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Commons Chamber

Volume 172: debated on Friday 17 July 1863

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House Of Commons

Friday, July 17, 1863.


WAYS AND MEANS— considered in Committee.

SELECT COMMITTEE—Ecclesiastical Commission, Report [No. 457].

PUBLIC BILLS— Resolution in Committee—New Zealand (Guarantee of Loan).

First Reading—Colonial Acts Confirmation ( Lords) * [Bill 250].

Second Reading—Indemnity * ; Colonial Letters Patent ( Lords) * [Bill 237].

Committee—Expiring Laws Continuance [Bill 238]; Petty Sessions (Ireland) * [Bill 235]; Pauper Lunatic Asylums * [Bill 234].

Report—Expiring Laws Continuance; Petty Sessions (Ireland) * ; Pauper Lunatic Asylums * .

Considered as amended—Railways Clauses * [Bill 230]; Waterworks Clauses [Bill 222]; Turnpike Acts Continuance, &c. * [Bill 228]; Poisoned Grain, &c. Prohibition * [Bill 223].

Third Reading—Union Relief Aid Acts Continuance * [Bill 236]; Companies Clauses * [Bill 229]; Turnpike Trusts Arrangements * [Bill 227]; and severally passed.

New Zealand Loan


said, that a Resolution providing a Guarantee for a Loan to New Zealand had been agreed to very late last night, and he trusted that the Report would not be brought up later than ten o'clock that evening, in order that hon. Members might have a fair opportunity of discussing it.

said, that when he introduced the Bill founded on the Resolution, he would fix the second reading for such a period as would enable hon. Members to discuss the question fully.

asked, whether the Government would object to produce any Papers which they had in regard to the New Zealand Guarantee, for the information of Members.

said, that the information required to justify the measure of the Government lay within a very narrow compass, and there was no need for the production of Papers. He would make a statement on a future stage of the measure, which he hoped would satisfy the hon. Gentleman.

Cost Of Embassies, &C


said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, When the Returns relating to the cost of Embassies, Missions, and Political Agencies, in answer to the Address of the 1st of June, will be presented?

replied, that the Department of the Foreign Office were doing their best to prepare the Returns, but he feared they would not be ready before the prorogation of Parliament.

The Mails Via Panama


said, he rose to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, Whether it is true that a bag containing the Despatches from the Admiralty to the Admiral on the station at Vancouver's Island was abstracted from on board the United States Steamer in its passage from Panama; and whether, in the absence of safe postal communication, the Admiral was not under the necessity of employing a Government War Steamer to carry the Despatches to Panama; and whether the Government were not obliged, on the occasion of the Trent Affair, to send the Depatches to the Admiral on the Pacific station at Vancouver's Island round by Cape Horn?

said, in reply, that in 1858 an arrangement was made by which the mail-bags from Vancouver's Island were brought to Panama by way of San Francisco by American Packets. In the following year there were two occasions on which the hags were mislaid, not abstracted. One bag arrived after some delay complete. In the case of the other, part of the letters turned up, but some never came to hand at all. He had not heard of any similar affair later than these two. With regard to the latter part of the question, the despatches to the Admiral at Vancouver's Island were not sent by way of Cape Horn because of distrust of the other route. On the contrary, the Despatches were sent viâ Panama, and duplicates were sent by Cape Horn, in the Devastation, which was going out with re- inforcements. The Despatches sent by Panama arrived safe at their destination.

Private Bill Legislation


said, he would beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, What course he intends to pursue with reference to the Report and Resolutions of the Private Bill Legislation Committee?

, in reply, said, the Committee on Private Bill Legislation had come to a number of Resolutions. Two of the principles of these were recommendations that Bills should be brought in for the purpose of facilitating Private Bill Legislation. The first related to a class of Bills which were already before the House and had already passed through Committee. The Bill to which the second Resolution referred, which would enable persons without coming to Parliament for a special Act to do certain things, was under preparation. It required, however, great care, and it would not be possible to get it ready for the present Session. There were some other Resolutions which, to give them effect, required the co-operation of the other House of Parliament. He thought, with respsct to this, it would be better to wait until the evidence had been considered and they had an opportunity of knowing what would be done by the other House. With regard to the remaining Resolutions which related exclusively to fees and other matters exclusively within the jurisdiction of the House itself, they were under consideration; but he had not yet been able to make up his mind as to the best and most useful course to take.

Are we to understand that no action will be taken on these Resolutions this Session?

I do not say that; neither do I say the reverse. I say that it is under consideration.

I think we ought to know within what time any action will be taken upon these Resolutions.

I trust I shall be able to state on Tuesday next positively what course will be taken.

Retiring Pensions For Colonial Governors—Question

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to adopt any system of Retiring Pensions for Gentlemen who have held the office of Colonial Governor?

stated, in reply, that in his opinion it would be impossible to confer a greater benefit at a small expense to the public than by providing pensions for Colonial Governors. At the same time, the right hon. Gentleman must be aware that many difficulties stood in the way of such a measure, and the noble Duke at the head of the Colonial Office, who had the subject under careful consideration, had not yet come to any final decision with respect to it.

Case Of Captain Edwardes


said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, Whether, inasmuch as the claim of the representatives of Captain Edwardes upon the Government and State of Oude has been reported by Mr. E. Clive Bailey, the Commissioner directed to investigate the same, as "a genuine and fair one," the claimants are called upon again to submit their claim to investigation in India; and, if so, upon what grounds; whether the Report upon the Claims thus to be subjected to re-investigation is expected to be made before the re-assembling of Parliament; and whether the representatives of Captain Edwardes can appear before the Commissioner without prejudice?

said, in reply, that the hon. and learned Gentleman in quoting Mr. Bailey's opinion had not given the whole of it; for although Mr. Bailey said that Captain Edwardes's claim was a fair one against a Sovereign of Oude many years ago, he went on to say that there was now no equitable claim even on the indulgence of the British Government. He (Sir Charles Wood) had not gone into the claims himself, as he thought it his duty to defer his judgment until the result of the full inquiry was before him. Captain Edwardes would not be prejudiced by appearing under protest. He (Sir Charles Wood) had given directions for facilitating and accelerating the inquiry as far as was consistent with the affording a fair opportunity of appearing before the Commissioners, but he could not say whether the Report would be made before the meeting of Parliament next year.

Party Emblems In Ireland


said, he rose to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Party Emblems Act has been violated on the 12th of July, in Lisburn, Belfast, and other parts of Ulster; and if riots, involving injury to persons and property, had not been the result?

, in reply, said, every one must regret the continuance of these demonstrations of party and political feeling in Ireland. Happily they were much less frequent than they used to be, and he trusted that year by year the good sense and feeling of the influential classes in Ireland would tend to check their recurrence. There had been less disturbance this year than usual, and he believed the reports in the newspapers of what had lately happened in Ulster a little exaggerated. He had received a telegram stating that some persons who had violated the Party Emblems Act, and others, who had committed breaches of the peace, had been summoned. Another telegram which came that forenoon announced, that although at Belfast there were large crowds in the streets, and there had been some collision with the police, and stone throwing and window breaking, the peace of the town had not been further disturbed.

Indian Sanitary Commission


said, he would beg to ask Lord Stanley, Whether the two volumes folio containing the Report of the Indian Army Sanitary Commission will be presented to the House; and, if not, what are the reasons for omitting to do so?

said, the Report of the Commission and a summary of the evidence in octavo form had been circulated among hon. Members. There was a larger publication, in two volumes folio, containing the Report, the evidence, and a voluminous appendix; but he could not say whether it would be circulated among the Members as a body, or supplied only to those who asked for it. The latter course would probably be taken, but it rested not with the Chairman, but with the head of the Indian Department to decide that question.

said, the Report had for some time been laid on the table of the House.

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether any hon. Member might have the Papers on applying for them?

replied, that the course which had always been pursued with respect to Parliamentary Papers had been followed in this case. These Reports had been on the table of the House for some time. He had no control over Papers on the table of the House.

Disturbances In New Zealand


said, he wished to ask, Whether any Despatches have been received at the Colonial Office with reference to the disturbances in New Zealand; and, if so, whether there will be any objection to lay them upon the table?

said, that Despatches had been received at the Colonial Office which, he was sorry to say, confirmed in the main the accounts which had appeared in the public prints of that morning of the unexpected outrage committed by a body of natives at Taranaki. He believed there would be no objection to produce a portion of the Papers.


Order for Committee read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."

Civil Service Competitions


said, be rose to move that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty in favour of open competition for junior appointments in the Civil Service. The public, and even many hon. Members of that House, were under a complete delusion as to the working of the Civil Service Commission. When it was established, it was supposed that young men of ability, industry, and good character would have an opportunity of freely competing for the junior appointments in the civil service, and that patronage would cease to be distributed by Members of Parliament. That was quite a mistake. Those persons who objected to the system of appointments by Members of that House would be surprised to learn that the patronage of the Government bad rather increased than diminished. Last year he pointed out that the number of close competitions was actually growing larger, and this year the same unfortunate result was equally apparent. In 1861 the total number of nominations made by the Government without any competitive examination was 228, while in 1862 the number was 396. In 1861 53 per cent of those who were examined for junior appointments in the Civil Service were nominated under a system of limited competition, but in 1862 the percentage had fallen to 42. When the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn was in office, he distributed all the appointments in his Department by open competition. Other Members of the present and preceding Governments had also done so, and among them Earl Granville, but the system of open competition was at an end. The number of honorary certificates given by the Commissioners was also diminishing. It was 136 in 1861, and only 111 in 1862. In some of the Departments the retrograde movement was very marked. In 1861 only two vacancies out of eleven in the War Office were filled by absolute nomination, while in 1862 as many as 82 vacancies out of 107 were so filled up. Thus the public, and even the House, were entirely deluded as to the adoption of competitive examinations. When the administrative reformers were protesting against the old system, they maintained that patronage ought not to be left to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, but the duties of that gentleman had been trebled instead of lessened. He still held the patronage in his hands, and Members of the House distributed the appointments. Why did the hon. Gentleman give these things to Members? It was, as an hon. Friend near him said, because they supported the Government. He thought that was unconstitutional. It was quite modern, and was certainly not known in the old history of Parliament. There was a time when, if a Member of that House had been, charged with accepting such patronage from the Government, and distributing it among his constituents, he would have been found guilty of a breach of privilege and a misdemeanour. Now it was tolerated, and even those who sat on the Opposition benches received daily applications from their constituents, asking for appointments in public offices. The first question they should ask themselves was whether they would improve the civil service by a change of the present system. He thought they would. One of the highest authorities on the subject Sir John Lefevre, had distinctly stated that in his opinion open competition was the best means that could be devised for filling the junior appointments in the civil service. Mr. Chester, who had been Assistant Secretary to the Privy Council, and Major Graham, an officer of the civil service, concurred with Sir John in that view. All the Resolutions and debates of that House, moreover, pointed to the advisability of open competition.

Amendment proposed,

To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that the junior appointments in the Civil Service may be filled up in future by a system of open competitive examination,"—(Mr. Hennessy,)

—instead thereof.

said, he rose to move an Amendment to the Motion of his hon. Friend the substitution of "an approved test examination" in place of the words "open competitive." He regretted that his hon. Friend had not allowed a longer space of time to elapse before again calling the attention of the House to the subject as it was desirable, in his opinion, that the working of the system of competition so far as it had extended up to that time should be further tested by experience, before the House was asked to come to a decision upon it. He confessed that he differed from his hon. Friend as to the desirability of extending the system. All the information which he had been able to collect from officers in different Departments went to show that the system of competitive examination in force did not operate to the advantage of the public service. He believed that the commanders of the army would state that the officers who entered that branch of the public service were no longer taken from the same class from which it was recruited at a time at which it might truly be said that the army had never been better officered. One important objection to the system of open competition was the injustice which it did to the sons of old officers. In all offices which were not under the control of Government a preference was invariably given to the children of old servants; but if the principle of open competition were adopted, that practice was no longer to pre- vail in the service of the State, and a great public disadvantage would thus, as he believed, arise. The fact stated by his hon. Friend, that the system of open competition was diminishing, proved that the public offices did not find it expedient to go on with it. He believed the truth was, that under the present system the offices could not be worked. The Secretary of State for India complained that he could not get officers enough, in consequence of the number of rejections by the Civil Service Commissioners. All the Commissioners were, no doubt, men of high eminence; but was the House prepared to put the whole patronage of the country, amounting to 105,000 places, in the hands of three irresponsible gentlemen? Such a proceeding was so absurd that he was astonished anybody could have proposed it. When Lord Brougham first heard of it, he held up his hands, and exclaimed that its proposers must have gone mad. There was no check upon the Commissioners, who over and over again had refused to comply with the request of the heads of Departments that they should not adhere too rigidly to their regulations, because by so doing they were acting injuriously to the public service. He could cite numerous cases to illustrate with what hardship and injustice the system weighed upon individuals, but would content himself with one. It was that of a gentleman whom he knew, and who wrote to him as follows:—

"On the 28th of last month Sir G. C. Lewis nominated me to compete for two vacancies on the establishment. On presenting myself before the Civil Service Commissioners the question arose as to my being over the prescribed age, and I was not permitted, though nominated, to compete. I entered the public service in April 1855, and therefore before the establishment of this system. I was for three years in the Admiralty, and three years at the War Office, Pall Mall, and the Military Store Department, Woolwich. My references are most satisfactory. I have passed before the Civil Service Commissioners as a temporary clerk, and because a new system is introduced at Woolwich I am discharged, without fault of mine and without provision."
There was another portion of the subject to which he would direct the attention of the House. He wished to inquire for a moment whether there had been any improvement in that system of questioning adopted by the Commissioners to which he had referred on some former occasions. It certainly appeared to him that the questions asked of candidates by the Commissioners were still in some instances of a very extraordinary character, and still as inappropri- ate as ever to the class to whom they were addressed. What, for example, could be more absurd than to ask a factory boy in one of the Admiralty dockyards to "write an account of any one or more of the following animals—namely, the horse, the deer, the bee. Describe their appearance, habits, and peculiarities. Show how they are of use to man, and give any anecdotes that you ever heard or read about them?" Another question equally ridiculous, as put to an apprentice, was as follows:—"Write down anything you know about William the Conqueror or the late Prince Consort." He found from the examination papers that candidates for appointments in the Commisariat were expected to answer questions like the following:—"Why are some arts called useful, and others fine arts? Have not the fine arts any utility?" The candidate was asked, "What are the circumstances in which a nation is best prepared for war, and assign the reasons?" When they had the largest amount of force, he supposed. The noble Lord the Secretary to the Admiralty would probably say, "When it has a great many iron plated vessels." These were hardly the questions to be put to a young man on entering the Commissariat service. Again, the candidate was required to sketch the history of Poland since 1789, and he was also asked, "What is the difference between the territorial limits of the European States in 1863 as compared with 1789?" Following all these questions, come the advertisements of the gentlemen who undertake to cram candidates for these examinations. The candidates for direct commissions in the army are asked, "What changes in the world have resulted, or are likely to result, from the discovery of the various uses of steam?" "Give an isometrical representation of the pyramid;" and they have to describe "the gold-leaf electroscope, and how they would use it to find the kind of electricity with which any given body is charged." Then they were asked, "How could you do this if the electrified body were out of reach, for example, a cloud over head?" The right hon. Gentleman always said he could answer such questions. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER dissented.] Well, if the right hon. Gentleman could not, how could he expect these young men to answer them? Another question was, "In what countries are the remains of the mammoth and tichorhine rhinoceros found, and what is there remarkable in their history?" The candidates for the East India service were asked to give the meaning of the following old words:—
"Maund, teen, foin, finish, fust, childness, shard, ahardborne, quiddit, quillet, frampold, chioppine, chrysom. State what objections there are to any of the following words in respect either of the form of the word or of the sense in which it has come to be used:—Amiable, author, grandson, island, miniature, posthumous, righteous, newt, rampant, sovereign, skylarking, Anthony, Bosphorus, Charter-house, Mackenzie, Poland, shotover."
Another question was, "What are the essential constituents of felspar, fluor, dolomite, and calamine?" Here was a question worthy of the right hon. Gentleman's attention—"Why was it better for England to tax the import of tea, sugar, and wine than of grain, or iron, or cotton manufactures?" Then came the questions, "What were the special liabilities attached by the Roman law to carriers and innkeepers?" and "Describe the nature of the respiratory process in animals, and the difference in the mode of effecting this in fishes, frogs, birds, and insects." These were specimens taken from a list of very inappropriate questions, and it was not at all surprising that the Secretary of State for India should have to complain of the number of rejected candidates. The only other country where such a mode of examination was introduced was China, and he did not know that it was necessary for them to take lessons from the Celestial Empire. The public service had not improved under that system. It was not desirable that young men should enter the civil or the military service without being subjected to a severe test examination; but there were qualifications requisite for some professions which could not be tested by the system of open competition. An officer of the army ought to be able to ride well, to have a quick sight, and be a man of energy. The Duke of Wellington used to prefer discipline to book learning. In the same way, the highest talents for diplomacy could not be tested by any examination. When his hon. Friend sought to extend the competitive system to the smallest offices under the State, it was high time to look more seriously into its operation, so as to guard against its abuse. For that reason he took the liberty of moving his Amendment.

said, that as the Motion of the hon. Member for the King's County was not an original Motion, but an Amendment on the Motion, That he leave the Chair, it was not in the power of the hon. Gentleman who spoke last to move an Amendment upon it.

