House Of Commons
Monday, August 20, 1860.
MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS.—1o Exchequer Bonds (£2,000,000); Consolidated Fund (Appropriation); Poor Law Officers' Superannuation.
2o Militia Pay; Trustees, Mortgagees, &c.; Debtors and Creditors Act Amendment; Chancery Evidence Commission; Coast of Africa, &c. Act Amendment; Offences within Her Majesty's Possessions Abroad.
3o East India Loan; Spirit Duties; Law and Equity; Titles to Land (Scotland) Act (1858) Amendment (No. 2); Sale of Gas Act Amendment.
Superannuation Allowances (Customs)—Question
said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he would be disposed to entertain the applications of certain Officers of the Customs who, owing to the recent changes, have been obliged to retire from the service, for a commutation of their superannuation allowance into money payments, taking into consideration the special circumstances of each case?
said, he was not aware that any applications of the nature described had been made by Officers in the Customs. The commutation of annual allowances into money payments was not, generally speaking, an admissible practice in the public Departments, because, supposing that the value of a pension were paid at once, and the person who received the money subsequently fell into distress, there would be a risk, if he had been a meritorious servant, that the public would still be called upon to shield him from pecuniary want in his old days. The practice was, therefore, one which required to be watched with great care, lest the public should have to pay these pensions twice over. This case, however, now referred to was a special one. In consequence of the reductions of public establishments it might possibly happen that a considerable number of persons would leave the Customs at an early age, and he did not say that under these circumstances the principle of commutation was inadmissible, particularly where the allowance was small, and exclusively, of course, in those cases where the person was young, and where it was to be presumed that the immediate possession of a sum of money would be of much greater value to him than a prospective annual payment. The Government would not, therefore, consider themselves precluded from considering applications of that kind, having regard to the special circumstances of each case.
On bringing up the Report of the Committee of Supply—
Lord Clyde And The Indian Army
said, he wished to address a few words to the House on behalf of his noble and gallant Friend Lord Clyde. It will be in the recollection of the House, that in the course of the discussions respecting the amalgamation of the Indian forces, an hon. and gallant Member referred to certain supposed opinions of Lord Clyde, to the effect that in his (Lord Clyde's) opinion, none of the General Officers of Her Majesty's Indian forces were qualified to hold divisional command. He (Sir De Lacy Evans) stated at the time he was convinced that could not he an accurate representation of his noble Friend's opinions; and he was pleased now to find that his conjecture was perfectly correct. The shortest and most direct way to correct the mistake, would be to read two or three lines from a letter he had just received from Lord Clyde: "I never intended," said Lord Clyde, "to draw an invidious comparison between the officers of the Royal and Indian Services, or to desire to exclude from employment or divisional commands a fair proportion of the officers of the local army, so many of whom served with great distinction under my command." His noble Friend never wished to contend for more than a fair proportion of divisional commands being given to officers in the Royal service, on grounds that he laid down in much detail; but he was much hurt at finding that passages from some of his letters that were printed in the Parliamentary papers had had an interpretation put on them which they would not bear; and he therefore expressed an earnest wish that he (Sir De Lacy Evans) "would be good enough to state publicly to the House that the interpretation put on a passage in Lord Clyde's letter on the 8th of March, by Major-General Birch, was overstrained and inaccurate." This candid and honourable tribute to the services of the officers referred to by their illustrious Commander-in-Chief, together with his frank disclaimer of what he had been unfairly accused of, can but enhance the high public estimation my gallant Friend has so nobly won; while it will be a consolation to the distinguished officers, whose services are thus remembered and acknowledged, for the wholly unmerited depreciation their professional characters were lately so unhandsomely exposed to in this House. It was impossible to add anything to this statement, especially as the new order of things might be said to be consummated; but it was desirable that Parliament should know that no prejudice against those officers existed in the mind of their late Commander-in Chief.
Westminster Improvement Commission—Question
said, he rose to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether the Government will grant a Committee next Session for the purpose of inquiring into the Westminster Improvement Commission? He wished, in the first place, to call attention to the condition of Victoria Street. Any Gentleman who would take the trouble to turn his Steps in that direction would witness a scene of ruin and desolation which could not he paralleled in any other capital in Europe: houses half built, and more than half in ruin; plots of ground, that if a title could be made to them would be worth their surface covered with gold, now the receptacle of all the filth in the neighbour- hood, and the resort of the vice and degradation of that dense population. Surely the House would not allow this state of things to continue. The Commission was constituted in 1849, on certain conditions. The first condition to which the Commissioners were bound by the Act was, to make a direct communication between Pimlico and Westminster Abbey, and also to complete a spacious and convenient approach from that part of the town to the Houses of Parliament. He regretted to say that they had been prevented from carrying out the first condition by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. A corner of land had unfortunately been left in their hands, on which the Dean and Chapter had constructed a hideous building which looked like a nunnery outside, and was inside, he understood, a den of attorneys. Any one who looked down Victoria Street from Pimlico would scarcely believe but that a feeling of spite as much as cupidity had been the motive that induced the Dean and Chapter to shut up their noble cathedral and prevent it from being a grand and noble object in the future street. If the House did not consider the present disgraceful state of things a reason for interfering, surely the fact that £80,000 of the public money had been advanced would justify it in bringing a pressure to bear upon the First Commissioner of Works. The right hon. Gentleman might name a fresh Commission, or infuse some fresh blood into the present Commissioners, giving them the power of selling the land and half-finished houses and lodging the amount in the Court of Chancery, to be distributed as equity might direct. In any case, he trusted that this property would not be left in its present disgraceful state. If it were thought better to appoint a Select Committee, its inquiries should be carried further back than those of any former Select Committee, so that the gross dishonesty might be exposed which had occurred at the commencement of the Commission, and brought the undertaking to its present position. He wished to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman would consent to grant a Select Committee to inquire next Session into the proceedings of the Westminster Improvement Committee?
agreed with the hon. Baronet, that the present condition of Victoria Street was a most lamentable indication of the mismanagement of the building society known as the Westminster Improvement Commission. The Government had, however, no responsibility or control in the matter, nor had it taken any part in the affairs of the Commission. [Sir WILLIAM GALLWEY: They advanced £80,000.] He could not state what the Government would do next Session; all he could say was, that if the hon. Baronet made out a good case, and offered good grounds next Session for appointing a Select Committee, he for one would not offer any objection.
Increase Of Public Expenditure
said, he rose to call the attention of the House for a few moments to the enormous sums which had been voted away in the present year for the public service. In February, in his financial statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer estimated the expenditure for the year at £70,000,000; which he (Mr. Lindsay) and many others considered excessive. Large as that sum was, it had since been increased by £3,300,000 for the China expedition, £2,000,000 for fortifications (which was stated to be an instalment of an outlay of £9,000,000, but which he (Mr. Lindsay) believed to be more likely £20,000,000.) and another £1,000,000 for Exchequer bonds; making in all an expenditure of about £76,400,000. That large expenditure might not be felt severely at the moment; but if there should come a bad harvest, and scarcity of employment, there would be great discontent throughout the manufacturing districts. That was a dangerous prospect, and we might have more difficulties to apprehend from the unhappy condition of our own people than from the violence of any external enemy. He therefore hoped the Government would not lose sight of the importance of economy, and would endeavour to curtail the public expenditure, notwithstanding that those large sums had been actually voted. A considerable portion of the increased naval and military expenditure had been created, as was alleged, by the state of affairs across the Channel, and especially from the addition which France had made of late years to her naval power. But upon the authority of a pamphlet recently published under the sanction of the Emperor of the French, what was the actual state of affairs? On the 1st of July, 1860, Great Britain had afloat (including block-ships) 63 steam line of-battle ships, while France at that time—and, indeed, a month later—had but 35. Of steam frigates, England had 41 and France 38; and of smaller vessels, including transports, England had 388 and France only 195. The totals were that England had at the present moment afloat 492 screw vessels, and France 268. If those figures were correct he did not think there need be much fear of France attempting to cope with us on the waters. From the fear that had been exhibited, however, it would appear as though the present race of Englishmen had reversed the creed of their forefathers, and, instead of reckoning one British ship as worth two French ships, they considered one French vessel equal to two English. Was there never to be a limit to the building of those huge ships of war? Not only were our numbers superior afloat, but we had a larger number on the stocks than France had. With regard to the fortifications, he considered it would have been very much more satisfactory if the Committee appointed to inquire into the matter had been composed of others besides officers in the army. Suppose Sir Robert Peel had nominated a Committee of gentlemen immediately connected with agricultural pursuits to consider the operation of the corn laws, was it probable that the result of their labours would have been satisfactory to the public? His hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Westminster (Sir De Lacy Evans) had correctly said of him (Mr. Lindsay) that he was no authority upon a question of fortifications; but he thought if a few men of business had been on the Fortification Commission they would have looked at the question with less contracted views. What had the House been doing during the present Session but spending money? Why was not the Bankruptcy Bill, in which he and other commercial men took an interest, passed? The Reform Bill also, and many other measures of great public importance had been dropped—nothing beyond the measures connected with the Budget and the Commercial Treaty had been passed. He admitted that the Commercial Treaty was likely to produce great results to this country. He differed from the public opinions which had been expressed with regard to it; the more he saw and heard of that treaty, the more convinced he was that it would increase the commerce between this country and France. But while with one hand we were extending the intercourse between this country and France, and thus promoting harmony and goodwill between the two nations, we were with the other hand spending millions, which would do much to nullify the effects of the Commercial Treaty. He, perhaps, had less reason to complain than other Members of the little that had been done this Session, for the measures which he brought forward the House had been good enough to pass; but the Government, he was sorry to say, had taken no step to carry them into effect. The House unanimously resolved that it was desirable that this country should enter into a maritime treaty with France, but he did not find that one single step had been taken to obtain that maritime treaty. The House thought proper to agree to a Commission with regard to harbours of refuge for saving a large amount of life and property. No step whatever had been taken by the Government to carry into effect the Rosolution of the House. The least the Government ought to have done, if they did not intend to act upon the Resolution of the House, was to have brought forward a Motion to rescind that Resolution. The Attorney General had described this as a singular Session; but he (Mr. Lindsay) would call it a most unsatisfactory Session indeed. Long as the Members whom the country had sent to that House had been kept there, no measure of progress, with the exception of the Commercial Treaty, had been agreed to; whilst, on the other hand, there bad been a large expenditure of the public money. He warned the Government that the lavish expenditure into which they had led the country would greatly weaken their influence.
said, he could not admit that a Session had been misspent in which such important financial measures had been passed, and he believed be spoke the sentiments of his constituents when he said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was entitled to the gratitude of the country for the efforts he made to secure the sanction of the House to the Commercial Treaty. He believed that we had in the French Emperor a friend, who was anxious to conciliate our good wishes. The Commercial Treaty had removed a barrier which the prejudices and hostilities of centuries had raised up between England and France, and the two peoples might now unite in commercial intercourse, and that intercourse would have a beneficial effect upon the other nations of the world. He deplored, however, the enormous military expenditure to which the House had as- sented. The fortifications which were about to be constructed would create not friendship, but feelings of hostility between ourselves and the French. The expenditure for fortifications was a false policy.
said, he wished to know, Whether it is the intention of the President of the Board of Trade to withdraw the Companies Bill for this Session? He thought that the manner in which the legal measures of the Government had been continually postponed, time after time, afforded great ground for complaint.
