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Russian Invasion Of Hungary

Volume 107: debated on Saturday 21 July 1849

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Order for reading the Report of Ways and Means read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Report be now brought up."

said, if he thought there was but little interest in the country or in Europe at large, he would not for a minute interfere between the House and bringing up the report; but, as be knew that the people of this country took a strong interest in the question which be was about to submit—as he thought it was not simply an Hungarian, but an European, and, above all, an English question—he begged to interpose for a short time between the bringing up the report and the other subjects before the House. He thought he was justified in saying that great misapprehensions had been most general ill this country with regard to the case of Hungary, and that they extended as well to the House; but in this respect great misconceptions existed also in the minds of some hon. Gentlemen to the real bearing of this question. It was generally supposed and said—indeed a laugh was raised in the House when he presumed to mention the free and independent kingdom of Hungary—it was generally supposed that Hungary was a province of the Austrian dominion. He repeated that the constitution of Hungary was free and independent—that it had never been at any time a province of the Austrian dominions; that as far back as 1,000, when Stephen I. succeeded to the throne of Hungary, it was an independent kingdom; and there were circumstances connected with that kingdom for which we should feel a peculiar interest; for five years after the institution of our own Parliament, Hungary had a diet of her own—Hungary had municipal institutions of her own, and, although they might not have been as perfect as we could wish, still they bore in them the germs of freedom and of constitutional liberty; and Hungary had been, at all times, an oasis of liberty amidst a desert of despotism. It was in 1526 that the Crowns of Austria and Hungary were united under. Ferdinand I.; but although the Crowns were united, the kingdom of Hungary retained her separate privileges, and Ferdinand I. took an oath to maintain those privileges. He passed over the time when Hungary stood in the van against Turkish invasion, and came to 1741, when Maria Theresa called upon the Hungarians to support her throne. And what was the first course taken by that Queen? The first act of Maria Theresa, in succeeding to the Hungarian Crown, was to revive the decree of Andreas II. What was that decree? That was an important question for those who laughed at Hungary being called a free and independent kingdom. The Magna Charta of Hungary was passed eight years after our own Magna Charta. She took this oath, that—

"Should I, or any of my successors, at any time infringe the privileges of the Hungarian people, it is permitted to you or your descendants, by virtue of this promise, to defend yourselves without being treated as rebels."
This was the constitution sworn to by Maria Theresa in 1741; but there was another compact. In 1790, Leopold ascended the throne, the Hungarian people being distrustful of the Austrian empire, the House of Hapsburg having shown those symptoms of treachery which it had since consummated in 1848. In 1790, the Hungarian Diet passed what was called the enlarged compact, and by Article 10 of the constitution, Leopold took the oath. He declared that—
"Hungary was a country free and independent, in her entire system of legislation and government; that she was not subject to any other people or any other State, but that she should have her own separate existence, and her own constitution, and should be governed by Kings crowned according to her national laws and customs."
That oath was taken on the 11th of April, 1848, by the Emperor Ferdinand II.; he guaranteed the existence of a separate diet; he guaranteed liberty of the press; he made those promises in 1848; he broke them perfidiously in 1849. Should he be told, with these proofs, that the Hungarian kingdom was not as free and independent a kingdom as Hanover, or any other kingdom attached to a larger State? The perfidy of this Austrian Court had never been fully and fairly put before the people of England. There were some remarkable circumstances and analogies. If hon. Gentlemen would refer to past history, they would see that the mental reservations of this Austrian Court would strongly remind them of the mental reservations of Charles I., who was always making promises to his people—promises pledged in the hour of danger, promises broken when he was secure. There was a further analogy. We all knew the mischievous influence which the Queen Henrietta Maria exercised over Charles I.; the same influence was exercised in the Austrian Court by the Archduchess Sophia. The same influence was exercised over Ferdinand, a puppet in the hands of Met-ternich and Schwartzenburg, and the results were an attempt to destroy the free and independent kingdom of Hungary. He would not allude further to the intrigues of this wretched Camarilla—he thought that at least we had seen the last of the Holy Alliance; but it remained for us to see the embers of the Holy Alliance smouldering in what was called "another place;"—he did not mean those regions which were devoted to the unfortunate spirits, but he meant another place, not very remote, where the principles of that alliance still survived, and occasionally found a mouthpiece in the person of an ex-Secretary for Foreign Affairs! No later than last night was heard the melancholy drone of the Scotch bagpipe, turned out of the purlieus of Downing-street, raising a lament for what was called the lost glory of "our ancient ally." People had long been hearing of this ancient ally; but they did not know the meaning of ancient ally. If by our "ancient ally" it was meant that this country was to be chained to the chariot wheels of Metternich or Stadion, he repudiated the idea. If he understood anything of the ancient alliance of this country, it was not an agreement with a Camarilla or Ministry, but it was with the constitutional privileges of the people; and he said, that they were more bound to maintain their ancient alliance with Hungary, which formed two-fifths of the Austrian empire in size, and much more than two-fifths if we regarded her commercial power and great military advantages, than to keep up their ancient alliance with a division of the Austrian empire—Austria being a mere abstract name for a conglomeration of different nations. Away, then, with this delusion of an ancient alliance with Prince Metternich. It had been said, look how you have been treating your ancient ally as if the claim of the Emperor Francis Joseph to the kingdom of Hungary was a legal claim. He maintained, in the face of all Europe, that the Emperor Francis Joseph was at this time an usurper in the kingdom of Hungary. He maintained, that by the laws of Hungary he was, technically speaking, a "foreigner" at this moment, and that as such he was not able to take the throne. He was neither king de facto or de jure, till he was crowned, and had taken the oaths according to the compact. What was the third article of the Hungarian constitution coo-firmed by Ferdinand I. in 1596, sworn to in 1790, and again in 1848?—
"The King of Hungary cannot be discharged from the duties of sovereignty without consent of the nation, the Diet having the appointment of a regency in case of incompetence or resignation of the King."
What course had been pursued? This unfortunate and well-meaning Emperor, our "ancient ally," Ferdinand II., had been shuffled off the throne, and Francis Joseph, not the lineal successor, but the nephew, was put upon the throne. Would any one say, that Francis Joseph was at this time rightful King of Hungary? He said, that Francis Joseph might be Emperor of Austria. He was not King of Hungary. He was at this moment an usurper—a foreigner to the institutions of the Hungarians, who were engaged in a righteous and holy cause. There was another idea very prevalent in this country, and it was very much increased by some intriguers going about London, and endeavouring to prejudice the mind of the country, that this movement was a republican movement. The movement was Hungarian; it was in no way connected with the movement in France, or in other parts of Europe. It had been going on for thirty years; it was a national movement to resist the encroachments of the Austrian Cabinet. Let not hon. Gentlemen be led away by thinking that republican doctrines were fashionable or well received in Hungary. The whole constitution of Hungary was essentially aristocratical, and people there were as much attached to the aristocracy as the middle classes were attached to the institutions of this country. He therefore denied that this movement in Hungary was in any sense connected with the republican movement in Europe, or was any other than a constitutional love for ancient rights and privileges. Hon. Gentlemen were not aware that the aristocratic party in Hungary was an aristocracy ill its best sense; they had always been the leaders of the people; they had always been distinguished for wishing to advance the rights of the people; and the opposition to progress and reform had proceeded from the Austrian Government, who had always resisted any amendment in the lower chamber of the Diet. In 1772 who was it that abolished serfdom in Hungary? The Hungarian aristocracy. Who was it that in 1832 instituted the first great reforms in Hungary? The aristocracy of Hungary, the leaders of the people. Who was it that in 1836 instituted liberty of the press? A man whose name, clarum et venerabile nomen, would be great in all times, the descendant of a noble family—that of Louis Kossuth. He was the man who carried the reforms for publishing the debates of the Hungarian Chamber. For this crime! Kossuth was condemned to imprisonment for four years. We all knew the result of that tyrannical act; we all know that he was borne into power on the shoulders of the Hungarian people. In 1848 he abolished all feudal privileges; he turned copyhold lands into freehold; he abolished the obnoxious laws by which the peasantry had to give twelve days' labour to the nobles; he abolished the distinction of classes; and what was his reward? He was held up to the people of Europe as a wild and anarchical republican, but he stood in the proudest position of any man in the civilised world; he stood in the position of Washington; he expressed the undivided opinion of a great and liberal nation. He might be told that this was a war of races. It was no such thing. The inhabitants of Hungary were fourteen millions of people, and the Sclavonians and other races made common cause with the Magyars. Their opponents were nothing but a savage horde of banditti, headed by the boasting Jellachich: and these were the people made use of by the Court of Vienna to put down the constitutional liberty of the Hungarian people. He lamented that when he asked a question the other day of the noble Lord the First Lord of the Treasury, he termed the rising of the Hungarian nation in favour of their rights and privileges an insurrection—

