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Broadside entitled 'The Liberal's Catechism, Dropt at the Meeting of the Fourth District, by One of the Clique'






Quest.    Are you a candidate for a seat in the Town Council ?
Ans.    Yes, I am.

Q.    To what party do you belong ?
A.    I am a Liberal.

Q. Will you have the goodness to explain what you mean by that
term ?
A. I mean true liberality, which consists in excluding from all power
or influence every person whose political sentiments differs in the slightest

degree from my own.

Q.    But have politics any thing to do with the Town Council ?
A. Not much; but it is evident that it would be very disagreeable
for Liberals to act along with, or under the inspection of Tories, or even

Q.   You are of course a man of independent principles ?
A. Assuredly. I have been named by a select and exclusive com-
mittee, of which I am a member.

Q.    Pray, what is independence ?
A. There are many things goes to constitute true independence; but no
one can say he is an independent member of a deliberative body, unless he
have previously pledged himself on every question that may come under

Q.    You are then willing to take a pledge ?
A.    Any pledge.

Q.    What are your views regarding the Annuity Tax ?
A. I consider it to be the grand abomination foretold by Daniel, and
I shall move " Heaven, earth,and hell" for its total extirpation.

Q. What is your opinion about substituting some other tax in its
stead, in order to make provision for the Clergy ?
A. I am a warm friend to the Established Church, as well as to the
eternal principles of justice; and therefore, if the seat rents cannot be
secured for the support of the Clergy, I pledge myself to make no com-
pulsory assessment " within the Roy-allity" for the present incumbents,
and to appoint no successors.

Q.    What are your views regarding the Provost's salary ?
A. I think the dignity of that office cannot be well maintained upon
less than L.40 per annum, being at the rate of L. 10 per quarter; but,
being pledged to the strictest economy, if a man can be found who will
undertake to perform its duties for less, he shall have my vote. Indeed,
in the present state of the City's finances, it may be a question whether
it would not be advisable to expose the office to public auction. Perhaps
a sum might thus be raised, which would go so far to compensate the
Clergy for the loss of the Annuity Tax.

Q. Suppose some distinguished stranger, say a foreign prince, were
to visit Edinburgh, he might very reasonably expect to be entertained
by the Chief Magistrate at his own house?what provision should be
made for such an event ?

A. I would make no provision; but if the Provost invited the
Council to meet his distinguished guest, and would submit to the next
meeting a statement of the expenses incurred, I would feel disposed to
grant a certain compensation, under deduction of what might reason-
ably be supposed to be the ordinary expenses of the Provost's family,
and the value of the fragments.

Q. Would you accept of any civic place or contract while in the
Council ?

A. No?that would be mercenary and unworthy an independent
Councillor; but were a place to become vacant, I should certainly use
my best endeavours to confer it on the most deserving person, and should
the Council, by a plurality of votes, fix upon me, I should immediately
resign my seat, that the public interest might not suffer by my attention
being divided. But as to contracts, as the Council will, in all probability'
consist of tradesmen and shopkeepers, I am of opinion, that the most
economical plan would be to confine the contracts to Members of
Council. This will save much trouble?prevent much bad blood,?and
enable the members who has consented to sacrifice so much of their
valuable time for the commonweal, to combine private with public


Q.    In what do you conceive the duties of a Councillor to consist ?

A. In " adApting" measures for the removal of the monstrous
Annuity Tax, and for reducing the Provost's salary to the lowest possible

Q. Is there nothing else?such as disposing of the City's extensive
patronage in the Church and University ?

A. I regard all these things as matters with which I, as a Councillor
has very little to do. When a vacancy occurs, I would feel disposed to
call a public meeting to ascertain the sentiments of my constituents. But
for myself, I certainly feel, that the same rule ought to apply to all offices
as to the situation of Provost, and that the preference should be given
to the person who would do the duties for the smallest remuneration,
or who would make the Council the highest offer.

Q. Do you think the proceedings of the Town Council ought to be
regularly reported ?

A.    Most assuredly.    How else could our constituents be enabled to

judge of our progress in grammar and oratory?

                                                 Price One Penny.

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Probable period of publication: 1830-1840   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(090)
Broadside entitled 'The Liberal's Catechism, Dropt at the Meeting of the Fourth District, by One of the Clique'
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