Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/29

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Lambton
Lambton
23

of Durham's proposition of vote by ballot, was unanimously adopted by the cabinet. On 28 March 1831 Durham made an elaborate speech in the House of Lords in defence of the ministerial reform scheme (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. iii. 1014–34). He was present at the interview on 22 April 1931, when the king was persuaded to dissolve parliament (Martineau, History of the Peace, ii. 430-1). Durham was one of those in the cabinet who desired to secure the passage of the Reform Bill through the House of Lords by an unlimited creation of peers. It was Grey's objection to this course that probably led to a violent scene at the cabinet dinner at Lord Althorp's in December 1831, when 'Durham made the most brutal attack on Lord Orey' (Sir D. Le Marchant, Memoir of John Charles, Viscount Althorp, third Earl Spencer, 1876, p. 374; cf. Greville, Memoirs, 1875, pt. i. vol. ii. p. 226), Though his colleagues thought that he would resign, be merely absented himself for some days from the cabinet, and wrote to his father-in-law (over whom he exercised considerable influence) a formal declaration in favour of 'a large creation of peers,' which was read at the cabinet meeting on 2 Jan. 1832 (Life and Times of Henry, Lord Brougham, iii. 158-163). On 13 April 1832 he made an animated speech in favour of the second reading of the third Reform Bill, and violently attacked his old antaguniat, Phillpotts, the Bishop of Exeter (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. lii. 35l-l!5). Durham was appointed ambassador extraordinary to St. Petersburg on 3 July 1832, and to Berlin and Vienna on 14 Sept. 1832, but returned to England in the following month without accomplishing the object of his mission. He objected strongly to Stanley's Irish Church Temporalities Bill, and much of the other policy of the government. At length, irritated by the perpetual compromises of the cabinet, his health gave way, and he became anxious to retire. Upon Lord Palmerston's refusal to cancel the appointment of Stratford Canning as minister to St. Petersburg (an appointment which Durham had promised the Emperor of Russia should be revoked), Durham resigned (14 March 1833), and was created Viscount Lambton and Earl of Durham by letters patent dated 23 March 1833 (Journals of the House of Lords, lxv. 389). According to Lord Palmereton, Durham induced Ward to bring forward his appropriation resolution in May 1634, which led to the resignation of Stanley, Graham, Richmond, and Ripon (Sir H. L. Bulwer, Life of Lord Palmerston, 1871, ii. 196, but see ante, p. 193). It appears that Lord Grey soon afterwards wished to have Durham back again in the cabinet, but was overborne by Brougham and Lansdowne (Martineau, History of the Peace, iii. 42). Durham's opinions were not, however, in accord with those of the cabinet, for during the debate in July on the second reading of the bill for the suppression of disturbances in Ireland, he expressed his strong disapproval of the clause authorising interference with public meetings (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. lxiv. 1118-9). At the Grey banquet in Edinburgh in September 1834, Durham replied to Brougham's attack on the radical section of the party, and frankly declaring that he saw 'with regret every hour which passes over the existence of recognised and unformed abuses,' declared his objection to compromises, and to 'the clipping, and paring, and mutilating which must inevitably follow any attempt to conciliate enemies who are not to be conciliated' (Ann. Register, 1831, Chron. p. 147). This controvery, which led to a lasting enmity between them, was renewed by Brougham in a subsequent speech at. Salisbury, when he challenged Durham to a debate in the House of Lords, and in the 'Edinburgh Review' for October 1834 (lx. 248-51), and by Durham in a speech delivered at the Glasgow banquet given in his honour on 29 Oct. 1834. Durham was now the head of the advanced section of the whigs, and under his auspices an election committee sat to promote the return of candidates who favoured his pretensions to the leadership of the party (Torrens, Life of Viscount Melbourne, ii. 66). Failing in this object of his ambition, Durham was appointed ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to St. Petersburg on 5 July 1835; but the Emperor of Kussias consent having been obtained before Durham was named to the king, there was, according to Lord Melbourne, 'the devil to pay about this apppointment' (ib. p. 116). Durham resigned his post at St. Petersburg in the spring of 1837, and was invested by the new queen with the order of G.C.B. at Kensington Palace on 27 June l837. Though strongly urged at this time to give the government a more radical character by the admission of Durham and other advanced liberals, Melbourne refused to do so, and in a letter to Lord John Russell, dated 7 July 1837, significantly remarks that 'everybody, after the experience we have had, must doubt whether there can be peace or harmony in a cabinet of which Lord Durham is a member' (Walpole, Life of Lord John Russell, i. 286 n.) In consequence of the insurrection of the French Canadians an act of parliament was passed In February 1838 (1 & 2 Vict. c. 9). by which the legislative assembly of Lower Canada was suspended for more than two years, and temporary pro-