Forged Trade Marks
said, he would also beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he will be prepared to bring in a measure to check the Forging of Trade Marks early next Session?
said, that in answer to the question of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bass), he bad to say that Government had a Bill prepared on the subject of trade marks, and that if there had been any probability of passing it through during the present Session be would have laid it upon the table. It was a somewhat difficult subject—somewhat of the nature of a law reform, which was perhaps not very appropriate for the Board of Trade to undertake; they had, however, given their best attention to the subject, and had prepared a Bill which, to a certain degree, met the evils that were complained of. With regard to the Companies Bill lie could assure the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Malins) that they had been sincere in their intentions of proceeding with it; but it was not in his power to bring it on when he desired, owing to the very important business which occupied the House. The utmost labour had been bestowed on the Bill, and those whose time and labour had been employed upon it would be disappointed when they should hear that it was not the intention of the Government to proceed with it this Session. It had been suggested that parts might be left out, and that the rest might be proceeded with; but it was thought better, it being a consolidation Bill, to abandon it altogether during the present Session, and bring it in in the next. He hoped when they did so that they should have the assistance of the hon. and learned Gentleman and of the other Members of the legal profession in the House, who, however, he must say, had not been as a body always active in promoting legal reform. The Lien on Freight Bill was unfortunately not sent up to the House of Lords until after they had resolved not to read any Bill a second time, except in a case of urgent necessity, and it could hardly be said that this was a very urgent measure. The hon. Member for Sunderland had complained that no steps had been taken to carry out the Resolutions of the House in regard to harbours of refuge, but the Government would have been to blame if they had attempted hastily to legislate on so large and important a subject. When the hon. Member for Sunderland proposed, against the wish of the Government, that a further expenditure of some £4,000,000 should be incurred in the construction of harbours of refuge, he was not actuated by those strong feelings of economy which he now displayed. With regard to the Lien on Freight Bill, he hoped they would have an opportunity of proceeding with that measure at some other time, and he had no doubt that the Resolution to which the House had agreed in reference to the recommendations of the Commissioners on Harbours of Refuge would lead to legislation of some kind or other on the subject.
The Massacres In Syria
besought the indulgence of the House while he asked the noble Lord at the head of the Government to give some further explanation of a statement which he made on Friday last in answer to a question which he then put with regard to the affairs of Syria. He (Mr. Monsell) asked the noble Lord on Friday what instructions were given to Lord Dufferin as our Commissioner in Syria, and he pointed out to the House how completely the system of Government carried out in the Lebanon, chiefly through the influence of this country, had failed, the Druse and Maronite chiefs being altogether subject to the influence of the Pasha, as was anticipated at the time by those best acquainted with the country. In reply to that question the noble Lord at the head of the Government stated that Lord Dufferin and the other Commissioners had been instructed to inquire what would be the best system of Government for the future to be established in Syria. The noble Lord went on to state that, in his opinion, the disturbances in the Leba- non were commenced, not by the Druses, but by the Maronites, and made some further observations with a view to exonerate the Turkish Government from blame. He need not point out to the House how important were such observations, falling from the First Minister, or how calculated they were to encourage the most erroneous notions which prevailed in Syria with regard to the views of the British Government as to these unfortunate transactions. It was shown that such erroneous notions did exist by the cries which were beard both in Tripoli and Damascus, "that the English Government would take the part of the Druses;" "that they did not care for France or Russia, because they were quite sure England would be on their side." Of course nothing was more absurd than such notions, but it was most unfortunate that any word should escape the noble Lord in the least calculated to encourage those absurd and erroneous notions. All the documents that had been laid before the House went to show that the Druses had been the real aggressors, that the Turkish authorities and the Turkish soldiers had aided them, and had in many instances even exceeded them in ferocity. He wished, with the permission of the House, to cite three important authorities. The first was Mr. Cyril Graham, of whom Lord Dufferin, in transmitting a most able Report from that gentleman to the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, said—
The second was M. Le Normant, who had bestowed a great deal of study upon Eastern questions; and the third was a Protestant missionary, who had written a most interesting letter from Damascus. All three agreed in the statement that the disturbances were commenced by the Druses; that the Turks might have easily prevented what happened had they wished to do so, and that the Turks having had full warning were guilty of complicity. The Protestant missionary said, that throughout the whole of the winter the Druses were allowed to make preparations for the coming war, while the Christians were prevented doing so. M. Le Normant stated that at Beyrout the very day when the outbreak took place, and when the Druses had taken the Maronite villages, Kurschid Pasha went to a camp established near Babdah, and when two guns were fired immediately after his arrival the whole of these villages were instantly set on fire. A village was burnt at two musket shots from the camp, and the Governor forbade the Arabs to carry corn to the mountains where 40,000 Christians had taken refuge, with a view of starving them out. This was not a mere feud between the Druses and the Maronitos; it was a persecution of the Christians of all sects. Protestants, Greeks, and Catholics, were all equally attacked. At Deir-el-Kammarthe Turkish soldiers, in putting some Christians to death, said, "Call upon your God, and see whether he will give you any help!" and at Beyrout crosses were thrown down to make the Christians trample them under their feet. Mr. Graham stated distinctly that if the Turkish Government had used the slightest exertions it might have prevented the feud from spreading. He then went on to describe the massacre at Hasbeya. The Maronites were induced by the Turkish Governor to give up their arms, and to go into the Serai Palace, used as a barrack. This was on the 29th of May, and on the 6th of June many of the soldiers were seen to be leaving, and then: Mr. Graham said—"Your Lordship may rely with implicit confidence on the accuracy of all Mr. Graham's statements of fact, as his knowledge of Arabic and his personal acquaintance both with the Druse and Maronite populations, combined with the opportunities he has had of visiting the places where these tragedies have occurred, will have given him peculiar facilities for arriving at the truth."
At Deir-el-Kammar and at other places he also mentioned that the Turkish troops were seen assisting in the massacre. From these statements it appeared to be perfectly clear that the Turkish Government had anticipated this outbreak during the winter, that they had endeavoured to prepare the Druses for the work in which they were to be engaged, and to put the Maronites in a position in which they could offer no resistance. He trusted that the noble Lord, however desirous he might be to maintain the Sultan on his throne, would not allow it to be understood that the influence of this country would be exerted to preserve any system under which such abominations could take place. He now looked back with pain on the part which in common with the great majority of that House he had taken in 1855 and 1856 in supporting a war undertaken for the purpose of maintaining the Turkish Empire. It was useless to attempt to bind the Turks by any laws; there was in them an ineffaceable cruelty and treachery which no efforts could subdue. No doubt the noble Lord justly considered it was of great importance to the balance of power in Europe that the Turks should be preserved as long as possible at Constantinople; but that object might be too dearly purchased. He hoped the noble Lord would not allow that object to influence him, so far as to prevent these Christians throwing off that abominable yoke. He hoped the noble Lord, while preaching the principle of nationality in one part of Europe, would not allow it to he put down in that country where the Christians were oppressed by the Turks. He earnestly entreated the noble Lord to state now what he meant in stating that it was the Maronites and not the Druses who had commenced those atrocities, and also how he thought it possible to exonerate the Turkish authorities."The unfortunate people, when it was too late, saw clearly how treacherously they had been deceived. They rushed into the outer court and entreated to be let out. The signal was then given, the gates thrown open, and in rushed the Druses, armed with any weapon they could seize, and then commenced an indiscriminate slaughter of all the males. Some, indeed, made their way through the door to the outer gate, only to be seized by the Turkish soldiery; nor were these passive only in the transaction. Many Christians whom I have examined have sworn to mo that they saw the soldiers themselves taking part in the slaughter, and the subsequent behaviour of these brutal troops to the women was savage in the extreme. From the wounds I have seen, both on the living and the dead, it would appear that they went to work with the most systematic cruelty; ten, twelve, and fourteen deep cuts on the body of one person is not unfrequent; some of the wounds show that they were made with blunt instruments. In short, everything was used which came to hand, and, according to the nature of the weapon, hands and limbs were cut off, or brains dashed out, or bodies mangled. … Women the Druses did not slaughter, nor, for the most part, I believe, illuse; that was left for Turks and Moslems to do, and they did it. Little boys of four and five years old were not safe; these would be seized from the mother and dashed on the ground, or torn to pieces before her face; or, if her grasp was too tight, they would kill it on her lap; and in some cases, to save further trouble, mother and child were cut down together. Many women have assured me that the Turkish soldiers have taken their children one leg in each hand and torn them in two."
I confess I regret that the right hon. Gentleman has thought it advisable to transfer to this House the dispute which has unfortunately taken place between the Druses and the Maronites. He has quoted passages from the papers which have been laid before Parliament, which have been read before two or three times, and which, though they must always be heard with regret and in- dignation, have really nothing to do with the question which he has put to me. I have also to regret that the right hon. Gentleman has thought fit to become the advocate of the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire. He omitted, however, to state which was the foreign Power to which he was desirous of transferring Syria. I suppose it would not he England, and he will allow that it would not be for the interests of this country or for the general interests of Europe that other foreign Powers should divide the Turkish Empire between them. No doubt, there are great and just complaints made against the Turkish rule. It is not from any predilection for the Turkish race that I think it desirable to maintain that empire; but any man who has paid the slightest attention to the matter must know that the Turkish Empire could not be partitioned without involving a general European conflict, or, at all events, in its results, without adding to other Powers positions of great military and naval importance, to the serious detriment of the interests of this country. I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should have given us his opinion on this subject without telling us candidly to what foreign Power he thought it desirable to give Syria; and probably he might also have favoured us by informing us what other foreign Power he would wish to see at Constantinople. My right hon. Friend said that by the arrangement made for the internal administration of Syria, by which the Maronite districts were administered by Maronite Chiefs, and the Druse districts by Druse chiefs, both became easily subservient to the Turkish Pasha. He is totally mistaken. It is in consequence of the weakness of the Turkish authority in Syria that from time to time these deplorable animosities of race between the Druses and the Maronites have burst out. I do not dispute, what is proved by these papers, that the Turkish authorities in Syria—my right hon. Friend talks of the Turkish Government, but that is a misnomer—that the Turkish authorities in Syria have be-behaved infamously ill—infamously ill; that some of the Turkish soldiers have behaved abominably ill. But, so far from the Turkish Government sheltering or protecting those miscreants, Fuad Pasha, who has been despatched to Syria with a large military and naval force, immediately on his arrival proceeded to arrest 400 of the principal offenders, and sent Osman Bey and Kurschid Pasha to Constantinople to be tried. It was felt that their trial would be better conducted on the spot than at Constantinople, and after having been degraded in the presence of all the military—after having had their orders and military insignia stripped from them, they were sent back to Beyrout in order to be tried, condemned, as I believe, and severely punished, as I trust, for their infamous crimes. My right hon. Friend's question had very little to do with the greater part of his observations. He wants to know why I stated that I had reason to believe that the Maronites were the first aggressors. I am very reluctant to advert to these things, because I think it of no use to inquire who struck the first blow. I was sorry when he forced from me my opinion the other evening, but I cannot now refrain from answering his question. The facts of the case are these:—For several months before the outbreak there certainly were among all the Christian communities in Turkey and other parts of Europe rumours that such an outbreak would take place in Syria in the spring. It is well known that large supplies of arms were furnished to the Maronites—European arms, coming from Europe—I cannot tell whence they came—some of them were sold openly in Beyrout, and beyond those I have reason to believe great numbers were supplied to the Maronite population. If my right hon. Friend will refer to the papers presented he will see in a despatch of Mr. Moore, Her Majesty's Consul at Beyrout, that the war began with an attack by the Maronites on four or five villages in which there was a mixed population of Druses and Maronites, for the purpose of expelling the Druses. It was also currently believed that there was a Maronite committee sitting at Beyrout, of which Bishop Tubia was the directing agent, and that the object of their deliberations was to excite the Maronites to take advantage of this opportunity of expelling the Druses at all events from the mixed districts. My right hon. Friend says that reports prevailed in places he mentioned that the British Government would bear the Druses harmless for any atrocities they committed. I do not know whence he gathered his information. I never heard of it, and it must be the invention of those from whom he received it. Such a report is totally baseless; it has no foundation whatever, and can only be circulated by persons who wish to serve their own purposes by doing so. The British Government has had no more intimate communications with the Druses than with the Maronites. Having stated thus much, I am at liberty to add that not long ago Lord Cowley, in conversation with M. de Thouvenel on the subject, expressed the opinion that the Maronites had been the first aggressors, and M. de Thouvenel said he believed so too; that he believed the Maronite priests had excited their flocks to commit acts of aggression against the Druses. At the same time that is no excuse for the Druses; it is no palliation for the enormities they have committed. I dare say that if the advantage had been on the side of the Maronites they also might have been guilty of some excesses; but I do not believe they could have been capable of anything like the atrocities of the Druses. The answer, therefore, which I have to give to my right hon. Friend is, that he will find at page 6 of the Papers presented to Parliament an account of the attack by the Maronites upon the mixed Christian and Druse villages, and that, in the opinion even of the French Government, the Maronites were the first aggressors. No doubt there had been from time to time border feuds between the two hostile races, and therefore it is very easy, by holding up single cases of outrage, to make either party the aggressors; but the question is, who began the war? Individual outrages, I fear, were too common on both sides; and it is impossible to say that either the one or the other began those attacks. The question is who commenced what may fairly be considered a war between race and race, and that question I have already answered.