Sir, the hon. Gentleman has reverted to his usual practice of reading to the House for its amusement, a number of questions which he has selected from the various examination papers of candidates for appointments in the public offices. I do not consider there is any use in discussing the military branch of the subject in connection with a Motion which relates exclusively to the civil service. But, speaking of the questions which he read from the papers for the civil service, I think it is very difficult to argue concerning the sense of the ridiculous. As happens in matters of taste, that which seems ridiculous taken in one connection does not always seem ridiculous in another. Although, no doubt, the hon. Gentleman has selected his questions for the purpose of exciting our ridicule, yet some of them appeared to me very apt and well chosen. Nothing, for example, could be more rational than to ask the candidate what are the benefits resulting from the discovery of steam; and nothing could be fairer, with a view to test his geographical knowledge, than to require him to compare the territorial limits of different European countries in the present day and in 1789, before the great French Revolution. But irrespective of individual opinions on this or that question, the hon. Gentleman appears to me to have almost wilfully shut his eyes to the very principle on which these examinations are constructed. He gave the House to understand that every candidate is expected to answer all these questions. No examination in those places where examination has been pursued with the greatest efficacy and success is constituted on that principle. In regard particularly to the examination for the civil service, that which is held to be indispensable in all cases, and that which tells the most, is the necessary amount of knowledge in matters strictly elementary. But, inasmuch as those matters strictly elementary, reading so far as it can be tested, writing, and arithmetic, are matters in which the candidates might come out almost on a dead level, it is thought to be very judicious to test the general mental culture of the candidates by offering them a great variety of questions, the whole of which they are not expected to answer, but by answering some one or more of which they may be able to give some indication of their mental power over and above the mere mechanical instruction they may have received. The hon. Member attempts to create amusement by the rapid transition from subject to subject of these questions; but that is only a proof of the care with which these papers are framed, because the intention is not to give an exclusive preference to persons who may happen to be familiar with some single class of subjects, but, on the contrary, to give the fairest possible play to all who have any mental energy or culture in them at all. The object, therefore, is to make the questions present as many aspects as possible within the compass to which they are extended. But it is not competent for the hon. Gentleman to move his Amendment at present, and therefore I pass to the proposition of the hon. Member for the King's County. I presume that the hon. Member for the King's County does not now intend to press upon the House the adoption of the Motion he has made. It is obvious that a Motion in favour of open competition for admission to the civil service is a subject so very large that it ought not to be pressed to a division unless after much fuller discussion, and in a much fuller House than we can command at this period of the Session. The Motion comes before us by way of an Amendment upon going into Committee of Supply, and I should certainly vote for the original words of the Question. But I do not complain of the hon. Member for so frequently calling our attention to a subject of such very great importance. In the view of the case, however, which he has put before us, he has not done full justice to the present state of things. The hon. Gentleman assumed that the system of competition was virtually going backwards—that patronage was resuming its sway as contradistinguished from competition; that the Departments were endeavouring to get rid of the salutary restraints on the exercise of patronage; and that, in fact, the general state of things was retrograding, instead of advancing. Now, I do not think that is the case. An examination of the Report of the Civil Service Commission distinctly proves that is not the case. With some variation in different quarters, there is, on the whole, observable progress in the system of competition. I am far from speaking of it as a perfect system. We must be content to make the most of the results of the system as gradually established. The House, however, has a right to expect that a certain rate of progress shall be attained, and it certainly does ap- pear that considerable progress has been made. The hon. Gentleman says that the system of competition is diminishing in the country, but, as tested by the number of offices competed for, and the number of candidates examined, it is advancing, not diminishing. In 1858 the number of offices competed for was 192, in 1862 the number was 262, and in 1861, immediately preceding, the number was 236. Therefore, there is an absolute increase in the number of offices competed for. Then, as to the number of candidates found eligible and examined, in 1858 the number was 647; in 1862 the number was 864. No doubt, in former times there were great abuses, and many unfit persons were appointed. Well, of those 864 competitors examined for 289 places, 376 were found below the standard of attainment requisite for a pass-examination. The hon. Gentleman himself has at last screwed and wound up himself to this, that there should be a severe test examination; but does he not see how much evil there is still to be eradicated, when, out of 864 persons found eligible, not far short of one moiety, or 376, were found unfit to compete, because they could not pass the test examination. It is very well to talk of a severe test examination, but what is well known is this, that you find yourselves in continual conflict with a mass of personal, party, and other selfish interests; these selfish interests rooted and grounded in human nature exercise a continual pressure on your positive test examination, tending always to lower it. It is not because competition is in itself a perfect system that some resort is had to it, but because it is practically found that it affords the best and perhaps the only means of contending against that constant lowering action of a simple test examination. The Committee of 1861 made two principal recommendations; one was, that instead of an occasional competition of a limited character and among three candidates, there should be universally a limited competition among five candidates where there was only one vacancy; and where there were several, in the proportion of at least three candidates to each vacancy. The other recommendation was to confine the competition to those who had passed the previous test examination. I must say that was a most excellent recommendation. With regard to the first recommendation, there are now forty-seven offices to which competition is extended, and only twenty in which com- petition is not resorted to, these last being only quasi public departments, not being under the control of the executive Government. So far, then, as the general principle of competition is concerned, it is in course of extension. We have got competition in action. I am entitled, therefore, to a certain extent to assume that it is recognised as a beneficial system, and I am showing that the executive Government are endeavouring to give increased scope to what they believe the intention of Parliament. With regard to the second recommendation, the Treasury early in 1861, under the direction of my noble Friend, established a preliminary test examination for all officers, and the number of competitors is extended to five for a single vacancy, and in the proportion of three for each vacancy where there are more than one. The Secretary at War has recently set on foot a similar plan, and clerkships in the War Office are now competed for only by those who have passed a test examination, the competitors being fixed in the proportion of four for one vacancy and three to each vacancy where there are several. I am certainly at a loss to explain a very large number of nominations that appear to have taken place without competition in 1861. That must be owing to some casual circumstance; but the indications of progress which I have pointed out depend on no casual or temporary cause—they belong to the gradual extension of the system to our public offices. Believing, as I do, that it is quite impossible for us to admit on the present occasion of a full discussion of this extremely important question, it is enough for me to show that this is a matter in which the executive Government is making progress, and to express a hope that under these circumstances the hon. Gentleman will be satisfied with the discussion which has taken place, and will not press his Motion to a division.

observed, that besides the two recommendations of the Committee adverted to by the right hon. Gentleman there was a third—to this effect, that the system of open competition, so successfully tried in relation to the India service by the noble Lord the Member for Lynn, should be applied to the Civil Service.

I omitted to mention that the apprentices in the dockyards and inferior boys in the Admiralty are admitted by open competition.

maintained that the most important part of the patronage in the appointments to officers in the civil service was still kept in the hands of Government. The Treasury were opposed to any system that was likely to take the patronage out of the hands of the Government, and under the present system the nominations were almost entirely confined to the friends of the Government. Now, that was a most unfair principle for any Government to pursue. Every member of the community ought to have a fair opportunity of proving his qualifications for Government appointments, but as matters stood one-half of the community were denied all opportunity of competing for public service. He did not see why the system of open competition, which worked so well for India, should not work equally well for all the public departments. The recommendation of any respectable person of rank or position should be sufficient, with satisfactory testimonials of moral character, intelligence, and ability, to procure a nomination to compete. He might add that he been applied to frequently to make applications to the Government for nominations, but had never done so except on two occasions during the eleven years he had had a seat in that House, and those applications were made under very peculiar circumstances. He thought that his hon. Friend had done well in bringing the subject again before the House, and if he pressed his Motion he should feel it his duty to support it.

said, that although he could not agree with the hon. Member for the King's County, he did concur with him upon two points. He agreed that disappointment had followed the establishment of the system of examination which had recently been introduced, and that it had neither decreased the patronage of the Government, nor improved the quality of the successful candidates. But what he believed to be the two great evils of the system had not been touched upon. The first was the irresponsible position taken up by the Commissioners, and the determination of the Government, and particularly of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to retain them in that position. So long as that irresponsibility continued, the system would never give satisfaction, because the country would not believe that justice was fairly done. The other evil was one that spoke for itself. The Commissioners not only arrogated to themselves complete irresponsibility and the right to conduct their proceedings in the dark, but they claimed the right of defining precisely the character and details of the examination to which every candidate was subjected. It was impossible that the Commissioners should be so well qualified to form an opinion of the necessary qualifications of candidates for appointments as the heads of the different offices, and the result was, that, in the naval and military services especially, the best men were often excluded. If the system had been in operation a certain number of years ago, Wellington would never have been a soldier, Nelson a sailor, or Watt an engineer. The best men were excluded because they were unable to answer a number of questions the absurdity of which had been well pointed out to the House. He ventured to tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer that so long as the Commissioners were allowed to work in the dark there would be a feeling throughout the country that justice was not done to the candidates, and that the whole system was one of patronage and jobbery.

said, that whatever the faults of the Civil Service Commissioners might be, they were not open to the charge of making wrong selections of subjects, because the selections were made by the heads of the offices for which the candidates were to be examined. Without entering upon the question of examinations generally, he would only say a few words in reply to the remarks of the hon. Member for Dungarvan, who seemed to think the state of things as regarded patronage and the influence of Members of Parliament was as bad as ever it was. He did not think that was so. The hon. Member for the King's County seemed to think that the amount of patronage was larger now than it was formerly because of the numerical increase of candidates. Without pretending to know all that took place behind the scenes, and admitting that there was a larger residuum of the old system than he wished to see, he could only say that it was a common occurrence for nominations to be given to any respectable gentleman who asked for them. ["Oh!"] If the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Brand) could tell him he was wrong, he would accept his correction, but otherwise he maintained his statements. He could name instances in which nominations had been given to persons without any knowledge of or inquiry into their political opinions. Nominations were often granted to gentlemen of literary reputation, to clergymen and magistrates. He had for thirty years been an advocate for a change in the system of patronage; but although he went as far as his hon. Friend, he did not go as fast. If the Motion were pressed, he should be disposed to vote for it, but at the same time would recommend the hon. Gentleman not to press it to a division. The change was important, and might lead to valuable results; but public opinion had not yet got beyond considering the question as lying between a severe test and a public competition, and had not yet been brought to regard the question as between open competition and limited competition. It might be that the new system was not approved in some offices. In the Committee the question was asked whether the officers selected under the present system were superior to those appointed under the old system; but, as was not surprising, the evidence on the point was not distinct, as it would have been invidious to say that the superiors in an office were inferior to the juniors. In a few years the advantages of the system would become obvious, and then would be the time to take further steps in the same direction.

said, he should be very glad if some arrangement could be made, such as that suggested by the hon. Member for Dungarvan, and that hon. Gentlemen opposite could share with Members on the Ministerial benches the advantages of nominating candidates. If ever a contrivance could be suggested to give annoyance to Members of Parliament, the present system of nomination was one. They were continually pestered for nominations, which were rarely successful; and then the nominating Member was considered by the candidate and his family as having caused them expense and discomfort. He got no gratitude, and was exposed to much obloquy. He must, however, be permitted to ask the House not to consider that the system had been so successful as had been stated in the course of the debate. He could say from personal knowledge of many persons in the public Departments that they did not consider that the efficiency of the Civil Service had been increased or improved by the new arrangement. They say that the new men are decidedly cleverer at first, but that they afterwards fall off, and in ten or even five years they will not know more than the men nominated under the old system. There was, no doubt, a small residuum of unfit persons who were got rid of by the present system, but that was the only advantage that was gained, and against it must be set many serious disadvantages. Instead of seeing their offices filled by men acquainted with the public service, with a strong esprit de corps, and acquiring confidence and respect from all who were acquainted with them, they would see a body of persons extremely discontented and unhappy in the position in which they were placed. The existing kind of competition was not the means by which the meritorious poor man could get a place under the Government. It was entirely a matter of money from beginning to end. It was entirely a system of cramming, not in the ordinary sense of acquiring knowledge, for that would be extremely useful to every one, even though he failed in his immediate object. That was not the case; but there were a set of men throughout the country—professional crammers—who, by taking note of the sort of questions that were put, would guarantee persons getting into the public offices; and unless a young man had the means to put himself under one of those crammers, he would have no chance of success, however superior he might be in the main to those with whom he was competing. That was a totally different thing from what the House was led to expect. The poor man was shut out altogether. It was said to be a question of education, but it was a question of education which could be got only by money, and a great deal of it. That was not a satisfactory thing, nor was the examination such as to produce an efficient body of civil servants. A system which had been most injurious to the character of the German people had now been established in this country; and if carried to the extent to which his hon. Friend desired, he believed it would be injurious to the national character and dangerous to the independence of the country.

I cannot say I agree in the fundamental principle on which the hon. Member for the King's County has founded his Motion, that employment in the Queen's service ought to be a thing which anybody might claim provided he could only show he was fit for it. I conceive that according to the Constitution of this country those who are honoured with the confidence of the Crown are responsible for the filling-up of all offices, and are bound to take care that no person not duly qualified is appointed. Now, it seems to me the present arrangement fulfils those conditions. There is, in the first place, a test examination, to see that the person applying for office is possessed of sufficient attainments to entitle him to be a competitor with others; and then a competitive examination, for the purpose of ascertaining which of a certain number is fittest for the appointment. Now, some gentlemen wish that the number of competitors should greatly exceed the number of places to be filled up. I see no advantage in that, but, on the contrary, a great hardship. It reminds me of the old story of what the foreigner said about the race, "What, so many to start, and only one to win!" Only one can be appointed to each vacancy, and the more candidates you examine the greater the range over which disappointment must be spread. Now, that disappointment is not a very light matter, because a young man who has applied through his friends for an appointment has shaped his course and fashioned his expectations to a particular career, and has ceased to endeavour to find employment in any other quarter; and then, if after a preparation of a year or a year and a half he is rejected, he finds that he has neglected other pursuits to which he might with better success have devoted himself, and that is a great hardship to him and to his friends. I think three nominations to each vacancy is quite sufficient to enable the examiners to pick out a person fit for the appointment; and that examination, with the previous test, ensures what is the real object of this arrangement—that the persons appointed shall be fit for the offices which they are to fill. Objection is taken to the principle of cramming. It is said that competitive examination only leads to a system of cramming, and the knowledge which enters the mind in that way does not remain there, but is soon lost. But the principle of cramming, or in other words of preliminary preparation, is an essential element of all competition. When a boat race is to come off, the men who are to pull are crammed—they practise with others for a fortnight or a month beforehand preparing for the race. If you have a horserace, the horses are crammed—they are crammed with corn, and they are practised in the exercise of their muscles. If there is to be a pugilistic combat, the men are crammed—that is, they are trained in order to be ready for the contest on the day fixed. And therefore, if you are to have competition at all, you cannot object to the candidates preparing themselves for the contest. Just as in the other cases the most muscular and active will win on the day of trial, so on the day of the intellectual contest the man whose mind most readily grasps and most firmly retains knowledge will succeed. In all the examinations of the Universities the same cramming takes place; and although a great deal of the knowledge thus acquired does not remain, yet every man who has gone through an examination at the University knows that the habit of mental exertion which that cramming gives you lasts afterwards, and is attended with useful results. Therefore, no reasonable objection can be taken to the system of competitive examination on the ground that it requires extensive preparation. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has lucidly explained why some of those abstruse questions are put. I have been often told by the Commissioners that the real tests are certain elementary acquirements; but with regard to these the competitors may be so nearly equal that it would be difficult to say who was best, and therefore they throw into the examination a number of other questions, which test the general knowledge of the candidates and their powers of mind, and in that way the Commissioners are able to say which young man appears the cleverest of the whole. Objection has been taken by the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire) to the circumstance that these nominations for competition are not open to every Member, and himself among others. Well, Sir, we live in a country which has a Parliamentary Constitution; Government must maintain itself in Parliament by the support of its friends, and it is natural they should feel more disposed to comply with requests made by a friend, than by a gentleman who is going to move to turn them out. I do not think there is anything at all inconsistent with human nature or constitutional principle in such an arrangement, and I do not see what the country would gain by changing it, and giving the opponents of the Government a right to demand favours of the Government. It has, however, been rightly said that those nominations are given to respectable persons, and often without regard to political considerations. I myself last year gave a nomination for competition for a clerkship in the Treasury to the son of a person opposed to the Government, and who was laid under no obligation by my granting what he asked, and who did not consider himself in any way fettered by my having done so. I only mention that as a proof that when persons who are opposed to the Government condescend to express a wish, when that wish can well be granted, their being opposed to the Government is not an absolute reason for refusing them And I can assure the hon. Member for Dungarvan, that if he would condescend at any time to express a wish in favour of any of his constituents, that wish would receive every consideration. But then it is only right, according to the working of the British Constitution, that the requests of those who are the friends of the Government should be complied with in preference to the requests of those who are not. I see nothing in that requiring to be altered in reference to the proper working of the Parliamentary constitution of this country. Well, I think that to open an office to which every man may come and say, "I write down my name, and I desire to be examined at the next opportunity for a clerkship in the Treasury or War Department," would be no improvement in the working of the constitution, or in the filling-up of offices. I think that those who are in the service of the Crown ought, to have the responsibility of filling up the appointments at their disposal properly; and I see no more reason why these appointments should be at the command of every man who walks the streets than that any other appointments or honours of the Crown should be at the command of those who might think it desirable to have them. I am quite sure that these Commissioners do their duty according to the best of their judgment, and I believe that the persons appointed under this system of competition have been well qualified for the public service, and better, no doubt, than many who were appointed before. When I was at the Foreign Office, I was most anxious to establish some system of examination; but at that time there were no Commissioners, and there was such difficulty in deciding who should be the examiners, that I was never able to establish the system. Now, however, the system is generally established, and the Government are prepared to act upon it. Notwithstanding all the jokes of the hon. Gentleman opposite on the questions pro posed for examination, the system is one which works well, and which will insure good and proper persons to be employed in the different appointments in the public service.