said, as he was then present, he might at once be allowed to state that when he used the word insurrection, he thought he had applied the proper term. He did not, however, mean to assert by that term that this was an unjust and unprovoked insurrection. He had used the term which he thought at the time was most applicable to the case.

The noble Lord was quite correct; he used the term without reflection, which, although signifying illegality in this country, in Hungary signified what was legal and right; for when they made a levy en masse in defence of their liberties, the Hungarian term used, was insurrectio; and when the Hungarian diet in 1741 said, Vitam et sanguinem pro nostra rege, that was insurrectio in the Hungarian sense of the word; that was, indeed, an insurrection in a good sense. It was the legal term of Hungary. Long might such insurrections be in fashion! Such was the insurrection for which Hampden died. Such was the insurrection of 1688. Iusurrections which formed the proudest pages in our own history! Where the perfidy of a despotic Court had been defeated by the righteous struggles of a determined people! In another place they had been talking of the "paternal government" of our ancient ally; and it was extraordinary to remark, how by an adroit adaptation of epithets, they might deceive the public mind for a series of years, and make that appear "paternal" which was only tyrannical. What had been the conduct of this paternal Government? He need not point to the atrocities in Gallicia; there the peasant was set against the noble, and the noble against the peasant. He need not point to the conduct of the paternal Government in bombarding Milan and Venice on the one hand, and, on the other, Pesth and Presburg. He need not point to the "paternal Government" which invited the barbarous Cossacks to Eastern Europe, who, if successful, would open a road to Constantinople, and Eastern Europe would become a Russian province—a paternal Government which had countenanced the order of the Russian general, Paske-witch, by which he condemned all Hungarians who were found with Hungarian notes to be publicly whipped! Should he refer to the paternal conduct of the Government in hanging Protestant clergymen and Roman Catholic priests with such impartiality as no one even in Ireland could blame? Should he refer to the paternal conduct of burning down villages; or should be refer to the paternal care which flogged women of rank, and shot prisoners of war? But this was the "paternal Government" of our "ancient ally" which met with such deep sympathy in another place!" He passed over the commercial advantages which would be derived by this country, and they would be very great, for our ancient ally, of which hon. Gentlemen and noble Lords heard so much, had always imposed a duty of 60 per cent on English merchandise. He passed over the commercial advantages to be derived by this country by the recognition of the free and independent kingdom of Hungary. There was another question, in his mind, of much greater importance. This was not a mere struggle for Hungarian independence. He looked upon this struggle which was going on in Europe as a struggle between the two principles of despotism and constitutional government. It was a struggle commenced in Hungary; but who knew whore the struggle might not extend? When the last barrier was swept away, Hungary and the finest parts of the east of Europe would become nothing more than slavish dependents of the Russian empire. He had given a vote for arbitration, in the abstract principle of which he perfectly agreed; but he would say that a time might arrive when he would prefer to tight the battle of European liberty in the Baltic, rather than in the British Channel. Those sentiments might not be agreeable to some, but the evil was more immediate than they thought. When they heard people in another place whose policy was the fond desire to sec Sicily subjugated, and Hungary a province of the Russian empire—when he heard them heaping obloquy on a Foreign Minister, the most successful Foreign Minister this country had ever produced, he said it became them to be on the watch. They had lately passed an Alien Bill; that Bill was meant only to take up unfortunate wretches going about the streets to spread revolutionary doctrines. There were other aliens, ex-Ministers of State, banished from their own country not for their love of liberty, who, in the upper circles of society, were intriguing, and who had their tools and agents in the other House of Parliament to malign one who had always shown the greatest liberal tendencies, and to whom, if he bad pandered to Neapolitan tyranny or Russian despotism, they would have bowed down and sounded his praise. He entered his protest against this, and said that the liberal party, if there were any in this country, were mistaken in not giving their support to the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton. He maintained that that noble Lord deserved the support of this country, and that those remarks which had been made upon him in another place did not express the feelings of the people. He took upon himself to say that the people of this country felt confidence in, and viewed with satisfaction, the course which had been pursued by the noble Lord. He should say no more on this occasion. He felt that it was a question which deeply called for sympathy on the part of the House. He felt sure that the noble Lord would say nothing to cast odium on a noble nation struggling for their just rights.

