« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
because the indomitable energy and intelligent will /resentatives ; that the primary duty of the house of England, unabated, will renew in 1850 the Eng- of coinmons is the superintendence of taxation ; land of 1849, until that indomitable energy and that when it neglects this duty, it not only abrointelligent will have, in thorough comprehension gates its function, but runs counter to the first and full possession of grasp, a better, higher, and principle of its existence ; and that when it promore powerful England to replace that mighty ceeds so far as to tax posterily in perpetuity, concrete thing which goes by the glorious name, or even the next generation, it does what it has and has been renewed in like manner by like no right to do, and its acts are not binding. powers from year to year. That is the true national immortality, the true organic stability
At the present day, there is no less disputed or change neutralized by likeness. There may be disputable fact than the exclusive responsibility of
that house to vote the public taxes from year to sceptics, fanatics in the dogma of modern com- year. This is its indefeasible and inalienable inmercialism, who would sell the institutions of heritance and function, so long as the laws, rights, England for a year's contents of the till; but and constitution of England stand ; so long as king, happily, a stronger and more generous spirit sub-(or queen,) lords, and commons, are venerated. Bists in the country, which sees in her destiny To preserve this right intact for its successors, more than repudiation can purchase, and will con- may almost be called the primary constitutional tinue to pay the large tribute of justice, unbroken duty of the lower house. faith, and national stability, until the tribute shall thing so traitorous as to pass a bill for vesting in
If an English house of commons could do any be fairly and wisely redeemed.
the crown or the ministers-either forever, or only during the next session of Parliament—the right of
national taxation, such a bill would be a gross and From the Spectator.
indefensible usurpation, and overthrowing of the NEWMAN ON THE NATIONAL DEBT. * fundamental law of the land, which, while it bids
Parliament to exist, defines also the functions of This tract is entitled to more notice than pam- Parliament. Every house of commons is appointed phlets usually receive, not only for its literary to definite duties during its own term of existence ; merits, but for the precise logic and lofty tone but as it is not self-originated, nor self-invested with which it advocates doctrines respecting the with power, so neither can it forbid successors to national debt that if advanced in an impudent arise, or divest them of their legitimate powers. manner and a vulgar style would have been scouted
If the constitutional rights of future parliaments as downright dishonesty and “ Yankee Repudia- national settlement, not by an ordinary process of
are to be lessened, it must be by an extraordinary tion.” The Constitutional and Moral Right or intra-parliamentary legislation. Accordingly, it Wrong of the National Debt is an addition to the would be resented as an extravagant usurpation, if instances which meet the eye in various directions, the Parliament of 1850 were to enact a complete of men with unquestionable integrity, high aspira- schedule of the taxes which shall be levied in tions, and great acquirements, boldly breaking lence to the constitution as if the lords or the
the year 1870. This would be as truly a violoose from old conventional opinions, as well in
queen were to vote the taxes instead of the comreligion as in politics and social ethics. A time,
mons : and, in fact, it might be used as successit is to be suspected, is coming, when something fully for despotic purposes. The laudable desire more than “institutions" will be 66 put upon of consulting the personal dignity and domestic trial ;” and that trial cannot be staved off by trite independence of our sovereigns, has indeed led rhetoric, official routine, or the sheer abuse of Parliament to infringe the strict limit of its power party disputants.
so far as to settle the civil list prospectively during The arguments of Mr. Newman are logical if dangerous, if a totally new spirit had not come into
an entire reign ; but even this would be extremely confined within themselves ; but we look upon his
our sovereigns since the house of Stuart was disarguments as of far less consequence than the fact carded. of his producing and publishing them. There So much the more amazing is it that any minisare many things in life where argument avails ter under such a constitution should ever have un'ittle. It is not argument that induces men to dertaken to mortgage for present uses the incommarry, or to fight a duel, or volunteer on a forlorn ings from perpetual future taxation. He who asks hope, or occupy a post under which is a mine that a loan, cannot offer as security something which is
not in his right or possession. If a British chanthey know is going to be sprung; the mass of cellor of the exchequer, on contracting a loan, were mankind may be said to be inaccessible to argu-to guarantee repayment from a tax on the province ment. Argument, indeed, in conjunction with of New York, it cannot be doubted that the govcircumstances, may form the opinion that induces ernment of the United States would resent it, as a action ; but when the debt has nothing to depend direct claim on our part to the sovereignty of New upon but argument, funds ought to be below
York. No less distinctly, if the same chancellor
par. Mr. Newman's fundamental position is a con- sand pounds in the year 1850, shall receive forty
proclaim-"Whosoever will pay me down a thoustitutional one-that an Englishman can only be pounds every year forever out of the taxes which taxed by his own consent, given through his rep- shall be henceforward voted, as, in particular, in *On the Constitutional and Moral Right or wrong of and taking away from the Parliament of 1860, the
the year 1860”—will he be assuming for himself, our National Debt. By Francis W. Newman, formerly Fellow of Baliol College, Oxford. Published by Taylor, authority to tax or not to tax in that year? Nor Walton, and Maberly.
