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Commons Chamber

Volume 203: debated on Monday 25 July 1870

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House Of Commons

Monday, 25th July, 1870.

MINUTES.] — SELECT COMMITTEE — Report— Diplomatic and Consular Services [No. 382]; Conventual and Monastic Institutions, &c. [No. 383].

SUPPLY— considered in Committee—CIVIL SERVICE ESTIMATES.

Resolutions [July 21, 22] reported.

PUBLIC BILLS— Ordered—First Reading—Petty Sessions Clerks (Ireland) Act (1858) Amendment* [236]; Census (Ireland)* [237].

Second Reading — Census (Scotland)* [234]; Siam and Straits Settlements Jurisdiction* [232]; Corrupt Practices Acts Amendment* [235].

Select Committee—Shannon Navigation* [192], nominated.

Committee—Report—Turnpike Acts Continuance, &c.* [125]; National Debt* [213]; Forgery* [214]; Statute Law Revision* [215]; Local Government Supplemental (No. 4)* [226].

Considered as amended — Sanitary Act (1866) Amendment* [189].

Third Reading—Greenwich Hospital* [229], and passed.

Withdrawn—High Court of Justice* [180]; Appellate Jurisdiction* [181]; Pilotage ( recomm.)* [207]; Medical Act (1858) Amendment* [216]; Habitual Drunkards* [197]; Charities, &c. Exemption* [109]; Sequestration* [202]; Ecclesiastical Dilapidations (No. 2)* [224].

Army—Supply Of Ammunition


said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether the amount of ammunition of all kinds now in stock was up to or below the average quantity maintained in past years; and, whether the Government had means at their disposal for increasing the supply at short notice if necessary?

Sir, in view of the deterioration of cartridges by time, and of occasional changes of pattern, it has not been considered desirable or advisable to keep the stocks very high; but the Government have means at their disposal of increasing the supply at short notice. In a few days we could make all the small-arm ammunition, and in a few weeks all the projectiles of every kind that were discharged at Sebastopol.

Poor Law Board—Officers' Guarantees—Question

said, he wished to ask the President of the Poor Law Board, Whether the European Assurance Society is the only Company whose security can be accepted by guardians on behalf of their officers, tinder the regulations of the Poor Law Board; and, whether under all the circumstances, it is still their intention to compel guardians to accept such security?

said, in reply, that the Poor Law Board did not compel guardians to accept the security of any particular assurance company. The general order required the officers to give a bond with two sureties, and if they preferred to give the security of any company whose statutes expressly authorized them to guarantee the faithful discharge of duties, they were at liberty to do so. It happened that the European Assurance Society was the only company of the kind whose statutes expressly authorized them to give such security, and their Act of Parliament stipulated that they were to keep a certain reserve fund, under the control of the Lords of the Treasury, to meet any claims on the part of the Government or local authorities, which fund was not available for any other creditors. The Board would gladly extend their sanction to any other company which would take upon itself similar obligations.

Army—Committee On Small Arms—Martini-Henry Rifle—Question

said, his Question required some explanation. It was said that the Committee now sitting on Small Arms did not confine themselves to the rifles furnished by the manufacturers, but that they produced improved arms of their own. He would, therefore, beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether the Committee on Small Arms have made experimental changes in the Henry Martini rifle, and had these changes carried out in the Government factory at Enfield; and how many improved forms of the rifle they have so had made?

, in reply, said, it was true the Committee did not limit themselves to testing the rifles that were submitted to them, but that they tried experiments of their own, chiefly in relation to improvements in the chamber and the springs: 24 rifles had recently been issued for this purpose, all of one form.

Navy—Admiral Sir William Hope Johnstone—Question

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether his attention has been called, to the letter published by Admiral Sir William Hope Johnstone concerning a conversation between the First Lord of the Admiralty and himself at the interview which took place between them at the Admiralty in reference to Sir William Hope Johnstone's retirement; and, whether he adheres to the version of his speech, which represents him as having said that Sir William Hope Johnstone stated at the said interview—"You have done me justice; you have retired me at the full value of the office; I have nothing to complain of, but I cease to hold the nominal office of Rear Admiral of England?"

Sir, some two months since, the hon. and gallant Member for Stamford (Sir John Hay), without any Notice on the Paper or private intimation to me, called the attention of the House in a somewhat long speech to language supposed by him to have been used by me two months before in conversation with a very gallant officer, Admiral Sir William Hope Johnstone, who had been recently retired in his 72nd year. In reply I said that his description of the conversation was far from accurate, and I pointed out the absurdity of the language he attributed to me. I added that, to the best of my recollection, the gallant Admiral had said that he had no complaint to make as to his treatment in a pecuniary point of view, but that he was anxious to retain the titular office of Rear Admiral of the United Kingdom, to which he had been recently appointed; and I explained in general terms the reasons which I had assigned why this was impossible. The hon. Baronet (Sir Graham Montgomery) now asks me whether on this occasion I used the ipsissima verba of one of the newspaper reports. My only answer is, that I spoke in the sense of that report, which as usual is accurate and careful; but that it is quite out of my power to pledge myself to the exact words of a long reply to a long question about a conversation four months ago, which I was not aware was to be the subject of debate.

Case Of George Maw—Question

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department Whether, in the case of Mr. George Maw, who, while undergoing a sentence of fourteen days' imprisonment in the Durham County Gaol, received twenty-four lashes of the cat-o'-nine-tails by order of the Reverend Canon Greenwell, and into whose case he recently made some inquiry, Messrs. Bowser and Ward, the Solicitors acting for a Committee appointed by a public meeting of upwards of five hundred inhabitants of Bishop Auckland, did not inform him that they had evidence to show that Mr. Maw was labouring under an attack of delirium tremens during a part of the time of his incarceration, and was discharged from prison in a most deplorable condition both in mind and body; and, whether the evidence, the existence of which was thus brought to the Home Secretary's knowledge, had not been disregarded, and the inquiry confined to the gaol officials?

Sir, I had received and considered the memorial sent to me by Messrs. Bowser and Ward before answering the Question relating to the punishment of George Maw, put to me some weeks, ago by the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease). The answer of the visiting justices and the evidence with which they supplied me satisfied me that there were no sufficient grounds for further inquiry by the Home Office into the circumstances of his punishment. The facts are these—In the absence of the visiting justices, Mr. Canon Greenwell was called in as a magistrate to adjudicate on an assault committed by Maw upon a warder on the 28th of April. The assault was a most violent and brutal one. Without any provocation, Maw, in the words of a witness, "struck the warder violently in the face with his clinched fist, kicked him on the body, seized him by the hair of his head, pulled him on the ground, and kicked him when on the ground. He then struck the witness with great violence and cut his lip and ear." The assault is not denied; but it is stated that the prisoner committed it under the influence of delirium tremens. Into that statement I also inquired. It appears from the statement of Mr. Boyd, the surgeon of the Durham County Prison, that he saw him on every day from the 20th of April to the 28th, the day of the assault, and that "on neither of the said days, nor at any time during his incarceration, did he exhibit any symptoms whatever of being afflicted by any mental or bodily disease;" that he carefully examined him on the 29th, the day he was flogged, and he found "that he was perfectly free from delirium tremens, or any other mental or bodily disorder, and was in a fit state to undergo corporal punishment to the extent of 24 lashes." Mr. Boyd was present when the sentence was carried into execution, and says that there were "no symptoms exhibited to show that there was any danger in carrying it out." I also received evi- dence which proved to me that there was no necessity to resort to delirium tremens as an explanation of the unprovoked violence of the prisoner, for he was represented to me as a man known for the outrageous violence of his temper; and, in confirmation of this statement, I received proof of his convictions at various places on no less than six different occasions between 1862 and 1870 for assaults, besides being convicted on several other occasions for being drunk and disorderly, for obstructing an Inspector of Nuisances in the execution of his duty, and for wilful damage to property. Taking all these circumstances together, I certainly did not and do not think that I should have been justified in directing further inquiry into the case.

China — Outrages On Christians


said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it has come to the knowledge of the Foreign Office, officially or otherwise, that the Chinese have perpetrated outrages on Christians in China, attended with the loss of life?

said, he regretted to say that it had come to the knowledge of the Foreign Office, both officially and otherwise, that outrages, attended with loss of life, had been perpetrated by Chinese. By a telegram received from Sir Andrew Buchanan at St. Petersburg, which was dated Tientsin, July 6, and which arrived at the Foreign Office on July 23, it appeared that there had been an insurrectionary movement in Tien-tsin against the French missionaries, that 48 French persons were killed and three Russians, and that the French Consulate was burnt. The Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong telegraphed by another route, stating that serious disturbances had arisen at Tien-tsin, that the French Consulate was burnt, and French missionaries were attacked and murdered, in consequence of a rumour that children had been put to death by the French missionaries. Great excitement prevailed in Shanghai and the Northern ports, and a gunboat had gone with 600 troops ready to be disembarked in case of necessity.

Army—Breech-Loaders For The Volunteers—Question

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether any, and, if any, how many Militia Regiments in Great Britain are still unsupplied with the Snider Enfield Rifle; whether in his opinion the time has not arrived when energetic steps should be taken to supply the whole of the Militia and, after them, the Volunteers, with breech-loading rifles; and, further, whether it is or is not a fact that 60, 000 rifles have been lying useless at the Tower since February last, when a question upon this subject was asked by the noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire?

Sir, 51 regiments of Militia are still unsupplied with breech-loaders: 61,000 breechloaders have been issued to the Reserve Forces—Snidors and Westley Richards carbines—arming 64 regiments of Militia, and 25 of Yeomanry, and all the permanent staff of the Militia, including Ireland. I am of opinion that it is expedient to arm the rest of the Militia, and after them the Volunteers, as rapidly as our stock will enable us; but I do not share the opinion that a reserve is useless of an article which you desire to have ready for use upon occasion.

Navy—Officers Of The Admiralty


said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, For a Return of the Names and Salaries of Officers appointed to do duty at the Admiralty, and which were not provided for in this year's Estimates? It had been stated in the papers that Captain Willes had been appointed to do duty as Captain of the Coastguard; and that a Paymaster had been appointed in the place of one of the clerks of the Admiralty.