, in rising to second the Motion, said that he was unwilling to believe that the noble Lord at the head of our Foreign Office, who had generally taken so enlarged a view of the prospects and condition of Europe, should have seen without concern the event then under their consideration—an event which he (Mr. M. Milnes) felt sure that he might say, without exaggeration, was one of still greater importance than any other that had taken place within the last two remarkable years. He would remind the House, that notwithstanding the tumult and the confusion which had prevailed throughout so large a portion of the Continent during that period, that was the first event from which they had reason to anticipate any very considerable alteration of the present territorial arrangements of Europe. He would also press upon their attention this important fact—that if no change should take place in the course which events were at present taking in Hungary, the future independence of Austria would, under any circumstances, be absolutely impossible. If the noble Lord were that enemy to Austria which he was foolishly supposed to be, nothing could afford him more gratification than to see the independence of the Austrian empire utterly submerged in the waters of Russian absolutism. It was very easy to say that a portion of the forces of Austria having been engaged in Italy, it was only natural that she should apply for aid to her neighbour, Russia, in her endeavours to suppress a trifling insurrection in one of her provinces. That was the diplomatic view of the question. But he hoped the House would see how delusive was that view, and how completely it evaded the whole point really at issue. What was that insurrection? Was it not a civil war of the most desperate character? Were not two-thirds of the empire of Austria in arms against the rest of that empire? He did not deny that it was perfectly free to any hon. Member to say, that a victory of Hungary over Austria would be attended with very disastrous consequences, and that it would be far bettor that some arrangement should be entered into by which Hungary should occupy a subordinate position to the rest of the empire of Austria, rather than that the rest of that empire should become subject to Hungary. So long as the battle lay between two parts of the empire, that was a perfectly tenable position. A similar state of things had arisen during our own civil war; and so long as the question was confined to a civil war, the analogy between those two events was almost complete; so that our Parliamentary paradox—" it is to serve his Majesty that we against him fight"—might have been most appropriately used by the people of Hungary. There had, in fact, been no war against the Emperor of Austria until he had called in the stranger. It was against the Ministry of Austria and the proclamation of a new, and, as it was contended, an illegitimate constitution, that the people of Hungary had taken up arms. The privileges and the independence of that country had been recognised by the Emperors of Austria during a series of ages; and even if there could be any doubt as to that independence in former times, there could be no doubt of it whatever after it had been fully acknowledged in the constitution granted by the late Emperor to his Hungarian subjects at the period when the present difficulties had first threatened to arise. But Austria had subsequently promulgated another constitution, which would entirely destroy the existence of Hungary as a separate kingdom, and which would change Austria from a confederation, of which Hungary formed part, into one homogeneous empire. Russia had since interfered in the struggle between the two countries; and the armies she had sent to Hungary were so enormous and so well disciplined that it looked like an impossibility that any amount of patriotism or of energy could successfully oppose them. But if Russia were to accomplish her object in that matter, what would be the consequence? Suppose that Hungary were effaced from the map of Europe—suppose that the tragedy of Poland were again enacted—suppose that another emigrant aristocracy were scattered over the face of Europe—what would be the consequence but that Austria herself would become but a province of the Russian empire? It was a remarkable fact, that previously to the intervention of Russia no terms had ever been proposed to the people of Hungary—that no attempt had been made to obviate the fatal necessity of calling in an immense alien force for the purpose of crushing a portion of the Austrian empire. He should certainly be glad to hear that the noble Lord at the head of our Foreign Office had either pressed on the Austrian Government the policy of attempting to come to terms with the Hungarian people rather than call in the aid of that alien force, or that since that intervention of Russia had taken place, the noble Lord had pointed out as strongly as he could to that Government the fatal consequences of that intervention to the independence of the Austrian empire. It had been truly stated by his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Middlesex, that that question was not in Hungary a democratic or an aristocratic one, but that it was a national one. A very dear friend of his (Mr. M. Milnes's), Count Casimir Bathyany, was Minister for Foreign Affairs in Hungary; he was a nobleman of the highest character and prudence, who had never been engaged in plots or tumults of any kind; he was possessed of a princely fortune, which he was at present risking, as well as his life, from a desire to benefit his country; and that nobleman was only one of the representatives of the great families of Hungary who took an active part in that struggle. He would earnestly entreat his noble Friend at the head of our Foreign Office to do everything which the representative of this country could do to bring that contest, he would not say to a satisfactory issue, but to such an issue as would prevent one of the combatants from utterly destroying the other. His noble Friend might tell him that if the people of Hungary were to become victorious, it would be impossible that any reconciliation could take place between them and the Emperor of Austria, and that the existence of an independent Hungary would lead to so many diplomatic embarrassments, and would be attended with so great a disturbance of the present territorial arrangements of Europe, that it would be very difficult for him to recognise it. Now, it was impossible to deny that the question was involved in great difficulty; but it was for the purpose of meeting that difficulty that he ventured to express a hope that his noble Friend would use all his influence to prevent the matter from being brought to any extreme issue. He owned that, for his part, he should not see the Austria empire effaced from the map of Europe without very great regret. He knew that such an empire could not be broken up without leading to great European embarrassments, and perhaps to a general European war, in consequence of the struggle which would probably take place for its disjecta membra. But his belief was that Austria might be more powerful than she had ever been if she were to become a great confederation, instead of a homogeneous empire. It was impossible not to see that if Austria had formerly acted with anything like justice and moderation to her Italian provinces—that if she had extended to them some small amount of self-government, all the recent calamitous events in Italy might have been averted. It was also impossible not to see that in the case of Hungary there was, on the part of Austria, very little willingness to admit that country into federal relations with her, such as would have completely prevented the present collision. He could not say that he blamed the people of Hungary when they found alien armies brought in to crush and annihilate them—he could not say that he blamed them for declaring that they would no longer have anything to do with the house of Hapsburgh-Lorraine, which had treated them in so cruel a manner. But the declaration of the decheance of that house from the Crown of Hungary had been simply an act of reprisal for the Russian invasion. Let it be remembered, however, that no republic had been proclaimed in Hungary—that the present political state of that country was an organised regency, having at its head that remarkable man, Kossuth—a regency proclaimed and acknowledged by the Diet, and declared positively to be simply an interregnum of a provisional character, which might be put an end, to at any moment by the constitutional election to the Crown of Hungary of any person whatever; and he would not say that it was impossible that under any circumstances that person should be the present representative of the house of Hapsburgh. He had asked some Hungarian gentlemen what course their fellow-countrymen would have pursued if before the invasion of Russia they had completely succeeded in the struggle on which they had entered, and had obtained possession of Vienna; and the answer he had received was, that they would at once have elected the young Emperor King of Hungary; have crowned him at Pesth, and made him swear to the Hungarian constitution. That was the intention with which the people of Hungary had embarked in the contest, and their conduct had been in this point also singularly analogous to that pursued by our own Parliamentary party at the commencement of the revolution. And he confessed that when he found the Members of that House and of the other House speaking of the rights and liberties of other nations as if they were things in which Englishmen had no concern, and to which it was no businesss of ours to turn with a sympathetic regard—he said that those Members showed great ingratitude to that Providence which had been pleased to destine England to lead on other nations in the path of constitutional freedom; he believed it would be a great mistake to suppose that Europe could again be brought back to the state in which she had a few years since been placed; and he felt assured that the only permanent foundation for peace and order in Europe was to be found in the general establishment throughout her different States of the principles of constitutional liberty. In the views which his noble Friend had taken some years since of the wants and condition of Europe, he recognised his profound statesmanship; for at a period when many people spoke of the state of Europe as if it were to last for ever, his noble Friend had foreseen the latent powers which were at work in the hearts of nations, and had, as far as possible, called on the different Governments of the Continent to prepare for the changes that were coming. But in consequence of his noble Friend's prescient sagacity, he had been accused of having caused those evils which he had merely anticipated. It certainly was to him a matter of the utmost astonishment that men of intelligence and high station should have arrived at the conclusion that the present convulsed state of Europe was in any way owing to his noble Friend. He really did not know how any one could suppose that it was the object of an English Foreign Minister to foment disturbances in other countries for the mere sake of creating tumult in the world; and, in fact, that was an absurdity which it was only necessary to mention in order to refute it. A Foreign Minister in England must know well that his popularity mainly depends on his maintaining peace. Let any Foreign Minister get this country into a war, no matter for how just or honourable a purpose, and he would soon become unpopular. To suppose, therefore, that a Minister of this country should run the risk of disturbing the peace of Europe without any one national object, was, indeed, a delusion which he could only account for by bearing in mind that men sometimes allowed themselves to be so blinded by their passions and prejudices that they were unable to exercise the gifts which Providence had bestowed upon them. He believed that that was one of many questions of a similar nature which they would frequently hear of in future years. It appeared to him that the great question at present at issue throughout Europe was the extension of constitutional liberty, without which peace and order could not be maintained in its various States. From that declaration, however, he of course excepted Russia, which was placed in peculiar circumstances; and so long as the Emperor of that country satisfied the wants of his own people, and did not interfere with other nations, God forbid that he should say one word against him! The principle which should guide the foreign policy of this country, was that of non-intervention in the affairs of other States; but we should at the same time endeavour to maintain the peace of Europe, for it was only by the maintenance of peace that we could hope to develop all our great commercial and manufacturing resources, and preserve this country in a state of prosperity. There was another statesman besides the noble Lord at the head of our Foreign Office, who had foreseen the approach of those political convulsions which at present agitated Europe—he alluded to Prince Metternich, who told the writer of a work which had been lately published, M. Von Elsedom, the Prussian Minister at Vienna, that he could see the symptoms of disease in Austria, and that he knew they were fatal. Now, he (Mr. Milnes) believed that there was one mode of saving Europe from the most disastrous calamities; and that was the extension of liberal institutions to its various nations, according to their different wants and characters. He believed that the happiness of those nations could only be promoted by the establishment of a feeling of mutual regard founded on a feeling of mutual interest between rulers and their people; and it was because he believed that that intervention of the enormous power of Russia would lead to "very different consequences, that he seconded that Motion. The avowed policy of the Emperor of Russia was to discourage, as far as he possibly could, the extension of constitutional government. He earnestly hoped, however, that his noble Friend would endeavour to enable Austria to rely on her own resources, and to ensure her own independence. His noble Friend, if he were to succeed in that object, would establish that country as a barrier between the west and the east of Europe, instead of becoming, as she would become if those events were to arrive at their natural conclusion, the victim and the satrap of Russia.

