England and the Orleans Monarchy

By Major John Hall | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE COERCION OF HOLLAND

THE: Cabinets of Lord Grey and of M. Casimir Périer had always regarded the execution of the separation treaty as a measure which must necessarily follow its ratification by the five contracting Powers. But, during the spring and early summer of 1832, ministers, both in France and in England, were confronted by an internal situation of exceptional gravity. The Lords, on April 14, had passed the second reading of the third Reform Bill by a narrow majority. On May 7, however, three days after Russia had ratified the Belgian treaty, Lord Lyndhurst successfully carried against the government a motion postponing the clause which disfranchised the boroughs. The Cabinet, therefore, decided to advise the King "to advance to the honour of the peerage such a number of persons as might ensure the success of the Bill in all its essential principles."1

In the early days of the struggle the King had been a keen advocate of parliamentary reform. But the violent opposition which the measure had excited had sensibly altered his feelings. Nor was it only with respect to the Bill that His Majesty was beginning to entertain misgivings. The conduct of foreign affairs had, for some time past, caused him grave anxiety. He perceived, he wrote to Lord Grey, a dangerous tendency on the part of the government

____________________
1
Correspondence of Earl Grey with King William IV., II pp. 894-953.

-118-

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