Sir, when the hon. and gallant Gentleman placed his Notice on the Paper I referred it to the Accountant General, whose reply, which I hold in my hand, is that no officers have been so appointed. Rear-Admiral Seymour is discharging Commodore Willes's duties for a month, while the latter is with the First Reserve squadron, and a Paymaster is being employed for two months at the Admiralty to assist in connection with Court-martial and Punishment Returns.

said, he would beg to ask for a Return of the salaries of those officers?

The officers are not appointed on salaries at all. They have merely been called up on sea-pay for a few weeks to the Admiralty.

High Court Of Justice And Appellate Jurisdiction Bills


said, he would beg to ask Mr. Attorney General, Whether it is intended to proceed with the High Court of Justice and Appellate Jurisdiction Bills in the present Session of Parliament?

I am sorry to say we have been obliged to abandon the hope of being able to proceed with these Bills; but we propose to call the attention of Parliament to the subject early next Session.

The Education Department


said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in consideration of the increasingly onerous duties of the Minister responsible to this House for the Department of Education, the Government will consider the expediency of his being relieved from departmental functions other than those relating to Education?

Sir, taking into consideration the increase of duties which must devolve on the Education Department, in connection with the great measure which we hope is about to receive the sanction of the Legislature, no doubt some change will be necessary; but as it will obviously not be in our power accurately to estimate that increase till a somewhat later period, it would be perhaps premature if I said more than that the Government are anxious to ascertain what change may be necessary.

Schools In Scotland—Question

said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether the Government will take steps, during the Parliamentary Recess, to procure full information regarding the amount and quality of the education furnished in the existing schools of Scotland, in anticipation of legislation on the parochial and other schools in Scotland during the next Session of Parliament?

said, in reply, that the Government would, during the Recess, consider whether it would be advisable to obtain further information on the subject than that which they already possessed, in anticipation of the Scotch Education Bill to be introduced next year. They had considered whether it would be desirable to ask Parliament to assent to a short Bill giving power to obtain Returns similar to those which they had obtained relative to the English Bill. But, looking to the fact that they already possessed a good deal of information with regard to Scotland, and also that it would be difficult to frame a Bill that would not prejudge the Scotch Education Bill, they had decided not to apply for any legislative power during the present Session.

Spain—Insurrection In Cuba


said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether, in accordance with the Resolution of the American House of Representatives, on the 16th of June, authorizing the President to solicit the co-operation of other Governments in order to put a stop to the barbarities in Cuba, any communications have yet taken place between Her Majesty's Government and that of the United States, with a view to effect that object?

said, in reply, that they were informed that a Resolution had been passed by the House of Representatives of the United States of the nature described by his hon. Friend; but no communication had been addressed by the Government of the United States to Her Majesty's Government in consequence of that Resolution up to the present time.

Infectious Disease On Board Vessels—Question

said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Council, Whether the Privy Council do not very much rely upon the information supplied by Pilots for the detection of infectious disease on board of vessels arriving from infected ports, and whether the abolition of compulsory pilotage would not have a tendency to remove one of the best securities for the enforcement of the Quarantine Laws, inasmuch as under an optional system of Pilotage, masters would not, by declining to take Pilots, hope to conceal the fact of infected cases?

, in reply, said, he had found on inquiry that the Privy Council did not rely upon the information given by pilots, because they were not bound by any statutory regulations to furnish it; but he did not doubt that in some cases they obtained such information. With regard to the latter part of the Question of the hon. Member, the proper time for him to give an answer would be when the Bill referred to was under discussion.

University Tests Bill—Question

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he will be prepared to introduce a comprehensive University Tests Bill in the early part of next Session, so as to afford the Upper House enough time for deliberation?

I am afraid, Sir, my hon. Friend has framed his Question in such a manner as to imply that we have not afforded the Upper House sufficient time for deliberation on the present University Tests Bill. Now, I am not prepared to make that admission. The Bill which has gone to the House of Lords, so far as I am aware, is not definitively disposed of; and until it has been definitively disposed of, I think it will be better not to state anything on the part of the Government, being unwilling to abandon the hope that the Bill may still be destined to pass during the present Session.

War Between France And Prussia—Blockade Of Baltic Ports


said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether, by virtue of the understanding come to among the Powers at Paris in 1856, on the conclusion of the War with Russia, cargoes of herrings or other British produce, not being munitions of war, proceeding in German vessels to Stettin or any other German or Prussian Port, will be secure against capture and confiscation; and, whether it is in his power to give any information as to the probability or otherwise of the establishment by the French of a blockade of German Ports in the Baltic, by which all traffic, whether conducted in English or in Foreign bottoms would be prevented?

said, in reply, that in order to avoid any mistake in a matter of so much importance, he would beg to refer his hon. Friend to the declaration already made on this subject, and to assure him that Her Majesty's Government will immediately publish any further information that they may receive in this matter. Although an enemy's ship was liable to capture, the cargo on board was not liable to confiscation; but the burden of proof would be on the owner of the cargo to show its innocence. With regard to the latter part of the Question, it was quite out of his power to give any information of that character, and he should think it very improbable that the Government of a belligerent Power would give the information his hon. Friend seemed to desire.

French Ships Of War In The Gambia


said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether in accordance with the Proclamation of Neutrality, the French ships of War have been requested to withdraw from the Gambia, or whether the advantages of that naval station are to be available for the naval forces of the belligerent Powers?

said, in reply, that he had received no information which led him to believe that there were any Frenchmen-of-war in the Gambia, but the instructions given to the Governors of all our Colonies desired them to prohibit all ships-of-war of either belligerent Power from making use of any port, or roadstead, or water in any of Her Majesty's Colonies or Foreign Possessions, and further authorized them to prevent any men-of-war of a belligerent Power from entering any port, roadstead, or water belonging to Her Majesty, either in the United Kingdom or Her Majesty's Colonies or Foreign Possessions. There was a French ship which went up the Gambia some few weeks ago, but he believed it was to assist some British subjects.

The Ecclesiastical Bills


said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, What course the Government intend to pursue with respect to the Union of Benefices Bill, the Sequestration of Benefices Bill, and the other Ecclesiastical Bills which have come down from the House of Lords?

said, in reply, that there were four Bills on ecclesiastical subjects, none of which were promoted by the Government, but all of which dealt with questions of considerable importance and required careful consideration—namely, the Resignation of Benefices Bill, the Union of Benefices Bill, the Sequestration Bill, and the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Bill. The first three of these could not be advantageously discussed at this period of the Session, and although it had been suggested that portions of these measures might be dropped, and the remainder proceeded with, he did not think such a mode of dealing with them would be satisfactory. The Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Bill, although lengthy, raised no question of controversy; and if his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), who had charge of it, were present, he would ask him to state what course he intended to pursue.

Parliament—Business Of The House

I have, Sir, to make the Motion which, I believe, is usual at this period of the Session—

"That To-morrow, and every succeeding Tuesday during the present Session, Orders of the Day have precedence of Notices of Motions, Government Orders of the Day having the priority."

Sir, I should be very sorry to appear for a moment to resist any Motion which, at this period of the Session, is not unusual. But we must remember that the Session is terminating under very critical circum stances, and that the effect of this Motion will be to give a monopoly—one which I do not grudge under ordinary circumstances—to the Government in the disposal of the time of the House. And as we have not yet received the important public Papers respecting the breaking of the peace of Europe which we had a right to expect, I think there ought to be an understanding as to the terms on which this Motion is assented to. If there should be a desire to express the opinion of Parliament with regard to those Papers when presented, or even to bring those Papers under the consideration of Parliament, I think the right hon. Gentleman, who asks us to give up our Tuesday mornings to the Government, should take care that the necessary opportunities are afforded for such a discussion.

Private Members, Sir, will still have Wednesdays and Friday evenings, on going into Committee of Supply. But I entirely agree in the justice of the demand made by the right hon. Gentleman, that if a desire exists—there may be such a desire, or there may not—to discuss the subjects contained in the Papers, which, I hope, will be in the hands of Members this evening, that desire should have an opportunity afforded for its gratification.

Resolved, That To-morrow, and every succeeding Tuesday during the present Session, Orders of the Day have precedence of Notices of Motions, Government Orders of the Day having the priority.—(Mr. Gladstone.)


Order for Committee read.