Amendment proposed—

"To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, 'an humble Address he presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House, Copies or Extracts of any Information connected with the advance of Russian Troops into the Kingdom of Hungary, which may have been received by Her Majesty's Government, and of any Communications which have passed involving Naval or Military aid or interference on the part of this Country.' "

wished, before the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs rose to address the House, to make a few observations. The hon. Member who had just sat down had said that this was an European question. In that view he (Mr. Roebuck) agreed with him. It was a question which involved great points of international law and international policy. The question of law was beyond their reach, but they might still deal with the question of policy. The important principle with which he had to deal was, that in the internal affairs of any country there should be no external force or pressure used to coerce the will of the people. That was the point which his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Middlesex sought to establish, and to point out that a great infringement of this principle was going on before our eyes in the interference of Russia with the affairs of Hungary. Unfortunately, the Emperor-despot, as he was called, of Russia, was not the only European Power that had been guilty of this sort of interference. Going from one end of the scale of government to the other—beginning at complete despotism, and running down until you found a large and broad base of republicanism, founded in universal suffrage—you found that republican France was also infringing this great principle of international policy. And, while they directed their shafts against the despot of the North, let them not forget the many-headed despot of the South, who was now adding ridicule to injury—ridicule for its own people, and injury for the unfortunate people of Italy. His wish was, if possible, to make this a practical question; for he believed that however strongly their inclinations were expressed in that House, in the nation they would go for nothing, unless followed by some practical act on the part of the Government. A mere opinion would never reach the country interested. That despotism to which he had alluded, would prevent Hungarians, Romans, or Frenchmen, from hearing any words they might utter. Therefore he wished to sec how far it was possible, without going counter to the people of England, to interfere practically in this question, and to lend our aid as a nation to this great principle of international morality. He could not agree with the hon. Member who spoke last, that in all cases the Foreign Minister would be unpopular who involved England in a war. He did not think that a great or a wise sentiment. He maintained that the people of England liked that Minister and held him to their hearts who maintained the national honour. He would not believe in any school of politicians who took that low level of national morality, that we should bind up all our feelings in the interchange of commodities, or the sordid question of profit and loss. He believed that there was something more in the souls of the people than that—that they had sympathies with the people of the world, something of the cosmopolitan feeling of which they had heard on the previous evening. They had a desire to see good government strengthened over the world, and to see the great name of England used as a means of stopping the advance of barbarian despotism, whether under the banner of Russia or that of France. One was just as bad as the other. He who trampled on the Roman people in their present weakness, was more despicable and more barbarous than the Emperor of Russia. He sent his troops to fight the Hungarians on the open field of battle, and was less censurable than the trading politicians who, by means of a besieging army, sought to work out the ends of a pitiful, paltry, intriguing spirit. There was no want of precedent for the use of our influence with foreign Powers. When Belgium revolted from Holland, we secured her independence. Greece was another instance. She, the subject of our most ancient ally, revolted, and we gave her a king and a constitution. These were two marked instances of insurrection against an acknowledged sovereign and an ancient ally, for he believed that we had not two more ancient allies than the King of Holland and the head of the Ottoman empire. We then interfered with the consent of the people of England. No offence had been given when we interfered in the insurrection of Belgium. He agreed with his hon. Friends in believing that danger existed to the civilisation of the world by the utterly uncalled-for interference on the part of Russia in the affairs of Hungary; and he wanted to see if some appeal could not be made to all the great nations of Europe, on the part of England, to arrange and settle the great disputes now going on between various sections of the people on the Continent. He contended that this was a more important case than that of Belgium. He knew that France had been in a state of revolution, and that she had dethroned her King. He also knew that there were many causes of doubt and danger then existing, and that the persons interested in the contest were closely allied with ourselves. He acknowledged all this frankly; but he would entreat of the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, and of the House, and of the English people, to look at what was now going on in Hungary and Italy, and to think of what might be the consequences to civilised Europe. Suppose that the Russian army were victorious, and that they crushed the Hungarian people, what would be the effect? We did not go round the Capo of Good Hope to get to India now. Our highway to India was through the Red Sea; and if the Russians entered Constantinople and proceeded into Syria and Egypt, that moment we should have war under the most disadvantageous circumstances. Therefore the people of England were interested in this question. They were not to shut their eyes and say—" Oh, we are a peaceable people; we do not want war: we are afraid of war; we want cotton spinning and linen spinning, and woollen spinning, and we want the profits thereof." He acknowledged that we wanted all those things; but he contended that we should not have them unless we were a great and powerful people. He had been told that we were turned out of this view by a word used in another place, to which he would not more particularly allude, though it was not always characterised by perfect wisdom—he bad been told that we were to be turned from this view of the case because we were to be called "repealers," and that we were to be compared to those who sought for a repeal of the union between this country and Ireland. Now, he was not frightened by this assertion. He was a repealer in the case of Belgium and Greece. He might be a repealer in the ease of Italy; but he was not a repealer in the case of Ireland. The reason was, that in the case of Greece, Belgium, and Sicily, he saw great injustice done; and he denied injustice in the other case. When, therefore, he called himself a repealer in the one case, he was not frightened out of his view by any imputation of being a repealer in the other. He would allege that the question was an English one in the largest sense of the term; and his principal object in rising was to ask the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to apply his mind to a consideration of the means of employing the power, the moral power, of England in the settlement of the dispute. He perfectly concurred in all that eulogy of the noble Lord, in which his hon. Friends had indulged; and though he had no wish to be considered as linked to the chariot wheels of the noble Lord—though he stood there in opposition rather than in support of the present Government, yet he could not forbear saying that he approved of the conduct of the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office. And he would tell them why. The noble Lord had a purpose, and he had had the courage to maintain that purpose; and if his Colleagues acted similarly, they would have received the same meed of approbation which the noble Lord had received from the country. The principle of the noble Lord had been to keep such a front to all foreign nations that they should know that under certain circumstances they must fear Great Britain, The noble Lord had rescued us from that species of apathy and torpor in which we were likely to be placed under a former Administration; and therefore, so far as he was concerned, his Administration deserved, as it received, the approbation of the country. Let not the noble Lord suppose, that because petitions were presented to that House praying for the maintenance of peace and the settlement of international disputes by arbitration, the old spirit of this country was decayed. It was just as much alive as ever; and he deprecated every expression in that House which should have the effect of leading foreign nations to fancy that anything else had happened. We were not afraid of war. We thought war a dreadful calamity; but there were calamities still more dreadful. Subjugation to despotism—the subversion of all the honour of a great people, and of all their high aspirations after liberty and power—this was worse than war. England, great, and mighty, and secure from danger, as she was, ought to take upon herself the character of an arbitrator, to go among the nations, and say, "Listen to us, listen to our suggestions, for he that militates against the principles of international policy must not count on our support." The House might depend upon it that in such a case Russia and other Powers would be obedient, not to England, but to reason; not to our arms, but to the suggestions which humanity had dictated. Therefore, if they brought the power of this country, armed by public opinion, and by our wonderful position and great influence, to bear upon these contending parties, we should do that which would endear our name, not to the country only, but to the world, because we should have rendered ourselves the benefactors of mankind.