The English And French Navies
I wish to correct a statement made by my hon. Friend (Mr. Lindsay) respecting the relative strength of this country and of France in line-of-battle ships. My hon. Friend has quoted from a French pamphlet, which is not official, and therefore we are not bound to accept its statements as true, even of the strength of the French navy in regard to line-of-battle ships. I will not, however, quarrel with its statements on a subject upon which the writer may have had very fair information; but at least we may be permitted to know what number of line-of-battle ships we have ourselves. The pamphlet gives us 63 steam line-of-battle ships afloat. [An hon. MEMBER: Including blockships?] It does not say a word about blockships. But the fact is we have at this moment 52 screwships of the line afloat and nine blockships, making 61. Now, blockships are of course available for service afloat, but still I do not think it is fair to set them down as equal in point of efficiency to line-of-battle-ships. There is one thing which the pamphlet altogether omits as regards the French navy, which is that the French Government are building 10 iron-cased ships. We are building only four. Therefore the statement that we are making undue preparations on this side of the Channel, and that we are preparing a vast steam navy as compared with that of France, is not borne out by the facts.
European Troops In India
said, he rose to ask the Secretary of State for India, if the Troops lately in the Service of the East India Company, but transferred to the Royal Army, have been attested in the same manner as the Soldiers of the latter Service; also, whether they have received bounty, or whether any precautions have been taken to prevent discontents similar to those which have proved so injurious to the Public Service in the East?
did not clearly understand the question. The European troops now in India were Queen's troops. Those who remained from the former local force had been offered the option of discharge, and having chosen to remain they received an allowance of two years' service and became Queen's troops.
Resolutions (Supply) reported.
(26.) £15,000, National Gallery Improvements.
said, he would not allow this Vote to pass unchallenged, notwithstanding that the House had agreed to it by a small majority. All he (Mr. Coningham) asked was that there should be a postponement of this matter till next Session, when a consideration of the whole question would take place, and when the matter came to be inquired into it would, he believed, be found that the present scheme would satisfy no one. The grant of £15,000 would be insufficient for the improvement of a Gallery worthy of the national pictures, and the scheme would be inadequate to meet the views of the Royal Academy. He had been charged with having no other propositions, but he would venture to say that his proposal was a clear, distinct, and economical one—his proposal was that the Royal Academy should be removed from the National Gallery, and the whole of the building given up for the public pictures and for the purposes of a National Gallery. If the Royal Academy had really fulfilled the purposes for which they were intended, that of cultivating and promoting the fine arts in this country, he should see no reason for removing them from Trafalgar Square; but Academies in general, and the Royal Academy in particular, were founded upon the patronage of Princes, and the management of them always fell into the hands of the directors, who naturally regarded the interests of their own body, instead of keeping in view the interests of the artistic world and of the public. Though therefore the Royal Academy might originally have contained some eminent men, the object of the Academy had wholly failed, and therefore he was justified in asking for their removal from the national building. The Royal Academicians were at present only tenants at will, but he believed their real object to be to get possession of the fee-simple of the whole building. In discussing these questions he had always found the Chancellor of the Exchequer ready to agree with him on principle, but when they came to details the right hon. Gentleman invariably voted against him. It reminded him of the nobleman whose benevolence was so very diffusive that it was never found possible to concentrate it on one object.
thought his hon. Friend laboured under a misapprehension as to the facts of the case. Upon the one point he believed they were generally agreed—namely, the advantage of the study and cultivation of the arts by the members of the Royal Academy. That was a question which came practically into the discussion. The hon. Gentleman wished a postponement of the whole question to another year. The "whole question," however was the removal of the Royal Academy elsewhere. Now, that the Royal Academy should go elsewhere, was, he apprehended, a question already decided. The material point to be determined upon was where they were to go. The arrangement now making involved the intention of appropriating the whole of the building to the national pictures. If the Royal Academy had constructed a new building and were prepared to remove to it immediately, the National Gallery would then be given up altogether to the national collection. But even under such circumstances what they were now doing would be absolutely necessary for the national collection. So far, then, as they had proceeded, they had done nothing which precluded the carrying out the arrangement that was so much desired by the hon. Gentleman. The sum voted would render the building better adapted than it now was to the purposes of a national gallery.
said, it appeared to him that the noble Lord did not put the matter very clearly before the House. It was satisfactory, however, to hear the noble Lord say that the Royal Academy was to be removed, and that they were not to occupy the building in Trafalgar Square longer than could be avoided. As it was orginally constructed it was to be adapted wholly to the National Gallery. The wall in front was only intended to be temporary. By the removal of that wall the whole building could be rendered completely applicable to its original purposes, if the Royal Academy were removed from it. If they were turned out of it they would soon find a place to locate themselves in, as the Society was in the possession of plenty of funds.
said, that when the National Gallery was first built it was too large for the pictures, and the Royal Academy was allowed the use of one half of it. Since then the national collection had so much increased that they had bad to build a second National Gallery at Kensington for their reception—thus dividing the collection. The iron buildings that had been there constructed were found injurious to the pictures, and they would have to be removed. They would, however, do for students and schools of art, and he suggested that the pictures should be taken to the National Gallery, and the Royal Academy be allowed the use of the buildings at Kensington. By this arrangement we should have one National Gallery, and all the schools of art would be under one roof.
said, that the question had been settled by the House, but he regretted that it had been settled before the Correspondence moved for by the hon. Member for North Staffordshire had been laid before the House. It would then have been seen that Captain Fowkes' plan was much better than that which had been resolved upon. They might find afterwards that the £15,000 was misspent, instead of adapting a permanent building at a smaller cost.
was sorry that hon. Members who now expressed regret that this question was settled were not here on Saturday to diminish the small majority of the Government. The question, however, had been on Saturday put so fairly before the House and the country that he for one was quite content to leave it there. He was happy to hear the noble Lord distinctly say that he considered this question of the removal of the Royal Academy a settled matter. They had, however, heard that said so often that he for one could place but little faith in it.
(37.) £75,000, Civil Contingencies,
said, that this Vote had been passed in such haste that he had had no opportunity of stating his objections to it. He had intimated to the Secretary of State his opinion that the House should receive some explanation of the sum of £3,668 17s. 0d. charged for expenses incurred in the preparation of the Reform Bill of 1859. That sum was paid to a firm of Parliamentary agents, Messrs, Baxter and Co., although a counsel received £2,000 a year for drawing Government Bills, and a vast deal of the duty of drawing similar Bills was always understood to devolve upon the law officers of the Crown. This was one of the most monstrous charges he ever knew. The Bill, he would admit, was well and ably drawn, and in that respect came out in strong contrast to that of the present Government. Still, he believed such a thing had never been done before as to transfer to a firm of Parliamentary agents the responsibility of drawing a Bill that was supposed to amend the constitution of the country. There was another item to which he must refer, and which related exclusively to Her Majesty's present Government. The present Government had made no charge for drawing their Reform Bill, and he did not wonder at it, for any special pleader would have drawn a Bill in the same style for three or four guineas. There was, however, an extraordinary charge of £2,622 for collecting statistics, to satisfy an order of the House of Commons, of the number of male occupiers in the Parliamentary boroughs. This was the Poor Law Return that was to be the basis of the Reform Bill; the Return was challenged as having been incorrect, and it turned out to be utterly fallacious; for, although the noble Lord the Member for the City of London said that the objections to the Return were ludicrous, a Committee was appointed by the ether House to consider the subject, and they found that the Return was useless as a basis for a Reform Bill. Some explanation was required on this point. He would proceed to other items included in the Vote. He found in these Civil Contingencies a Vote of £11,000 for entertainments to distinguished persons. Here was an item for entertainment to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on board the Terrible, on going to the Ionian Islands, of £56 5s. Then came an item for entertainment to the King of the Cannibal Islands—he begged pardon—the King of the Sandwich Islands. Now, he would confess he would rather spend money in "the feast of reason and the flow of soul" with the right hon. Gentleman than with the latter potentate; but, while the cost of entertaining the right hon. Gentleman was £56 5s. 0d., the cost of entertaining the King of the Sandwich Islands was £65 4s. 0d. Some explanation should be given in reference to these extraordinary items. He must say these Estimates had been passed in a most unsatisfactory manner. The Government had postponed them until so late a period that it was impossible to consider them satisfactorily. Sometimes they were considered in so thin a House that scarcely forty Members were present. [Mr. BRAND: Oh!] It was all very well for the Secretary to the Treasury to cry "Oh!" for when a division was coming the hon. Gentleman and his colleague went out through that door like peripatetic philosophers of the Porch, and very soon sent in a subterranean phalanx from the supper rooms. The hon. Gentleman's charming face beamed with the hope of success at the door, and Members came in to vote for the Government who had not heard a word of the discussion. He thought the public mind would soon be excited very seriously on the question of our public expenditure. While a great responsibility devolved upon the Government for bringing in the Estimates so late, there were Members who filled those benches, and who talked very loudly of economy, retrenchment, and reform—and he referred particularly to some of the Manchester school—who left to twenty-five or thirty Members at the end of the Session the duty of exercising a vigilant control over public expenditure. When these hon. Members talked so loudly upon the hustings and at Manchester about economy and retrenchment, they ought not to desert the question of economy and retrenchment in that House when the Estimates came on for discussion.
said, he would endeavour to give an explanation of the particular items in the Vote for Civil Contingencies to which the hon. and learned Gentleman alluded, and for which the present Government were responsible. As regarded the item of £2,622 for collecting information in connection with the Reform Bill of this year, the House would recollect that the accuracy of the Returns already on the table had excited much interest, and was actually called in question. The right hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Walpole) moved for certain returns with the view of checking the Poor Law returns. Those returns related to the payment of the income and assessed taxes in different boroughs. As it was impossible to obtain the latter returns within the required time by the ordinary means, and the Government had no power over the parties to whom application would have to be made, the noble Lord at the head of the Government, deeming the subject to be one of such urgent importance, gave directions for the employment of the extra assistance which was needed in order to ensure their completion within the prescribed time. With respect to the entertainment of distinguished personages on board ship, the explanation was a very short one. It was customary to incur some expense in entertaining distinguished personages who, travelling for public objects, had obtained a passage on board one of Her Majesty's ships, and as the pay of captains in the navy was not such as would justify this extra outlay being thrown upon them, it had always been the custom to make a grant of public money to defray the expense. The only question was whether the personages alluded to in this instance were distinguished personages. Some people were born great, some achieved greatness, whilst others had greatness thrust upon them. One of these personages, however, undoubtedly came under the second class; for his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had achieved greatness. And he thought the King of the Sandwich Islands might be included under cither the first or the last of the definitions. He therefore thought the item could not be objected to. With respect to the sum of £3,600 for preparation of the Reform Bill of 1859, he thought hon. Gentlemen opposite could best give an answer to that question, for it would be seen by a reference to the Treasury Minute ordering that payment that it was dated June 13—some days before the present Government came into office, and therefore they were absolved from all responsibility. He could not, however, help remarking that the value of matters of this description was to be determined by two standards—namely, the amount of labour bestowed upon the article and the intrinsic value of the thing itself. Measured by the first of these he thought the charge could not be called excessive. The hon. Member had observed that the Government had salaried law officers to do this work; but a Reform Bill was a work of a very different character from that of drawing ordinary Bills. As an instance of the moderate nature of the charges made, he referred to one of £33 6s. 8d. for perusing 183 brief sheets, comprising seventeen different schemes of reform suggested to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other members of the Government from time to time. He could only say, as far as he personally was concerned, that if any one had requested him to place 183 brief sheets in his carpet bag by way of a little light reading, to be remunerated by a payment of £33, he should most respectfully have declined to perform the request. But with respect to the second standard—the intrinsic value of the article—that depended on a variety of esthetic considerations—it was very much a matter of taste. The hon. and learned Gentleman preferred the classic style and preferred to see the Goddess of Liberty unencumbered with superfluous drapery. But the Bill of 1859was a work of the Romantic school, emanating as it did from a Government who had in their Cabinet two distinguished authors of works of imagination. "Fancy franchises," too, were then in fashion, and the consequence was that the Bill was not so simple as it might have been. One effect of its introduction was the dissolution of Parliament. Another effect was one which all on that side of the House would rejoice at, and which many Gentlemen opposite would not deplore—it placed the helm of the country in the hands of his noble Friend (Viscount Palmerston). With respect to the charges of extravagance which had been made against the Government, it had been said by some of the patriotic guardians of the public purse, that Government had almost purposely delayed the introduction of the Estimates to the end of the Session, so that they might pass them without comment. Now, how stood the facts?—for it was right the public should be informed of the truth of the case. The Army and Navy Estimates were brought under discussion as early as February, and, indeed, none of the Votes were discussed at an unusually late period of the Session. The Vote for the fortifications was considered while the principal leaders of the various parties in the House were present, and was carried by a large majority. The Civil Estimates were all that remained to be disposed of; and he wished to remind the House, in reply to any charge of extravagance that might have been attempted against the Government, that whereas during the last ten years it had been customary to show an annual increase of £200,000 over the preceding year, this year there had been a positive decrease of £300,000; showing thus far a saving, as compared with past years, of £500,000. This would prove the Government had not been forgetful of economy. It would be recollected that a Commission had sat for the purpose of discovering how the Civil Service expenditure might be reduced, and the only reduction they had been able to recommend was one of a trifling character—namely £500 from the salary of the office he himself happened at present to fill—namely, the Secretary of the Treasury. He thought this formed a rather favourable contrast between the results of the labour of that Committee, insisted upon by the professed guardians of the public purse, and the practical result of the desire for economy evinced by the Government; it was £500 as against £500,000.