does it avail to say that the minister did it by the advice of Parliament; for as no existing house can served that a very constitutional spirit prompted deprive its successors of indefeasible rights, the the creation. Our ancestors revolted and fought house will be committing usurpation as much as
to avoid taxes; their successors borrow. ihe minister. It cannot be denied that one extreme case would
But, without a joke, there is something higher justify such a stretch of power ; viz., if the state and better in life than law and logic. Permanence were driven to choose whether the present Parlia- and security are the main elements of national ment or some foreign invader should preoccupy our existence; and if Mr. Newman's low Radical .constitutional hts. To save the permanent rights argument, loftily revived, is to be pushed as far of our successors, some temporary encroachment as it will go, there will not be much of either. on those liberties may be allowed. If the kingdom Honor, character, and public faith, are matters 10 is assailed by formidable enemies who threaten its be struggled for, even at the expense of inconsubversion-if the means of repelling them cannot be raised by any immediate taxation—if present venience or pressure. Necessity, indeed, has no supplies are required, which can only be had from law, and not much sense of anything ; and necesabroad—if the lenders are not contented without a sity at some time or other may induce a national guarantee of longer payments than can fall within bankruptcy ; but it will be the growing poverty of the few years of the existing Parliament—the com- the country that will render arguments for this bination of extraordinary and overwhelming, diffi- bankruptcy palatable, not the arguments that will culties might justify some usurpation. applying this concession, every link in the chain induce the bankruptcy. Mr. Newman, indeed, of alleged necessity must be rigidly proved. The does not argue in favor of actual repudiation. It necessity must be real, urgent; untractable to ordi- is his professed object to guard against it by nary measures. An extraordinary process should sounding an alarm in time. be used—such as specially consulting the lordsin order to mark clearly that the commons does
The case then stands thus. We have a PRIMARY not affect to be acting within its ordinary constitu- duty of justice towards coming times, to leave off tional rights, as also to fence it off from the slip- the usurpation of their rights; we have a seconpery incline of usurpation ; and after the crisis is DARY duty of equity and expediency towards the passed, a bill of indemnity ought to be asked of public creditor, to pay him, if we can, twenty every future Parliament, through as many years shillings in the pound. Of these two duties, the as the encroachment touches. If, however, in first is to be performed at any rate ; the second, so result it appears that this illegitimate forestalling far as possible without violation of other equitics. of rights was ventured, not for home safety, but If it be really impossible, then, on every moral for foreign schemes-not in actual need or with ground, we are clear from fault in paying a peractual gain, but for future and cloudy hope-or centage only of the debt, and so terminating it. if the pecuniary means inight have been had by We may, however, treat it as perfectly certain, immediate taxation-and (what nearly amounts to that those who now cry out that greater economy proof of this) if the loan was not advanced from cannot be attained, and will hear of nothing but abroad, but (whosoever was the nominal contractor) perpetual dividends--if a new Parliament were to was ultimately taken up by English subjects--or, vote that constitutional right demands a terminaagain, if, by mere economizing the existing rev- tion of all payments for debt within thirty years' enue, resources might have been had without bor- time at farthest”- these same men would quickly rowing—it is manifest that a wholly needless and discover with Mr. Cobden, that ten millions a year therefore an utterly indefensible usurpation has can be saved out of our present expenditure, and that been perpetrated, for which the minister deserves nine of these millions should be added to the yearly to be called to severe account.
dividends, so as to pay off the whole debt in thirty But even if all the links of argument are sound, years. To fix sixty years (or two generations) for and we are forced to advise a breach of the consti- the limit of time, seems to me to be straining our tution, this will not suffice to justify any or every rights over posterity to the utmost; for to dictate breach.
to a third generation is monstrous.