said, he should be lightly held by those whose good opinion he was anxious to maintain, if he remained silent on this question. He came from men of peace, men who abhorred the shedding of blood, and he came there to state their opinions. They viewed war as one of the greatest evils, but they would not therefore subject themselves to the imputation of being insensible to the welfare of other nations, or to the interest their country had in multiplying constitutional principles throughout Europe. They hated bloodshed, but they held the man a coward who was afraid to put his head out of window and cry "stop thief." England had now the same interest in supporting liberal principles in Europe, which our forefathers thought they had in upholding what they called the Protestant interest, which happened to be the struggle of their day. The spirit of the English people was with freedom everywhere. First-born of liberty themselves, they looked for nothing so earnestly as the success of their younger brethren of every clime and colour; and they would never rest satisfied with seeing the ultima ratio of European policy lodged in the bayonet of the barbarian. There could be no secured peace till something divided that black cloud of Russian despotism which hung over Western Europe. Fifty years ago, an eminent traveller (Dr. Clarke) had pointed out the fact that Russia was divided into two races—a northern and a southern. What a blessing for mankind, if one of them could be set against the other, to the neutralisation of both! Perhaps it was in some occurrence of that description that the only prospect existed for a happy issue to the present contest. Strangely as it might sound, it was said also, that in the Russian army a strong republican feeling prevailed—of all places, among the officers; and this might hold out another chance. What would have been the position of ourselves and our posterity, if in the days of our own struggles, in 1688 and other times, barbarian armies had been poured in to trample down our forefathers? Nobody could rationally doubt that in the end European liberty must advance; and it would have been established now almost by acclamation, if bad political economy had not interfered to alarm the possessors of property, and make them take the hostile side. But all this would blow over, and coming ages would yet thank England for encouragement given to the principles of freedom in this great and trying crisis.

said, that the professed policy of Austria had been to be considered a paternal Government; but, as regarded Hungary, their acts had all tended for a long period to prevent the exercise of the constitutional rights of the people of that country. He said he approved of the policy pursued by the noble Lord, by which he had succeeded in bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the war that had been raging over the continent of Europe; and he believed that the House and the country intrusted to him with confidence the conservation of the interests of Britain and of nations. Before he sat down, he could not help alluding to a mistaken opinion regarding the power that used to be possessed by Prince Metternich in Austria. It was quite a mistake to suppose that he was the all-powerful Minister he was supposed to be in any other department than that specially entrusted to him, which was the foreign relations of the empire. The grand pervading authority over the whole of those extensive dominions was wielded by the Aulic Council; and it was the policy pursued by that council which was the real subject of comment when Austria was charged with oppressive and illiberal conduct. Prince Metternich, on the contrary, had ever laboured to reduce the duties upon the commodities required by the nation; and it was due to him, and him only, that any of those liberal alterations in the tariff were effected that were brought about previous to the year 1848. He said he was glad this subject had been brought before the House, and hoped that hon. Members, in discussing it, would avoid the use of language that might give offence to neighbouring Powers.