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

France And Prussia—Alleged Draft Treaty—Question

Sir, I thought it convenient, under circumstances which it is unnecessary for me to dwell upon, not to confine myself strictly to the limits of a Parliamentary Question in the matter which I wish to bring before the House. It is possible that the document to which I shall have to call attention may be contained in the Papers which are to be laid upon the Table, and may be accompanied with explanations. If the Papers about to be distributed among hon. Members contain that docu ment and a satisfactory explanation, my observations will be useless; but I am bound to say that if those Papers do not contain that document and a satisfactory explanation, they, perhaps, may merit the same epithet. I must say I regret very much that these Papers are not in our possession. No one feels justified, under ordinary circumstances, in hurrying a Government in the production of diplomatic documents; but—speaking, of course, with that want of knowledge which all but those in Office must be influenced by—I cannot understand that the awful events that have occurred, or are about to occur, in Europe, were preceded by any voluminous correspondence on the part of our Government with the belligerents, or with any other Powers. If not an official, we have a public declaration by the Minister most concerned in such matters—the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs—that about the time when this startling intelligence alarmed Europe—he having then just accepted the seals and being about to assume the duties of Secretary for Foreign Affairs—he was informed by the highest authority that the diplomatic atmosphere was never so serene, and that he had the advantage of acceding to Office under circumstances which would probably occasion him less anxiety than ever fell to the lot of a Minister of State. And, therefore, though one may be mistaken, it seems a natural inference that the correspondence which is to be laid on the Table is not of a very voluminous character. Then why has it not been produced? Weeks have elapsed—at least I believe this is the third week since the announcement of the present state of Europe was officially made. The Government were asked immediately for Papers. And I must say for myself that I was surprised that so great a delay occurred in their presentation. It appears to me that it would have been natural, and even agreeable to the feelings of any Ministry, in the position in which the right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues found themselves, to have lost not a moment in placing before Parliament the information, scanty but sincere, which it was in their power to give to us. However, the Papers, after a delay which is unaccountable under the circumstances as they occur to us, were presented and laid on the Table on Friday last, and I certainly was under the im pression that on Saturday morning they would be in the hands of every hon. Gentleman. So far as I know, that has been the custom with Papers presented by the Foreign Office. They are generally, if not Universally, printed, I believe, at the private press of that office, before they are presented; and accordingly there is nothing to prevent their being in the hands of Members on the following morning. I do not know whether any change has arisen in the administration of the Foreign Office with regard to matters of this kind, or whether the delay is attributable to motives of economy; but, if so, the House is, I think, entitled to information on the point. But even if we had to appeal to the resources of the private presses of the country, I am at a loss to conceive what could occasion this extraordinary delay. The Papers presented on Friday were naturally expected by Members of the House to be in their hands on Saturday, but this is now Monday, and no Papers are in our hands. It appears to me that, considering the awful issues that are at stake, some explanation should be offered by the Government with respect to this delay. That being the case, I have to address the House with the difficulty which must attend one who has no public documents to which he can refer. I have stated sincerely, and I think I have shown to the House, when questions of this importance have been before under consideration, that nothing would induce me to take any stop which would have for its principal object to embarrass the Government. But, although we are not desirous of embarrassing the Government, but would rather scrupulously avoid doing anything that would have that effect, we must recollect that there is a duty to perform to Parliament and the country. When the peace of Europe is broken, I think it is not unusual to expect that the Parliament of this country in due time, and as soon as possible, should learn the cause, and, at all events, if that is an expectation which we are justified in indulging, it has peculiar force when the Session is about to terminate, and when Members are about to disperse, when, under no circumstances, can our Sitting be much prolonged, and when, under ordinary circumstances, we cannot be re-assembled for a considerable period of time. It seems to me somewhat absurd that the peace of Europe should be broken on a scale so vast, and in a manner so threatening as the present, and that Parliament should really have no conception of the causes of such an event, and that Members, on going to their constituents, should, when asked any questions—as they always are in the autumn—be perfectly unacquainted with what has occurred, and be therefore unable to satisfy their justifiable political curiosity. And, Sir, it is the more desirable we should have some clear conception of the present state of affairs, because there are no want of alleged causes, and no want of statements made, and by persons of authority, but unfortunately they are all of a contradictory character. It is not for me for a moment to impugn the declaration made by a Minister of State in any country, or by individuals superior in station even to Ministers of State. I take it for granted that such persons are gentlemen influenced by a high spirit of honour, and actuated by a due sense of the grave responsibility that attends all their words and all their acts. I attribute the discordant statements that are made to the rapid and imperfect mode of communication which is the characteristic of the scientific age in which we live. But it is not a state of affairs that an English Parliament can find very satisfactory, to depend only upon broken telegrams of public declarations made by persons, however great or however distinguished may be their position. What we want are documents. And now, Sir, a document to-day has appeared, and respecting that document I wish to make inquiries of the right hon. Gentleman. That document appears in the form of a projected Treaty between Prussia and France. It involves considerable modifications of the present arrangements of Europe, and among other provisions it contemplates the military occupation, and finally the conquest, of the kingdom of Belgium by the Emperor of the French. Now, I do not know what may be the date of this projected Treaty, but it refers to a state of affairs which proves that the date cannot be a very remote one. I should like to know when this project was first proposed; and, if that was at some interval from the present day, whether it has come to the knowledge of Her Majesty's Government that it has been renewed? I need not touch upon the importance of accurate knowledge upon this subject to the Parliament of this country. I do not want to-night, indeed I entirely wish to avoid entering into, any discussion as to the merits of either of the belligerents in the war which may now, I am sorry to say, be described as having commenced. If the House thinks it its duty to come to some opinion upon it, I am sure it will not shrink from the fulfilment of that duty; but I am equally sure that it will not attempt to exercise its privilege of so doing without being in possession of the best information it can obtain, and without giving to it mature consisideration and thought. And I may be permitted to say, without at all adverting to the causes, the merits, or even the possible consequences, of the present struggle, that I think the policy which is indicated in this project of Treaty is one which this country has never approved and never can approve. I must say that I should look upon the extinction of the kingdom of Belgium as a calamity to Europe and an injury to this country, and I therefore trust that such an attempt will not be made; nor can I forget that, if such an attempt is made, the engagements into which the Soverign of this country has entered with respect to that kingdom will demand the gravest consideration not only of the Government, but of the House and the country. I will now take the liberty of making the inquiry of which I have given Notice to the right hon. Gentleman. I wish to know whether Her Majesty's Government can throw any light upon that project of Treaty which has been published this morning; whether they are in possession of information which may enable them to inform Parliament whether it indicates a policy which, in their opinion, may still influence the belligerents, or either of them; and whether they will give to the House such information as is in their power with respect to a subject which, I think I may venture to say, has occasioned great disquietude in the public mind?

I will first refer, Sir, to what has been said by the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the anxiety of the House—and a very natural anxiety, to be in possession of the Papers which may, more or less, serve to illustrate the origin of the present unhappy war. Of course, I need hardly remind the House that the simple fact of the outbreak of a great war in Europe does not by itself imply that it should be—should necessarily be, in the power of a Government, however much they may desire it, to obtain for themselves, or to place in the possession of the House of Commons, full information upon the subject. That must depend upon the degree in which they themselves have been made parties to any transactions connected with the outbreak of the war. So far as we were made parties to any of those transactions, we have the means and the disposition to afford every information, and I join the right hon. Gentleman in regretting that the Papers are not yet in the hands of Members. But I think he will find, when they are in his hands, that they contain information coming down actually to the day before, if not to the very day, when they were laid upon the Table of the House. Possibly, the right hon. Gentleman may think that the earlier part of the communications which preceded the final rapture might have been separated from those of later days; but I mentioned upon a former occasion that every effort was made on the part of the Government before presenting these Papers; but the rapidity of the whole transaction was extreme, and it was absolutely necessary, in conformity with usage and obvious motives of policy, that we should give opportunities of communication with our chief representatives abroad, a process which necessarily occupied some time. That is all I can say, and I can only express a hope that when the Papers are laid upon the Table of the House the right hon. Gentleman will see that they contain sufficient to support the statement I have ventured to make—that there has been no voluntary or needless delay on the part of the Government. Now, with regard to the document to which the right hon. Gentleman has more particularly referred, I regret to say that it is not in my power to give the House any information in reply to the detailed Questions of the right hon. Gentleman. I will make to him such answer as, in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, can properly be made under the circumstances. We, Sir, like others, have read the document to which the right hon. Gentleman refers, a document which deals with a sub- ject-matter of the deepest interest to us, and a subject the gravity of which the right hon. Gentleman has not in his remarks in the slightest degree overstated. That document, Sir, is of a nature to excite attention, and even astonishment. I can give no information to the right hon. Gentleman or to the House as to the mode in which it has come to be communicated to the world through The Times newspaper. From its character it may be deemed incredible, but it purports to be a proposal which has reached a certain stage of promise. Upon the actual contents of that document it is not at the present moment within the limits of my duty to offer any opinion. But I would venture to point out to the right hon. Gentleman what I think admits of no doubt whatever. We consider that the publication of such a Paper as this professed project of Treaty between France and Prussia, and for the objects set forth in it, must immediately draw forth from the spontaneous action of the two Governments concerned all the declarations that can be necessary for the fullest elucidation of the subject. They are not in our possession; but we have not a doubt that the next few days must place them at the command of the world. This is a very grave matter, and, therefore, I think I am not at liberty to enter upon it, and that no one can discuss it with any advantage after the present statement. The time must be close at hand when the surprise which generally must have been felt this morning will be cleared up, and cleared up effectually, by full information; and that being so, I think I shall best perform my duty by confining myself at this moment to these brief remarks, fully admitting that when the information shall be given the right hon. Gentleman and any other Member of this House will be perfectly in their right in addressing any questions they think fit to Her Majesty's Government.

Office Of Lord Privy Seal


said, he rose to move a Resolution as to the expediency of abolishing the sinecure Office of Lord Privy Seal. So long ago as the year 1831 Lord Durham, in giving evidence before a Parliamentary Committee on Public Salaries, recommended the suppression of that Office, or rather its amalgamation with the Office of Keeper of Signets, with so small a salary for the two combined Offices as would practically amount to the abolition of the Office of Privy Seal. In 1850 another Parliamentary Committee, one of great weight, reported in favour of the abolition of the Office and the transference of its duties to other Departments of the State. That Resolution, which was arrived at upon the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman now President of the Board of Trade, was carried by a large majority. It was not necessary for him to prove that the Office was a sinecure, because that had been admitted by Cabinet Ministers over and over again, even Mr. Pitt having said, when questioned on the subject, that where the Premier was a Peer the duty of the Lord Privy Seal was to sit near him in the House of Lords and keep off the moths. The Committee of 1850 examined several witnesses, among whom were Lord Halifax (who now held the Office), Lord Minto, Lord Palmerston, and Sir Robert Peel. What were the reasons why the recommendation of that Committee had not been acted on? The other night, when the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) asked a Question on the subject, the answer was, that both in 1859 and 1860 the opinions of the House had been taken upon it and a majority had declared against it. He believed, that as a matter of fact, the opinion of the House was taken only in 1860, when the present Chief Commissioner of Works brought the subject forward, and Sir George Cornewall Lewis then used the argument that it was not proper to raise the question as a matter of Supply, but that the opinion of the House should be taken on a regular Motion upon the point. Before the Committee of 1850 the present Prime Minister took the same strong line which he had done on a recent occasion, when he said that, in a Cabinet and Government constituted as ours, it was for the public advantage that we should not have anyone who held Office too heavily laden with the immediate duties of his Department. In 1851 the right hon. Gentleman who was now President of the Board of Trade, and Mr. Hume, brought the subject before the House, when a long discussion ensued, and the argument that it was necessary to have in the Cabinet persons not connected with departmental duties was stated in the clearest way. But, even admitting for the sake of argument, that it was necessary to have such advisers, it would be far better that their salaries should be paid to them as unofficial Members of the Cabinet. There were some Members of the Cabinet, such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who were overburdened with work, and some assistance might be necessary; but there were others with leisure enough to perform other duties than those of their own Departments. When so many reductions were being made by some Members of the Cabinet in the lower ranks of their Departments, it was not right that a sinecure Office like that of Privy Seal should be retained. When the Government were called to account for dismissing persons occupying humble positions in the Civil Service, their reply was that they were responsible to the taxpayers, and that their first duty was towards them. But if that was their position in regard to the lower Offices, why make a difference in the case of the higher ones, such as that of Lord Privy Seal? In the lower Offices the men were needed at a certain time, and then a break occurred, after which, however, they would be sure to be wanted again; yet durthe interval they were dismissed. But ing the duties of the Lord Privy Seal only came in periods of great pressure, and were not continuous but intermittent, and of no long duration. If the Government could reconcile their action in respect to the Office of Lord Privy Seal with the recommendation of the Committee of 1850, and with their sense of duty to the country, he feared there were others in the House who could not reconcile such a state of things with the pledges they had given to their constituents. The hon. Baronet concluded by moving his Resolution.