said, it appeared from the statement made to the House by the hon. and learned Member for Marylebone, that the introduction of Reform Bills was an expensive amusement, and led to a great waste both of time and money. It appeared that the introduction of these two Reform Bills had cost the country £6,000 in money, and a considerable portion of two Sessions of Parliament, and the sacrifice of nearly every measure of public utility. In the present Session at least all the practical measures which would have done honour to the Session and the country had been passed over on account of the consumption of time in the discussion of the Reform Bill. For whom was this expensive amusement provided? The noble and hon. Gentlemen opposite, they all knew, wanted no Reform Bill, and on his (Mr. Malins') side of the House there was no very great desire on the subject. It was provided, then, for the special delectation of the hon. Member for Birmingham and some twenty Gentlemen below the gangway, and for their amusement these large sums of money were to be spent and the time of the country was to be sacrificed without any practicable result, The great advantage of past experience would be to induce the House to avoid similar errors for the future, and his object in rising was to express a hope that the noble Lord, after such bitter experience of the Reform Bill of this year, which had cost the country so much money and so much time, and which with universal satisfaction, excepting to the twenty Gentlemen below the gangway to whom he had alluded, had been withdrawn, would profit by past experience, and would not pester the House with a Reform Bill in the ensuing Session. The hon. and learned Member for Marylebone said that any special pleader would have drawn a Reform Bill for three or four guineas. [Mr. JAMES: Such a one as the last]. Well, there was great simplicity in that Bill, but there was also a great deal of destruction, and he believed that all parties were now agreed that if a Reform Bill, such as the Government introduced, had passed, they might have bid adieu to the greatness of England. ["Oh!"] That was his opinion, and he ventured to say it was the opinion of an overwhelming majority of the people of England. ["Oh, oh!"] If it was not the opinion of the people of England how did they account for the fact that the hon. Member for Birmingham, and those few persons who cooperated with him and coincided in his views, had agitated the country without success? He was satisfied that what he was now saying had the general concurrence of the House—and with the exception of a very few Members of the House, there was a general desire that there might be no attempt to introduce another Reform Bill next Session, or indeed for some time to come. There were some things in the representation of the people which he should be glad to see altered, but he saw plainly that when a Reform Bill was introduced, it was an attempt to make such extensive alterations in the country that no one could foresee what the consequences might be, and the result of the discussions which had taken place in that House on this subject had led the country and the House to the conclusion that it would be unsafe in the present aspect of foreign affairs to embark in such an undertaking. Nothing, therefore, would give the people of the country greater satisfaction than to know that it was not the intention of the Government to make any attempt of this kind during the ensuing Session. He hoped that next year they might have an opportunity of applying themselves to practical legislation, because he ventured to predict that if the noble Lord introduced another Reform Bill like that introduced this year, months of time would be wasted, it would have the same result, and it would produce the same dissatisfaction in the country and amongst the Members of that House.
said, he did not expect hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition benches to encourage the noble Lord to introduce a Reform Bill, but as an independent Member he must express his belief that the noble Lord would retain his seat on the Treasury bench for a very short time unless he did introduce a Reform Bill. The total of the bill of Messrs. Baxter and Norton, the Conservative Parliamentary agents—£3,600 for drawing the Reform Bill last year—was very large, and he should move that the item be rejected. [An hon. MEMBER: The money has been paid.] He begged to refer to the right hon. Gentleman whether he had power to move the rejection of the present Vote.
The hon. Member can move the rejection of the whole Vote, or its reduction by the omission of any items.
moved that the Vote be reduced by £3,600.
said, the House was not called upon to vote anything upon this item. It was not a Vote. It was a mere explanatory account of the mode in which money formerly voted by the House had been laid out; but it happened that the account had been presented at the same time with Votes for other purposes prospectively to he met in the course of the current year, and any vote upon the particular payment of which the hon. Member complained would have no more effect than if the House were to oppose a payment made by Mr. Pitt at the time of the Revolutionary war. The payment might be the ground of impeachment, but it could not in any other way be questioned.
was surprised at the cowardice of the hon. and learned Member for Wallingford (Mr. Malins) in not voting against the Reform Bill, if he thought it so destructive and revolutionary a measure. The Opposition Members made long speeches night after night, and indulged in the most lavish abuse of the hop. Member for Birmingham, although there had been a time when the Government of Lord Derby existed under his patronage, when private communications were made to him by Cabinet Ministers, and when a former Member of Lord Derby's Cabinet spoke of him in Leicestershire as "that most patriotic and exemplary Member of Parliament, Mr. Bright." It was very hard that the Members on the Ministerial side should he held responsible for the waste of time. Surely, hon. Members opposite were equally responsible, if not rather more so, because they had not the courage to vote against the Reform Bill.
said, he would withdraw his Motion, as no object could be gained, since the money had been paid.
(39.) £17,000, South Kensington Museum,
declared his determination to put a stop to this profligate expenditure by dividing the House upon the Vote.
Thirty-ninth Resolution read 2o .
Motion made, and Question put,
"That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
The House divided:—Ayes 60; Noes 21: Majority 39.
(40.) £80,117, Public Works (Ireland).
moved the omission of the item of £2,000 for the model school at Cork, the establishment of which, he contended, was contrary to the wishes of the most influential portion of the community of Cork. There was no necessity for the school; the wants of the inhabitants were amply supplied, and this would only be a rival to the existing schools.
said, he had already fully explained the reasons for proposing this Vote on Saturday last, when it was affirmed by a large majority. The proposal was based on a memorial which had been received from Cork, signed by a very large and influential body, including the Lord Lieutenant and Sheriff of the county and the Protestant Bishop of the diocese.
said, the Bishop of Cork had objected to the establishment of this school, and he, therefore, thought it impolitic to throw down an apple of discoid between the Roman Catholics and Protestants by persisting against such a dissentient in carrying out the project. He therefore most earnestly asked the right hon. Gentleman to refrain from pursuing such a course.
said, he believed the Mayor of Cork, who was a Liberal and a supporter of the Government, had withdrawn his vote in consequence of certain expressions that had been made use of by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland.
said, the engagement of the Commissioners to erect this model school was made some time ago, in answer to a very numerously signed requisition. No opposition was raised to the plan on that occasion, but he had since heard that it had been strongly objected to, on the ground that it would interfere with existing schools. With all deference, he believed that it would not have that effect; and, the engagement being made, and there being Protestants in Cork who were anxious for the establishment of the school, he saw no reason why they should be deprived of its benefits.
said, the requisition had been hawked round the city by those interested in the Queen's Colleges. The Irish Members had now nearly all gone home, but, if the question had been raised earlier in the Session, there would have been a very respectable minority against the Government.
contended that the House ought not to be bound by the engagement of the Commissioners, and this was not a sufficient reason for passing the Vote.
Fortieth Resolution read 2o .
Amendment proposed, to leave out "£80,117," in order to insert "£78,117,"—instead thereof.
Question put, "That £80,117, stand part of the Resolution."
The House divided:—Ayes 58; Noes 13: Majority 45.
Resolutions agreed to,
East India Loan Bill
Order for Third Reading read.
was anxious before the Session closed to ask the Secretary for India what amount of Native and European force he proposed in future to maintain in India. In the discussions it seemed to be taken for granted—
The question before the House relates to the East India loan, and the hon. Member's observations must be confined to the subject-matter of the Bill.
said, the loan was rendered necessary by the enormous amount of military force which was to be maintained in India.
The amalgamation of the two armies is provided for by a separate Bill.
said, he simply wished to ask what amount of force was to be maintained in India. The Commissioners had recommended a force of 180,000 Natives and 80,000 Europeans, in addition to which there were upwards of 100,000 armed Native police. What could be the reason for maintaining so large a force in time of peace? The Commissioners gave no reason for it, and, sitting in London, they could not be very good judges of what was necessary. The Native force in Bengal was at present 183,000 men, while in April last Sir Patrick Grant was of opinion that 54,000 would be sufficient. Then as to Bombay and Madras, the Commissioners recommended a force of 30,000 Europeans to be kept up, while Lord Canning and other competent authorities thought that 18,000 would be ample. In Bengal the Commissioners recommended that a force of 50,000 Europeans should be maintained; while eighteen out of twenty-seven witnesses were of opinion that a smaller amount, ranging from 20,000 to 45,000, would be sufficient. Not only were the number of witnesses against the Commissioners' recommendation, but also the weight of authority, including the names of Generals Low Browne, Pollock, Ashburnham, Wilson, Jacob, Cotton, and Colonels Wylie, Master, Durand, and Steel, and Sir Charles Trevelyan. The maintenance of so large an European force would necessarily involve immense loss of life from the climate. He wanted to know what were the motives for maintaining an army of 350,000 men in time of peace, constituting an enormous burden upon the finances of India. Against what enemy was that large army required? Experience had shown that the only enemy we had to fear in India was the Native population whom we armed, and yet in defiance of that experience we were putting arms into the hands of 300,000 Natives.