Nothing but necessity could have justified our Logically the argument is sound enough, and predecessors in leaving us this debt ; yet no necesthe abstract principle of the exceptional case is tify us in transmitting it to our successors; yet no
sity existed. Nothing but necessity can now justrue enough, which Mr. Newman alone admits to necessity exists. It is not necessity, but pride, justify a debt. Both are too strict for practice. ambition, desire of patronage, or sinister private In war, we must do what we can ; a “ foreign interest, which keeps up the vast expenses of our invader” must be expelled, how we can.
Men colonial empire, and our army and navy. wisely part with a limb to save life, although the
The way to proceed in Parliament seems manioad condition of the limb may have been caused fest, viz., to press forwards a vote, that no payments by their own folly. The constitutional axiom is after January 1st, 1880 ; leaving the ministry to find
can be guaranteed for the debt after a fixed day-say, truly stated; but it originated in a dread that the out by what subsidiary measures they may then crown and its ministers might apply the taxes best reconcile the interests and the rights of the levied to purposes of tyranny, corruption, or waste. tax-payer and public creditor. Of course such a As regards the debt, this fear can have no place vote cannot be carried until there is force sufficient after it has once been created. In its original to displace one ministry and seat another ; but a contract there might be (as there generally was) very small energetic minority, by wielding at the
same time a declaratory law, such as was above corruption, and the money borrowed was often imagined, " that no Parliament has constitutional expended lavishly ; but the danger was not from power to dictate to its successors concerning the tho crown and the nobles. It may also be ob- laxes to be levied, &c.,” would excite so much
uneasiness and alarm in whigs or tories, that it distress, which morally was aggravated by the would before long be taken up as a ministerial
money, and which economically speaking was not measure. So great is the force of simple truth. Before sounder principle can become victorious, added to the debt from that deficiency of income
in the long run relieved. The precise amount another useful enactment might at once obtain favor with a generation that is accustomed to forestal- over expenditure which year after year has accomments. About one half of the terminable annui- panied whig management of the finances, is diffities will expire in 1860, and the rest will rapidly cult to tell, owing to a juggle with the Savings follow. May we not assume that a large inajority Banks and the absence of distinct record : it canin Parliament would assent to a prospective bill, not be much less than ten millions, it is probably enacting that the annual two, three, four millions,
Thus we have an addition of upwards of which will thus accrue to the exchequer, should not be remitted to the public, but applied to convert forty millions to the national debt during some a new portion of the debt into a terminable form? fifteen years of whig rule; for it is a remarkable If we wait till 1860, there will be far greater un- fact that when the whigs have been out of office willingness than now to pass such a bill. At the debt has been diminished. present to propose it needs little boldness; it will What renders this apathy to financial incapacity entail little loss of popularity with the mass of the and the increase of the public debt more remarkunthinking; and, if bronght forward by an unoffi- able is, that the case is not so hopeless as it might cial person, is not likely to meet strenuous ministerial opposition.
The payments on account of the whole
“ debt" for the year 1848 were about twenty-eight This proposal is a type of Mr. Newman's millions and a half; but of this nearly one sixth inind; which looks at logical theory rather than was not permanent. The perpetual annuities at what is practically wanted or attainable. It is were somewhat less than twenty-four millions ; the not acts of Parliament that we want, but a resolute interest on exchequer bills, 790,0001 ; the termiprinciple of action. If opinion remained as care- nable and life annuities, which drop at a fixed date, less about the matter as it is now, the law of 1850 or with the lives on which they are granted, would be abrogated in 1860, as analogous laws about 3,800,0001. The exchequer bills are as have been before. In fact, it is in the fillip this much a debt as any other, but they are as differpamphlet may give to public opinion on the subjectent as a business bill and a mortgage; nor can of the debt that its utility consists ; not in its they altogether be dispensed with. In the course argument upon the "right or wrong,” or in the of twenty years, the annual charge on account of author's parliamentary and financial suggestions. the debt would be reduced to about twenty-four Any unbiassed observer of public affairs will millions, if it were let alone, exclusive of any cheerfully go along with all Mr. Newman says on decrease by reduction of the interest, or purchases the profligacy shown by ministers and parliaments of stock from the surplus revenue.