said, that those who were acquainted with the nature of that constitution for which it was absurdly alleged the Hungarian nation had risen in arms, knew well that it was nothing more nor less than an engine of tyranny, under which the peasants of Hungary were worse off than the peasantry of any other part of the Austrian empire. He had resided in the country, and knew how they envied the lot of the other subjects of the Austrian Crown, who were under no such infamous constitution; and he had also heard the complaints of the nobility in other parts of the Austrian dominion, that they had not the same power over their dependents as the aristocrats of Hungary. But the aristocrat was not the word. They were magnates; and every descendant of every noble was privileged from arrest, from toll, and from military service. [Mr. B. OSBORNE: No, no!] He knew they had been taxed within the last fifteen years; but he was now speaking of the old constitution for which Kossuth was supposed to be struggling. And here he could not help expressing his astonishment that a Member of the character of the hon. and gallant Member for Middlesex, in discussing the affairs of Hungary, should have entirely omitted all mention of Count Stephen Szechni, whose fortune and whose whole life had boon devoted to the improvement of his country and the deliverance of the people from the tyranny of the needy magnates in whose cause Kossuth was now in arms. Not one word had the hon Member to say of such a man, though he had enlarged so much on the efforts of Kossuth, who had entirely destroyed and broken up the fabric which Count Szechni had succeeded in raising, during 30 years, by the exertion of all his great talents, perseverance, and self-denial. He had enjoyed the private friendship of that unfortunate nobleman, whose noble mind the misfortunes of his country had reduced to wretched, hopeless idiocy. But these subjects were little known in this country. It was probably not known that these privileged persons—these magnates to whom he had alluded—amounted to nearly 230,000. They were, as he had observed, privileged from arrest, from toll, and from military service, and possessed, morever, the power of inflicting corporal punishment on the peasantry. They were also hereditary judges, from whose decisions there was no appeal. He forgot, there was an appeal to a neighbouring magnate, from whom the appellant would probably get double the number of blows he had received in the first instance. But still the humbler class had their privileges. They had heard of the Upper and Lower House, and it might be supposed that the people had something to do with the lower branch of the legislature. Not a bit. Not only was no one of their class admitted to the legislature, but no one but a magnate was entitled to vote. There was, however, one device which looked like liberty. He spoke entirely from recollection, for he really had been under the impression that the debate was to have been on an Irish subject, or he would have been prepared with documents to refer to; but he believed there were fifty-five boroughs, the representatives of which were all magnates; but to prevent the possibility of anything like the development of borough or commercial freedom, those representatives might talk as much as they liked, but they must not vote. This was the constitution for which they were told the Hungarians were now fighting. There was a party in Hungary which had always endeavoured to force the nobility to be amenable to arrest, to pay taxes and tolls, and to deprive them of all obnoxious privileges; but it was not Kossuth and his followers; for it was he and the lower magnates who had prevented these improvements from being carried out. The hon and gallant Member had told them that Austria had persisted in maintaining high customs duties against Hungary; but why did he not at the same time inform the House that it was merely for the purpose of wringing from the magnates a surrender of their obnoxious privileges in exchange for a reduction of those duties? The hon. Member for Pontefract had told them that this was no republican movement. It certainly was not; because all the peasantry were opposed to it, and were only forced into a participation in the movement by Polish officers, who drove them forward with cannon behind them. Was the House aware of the meaning of the words "the population of Hungary?" The constitution, being very old, contained a very unique provision, which appeared to be taken from the Jewish empire, that it was sinful to number the people. The population, however, amounted to about 30,000,000; and the question was, in fact, whether 5,000,000 of these were to domineer over all the rest. He hoped the hon. and gallant Member for Middlesex, who was the consistent advocate of liberty, would not forget what the population was, and whether the great mass of the people were not in favour of a total abrogation of the constitution, and would not be glad to come to any terms in order to enable their magnificent country to develop its resources. He called upon the House not to suffer itself to be led astray, but to inquire a little whether there had been any demonstration of popular feeling in Hungary. Let the pressure of the army be removed, and they would then see the result. He invited the hon. and gallant Member for Middlesex, and those who agreed with him, to show that this constitution, which they professed to be the vehicle of liberty, was really so; and he warned the hon. Member for Pontefract, who aspired to be a prophet as well as a poet, that he would hereafter, on looking back, find that his poetical fancy had misled him with reference to Hungary. He hoped the House would not rush into the pitfall prepared for them, but would consider before they helped to fix on the Hungarian nation the remnant of an absolute feudal constitution, which had long ceased to work, and which had been denounced by all the enlightened men of that country.

