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had been kept, and accordingly sent for Mr. Canning on the 10th of April, and issued to him His Royal Commands to prepare “ with as little “ delay as 'possible a plan for the reconstruction “ of the Administration."
NEGOTIATIONS RESPECTING THE NEW ADMINISTRATION.
RESIGNATIONS OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON, THE LORD CHANCELLOR, LORD BATHURST, LORD MELVILLE, LORD BEXLEY, AND MR. PEEL. DUKE OF CLARENCE NOMINATED LORD HIGH ADMIRAL. NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE WHIGS. ARRANGEMENT OF THE NEW CABINET. IRISH GOVERNMENT.
MR. Canning left the King late in the afternoon of Tuesday the 10th of April, and “as the
day fixed for the adjournment of Parliament “ was Thursday the 12th, there was not an “ instant to be lost in proceeding to the execu“ tion of His Majesty's commands.
“ Lord Granville, Mr. Huskisson, and Mr. “ Planta, happening to be at the Foreign Office “ when Mr. Canning returned from St. James's, “ Lord Granville” (Lord Harrowby's brotherin-law) “was requested to convey to Lord Har“ rowby, Mr. Huskisson to Lord Melville and
.. • to Mr. Wynn, and Mr. Planta to" his friend, “ Mr. Robinson, verbally, the announcement” of Mr. Canning having received “ the King's “ commands to lay before His Majesty a plan “ of arrangement for the reconstruction of the “ Administration,” and of Mr. Canning's wish to “adhere” in so doing, “to the principles on “ which Lord Liverpool's Government had so “ long acted together."
A similar communication Mr. Canning made in writing “ to the Duke of Wellington, Lord “ Bathurst, Lord Westmoreland, and Lord
“ Mr. Canning wrote also to the Lord Chan“ cellor to ask leave to call upon His Lordship
' “ in the evening, and also to Mr. Peel to ask “ him to call at the Foreign Office; but subse
quently” (Mr. Peel being at the House of Commons when the first letter was sent to him) “ Mr. Canning offered to call upon him “ on returning from the Lord Chancellor's, and “ this Mr. Canning did."
In the formation of the new administration Mr. Canning was sincerely anxious to keep together the elements of Lord Liverpool's Government.
In the first place, it was the King's wish that he should do so, and in the next, the assistance of nearly all of the members of that Government he would have been well pleased to secure,
The state of the Catholick Question, moreover, was another very strong reason for his wishing so to do.
Mr. Canning's opinions, as to the then position of that Question, were, that there was a decided majority of the people of England opposed to concession,- that the best chance of overcoming with safety that opposition was by frequent discussions, which would help to do away with much of the prejudice, and ignorance which prevailed on the subject, —and that the very fact of a friend to emancipation being at the head of the Government would materially advance the cause, and that it was a question which “must win," but which could not “force its way,” while there was such a powerful array of Statesmen against it.
If these were the expressed sentiments (as indeed they were) of Mr. Canning before the unfavourable division in the House of Commons, it is quite clear that that event could only have tended to confirm them; while a more accurate
l knowledge which he had obtained in the recent discussions of His Majesty's unfavourable sentiments necessarily had the same effect. It would have completely ruined the cause if Mr. Canning had, in the forming a new Government, attempted to stipulate for concession. The only practical result of so doing, would have been to have thrown away the best prospect which the
question had of ultimate, and not very remote, settlement, by preventing the King from placing him at the head of the Government. It is obvious, therefore, since in Mr. Canning's opinion a Government united for the purpose of carrying emancipation (even supposing that the King had consented to its formation) could not have stood for any length of time, that he must have been desirous of mingling in its composition, those individuals, who entertained anti-Catholick sentiments: for nothing could be more mischievous than exciting such expectations of immediate concession among the Catholicks, as the form. ation upon principle of an exclusively Catholick Administration would necessarily have done, without a reasonable hope of their speedy fulfilment.
It being, therefore, Mr. Canning's desire to have those professing anti-Catholick opinions as members of his Government, where, it may be asked, could he have found men who were more eligible than the majority of his old antiCatholick Colleagues? But not only for many reasons were these the most suitable whom he could have found, but it is no exaggeration to say that there were hardly any others in exist
The loss of Mr. Peel, in particular, was a serious source of sorrow to Mr. Canning, who would have made any sacrifice, consistent with his honour, to keep him. With these feelings