot nelp being persuaded that, inde-p^ideni%. of omc p facts and reason- ^ing,-this very circumstance forms a most excellent ground forstrehupiislyisupportingit. "But|(say the'opj^onents of the baUot) what a uiseiess piece of machiheiy is this I What ido y^ to^ g:ain by it, even if ^pu obtain se- xMeyi?;^ You tjupfciof coercion and cruelty, but will they not bejpraetised just as much- after the ballot las before itP" We answeri no. Prone as the Tones may: be to coinpel their vassals to vote, or to punish them for not voting the right way-little as they may scruple On the score of justice or humanity to inflict vengeance for disr obedience, they cannot do it upon bare suspicion, especially when it involves, as it inevitably will, whole classes in the imaginary guilt. The most malignant villain ever created by tne imagination of a poet exclaims. But I for mere lutpldon in tbat kind . WUldo uifforiaretyi and do the opponents of the ballot mean to argue that the Tories would act upon the same principlev and adopt ithe same rule of conduct ? But admtting; that tijgy^^^^^^ *' their fears wonft let them," and their selfish inteifist^ stand in their way. Whatever may have been dpJ^e' in Ireland, in this country la!ndlords cannot dnyeputjw^^ bodies of tenantry because they have voted according^ to their consciences; and if public opinion did not restrain them, their priy^iei purses Would. A goGd liSiidiprd, after the introducrionuof the ballot, will still preserve -his influence aniohghis dependents-with him j^iPperty w have its true and legitimate weight: he may; depend upon the suffrages of his tenants whenever a higher dii^ty apes not govern them, and when it do?s hewlu be the last to visit them with consequences. It is the main excellence of the ballot that it protects the voter from the bad man's vengeance, and wlien once it is established we shall soon hear no more of intimidation before an election^ or of suffering after it. Let the comparative numbers on Mr. Grote's motion be what they may, sure we are that ere long we shall see it;carried, and carried by such a majority, that the House of Lords will not be able to resist the change. The country calls fo^ it-voters, where they dare speak out, in all quarters and in all circumstances, require it as a necessary safeguard; and of late numerous meetiiigs have been held at which petitions to Parliairi(?at;hav9 been agreed to demanding that the Reform Bill shall'thus berendljred effectual for its objects. If members of the House of Commons could see their real interests arigrht, they would not hesitate to make this concession, which in ^ pecuniary point of view would effect a most import-^ saving, would do away with all the illegal expenses elections, render the disgusting toil of a canvass needle and spare the enormous and often ungovernable cost cc| sequent upon election*petitions. We say nothing of t|S demoralization of the people caused by the corruptiw practised under the existing systein.- - M ;