said, he did not rise to oppose the Bill, very far from it; because he believed that if the present extravagant policy were continued in India the right hon. Gentleman would have to come annually for even larger amounts than he now asked for. The right hon. Gentleman did not appear to contemplate the expenditure he was incurring for European troops in India. By a Return dated April of the present year, now on the table of the House, it appeared that there were then in India 94,829 effective troops of the Line, and 17,376 Europeans of the local army, together 112,205. Admitting that 10,000 had since been sent to China, there remained 102,205 European troops in India, besides 15,000 in depots at home; while the Estimates of the right hon. Gentleman only covered the expense of 80,000. Instead of 80,000 European troops in India, we had, in fact, 117.000 men to be paid from the revenues of India. The number of European troops recommended by Lord Clyde for the defence of Bengal alone was as follows, his Lordship giving only the number of batteries and regiments, which are necessarily considered of the usual strength, namely:—40 troops or batteries of Artillery of 200 men each, 8,000 men; 17 reserved companies of 100 men each, 1,700; 10 regiments European cavalry of 650 each, 6,500; 43 regiments European infantry of 1.050 each, 45,150, making in all 61,350 men; Now before the mutiny, in April, 1857, there were in Bengal, the North-West Provinces, Oude, and the Punjab, 22,907 European troops, namely:—2 regiments Dragoons, 1310; 15 regiments Royal infantry, 13,956; Local horse Artillery, 999; Local foot Artillery, 1,899; Local European infantry, 3 regiments, 2,460; Native Horse Artillery, 447; and Native foot Artillery, 1,836:—Total, 22,907. That force, with some small assistance from the local force of the other Presidencies, had broken the neck of the rebellion, and yet now, when all India was at our feet, Lord Clyde thought a force of 61,350 men was necessary. Common sense pointed out that such an increase was uncalled for, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would exert his authority to prevent such waste of the revenues of India. There was also the cost of passages to be considered. Colonel Tulloch, the supporter and advocate of the amalgamation system, said that the re- lieving regiments would require 8,000; the relieved coming home, 8,000; recruits, 5,600; invalids, 4,000; recruits to replace invalids, 4,000; in all 29,600 passages to be provided annually, which, taken at Colonel Tulloch's estimate of £12 each, would make £355,200. Let the House contrast that amount with that of 1856 and 1857, when the number of troops required to be sent out and sent home, on the average of the two years, was 5,798 soldiers, instead of 29,600; at an expense of £69,576, instead of £355,200. Then there was the additional expense, which Colonel Tulloch had omitted to calculate, for the passages of wives and children. In 1856 and 1857 the average number was 1,007 out and home at a cost of £12,084. It must be estimated for the future at 5,035, and the cost of the passages £60,420, instead of £12,084. There must also be estimated the difference between the expense of maintaining an army of 80,000 Line, and a force partly local and partly Line, which was stated by the actuary in the Papers upon the table of the House to amount to £448,000. These sums added up would give the expense consequent upon the amalgamation at £888,820, which would annually fall upon the revenues of India, instead of £81,660 when the European troops were partly Line and partly local! With the increased expenditure for the civil and political establishments it was impossible that the revenues of India could meet the drain, and he repeated that if the right hon. Gentleman did not exercise the power he possessed of greatly reducing the expenditure in India he would be under the necessity of coming to the House annually for constantly increasing sums of money.
complained that more than £140,000 should be exacted from the people of India, who did not agree with us in religion, for the maintenance of a religious establishment. Some years ago it used to be urged on the part of the Government that the introduction, or even the talk of Christianity in India, would set the country in a flame. Surely we had enough on our hands, in this country, of ecclesiastical matters, without troubling the Hindoos and Mahometans with an Establishment of any kind. Almost every denomination from this country had representatives in India, who were respected and peacefully dealt with by the inhabitants. What need was there for a Bishop and cathedral, and a whole ecclesiastical staff, where so many Christian denominations, supported without Government patronage, had their missionaries and their teachers?
regretted to find that an erroneous impression had been produced by his speech on a former stage of this Bill. It was quite erroneous to suppose that Sir Charles Trevelyan had been influenced in his opposition to the measures of Mr. Wilson by any feeling of rivalry and hostility to Mr. Wilson. On a re-perusal of the despatches it was perfectly impossible to maintain such an opinion. Nothing could be clearer than that Sir Charles Trevelyan a year ago, and before Mr. Wilson went to India, most fully and fairly declared his opinion that the deficit must be met by a reduction of expenditure, and not by an increase of taxation. He was bound, therefore, to acquit Sir Charles Trevelyan of any personal motive or enmity to Mr. Wilson. He was persuaded that in the line he took Sir Charles Trevelyan had been influenced by patriotic motives and by his experience and observation in India. There was another point to which he wished to advert. The Secretary of State for India had never shown the House why he allowed 400,000 Native troops to be kept up in India. That was a larger number than we had before the mutiny, and the idea was preposterous. This vast army was the source of all our financial embarrassment. The police throughout India ought to be placed on the same economical footing as in Madras. Mr. Wilson stated that the deficit might be reduced to £5,700,000 if the extra military expenditure were cut off; but the right hon. Baronet estimated the deficit at £7,000,000. What was the reason of that discrepancy? He did not think that the right hon. Gentleman allowed sufficient for the Indian balances. He urged the right hon. Gentleman to lose no time in reducing the excessive expenditure of the local Government.
said, that as he had not anticipated a discussion on the military arrangements of India to come on that evening, he was not prepared to state the precise number of troops now in India. He thought the statements which had been made erroneous, because the papers from which they were taken referred to a distant period. His own belief, though of course he could not speak positively from recollection, was, that there were under 90,000 European troops in India. He could not venture to order the reduc- tion of the number of troops in the face of the opinion of the Governor General and of the authorities in India, who, being on the spot, had the best means of forming a correct judgment, and who had repeatedly and deliberately declared that, under present circumstances, they did not consider India would be safe with less than about 80,000 European soldiers. The calculations of the Indian Government as to expenditure were based on the amount of troops whom they proposed to retain in India. As to the matter of the ecclesiastical establishment in India referred to by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Had-field), he had simply filled up such vacancies as occurred. It had always been understood that the means of spiritual instruction should be furnished to the Civil and Military Service of India, and some superintendence was certainly required. As to the observations of the hon. Member for Poole, he was very glad to hear the explanations which his hon. Friend had felt bound to make in reference to the attack which he had made some nights ago on the character of Sir Charles Trevelyan. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would not again make an attack, as he did on the former occasion, wholly unsupported by the Papers on the subject, which he had clearly not even read. His hon. Friend had been anxious to make an attack on him (Sir Charles Wood). In order to make out his case the hon. Member made a most unwarrantable assertion in regard to Sir Charles Trevelyan, which, he was happy to say, he had retracted that evening. On the former evening he had made an ingenious structure of assertions. He said that Sir Charles Trevelyan and Mr. Wilson were rivals in this country, that they carried their rivalry to India, and that Sir Charles Trevelyan was actuated by that feeling in his public conduct. The hon. Member then went on to insist that he (Sir Charles Wood) must have been aware of this, and ought to have written minute after minute to put a stop to this rivalry, and asserted that he had not done so, and went on to say that if, instead of doing so, he had written private letters, to the same effect, it only made matters worse. Now, the hon. Member must have been perfectly ignorant of these things; he could not have known what minutes or what private letters were written. This sort of hypothetical imputation, however, signified very little, but the whole attack was based on that assertion with regard to Sir Charles Trevelyan, which was utterly unjustifiable. He, Sir Charles Wood, had thought it better at the time to allow it to pass unnoticed. His hon. Friend, with great credit to himself, had to-day retracted the imputation. Having read the papers, his hon. Friend had now shown most distinctly that the imputation that Sir Charles Trevelyan was actuated by a feeling of rivalry to Mr. Wilson was totally unfounded. His hon. Friend might have known that before he made the attack, if he had taken the trouble to read the Papers; and he did accuse his hon. Friend of having utterly disregarded the character of a public man, in order to found upon it a very puny attack upon himself. He (Sir Charles Wood) stated at the time that the measures proposed by Mr. Wilson were measures introduced long before by the Government of India, and that Sir Charles Trevelyan expressed his opinion upon them before Mr. Wilson arrived in India. He was glad to find that his hon. Friend had discovered that what he had then stated was true; but, if his hon. Friend bad taken the trouble to read the Papers before he made the assertion, he would have discovered that fact before he made an accusation which was very painful to Sir Charles Trevelyan. He entirely believed, as his hon. Friend admitted now, that Sir Charles Trevelyan was actuated by no such motives. Sir Charles Trevelyan might have been imprudent in the course which he pursued, but he was convinced that that gentleman was prepared to sacrifice himself and his own position for what he believed to be necessary and advisable for India. His hon. Friend had, in another instance, shown that he had not read the Papers, or he would not have repeated the statement that he (Sir Charles Wood) had never enjoined economy in India. The letters in the Papers before the House were not the only financial letters addressed to India. They were only such as related to the recall of Sir Charles Trevelyan, but even in them there were two at least distinctly pressing economy on the Government of India. On the 10th of May he wrote to the Governor General in Council:—
On the 9th of Juno he again wrote:—"I shall be glad to think that, if possible, within a short period you will be able to reduce the expenditure within the present income, and I cannot refrain from again urging upon you the necessity of making every effort to effect a reduction of expense."
He did not know what stronger expressions he could have used to show that reduction of expenditure was never absent from his thoughts; and he did not believe that a mail left without letters to the Governor General and Mr. Wilson urging on them the necessity of strict economy in the expenditure of India. The hon. Gentleman said that nothing had been done in the way of police. His hon. Friend made that assertion in utter ignorance of what had been done. That subject had formed the substance of three or four despatches to India. Sir John Lawrence differed from Sir Charles Trevelyan as to the description of force, but Sir John Lawrence had established a most efficient body of police in the Punjab. Detailed information and suggestions had been sent out, and the Government of India had been left to decide in what shape the police should be established. The hon. Gentleman had affirmed what was utterly groundless—that he had not taken into account the possible reduction of £800,000 referred to in one of M r. Wilson's Minutes. After that reduction was made the deficit was left, as he stated it, at £7,400,000. The first estimate of military reduction for the year 1860–61, was £1,700,000. By the addition of £800,000 it was brought to £2,500,000. Mr. Wilson stated in one of the last Minutes, and he (Sir Charles Wood) had stated on introducing the Budget, that the military reductions last year were £3,500,000, and this year £2,500,000, making together for the two years the sum of £6,000,000. When Mr. Wilson made the 3peech to which the hon. Gentleman had referred, stating the probable deficit at £6,500,000, he was not in possession of the information as to a considerable increase of the home expenditure. The information was sent from home. Mr. Wilson then framed his final calculations, which were shown in the figures in the papers before them—and these papers showed that the £7,400,000 deficit were, in point of fact, the figures of Mr. Wilson. He was sorry to say that he did not state the worst with regard to the state of affairs in 1860–61, because he referred to the year 1856–57 as presenting a balance of income and expenditure, but he found on further investigation that in that year there was a deficit of £400,000, owing to the guaranteed interest on railways. The deficit, therefore, in 1860–61, would be rather larger than he stated. The hon. Gentleman asked why he did not utilize the balances. Now, he did utilize the balances, for he paid the whole deficit of the year out of the balances; and he did not see what more could possibly be done with them. The loan was not for the purpose of defraying any portion of the Indian charges, but simply to provide against the contingency of the railway companies not paying in all the money required for railway expenditure during the year. If the railroads paid in the money they were engaged to pay in the course of the year, he should not borrow any money. He hoped that the explanations which he had given would be satisfactory, and he was glad his hon. Friend had made the amende honorable to Sir Charles Trevelyan."In my despatch dated the 10th of May last, I repeated the injunction of Her Majesty's Government to reduce the expenditure in India—especially that in the military department—to the lowest point consistent with efficiency and safety; and adverted to the importance of imposing on the people no further burdens than the financial condition of the State rendered absolutely necessary."
disclaimed having mentioned Sir Charles Trevelyan in order to make an attack on the right hon. Gentleman. He had no intention of making any attack. It would give him far greater pleasure to agree with than to differ from the right hon. Baronet.
Bill read 3o and passed.
Party Emblems (Ireland) Bill
Order for Committee read.
House in Committee.
(In the Committee.)