said, that he agreed in the main with what had fallen from the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but there was one material point on which he differed from them. The noble Lord had endeavoured to set up an analogy between the training of horses, of pugilists, of rowers, the severe studies which men went through at the University, and which certainly greatly exercised the mind, leaving behind a power nothing could afterwards destroy, and the asking of a vast number of chance questions of those who came up for examination as candidates for civil service appointments. Those questions were superadded to the elementary examination, and the right hon. Gentleman and the noble Lord pretended that they afforded a test of general mental acquirement. Now, in his belief, the system adopted by the Civil Service Commissioners was not a test of mental acquirement at all, and that the ability to answer those questions could only he attained by a vicious system of cramming. Any one who looked at the kind of questions asked would see at once that it was impossible to answer them without a complete study of the subject. They were not in their nature elementary; whereas in the University everybody was examined in the same kind and quality of subjects, and did really undergo fair competition. How could the Chancellor of the Exchequer say that the system of examination was an elementary one, when if he went into any bookseller's shop and asked for the books necessary for cramming for examination for such and such an appointment, he would find that it was a complete system? Such questions as he referred to offered, in fact, anything but a fair test of mental acquirement, and it very often happened that persons were passed because they fortunately happened to have got up one or two of the subjects on which the examiners asked general questions. He heard the other day of a young man who was being examined for a direct commission for the army being asked, among other things, to write a history of the Reformation. He put it to the House whether that was not a very odd requirement to demand of a person who was applying for a commission. The system was a bad system, if carried to an excess; but he quite agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there had not been sufficient experience to enable the House to come to a sound opinion on the matter. What was wanted was to get the best permanent servants to do the public work; and as opinions differed with respect to the result of the system which bad been adopted, he thought, that until further experience was obtained, it would be worse to push it to too great an extent. The subject was very important, but it would not be fair to compare the young men of the present day with the young men of thirty or forty years ago, for education had enormously advanced, and the state of general intelligence was very different now. They must compare the men they now got relatively with the young men who obtained other positions of the same standing, and thereby determine whether the system did really secure for the country better servants.

said, he was a little surprised to hear the noble Lord stand up in that House and avow, albeit in a jocose and pleasant vein of humour, that nominations ought to be given away by the Government, and not thrown open; because, as he (Mr. Darby Griffith) humbly imagined, such a system was incompatible with the principles on which competitive examination was founded. The noble Lord thought that it was perfectly natural to carry on the public service by patronage; but he thought it was generally understood that the appointment of Civil Service Commissioners and Examiners was intended to do away with patronage to a great extent. It was to be remembered that party heats and animosities had greatly subsided within the last half century; and if it came to this, that the noble Lord objected to give nominations to those who wished to turn him out of office, or who voted against him, he thought it would be found on inquiry that the noble Lord was vastly more indebted to many Gentlemen on the opposition side of the House than he was to the Gentlemen who sat near and behind him. The explanation which the noble Lord had afforded them that night, although intelligible enough, could hardly be reconciled with the principles on which the Commission was founded, nor was it applicable to the practice pursued by many hon. Gentlemen who sat on the Ministerial side.

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

The House divided:—Ayes 118; Noes 37: Majority 81.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Street Music In The Metropolis


said, he rose to call the attention of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to Street Music in the Metropolis, and to move, "That it is expedient to reconsider the Law on this matter at the earliest opportunity." The inconvenience and noises of the nuisance of which he complained were known to everybody in the House, and out of it too, to all who dwelt in the metropolis. Street music had become so intolerable that it was absolutely necessary that some measure should be adopted for its regulation. The law on the subject was not well defined, and it should be made more precise and better known. From early morning until late at night—that was from 7.30 a.m. until 11 p.m.—the streets and squares of the metropolis were occupied by bands of wandering musicians, whose music rendered the town a perfect garden of discord. Bands were incessantly playing north, south, east, and west. The other morning he had occasion to call on his neighbour, Sir Richard Mayne, and found a band at his door step. Crossing to the south side of Baton Square he found a second band; then, going to the north side, he found a third band; and, finally, in Baton Place, he came upon a fourth band, playing in front of the House of the Home Secretary. He assured the House he could bear all the four bands at the same moment; and if any person with the slightest musical taste could tolerate a street band at all, it was perfectly clear they could not tolerate four bands at once, shrieking, blasting, counter-blasting, and creating the most horrible discord. It seemed to him absolutely preposterous to contend that the description of music prevalent in the streets of the metropolis could be of any advantage to any one whatever. On the contrary, it was a great hindrance to the serious business of life. Men engaged in severe mental occupations, like Mr. Babbage and others, were actually unable during the greater part of the day to continue their studies. Mr. Babbage had told him that one-fourth of his time was consumed by the hindrances occasioned by street bands, and that in the course of a few days he was interrupted 182 times. [A laugh.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh, but it was really the case, that many persons had declared to him that they had been driven from London solely by the torments inflicted by these bands. The persons who played in the streets did not retain the money that was given away by the public; for a number of persons, who did not appear in the matter, obtained their livelihood out of the unfortunate foreigners who were blowing their wind away. It was stated that any person who was annoyed had by law the power of putting a stop to street music; but, in reality, that was not so, in consequence of the law not being clearly defined. Sir R. Mayne, on the previous morning, told him that Lord Canning, just before he went to India, made a complaint that on a particular occasion, when he was writing a despatch of the greatest importance, a serious error crept in entirely owing to the annoyance occasioned by a street band under his window. He was quite confident that no Member of that House could say that street bunds were not a nuisance. He was fortunately not so late in retiring on the preceding night as many hon. Members, but he was roused from his first sleep by the horrid noise of a street band, and three or four times during the day he was interrupted in his correspondence, and had to beat a retreat; moving from the front to the rear, and from the rear to the front; and finding it absolutely impossible to get on. He might be told that people enjoyed the music, or it would not be paid for. But it was no proof because it was paid for that it was enjoyed. In this great town money could always be found for any nuisance, and the truth was that the bands were paid to be got rid of. He could not suppose that any persons supported the bauds either on account of the excellence of their music or because they assisted in teaching good music, and he could only therefore conclude, and he believed, that they were destined for the delectation of nursemaids and children. He was informed by the Home Secretary that the law was doubtful—that some magistrates decided one way and some another. They could not agree as to what was "reasonable cause" of complaint. That being so, he thought he had shown sufficient grounds for the Motion which he had brought forward.

said, he had to inform the hon. Gentleman that he could not actually move the Resolution, because the House, by deciding that the word "now" should stand part of the Question before them, had already resolved to go into Committee.

said, that although he could not go to a division, he might elicit the opinion of hon. Members on the subject.

said, that he was not one of those who agreed with the sentiments of the hon. Member on this subject. The law was already sufficiently stringent on this subject, and had been put into force a vast number of times by the hon. Gentleman's friend Mr. Babbage, who had punished, very unjustly as he thought, many poor musicians. His hon. Friend disliked music. [Mr. BASS: No, no!] Well, his hon. Friend disliked bands, at all events; but he was glad to hear that there was so much musical taste in Belgravia, because they might depend upon it that the band would not play there unless they were supported. The fact was that those band players were professional musicians, and played for the public, and the public remunerated them. The people enjoyed the bands even in aristocratic Belgravia, and that there was such a number there when the hon. Member visited that quarter showed that the people there desired to hear the music. He was sorry that the hon. Gentleman was woke up so early in the morning by bands, but that was no reason why the whole of his neighbourhood should be deprived of the pleasure of hearing them. For illness or any other reasonable cause the bands might be required to cease playing, but he believed there never had been an instance proved of their being a nuisance, notwithstanding all Mr. Babbage's complaints. If street bands were put down, many other things must follow. Huge drays full of beer barrels, even though the name of "Bass" might be inscribed on them, were a serious annoyance and inconvenience, and some people might say they ought not to be allowed to pass through the streets in the day-time. The fact was, however, that the streets must be free for all legitimate occupations. He thought that street music was a very legitimate occupation, and afforded a great deal of innocent amusement. If attention were given to the provision of music in public places, the nursemaids and children would go there, and there would be less music in the streets. In England no provision was made for music and recreation, and street music was the consequence. He suggested that the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Home Department should take the subject into consideration during the recess and prepare a Bill which would provide recreation and music in proper places, the result of which would be an abatement of what the hon. Member for Derby now considered a nuisance.

said, he could not admit that because these street bands were paid they ought to be tolerated. The argument of the noble Lord was altogether unsound, as it would equally sanction street music and mendicancy, because there were many persons who gave money to beggars. There was no town in Europe, not even Rome, with so many street beggars as London. Not being a man of taste, he had suffered a great deal from street bands. Fate had cast his lot in a thoroughfare having a large square at one end and a street at the other, and which was infested with bands, organs, wandering minstrels, negro melodists, and every species of musician. One hand sometimes played fifty yards to the right of his door, another played at an equal distance to the left, with wandering minstrels performing in between. If one man in a whole street liked this music or this noise, that was no reason why all the other inhabitants should be annoyed. If the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone were to engage a band of Garibaldi's followers to play in his house all day and disturb his neighbours, his neighbours could recover damages against him. Why, then, should a man be allowed to create a disturbance in the public street which would be a breach of the law if created in a private dwelling? He must also dissent from the view the noble Lord had taken of the law. The Act said that a householder might cause an itinerant musician to depart, and that if the musician refused, he might be fined a sum not exceeding 40s. But if the householder himself happened to be absent, a lodger or any other person in the house could not dismiss the street musician; and lodging-housekeepers often lost their lodgers through the nuisance. But even if the housekeeper were at home, a policeman had to be found—a matter of extreme difficulty, especially in the day-time. Again, when the musician was taken before a magistrate, it was necessary to prove that the housekeeper had a "reasonable cause" for ordering him away; and magistrates were not agreed among themselves as to what was a reasonable cause. The words of the Act Were, he believed, "the illness of an in- mate, or any other reasonable cause." Street music not only prevented people from obtaining rest and quiet, it disturbed them when making calculations, or even when studying their speeches. How disagreeable, for instance, it must be to the noble Viscount, when preparing the business of his office, to be disturbed by a street band playing "Awa' Whigs, awa'!" The Act should be amended by striking out the condition as to the illness of an inmate of the house and any "reasonable cause," and by enabling the inmates to order off street musicians at their own will whenever they experienced annoyance.

said, the House ought to feel very much obliged to the hon. Member for Derby for having brought the subject before them. [Laughter.] It was no laughing matter, and he thought that every man ought to be protected in the peaceful enjoyment of his own home. That, however, was more than he could obtain in the square or parallelogram in which he lived. He frequently had to endure a grinding organ on one side and a noisy band on the other. As to preparing speeches, he was not in the habit of troubling the House often; but he had work to do at his own home which involved a great deal of reading and study, and he declared that he had seriously entertained the notion of living away from London in consequences of these nuisances. He often told his servant to send away street musicians, but they only moved off a few yards, and it was of no use trying to stop them. He had no help for it but to wait till eleven at night came, when he might expect to have quiet; but even then he must confess that his neighbourhood was sometimes favoured with a round of the "Old Hundredth," beginning about eleven and ending at half past twelve. [A laugh.] That was no really laughing matter. He could not get on with his work unless he set about it very early in the morning, before the street musicians were up. The organ grinding was the worst nuisance of all, and the Under Secretary for the Home Department ought to do something to put it down.

said, he would endeavour to treat the matter seriously. The hon. Member for Derby had very vividly portrayed his sufferings from street music. He and other hon. Gentlemen had spoken of broken rest, an offended sense of hearing and shattered nerves, but no one had given them the slightest inkling of his opinion as to the proper remedy for the evil. There were only two remedies available which were not already enforced, one of which was to prohibit all street music under any circumstances. It was said that bands were not so bad as organs; but it was well known, that in many parts of London crowds of children gathered round the Italian organ-grinders. What might be unacceptable at the West End was very popular in other districts. It was all very well for those who disliked, or who possessed a very refined taste for, music to seek to do away with the bands in the streets; but with the great majority of the population there was no doubt they were popular. Indeed, he felt sure that if the hon. Member for Derby were to poll his own household, he would find the greater number of votes recorded in their favour, and be did not think it therefore desirable that it should be placed in the power of every churlish person, or every man who happened to be busy, to drive music out of the streets. There were, he admitted, drawbacks under the existing system; but it became those who complained of the annoyance occasioned by those bands to take care that the remedy which they sought to provide was not worse than the evil which it proposed to cure. It had been said that the words "reasonable grounds" were uncertain; but if, for instance, a Member of the House, returning from the discharge of his duties at three o'clock in the morning, were to represent to the policemen in the neighbourhood that he required to sleep to an hour long before which persons were in the streets, there could be hardly any doubt that that would be regarded as a "reasonable ground" for preventing these bands from playing so as to disturb him. So it was decided that interference with the labours of Mr. Babbage, a man of science, was a "reasonable ground" for regarding the bands in the light of an annoyance. That being so, he could not undertake on the part of the Government to say that they would be prepared to interfere with the law as it stood.

rejoiced to learn that the Government had arrived at the decision which his hon. Friend the Under Secretary had announced. The hon. Member for Derby, he contended, was entirely mistaken in supposing that the inhabitants of the metropolis were opposed to street music. In support of that view he might observe that he, as the treasurer of the Regent's and Victoria Parks bands, could state of his own knowledge, that those bands were now self-supporting, although there was in the first instance great difficulty in establishing them; and if any hon. Gentleman would visit either of these parks on Sundays, he would find there crowds of well-dressed persons listening to the music. They would have, indeed, a solemn metropolis if his hon. Friend's Motion were carried. There would be no life, no pleasure, no amusement. He should therefore be sorry to see any alteration made in the law.

Irish District Lunatic Asylums


said, he would beg to call attention to the defects in the moral treatment of insanity in the great majority of Irish District Lunatic Asylums; and to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, whether the executive Government of Ireland intend taking any, and what steps, to render those Institutions less irksome to the patients and more conducive to their recovery? As that was the third year he had brought the subject under the notice of Parliament, and had placed a work he had written containing his views regarding the moral treatment of insanity in the hands of the greater number of the Members, he would not occupy the House very long, more particularly as he intended next year, and indeed every year while he remained in Parliament, bringing the matter forward, until the defects he complained of were remedied. Almost immediately on the present Chief Secretary's accession to office, he had called his attention to the drawbacks which existed in the asylums. The right hon. Baronet had paid a good deal of attention to his representations, had accompanied him to the best of the English asylums, and had visited some others that he suggested and promised that on going to Ireland he would do his best to remedy whatever appeared to him calling for Amendment. To do him justice, he had kept his word. Some important improvements had been introduced, he believed in a great measure owing to the interest which the Chief Secretary showed in the matter—amongst them, appointing only medical men to the office of resident managers, and intrusting them with the chief responsibility. He had also visited many of the asylums, and this, together with the keeping of the matter alive in Parliament, had been productive of much good, as many of the asylums were undoubtedly improving that had been at a complete standstill before. However, much yet remained to be done before the asylums would be what they ought as regarded moral curative treatment, and it was for the purpose of inducing the right hon. Baronet to continue the good work he had so well commenced, and making boards of governors and the country generally aware of what still remained to be done to render those excellent institutions more valuable, that he brought forward his present Motion. His only ground of complaint against the majority of the asylums was that there was a great deficiency in the way of suitable occupation and recreation for the patients. In all other respects the asylums were most unexceptionable. Great care and humanity was shown towards the patients—they were well clothed and fed—hardly any instance of cruelty or neglect ever occurred, and the administration of them, both as regarded the Government Inspectors and the Local Boards, was honestly conducted. It was therefore a very great pity, when a little trouble on the part of the Inspectors, and a very small outlay by the Local Boards, which would be repaid tenfold by results, would render those institutions the first in the kingdom, that the proper means were not adopted. With two or three exceptions, the asylums were deplorably deficient both in the appliances as well as a proper system for agreeably occupying the patients. All writers and authorities on the subject concurred as to the absolute necessity of suitable employment and amusements for the insane, both as a means of alleviating the tedium of their lives and promoting their recovery. Except in the instances alluded to—and he was by no means prepared to admit that oven they came up to the right standard—he contended that the patients were not, so far as the moral treatment was concerned, treated consistently with the best acknowledged principles. To prevent any controversy on this point, he would, although well acquainted with nearly all the asylums, entirely exclude his own experience regarding them, and confine himself to official documents to support his statements. The first to which he would refer was the Report of the Royal Commission, appointed in 1856, to examine into the state of the Irish Asylums—

