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As to the other changes in the Ministry, Sir Dudley Ryder being advanced to the bench, Murray succeeded him as Attorney-General. Lord Chancellor Hardwicke was made an earl; Sir George Lyttelton and George Grenville, friends of Pitt, had placesone as Treasurer of the Navy, the other as cofferer. Pitt himself, who was suffering from his great enemy, the gout, at Bath, was passed over. No sooner did he meet with Fox in the House of Commons, than he said aloud, "Sir Thomas Robinson lead us! Newcastle might as well send his jack-boot to lead us!" No sooner did the unfortunate Sir Thomas open his mouth, than Pitt fell with crushing sarcasm upon him; and Fox completed his confusion by pretending to excuse him on account of his twenty years' absence abroad, and his consequent utter ignorance of all matters before the House. Soon after, Pitt made a most overwhelming speech, on the occasion of a petition against the return of a Government candidate by bribery, and called on Whigs of all sections to come forward and defend the liberties of the country, unless, he said, "you will degenerate into a little assembly, serving no other purpose than to register the arbitrary edicts of one too powerful subject!" This was a blow at Newcastle, which, coming from a colleague in office, made both him and his puppets in the Commons, Legge and Robinson, tremble. Newcastle saw clearly that he must soon dismount Robinson from his dangerous altitude, and give the place to Fox.

At the end of the reign of Anne the shipping employed in commerce amounted to 448,000 tons, of which only 26,573 tons were foreign; so that the English mercantile shipping had increased, in little more than twelve years, 127,800 tons. At the end of the reign of George I. our mercantile shipping was only 456,000 tons, the foreign being 23,651 tons; so that the increase for the time was but slight. The royal navy had greatly decreased under George I. At the end of the reign of George II., the total amount of our commercial shipping was 573,978 tons, including 112,737 foreign. Thus, whilst the total shipping at the commencement of this period (in 1688) was only 244,788 tons, at the end of it (in 1760) the total was 573,978 tons, or a nett increase, in seventy-two years, of 329,190 tons: the increase being much larger than the total amount of tonnage possessed at the commencement of the period, the amount of foreign shipping remaining very nearly the samein fact, only 12,000 tons more. The royal navy, which, at the commencement of the period, was reckoned at 101,892 tons, at the end of it was 321,104 tons, showing an increase of 219,212 tons; and, at the rate of men employed at the commencement, the number now employed in both our commercial and our national navy could not be fewer than 160,000 men.

The change of Ministers and some additions to the peerage caused several elections. Mr. Littleton was raised to the Upper House with the title of Lord Hatherton, and Mr. Charles Grant as Lord Glenelg. They were promptly replaced by Conservatives. Lord John Russell having lost his election for South Devon, Colonel Fox made way for him at Stroud, which borough continued to furnish a seat for the noble lord during many years. Lord Palmerston had been defeated in Hampshire at the general election; but Mr. Kennedy retired to make way for him at Tiverton, which had the honour of being represented by the Foreign Secretary until his death. Lord Morpeth had to stand a severe contest in Yorkshire, but he was returned by a large majority. [See larger version]

[See larger version] Mr. Manners Sutton was again chosen Speaker of the House of Commons, having already presided over four successive Parliaments, occupying a period of fourteen years, during which he performed the onerous duties of his high position to the satisfaction of all parties. A week was occupied in the swearing-in of members. All the preliminary formalities having been gone through, the Parliament was opened by the king in person on the 2nd of November. The Royal Speech, which was of unusual length, excited the deepest interest, and was listened to with breathless attention and intense anxiety. The concluding paragraph of the Speech, while expressing the strongest confidence in the loyalty of the people, intimated the determination of the Government to resist Parliamentary Reform. This attitude was regarded as a defiance to the Opposition; and it roused into excitement the spirit of hostility, which might have been disarmed by a tone of conciliation, and by a disposition to make moderate concessions. Nothing, therefore, could have been more favourable to the aims of the Whig leaders than the course taken by the Administration; and if they wanted an excuse for breaking forth into open war, it was supplied by the imprudent speech of the Duke of Wellington. The Royal Speech, indeed, suggested revolutionary topics to the Reformers, by its allusion to Continental politics. The king observed that the elder branch of the House of Bourbon no longer reigned in France, and that the Duke of Orleans had been called to the throne. The state of affairs in the Low Countriesnamely, the separation of Belgium from Hollandwas viewed with deep regret; and "his Majesty lamented that the enlightened administration of the King of the Netherlands" should not have preserved his dominions from revolt; stating that he was endeavouring, in concert with his allies, to devise such means of restoring tranquillity as might be compatible with the welfare and good government of the Netherlands, and with the future security of other States.