Clause 1 (Exhibition of Banners, &c., calculated to provoke Animosity, to be a Misdemeanour).
said, he proposed to substitute for the clause as it stood the following clause, and then he thought the objections raised would be removed. He would move that Clause one be struck out:—
"In page 1, line 8, to leave out from the word 'shall' to the end of the Clause, in order to add the words ' willfully do any of the acts hereinafter mentioned in such a manner as may be calculated or tend to provoke animosity between different classes of Her Majesty's subjects, and lead to a breach of the public peace, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour; that is to say, the publicly exhibiting or displaying upon any building or place, of the wilfully permitting or suffering to be publicly exhibited or displayed upon any building or place, any banner, flag, or party emblem or symbol, or the publicly meeting and parading with other persons, or the playing of any music, or discharging any cannon or firearm in any public street, road, or place."
said, he was of opinion that the new clause, as a whole, was a great improvement upon the one in the Bill, but he objected to the word "tend," as being very vague and unmeaning, and therefore he should, at the proper moment, move the omission of the words, "or tend to."
said, the word was in the old Act, and he thought they could not do better than follow the precedent which they had before them.
did not see much difference in the words proposed and the words to be left out. The playing of music in public places was to be made a misdemeanour, if it were played in such a manner as might provoke animosity. What did the words mean? He should like to know whether there was any English statute in force with such words. He believed that no such disgraceful Act could be found in the books, and therefore could not, as an Irishman, agree to the passing of this Bill for Ireland. The Bill was badly and vaguely drawn, and it contained expressions of the loosest kind. Who was to determine what the meaning of these words was? The word "Emblems," for instance, might be construed to mean the crosses affixed to Roman Catholic chapels. He thought tranquillity would not be greatly promoted in Ireland by putting down such "emblems."
agreed that the whole clause was highly objectionable, and especially that part of it which made the discharging of cannon and firearms a misdemeanour. That part of the clause was directed against the celebration of the siege of Derry. That siege lasted 105 days, and the number of original defenders of 7,000 were reduced by famine and disease to 3,000 before the siege was over. The late Lord Macaulay had expressed, in most graphic terms in his History, the result of that siege, and he hoped that the celebration of it would be always kept up. He had received a letter from a gentleman of high position in Derry, and he stated that there were no party displays or emblems used—only a red flag and a Union jack. The Bells did not ring party tunes, and if the clause were agreed to the people of Derry would feel themselves insulted, for the celebration of this siege would have to be brought to a close.
proposed that the original clause should be negatived before the discussion upon the new proviso was proceeded with.
Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause, put and negatived."
Question proposed, "That the proposed words be there added."
in answer to the observation of the hon. and learned Member for the King's County (Mr. Hennessy) said, that the clause was directed against "party emblems," and that there was not the least ground for supposing that crosses upon Roman Catholic chapels could come within any possible construction of the clause.
said, it was quite plain that this Bill carried out and gave good effect to the Party Processions Act, which bad been always approved of. He was surprised that the leader of the Catholic party in that House, the hon. and learned Member for Dundalk (Sir George Bowyer) should give such a construction to this clause as to make it apply to the cross on a Roman Catholic place of worship. The Catholics of the north were constantly exposed to the insults of the apprentice boys of Berry, who set at defiance the orders of their own Bishop when those orders were opposed to party displays. He hoped that this Bill would pass into a law, for he thought it essential to the preservation of peace in the North of Ireland.
objected to the words "as may be calculated or tend to provoke animosity." Those words, he understood, were taken from the Party Processions Act. He wished to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether any convictions had taken place or could take place under such language. There was no such language in any English Act. A crime depended upon the intent with which it was committed. Who was to judge of "such a manner as may be calculated or tend to provoke animosity?" Any person seeing a flag on the top of a church might say it was calculated or tended to provoke animosity in his mind. Nothing could be more dangerous or absurd. The offence was in the intention of the party exhibiting the flag. He therefore proposed, in lieu of the words he had quoted, to insert,—"With the intention of provoking animosity."
said, there had been numerous convictions under the Party Processions Act. At the late assizes two sets of persons—one Protestant and the other Roman Catholic—were convicted before Mr. Justice FitzGerald at Belfast under the words "calculated or tend to provoke animosity," and sentenced to a long imprisonment, and their conviction had produced a very beneficial effect in the North of Ireland. The Party Processions Act was made perpetual with the assent of all parties, and wherever it had been enforced it had been productive of the best results.
had proposed to introduce the word "knowingly" into the clause, so that the provision should be that the Act was committed in a manner calculated "knowingly" to provoke animosity.
asked why this Bill was not expressly limited to Ireland, in the same manner as the Party Processions Act? In that Act the first clause stated distinctly that it only applied to Ireland; but the principle of this Bill was enacted in the first three clauses for the whole of the United Kingdom, and it was only by the 4th clause that England and Scotland were excepted from it.
repeated the opinion he had expressed on a former occasion, that if such a Bill were passed for England he should feel a degraded man, and he would, therefore, move the insertion of the words "in Ireland" in the first clause, which would make it perfectly clear that it was only in Ireland that such acts as these were penal.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, before the word "wilfully," to insert the words "in Ireland."
said, he should oppose the Amendment. If such a Bill as this were to pass for Ireland there was no reason why it should not pass for England and Scotland also. Such Bills as this only showed how imbecile the Irish Government was, and how useless it was to carry the common law into execution. Mr. Justice FitzGerald on a recent occasion had stated that the common law was sufficient. He disapproved these party celebrations as much as any one could; but such Acts as these would do more to perpetuate them than anything else. The good feelings of the gentry and a strong Government determined to carry the common law into effect would soon put down such breaches of the peace; but Bills of this sort were of no use but to display the weakness of the Government. The Secretary for Ireland said he could not govern the country without such a Bill, and perhaps he and the Government which he represented could not, but last year the country was governed without any such Bill, and there were no riots.
concurred in the sentiments just expressed by the hon. and gallant Member for Portarlington (Colonel Dunne). He (Mr. Scully) had voted against the Bill as a Coercion Bill, and because he thought it went far beyond common law, justice, and reason. He opposed the introduction of the words "in Ireland," believing that what was sauce for Ireland's goose was also sauce for England's gander. He should prefer a bad law in common with England, to a good law that was peculiar to Ireland, because he knew that the former would very soon be remedied. He believed that the common law of the land was sufficient to meet all such cases as were apprehended. He did not think this enforcement of the common law by Act of Parliament necessary if the Executive Government only did their duty. He should support the clause as it stood.
contended that the Government ought to extend the laws of England to Ireland generally. At present Ireland had not the benefit of the laws of England, but was governed by a series of by-laws passed by the Lord Lieutenant and the Irish Secretary. It would be of the greatest benefit if they swept away every statute relating to Ireland from the statute-book, and introduced generally the laws of England, and in addition abolished the Lord Lieutenancy, the Chief Secretaryship, and the Irish Attorney Generalship, and other special contrivances for keeping up a separate system of law for Ireland. He would treat Ireland, in fact, as an English county, and thought there was no necessity for inserting Ireland in the clause.
saw no objection to the insertion of those words if his hon. and learned Friend thought them desirable. He cordially agreed with all that bad been said as to the desirability of having uniform legislation for England and Ireland; but a local mischief must be mot by a local enactment. In Ireland every year they were compelled to move a large force of infantry and constabulary on account of apprehensions of a breach of the peace; and the first sign of disturbance was a display of flags from the steeples and the playing of party tunes on drums and fifes. The Party Processions Act was allowed to expire in 1845, but so much was its want felt that in the year 1850 that House unanimously re-enacted it and made it perpetual. It had now been found that that Act was defective in two or three particulars, and, at the request of Gentlemen on both sides of the House, this Bill had been brought in by the Government, and bad received the unanimous assent of the House of Lords. He could understand a proposal to repeal the Party Processions Act altogether, but he did not understand how it could be objected to remedy its admitted defects. It had been said that these evils might be put down by moral influence. He had shown how moral influence failed between 1845 and 1850. In the year 1857 the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and the Primate endeavoured by moral influence to avoid the occurrence of these disturbances, but without success; and he understood that before the recent riots the hon. Baronet, who was one of the first to ask the Government to introduce this Bill, exerted his influence in the north of Ireland to prevent the occurrence of any outrages. It therefore appeared that moral influence was not sufficient, and he spoke with knowledge when he said that many bishops and clergymen in Ireland would regard this Bill as a protection to them, and an earnest of future peace in Ireland.
said, that by his speeches, but still more by his acts, the right hon. Gentleman had placed the House in a difficulty with regard to this measure. When the Bill came down from the Lords it unquestionably did supplement the Party Processions Act; it created several new substantive offences which were clear and intelligible, and applied a remedy to an acknowledged difficulty and grievance. The right hon. Gentleman had swept away all that, and had introduced a clause which said that any person who did any act calculated to lead to a breach of the peace should be guilty of a misdemeanour. That was already the common law of Ireland, as well as of England, and therefore this enactment was surplusage. Not only, however, was it surplusage, but it tended, in a most material degree, to do that which of all things was most mischievous—to weaken the common law of the land, and, without strengthening the hands of the Government, to excite animosity in the minds of persons who might think that this legislation was directed against them. There was an elasticity about the common law which enabled it, in various ways, to catch persons whom the statute law would never reach; because, no sooner had they passed an Act of Parliament than people would, to use Mr. O'Connell's phrase, "drive a coach and six through it," and laugh at them. The clause, as it came from the Lords, was sharp and severe to an extent beyond the common law; hut the clause now proposed went not a hair's breadth further than the common law went already. He wished to ask the Attorney General for Ireland a question relative to the act of any persons who, for any purpose whatever, should march along a public road carrying a large cross before them. If that were to be regarded by the law as a "party procession" or a "party emblem" in Ireland—and he thanked God they were troubled with no such questions in England—it would be a most unfortunate construction of a statute. He should grieve to hear that there was any ground for supposing that that emblem which all Christians respected and revered would come within the legal interpretation of "party emblem."
said, that nothing could be more contrary to the wishes of the Government and, he was sure, of the House also, than that any such construction should be put upon these words as would lead to the consequences which the right hon. Member for Oxford then had indicated. But he could not conceive it possible that anybody could so construe the words "party emblem or symbol" as to make them applicable to the case supposed. By the Emancipation Act all religious processions outside the walls of places of worship were rendered illegal.
said, his question did not refer to a religious procession, but to one before which a cross was borne.
That, he apprehended, might be, or would be, a religious procession. He must say that this clause did go beyond the common law, otherwise he would not have asked the Committee to assent to it. As had been clearly and distinctly explained by the hon. and learned Member for Marylebone (Mr. E. James), any person who did an act with an intent to provoke a breach of the peace, was guilty of a misdemeanour at common law. This Bill, however, went further than that, because it applied to acts calculated to excite animosity and thus to provoke a breach of the peace, irrespective of the particular intention of the person who did them. So, also, by the Party Processions Act, an offence was constituted without reference to the intent of the parties. Consequently, the allegation in the indictment was that the persons accused did the act in a manner calculated to provoke animosities be- tween different classes of Her Majesty's subjects.
said, the intention was the essence of all crime, and a contrary principle might do for Turkey, but ought not to be tolerated in a civilized country. According to the doctrine of the Attorney General for Ireland, a man for putting his hat on one side, biting his thumb, waving his hand, or whistling a tune, without any intention of affronting another, might be prosecuted for an offence. That was going beyond any penal law that they had ever vet heard of.
had never heard so much bad constitutional law as during that discussion. The Solicitor General for England the other evening said that this Bill was declaratory of the common law. He was much surprised at that statement, but had not then an opportunity of replying to it. On the other hand, the Attorney General for Ireland told them that night—and told them truly—that the Bill went far beyond the common law; but that right hon. Gentleman had not yet distinctly explained the purport of the measure. They all thoroughly understood the Party Processions Act. If a man joined in such a procession tending to provoke a breach of the peace, he must be held responsible for his own act and that of his associates. But the sole object of the present Bill was to create an individual offence. Both the Attorney General for Ireland and the Secretary for Ireland had spoken on this subject with a vehemence almost "calculated to provoke animosity." The question had not yet been calmly and rationally discussed. This measure was all the more dangerous because it went beyond the common law. They ought to take care that they did not enact for Ireland a Bill violating the principle of the common law, and unaccompanied by proper safeguards. He was astonished to find several Gentlemen who represented Roman Catholic constituencies, and who had always resisted coercion Bills, now strongly supporting a measure that would be established as a precedent from which they would themselves perhaps be the first to suffer. This legislation was pointed against the act of any individual who might hang a flag from the window of his house during an election. Such a person would be liable to prosecution for a misdemeanour if somebody alleged that his act was calculated to excite animosity. Now this was a principle that had never yet been imported into the criminal law. It must be shown that the man intended by the act he did to commit the offence charged; and he would not consent to pass for Ireland an enactment that was unconstitutional and unjust here. He put it to the Attorney General whether by the law of England a man could be convicted constructively, and whether the jury must not be satisfied of the intention of a party to commit the offence charged? This Bill would form a most dangerous precedent, and they ought not to extend to Ireland a law they would not think of applying in this country.