Amendment proposed,

To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House is of opinion that, with a view to the reduction of public expenditure, it is expedient that all unnecessary offices should be suppressed; and that at a time when reductions are being made in the lower appointments in the public service, it is fitting that the sinecure office of Lord Privy Seal should be abolished,"—(Sir Charles Dilke,)

—instead thereof.

said, he admitted that there was a primâ facie case made out, nor could he be at all surprised that, from time to time, the attention of Parliament should be directed to subjects like the present one; nay, it was very proper that that should be done. As he understood, an hon. Friend of his (Mr. Lambert) intended to ask next year for an inquiry into the higher Offices and their salaries, and without entering into the particular motive which governed the hon. Gentleman, on which he (Mr. Gladstone) would have a word to say if necessary—though he feared it would not advance his hon. Friend's views—he would say that the subject was one which ought to be brought under the notice of Parliament; and seemed it to him desirable to postpone the whole matter until that period. What his hon. Friend (Sir Charles Dilke) had urged—namely, that it would be preferable, if gentlemen were needed to assist the heads of overworked Departments, to pay them a salary, leaving them without any Office whatever, was worthy of consideration, though he did not agree with his hon. Friend. However, his object now was to point out that some supply or other was really requisite for the efficient discharge of Public Business over and above that which could be fully met by those immediately connected with the various Departments. It was not possible to exaggerate the importance of what he might call the non-departmental work of the Government, and if men had their minds full of departmental subjects, it would not be possible for them to give that disengaged and concentrated attention to the work which was so absolutely necessary. This non-departmental business arose in various forms. Sometimes it arose in the form of Bills intended to be introduced into Parliament which might be in the charge of a particular Department, but which might be of such magnitude as to require the concentration upon them of many minds. Such a Bill was that dealing with land tenure in Ireland, to which the Chief Secretary for Ireland applied himself with his great ability and wide knowledge of the subject, but which was too vast to be dealt with by any one Department. He (Mr. Gladstone) spent a full half of his Recess upon it; but neither his right hon. Friend nor himself would of themselves be equal to the construction of such a measure, and it was absolutely necessary they should receive assistance from others not so absorbed by the business of Departments. His noble Friend who was then Lord Privy Seal (the Earl of Kimberley), but who now filled an Office very much worthier of his abilities, gave them the most valuable aid. Again, it was a standing practice with all Cabinets in which he had sat to appoint Committees. On these Committees it was impossible, as a general rule, for the heads of the most laborious Departments to serve; and, in order to strengthen them, it was necessary that there should be on them one or two Members of the Government who were little employed in other duties, thus enabling the subjects these Committees might have to consider to be vigorously grappled with from time to time. Then, taking legislation in the House of Lords, where they had six Members of the Government, four of these — the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Lord Chancellor, and the Secretary of State for India—were all hard-worked Officers of State, who were unable to take charge of all the legislation to be conducted through the House of Lords; the fifth was the President of the Council, who could devote time for this important purpose. Now, it was only to-day he had been asked whether, considering the immense pressure of the duties which would devolve upon the Office under the Elementary Education Bill, it would not be necessary to effect a separation of Offices in the Department of the Privy Council in order to relieve that Department from a great portion of its duties, so as to enable those duties to be efficiently discharged. The Lord Privy Seal was now the only Adviser of the Crown in the House of Lords to whom, as a general rule, they could look for the conduct of measures not connected with particular Departments. The hon. Baronet (Sir Charles Dilke) said they had effected reductions in the lower officers, who were dismissed in an interval of repose, only to be re-employed again when the demand for their services arose. He hoped his hon. Friend would not make the point that the Members of the Government should be dismissed at the commencement of their holidays. His hon. Friend said that the Lord Privy Seal had duties only occasionally; but he (Mr. Gladstone) contended that the Lord Privy Seal in an active Government, and when Parliament was in a state of great vivacity, was for nine months of the year a hard-worked officer, because between the end of October—about which time the Cabinet Councils commenced—and the beginning of February, he would usually be employed in considering the measures of the coming Session, and then when Parliament met he was actively employed till the Prorogation. What he (Mr. Gladstone) hoped was, that if his hon. Friend was disposed to prosecute this subject, he would not confine his attention to the Office of Lord Privy Seal, but take a broader view of the matter, and bring together the duties to be done, and the strength appointed to do them; and thus they would be able to arrive at a fair conclusion on the whole question. He must say the Government did not shrink at all from comparison with the lower Officers as to the amount of work they got through, nor were the reductions made such as to render their own Offices comparative sinecures. He thought it was quite right that the subject should be brought before the House, as it would be very unfortunate if it went abroad that they were disposed to show a favour to the great Officers of State which they would not, and had not, extended to the poorer ones. He had himself already that day admitted that it was quite possible, if the Education Bill happily passed into law, that when they came to watch the development of the great machinery of that measure, it might be necessary to re-organize the Privy Council Office, and perhaps they might be able, without burdening the State, to do something in the way of re-adjustment, though he thought that must be done upon a consideration not of one isolated Office alone, but of various Offices in conjunction. What he had said was, perhaps, sufficient to show that there would be, on the part of the Government, a disposition to give a fair consideration to the whole subject; and, in conclusion, he would suggest that it would be well to adjourn the further consideration of the matter until the House was disposed to think that a more comprehensive view might be taken, and a thorough inquiry made into the general provision for the discharge of executive duties, and the comparative amount and weight of those duties. At the same time, he was thank ful to the hon. Baronet who had raised the question.

said, he was glad that Her Majesty's Government had expressed themselves disposed to reconsider the various Departments. He had a Notice on the Paper relating to that subject. His own view was, that it would be best for the English people to work the Departments by Boards.

said, he agreed in an opinion once expressed by Lord Brougham when in that House, that Boards were nothing more than screens. He did not approve of Boards; but, at the same time, he would not be any party to taking away from the overworked Members of the Cabinet the assistance which they already possessed. The hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) must admit, if he looked at the row of faces on the Treasury Bench, and observed their complexions and appearance, that the heads of the great Departments of State were very much overworked. The tendency of this overwork was to make the Government of this country one of Departments merely, for it deprived heads of Departments of the leisure they required for thought, deliberation, and consultation, especially in critical times like these. To abolish the Office of Privy Seal would be to deprive the head of the Government not of the opportunity of giving a place to a supporter, but of the opportunity of enlisting the assistance of a man of experience in the conduct of public affairs, and of one whose freedom from official duties would leave him free to give the assistance that might be required, while his strength might not be equal to the labours of an exigent Department. If the Motion of the hon. Baronet were carried it might dam up the public service very considerably by throwing additional work upon heads of Departments, who had now too much to do, and therefore, in the event of a Division, he should join the Government in resisting the Motion.

said, he did not think a case had been made out for the abolition of the Office of Privy Seal. He agreed that all unnecessary Offices should be suppressed; but he thought the House would unanimously agree that this was not an unnecessary Office. The Mover of the Motion ought to have gone further, and said that all necessary Offices should be put upon a proper footing. A Fourth Lord of the Treasury without salary was in an invidious position, and his Colleagues who were paid were also placed in an invidious position by the fact that one of their number was not paid. Another semi-amateur official was the unpaid Ecclesiastical Commissioner who sat in the House, in addition to the one who was paid. If Offices were considered necessary, those who held them ought to be properly paid. It was beneath a country like this to accept the services of unpaid volunteers, and such services were often regarded with suspicion.

said, he thought that the hon. Baronet (Sir Charles Dilke) had been scarcely well treated by the House, as his Motion only carried out practically the recommendation of a Select Committee, upon which a Member of the present Cabinet (Mr. Bright) sat, and to the conclusions of which he had given his assent. Nothing had been said to alter the view taken by the Committee that the Lord Privy Seal had very little to do, and it was impossible to maintain that a Cabinet Minister sitting in the House of Lords had work to do anything like so hard as one sitting in the House of Commons; at all events, in the case of the former he must have comparatively much leisure. Hon. Members must not deceive themselves by putting the Lord Privy Seal in the same category with the First Minister of the Crown, who, indeed, was overworked. But why was it that those two Offices—the President of the Council and the Lord Privy Seal—were always held by Peers? Why were Members of the House of Commons precluded from them, and from thus accepting a share of the labour that devolved on the Ministry in that House? He agreed so far with the President of the Board of Trade that he should vote for the Motion, of which by anticipation that right hon. Gentleman had approved.

said, that having had the honour of being Chairman of the Committee to which reference had been made, he did not wish to give a vote without offering a word of explanation. He quite agreed that not only the salaries in the Office of the Lord Privy Seal exceeded the duties to be discharged, but the Office might be entirely dispensed with. But he con- fessed that he agreed with, his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) that, owing to the mode in which the Government work was carried on, it would better to take the whole question first into consideration, with a view to a redistribution of duties and responsibilities. Since the Committee sat he (Colonel Wilson-Patten) had watched very carefully the way work in the Cabinet was performed, and he was bound to say he had seen occasions in which it would have been quite impossible that the Cabinet could perform their duties without the assistance of a few men with leisure. He had occupied an Office in the Government to which, there were no very important duties attached—that of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; but during the time he filled the Office the Home Secretary was so overworked that he had to perform duties which, in strictness, did not appertain to him, and especially he had to attend to the question of local taxation when it came tip. The chief work of the first Reform Bill fell upon Lord Durham, who held one of these Offices. [Mr. GLADSTONE: And Lord Russell was Paymaster.] He, therefore, would suggest that the hon. Baronet (Sir Charles Dilke) should wait until the whole matter could be dealt with; and his belief was that if these two Offices were abolished now others must be created in their place. He would, therefore, vote in favour of the Government at the present moment.

said, he had not heard anything advanced to induce him not to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Chelsea. His hon. Friend did not wish to deprive the Cabinet of whatever assistance was necessary; he only objected to the maintenance of a sinecure Office.