"In the new asylums recreation halls have been provided, but, excepting in a few cases, as the new Richmond and Sligo Asylums, we found that they were either not used or were devoted to other purposes. We are sorry to be obliged to add, that we tear this has generally resulted from the manager or governors not attaching sufficient importance to the amusement of the patients as a portion of their treatment. We hope that this idea will be dispelled, and that the great want of any amusing occupation for the patients which is particularly observable throughout the asylums (with few exceptions) will, before long, cease to be a subject of unfavourable comment. At present, whatever attempts have been made in a few instances, and especially at Richmond and Sligo, in the way of evening entertainments, &c., nothing has been done to mitigate the bare and cheerless character of the apartments usually occupied by the inmates. In corridor or day-room, the lunatic sees nothing but the one undiversified bare wall—giving to these hospitals, intended for the restoration of the alienated mind, an air of blankness and desolation more calculated to fix than to remove the awful disease under which it labours. It cannot be denied, notwithstanding the care and attention which appear generally to be given by the managers and visiting physicians to the patients under their charge, that, on the whole, the lunatic asylums of Ireland wear more the aspect of places merely for the secure detention of lunatics than of curative hospitals for the insane. Probably it is by some considered, that the inmates being poor, the ratepayers should not be called on to provide for them comforts and appliances beyond their position; and something, perhaps, of the idea prevails, that the lunatic asylum should not, by the comfort it provides for its inmates, cease to be a test, like the workhouse, for those who seek it as an asylum. But it is almost needless to point out that the cases are by no means analogous, and it would be as consistent to prevent the surgeons of our county infirmaries or fever hospitals giving expensive medicines or comforts to patients as to refuse to provide for the lunatic what may contribute to his cure. Besides, we believe it better economy to relieve the rates by the cure of the lunatic, than to burden them with his permanent maintenance by perpetuating his insanity."
Nearly twenty medical officers of asylums and others gave evidence before the Commission as to the inadequacy of the means of occupation and amusement; but, notwithstanding this, and the strong recommendation of the Commissioners, years rolled on, and very little, if anything, appeared to have been done to amend matters, and from the Reports of the Inspectors it would seem as if there was nothing to complain of in this respect. Indeed, a paragraph in their Report for 1861 was calculated to lead to the idea that there were ample resources for the patients, as they reported that—
"As a general rule the patients in district asylums are industriously employed both in and out of doors, and while their comforts and sanitary condition are attended to, means of amusement were not neglected."
This was the opinion of the Inspectors in 1861, from which he ventured to differ so much that he brought the subject before Parliament, and set forth very strongly the real condition of the asylums, and what they ought to be. A considerable change seemed to come over the opinion of the Inspectors, as in their next Report, that of 1862, they stated—
"Our object in introducing the educational condition of the inmates of the different district asylums, and in which the illiterate more than double those who have received a fair amount of education, was to exhibit their previous social position, and to show the beneficial working of these institutions in producing habits of order, neatness, and even some approach to refinement among the insane classes, while the number daily employed in and out of doors serves to prove the encouragement given to industrial occupations. On this latter head, however, we feel satisfied that great room for improvement still exists, and that suitable occupations could be devised for a much greater proportion of patients than at present; for nothing can be more injurious to the insane themselves than idleness, and that listless mode of existence, particularly within doors, which we regret to observe is too much tolerated. In the absence of industrial employment, pastimes ought to be more generally provided."
With the concurrent testimony of the Royal Commission, the local officers of asylums, and lastly, the Report of the Inspectors last year as to the deficiency in the important particular he alluded to, he thought he need not trouble the House with further proof to induce them to believe that a very great defect existed in the Irish asylums as regarded moral treatment. That fact admitted, it was clearly the duty of the Government to remedy the evil—as much of the responsibility rested on them, as they not only appointed the Inspectors and local medical officers, but the nomination of the boards of management was in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant. He had no doubt, if the Inspectors earnestly applied themselves to the task, that, with very little trouble, a great deal could be accomplished in a short time. On a former occasion the right hon. Baronet had urged that the work of reformation lay chiefly with the local boards, as it depended on them whether the necessary expenses should be incurred. That was quite true; but a number of country gentlemen, or persons engaged in business, were not supposed to know what was essential for the due treatment of insanity, and it was clearly the duty of the Inspectors to point it out to them. He believed that, with very few exceptions, the boards of governors in Ireland were most willing to do whatever was necessary in the way of affording the patients the means of recreation and occupation, if the Inspectors would only explain what was required. He had often, when visiting asylums, remonstrated with governors with whom he was acquainted, on the deficiencies he observed; and their invariable answer had been, "We were not aware of this before, and supposed, when the Inspectors made no remark, that everything was all right." The asylum at Water-ford, of which he was a governor for many years, was, until very lately, about as backward as any other in Ireland, as regarded moral curative treatment; and yet he could assert, that until the subject was brought before Parliament, neither the visitors' hook in the asylum, in which the Inspectors recorded their opinions, in the Report furnished to Parliament, or in communications with the board, was there anything to show that the Government officials did not consider that everything as regarded the diverting of the patients' minds, and affording them salutary occupation, was unobjectionable; and what held good with respect to Waterford, it was reasonable to suppose was the same as regarded other places. If the improvement of asylums depended so much on local boards, the latter should be informed as to the requisites in an asylum for properly carrying out the moral treatment. He would probably be sneered at for trying, as it might be alleged, to make every governor a lunatic doctor. That was by no means his intention, and he was sure that the House would concur with him that every gentleman appointed to the office should be made acquainted with a few simple principles as regarded the requisites to aid the carrying out of a proper system of moral treatment. If it came within their province to decide whether they would or would not provide these, they ought to know what they were, and the reason for their being required. A half sheet of printed matter would inform every governor what he ought to know, or the same thing could be hung on the wall of the board-room or laid on the table, and members of the committee would then know whether patients were treated in conformity with correct principles, or whether the institution contained sufficient appliances for the purpose. The cost of this for all Ireland would be about two or three pounds, and as many hours trouble on the part of the Inspectors to draw up the table. As the hon. Baronet might, as before, seek to establish the superiority of the Irish asylums on the credit of two or three good ones, be would at once cheerfully admit that Richmond, Belfast, Sligo, Kilkenny, and, he believed, Armagh and Londonderry, were in advance of the others; but that was just the reason that the Inspectors ought to exert themselves to bring the others up to them. The Chief Secretary would also probably cite the greater number of recoveries in the Irish asylums as a proof that they were much better managed than those in England. But if all the circumstances were looked into, that fact did not establish any superiority, because the Irish asylums were much better circumstanced for effecting recoveries than those in England, as in the former country, as a rule, the patients were placed under treatment for their malady at a much earlier period of the disease than in England. The reason was that in Ireland there was no outdoor relief for the insane, and where asylums were situated, from the high reputation they enjoyed, they were sent, generally speaking, by their friends at once into them, and the chances of recovery were therefore much greater; but in England their friends were often paid to keep them. When they became too violent for them, they were drafted into the workhouse, and finally arrived at the lunatic asylums in three-fourths of the instances chronic cases. In page 64 of his pamphlet on insanity he had remarked on this part of the subject—
"Owing to the unwise system pursued by the parochial authorities, the asylums have become so choked up with chronic cases that only 14 per cent, on the entire number in confinement, are curable; whilst on the other hand, no outdoor relief for the insane being permitted in Ireland, no inducement to keep them at home is thus held out; and, except in a few districts, where there is deficient accommodation, a comparatively small number of really curable cases are retained long in jails and workhouses. Besides this, I believe a greater amount of harmless patients, when recovery appears hopeless, are transmitted to the workhouse, than in England; the consequence is, that in Ireland the curable cases amount to 25 per cent on the entire number. If, therefore, on the average number under treatment in England 14 per cent are curable, and out of these 10 per cent on the entire number are cured, there ought to be, on the same calculation, within a fraction of 18 per cent of recoveries on the whole average number under treatment in Ireland, whilst there is, in reality, only 16. Continuing the calculation on the number amenable to recovery, it will be found that on the same principle the English asylums would be on an equal footing with the Irish, if the cures reached a fraction under 9 per cent, whilst actually the recoveries are 10 per cent. With regard to cures on admissions, if we bear in mind that 'the facility of cures and the proportion of recoveries bear a direct ratio to the shortness of time that has elapsed from the origin of the complaint to the commencement of the treatment,' and could accurately calculate the state of curability of patients on their reception into the asylums of both countries, I have no doubt it would be found that Ireland was so much better off, as regards the curability of the admissions, that the recoveries were really less than what they ought to be."
To show the benefit of a good system, he need only instance the fact, that whilst at Colney Hatch the recoveries were rarely beyond 15 per cent, sometimes as low as seven, at Leicester they had amounted to three times that number. There was nothing more incumbent on the executive Government than to improve the Central Asylum at Dundrum—in fact, to make it a model asylum, where candidates for the office of resident physician could learn their business. There the Government and Inspectors had it all their own way, uncontrolled by local boards, and yet he could positively state that three years ago, when he visited it, there seemed to be no difference between it and the worst of the other asylums. When the asylum immediately under Government management was in that state, was it to be wondered that others should be so deficient? In some instances, where local boards were disposed to withhold from patients whatever was calculated to solace them or promote their recovery, he thought Government were just as much called on to interfere as if there had been an interference with their medical treatment. The authorities concurred that judicious religious ministration was most comforting and advantageous to patients, and yet in the intelligent town of Belfast the board of governors refused to have chaplains or religious service in the asylum, because, owing to some fanatical religious demonstration in that part of Ireland, several persons had become religiously insane It might, no doubt, be prudent to be cautious how religion was touched on with those poor people, but surely it was very hard to deprive others who would be benefited from having the advantage of being present at religious observances. In conclusion, he heartily thanked the right hon. Baronet for what he had done to ameliorate the condition of the poor lunatic. It was a great and noble work, and he hoped he would persevere in it, as much remained to be done, but that much could with a little energy be easily accomplished. He hoped, as a further step, he would be induced to adopt the suggestion he had ventured to offer him regarding the informing Boards of Governors of the leading principles with respect to moral treatment. Very simple as the matter might appear, he had no doubt, if properly carried out, it would be productive of most beneficial results.

said, it was not necessary to detain the House with any lengthened observations upon the subject, but he must express his acknowledgments to the hon. Member for the philanthropic feeling by which he was actuated, and the interest he had taken in the moral treatment and condition of the poor insane, not only in Ireland but in this country. Within the last two years a very great improvement had taken place in the management of almost all the lunatic asylums in Ireland. A Commission was appointed in 1856, when the right hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman) was Chief Secretary, and the evidence revealed a total absence of those amusements and recreations which unquestionably tended to produce the best results in the curative treatment of pauper lunatics. Since that time great improvements had been introduced. He would take two cases. In Richmond Asylum it was stated in 1856 that very little arrangement had been made for amusement; but what was the case now? In the Report just issued he found the following statement, "Great attention is paid to the amusement of the patients." In Dundrum Asylum also amusements were provided, such as handball, draughts, cards, and an occasional evening dance, when a piper was introduced; newspapers, periodicals, and some books were also provided for those who took an interest in reading. It had been suggested that a series of regulations should be drawn up, to be submitted to the local authorities, pointing out what occupations and amusements tended most to the curative treatment of the lunatic poor, and he would undertake that they should be attended to. The new rules and regulations introduced since he held his present office, had, on the whole, worked satisfactorily. There were resident medical superintendents instead of lay superintendents, who had direct charge of the patients in every one of these six teen institutions in Ireland. The report from each was to be drawn up according to an improved formula. Every institution was to be separately treated, according to regulations given to the superintendent; and there were to be distinct columns for general observations, the number of the patients, the kind of amusements introduced, the dietary, the expenditure, and the cost of maintenance for each of the inmates. A uniform system of bookkeeping had also been introduced into all these institutions, and every attention would be given to have full details as to economy and management. The sanction of the Treasury had been obtained to the enlargement of the central asylum at Dun-drum. The Board of Works had prepared a plan; a Vote of £5,800 was taken, with £250 for a Turkisk bath, which was calculated to be of immense advantage, and they were endeavouring to establish one in all the great asylums. In addition there were six new asylums, three actually in the course of construction, at Ennis, Castlebar, and Letterkenny, and three others for which the ground was purchased and the plans made, in Down, Monaghan, and Wexford. He should be glad of any suggestion upon this subject from the hon. Gentleman, from whose exertions much good had resulted. He could assure him and the House that he was most desirous to improve the condition of the unfortunate class of persons to whom his Motion referred.

Residences Of Deceased Celebrities—Question

said, he rose to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether, through the agency of the Metropolitan Board of Works, or otherwise, it may be practicable to have inscribed on those houses in London which have been in habited by celebrated persons, the names of such persons. The places which had been the residences of the ornaments of their history could not but be precious to all thinking Englishmen; and when he reminded the House how rich the metropolis was in such associations, he thought they would agree with him that it was desirable some record should be placed upon the respective localities. Thus, Milton lived in a garden-house in Petty France, now No. 19, York Street, Westminster; Newton's house in St. Martin's Street, south side of Leicester Square, was now an hotel; Dryden died at No. 43, Gerard Street; Prior lived in Duke Street, Westminster; Sir Joshua Reynolds lived in the centre of the west side of Leicester Square; Hogarth lived in part of the Sablonièrre hotel; Flaxman at 7, Buckingham Street, Fitzroy Square—his studio was still there; Dr. Johnson died at 8, Bolt Court, Fleet Street; Goldsmith at 2, Brick Court, Temple; Gibbon at No. 7, Bentinck Street; Garrick at the centre house, Adelphi Terrace; the great Duke of Marlborough died in Marlborough House; Lord Somers's house was still in Lincoln's Inn Fields; Lord Mansfield lived in King's Bench Walk; Samuel Rogers lived in St. James's Place, and Lord Macaulay in the Albany. Other nations were in the habit of preserving memorials of their great men, and there was no reason why we should not follow their example. In what way it should be done it was not for him to prescribe, although he had made a suggestion in his Question; but at least he hoped that the few remarks he had made would have the effect of calling attention to the subject.

said, he thought that as much interest was felt in England for departed greatness as in other countries. He agreed with his hon. Friend in thinking that it would be desirable that they should be able to recognise the spots where persons of eminence and fame had resided. The matter might fall within the functions of the Metropolitan Board of Works, but still it was the right of the owner or occupier of a house to write upon it what he pleased, and it might not be desirable to compel a man to place upon his house the name of a person who did not then live there. Some persons liked to put their own names on a brass plate upon their doors, and might not wish to have the name of an eminent departed person also there. Some owners, too, might object to having the antiquity of their houses so prominently revealed, especially if they were thinking of selling them. If those difficulties could be got over, it would, no doubt, be gratifying to the public to be able to identify the houses in which such men as Newton and Reynolds had lived.

Detention Of The "Gibraltar"


said, he rose to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he is prepared to propose the grant of any compensation to Captain Blakeley for the loss occasioned to him by the detention, without cause, of the vessel Gibraltar;" and whether the Government will lay upon the table the depositions or informations upon which the Government acted in that case? In the business-like state of the House [there were but fourteen hon. Members present] he owed an apology, perhaps, for bringing the matter forward. But he did so because he be- lieved the interests of a meritorious individual had suffered at the hands of the Government. The facts of the case were very simple. Captain Blakeley shipped two guns to a neutral foreign port on board the Gibraltar at Liverpool. They were fort guns, weighing twenty one tons each, and therefore could not possibly be used for the armament of any ship, much less a small schooner like the Gibraltar. In fact, it would have been impossible to use use them on board the Duke of Wellington. Upon the 10th of June the Government, acting, he believed, upon the information furnished by Mr. Adams, sent down to stop the ship from going to sea. There was no doubt such a step was legal, but whether in this case it was not an extreme exercise of the power was a point which he should like to submit to the Solicitor General. If the detention of the ship had been but for two or three days, until some competent person had ascertained that there was no ground for the supposition that those huge guns could be used for the armament of the ship, there would have been no ground of complaint. But, instead of that, the vessel was detained from June 10 to June 30, and he was told that even then she would not have been released had not the matter been accidentally mentioned in that House. A telegram was sent down the next day, and the detainer of the collector of customs was taken off. She had been detained upon the supposition that these enormous guns could be used for the armament of the ship, but the real truth was that the American Minister was desirous of preventing the Gibraltar putting to sea with those guns, which might, through some neutral port, eventually find their way into the Confederate States. Captain Blakeley had lost considerably by the act, not only by demurrage, in failing to comply with a contract, but an impression had gone abroad among those who had employed him, not only in the Confederate States but in all parts of the world, that he was the object of special aversion to the American Ambassador, and that the American Ambassador had the power, through the British Government, of interrupting his trade. He (Lord Robert Cecil) had been assured by Captain Blakeley that orders to a large extent which would naturally have been given to him had been sent to France in consequence of this act of the Government. The French trader stood in a fortunate position as compared with our mer- chants. Our Government had a policy, which was to stand up boldly for the rights of Englishmen when a weak Power was in question; but when they had to deal with a strong or combative power like America, their enthusiasm and valour wasted away. [Viscount PALMERSTON: The Trent affair.] The noble Lord referred to the Trent affair. That subject had been invaluable to the Government, for they had traded on it ever since. Every act of concession, every act of mean submission to which the Government had consented since then had been excused by a reference to the Trent affair. But anybody who looked back to that affair would see that the action of the Government was neither so prompt nor so decided as they wished their countrymen to believe. It was only when they discovered the intensity of the indignation felt by Englishmen of all opinions and creeds, that they felt themselves bound at the peril of their places to take those active measures of which they had since made such judicious use. But the Emperor of the French laid under no such suspicions. The Emperor, undoubtedly, defended the interests of his subjects against weak Powers, but he also defended them against strong Powers; and the result had been that a large portion of the trade which our countrymen, in consequence of their superior skill and energy, would otherwise have possessed, bad been carried to France, because merchants and shipowners knew, that happen what might, the American Government would not dare to commit an outrage upon the French flag. There were many sufferers in this country from that feeling, and none greater than Captain Blakeley, who, as he was informed, had lost from £20,000 to £30,000 in consequence of the action of the British Government. [A laugh] The hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Hadfield) laughed at that statement. He did not pro fess to have seen the accounts; but if there was anything in the general opinion that any guns manufactured by Captain Blakeley would be stopped at the instance of the American Ambassador, even the hon. Member for Sheffield would admit that such an opinion would be very prejudicial to a man's business. It was true that Captain Blakeley might have a right of action in a law court, and no doubt the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not fail to advance that argument; but the cost of legal proceedings was so enormous, and the facilities for lengthening them out and carrying a case from court to court were so illimitable, that the Government, if they chose to use the power of their long purse, might break any law with impunity. Captain Blakeley had his remedy, undoubtedly; but in getting it the Government could put him to such enormous expense that probably, as a prudent man, he would find it more judicious to remain silent. But, having done him that injury by their own act, the Government ought to deviate from the strict legal right, and make some compensation to a gentleman who had been the victim of their mistaken action. He hoped the Government would make no objection to laying on the table the informations or depositions on which they had acted. There was a great desire to know who it was that had set the Government in motion. By producing the depositions they might possibly free themselves from the suspicion of having acted on the information of spies furnished by the American Government; but if they refused them, they would certainly be liable to that suspicion. He bad been strongly pressed to ask, too, for the opinions of the Law Officers; but he should not make the request, as he was aware that the Government would be supported by the usages of the House in refusing to grant it. But, if he was not misinformed, those opinions had not been used merely for the information of the Cabinet, but had been sent down to the authorities of the Customs, and had there been converted, as it were, into the orders of the Government to their subordinates. If that were the case, they had lost the sacredness of their character, and no longer possessed the privilege of secrecy. He was told, too, that these opinions went beyond the law of the case, and contained suggestions on matters of policy. If the House allowed a practice to grow up of turning the opinions of the Law Officers, which were never made public, into orders to the subordinate officers of the Government, and of introducing into them suggestions of policy as well as mere opinions on matters of law, it would in time find many matters withdrawn from its cognizance which ought to have been submitted to it. He hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be able to contradict the rumour to which he referred, and would be able to promise that some compensation should be given to Captain Blakeley.