admitted that the law of England had been rightly expounded by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Marylebone. It was expressed in the well-known axiom haud reus est nisi mens sit rea. Intention was the substance of every criminal offence. Now, there existed in Ireland a state of society in which, unfortunately, certain external acts have been proved by long experience to be the sure causes of results involving a breach of the public peace. No Gentleman connected with Ireland would venture to deny that there were acts in that country which when done, inasmuch as they were known to be attended by certain consequences, could not be done without a knowledge that they would lead to those consequences; and if they were committed with a knowledge that they would lead to such results, they were done with a criminal intention. In certain parts of Ireland the exhibition of an Orange flag on a certain day was sure to be attended with certain consequences. The playing of a particular tune, which for 100 years had been the symbol of strife in a particular locality, was known to lead to a disturbance of the public peace; and therefore the criminal intention was apparent. The Bill as it came down from the Lords pronounced a thing criminal because it was calculated to produce animosity, which might be a mere feeling of the mind, without being attended by any overt act; he therefore thought it desirable to provide that what was prohibited must be an act not only tending to create a feeling of animosity, but such a feeling of animosity as would lead to a breach of the peace. He thought a clause so worded, whilst laying down a rule which the state of Ireland positively required, would be in perfect conformity with the spirit of our criminal law as administered both in this country and in Ireland. These party ex- hibitions did not lead to breaches of the peace in England and Scotland; and therefore it was not necessary that this measure should be extended to those countries.
said, the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down was very different from that of the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland. He (Mr. Butt) could not conceive anything more dangerous than to withdraw the question of intention from the cognizance of the jury. If the act naturally led to a breach of the peace it was punishable by the existing law, but it was for the jury to decide whether or not it had that tendency. The Question now before the House was whether the measure should only apply to Ireland. It was said that no such practices took place in England. But he remembered the riots in Liverpool and at Stockport; and he recollected a Chief Justice trampling upon a Cardinal's hat. [An HON. MEMBER: That was only in a figure of speech.] He was glad to hear that; but he warned Roman Catholic Members that the measure might be used against them. There was no election in the south where it would not apply, and, in fact, it was a measure to put down the expression of public opinion in Ireland.
said, he wondered how so many Irish Members could rise to address the House, and indulge in mere hair-splitting while the lives of their poor Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen in the North of Ireland were at stake; for the real question at issue was, whether the members of that persuasion were, every 12th of July, to be exposed to be shot at like dogs or not, by persons calling themselves Protestants. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Malins) had told the Committee that he would feel degraded if such a clause as that under consideration were applied to England. It was all very well for the hon. and learned Gentleman, who was, in all probability, much better acquainted with the tranquil neighbourhood of Wallingford, where there were no party processions except those which accompanied him to the hustings, than with the North of Ireland, to make such a statement. If, however, the hon. and learned Gentleman knew Ireland sufficiently well, he would be aware that so surely as the 12th of July came round, breaches of the peace were committed in that country which the common law was totally unable to restrain, and which it never had succeeded in preventing. He was not, of course, speaking of Ireland generally—to which he denied that there was any necessity that the Bill should be made applicable—but of the northern portion of it, and he should therefore suggest that for the words "in Ireland," the words "in Ulster" should be substituted, thus confining the operation of the measure to that province in which alone it was needed. To trust to the moral feeling of the better classes there, as had been suggested, to put an end to the party strifes by which it was disgraced, was, he contended, idle, inasmuch as those occurrences were but too often countenanced by those very classes themselves. No one who had not been in that part of the country, as he had been, could be aware how like infuriated animals, men became on such occasions as those to which he was alluding, when no person's life was safe if he attempted to show his face out of doors, or presumed to interfere with the processions. The hon. and learned Member for Marylebone seemed to think that the Attorney General and the Secretary for Ireland had displayed great vehemence in speaking on the subject; but he must say that the vehemence appeared to be rather on the side of the hon. and learned Gentleman himself, who, no doubt, thought he had got hold of a good thing when he fixed on a clause dealing with party songs and tunes. Now he would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman, who he knew had an ear for music, whether he had ever heard of a tune called "Croppies, lie down?" [Mr. JAMES intimated that he knew the tune.] But the hon. and learned Gentleman was not, perhaps; aware that when played in the North of Ireland, it was but too frequently accompanied by bloodshed. He was annoyed, therefore, to hear hon. Members from Ireland of constitutional leanings splitting hairs about a clause, the rejection of which, through their exertions, would tend to place the peace of Ireland and the lives of Roman Catholics in Ulster in a position of periodical peril. The Roman Catholic Members who did not give their support to the Bill would, in his opinion, be guilty of a grave dereliction of duty, inasmuch as they would thereby be deserting the cause of their co-religionists, who were already but too much oppressed by a rampant party in the North of Ireland. It was very likely that the clause that came down from the Lords was the best, inasmuch as it enacted that specific propositions were crimes; but he had every confidence that the law officers of the Crown in Ireland had no inclination to strain the law, and he should not, therefore, oppose the clause now proposed.
said, that to those who knew nothing of the North of Ireland, the language which the hon. Gentleman, who had just spoken, had used with respect to it, might appear to be merited; but that in the case of those who were acquainted with that part of the United Kingdom, the accusations they had just heard against the gentry there were absurd. The audacity of the language was lost in the absurdity of the charges which it conveyed. The speeches which had been made by the legal Members of the House, by whom the hon. Gentleman had been preceded, ought, he thought, to prove to the Government that they were running a most dangerous course in endeavouring to pass into a law the measure under consideration; so far from removing occasions of religious animosity, it was a measure which he firmly believed would do more to perpetuate the animosities which it was intended to extinguish, than any number of flags hung on church spires every day in the year could effect. It had not been attempted to be shown that the existing law had failed, or that a single riot had been caused by the display of party flags on a church steeple. The Government sought, by means of the Bill, to put an end to the exhibition of party symbols; but were they, he should like to know, aware that the cross was regarded, to a certain degree, by many Protestants in Ireland as a party symbol ["No, no!"] and the sign of an idolatrous worship? [Mr. OSBORNE: It must be in Ulster.] Now, if the present Bill were passed, it would be looked upon by the Roman Catholics of Ireland in the light of a triumph, notwithstanding the honourable opposition which had been made to it by some Roman Catholic Members, on the ground that it was a measure at once tyrannical and unconstitutional. The Government, in short, asked the House, in calling upon it to assent to such a Bill, to legislate not so much for the protection of life and property, as for the purpose of shielding Roman Catholics from that which some of them might be disposed to look upon as an insult; and if Parliament were to proceed in that course of legislation, where, he should like to know, was the line to be drawn? Who could say what might not be considered an insult? Why, the next thing of which the Roman Catholics would demand the prohibitior, upon the plea that it was an insult to them, would be the attendance of Protestants at church—thus going on from grievance to grievance, until at length they would declaim against the very existence of a Protestant Church in Ireland. But if concessions were to be made to one party in that country, similar concessions could not, in all fairness, be refused to another; and an appeal might be made to the Government to restrain the language used by Judges of Assize, or to put an end to the officious interference of a quasi-Protestant Bishop, who attempted illegally to prevent the commemoration of the defence of Londonderry, one of the most heroic exploits on record. In making those observations, he must not be deemed to be an advocate of the exhibition of party symbols on the churches in Ireland. Such displays were no more necessary to the existence of the Orange Society, than was a gilt frame to the beauty of a Claude Lorraine; but he must, at the same time, protest against the course which the Government were pursuing in dealing with the subject. Before he sat down, he wished to add, in correction of a statement which he had made a few days ago, to the effect that all the officials of the Crown in the County of Fermanagh were Roman Catholics, that he had since ascertained that Mr. Brady, the Clerk of the Crown for the county, was not a member of that persuasion.
I hope the House will not be led into a discussion such as that which the speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just spoken is so well "calculated to provoke." Hon. Members not well acquainted with Ireland may, I think, easily perceive from the language which this subject has induced the hon. and gallant Gentleman to use, how it is that party symbols may produce in Ireland animosities and excitements of mind which it is extremely desirable to prevent. I may, in reply to the observations of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, be permitted to say that the Bill under our notice has not been framed with the view to give a triumph to Roman Catholics or to the members of any other persuasion, but simply for the purpose of putting an end to physical contests frequently resulting in loss of life on all sides. It is, however, contended that we ought not apply to Ireland a law, the operation of which we are not prepared to extend to England. Now, that proposition may as a general maxim be very sound; but if experience tells us that there exists a state of social antagonism in certain parts of Ireland which does not prevail in England, and that that condition of things loads in the former country to events the occurrence of which we must all deplore, surely there is no reason in saying that we ought not to apply to the one country legislation which the circumstances in which it is placed call for, because we do not, at the same time, legislate in a similar way for the other, in which no such legislation is needed. If the same state of things existed in England, we should be equally ready to apply a similar remedy. But it is because, unfortunately, there continue to be in Ireland the remnants of ancient disputes and antagonisms that, for the purpose of preventing the annual recurrence of these lamentable scenes, we propose to the House to apply to that country legislation which is exceptional because the causes that produce it are exceptional. I should hope that hon. Gentlemen will not continue the controversial discussion which the speech of the hon. and gallant Member who has just sat down is calculated to give rise to, but all will agree to remedy an evil which is known to exist. That speech had reference to a discussion that took place about a month ago, in which it was stated that Orange flags bad been displayed from towers and the steeples of churches for ten days together, and that this display had produced the disputes and conflicts out of which grew the offences for which persons in great numbers are now under trial or condemnation. I should hope hon. Members will not put the question on the ground of giving a triumph to one side or the other, of setting Catholic against Orangeman, or Orangeman against Catholic; but will see that here unfortunately are dissensions which we all deeply deplore, and that this Bill is calculated to prevent those dissensions from coming to a head and from eventuating in the loss of life.
while wishing to view the question in the light in which it had. been put by the noble Lord, differed from him in opinion as to the probable results of the Bill. He did not believe that the exceptional legislation proposed would be attended with the desired effect. Party riots unquestionably took place in the North of Ireland, and blood was sometimes spilt; but the House would entertain a very false impression with regard to the province of Ulster if it received as accurate the description boldly ventured by the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Osborne), or fancied that the Roman Catholics wore so utterly helpless, and so cruelly slaughtered by the Protestants, as had been represented. The intention of the Bill might be laudable, but its tone was offensive. He suggested that its operation should he restricted to forbidding the display of flags and party emblems.