Sir, in the few observations which I shall feel it my duty to make upon the Motion of my hon. and gallant Friend, and upon what has passed in debate, I wish to guard myself in the first place against the possibility that anything which I may say may expose me to the imputation of entertaining unfriendly feelings towards the Government and empire of Austria. I know well, that imputations have been cast upon Her Majesty's Government, and upon myself as the organ of that Government, in regard to our foreign relations—imputations of being guided and impelled in our intercourse with the Powers of Europe by personal feelings of hatred to this Power and to that. Such imputations, let them come from what quarter they may, and whether they be written or spoken, if they be sincere, are the result of ignorance and folly; if they are insincere, I leave others to qualify them as they may. It is the grossest ignorance to suppose that the Government of this country—that the man who may for the time be charged with the conduct of its foreign relations, can be influenced in the management of those affairs by any other fooling than his conception of what is his duty, according to his political opinions, and according to his views of the interests of his country and the general interests of the civilised world. Austria is a Power towards which the Government of this country ought upon many accounts to feel great consideration. We have been told that Austria is our ancient Ally. We have had the term "ally" and "allies" rung in our cars by those who either must be ignorant of the slip-slop expression they were using, or who, through what I must admit to have been its general acceptation, forgot that they were using a totally unmeaning-term. Why, what is an ally? An ally is a Power allied by treaty engagements in carrying on some active operations, political or otherwise. But to call a country an ally, merely because it is an a state of friendship with you, is to use an expression that has no meaning whatever, because it is applicable to every other Power in the world with whom you may happen not to be in a state of war. But Austria has been our ally. We have been allied with Austria inmost important European transactions; and the remembrance of the alliance ought undoubtedly to create in the breast of every Englishman, who has a recollection of the history of his country, feelings of respect towards a Power with whom we have been in such alliance. It is perfectly true, that in the course of those repeated alliances, Austria, not from any fault of hers, but from the pressure of irresistible necessity, was repeatedly compelled to depart from the alliance, and to break the engagements by which she had bound herself to us. We did not reproach her with yielding to the necessity of the moment; and no generous mind would think that those circumstances ought in any degree to diminish or weaken the tie which former transactions must create between the Governments of the two countries. But there are higher and larger considerations, which ought to render the maintenance of the Austrian empire an object of solicitude to every English states-man. Austria is a most important element in the balance of European power. Austria stands in the centre of Europe, a barrier against encroachment on the one side, and against invasion on the other. The political independence and liberties of Europe are bound up, in my opinion, with the maintenance and integrity of Austria as a great European Power; and therefore any-thing which tends by direct, or even remote, contingency, to weaken and to cripple Austria, but still more to reduce her from the position of a first-rate Power to that of a secondary State, must be a great calamity to Europe, and one which every Englishman ought to deprecate, and to try to prevent. However, it is perfectly true, as has been stated, that for a long course of time Austria has not been a favourite with the liberal party in Europe. Austria, by the course of policy which she has pursued, has, in the opinion of a great part of the Continent, been identified with obstruction to progress. That circumstance unfortunately has made her proportionately a favourite in the eyes of some; and when we hear such declamations in favour of Austria, I would warn the Austrian Government not to trust too much to those protestations. It is not as the ancient ally of England during war—it is not as the means of resistance in the centre of Europe to any general disturbance of the balance of power—it is as the former (though I trust it is no longer so)—the former symbol of resistance to improvement, political and social—it is in that capacity that Austria has won the affections of some men in the conduct of public affairs. There are persons who see in the relations of countries nothing but the intercourse of Cabinets—who value a country not for its political weight, but for its political opinions—and who consider that the relations between countries are sufficiently intimate when the personal intercourse of their Governments is placed on a complimentary footing. Sir, there are men who, having passed their whole lives in adoring the Government of Austria, because they deemed it the great symbol of the opinions which they entertained, at last became fickle in their attachment, and transferred their allegiance to the Government of France, because they thought that in that Government they saw an almost equal degree of leaning to the arbitrary principle, and because they, forsooth, suspected that Government of designs hostile to the interests of freedom. We have heard of persons of that sort making use of the expression "old women." Public men ought not to deal in egotism, and I will not apply to them the expression that has fallen from their own mouths. I will only say that the conduct of such men is an example of antiquated imbecility. With regard to the present question, I am sure that everybody who has heard what has passed—everybody in this country who has given attention to the most important events that have taken place In Hungary—must feel that my hon. and gallant Friend need have made no apology for drawing the attention of the Parliament of England to transactions deeply affecting the political principles of Europe, and having a most important bearing upon the general balance of European power. The House will not expect mc to follow those who have spoken today by endeavouring to pass judgment either way between the Austrian Government and the Hungarian nation. I say the Hungarian nation, because, in spite of what has fallen from the noble Lord the Member for Tyrone, I do believe, from the information I have received—and I do not pretend I may not be mistaken—but I firmly believe that in this war between Austria and Hungary, there is enlisted on the side of Hungary the hearts and the souls of the whole people of that country. I believe that the other races, distinct from the Magyars, have forgotten the former feuds that existed between them and the Magyar population, and that the greater portion of the people have engaged in what they consider a great national contest. It is true—as my hon. and gallant Friend has said, that Hungary has for centuries been a State which, though united with Austria by the link of the Crown, has nevertheless been separate and distinct from Austria by its own complete constitution. That constitution has many defects; but some of those defects were, I believe, remedied not long ago, and it is not the only ancient constitution on the Continent that was susceptible of great improvement. There were means probably within the force and resources of the constitution itself to reform it; and it might have been hoped that those improvements would have been carried into effect. But, so far as I understand the matter, I take the present state of the case to be this: Without going into the details of mutual complaints as to circumstances which have taken place within the last year or year and a half, I take the question that is now to be fought for on the plains of Hungary to be this—whether Hungary shall continue to maintain its separate nationality as a distinct kingdom, and with a constitution of its own; or whether it is to be incorporated more or less in the aggregate constitution that is to be given to the Austrian empire? It is a most painful sight to see such forces as are now arrayed against Hungary proceeding to a war fraught with such tremendous consequences on a question that it might have been hoped would be settled peacefully. It is of the utmost importance to Europe that Austria should remain great and powerful; but it is impossible to disguise from ourselves that, if the war is to be fought out, Austria must thereby be weakened, because, on the one hand, if the Hungarians should be successful, and their success should end in the entire separation of Hungary from Austria, it will be impossible not to see that this will be such a dismemberment of the Austrian empire as will prevent Austria from continuing to occupy the great position she has hitherto held among European Powers. If, on the other hand, the war being fought out to the uttermost, Hungary should by superior forces be entirely crushed, Austria in that battle will have crushed her own right arm. Every field that is laid waste, is an Austrian resource destroyed—every man that perishes upon the field among the Hungarian ranks, is an Austrian soldier deducted from the defensive forces of the empire. Laying aside those other most obvious considerations that have been touched upon as to the result of a successful war, the success of which is brought about by foreign aid—laying that wholly aside, it is obvious that even the success of Austria, if it is simply a success of force, will inflict a deep wound on the fabric and frame of the Austrian empire. It is therefore much to be desired, not simply on the principle of general humanity, but on the principle of sound European policy, and from the most friendly regard to the Austrian empire itself—it is, I say, devoutly to be wished that this great contest may be brought to a termination by some amicable arrangement between the contending parties, which shall on the one hand satisfy the national feelings of the Hungarians, and on the other hand not leave to Austria another and a larger Poland within her empire. Her Majesty's Government have not, in the present state of the matter, thought that any opportunity has as yet presented itself that could enable them with any prospect of advantage to make any official communication of those opinions which they entertain on this subject. I say official, as contradistinguished from opinions expressed in a more private and confidential manner; but undoubtedly, if any occasion were to occur that should lead them to think the expression of such opinions would tend to a favourable result, it would be the duty of the Government not to let such an opportunity pass by. Upon the general question, and in regard to the conduct which it ought generally to be the duty of this Government to pursue in its relations to foreign Powers, I have heard with great satisfaction much that has fallen from the hon. Gentlemen who have taken a part in this debate, I think the record of the sentiments that have been expressed will be of great utility. It is most desirable that foreign nations should know that, on the one hand, England is sincerely desirous to preserve and maintain peace—that we entertain no feelings of hostility towards any nation in the world—that we wish to be on the most friendly footing with all—that we have a deep interest in the preservation of peace, because we are desirous to carry on with advantage those innocent and peaceful relations of commerce that we know must be injured by the interruption of our friendly relations with other countries: but, on the other hand, it is also essential for the attainment of that object, and even essential for the protection of that commerce to which we attach so much importance, that it should be known and well understood by every nation on the face of the earth that we are not disposed to submit to wrong, and that the maintenance of peace on our part is subject to the indispensable condition that all countries shall respect our honour and our dignity, and shall not inflict any injury upon our interests. Sir, I do not think that the preservation of peace is in any degree endangered by the expression of opinion with regard to the transactions in Hungary or other countries. I agree with those who think—and I know there are many in this country who entertain the opinion—that there are two objects which England ought peculiarly to aim at. One is to maintain peace; the other is to count for something in the transactions of the world—that it is not fitting that. I country occupying such a proud position as England—that a country having such various and extensive interests, should look herself up in a simple regard to her own internal affairs, and should be a passive and mute spectator of everything that is going on around. It is quite true that it may be said, "Your opinions are but opinions, and you express them against our opinions, who have at our command large armies to back them—what are opinions against armies?" Sir, my answer is, opinions are stronger than armies. Opinions, if they are founded in truth and justice, will in the end prevail against the bayonets of infantry, the fire of artillery, and the charges of cavalry. Therefore I say, that armed by opinion, if that opinion is pronounced with truth and justice, we are indeed strong, and in the end likely to make our opinions prevail; and I think that what is happening on the whole surface of the continent of Europe is a proof that this expression of mine is a truth. Why, for a great many years the Governments of Europe imagined they could keep down opinion by force of arms, and that by obstructing progressive improvement they would prevent that extremity of revolution which was the object of their constant dread. We gave an opinion to the contrary effect, and we have been blamed for it. We have been accused of meddling with matters that did not concern us, and of affronting nations and Governments by giving our opinion as to what was likely to happen; but the result has proved, that if our opinions had been acted upon, great calamities would have been avoided. Those very Governments that used to say, "The man we hate, the man we have to fear, is the moderate Reformer; we care not for your violent Radical, who proposes such violent extremes that nobody is likely to join with him—the enemy we are most afraid of is the moderate Reformer, because he is such a plausible man that it is difficult to persuade people that his counsels would lead to extreme consequences—therefore let us keep off, of all men, the moderate Reformer, and let us prevent the first step of improvement, because that improvement might lead to extremities and innovation." Those Governments, those Powers of Europe, have at last learned the truth of the opinions expressed by Mr. Canning, "That those who have checked improvement because it is innovation, will one day or other be compelled to accept innovation when it has ceased to be improvement." I say, then, that it is our duty not to remain passive spectators of events that in their immediate consequence affect other countries, but which in their remote and certain consequences are sure to come back with disastrous effect upon us; that, so far as the courtesies of international intercourse may permit us to do, it is our duty, especially when our opinion is asked, as it has been on many occasions on which we have been blamed for giving it, to state our opinions, founded on the experience of this country—an experience that might have been, and ought to have been, an example to less fortunate countries. At the same time, I am quite ready to admit that interference ought not to be carried to the extent of endangering our relations with other countries. There are cases like that which is now the subject of our discussion, of one Power having in the exercise of its own sovereign rights invited the assistance of another Power; and, however we may lament that circumstance, however we may be apprehensive that therefrom consequences of great danger and evil may flow, still we are not entitled to interpose in any manner that will commit this country to embark in those hostilities. All we can justly do is to take advantage of any opportunities that may present themselves in which the counsels of friendship and peace may be offered to the contending parties. We have, on several occasions that have happened of late in Europe, been invited to "intermeddle," as it is called, in the affairs of other countries, although it has been said of this country, that it stands so low in public opinion in Europe, that we are treated with contempt both by Governments and by nations. Certainly, the way in which that want of respect has been shown is singular, when from the north to the south, in cases of difficulty, not only between nations but internally between Governments and their own subjects, we have been asked and invited to interpose our friendly mediation in their affairs. We have on those occasions done our best to accomplish the object which we were called upon to fulfil; and, in one case at least, we have now nearly succeeded. We have heard a great deal, in the course of the Session, of "sham mediations" in the contest between Denmark and Germany; but that "sham mediation" has ended in a real preliminary treaty, and I hope that preliminary treaty will soon he followed by a permanent pacification. Sir, to suppose that any Government of England can wish to excite revolutionary movements in any part of the world—to suppose that any Government of England can have any other wish or desire than to confirm and maintain peace between nations, and tranquillity and harmony between Governments and subjects, shows really a degree of ignorance and folly which I never supposed any public man could have been guilty of, which may do very well for a newspaper article, but which it astonishes me to find is made the subject of a speech in Parliament.