My answer to the noble Lord's Question will be very simple, and I am afraid very dry. The case of Captain Blakeley is in no way before me, I have no official knowledge of it, and it would be absurd in the Finance Minister to propose a grant of compensation to a person from whom or on whose behalf no appeal has been made, and who he has therefore no reason to believe had suffered any wrong. That is really the only answer I have to give to the first part of the noble Lord's Question. With regard to the latter part of the Question, it had escaped my notice, or I should have referred to my hon. Friend the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. I am not able to answer it, but I should say that it is an entirely unusual course to produce such informations or depositions. The noble Lord has mode a mistake in putting this Question to me, and in making it the vehicle of an attack upon the general policy of the Government in respect to America, and particularly in reference to the Trent. He would have done better to call the attention to these matters of the proper departments which have cognizance of such things, than to put a question to the Finance Minister, who has no departmental knowledge of the circumstances, and whose only accidental connection with it is, that as it involves a matter of money, it may some time or other come under his consideration, and also that the Treasury is the medium for transmitting to the Customs authorities the instructions received from the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office is the Department which is responsible for taking the judgment of the Law Officers, and it is the Foreign Office which directs all proceedings in such matters. The Foreign Office forms conclusions, and the Treasury transmits those conclusions to the Customs authorities. As far as my information goes as to this case, it is at variance entirely with the statement of the noble Lord. If I am not misinformed, the Government did not volunteer any interference in the case of the Gibraltar. An inquiry was addressed to them by parties connected with her to know whether the guns would be of themselves a cause for the detention of the vessel. No time was lost in investigating the point, and at the earliest possible moment a clearance was given to her. In point of fact, there was no delay in her departure for which the Government can be responsible. When I heard the description given by the noble Lord of the Trent case, of which I know something, I became a little suspicious of the circumstances of the Gibraltar, of which I know nothing. A more complete, entire, and absolute misconstruction and misrepresentation than the noble Lord has given of the conduct of the Government in reference to the Trent it is impossible to conceive. On the part of the Government I entirely repudiate the charge of truckling to the United States. The Government have acted towards the United States with feelings more liberal and more just than those displayed by the noble Lord, who seems to have entered into this question in a spirit of the most decided partisanship. It has been the duty of the Government in difficult and complicated circumstances to steer an even course, and they have endeavoured to steer that course. They have been taken to task in this House and out of it for their slowness in putting the principles of the Foreign Enlistment Act into operation on behalf of the Government of the United States, and now the noble Lord more rudely attacks them for sacrificing the interests of this country in deference to the United States. We appeal to the public from the noble Lord, and I feel perfectly convinced that the public will give us credit for an honest endeavour to do our duty and for being incapable of the conduct which the noble Lord imputes to us when he says our principle and policy are to bully the weak Powers of the world and truckle to the strong.

Salmon Fisheries


said, he wished to call the attention of the House to the Petition of Mr. Robert Topham, showing, that by the operation of the Salmon Fisheries Act, 1861, he has been entirely deprived of his right of fishing for salmon in his chartered fishery in the Dee, at Chester, without compensation or redress, and that his property in that fishery has thus been virtually confiscated; and to move—

"That, in the opinion of this House, a wrong has been done to Mr. Topham in this case, and that a remedy should be applied to redress it."
The Act provided, that unless a certain fish pass was placed upon the weir, the owner was prevented from using his salmon cage or fishing his fishery, and it appeared that by the operation of the Act Mr. Topham was placed in this dilemma—if he erected the fish pas?, he injured the mill to a greater value than his fishery; and if he neglected to do so, he lost his tenant. The tenant, supposing that he was exempt from the operation of the above-mentioned provision by another clause which had reference to ancient rights, continued to fish; but the penalties of the Act had been enforced, and upon an appeal the prohibition was held to apply in the case.

said, it was not competent for the hon. Member to make a Motion, the House having already decided that the words proposed to be left out should stand part of the Question.

observed, that if there was any reasonable cause of complaint it ought to have been brought forward when the Act was under consideration. He might add, that the same question as that to which the hon. Gentleman had called attention was raised in the discussion upon the Irish Salmon Fisheries Bill, and the House of Commons in that case was not prepared to interfere with a view of making any relaxation in the operation of the Act.

Case Of Mr Chisholm Anstey


said, he rose to call attention to the case of Mr. Anstey, late Attorney General at Hong-Kong, and to ask what reparation has been made to him for the injustice acknowledged to have been done him by the authorities in that colony. Mr. Anstey was formerly a Member of that House, and was respected by every one for his fearlessness in debate and honesty of purpose. He was celebrated for a speech which he made inculpating the noble Lord at the head of the Government. The noble Lord on that occasion delivered a speech of four hours' duration, which produced a greater effect and sensation than any speech which he recollected to have been delivered within the walls of Parliament. There was nothing in the speech of Mr. Anstey to excite the personal dislike of the noble Lord, and accordingly the noble Lord, some time after, sent Mr. Anstey to China as one of the high legal authorities of Hong-kong. Soon after his arrival, Mr. Anstey perceived, as he thought, the members of the Government at Hong-Kong in many instances corrupt, and he brought charges of a very serious character against them. From the authorities at Hong-kong Mr. Anstey received no support; a quarrel was the consequence; Mr. Anstey pressed his charges with still greater vehemence, and the result was that Mr. Anstey was dismissed from office, Mr. Anstey still pressed his charges against the chief officials, including the Governor, and the Secretary to the Governor, but especially against Mr. Caldwell. When the Earl of Derby came into office, an inquiry was ordered, not only into Mr. Caldwell's conduct, but also into that of the other officers implicated; but the Duke of Newcastle soon afterwards succeeding to the Colonial Office, Sir Hercules Robinson succeeded Sir John Bowring as Governor of Hong-Kong, and was sent out with orders to inquire into the conduct of Mr. Caldwell alone. The inquiry was a very protracted one; it lasted from August to the beginning of the following year, and the result was that the charges which Mr. Anstey brought were proved to be established. Those charges were, that Mr. Caldwell was in league with pirates in those seas, and that he exerted his influence over the Government at Hong-Kong to induce them not only to connive at the pirates, but actually to assist the pirates with the Government vessels. The circumstances of the whole case were altogether so suspicious as to make any man who voted against the Government on the occasion of the lorcha Arrow affair congratulate himself on that vote. The fact was, as was proved by the papers which had been laid on the table, there were at that time in the seas about Hong Kong two classes of pirates, who might be called Government pirates, and Opposition pirates; and Mr. Anstey attacked, with perhaps more warmth than discretion, those officials whom he believed to have been guilty of abetting the Government pirates. The Duke of Newcastle, however, threw a shield over all that were accused except Mr. Caldwell, and therefore it would be impossible to say whether they were guilty; but there seemed to be grounds for suspicion enough to fix a stigma upon the Duke of Newcastle for not having inquired into the whole affair. He (Colonel Dunne) invited an examination of the papers, which would be found to bear him out in what he stated. He was not surprised that the Government had removed Mr. Anstey from office for having made accusations apparently so monstrous and so unlikely to be proved; but when they were proved, surely the Government were hound to make him some reparation for what he had suffered. Mr. Anstey applied to the noble Duke, and any Englishman would have supposed that his Grace could not have hesitated to make some amende for the injustice he had suffered. But he actually refused, on the ground of expense, to publish a large part of the evidence which had been brought before the court of inquiry. At last Mr. Anstey forced from the Colonial Office an ackowledgment that he had been right. He (Colonel Dunne) was not aware that that ackowledgment had ever been included among any papers published by authority, but it bad been printed. The letter was genuine, and every Englishman who saw it would be astonished that such a letter had been written. The Duke of Newcastle stated, through the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. Chichester Fortescue), that there were other grounds upon which he founded his dismissal besides the fact that Mr. Anstey had made the accusations, and then the letter proceeded thus—

"Having made these observations, I am directed to inform you that the Duke of Newcastle is perfectly ready to express his opinion that the proof of the charges of which you were the principal author, brought against Mr. Caldwell before the Commission of Inquiry of 1858, has been substantially established by the recent investigation before the Exchequer Court, as far as the culpability of his connection with Mu Chow Yong is concerned. Consequently, it cannot be said, in the words of Sir J. Bowring, that none of these charges had been subtantially proved. His Grace will go further, and say that in forcing a public inquiry into that officer's conduct, you did in that respect render a material service to Her Majesty's Government at Hong-Kong."
He knew that it was said Mr. Anstey made a bargain, that if he were allowed to clear his character, he would not ask for more, but it was disgraceful to Government on that account to exclude Mr. Anstey from office. Of all men the Duke of Newcastle ought to be aware that faults committed in office were not held afterwards to constitute a reason for exclusion from office. The noble Duke must know that the people of this country were very forgiving, and that a man of tried and proved incapacity in one Administration could yet be a Minister in another Administration. Therefore, he thought that the noble Duke ought to have taken a more Christian and considerate view of the errors, if errors there were, of Mr. Anstey. Whether there were other faults committed by Mr. Anstey as Attorney General of Hong-Kong he knew not, but in respect to the charges which Mr. Anstey brought forward the Government stood convicted of having done him injustice; and it was neither generous nor fair to have acted towards that gentleman as they had done. The conduct pursued was so unlike anything he had ever known to proceed from the noble Lord at the head of the Government that he was perfectly certain the noble Lord was no party to it. No man stuck more by his subordinates than the noble Lord, and that, he believed, was one of the causes of the popularity which placed and kept the noble Lord on the Treasury bench.

said, that the question of the case of Mr. Anstey and the Colonial Office had been for five months past in the hands of two hon. Members of that House, sitting on opposite sides, whose opinions were deserving of the greatest weight—he alluded to the hon. and learned Member for East Suffolk and the hon. Member for Birmingham. During the last two months they had both been in communication with the Colonial Office, and were both perfectly satisfied with the treatment which Mr. Anstey had received from the noble Duke at the head of that office. When the hon. and gallant Gentleman attacked the noble Duke the present Colonial Secretary, he aimed his fire in the wrong direction, for the gallant Gentleman ought to have attacked the Colonial representative of the late Government. Mr. Anstey was dismissed from office by the right hon. Member for Hertfordshire (Sir E. Bulwer-Lytton) He (Mr. C. Fortescue) thought that the right hon. Gentleman was quite right in what he did, but the only charge that could be brought against the Duke of Newcastle was that he had not thought right to overrule the dicision of his predecessor. The statement made by the hon. and gallant Member of the causes which led the late Colonial Secretary to dismiss Mr. Anstey from office had been a very defective and fallacious one, and all who read the reasons given, in his despatch, by the Governor of Hong-Kong, for dismissing, with the unanimous advice of the Executive Council, Mr. Anstey from office, would find that those reasons extended far beyond the single issue raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman. The fact was that Mr. Anstey, from the moment when he arrived at Hong-Kong, manifested, in spite of his great and undoubted ability, such a want of temper, discretion, and judgment in many respects as confidential adviser of the Governor, that it was more than once a question whether it would be possible to retain him in office. In one case in particular it was with great difficulty that Lord Taunton, then Mr. Labouchere, had been able to feel it his duty to retain Mr. Anstey in office; and the circumstance to which the hon. and gallant Member had alluded, so far from being the original cause of Mr. Anstey's suspension and dismissal from office, was but the last drop of water in the bucket. The hon. and gallant Gentleman put the issue entirely on the question whether another official in Hong-Kong, against whom Mr. Anstey brought a list of charges, was or was not a fit person to remain in office in Hong-Kong; but that was not the issue on which Mr. Anstey's dismissal took place. No doubt, Mr. Anstey brought a long string of accusations against another official in the colony, some of which were disproved, and others were proved; but the real ground of Mr. Anstey's dismissal was not whether all those charges were true or false, but whether as Attorney General of Hong-Kong and legal adviser of the Government Mr. Anstey had not brought forward those charges in such a way, and treated his superior, the Governor, in such a manner as to warrant the Government in not continuing him in a confidential position in the Colony. From the evidence contained in the blue-book, it appeared that Mr. Anstey had shown a violence and virulence of temper, and an excess of personal animosity and want of respect towards the Governor, which, irrespective of the truth or falsehood of the charges brought against the official in Hong-Kong, caused the then Colonial Secretary to come to the conclusion that Mr. Anstey, in spite of his remarkable ability, was not a safe person to be continued in the responsible post of Attorney General and legal adviser of the Governor. With regard to the official against whom charges were brought, a rigorous investigation into his conduct was ordered. One of the first acts of his noble Friend was to direct the Governor of Hong-Kong (Sir Hercules Robinson) to institute a thorough and searching inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Caldwell, who was then what was called Protector of the Chinese, and against whom charges had been brought by Mr. Anstey. That investigation took place. It lasted some time, and was conducted with great care. The result was that Mr. Caldwell was pronounced to be an unfit person to be retained in the service of Her Majesty, but in the most cautious terms, and without endorsing one-half of the charges against him by Mr. Anstey. That cause, however, had really nothing to do with the question of Mr. Anstey's fitness for a high official position. His noble Friend instructed the Governor to dismiss Mr. Caldwell, which was done ac- cordingly. Shortly afterwards Mr. Anstey applied to his Grace to be reinstated in his office, proceeding on the assumption that he judgment against Mr. Caldwell amounted to a decision in his own favour, and that because the former was deemed unfit to be Protector of the Chinese, it followed that he, Mr. Anstey, was fit to fill the office of Attorney General at Hong-Kong. The noble Duke, in reply, very naturally point-id out that there was no connection between the two things, and stated also that the grounds upon which Mr. Anstey lad been suspended went far beyond the question immediately at issue, the case, lamely, of Mr. Caldwell, and that there lad been an accumulation of reasons showing that he was not qualified to act as the confidential legal adviser of the Governor. His noble Friend therefore refused the application. Some time afterwards Mr. Anstey addressed another letter, in a very different tone, to the Duke, stating that he no longer pressed for reinstatement or compensation; but that as he had entered on a new career at the Indian bar, he hoped his Grace would furnish him with some expression of opinion as to his conduct at Hong-Kong, which would relieve him from any undeserved slur that might have been cast upon him to the injury of his professional prospects. His noble Friend gave the most careful and generous consideration to that application; and although he had made up his mind that it was not his duty to reverse the decision of his predecessor in regard to Mr. Anstey, he was anxious at the same time to say as much as he could, consistently with his own convictions, to establish that gentleman's character. It was with that view that the letter of his noble Friend to Mr. Anstey was written, and he was sorry to find that it had been turned against the writer, and construed into a confession of error, and a ground for claiming further compensation for the gentleman in question. That letter was gratefully received by Mr. Anstey, who, in acknowledging it, expressed his satisfaction with its contents, and certainly gave the Government no reason to suspect that either he or any friend on his behalf intended to base on it a complaint of ill-treatment and a demand for compensation. He was personally acquainted with Mr. Anstey, and entertained a high opinion of his remarkable ability and original mind; but he must express his conviction that full credit had been given to him for the truth of his principal charge against Mr. Caldwell, and for the public service which he performed in making that exposure, but that his violent temper and want of discretion warranted the former Secretary of State in suspending him, and his noble Friend in confirming the decision of his predecessor.