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

The House divided:—Ayes 170; Noes 60: Majority 110.

Roehampton Gate—Observations

said, he rose to call attention to the fact of Roehampton Gate being closed to the public, owing to a dispute between the Government and the owner of the road leading to it, and to urge upon the First Commissioner of Works the neces- sity of having the gate opened, in order that access through it to Richmond Park might be obtained by the inhabitants of London. Efforts had been made by successive First Commissioners of Works to have the gate thrown open, but without success; and the only result of the negotiations was to have the road closed absolutely not only to the public, but to the carriages of the Queen and Royal Family, who formerly enjoyed the privilege of driving through the gate. His opinion was that both the owner of the road leading to the gate and the Government had been wrong in their negotiations, and the public had consequently been the sufferer. Were the First Commissioner of Works, however, now to bestir himself in the matter, he believed a satisfactory result would be obtained. He contended that as the Government, by having offered to pay £2,000 to the lady who now owned the adjacent lanes, had shown their willingness to purchase them, a fair price ought to be ascertained and the matter settled by the Government giving the full value for the whole property, including the two private roads, whatever the value might be, recouping themselves by the increased value which would be thus given to the portions for building purposes. He was given to understand that all that the owner of the approaches to this gate—who had hitherto maintained the roads at her own expense—wanted was a fair price for her ground, and that if this were given the public would obtain the right to use Roehampton Gate as an entrance to Richmond Park. Should it ultimately turn out, however, that the lady refused to give up the road at a fair valuation, it was the duty of the Government to introduce a Bill asking compulsory powers to take the road. Had he not been precluded by the forms of the House from taking a Division upon the subject he would have moved a Resolution, but, as it was, he would very strongly urge upon the Government the necessity of taking immediate steps to have the Gate opened.

National Gallery—Observations

said, that as the First Commissioner of Works was precluded, by the forms of the House, from speaking twice, he begged to call attention to the Question which stood in his name upon the Notice Paper before that right hon. Gentleman rose to reply. Last year he (Mr. B. Hope) moved for and obtained copies of certain correspondence that had passed between Her Majesty's Office of Works and the architect of the new National Gallery. This year he moved for other correspondence in continuance of that of the previous year; but, when he obtained it, he found to his surprise that one-half of the documents he had a right to expect did not appear, and that much of what was printed had nothing whatever to do with the subject to which the correspondence referred. The Government had made him a present of documents for which he did not ask, and which were calculated to confuse the question. His Motion was for a continuation of a correspondence between the Office of Works and the architect of the new National Gallery, who was appointed on the 16th of June, 1868, by the noble Lord the Member for North Leicestershire (Lord John Manners). During the previous year, while the same noble Lord was at the head of the Department, a competition, originated by the right hon. Member for South Hampshire, took place between architects with regard to the National Gallery, and the Judges reported that, while none of the designs as they stood "were such as would be recommended for adoption," the one for a new gallery by Mr. E. M. Barry, and the one for an adaptation of the present one by Mr. Murray, "respectively exhibited the greatest amount of architectural merit." In consequence of this recommendation, and considering that the partial failure was due to the incompleteness of the instructions given to the competitors, Mr. Barry was appointed in 1868 as architect of the new National Gallery—not to carry out his competition design, but to make a new one. This was the beginning of a new era; and yet the First Commissioner had appended to the Return copies not of Mr. Barry's competition plan, but merely of its façade, and also of that of Mr. Murray's adaptation, while on the face of each was printed the passage he had quoted from the Judges' Report, which, standing as it thus did alone, carried on its face a perfectly unwarranted appearance of depreciation, both of Mr. Barry and of his fellow-competitors. A pamphlet with illustrations by Mr. Layard, incidentally referred to in the correspondence, was also given; but of that he did not complain. He was bound, however, to make a protest, when he only obtained half of the Papers he moved for, and was put off with documents which only tended to complicate a question already sufficiently entangled. It was clear that a stranger who knew nothing of the progress of the whole affair, and of Mr. Barry's present position, but who came unprepared upon Mr. Barry's and Mr. Murray's designs and the accompanying Report, would think that the whole matter was still in uncertainty, and not — as was the fact—settled, and only waiting for the word of order to proceed. He complained of the colour which the unusual procedure of the First Commissioner was calculated to give to the affair. Having thus established his complaint, he wished to ask what was the present state of the case in relation to the National Gallery, and whether it was likely that one or two blocks would be built on the ground already purchased at the back, so that our pictures might be housed safely and in a creditable manner, leaving the building in front to be dealt with at some future time?

said, reverting to the subject of the Roehampton Gate, he must repeat the complaints of the hon. Alderman (Alderman Lawrence). Access to Richmond Park by way of Roehampton Gate would be a great convenience to the inhabitants of the metropolis. He regretted that the subject had been re-opened; but the difficulty would be solved if the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ayrton) would bring in a Bill to buy up the private roads and land in question.

said, the wall of Richmond Park abutted upon the estate of a lady owning considerable property in the locality. Two private roads had been made through the estate, and they converged at one point on the wall of the Park. The administration of the Park had made a gate at the point of convergence, and by an interchange of courtesies, the lady was allowed to enter the Park from these roads, and members of the Royal Family passed over them from the Park to the public highway. This permission was extended from time to time to persons occupying lodges in Richmond Park, or residing in the immediate neighbourhood, and whose names were registered in a book kept for that purpose. Some time ago a desire was ex pressed to convert these private roads into public thoroughfares, and, negotiations being entered into, the Treasury sanctioned the payment of £2,000. In doing so they made a great concession, inasmuch as it did not necessarily come within their functions to make public roads for the convenience of the inhabitants of the metropolis; and it was only the circumstance of its being connected with the Royal access to the Park that made it reasonable to comply even with so small a request. A demand, however, was made for a larger sum, and it then became the duty of his predecessor (Mr. Layard) to consider whether the Government should make public roads while the local authorities stood by with folded hands. No offer having been made to contribute towards the undertaking, either out of the local funds or out of the general metropolitan funds, the matter was allowed to drop. As had been mentioned, some personal questions were raised, and he stated that he was prepared on the part of his Office to tender an apology. A dispute afterwards occurred as to whether he had offered an apology, and he then stated that if requisite he would make an apology again in any reasonable terms. Therefore there could not be any doubt as to his willingness to remove anything which was disagreeable to the feelings of the lady in question. He had heard nothing more since that time, and he was not aware of their being any prospect of successful negotiations. The hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Alderman Lawrence) proposed that the Crown should buy the whole property; but his Department could not engage in speculations of that kind. Probably, if the hon. Member could satisfy the Commissioners of Woods and Forests that this estate, which was now in the market, would be a profitable investment for any funds they might have in hand, they would be ready to consider the scheme. For his own part, all he could say was that if any proposition was made to his Department, coming within the terms previously sanctioned by the Treasury, it would be his duty to consider it; and, in fact, he should be happy to do all in his power to aid in the formation of a public carriage road into the Park. But it was not for him to bring in a Private Bill; the local authorities could pursue that course if they thought fit. He had done all he could in the matter so far by making arrangements, with the approval of the Government, for providing a footpath to give uninterrupted access to the Park to the million, who could not go to the Park in carriages. He would now proceed to the question raised by the hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope). He could assure the hon. Member that there had been an entire misunderstanding as to his wishes. The Department had been under the impression that he wished for a continuation of the Papers relating to the construction of the building, and not of the correspondence with regard to the remuneration of the architect. But there would be no objection to the production of the additional Papers which he desired to have. The hon. Member had taken advantage of certain omissions to comment upon the explanatory Papers he had received, and to the publication of which he objected. It was only right, however, that Papers should be laid on the Table in such a form as would enable the House to understand the question to which they bore reference. The first of these Papers was Mr. Barry's Report, in which allusion was made to Mr. Layard's document. As he could not comprehend the Report without that explanatory document, he thought he was justified in assuming that no hon. Member could understand the one without the other, and therefore Mr. Layard's pamphlet was added to the Return. The drawings, and Mr. Murray's elevation were also added for similar reasons. His desire had been to afford such information as that the plan might be intelligible to hon. Members who had not sat in a former Parliament as well as in this.

said, that, as a question had been raised by the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Beresford Hope), I with respect to the National Gallery, he had to say that the Government, owing to recent changes, and the practical advice they had received from the Board of Works, had come to the conclusion that it would be possible this Session to take a step in the direction indicated, and a Supplementary Estimate for that purpose would be laid on the Table in a few days. He hoped that, with a moderate sum, they would be able to accomplish all that might be required for a considerable time. He was glad to find they could now take a step which at one period of the Session he had stated, in answer to a Question of the hon. Member, he despaired of.

said, that when he had the direction of this matter he considered that the question was between the erection of an entirely new building and the patching up of the old one. What he had instructed Mr. Barry to do was to prepare a plan for a new Gallery in the ordinary sense of the term.