Every year, in contracting the debt, and the apathy, to use the too, a self-acting process is going on to a varying mildest term, exhibited by the people. They but considerable amount. Any individual may may even go beyond him. In times of war, convert his permanent stock into an annuity on his especially against such opponents as Louis the own or anybody's life, the converter receiving Fourteenth, the Committee of Public Safety, and a larger annual income, which ceases altogether Napoleon Bonaparte, men act under a pressing when the “life drops.” And as government necessity, which urges them to do what they can, offers advantages and security beyond private comnot what they would. Under the tory govern- panies, a good trade is done in this way. There ments, after the peace, some reduction was made is of course no hocus-pocus saving by this mode : in both the capital and interest of the debt, by the debt is diminished by means of a larger annual reducing the dividends on the five and four per payment for a time; but the principle is self-actcents, and by keeping up for a short time an ing, and the weight unfelt, as the annual savings actual sinking-fund of three millions. During from dropped lives about balance the additions. Peel's last ministry, a large saving was made in If Mr. Cobden and the country will add a sinkinginterest by the reduction of the three and a half fund of one, two, or three millions a year, so per cents, and a trifling action on the principal much the better; the debt would be brought down by means of the sinking-fund available from his more quickly. But it is obvious, that if incalarge surplus revenue. The reforın parliaments, pable placemen are permitted to meet their diffithe reform and whig ministries, have been per- culties by " drawing” on the public credit, the mitted to add more to the debt than was added by debt will increase much faster than death and time the wars and victories of Marlborough, with little can diminish it. opposition, and nothing like a distinct protest It is on this ground that we chiefly attach imagainst the principle of their conduct. Parlia- portance to Mr. Newman's pamphlet. If his ment quietly voted, at ministerial bidding, twenty startling doctrines and powerful style should rouse millions for negro emancipation—and we all the attention of the public, and compel attention know what has come of that; it gave a million to to parliamentary and ministerial dealings with the the Irish parsons ; it saddled the country with the debt, he will have done the public a service. If guarantee of the “Greek loan,” which will most not, it is probable that some gloomy morning his probably turn out a couple of millions more. The conclusions may be carried out, whatever may be other day it recklessly voted ten millions for Irish I thought of his majors and minors.
From the Scotsman, December 12. i placed there by some of the police!" And all this, LAWYERS, CLIENTS, &c. (THIRD ARTICLE.] and much more, and much worse, is ratified by
such exclamations as merciful God," and hy solMR. CHARLES PHILLIPS—the unhappy man who emn and fervid references to “salvation," and "the lately, in his vanity or remorse, chose to revive the judgment-seat of God;" all uttered by one who memory and the proofs of the nine-years-old offence told the jury he spoke to them not as an Old Baiwhich, like everything belonging to him, had been ley barrister, a friend and fellow-Chrisalmost forgotten-has now pulled a double noose tian.” By what device will Mr. Phillips try to round his neck. It will be remembered that, in slip out of this additional noose ? Unfortunately the letter in which, at the evil solicitation of his for himself the reports, which thus bring down upon too kind friend Mr. Warren, he raked up his for- him a double condemnation, have their accuracy mer transgressions, he appealed to the report of vouched for, not only by one another, but by that Courvoisier's trial as given in the Times for a cor general certificate-granter, Mr. Charles Phillips. rect report of what he said, and a refutation of the In his letter he said—“ The Morning Chronicle, “slanders.” “To set this matter at rest,” said the Morning Herald, and the Morning Post fully he, “ I have referred to my address, as reported in corroborate the Times, if, indeed, such a journal the Times—a journal the fidelity of whose reports needed corroboration !” Yes, they “fully corrobowas never questioned.” Unfortunately, however, rate the Times," and Mr. Phillips must be very it was possible for other persons also to refer to the