said, as a Roman Catholic, he sought no triumph in the promotion and success of this Bill, but he thought he should be deserting his duty to his coreligionists in the North of Ireland, and to those who desired to promote the peace of that part of the country, if he did not support it. The Catholic people of Ireland were tolerant; they desired to live in friendship, in peace, and in harmony, with their Protestant countrymen. But suppose the Government did not persevere in passing this measure, to whom would they give the triumph? Was it to the rational and sensible Protestants of the North? No: he ventured to say that they would give them pain and regret. Would they give a triumph to the Bishop of Derry? No, he felt they would give him pain; but they would give a triumph to those men who believed themselves a superior class to their fellow-countrymen. An hon. Member said "let the Catholics take care lest the cross be construed to be a party emblem." But almost every church built in this country, whether Protestant or Catholic, had the emblem of our common redemption upon it. It was completely absurd for Gentlemen to put forward such a miserable and flimsy pretence. The Government were told they could not remove animosity by legislation; but they could remove a cause of animosity, and a constant provocation to riot and outrage. Hon. Gentlemen rose and said, "Oh, leave it to moral influence." But was that a triumph of moral influence that there were two wretched men almost breathing their last at this moment;—that one of them was paralysed from the hips down, and that it was only by the extraordinary skill of his medical attendant that the remnant of life was still kept in him? Was it a fact that there were these insulting drummings and filings in Cookestown? Was it a fact that the Orangemen threatened to go there again, and that the Roman Catholics had determined to meet them and have a fight? Was it a fact that the stained-glass window in the chapel at Cookestown was smashed? that another chapel, ten miles off, had been burst into, and the altar smashed? These things happened throughout the month of July; and, when the month of July came round again, the same things would happen, (he same provocation would be given to outrage and bloodshed. Six weeks ago he (Mr. Maguire) had asked the Government to introduce some such measure as this, and he was not now going to degrade him; self by opposing it. Those people seemed at a particular time to go mad like the dogs. When they found such things existing in one part of Ireland, ought they not to put it down? If such things happened in Tipperary or Cork, they would have Protestant Gentleman from the North of Ireland coming down asking to have them put down. Why should those old triumphs be commemorated in this insulting manner? Let it be remembered that the Catholics had suffered enough for their loyalty to an English monarch—they fought for Charles and James, were defeated, and what had happened? They had had 100 or 150 years of penal laws. Was not that enough? It was time that the odious memory of those triumphs and persecutions should be allowed to die out. They took credit to themselves for not insulting the people of France by commemorating the triumph of Waterloo. Well, let the Orangemen imitate that example in their conduct towards their Catholic fellow-countrymen. If on the anniversary of Aughrim or the Boyne they hung out flags, must not animosity be excited among the Catholics who saw them? He asserted that the man would have the spirit of a slave or a craven if he was not ready to resent this outrage. He confessed he, for one, if a man offered him so gross an insult, would be ready to show his resentment in a manner which might make him remember it all the days of his life. He hoped the Government would strengthen their hands by this Bill.
said, it was clear, from the speech of the hon. Member for Dungarvan, that the Catholics in the north of Ireland would view the passing of this measure as a triumph. He opposed the Bill because he believed that it would not produce the results at which the Government aimed. It seemed that the memories which the flags inspired, and not the sight of the flags themselves, were offensive; but could this Bill possibly blot out such recollections as the seige of Derry, the battle of the Boyne, and Aughrim? For his own part he would rather that these flags should not be exhibited; but the attempt to impose on the Irish Protestants laws which the Government would not venture to impose in England would lead to nothing but misfortunes, irritating the people, and promoting them to resistance rather than prompting peace and good will among them. Altogether he regarded it as the most unfortunate measure for the interests of Ireland which had been introduced since he had sat in Parliament.
said, that as the hon. Member for Youghal intended to move that the Bill be extended to England, he (Mr. Malins) would persist in the Motion to introduce the word Ireland.
was at a loss to understand why the Roman Catholics should consider themselves insulted by the emblems at Derry and elsewhere, commemorative of 1688, unless they did at this day, equally with those of the same religious opinions at that period, regard those events with hostility. If so, what did the Government mean by bringing in a Bill to protect them from such so-called insults? When Guy Fawkes was exhibited in the street no Roman Catholic could reasonably regard himself as insulted, unless he sympathised with that historical personage. As to the religious views of the Roman Catholics, he entertained no hostility or apprehension. They were in every respect as much entitled to their opinions as he was to his; but to their political opinions and sympathies, as thus exposed to view in reference to 1688, he and every man who regarded that event as the settlement of our present constitution in Church and State was hound to protest; and if the Catholics of the present day so far sympathised with those of 1688 as to be insulted by allusion thereto, what further evidence was required than that they were not yet reconciled to the constitution in Church and State as then established? and what claim did this give them upon the Government to introduce a Bill nominally to consult their feelings and prevent outrage, but really to give a triumph to the principles which were repudiated by this country in 1688? This, coupled with other events daily passing around, and with the conduct of the Government in the present Session in reference to Roman Catholic questions, demanded, and he trusted would receive, the serious attention, if not of this House, of the country.
Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
The Committee divided: Ayes 71; Noes 21: Majority 50.
Further Amendments to the Clause moved, and negatived.
Question put, "That Clause 1, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
The Committee divided: Ayes 59; Noes 32: Majority 27.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 2 and 3 agreed to.
then proposed a clause limiting the operation of the Act to a period of two years.
agreed that the Act should not be made permanent, but suggested that it should remain in force for five instead of two years.
agreed to this suggestion.
thought the Bill entirely unnecessary, and objected to it on the ground that it was exceptional legislation; he therefore intended to oppose it through all its stages.
was in favour of the Attorney General's suggestion, which was agreed to.
Remaining Clauses agreed to.
Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.
Local Government Act (1858) Amendment (No 2) Bill
Order for Committee read.
House in Committee.
(In the Committee.)
said, the mode in which highway rating was provided for in this Bill would render its operation unequal and unjust. He wished to introduce a clause to obviate this objection, and therefore suggested that the Bill should not be passed through Committee to-night, but that the Chairman should only report progress, and he would introduce the clause to-morrow.
acceded to the suggestion that progress should be reported at the end of the proceedings, in order to see whether the clause could be added in Committee on a future day.
Clauses 1 to 11 agreed to.
Clause 12 (For Relief of Occupiers of Coal Mines, &c., from Proportion of Rates).
objected to the clause altogether. It was no part of the Government Bill, and was forced upon the Government at two o'clock in the morning, when Members had left the House, be- lieving that there was nothing objectionable in the Bill. The clause proposed to afford a relief to the occupiers of coal mines from a proportion of the rates; but exemptions were already carried far enough, and he did not wish to see them carried further. In his borough the effect of the clause would be to reduce the rateable property from £108,000 to £69,000.
objected to the clause principally on account of the manner in which it had been introduced into the Bill. If coal mines were to be exempted, that question should be brought forward distinctly, and fairly discussed on its merits. This clause, however, was introduced at a late or rather early hour in the morning, and without notice. He should support his hon. Friend in resisting the clause.
said, it was quite true that the Bill, as originally introduced, did not contain this clause. It was brought forward in Committee without notice, and that was always an inconvenient mode of proceeding in cases where the burden of taxation was altered. He, and the promoter of the Bill, opposed the clause, but received very little support from the House. The clause was modified in the other House; and as the Bill was a Money Bill, it was when so altered, rejected by the Commons, and a new Bill was introduced. He thought it his duty to insert the clause in the Bill substantially as it came down from the other House; but, retaining the opinion he originally expressed against the clause, if the Committee divided he should vote against it.
said, that in the Pottery districts the highways were cut up by the carriage of coals, and if this exemption was allowed, the burden of the rates would fall more heavily on cottage property to the relief of the owners of the mines.
wished to say a few words in defence of the clause. Coal mines were in a different position from other mines, which, as a general rule, were not rated to the poor-rates at all. Generally speaking, coal mines were the only mines which, under the Act of Elizabeth, were liable to be rated for the poor. If market gardens were rated at one-fourth only, it was unfair that coal mines should be rated at their full value. Perhaps there ought to be no exceptions; but as long as there were exceptions, the owners and occupiers of coal mines had a right to claim that they should be rated not on the whole, but on one-fourth of the annual value.
said, that under the present system the exhaustible property of coal mines was taxed on the same principle as the inexhaustible value of land. If this taxation of coal mines was unjust, the exception of iron mines must be unjust. He was in favour of the clause. He knew cases in which the mouth of an iron mine was within 100 yards of that of a coal mine; the former was excepted, and the latter taxed. He should like to hear from the Secretary for the Home Department whether he thought the existing system of excepting an iron mine and taxing a coal mine was just.
thought the Committee ought to keep to the question before them, and not go into that of the exceptions granted in other cases.
remarked, that coal mines had always been charged. He should support the omission of the clause.
said, if mines were excepted, the owners of gas-works, brickworks, and other manufactories might claim the same exception.
said, that the case was so gross in his neighbourhood of the rating of coal, and the exemption of iron mines, that if this clause were omitted, he hoped its omission would lead to a readjustment of the system of taxation.
House resumed. Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.
Divorce Court Bill
Order for Second Reading read.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
rose to call attention to a question of privilege. The Bill, he said, came down from the House of Lords on the 1st of May. The 5th Clause provided that, where only one of the parties to any matter before the Court should appear, it should be lawful for the Court to order Her Majesty's Proctor to instruct counsel to argue before the Court any question in relation to such matter, and the Proctor should be entitled to charge and be reimbursed the costs of such proceedings as part of the expense of his office. The 7th Clause provided that in certain cases Her Majesty's Proctor was to retain counsel, and subpoena witnesses; that the Court should be empowered to order the cost of such proceedings to be paid by the parties, or such of them as it should see fit; and that in the event of the Proctor not being satisfied his reasonable costs, he should be entitled to charge the difference as part of the expense of his office. He submitted that whether the insertion of clauses containing such provisions was not trenching on the functions of this House?
said: As the hon. Gentleman gave me notice of his intention to raise this question, I have been able to give it full consideration. I am of opinion that there are provisions in this Bill liable to serious objections. Clause 5, authorizing the Proctor to charge certain proceedings as part of the expenses of his office. If this was an original Bill the case would be more grave, but it is an amending Bill, to amend the Act 20 & 21 Vict., c. 85. Section 62 of that Act provides,—
The House will observe the words "out of such moneys as may be provided and appropriated by Parliament." It is to these words, and the use that has been made of them, that I wish particularly to invite the attention of the House. It has been a practice, grown up within the last six or seven years, for the Lords to establish grounds of expense, and to propose salaries "to be paid out of moneys to be provided by Parliament." On July 5, 1854, a Bill was brought from the Lords, entitled "A Bill to Facilitate the Sale and Transfer of Encumbered Estates in the West Indies." Clause 12 provided there shall be paid out"It shall be lawful for the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, out of such moneys as may be provided and appropriated by Parliament for the purpose, to cause to be paid all necessary expenses of the Court under this Act, and other expenses which may be incurred in carrying the provisions of this Act into execution."
I do not trace this course to a date earlier than the year 1854; but the Bill I have named was considered a precedent for similar provisions in other Bills. In my opinion this new practice should not be permitted to become usage. It seems to me open to serious objections. It is liable to misconstruction. It is calculated to break down the broad line of distinction between the duties, attributes, and powers of the two Houses. Acting on the discretion vested in me by this House, I have already intimated that clauses in that form, and provisions so made, would hereafter be objected to by myself on behalf of this House, and that I should advise the House not to receive them. In the present instance—considering that this is an amending Act, considering the provisions of the original Act—I submit to the House that, if it approves of the course I have taken, and if it is satisfied that sufficient securities are provided for the future, it will perhaps not think it necessary to put its full powers into exercise on this occasion. The House, however, is now in full possession of the case, and it is for the House to decide."Of moneys to be provided by Parliament—(this in black ink),—to the chief commissioner, two assistant-commissioners, chief secretary, and assistant-secretary—(this in red ink),—such salaries as the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury may from time to time recommend—(this in black ink)."
said, that after the very important statement made by Mr. Speaker, it would be presumptuous in him to add another word; except to move that this Bill be laid aside.
Amendment proposed, to leave out the words "now read a second time," in order to add the words "laid aside,"—instead thereof.
Question proposed, "That the words proposed be left out stand part of the Question."
hoped that the hon. Member would not press his Motion. Parliament in the original Bill had given authority to pledge its credit for the payment of all the expenses of carrying out the Act; and when the Bill came down under the provisions of the original enactment it was hardly a case for pressing the question of privilege to the extreme point.
moved as an Amendment that the debate be adjourned. The Speaker had pronounced a most important and able judgment. He thought it but due to that judgment that the House should not rashly vote upon the subject one way or the other. It seemed to him to involve the most serious considerations; and while on the one hand he should not like rashly to vote the rejection of the Bill, he should not on the other follow without consideration the advice of the hon. and learned Attorney General, and adopt a course which, if it would not appear to set aside the judgment of the Speaker, might seem to fail in giving it due attention. He entertained very serious doubts whether the provisions of one of the clauses might not: amount to the imposition of a tax.
seconded the Amendment.
thought that under all the circumstances it would he better to agree to an adjournment, which would give a proper opportunity for considering what was the best course to he taken under the circumstances.
Debate adjourned till Tomorrow.
House adjourned at a Quarter after One o'clock.