South Africa—Transvaal Republic And Orange Free State


said, he rose to call attention to the relations between the Cape Colony and the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. His hon. Friend the Member for Northampton had had a Notice in regard to the Basutos, and he therefore should leave that question, confining himself to expressing his hearty sympathy with the views of his hon. Friend on that subject. The Papers which had been laid on the Table of the House on this subject showed that the statements of the horrors of slavery carried on in the Transvaal territory, which he submitted to the House last Session, were not exaggerated. The most horrible cruelties were perpetrated. He believed that 6,000 orphan children were being held in slavery. The Governor of Natal wrote that 3,000 native children were annually apprenticed, and apprenticeship was only another word for slavery. He had letters before him which led to the belief that such a state of things continued up to the present moment. When the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War was at the Colonial Office he expressed his opinion of the enormity of the state of things which then existed, and all hon. Members who had considered this subject would come to the conclusion that the conduct of the Transvaal Republic was disgraceful to a nominally Christian and civilized country. As regarded the future of South Africa, it was said to be the object of the rulers of that State to consolidate South Africa into a large Republic, of which the Orange River; Free State should form the principal part. For himself he should be glad to see the European population of South Africa consolidated into a Confederation after the example of that which had been so successfully inaugurated in Canada and the adjacent countries. That, he believed, would supply the best means of meeting the difficulty. He had heard with regret that it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to withdraw the Imperial troops from the Cape. He looked upon it as a policy not unattended with risk, for it must be remembered that there was a large Dutch population to be dealt with, on whose part there was not to be expected the same feeling of loyalty to the British Crown as existed among the population of British origin.

said, that he had placed a Notice on the Paper relating to the question, but he had forborne to press it on account of the late period of the Session at which they had arrived. He, however, thought they were all agreed as to the importance of the question. A relative of his who had recently returned from South Africa informed him that slavery in South Africa was not only not put a stop to, but was actually increasing, and that it was a very common thing to find a family of Transvaal Boers served by slaves kidnapped in violation of the Treaty between Her Majesty's Government and the Boers. He should like to raise the question as to how far it was the right of a Colonial Government and the Colonial Office to alienate British territory, as they had done in the case of the land of the Basutos, without the knowledge and consent of this country. He considered that the Parliament of England should be the ultimate arbiter in this matter.

said, he concurred in the views just expressed by the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Gilpin). He greatly disapproved of the Treaty made by Sir Philip Wodehouse as being unjust. The Basutos were guaranteed as much as any nation could be the possession of their land; they trusted to the Government for redress and no redress had been given. He was sorry that Government had not soon their way to suspending Sir Philip Wodehouse.

said, there could be no doubt that the statement which had been made by his hon. Friend (Mr. R. N. Fowler) with regard to slavery was in no degree exaggerated. Native children called orphans, and perhaps made orphans by the murder of their parents, were registered as apprentices for 21 years, and during that time they were sold from hand to hand as a marketable commodity. On account of the gross breach of the Treaty between this country and the Transvaal State Her Majesty's Government had considered that Convention no longer binding which placed restrictions on supplying the Natives with arms. We now gave the Natives the same facilities for acquiring arms and ammunition as the Boers, and as far as that went the means of defending themselves against aggression. It was a notorious fact with regard to the Zulus, that while they cultivated their land, and had herds up to the very borders of our territory, they kept a district uncultivated on the side of the Free State, as they desired to have some notice before the approach of the enemy. Our conduct in Natal and the other districts had been such as to give us considerable moral influence, and he trusted that influence would in the end be sufficient to overbear the cruelties of the Boers. He did not sympathize with the hon. Member in his regret for the loss of the Orange territory, and he did not think that there would be many Members of that House who would sympathize with the hon. Member. His right hon. Friend the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington) stated some time ago that to maintain it we should have been obliged to keep on foot a force of 2,000 foot and 500 cavalry, and it was idle to suppose that the people of this country would have borne such an expense for that object. With regard to the observations of his hon. Friends, the Member for Northampton (Mr. Gilpin) and Perth (Mr. Kinnaird), as to the Basutos, the facts were that the Basutos when conquered by the Boers entreated the British Government to take them under its protection, and Sir Philip Wodehouse, in order to rescue them from destruction, proclaimed the Basutos to be British subjects, distinctly stating, however, that the question of boundary was one which he entirely reserved for future consideration. There was, no doubt, much good land which the Basutos had been compelled to give up, but Sir Philip Wodehouse recovered for them from the Boers, by pacific means, a large amount of land, sufficient for their support, and they were deeply grateful for the advantages secured to them by his interposition.

Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

Supply—Civil Service Estimates

SUPPLY— considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

(1.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10,170, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Buildings of the Houses of Parliament."

said, he had to ask the Committee to vote the sum of £10,170 as a Supplementary Estimate for the amount required for the buildings connected with the Houses of Parliament. The purpose for which it was proposed that this money should be spent was for the convenience of hon. Members in the discharge of their duty while attending that House. That subject had long engaged attention in successive Parliaments. In 1863 the Committee annually appointed to watch over the refreshment department of the House made a Report calling attention to the insufficient accommodation afforded by the existing refreshment-rooms, and recommended a plan which had been brought under their notice by Mr. Barry for pulling down the side wall of the present refreshment-rooms, and thus making them broader and more commodious. Towards the end of the Session that Report was brought under the consideration of the House by the Chairman of the Committee, and somewhat discussed; and he himself took the liberty of condemning that proposal as very unsatisfactory, and suggested that a better arrangement would be to make two or three of the rooms, forming part of the magnificent range in front of the river available, for the refreshment department of the House. Practically, the conference-room had ceased to be used for its original purpose, and he suggested that it should be regarded as the centre of operations; but the scheme was virtually negatived by public opinion. In 1867 a plan was brought under the notice of the Refreshment-room Committee, as he learnt from the record of their proceedings, but the plan was not to be found in the Office. Next year a Committee was appointed to consider the subject, and Mr. Barry submitted to the Committee plans which would have cost £24,000, and which the Committee rejected as unsatisfactory. Again, last year his predecessor (Mr. Layard) submitted plans to a Committee, which was not satisfied with them; and thus it happened that when he entered Office there were no plans before the House which met with general approbation. He first set himself to inquire what were the real wants and wishes of hon. Members, and then considered the most likely way of meeting them. He arrived at the conclusion that it was desirable that the conference-room and the adjoining room should be appropriated as the principal refreshment-room, and that the present refreshment-room should be made available as a tea-room and a newspaper-room—by which means would be concentrated under one roof on the left-hand side of the House the rooms set apart for Members exclusively, which they could have access to without passing through a public lobby—and that the rooms on the right-hand side of the House should be made available for more public use, and apartments should be provided in which Members might see their friends with more convenience than was at present possible. In this way he would draw a clear line of demarcation between the parts of the House that were private and those that were accessible to the public. At the same time, he concluded that, if it were possible to avoid it, no part of the permanent structure of the building ought to be pulled down. Submitting these views to intelligent officers of the Department, skilled in adapting public buildings to the wants of the day, he received plans showing how the desired changes could be made by simply pulling down party walls. That scheme he asked the House to refer to a Select Committee, which was done; and as the House of Lords had some claims on the conference-room, he communicated with the Committee of the Black Rod. That Committee desired that a room should be substituted for the conference-room, and that there should be a communication between the Lords' committee-rooms and the Commons' com- mittee-rooms. Against the latter proposal he felt it to be his duty to protest, on the grounds of interference with the structure of the building, and with the convenience of hon. Members hurrying along the corridors to the House, as they were often called upon to do. The Committee of this House unanimously approved the scheme, and expressed no opinion on what concerned the House of Lords. Instead of requiring a new room in lieu of the conference-room the Committee of the Black Rod might have been content to take advantage of the enormous accommodation to be found in the House, but the Lords were entitled to express a judgment, and they insisted upon having a new room; and all he had to do was to submit the matter to the Government, who entered into communication with the Committee of the Black Rod. The result was, it was agreed that a new committee-room, should be erected, though not in such a way as to interfere injuriously with the structure of the building; and the Committee of the Black Rod made a Report adopting the plans which had been submitted to this House. He had suggested that there should be, what everyone desired, a joint service in respect to the refreshment-rooms for both Houses, which should consist of three rooms; but the Lords declined to participate in that arrangement, and determined to continue the occupation of their separate refreshment-room, although, singularly enough, they had made a Report on the kitchen arrangements of the House of Commons. But, inasmuch as the Report was based on a not very accurate knowledge of the facts of the case, it was not necessary to refer more particularly to it. With respect to other matters they were of a comparatively minor kind, and were arranged on the same principle of not making any serious inroad on the permanent structure. An additional room now used for another purpose would be appropriated for providing additional accommodation in connection with the Ladies' Gallery, which would prevent the ladies visiting the House being so cramped as at present. A refreshment-room would be provided for the reporters by appropriating a portion of the building not used for any other purpose. Those gentlemen were at present subjected to great inconvenience and annoyance, being obliged to take their refreshments in a small and inconvenient room, in which they had to carry on their very useful duties. It was also proposed that there should be a better access to the strangers' refreshment-room. A sum of money was asked for in order to complete the arrangements of the iron gates at the landing-place at the north end of the building, the arrangement at the steps leading from Westminster Bridge to the arcade, and for altering the windows at the end of the division lobbies of the House of Commons, in order to meet the complaints of want of air which some hon. Gentlemen had made with regard to those lobbies. Another proposal was to make an alteration in one of the windows of the smoking-room. There was felt to be great inconvenience in having windows out of which no one could look on sitting down. It was, therefore, proposed to alter the central window of the smoking-room; and, if that experiment succeeded, it might be repeated on the other windows. He hoped, for the sake of the general convenience which the arrangements would effect, the Committee would not object to the Vote. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving that a sum of £10,170 be granted for the purposes he had mentioned.

said, he rose to move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £7,000 odd. He felt bound, after the extraordinary statements made by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, to traverse some of the allegations contained in that statement. The right hon. Gentleman had always been known as the possessor of a strong imagination; but he had now taken a very high flight, and asserted himself to be the entire inventor of this plan for the improvement of the Houses of Parliament. According to his own statement, the right hon. Gentleman himself had done everything, Mr. Barry nothing; but that assertion had no foundation in fact. No doubt, Mr. Barry did, in 1863, suggest a plan for enlarging the refreshment-room by altering the walls of the present structure; but that plan was not adopted, and Mr. Barry afterwards maintained the best plan would be to secure the conference-room and the tea-room for the purpose. There could be no doubt that the plan, as ultimately presented to the House, was entirely Mr. Barry's, and was part of the plan which was laid before the Committee of the right hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Headlam), in 1867. In all the proceedings of that Committee, and in the correspondence which took place upon it, the plan was recognized and acknowledged as Mr. Barry's; and he could not understand how the right hon. Gentleman could now calmly appropriate it in this way, without one word of acknowledgment to its real author. It was preposterous to say that, because, some years ago, the right hon. Gentleman had made a similar suggestion, therefore the whole merit of the plan belonged to him. The contrary of his statement was proved by the Kitchen Committee of 1867, who reported as follows:—