sorry that they do. He must now set himself to report thus authenticated. The Examiner did so— get rid of their testimony, vouched for by himself, with the result, as we saw, of amply showing both in something of the same way as that by which he that Mr. Phillips was guilty of the offence origi- has got rid of the testimony of the Times, which nally laid to his charge, and of having resorted to was corroborated, not only by himself, but by that garbling in the hope of escape. Thus pinned down, of all the other papers, “if, indeed, such a journal Mr. Phillips now cries out that he has got foul needed corroboration.” Perhaps he has another play, because he has been falsely testified against- batch of legal friends ready to do for the Chronicle, by the very witness for whose accuracy he vouched. Herald, and Post, what Mr. Garde, on his faith Although he prudently pledged himself not to notice and word as a Christian,” has done for the Times any of the exposures which his letter might pro- -asseverate that all the reporters were wrong, voke, he has felt himself compelled so far to break and that the nine-years' memory of certain of Mr. his resolution as to publish a pamphlet, in which Charles Phillips' “ legal friends" is better evidence a number of “ legal friends” do what Mr. Phillips of what was said than all the different yet concursaid in his letter nobody ever did -question the ring reports which were taken and printed at the fidelity of the Times' reports, and especially declare moment, have stood unquestioned ever since, and that the particular report which, besides its unques- were vouched for no further gone than last week tionableness as being in the Times, received also by no less infallible an authority than Mr. Charles the high sanction of Mr. Phillips' special voucher, Phillips. Or perhaps the same Christian Garde is nothing but a mass of falsifications. The testi- and his confederates may, since they have gone so fiers are a band of nameless barristers, who testify far already, finish the job, and make clean work, evidently with much more zeal than knowledge, or anything but clean work, of the whole affair, particularly one Mr. Garde, who makes a solemn and of themselves. affirmation of all he knows and does not know But we should like here to raise a point which
upon his faith and word as a Christian.” But it is certainly high time to raise. Among the vathe avenger still follows. The Eraminer, who rious doctrines as to the limits of the license of the had accepted the Times' report on Mr. Phillips' bar—and we have not yet seen one so comprehenvoucher, now rejects it at his request—and takes sive but that it left Mr. Courvoisier Phillips standinstead the evidence, separate and conjoint, of all ing far on the outside—nothing is said affirming the other papers. The result is, that the con- that barristers in their proceedings out of court, demnation is more complete and crushing than even lirough those proceedings have reference to
Here are a few of those phrases of Mr. Phil. what may have taken place in court, are entitled lips' speech, as given in the reports of the other to use any other means, or to have these means morning papers, which in the Times were omitted tried by any other standard, than may be sanctioned or softened. Courvoisier (whom Mr. Phillips knew by the rules of common honesty and common sense. to be the murderer, and the sole murderer) is de- Tried thus, what becomes of all the vouchings, scribed as “the victim of an unjust and depraved and denials, and self-contradictions of Mr. Phillips conspiracy ;" “ the victim of the greatest deprav- and his legal friends ? Dr. Johnson, the very ity;"" the victim of a foul contrivance ;" " my laxest,, we think, of those who have expounded bar unfortunate client;" “ an unfortunate man ;' " a license--is quite clear on the point we allude to. man whom, I say, the conspirators seek to murder !" Boswell having asked (we quote from memory) if And the police are “ruffians," "miscreants,” there was not an immorality in the practice of barris" seeking to compass the death of their fellow-crea- ters speaking as if the man whom they knew to be a ture.” “I ask, who put the bloody gloves and the criminal was innocent? the reply was in substance, bloody handkerchiefs into the box of the prisoner? that there was nothing immoral in the matter, beI say, openly and fearlessly, that the articles were cause, as everybody knew the barrister to be paid for saying what he said, his word went for nothing. I to the case, than because we looked upon him as an The humble inquirer ventured to ask if there was ill-used man ; and that the Examiner was justly Rot some danger of those thus licensed within the chargeable with malice aforethought. Never were courts using their privilege in ordinary and out- we more satisfied than we are at the present moment of-door affairs. “ Not at all, sir,” growled the of the wisdom of the maxim, audi alteram partem. Bage—“no more than a man who makes his bread Much discussion has taken place in the London by walking on his hands and standing on his head journals and elsewhere, since the date of Mr. Philon the stage, is apt to stand on his head in private lips' letter, which we cannot notice—and especialsociety.” Now, that of which the sage said there ly an elaborate rejoinder by the Examiner of Saturwas no danger is the very thing which Mr. Phil- day last. We now deliberately and unhesitatingly lips is at present engaged in perpetrating-using declare our conviction that the barrister