Protestants In Spain—Father Curci—Observations

, in asking for any additional information which it may be convenient for Her Majesty's Government to give with regard to the case of the Spanish exiles, said: I wish to make a few remarks, chiefly for the purpose of bringing on, if possible, a conversation which may show to the Spanish authorities, that while we wish them to go further than they have done, we are by no means insensible to the concession which has been recently made to the public opinion of Europe; and that we are desirous to speak on this painful subject in a way which cannot possibly offend the susceptibilities of a proud and high-spirited people. The facts of the case of Matamoros and his companions in misfortune are, no doubt, within the recollection of most hon. Members. They were brought before the House in 1861 and 1862. Within the last few weeks a further step has been taken by those who sympathized with these much injured men, and the severe sentences which were passed upon them have been commuted into sentences of banishment, in partial compliance with the representations of a number of philanthropic persons, who were charged to speak the sentiments of large bodies, as well of Catholics as of Protestants, in various parts of Christendom. It has been said that some of the Granada and Malaga Protestants were concerned in a political conspiracy; but no evidence has been brought in support of this assertion, while their humble circumstances and want of influence make it extremely improbable. There was a time, not so very long ago, when the whole soil of Spain seemed to heave with volcanic forces; but the throne of the present dynasty is now firmly established, and the res dura et regni novitas cannot now be adduced to justify suspicion and severity. Again, it has been frequently repeated by, as it seems to me, somewhat injudicious friends of Spain, that Matamoros and the rest were punished, not as Protestant converts, but as Protestant propagandists. Well, supposing we admit the fact. Is that an argument which will suffice to absolve Spain in the judgment of English, or Irish, or Dutch Catholics? Why, if Catholic propagandism were forbidden in England, Ireland, or Holland, what a pleasant life the Catholics would lead of it in these three countries! In each of them there are Protestant bigots who would fain treat Catholics as Protestants are treated in Spain; but we, the same who now ask Spain to be just to our co-religionists, are strong enough, thank God, to keep a good tight grasp on the throats of our own bigots, who would oppress, if they could, the co-religionists of Spain in this country. A certain amount of mist has been raised about the facts of the case, by a few bigoted Catholic writers; but I have never seen the facts admitted and defended except once, and that was in a French pamphlet, the writer of which had the hardihood to assert that our modern civilization is far too uniform; that different countries have different missions; and that as it is the mission of England to be constitutional, and of France to be military, so it is the mission of Spain to reconcile Catholicity and monarchy, and to drive Protestantism far away from the holy soil of Castile. That argument I think I may safely leave to be treated with the scorn it merits by the Catholic Members of this House. If the Spaniards are thoroughly convinced of the soundness of their own opinions, I cannot understand their objecting to have them freely discussed: but even if they are not thoroughly convinced of their soundness, it does indeed surprise me that they should exhibit such signs of alarm at a movement which, so far as I am able to judge, has, if I except the courage of the sufferers, not one of those signs or notes which one looks out for as heralding the commencement of religious change. No Catholic Gentleman in this House will be surprised to hear me say, as a conscientious Protestant, that I believe the day will come when the Cathedrals of Burgos and of Seville will no longer belong to the adherents of the creed of Pope Pius, although he will naturally smile at the idea, but I am content to leave to the Spaniards the "infinitely delicate task" of reconciling their old religion with the new facts which time must inevitably force upon them, and to abstain from any rash and blundering interference. But that does not make it wrong for me to implore the Spaniards, if they have among them persons who de- rive, or think they derive, any advantage from the perusal or distribution of such tracts as Andrew Dunn, which figures in the history of Matamoros, or as tracts which within the knowledge of an hon. Member whom I see opposite were actually floated on to the Spanish coast in bottles as part of a missionary enterprise, at least to leave them alone, and let them enjoy in peace such harmless means of edification. If I were a Spanish politician, determined to keep up Catholicism as an engine of State, although disbelieving in her principles, I should be very unwilling to allow really important attacks upon her to be circulated. I should vehemently object, for instance, to have Professor Hase's recent Manual of Protestant Polemics in the hands of the students of Spanish Universities. I should be rather shy of having the Bible circulated without note or comment amongst the people; but the more that Protestantism brought itself into disgrace, by distributing such trash as is now, it would seem, too often prepared for export to Spain, the better I should be pleased. I should leave with great confidence the breviary and the missal, studded as they are with many of the most remarkable devotional compositions of the human intellect, to fight their own battles against such tracts as Andrew Dunn, and the others to which I have alluded. I believe, Sir, if the whole truth were known, it would be found that the conduct of Spain in this matter has been influenced as much by the state of her foreign relations as by either religious bigotry or domestic policy. The Spaniards assert that Gibraltar is the centre of a Protestant and English Propaganda. Now, just imagine what would be the feelings of Englishmen if Spain held the Isle of Portland, and used it as an advanced post from which to disseminate the doctrines of Rome. We should, I think, find it very hard to hear even now; but the comparison is not exact, for in all that relates to religious toleration Spain is not more advanced than we were a hundred years ago, and the little heretical books which are sent from the foreign fortress raise transports of rage which a rosary or a copy of the Garden of the Soul would hardly now excite even in Exeter Hall itself. Well, Gibraltar is a word which raises a large question, into which he is a bold man who enters; but I may surely say, that if I could see Spain what I wish to see her—Spain the hearty enemy of the slave trade, Spain the friend of toleration, Spain as unblemished in her pecuniary integrity as in her Castilian honour, Spain the convert to free trade—I would be well content to see her flag floating over the Rock, even if I thought only of the merest selfish interests of England. Spain has, of late years, exhibited a revival of material prosperity which must he gratifying to every one who is not an enemy of the human race. She has lessened the distance between herself and her European rivals very perceptibly indeed; but she has done so only by following the same precepts which have made her rivals prosperous. Without perfect intellectual freedom, her revival cannot go beyond a certain point, and that point she is rapidly approaching. When she reaches it, she will reach the parting of the ways, and must choose whether she will follow the path of liberty of thought which leads to all earthly prosperity, or the path of intellectual bondage, which leads all who tread it steadily, whether they call themselves Catholics or Protestants, to one and the same point, and that, Sir, is the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

said, he could not blame the hon. Gentleman for what he had said, as he fully concurred in some of the sentiments he had expressed. At the same time, he could not agree with him that the reading of the Bible could be any injury to Catholicity. He believed, on the contrary, that the more people read the Bible, the more they would see the truth of the Catholic religion. It was a great mistake to suppose that the Catholic Church objected to the reading of the Bible. Many Popes had strongly inculcated the necessity of reading the Bible. The only question between Catholics and Protestants was what was the rule of faith to be applied to the Bible, the Protestants claiming the exercise of private judgment, the Catholics yielding obedience to the authority of the Church. But, without dwelling further on that point, he would proceed to state the facts of this case. If he believed that Matamoros and his friends represented some party in Spain who were teaching in an unobtrusive manner, and without violating the laws of their country, what they believed to be true, he should say that there was something in the arguments which had so frequently been addressed to the House; but the real truth was far otherwise. Matamoros in 1845, having engaged in some political conspiracy, was obliged to fly from his country. Afterwards an amnesty was published, and he was enabled to return. He then became a soldier, and subsequently was appointed a lay agent of an English committee at Gibraltar, consisting of Presbyterians, Methodists, and one not very distinguished member of the Church of England, whose object was the propagation of what they considered to be true religion in Spain. He received forty-five dollars a month for his services, but so litle sincere was he that he declared to one of his associates that he did not believe in any religion at all, and had engaged in the undertaking simply as a speculation. The English committee did not make much progress, because they did not represent one Spanish idea. Spain repudiated Protestantism. A Spaniard might be made almost anything; he could be made an infidel, but it was quite impossible to convert him into a Protestant. Matamoros became the agent of that Propagandist Society in Spain, and he and others were also supposed to be agents for the propagation of revolutionary and socialistic opinions, and their proceedings soon attracted the notice of the Government. If these persons had been sincere religionists, the Government might have acted differently; but knowing that they were only the paid agents of an English society, and that they did not represent any Spanish idea, the Government put the laws of Spain in force, which declared the Catholic faith to be the religion of the State, and did not permit any person in a public and ostentatious way to propagate a different religion among the people. The Spaniards were perfectly satisfied with those laws. They were the constitutional laws of the kingdom, and what right had Englishmen to criticise the laws of another country? He believed that the Spaniards repudiated any attempt on the part of any foreign society, by means of paid agents, to introduce religious discord into the country, which, as regarded religious questions, was in a state of profound peace. He was informed that Escalante, one of the associates of Matamoros, had since returned to the Catholic Church, had expiated his apostasy by penance, and was now a faithful son of the Church. He had seen that what was done by his associates was done by them out of mercenary motives. He (Sir George Bowyer) then denied that that was a proper matter for discussion in the House of Commons. There was but one religion in Spain. In England there were many sects and denominations, and every latitude was given to the propagation of religious opinions. In Spain, however, it was still possible to enforce the national faith. A Spanish Protestant was a contradiction in terms, and Protestant propagandism in Spain was sure to fail. Such a society might stir up religious strife, but it would never protestantize Spain. He trusted that Her Majesty's Government would not do so unwise a thing as to interfere in the matter. They had much better leave the Spaniards to manage their own affairs. Having brought those remarks to a close, he had to ask the indulgence of the House in a matter affecting the public and private character of persons who had no opportunity of appearing and defending themselves in that House. The noble Lord at the head of the Government was aware that some time ago a statement was made by him to which his attention had been since directed by the notice that appeared in his (Sir George Bowyer's) name. His statement was that in a public church at Rome a celebrated ecclesiastic, named Father Curci, had addressed reproaches of the strongest nature to the King of Naples, Francis II., in the presence of the congregation there assembled, and of a large body of the nobility forming the Neapolitan emigration in Rome. The preacher was represented as having accused that unfortunate and illustrious Prince of a very great offence—namely, of having wantonly and without any hope of advantage—indeed, no advantage, political or otherwise, could have excused such a step—sent bands of robbers and murderers—persons of the most atrocious character—to commit the most atrocious crimes in his dominions, which were usurped by his neighbour and relation the King of Sardinia. It was sought to be deduced from that statement that the King had been guilty of these offences. That statement on the part of the noble Lord attracted attention, and created great pain and dismay, not only on the part of the Sovereign, but of the nobility and others attached to his cause. He had received a letter from Father Curci, in which he denied the use of the words attributed to him, and stated that he never in the course of his sermon made the slightest allusion to any political matter whatever. He had also received a letter signed by persons of the highest rank in the south of Italy—namely, the Prince of Bisegnano, the Duke of Regina, Cavaliere Natali di Al- tavilla, Joseph Ricciardi Count of Camaldoli, Baron Camillo Nolli, the Duke John Riario Sforza, the Prince of Chiaramonte, the Prince of Aquaviva, the Duke of Mad-daloni, Count Enrico Statella, Count Anthony Bianculli, the Duke of Terra Can-zano, and the Duke of St. Valentino. These gentlemen thanked him for the course which he had felt it his duty to take, protested against the cruelties practised towards their countrymen by the Piedmontese, and emphatically denied the statement which was intended to criminate the King. They asserted that no such charge had been brought against him. He had also a solemn legal instrument executed before a notary public, who, as hon. Gentlemen were aware, was in Rome a public magistrate of great weight, and which ran as follows:—

"Before me, Domenico Monti, notary public, &c., appeared the witnesses hereinafter named,—that is to say, his Most Rev. Excellency Monsignor Acceorde, Bishop of Anglona and Tarsi, his Most Rev. Excellency Don Michael Alisia, Bishop of Patti, &c. (here follow the names of twenty-two persons of the highest distinction—prelates, princes, dukes, and other noblemen), who spontaneously make and have made the following deposition, declaring that having heard on the 3rd of the present month the sermon of the Rev. Father Curci, in the venerable church of the Spirito Santo dei Napolitani, the said Father Curci said not a word nor did he make any allusion, direct or indirect, even in the most remote manner, to or regarding the King or the reaction, or the improperly called brigandage. We also declare that the said Rev. Father Curci preached about the vice of idleness, and not about the so-called brigandage; and we further declare that the said Father Curci never preached any other sermon before His Sacred Majesty the King our Lord, nor before the Neapolitan emigration residing at Rome. This we declare to be the simple truth, which we are ready to affirm on oath before any competent tribunal."
No doubt if it had been true that before the altar of God a preacher had charged the King with sending persons not to support his authority, but to commit crimes in his dominions, that would have been a charge of a serious character, but he thought he had shown that the statement which had been quoted against the King was utterly groundless, and he had no doubt that the noble Lord would have the generosity to state at once that he had been entirely misinformed, and would express his regret that he had made a statement so derogatory to the character of an illustrious Prince, and one who was in misfortune. He would therefore say no more, but would leave the matter in the hands of the noble Lord.

trusted that the noble Lord at the head of the Government would pardon him if he intervened for a few moments between him and the House. His hon. Friend the Member for Dundalk had been unable to avoid, from the rules of the House, which prevented him from speaking a second time, mixing up two questions. It was with the first question alone, that raised by his hon. Friend the Member for the Elgin burgh, that he proposed to offer a few observations. That question was the one of religious toleration. There were only five countries in which religious toleration did not exist—one Greek, Russia; one Catholic, Spain; and three Protestant, Holstein, Mecklenburg, and Sweden. There was no religious consideration, therefore, brought under their notice. It was simply a political and social one. Were the five countries he had mentioned right in their views, and were the rest of the civilized nations of the world wrong? He should express his views in the language of one who not only was one of the greatest thinkers and orators of this generation, but who also could not be accused of indifferentism, as he were the habit of St. Dominic. That great man had used the words he was about to quote. Father Lacordaire said—

"The public conscience will always repel the man who asks for exclusive liberty, or forgets the rights of others; for exclusive liberty is but privilege, and liberty, forgetful of the rights of others, is nothing but treason. And there is in the heart of the honest man who speaks for all, and who, in speaking for all, sometimes seems to be speaking against himself—there is in that man a power, a logical and moral superiority which almost invariably begets reciprocity. So, Catholics, know this well, if you want liberty for yourselves, ask it for all men under heaven. If you ask it for yourselves only, it will never be granted. Give it when you are masters, in order that it may be given to you when you are slaves."
He would not discuss with his hon. Friend their position at Gibraltar, neither would he speculate upon the future destination of the cathedrals of Toledo or Seville. His hon. Friend anticipated the time when they would be occupied by Protestants. He had, however, omitted to inform the House to which of the forms of Protestantism he intended to hand them over. He had no fault to find with his hon. Friend's tone. Generally, those who advocated toleration in the House took that opportunity of manifesting their own intolerance. He had no such complaint to make of his hon. Friend—he agreed with him that the question was one of extreme delicacy. They had to deal, not with the Spanish Government, but with the deep rooted and hereditary prejudices of the Spanish people. He could not believe, for instance, that Marshal O'Donnell, whose own ancestors were driven from their country by religious persecution, could be an advocate for the proceedings that were complained of. It was notorious that he was not so; their own experience, unfortunately, could make them understand the difficulties of the Spanish Government in a matter of this sort. Take the question of Catholic Emancipation. For how long a time after it was advocated by almost every statesman did popular prejudice prevent it from being carried? They had lately discussed the present ecclesiastical settlement of Ireland. It was notorious from their own expressed opinions, that the leading men in this country—including the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire—believed that that settlement was founded on injustice, and ought to be reversed. Popular opinion prevented them from carrying out their convictions into action. The portals of the House were opened as wide for the Catholic as for the Protestant, and yet popular bigotry in England, Scotland, and Wales excluded every Catholic from the House except his noble Friend the Member for Arundel. Throughout the counties of England many of the noblest and greatest families were Catholic, and no constituency would return one of them. They could, therefore, well appreciate the difficulties of the Government of Spain. Religious toleration could not be introduced there until the public opinion, which was so little accustomed to draw a line between the spiritual and the temporal, the domain of law and the domain of conscience was changed. He sincerely trusted that that change would soon come. He wished that the words of Lacordaire which he had quoted were written up on every church in Christendom, and had interpenetrated every Christian heart. He wished that those persons in Spain who held an opposite opinion would come over to Ireland and see there the working of totally different principles. He desired that they should see the strength and vigorous life of the Catholic church in Ireland. She had many difficulties and disadvantages and some disabilities; she had power and wealth working not for her, but against her. But although she had no privileges, she had liberty. There was the source of her vigour, and of that zeal and energy which made her victorious over all her assailants. The surest means for the triumph everywhere of the Catholic church was to trust as little as possible to privilege, which often palsied the institution it was intended to support, and in maintaining her own liberty to ask for liberty for all. He hoped that Spain would soon cease to be the one exception to ail the other Catholic countries in Europe, and, he believed, of the world, in maintaining laws which were directly opposed to the first principles of religious liberty.