"Mr. Barry has now suggested a plan for improving the accommodation by converting the present conference and adjoining rooms into a large dining-room for both Houses of Parliament, in lieu of the present separate dining-rooms; and they are of opinion that this plan is preferable to any yet produced before your Committees."
In 1868 Mr. Barry was instructed to prepare a plan in accordance with this Report, and the proposal for the dining-room on the ground-floor was the result of the objection on the part of the House of Lords to give up the conference-room, which objection of course rendered a new arrangement necessary. But Mr. Barry met this objection by proposing to give the Lords a new room in the space beyond the lower waiting-hall, which the Commissioner of Works now intended to take, and this plan was approved by the Lords' Committee last year and also by the Kitchen Committee of the Commons, who, on the 12th May, 1869, reported that—
"They saw with satisfaction that in the new plans of Mr. Barry it is proposed to adopt the original proposition of converting the present tearoom and conference-room into dining-rooms."
In July, 1869, Mr. Barry, by the direction of the Lords' Committee, sent a plan and also a letter to the Office of Works. He (Mr. Bentinck) had moved for these documents; but the letter was not forthcoming, as it fully established the facts he alleged, though no one could dispute their accuracy. On the 9th of August the Commons' Committee appointed to consider "a joint service for both Houses," reported. Mr. Barry was examined before that Committee, and as he had received insufficient instruction, he was only able to say that the covering estimate for the whole work would be about £22,000; but then it must be remembered that this estimate comprised more than double the works now contemplated—a fact carefully concealed from the House by the First Commissioner; and nothing could be more unfair than to say that the Commons' Committee of last year decided the plans to be unsatisfactory, because their Report merely stated that they were not prepared to recommend to the House that so considerable an outlay should be made at once, but thought the subject should be deferred until next year. Mr. Barry continued to be recognized as architect during Mr. Layard's tenure of office; but the instant the right hon. Gentleman succeeded he reversed the policy of all his predecessors, and put into practice the fixed idea which possessed him that the worst man to be employed in these works was the man who knew what he was about. The right hon. Gentleman replied upon the Report of the Committee of May last upon his plan; but this Report was wholly defective for want of evidence. Two witnesses only were called, and they were both officials of the Office of Works. Mr. Barry was not summoned, or he would have shown how his plan had been stolen, how his estimates had been grossly misrepresented, how he could have done the present work for £6,000, and also the patent defects of the First Commissioner's plan. But the right hon. Gentleman had made a most egregious blunder by not examining before the Committee a single witness connected with a refreshment department, either there or in any other place, or who knew how to serve a dinner, and the result was that no satisfactory kitchen service could by any possibility take place under the proposed arrangements, and it was manifest that the subject required reconsideration. The Reports of the Committees of the House of Lords of this Session advocated and confirmed all his (Mr. Bentinck's) objections; and, though the Lords had agreed to accept the new conference - room, they had not withdrawn anyone of their unanswerable objections to the scheme. But if common sense and expediency did not demand the employment of Mr. Barry, the Government were bound to this by their own declaration. On the 13th of May, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had expressed an opinion that Mr. Barry ought to be employed on architectural works in the House; and how could he retreat from that position with honour in the case in point, where main architectural features of the House were proposed to be obliterated and altered. The architectural objections to this scheme were: — 1st, that the lower waiting hall would be entirely destroyed in effect by cutting off the branch which intersected the corridor; 2nd, that the continuity of the corridor, one of the main principles of the building, would be permanently interrupted; 3rd, that the new conference-room, which was to be architectural in character, was supported upon columns in the court below, carrying a projection of above 11 feet, and darkening all the rooms below. It was manifest that such works could not be properly executed by obscure clerks, but only by a competent architect. The practical objections were, if possible, even more serious. The kitchen was small, and ill ventilated; and it was impossible the kitchen service could be carried out, the kitchen being only 90 feet from the serving-room, which, according to the testimony of the managers of two of the largest clubs in London, would render it impossible to dine 50 or 60 gentlemen who might rush in for dinner on a busy night. The place where the dinners would all be brought up he proposed to construct out of an elaborate Gothic porch, which would bring all the dinners of the House into a place where there was neither light nor air, the effect of which would certainly be to create unpleasant odours and intense heat. Then he proposed that the bar should protrude into the room itself. But it was impossible to have wines and liquors served properly in such a place, because there was no air, and the heat would be too great. A place for wines had been entirely forgotten. Now, it was absolutely necessary, where wines might be called for in a hurry, to have the place in which they were kept on the same floor as the dining-room. Apart entirely from æsthetics, this plan would not do. The best thing for his right hon. Friend to do would be to leave out the item, and let the matter be considered next year. The so-called Liberal party invariably had an official to "meddle and to muddle." Lord Russell used to fulfil this function; but the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ayrton) had taken his place with great aptitude and effect. He begged to move the omission of the Vote, in order that the question of rearrangement of the refreshment-rooms should be more fully considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Item of £7,160, for the Re-arrangement of the Refreshment Department, and for Alterations connected therewith, on the Basement and Principal Floors, and for the Erection of a Committee Room for the use of the House of Lords, with Entrances thereto from the Peers Corridors, he omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Bentinck.)

said, the Motion raised two questions—the treatment which had been dealt out to Mr. Barry, and the increased accommodation the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ayrton) proposed to give to the House by his present plan. He (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) had a very slight acquaintance with Mr. Barry, and was, generally speaking, no great admirer of the architecture of the Houses of Parliament; but he (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) must say that although the building did not please him, it was yet a great work, and he could not help thinking that the son of the architect had been treated with something like ingratitude. The right hon. Gentleman had certainly not treated Mr. Barry properly, for he practically took his plan, and after the manner of gipsies who kidnapped children, defaced it in order that it should not be known. He (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) contended that Mr. Barry had great cause of complaint in being removed from his position; for though he had only about £180 a year for giving advice, he had the satisfaction of feeling that he was associated with the Houses of Parliament which his father had built, and he regarded his position as a testimony of respect to the memory of his father. All these matters should not be looked at exclusively from a money point of view; but the right hon. Gentleman had no sympathy with such feelings. His hon. Friend (Mr. Bentinck) had referred to a Committee on which he (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) sat in 1868. That Committee recommended that a large amount should be spent on rearranging the House, and for £130,000 they would have had a place worthy of the House of Commons. But no, they would go on in the old way, squandering money by false economy, and he believed that the course which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to adopt would show once more how easy it was to dribble away large sums of public money by false economy, to the inconvenience and disappointment of all concerned. It was the case of the Serpentine over again. As his hon. Friend (Mr. Bentinck) had said, they were about to bring all their cooking in where there would be no ventilation, and the continuity of corridor would be broken; and he believed if the plan, which was a thoroughly bad one, was carried out, they would have the smell of cooking all over the House.

said, he regretted that his right hon. Friend (Mr. Ayrton) had unnecessarily introduced the name of Mr. Barry into the discussion, and compared his own skill in architecture with that of the son of the builder of that house. So far as the plan was Mr. Barry's it was good, and wherein it differed it was wrong. It seemed to him (Mr. Cowper-Temple) especially faulty in the distance between the kitchen and the refreshment-room. If they looked at the details they would see that Mr. Barry's estimate, taking into account the much larger amount of work, which on the recommendation of the Committee he was to perform, was as low as that of the right hon. Gentleman. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would get rid of those portions of his plan to which objection was justly taken, and that in particular he would take care that the intended refreshment-room should be conveniently constructed and properly ventilated.

said, that those who like himself were of opinion that Mr. Barry had already been badly treated, certainly could not be induced to regard with much favour a scheme which did that architect still farther injustice. The plan which the Kitchen Committee requested Mr. Barry to make ought to be called not Mr. Barry's plan, nor the plan of the Kitchen Committee, but the plan of Mr. Alderman Cubitt, a very excellent judge, no doubt, of what was required. As to the charge that Mr. Barry threw over the excellent design which he (Lord John Manners) first started of dining-rooms on the same floor as the House of Commons, and invented a more costly plan, putting them on the basement floor, the right hon. Gentleman must know that was not Mr. Barry's plan. But when the House of Lords declined to give up the Painted Chamber, Mr. Barry had to find some other mode of accomplishing the end in view. He noticed that the right hon. Gentleman treated the claim of the House of Lords to the Painted Chamber in a very cavalier manner. But the fact was, the House of Lords from the beginning were in possession of the Painted Chamber, and they stated plainly that they would not give it up unless they got a convenient committee-room in its stead. He regretted that Mr. Barry's plan had been departed from. True, it would cost more than that of the right hon. Gentleman; but then it should be remembered that it was a far larger, more complete, and more suitable plan. Moreover, it was one which included accommodation for the House of Lords as well as the House of Commons; whereas the scheme now proposed was only designed for the accommodation of the House of Commons. If, therefore, the new scheme were carried out, and should it afterwards be proposed to alter it, so as to include dining-rooms for the Lords, much additional expense would be incurred. His opinion was that the best thing to do would be to carry out a perfect and comprehensive improvement, instead of always making alterations, and that that would save money in the long run. He protested against the dismissal of Mr. Barry, and the handing over to other men the works designed by him; and he further protested against the Houses of Parliament being pulled about and altered by gentlemen who, however trustworthy and eminent in their profession, were not professed and skilled architects. He trusted that whatever works were agreed upon would be executed in a proper architectural style, under the superintendence and upon the responsibility of a competent, skilled architect.

said, he was afraid that that Vote was only the beginning of troubles. He concurred with the preceding speaker in thinking it essential, in matters like that before them, to have the assistance of a man of acknowledged architectural skill and taste. A high professional authority had characterized the changes now proposed in that great building as "barbarous;" and, in his own opinion, patchwork alterations of that sort were invariably the most costly in the end. Without negativing the Vote, however, he would recommend its postponement, and that the Government should do nothing till next Session.

said, he also thought it might be advisable, under all the circumstances, not to proceed with the Vote at present. He had been a member of the two Committees which had been mentioned. The Committee, the year before last, came to the unanimous opinion that the plan and estimate proposed by Mr. Barry ought not to be sanctioned; but the second Committee allowed the plan which the right hon. Gentleman declared that he was prepared, with the sanction of the Government, to carry out at less expense, to pass. At the same time, he agreed with his noble Friend (Lord John Manners) in thinking that, in regard to a building which they hoped would be a credit to the country for ages to come, any alterations that were decided upon should be made upon the best skilled authority they could obtain.