said, this debate would excite a more lively interest all over the continent of Europe than any other debate in the present Session. A struggle was now going on between Austria and Hungary the importance of which it was impossible to over-estimate, for the world was in danger of seeing another partition of Poland, another instance of similar treachery, another example of a brave and gallant people having their rights destroyed and reduced to the miserable condition of Russian serfs. It was impossible the British House of Commons could view this struggle with indifference. It was not a struggle for an abstract idea; it was the effort of an united people determined to maintain the constitution which had been handed down to them for centuries—a constitution which had been sworn to by all their sovereigns even so late as last year, and by virtue of which oath alone the Emperor of Austria held any rightful sway over the country. The constitution of Hungary was as similar to the constitution of this country as any mentioned by history. It consisted of three estates, King, Lords, and Commons; yet the noble Lord the Member for Tyrone had ventured to designate it as an "infamous constitution." That word would attach to the name of the noble Lord, and when he went forth he would be pointed at as the man who had ventured not only to call the Hungarian constitution "infamous," but who had even spoken of the "infamous" Kossuth. Why, if there were defects in that constitution, they had been cured by the reforms established by that illustrious man, Ludwig Kossuth. But the enemies of Hungarian liberty, like the enemies of Polish liberty, and like all who spoke on the side of despotism, invariably resorted to the practice of pointing out defects which had existed long since, utterly forgetting the reforms since accomplished. They were perpetually speaking of the faults of the Polish constitution of former days, entirely overlooking the reforms of 1791; and now they spoke only of the evils of the Hungarian constitution, passing wholly by the reforms established by Kossuth, to whom the country was indebted for the liberty of the peasants and of the press. He denied that Count Szechni was the only author of the great reforms that had been made in Hungary; and if the Hungarian constitution was so "infamous," why had the Emperor of Austria sworn to maintain it? He thought the speech of his noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs did him great honour. It would have the effect of increasing the popularity which he was happy to see his noble Friend enjoy in the country. The noble Lord had spoken of the necessity of having Austria strong and potent as a means of maintaining the balance of power in Europe. He had been himself of that opinion as long as there was a chance of its being carried out; but now that Austria had called in Russian aid, she was to be considered henceforth as merely the tool of Russia. That was, he thought, another reason why the independence of Hungary ought to be maintained; and his belief was that the true establishment of the balance of power in Europe would be in the restoration of Poland, and the re-establishment of both Poland and Hungary as independent States. He believed that nothing would tend more to the commercial advantage of this country than having powerful constitutional Governments in Eastern Europe. He was glad to have heard the noble Lord state his determination to lose no opportunity of remonstrating against the attempts to put down the Hungarians in their righteous struggle. He certainly felt great satisfaction at this debate, because he thought it would have the effect of enlightening the public on the real state of things, and at any rate it would show the great interest which the House of Commons, as well as the country at large, felt in the struggle which was now going on to establish liberty in the east of Europe.

said, after the almost unanimous expression of opinion that had been exhibited during this debate, he would only say a very few words. He wished merely to draw attention to the fact, that Russia was steadily advancing her power, and that according as her influence extended to territory after territory, the sale of British manufactures receded. This was the case with the trade of this country with Moldavia and Wallachia; and the present events in Hungary would, if Russian influence succeeded, shut out England from one of her most important markets. There was an opportunity of sending goods to the value of 16,000,000l. a year to the Hungarian market; and at a time when British commerce received so many blows, he hoped the noble Lord would so protect the interests of this country that they would not suffer in any new arrangements that might be entered into by Russia with regard to the Austrian territories.

said, that as the noble Lord had intimated that there were no official papers to produce, he would, of course, not press his Motion.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.;

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Resolutions reported.

The House adjourned at a quarter after Four o'clock, till Monday next.