Sir, I am very glad that I gave way to my right hon. Friend the Member for Limerick, because I think it must be most gratifying to the House, and I am sure it will be exceedingly useful to the world at large, that he should have had an opportunity of enunciating such enlightened and liberal principles as those to which he has just given expression. I am certain that those principles are the principles which would make any religion thrive whose disciples professed and acted upon them, because the exclusive and persecuting spirit which is too apt to prevail in different countries, founded on religious opinions, so far from propagating the creeds in defence of which it is exercised, only sets the minds of men against them. It is quite true, as he states, that there is naturally in the minds of men who are deeply impressed with the truth of the religion they profess, a tendency to compel other people to adopt their particular creed. We have seen it in all countries, in all religions; and that feeling is only dispelled by the progress of civilization, of enlightenment, and of intercommunication between the people of different countries and different creeds. We must make great allowances for the Spaniards. Their geographical position cuts them off in a great degree from intercommunication with the other countries of Europe. They are surrounded by the sea on three sides, and have a range of mountains on the fourth, and there is consequently less intercourse between Spaniards and the rest of Europe than between any other nation and the rest of Europe. In old times, the Spaniards, strongly attached to their religion, thought the best mode of maintaining it was by a severity of which history records many instances. With that view they established the Inquisition. But I cannot help believing that civilization and enlightenment are making progress in Spain, and that the Catholics of that country are coming round more and more to those sensible and liberal views which my right hon. Friend has uttered this evening. At the same time, their laws remain; and although the Spanish Government are, I am persuaded, anxious upon all occasions that those laws should be administered with all the lenity and in diligence of which the prerogative of the Crown will admit, yet, in Spain, as in other countries, public opinion has its force, and the Government cannot rum exactly counter to it. But in the present case, the Queen of Spain, in consequence of the representations made to her, not simply by the Governments, but by private and respectable individuals from almost every part of Europe, has exercised her prerogative of pardon, and remitted the sentence of those persons on condition only that they should remove to some other country, which I have no doubt they will be only too happy to do. Now, this Spanish law does not simply apply to those Spaniards who profess a different religion from the religion of the State, but is at variance with the treaties made by the Spanish Crown. By the treaties of the Spanish Crown, British subjects are entitled to the free exercise of their religion in private houses; but the law says they shall not exercise it. There are instances in which that law has been lately invoked by persons of more zeal than discretion, and the practice of Protestant worship by British subjects in private houses has been interfered with in some cases, in spite of the representations of Her Majesty's Government. Now, we contend, and I think rightly contend, that treaties cannot be overset and controlled by the laws of the country which has entered into them. The Crown of Spain is bound by its treaties, and the Legislature of that country must adapt its laws to those treaties; otherwise there is no international faith between country and country. Well, these questions are still pending. But the hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir George Bowyer) says it is the great merit of Spain that by her laws there can be only one religion. Does the hon. and learned Member think that any law can control and direct the opinions of men? You may pass a law that any man shall be punished who shall give outward signs that he entertains a religious creed different from that of the State, but you cannot by your law coerce his mind. Therefore, do not let the hon. and learned Gentleman imagine, that because there is a law in Spain which makes it penal for any man to be otherwise than Catholic, therefore every man in Spain is really Catholic in heart and feeling. But I will say nothing more on that point. My hon. Friend (Mr. Grant Duff) has brought forward this question in a fair spirit; and I can assure him, that as far as Her Majesty's Government can properly suggest to the Government of Spain the more lenient treatment of cases of this kind, that shall be done with all due respect to the rights and the independence of Spain. But the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, in his zeal for their cause, seemed to me to cut from under the Spanish Government almost the only ground on which they can rest their conduct. If these persons had been an increasing and powerful sect, who threatened by their action to make a dangerous inroad upon the established religion of the country, there might have been in a Catholic view, in a Spanish Catholic view, some excuse for the severe treatment of them. But the hon. and learned Member says they have no effect—they have no influence upon anybody—they are perfectly harmless; and yet they are to be punished for holding religious opinions which they have no power whatever of communicating to other people. I now come to Father Curci. I am very sorry for him indeed. When I beard that the hon. and learned Gentleman had something to say about him, I imagined that he had some letter of denial from Father Curci. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: I have.] Simply denying the fact, I said to myself, "Poor Father Curci! He is one of those who 'do good by stealth and blush to find it fame.'" However, the hon. and learned Gentleman has brought forward a great deal of other testimony. Well, it is testimony against testimony. The hon. and leerned Member asks me whence I derived my information. I told him at the time that I bad read a letter in a newspaper, professing to give that account. I told him that I could not answer for it; but I said that if he had any doubts about it, he might have an opportunity of ascertaining from Father Curci himself whether any such transaction had taken place. Why, Sir, I have a letter too. It is dated from Italy, and gives an account of this transaction. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: From Turin?] I am not at liberty to give the name, but I will state the substance. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: Is it from Turin?] The letter says—

"The Cardinal Riario Sforza ordered that on the first Sunday of every month there should be an administration of the sacrament in the Church of Santo Spirito dei Napolitani. At the first exposition, or sermon, on the 3rd of this month, were present Francis II. and the Neapolitan emigration. The Father Curci, the Jesuit, made on that occasion a preaching in which, dividing the emigration into true and false, he fulminated the second and charged the first with pride and little faith in God, from whom alone can come the restoration of the Bourbonic Dynasty. The impetuosity and the little reverence of the preacher made a very bad impression upon those present, by whom the said preaching came like a public accusation of spavelda impotenza (which may be rendered braggart impotence). The emigration was greatly moved, and indignant against the Jesuits, by whom it held itself greatly offended."
Now, I am free to confess that this letter does not actually state that Father Curci reproached the emigration with sending brigands into Neapolitan territory; but I think it is quite clear that the statement is correct, that the sermon had a very strong political hearing, and reproached the emigration with the course it was then pursuing. With respect to whether the Neapolitan ex-King has really been sending brigands into the Neapolitan territory, that such is the fact nobody can doubt who has any knowledge of the subject. We know very well that there is a rendezvous at Rome where brigands are enlisted, and where they are sometimes passed in review. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: Not brigands] Well, people will differ as to names. Suppose we call them loyal subjects. But, by whatever name you designate them, certain it is that they go into Neapolitan territory, and there perform operations which make their fellow-subjects very little pleased with their presence. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: No, no!] They take every possible liberty with everybody. They put people to death. They burn houses, and do all sorts of things. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: No, no!] I believe that the French garrison are now taking steps to put a stop to these proceedings as far as they can. They have arrested several of the principal leaders of these "loyal subjects;" and I trust that the rendezvous which we understand was established at Marseilles for the purpose of collecting people for such errands will also be put an end to. Whether Father Curci reproaches the King of Naples or not, and whether the King of Naples is or is not moved by the advice given him, I am quite satisfied that the military power exercised at Rome by the French garrison will put a stop to these incursions from the Roman into the Neapolitan territories. I do not mean to say that there is not still in the mountainous and forest districts in Naples a population with those lawless habits of brigandage which were grafted into them by the Government of the Bourbons. No doubt "the evils that men do live after them," and those habits which were allowed to take root in former times cannot be at once eradicated. I believe, however, that they are now becoming controlled, and I trust in due time to see the territory of Naples restored to that state of order and tranquillity which I am sure everybody must desire should prevail.

Can the noble Lord tell us who is the writer of the letter which he read?

The hon. and learned Gentleman may take it for what it is worth. I stated that it was a genuine letter.

Communication With Australia The Panama, Suez, And Cape Routes


said, in rising to call the attention of the House to the proposals which have been made for the establishment of a route to Australia by way of Panama, he wished to refer briefly to the recommendations which have been made and the steps which have been taken for the establishment of routes by way of Suez and the Cape of Good Hope. Ten or twelve years since a Committee of that House investigated the question as to the best route to the East, and three routes were considered—that by Suez, that by the Cape of Good Hope, and that by Panama. The Peninsular and Oriental Company tendered for a service by way of Suez, to go once a month, upon the understanding that a route might be established by way of Panama also. Shortly after he had become connected with the Government of the Earl of Derby, a gentleman named Merry weather came over to this country from New South Wales in order to induce the Government to establish a route by way of Panama. He stated to Mr. Merry weather, who was anxious that the Treasury should put forward tenders on the subject, that difficulties seemed to him to lie in the way of the establishment of that route. He told him he was not sure whether all the Colonies would agree to hear their share of the expense in pursuing the route, or whether the service by way of Panama could be organized within such a time as to begin with the service by way of Suez. It appeared that these and other points could not be ascertained unless tenders were called for, and it was therefore explained to Mr. Merry weather that the Government would consent to call for them on the understanding that it was merely to ascertain the facts of the case. Tenders were accordingly called for, but they were sent in, not to the Government of the Earl of Derby, but to their successors in office, and no steps were taken with respect to them for a considerable time. Since then he believed there had been several communications on the part of the Colonies with the Home Government, and the matter he understood was about to be brought to a close. He had moved for papers in connection with it, but they had not yet been produced, and he was therefore anxious to receive from the Government some explanation on one or two points. He did not, he might add, speak as the advocate or as the opponent of the Panama route, but he was at the same time anxious to know what were, generally speaking, the grounds on which the Government had come to a decision—if they had come to a decision—against it. It was quite evident that there were several points which it was desirable should be cleared up before such a route was established. He should like, for instance, to be informed whether the Government were of opinion that there ought to be a fortnightly service to Australia, or whether a monthly service was all that was required; and whether, if there was to be a fortnightly service, the Panama route would be made available for that purpose. He wished to know whether difficulties had arisen from the circumstances of the different Colonies. There were differences of interests as between Melbourne, Sydney, and New Zealand. No doubt, Melbourne was very well served by the present service, by way of Suez; Sydney was not so well, and New Zealand still less well served than Melbourne. It was the interest of New Zealand and Sydney that the additional service should be put on by way of Panama. Were the Colonies willing to pay one half of the service if the second service was put on by way of Suez, and were the Government prepared to say that the Colonies would not bear their half if that second service were put on by way of Panama? The complaint of New Zealand seemed very well deserving of consideration—that by the present arrangement they were thrown out of the course of post and lost a month. The course of post to Melbourne was four months, to Now Zealand it was five months. They had also a very short time at Sydney to answer their letters. The importance of the trade of these Colonies was very great to England. The exports of British and Irish produce to foreign countries fell off between 1860 and 1862 from £92,000,000 to £82,000,000, while the exports to British possessions only fell off from £43,000,000 to £42,000,000, and to the Australian Colonies the exports had increased during the same period from £9,000,000 to £11,000,000. To come still nearer, the exports to New Zealand and New South Wales had increased from under £3,000,000 in 1860, to £4,750,000 in 1862. The progress of trade must, of course, be materially improved by postal facilities, and therefore it was important that those facilities should be given, as far as possible, to these Colonies. He did not wish to express any view of his own in favour of the Panama route, but it was fit that the case should be stated in the House of Commons. The Colonies were rather anxious and sensitive on the subject, and it was desirable that they should know from the Government what was the nature of the objections to the Panama route—whether they were fundamental or could be got over by arrangements among the Colonies, He hoped the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Treasury would be able to give them such a statement as would show that the Government had given fair consideration to the subject, and explain the grounds on which they had acted.

said, the question of establishing a second monthly communication with Australia by way of Panama had received the consideration of the Government on different occasions during the last few years, and they had recently had several communications on the subject with gentlemen representing the interests of New Zealand and New South Wales. Now, any one who recollected the difficulties which attended the first establishment of mail communication with Australia must be gratified at the certainty and regularity, on which entire dependence might be placed, with which the mail service with Australia was now conducted under the contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Company. The distance, however, was very great, and as a consequence the expense also was very considerable; and it was not surprising that the receipts of this country from the postage on letters between Marseilles and Australia by no means covered the expense to which the country was put for the maintenance of that communication. He believed that last year their share of the receipts from postage did not amount to more than £33,000, while the sum they had to pay, giving credit for the contribution of one-half of the entire cost of the service which they received from the Colonies, was between £90,000 and £100,000, so that they lost not less than £70,000. No doubt, were they to double the existing frequency of communication with Australia, such a measure would be attended with great advantage, both politically and commercially, and it was quite possible that the objection which some might entertain in respect of the additional loss resulting to the country might be obviated, were a measure which was frequently recommended, and which, in his opinion, was perfectly reasonable in itself, adopted—namely, that of increasing the postage on letters to Australia. The present postage was only 6d. per half ounce. He thought it might very reasonably be increased to 1s. the half ounce. In that case the objection to a second monthly communication with Australia on account of the expense might be removed. The question would then arise as to the route—would the route by Panama be preferable for the second line to the route by way of Suez? The late Government, as had been stated by the hon. Baronet, particularly when he was Secretary to the Treasury, had expressed itself favourable to Panama as a secondary line of communication with Australia. They called for tenders for the service by that route, and stated to the Colonies, that if they were willing to provide one half the expense of the service, and if the cost of that service was not immoderate, they would be disposed to regard the adoption of a line by Panama with favour. The New South Wales Government voted £50,000 for the establishment of the new route, but they had not altogether fulfilled the conditions laid down by the late Government, because the application made was that England should contribute one-half of the whole cost between Panama and Australia, and not make any claim on the Colonies in respect to the expenses incurred between this country and Panama. But the condition laid down was that the Colonies should contribute one half of the entire cost, including the distance between this country and Panama; and this country dealt with them on that principle with respect to the monthly communication by way of Suez. He might add that the Government did not consider that the communications which passed between the late Government and the representatives of the Australian Colonies in any way amounted to engagements interfering with their own free and unfettered consideration of the question. Therefore they had looked at the question, whether the route by Panama was preferable to that of Suez. There was no port in Australia nearer to this country by way of Panama than by way of Suez. Even the port of Sydney was nearer in point of distance to this country by Suez than by way of Panama, and if they took Melbourne as the centre of Australia—one half of the correspondence being due to the colony of Victoria—taking Melbourne as the centre, the route by Suez was shorter than that of Panama, to no less extent than, 3,000 miles. They ought also to remember, that at present they were able to communicate with Melbourne in forty-five days from this country, whereas, they could not expect to communicate with Melbourne if they adopted the Panama route in less than fifty-five days. Then, at both ends of the Suez route they had the means of anticipating the intelligence by telegraph. It was quite possible, if they had communication with Australia once every fortnight, alternately by way of Suez and by way of Panama—the intelligence by Panama would be anticipated by means of the telegraph and the packet which should leave Australia a fortnight later. The Suez route also had the advantage of communicating with India and Ceylon. The next consideration was as to expense. New South Wales and New Zealand had voted £80,000 a year as a contribution of one-half of the expense of a mail between Panama and Australia. When tenders were called for by the late Government, it was found that the amounts varied from £160,000 to £220,000, and he had no reason to suppose that the service could be performed for less. The Government did not consider that they would be justified in adding to the present expenditure so much as would be represented by one-half of the cost of an additional contract. He might state, that within the last few days the Peninsular and Oriental Company had made what he considered was a very moderate and reasonable offer. That company offered to double the communication between Ceylon and Australia for an additional sum of £50,000 a year. The present payment was £134,000 a year for a monthly communication between Ceylon and Australia, and for a fortnightly communication £50,000 additional was asked. That was an offer deserving of consideration by the Government, and which would justify them in addressing communications to the Australian Colonies upon the subject.

said, he thought the case had been very fairly stated by both the hon. Gentlemen. The announcement of the offer of the Peninsular and Oriental Company just made was important, and he hoped the Government would fully consider it before coming to any determination; but be wished specially to call the attention of the Secretary of the Treasury to one point. The right hon. Gentleman implied that the Government had it under consideration to double the rate of postage upon letters between Australia and this country. He would urge upon the Government not to be hasty in adopting such a measure. There was a great difference in the character of the correspondence passing between this country and Australia and that with any foreign Country. In most cases of postal communication with foreign countries on an increase in the rate of postage an increase of revenue might be looked for, because the correspondence generally was upon matters of business that must be continued. But a very large proportion of the letters passing between Australia and this country were written by persons to whom the difference between 6d. and 1s. was a serious matter. If the rate of postage were doubled, not only would the revenue not be materially if at all increased, but it would be objected to by the Colonies as a breach of faith. When the Colonies came into the arrangement by which they agreed to contribute one-half the postal expenses, they had been called upon by the Government to fix the postage at the present rates. Three years ago the Government attempted to alter the rate of postage upon newspapers, and the result was such an outcry in the Colonies that they preferred to increase their contribution than to have the original contract disturbed. He thought it would be better to ask the Colonies to pay something more in money rather than to pursue a course which might have the effect of putting an end to the agreement between the Colonies and this country.

said, that many discussions of late had convinced him that it was utterly hopeless to obtain a reduction of any estimate. Still he wished to make a few remarks upon the subject of the Post Office Packet Service. He considered the Estimates to be perfectly monstrous, and he could not but think it somewhat singular and unfertunate that an estimate of so large an amount and of so comprehensive a nature should have been postponed to the last moments of the Session. The total amount of the Estimate was £956,800, and its object was to facilitate the transmission of letters between this country and various parts of the world. He should confine his observations to that part of the Estimate which applied to the transmission of letters between this and foreign countries. He wished to know for the benefit of what class of persons was that enormous sum asked. [Mr. AYRTON: For the benefit of all classes.] No; it was one of the most exclusive, and therefore one of the most unjust Votes, ever proposed to the House. It was true that it was for the benefit of all classes that indulged in the luxury of writing letters to the Colonies. But the Vote was practically for the purpose of saving the pockets of the great mercantile community of the country. It was neither more nor less than a subsidy taken from the public purse to save the money of the merchants, and he would defy the hon. Member (Mr. Ayrton) to prove that the public at large had any interest directly or indirectly in the question. It was a gross injustice to the man whose position in life was such that a reduction of the additional duty on tea and sugar was a question almost between comfort and discomfort. Did such a man derive any benefit from this postal communication? With what justice, at a time of great public distress, could that House be asked to vote a million of money merely for the convenience of those who were in a state of positive affluence. He said that the whole proposal was most monstrous. It was a matter of neither necessity nor justice. It was a practical anomaly as coming from the present Government, because they were for free trade in everything. Why not, then, free trade in letters? Why should correspondence be protected when nothing else was. He entered the most strenuous protest in his power against what he conceived to be a gross act of injustice to the great bulk of the community.

said, he quite agreed with the hon. Member for Norfolk (Mr. Bentinck), that it was a most unjust thing to make the people at large sustain the postage service in the Colonies. The cost at that time exceeded by £400,000 the money received for postage, and that result was for the convenience of the merchants of this country. He hoped the Government would take the question into their serious consideration, and endeavour to reduce the Estimate.

said, the hon. Member for West Norfolk had made a statement without foundation, but it would be difficult to convince him that the country lost nothing by this service. He should say that the class most benefited was that which he represented—the agricultural. That was a class which grew rich to a greater extent than any other, without taking any measures to do so, by the extension of commerce, and this service was a part of that extension.

said, he doubted very much whether the step indicated by the Secretary of the Treasury, of doubling the rates of postage, would be successful. Past experience was certainly against it. Merchants, perhaps, cared but little for additional postage; but to the humbler classes it was a matter of moment, and they would not write half as many letters probably, if the rate of postage were raised. He hoped that the scheme would not be adopted without great consideration. As to the larger question of postal subsidies, it was possible that since the great development of steam communication, it was no longer necessary to pay such large subsidies as in its infancy.

said, he wished to express a hope, that as he had postponed his question on the subject of infanticide to meet the convenience of the Government, they would give him an opportunity of bringing it forward some day next week.