is "guilty," the license of the bar on a point which is not pro- and, we give our verdict in the very teeth of our fessional, and where Dr. Johnson's all-atoning first impressions. “paid for” does not apply; the very ordinary and We are not going to travel through the case. simple point, whether he did or did not say so and Our readers would scarcely thank us for doing so. so on a certain occasion. Morally, Mr. Phillips We shall condense it into as narrow a space as is at this moment standing on his head—an unbe- possible. Premising, then, that we repudiate Lord coming and indecent spectacle. Such a liberty he Brougham's dicta, of what the duties of a counsel has no right to take in an unprofessional matter. are, when he affirms— Since he cannot make a decent fight of it standing
An advocate, by the sacred duty which he owes on his feet, he is bound to walk off out of sight, his client, knows, in the discharge of that office, and the sooner the better for himself, out of mind. but one person in the world, that client and none
By-the-bye, have not some of our contemporaries other. To save that client by all expedient means allowed themselves to be very forgetful, and obsti- -to protect that client at all hazards and costs to nately, elaborately forgetful, regarding this matter? all others, and among others to himself—is the We allude to those who copied Mr. Phillips' let- highest and most unquestioned of his duties. ter, and most incontinently pronounced an acquittal ; No doubt his lordship adopts Paley's sentiments and who have never yet found room to notice the in that chapter of his Moral Philosophy, entitled, Examiner's reply, nor to copy it, nor to let their “ Lies,”—a chapter, by the way, worthy of Loyoreaders know, even by a single line, that any re- la himself. The archdeacon enumerates among ply had been made. We looked for nothing better the “ falsehoods which are not lies,” the case of from the Times—for the Times, like the sovereign, an advocate asserting the justice, or his belief of can do no wrong, or at least is strong and brazen the justice, of his client's cause. The reason he enough to leave its wrong both anacknowledged assigns for this is of a very flattering kind to the and undefended. But what of the Globe ? What morality of the bar. In such a case, says Paley, of some neighbors of our own, whom we shrink " no confidence is destroyed, because none was refrom naming in connection with such a transaction? fused ; no promise to speak the truth is violated, These can have no worse motive for their silence because none was given, or understood to be given.” and concealment than the want of courage to con- In short, an adyocate may tell lies till he is black fess or reveal an error-a refusal which, after all, in the face, because nobody believes a thing to be may not be so much moral cowardice as immoral true or false on account of his protestation that it courage. Perhaps it is not so curious as at first is the one or the other. sight appears, that those who were so hasty in We choose rather to abide by the common-sense doing injustice to a brother should be so slow in view, that if, through the conventional morality of doing justice to, or on, themselves.
the bar, an advocate must continue to hold his
brief after he comes to know the guilt of his client, From the Scottish Press, December 12. he is not entitled to do more than array the facts, Public journalists frequently feel a deep interest as brought out in evidence, in such a form as shall in a matter which-from want of local concern, or give the party at the bar the entire benefit of whatthe impossibility of setting it forth with that am- ever evidence there is in !;is favor, and prevent plitude which alone can do it justice—they pass his being injured by testimony which the law and over almost unheeded. In our paper of the 24th rules of evidence would repudiate. Did Mr. Philullimo, we transferred to our columns a long letter lips adopt this course? He did not. from Mr. Charles Phillips, once a barrister of note, aware that he had a murderer for his client-a but now rejoicing in the title of Mr. Commissioner confessed murderer—and it is not difficult to dePhillips, in which he seeks to vindicate himself tect in the method in which he so ingeniously from a charge brought against him by the London arranged his sentences that his privity haunted Examiner, of having used language in defending him, cramped him, fretted him; but, what was Courvoisier, the murderer of Lord William Rus- wanting in bold asseveration was more than comsel, which he ought not to have used-he, the said pen ated by the suggestio falsi, the significant Courvoisier, having previously confessed himself shake of the head, and the emphatic indication to the said Mr. Phillips to be the assassin. We that, were he but a juryman, instead of a counsel, quoted Mr. Phillips' letter, not more from the in-, he knew where he would look for the guilty party. terest which naturally, and at the time, attached" Are there no circumstances,” he asks the jury