Supply—Civil Service Estimates

SUPPLY considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £700,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge of the Post Office Packet Service, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864, which sum includes provision for payments to Mr. Joseph George Churchward, for the conveyance of Mails between Dover and Calais and Dover and Ostend, from the 1st day of April 1863, to the 20th of June 1863, but no part of which sum is to be applicable or applied in or towards making any payment in respect of the period subsequent to the 20th day of June 1863, to the said Mr. Joseph George Churchward, or to any person claiming through or under him by virtue of a certain Contract, bearing date the 26th day of April 1859, made between the Lords-Commissioners of Her Majesty's Admiralty (for and on behalf of Her Majesty) of the first part, and the said Joseph George Churchward of the second part, or in or towards the satisfaction of any claim whatsoever of the said Joseph George Churchward, by virtue of that Contract, so far as relates to any period subsequent to the 20th day of June 1863.

said, he rose to ask if the Government would afford some further explanation in reference to the arrangements for the conveyance of the mails between Dover and Calais and Dover and Ostend. He believed that between Dover and Ostend the mails were carried by the Belgian Government—a very peculiar arrangement certainly. He wished to know whether there was anything more than the correspondence, and what had been done to insure the punctual performance of the service? He did not understand the position of the Government and country with regard to the other service between Dover and Calais. Some time ago they were told that Mr. Churchward's contract was to come to an end on the 20th of June, and he should like to know how the service had been carried on from that date. He understood that a contract had been given to one, if not two railway companies, but the whole arrangement was kept at present a secret from the House. The question of those contracts was mixed up with legal difficulties. He did not know what steps Mr. Churchward was going to take to enforce what he considered to be his rights; but he believed it was the gentleman's intention to adopt some proceedings to test the legality of the course pursued by the Government; and under these circumstances he thought the Committee ought to have some explanation on the subject of those contracts.

said, that when the question was under discussion on a former occasion, he stated that the Government had received an offer from Mr. Harrington for the conveyance of the mails between Dover and Calais for a sum of £5,000 a year. Pending the decision of the House with respect to the Resolution submitted to them on the occasion to which he referred, no permanent arrangement could have been come to, and the interval between the time at which the Resolution was passed and that at which Mr. Churchward's contract expired, was too short to enable Mr. Harrington to make preparations for commencing a contract. He therefore proposed to commence the new service on the 1st of January next, and he was willing to perform a temporary service between the 20th of June and the 18th of January for a sum of £11,000. That, however, appeared to the Government to be a larger sum than they would be justified in paying, and they applied to the railway companies, who undertook to perform the service from the 20th of June for a subsidy of £6,000 a year. That appeared to the Government to be a more advantageous arrangement than the one proposed by Mr. Harrington, taking into account the sum demanded by him for the temporary service. The railway company had been performing the contract since the 20th of June; and he understood that four vessels which they were using were four which Mr. Churchward had used in the performance of his contract. It was intended to embody the agreement with the two companies in a contract, and the condition in the advertisement of the Government was that no contract should be binding until it was laid on the table of the House and approved of, or had been on the table for a month without being disapproved of. He hoped the contract would be signed in sufficient time to be laid on the table of the House before the end of the Session, and he would invite the House, if necessary, to pass a Resolution respecting it. With regard to the service from Dover to Ostend, the Belgian Government had for some years been performing half of the night service—that was, performing it three nights in the week. Her Majesty's Government having advertised for the performance of our division of that service, the Belgian Government offered to perform it for a sum of £4,000 a year. That offer had been accepted, and the performance of the contract would be provided for by a postal convention. As it had been estimated that out of the subsidy paid to Mr. Churchward about £10,000 was for the Dover and Ostend service, the Committee would see that the new arrangement was an advantageous one. He apprehended that the arrangement would not be limited in point of time, but would be terminable at a year's notice.

said, he must protest against the extraordinary arrangement connected with the Dover and Calais contract, an arrangement by which the Government were utterly evading a Resolution passed two years ago. That Resolution was intended to provide that for the future the House should be put in possession of all the circumstances connected with any partial contract before it was finally adopted. The Resolution was to the effect that the contract should not be binding until it had been laid on the table of the House, and had remained on the table of the House for one month without challenge, unless it was specially affirmed by a Vote of the House. They were now asked to Vote the money for a contract which they knew nothing about; and the Resolution for approving that contract would be submitted when the House would be occupied almost exclusively by Votes of the Government.

said, he objected to the £4,000 for the Dover and Ostend service as an unnecessary expenditure. The mails from Dover to Ostend started at the same hour as those from Dover to Calais. Both met at Ghent in the morning, and went on together in the same train from Ghent to Brussels.

said, he objected to the arrangement on a different ground from that put forward by the hon. Gentleman. He objected to it on the ground that foreign vessels ought not to be engaged to carry on the postal communications between this country and a foreign country. The next thing the House would hear of was that the postal contract was taken away from the Cunard line and given to a New York company, because they would take it at £1,000 less.

said, that the outburst of indignation which had come from the right, hon. Gentleman (Mr. Corry) contained a very fine sentiment for a civilized man. But there were civilized men out of England, and what if they objected to the conveyance of their letters by English ships? If the principle laid down by the hon. Gentleman were acted upon, every country would maintain a separate set of mail packets for carrying its letters from every port. But, in point of fact, the service had already been performed for us by the Belgian Government during three nights a week for several years, so that the objection of the hon. Gentleman was not only bad, but late. His hon. Friend (Sir S. Northcote) complained that he did not know what was to be the relation of the two railway companies who were to perform the contract between Dover and Calais. As to that contract they would be partners, and would be jointly and severally liable for its execution. The sum they were to receive was £6,000 a year, together with an extra remuneration for the extra performance which was stipulated to be done by them. The services were the same as had been already described in printed papers laid on the table. His hon. Friend complained of the Government for endeavouring to nullify the Resolutions of the Committee on the Packet Service. That would be a very blamable attempt if it had been really made, but the object of the Government really was to give the fullest effect to those Resolutions. In certain cases, however, the Resolutions would require the adoption of an intermediate arrangement, which without them might not be necessary. The condition that the contracts should lie on the table of the House before receiving full validity would occasionally interpose a certain time between the expiration of the old contract and the full validity of the new one, and then a provisional arrangement would become necessary. The Government were taking money with the view of bringing the contracts as soon as possible under the notice of the House, and also with the view of providing for the services in the mean time until the subject could be brought under notice. But the preparation of the necessary legal instruments and their execution by the necessary parties required considerable time. He was sorry, that though so far as the Government were concerned, they had done their utmost to expedite the matter, it had not been in their power to lay the contracts on the table before. But the only course they could take was to ask for a Vote for the performance of the service, reserving the question as to the final judgment of the House, and therefore as to the validity of the contract. With regard to cases in which before the expiration of the Session the contracts might be laid on the table, though the requisite month could not elapse, primâ facie the duty of the Government would be to ask for a Vote of the House in approval of the contract, because there would be some hardship to the parties in keeping them for a length of time subject to a merely provisional arrangement. Accordingly, as his right hon. Friend had stated, a Vote would be asked for with respect to such contracts as could be produced before the close of the Session. His hon. Friend thought it unfair on the part of the Government to ask for a ratification as far as the Dover contract was concerned. But he thought, that after a formal decision of the House in 1860, and two decisions in 1863, the question had been finally settled. If the question, were to be contested, the Government would be placed in some difficulty to decide between the convenience of the House on the one side in taking a division at so late a period of the Session, and what was due to the parties on the other. On Monday they would probably be able to take a complete review of the subject and decide what course to adopt.

said, he would admit that there might frequently be a necessity for provisional arrrangements under the circumstances alluded to by his right hon. Friend, and he should have no objection to the passing of this Vote for a merely provisional arrangement. But there was a disputed question. In spite of the unfavourable vote of the House, Mr. Churchward did not admit that he had lost his rights against the Government. It was understood that he proposed to take legal proceedings, and supposing that he did so in the course of the recess, and a verdict was given in his favour, the House would have confirmed a contract in July, while in the January or February following they would find that another contract would be enforced against them. If they allowed the arrangement to rest as a provisional one, the difficulty would be very much less. It was true there had been two decisions of the House during the Session, but it was quite possible that the question might be opened again, especially if evidence should be taken before a Court of Law, which would alter the question He therefore contended it was only fair to Mr. Churchward that nothing should be done unnecessarily to prejudice his rights.

said, he was anxious to protest against the cosmopolitan sentiments to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had given utterance. He had always understood that one of the principal reasons why contracts were entered into by this country was to encourage a kind of steam vessels which would be available for service in time of war and be a nursery for our seamen. Last century the same sentiments were uttered by another famous Minister, when the Hessians and the Dutch were required to defend this country by land, as Belgians might yet be called upon to do by sea. He, for one, should protest against the money of the taxpayers of this country being spent in the encouragement of a foreign navy.

said, whatever reasons ought to operate with the Government, he sincerely hoped they would not be such as had been suggested by the hon. Baronet the Member for Stamford. The House had upon three occasions deliberately expressed its opinion upon the subject of Mr. Church ward's contract, and it was the bounden duty of the Government to assume that that decision would be carried into effect by the House. He protested against the supposition that it was to be treated as an open question. Any person could bring any action at law that he pleased, but he hoped the Government would not go one inch out of its way in consequence of the terrors of such an action. He, for one, was not afraid of the result of such an action, whatever might be the conclusion which might be arrived at by hon. Gentlemen opposite.

said, the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) seemed to treat the question of the conveyance of mails across the sea as an open question, but he should protest against such a conclusion. As an illustration of the inconvenience of such a course, he would refer to a question put that evening by the hon. Member for Poole, "whether it was true that a bag containing the despatches from the Admiralty to the Admiral on the station at Vancouver's Island had been abstracted from on board the United States steamer in its passage from Panama; and whether, in the absence of safe postal communication, the Admiral was not under the necessity of employing a Government war steamer to carry the despatches to Panama?" If every foreign country were to carry the mails for £5,000 or £10,000 less than English contractors, they were likely to be put to every kind of inconvenience at a future time. If that principle were adopted, they would have their mails carried not by contract but by men-of-war of fifty guns, or carried to Vancouver's Island, as on the occasion of the Trent affair, round by Cape Horn.

said, he should move to reduce the Vote by £3,110 for conveyance of mails from Dover to Ostend, and he intended to divide the Committee upon it. There was lately laid upon the table a correspondence which informed them that this sum was to be paid to the Belgian Government. That was a grand stroke of economy, that we could get our mails carried cheaper by subsidizing Belgium. But he denied the justice of the comparison, because the Belgian Government had not entered into a contract as an English contractor would—it was not subject to penalties, nor was it to submit itself to the jurisdiction of the courts of law of this country. But even if there were the greatest economy in the matter. England ought not to recognise the principle of subsidizing foreign Governments to carry our mails. It was fair to arrange with the Government of France for an alternate mail, but then we yielded to the pretensions of a great and powerful State; but weak States often took advantage of their weakness to obtain concessions which a more powerful State would not require. On principle we ought to insist on having the mails carried by our own subjects. If there were a great saving in the matter, it might be pleaded as an excuse; but the saving was very small, and the principle ought not to be sacrificed to it. When they recollected that they had been squandering money in every way under the auspices of the Government during the Session, that attempt at economy was ridiculous. It was injurious to our commercial marine, and he intended to record his vote against it, even though he should go into the lobby almost alone. He begged to move to reduce the Vote by £3,110 for the conveyance of the mails from Dover to Ostend for a certain specified time.

said, he rose to move a reduction of £400,000 in the Vote. [Laughter.] The Post Office revenue was only £400,000, whilst the amount of the Vote was nearly £800,000. He therefore proposed a reduction equal in amount to the excess of the subsidy over the receipts produced from the conveyance of letters. It was most unjust that this country should be called upon to pay such an enormous sum for the benefit of the mercantile part of the community.

said, the hon. Gentleman must point out the particular items in the Vote which he challenged. The particular subject under discussion was the conveyance of mails between Dover and Ostend.

said, he could not understand why there should be any objection in principle to a postal convention with the Belgian Government, which had for some months been carrying the night mails for three nights in the week. The saving would be from a sum of £10,000 a year to £4,000. This was a gain which he thought was not to be overlooked. With respect to the mercantile marine, he wished to observe that it had been the effort of the Government to send all the German mails by Calais, with this special object in view; but the arrangements of foreign Governments had made the discontinuance of this practice necessary.

said, he wished to know on what terms the Ostend service was to be carried on. He submitted that the House had not had an opportunity of expressing its opinion respecting Mr. Church-ward's contract, and a large demand was made on the credulity of the House when it was asserted that such decision had been three times given. The Government had not afforded the House any opportunity of pronouncing an opinion on the subject.

contended that Mr. Churchward's contract had been three times decided on, both in substance and in form. In substance, they all knew, it had been decided on; and in form it was pronounced on when Captain L. Vernon proposed that the contract should be fulfilled. The House negatived that proposition by a large majority, and this year the Government proposed that a certain sum should be voted, but that no part of that sum should be applied to the payment of Mr. Churchward's contracts after a certain day. An hon. Member then moved the House to omit those words relating to Mr. Churchward's contract; and if anything could raise the question as to the contract, it must be obvious to any person of common sense that that did. The House decided that no part of the money should be applied to the performance of Mr. Churchward's contract, and repeated the Vote twice.

said, he wished to ask whether the recommendations held out by the hon. and learned Gentleman to the Government to take legal proceedings were inspired by their success in the case of the Alexandra?

said, that the question raised by his Amendment had nothing to do with Mr. Churchward.

said, he had no intention whatever of supporting the Amendment. His inquiry went to a very different point.

Whereupon Motion made, and Question put,

"That the item of £3,110, for conveyance of Mails between Dover and Ostend, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Ayrton.)

The Committee divided:—Ayes 26; Noes 75: Majority 49.

Original Question again proposed.


Barttelot, Col.Hennessy, J. P.
Bentinck, G. C.Heygate, W. U.
Berkeley, Hon. C. P. F.Lever, J. O.
Bridges, Sir B. W.Lygon, Hon. F.
Bruce, Sir H. H.Mure, D.
Clifton, Sir R. J.Northcote, Sir S. H.
Collins, T.Paull, H.
Cox, W.Powell, F. S.
Dillwyn, L. L.Powys-Lybbe, P. L.
Dunne, Col.Smollett, P. B.
Fane, Col. J. W.Taylor, Col.
Gard, R. S.
Gore, J. R. O.


Grenfell, H. R.Mr. Corry
Hay, Sir J. C. D.Mr. Ayrton

said, he thought the Chairman should report Progress. The effect of these late sittings on hon. Members was shown in the hon. Member for London going into the wrong lobby at four o'clock on the previous morning, and by the hon. Member for Lambeth, the leader of the economists, falling into a similar mistake—he could not suppose it intentional—on the present occasion.

said, he voted as he did because the result of voting on the opposite side would have been to increase the burdens of the public.

condemned the Vote because the new service was useless and unnecessary, because the contract was handed over exclusively to foreigners, and because the Government had not dealt fairly towards the House in delaying the question so long. It was not till the 19th of May that this Vote was brought forward, though the Government must have considered the question long before that time. He should move that the Chairman report Progress.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress."—( Mr. Heygate.)

said, he would appeal to the hon. Member not to press his Motion. The only effect of it would be to prolong the Session.

observed, that the Government had set a bad example on the previous morning in counting out a valuable Bill. Such stratagems might be allowable in an Opposition, but not in the Government.

said, he thought it would be well to have the Session prolonged a little, in order that the measure referred to might be passed.

said, that if the Government would assure the Committee that nothing that was done to-night should commit the House to the contract he would withdraw his Motion.

said, the Vote would not in the least degree bind the House to adopt the contract. All that was asked was a temporary provision for the service.

apprehended that the contract could not be dealt with so effectually if they did not take it up at the time of Supply.

asked whether the subvention, which was in the case of the Ostend Service to take the place of a contract, would be laid on the table for the sanction of the House.

said, he objected to any attempt to entrap the Committee when there was only a thin attendance, and at a late hour, into the acceptance of an objectionable measure.

said, he was willing to withdraw the Motion on the understanding that the passing of the Vote would not commit the House to approval of the contract.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

House resumed.

Resolution to be reported on Monday next.

Ways And Means—Committee

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

On Motion of Mr. CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER,

(1.) Resolved,

That, towards making good the Supply granted to Her Majesty, there be issued and applied, to the Service of the year 1863, the sum of £467,467 3s. 7d., being the surplus of Ways and Means granted for the Service of preceding years.

(2.) Resolved,

That, towards making good the Supply granted to Her Majesty, the sum of £9,890,644 16s. 5d. be granted out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported on Monday next.

Expiring Laws Continuance Bill

Bill 238 Committee

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)


said, he wished to point out that by a Resolution passed last Session the Irish Poor Law Act, one of the measures included in this Bill, was to expire in 1864, and he should contend that it should not be continued without discussion.

said, that if the Act were not continued, the Commission would come to an end at once.

said, he would move the omission of the Irish Poor Law Act from the Schedule.

said, it was a wise precaution to include the Act, because there was the possibility of a dissolution early next Session, which might interfere with the renewal of the powers of the Poor Law Commissioners before they expired.

remarked that there was no occasion for including it in the Bill, inasmuch as the Act would not expire until next year.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the words "10 and 11 Vict., c. 90 (Poor Laws) (Ireland)."—( Colonel Dunne).

Question put, "That those words stand part of the Schedule."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 34; Noes 7: Majority 27.

House resumed.

Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read 3° on Monday next.

House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock, till Monday next.