said, having served on the right hon. Member for Newcastle's two House of Commons Arrangements Committees, he claimed for Mr. Barry the credit of originating the idea of utilizing the conference-room, and must deny to the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works the title of being the inventor and patentee of it. Mr. Barry's estimate of £24,000 included, besides the new dining-room, a series of extensive changes, which were, in reality, a fragment of the valuable scheme originally propounded by the right hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Headlam), and therefore it was not fair to quote that large sum as an argument against the dining-room plan propounded by the eminent architect in question. A Committee, which was wrong in its measurements by as much as 30 feet, had hastily recommended the carrying out, at a smaller expense, of an arrangement which would produce a most uncomfortable eating-house, and spoil the architecture of the building; but there was still time to remedy the mischief. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman would yield to the unanimous expression of opinion on both sides of the House and withdraw the present scheme.

said, he did not concur in that wish. He hoped that hon. Members, who had been complaining for years of the want of accommodation, would act on the unanimous recommendation of a Committee, to whom the matter had been referred.

said, he hoped the House would put a stop to interminable discussions on the subject. He was sick of hearing so much about architects. He would support the scheme proposed by the Office of Works.

said, that in regard to the serving from the kitchen, this scheme would challenge comparison with any other, for the communication would be in the centre of the room, instead of at one end.

said, that, according to the right hon. Gentleman's own plan, the kitchen was 90 feet from the lift. He understood Mr. Barry's plan would afford a room very similar to that at the Reform Club; so that hon. Members who belonged to that club could readily form an idea of what convenience the proposed room was likely to afford.

Question put, and negatived.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(2.) £21,674, to complete the sum for Royal Palaces.

(3.) £80,437, to complete the sum for Royal Parks.

said, that two years ago it was proposed to replace the wooden paling in Regent's Park by an iron railing, and now it was proposed to pull down the iron railing, so that the result would be that the Park would be left without any railing at all. He would suggest that it might be as well to allow the iron railing to remain round the particular enclosure where it now stood, even if the right hon. Gentleman should not think it necessary to continue a similar railing round other enclosures.

said, he wished to ask whether it was contemplated to cut down any trees in the vicinity of those trees which the intervention of the House had prevented from being cut down?

called attention to a promise made by the First Commissioner of Works last Session to improve the present desolate appearance of the north side of Kensington Gardens by fresh planting, and further pointed out the desirability of placing more drinking fountains in the public Parks for the use of the poorer classes.

said, that to have plenty of water to drink was a good thing; but there was a proposal last year to establish a beer-shop in Victoria Park, and that he protested against. He hoped the First Commissioner would not allow such a thing.

said, with respect to the iron railing in Regent's Park, it was found that £35,000 would be required to complete it entirely, and as the general feeling among the residents in Regent's Park was in favour of the old rustic wood paling, he thought it better not to complete the iron railing for the small enclosure, as to do that would have cost £2,500, but to restore the wooden paling at an expense of £100. With regard to the trees in Hyde Park which had been alluded to, one plan proposed was to have no trees in the neighbourhood of the Prince Consort's memorial, so that it might stand out plainly, and be seen in all its beauty. That was the idea of a committee of architects, who had considered the subject; but as it might not seem satisfactory to those who looked at the matter from a horticultural point of view, a compromise was come to—it was arranged that only a sufficient number of trees should be removed to allow of the public seeing the memorial. No one would desire such an outrage on common sense perpetrated as that that magnificent work should be obscured by plantations of trees, and it was, therefore, proposed to remove those trees which stood in the way of a view of the memorial. The exact details of the plan had not yet been settled; but the greatest care would be taken to add to the general effect of the monument; and the trees would be replanted in close proximity to their present site. With regard to the north side of the Park, he could not hold out any hope of large expenditure at present, while he was dealing with the south side, which required it more; but he was quite ready to admit that the fountains ought to be sufficiently supplied with water, and if there was any deficiency in that respect, he would do what he could to meet the public requirements. As to beer, he thought its sale within the Park was not a thing to be desired. People who wanted it might go out of the Park to get it.

said, he would suggest that the number of fountains in the Parks might well be increased. The visitors at present complained that they were frequently unable to obtain a drink of cold water.

said, he wished to know what had become of the colonnade removed from Burlington House? It was understood that it would be re-erected on some suitable spot as a public decoration.

said, that he believed the colonnade—or more accurately the gateway—in question existed—at least the remains or ruins of it—somewhere in Battersea Park. He had no present intention of disturbing them. If the hon. Member (Mr. Beresford Hope) would only mind what was written upon it when the gateway was first put up, he would not be so anxious to have it re-erected, at least in any place where it could be seen.

said, he hoped that the First Commissioner would promise that the colonnade would not at any rate be broken up to repair the roads. The right hon. Gentleman was quite mistaken in calling it a gateway, and was evidently ignorant of the understanding come to at the time when Burlington House was pulled down. The colonnade was specially exempted from the sale of building materials, and it was most undoubtedly the intention of Mr. Layard, who had more than once spoken to him about it, that it should be re-erected. He hoped the First Commissioner would give him some assurance that the colonnade should be preserved.

Vote agreed to.

(4.) £83,807, to complete the sum for Public Buildings.

(5.) £11,700, to complete the sum for Furniture of Public Offices.

(6.) £22,587, to complete the sum for the Houses of Parliament.

said, he wished to know whether the decoration of the Central Hall would be continued and finished in the same style in which it had been begun?

said, he wished to ask, whether a better system of ventilating the House could not be secured by opening more of the windows above? During the last fortnight almost every hon. Member had suffered extremely from the heated air whenever the House was full; and there was no medium between the oppressive atmosphere on the floor of the House and the strong currents of air that were being continually forced through the galleries.

said, the item of gas and fuel for the two Houses showed a very large increase, which required explanation.

said, with regard to the Central Hall, after the first mosaic was placed in, it became necessary to consider the question of cost and of the general effect of extending that system of decoration. It was evident that mosaics could only be mechanical copies of the works of others; whereas the strongest opinions had been expressed that the embellishment of the Houses of Parliament ought to be made a means of encouraging original work of art of the highest order. The Royal Commissioners, also, had unequivocally condemned the adoption of any glazed surface in the ornamentation of the Palace. He had, therefore, invited the artists who had already taken part in decorating the walls to meet and examine all the Reports of the Royal Commissioners, and to give him the benefit of their views upon the subject, among these artists being Mr. Poynter, the gentleman by whom the design for the mosaic had been painted. Those gentlemen unanimously concurred in thinking that it was not desirable to continue the system of mosaic decoration, at all events until a number of professional points which they suggested had been thoroughly examined and solved to their satisfaction; and to enable them to prosecute their inquiry they asked for certain assistance. The Government approved of that view of the matter, and had sanctioned the requisite expenditure for that purpose; and he thought the Committee would agree with him that it was far better that thoroughly competent artists should deal with this question, than that it should be left to the decision of any Commission, however distinguished its members might be. With regard to the question of gas, no doubt the gas was a great expense; but his Department were exerting themselves to bring it down as low as possible. The question of improved ventilation would be met by the proposal to increase the number of windows.

said, he wished to understand a little more than he did what were the right hon. Gentleman's views with regard to the mosaic decorations in the Central Hall. If he did not proceed further with these mosaics, would he remove that which already existed; or were they to have mosaics on one side of the Hall and frescoes on the other?

said, he would be guided by the opinion of the artists to whom he had referred.

said, he must ask the right hon. Gentleman to tell the House the name of the artists as an indication of the value of their report? He had already named Mr. Poynter; but who were the others?

said, he wished to know whether the plate-glass put in front of some of the frescoes had the effect of preserving them; and, if so, whether it was intended to apply some protection to the other pictures?

said, it was intended, whenever it was necessary, to apply glass to the other frescoes. As to the question of the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Beresford Hope), he had not a list of the artists with him, but they had all been concerned in the wall-paintings of the Palace.

said, he wished to call the attention of Her Majesty's Government to the expediency of repaying to the metropolitan police rate from Imperial taxation the amount now paid for the police in charge (internally) of the Houses of Parliament. The rate for the police employed about the building was only £429, while the cost to the public was £3,983. Now if there was any duty that might be called an Imperial duty, it was the protection and preservation of that House, and he protested against the unfairness of so much of the cost being thrown upon local taxation.

said, he did not understand the objection of the hon. Member. It was true the House did not pay police rates; but it paid its own police, so that it did the very thing the hon. Gentleman complained of them for not doing. If the hon. Gentleman wished to raise any question on the general incidence of taxation, he must do it when the general police rate was under discussion.

said, he admitted that the House did pay a portion of its policemen; his objection was that it did not pay the whole.

Vote agreed to.

(7.) £12,500, to complete the sum for the Public Offices Site.

(8.) £24,083, to complete the sum for the Public Record Repository.

(9.) £4,395, to complete the sum for the Chapter House, Westminster.

said, he wished for an explanation. There was no contract of the work to be done. The work went on bit by bit, and no party seemed definitely to have charge of it.

said, he had over and over again called attention to this Vote. He wanted to know when the work was to stop, and what was to be done with the building when finished?

said, he had caused the work to be carefully estimated, and it was found that for the sum of £30,480 the shell of the building would be completed—that is, it would be covered in, and glazed, and made water-tight. But, of course, there would be no decoration. When it had arrived at that stage it would be for the House to consider whether it should continue to be maintained by the public or be handed over to some public body.

Vote agreed to.

(10.) £10,067, to complete the sum for Sheriff Court Houses, Scotland.

(11.) £11,200, to complete the sum for the University of London Buildings.

(12.) £13,250, to complete the sum for Glasgow University Buildings.

(13.) £6,500, to complete the sum for the Extension of Industrial Museum, Edinburgh.

(14.) £36,000, to complete the sum for Burlington House.

said, the Vote had been increased by £15,000 from last year, in consequence of further purchases. He wished to know whether any more purchases would be required?

said, the purchase in question had been made as the best mode of treating the difficulties which arose, claims having been made for obstructing lights, and so forth. That was the only purchase necessary, and it was in the hands of the Crown, and would be turned to good account.

Vote agreed to.

(15.) £101,648, to complete the sum for the Post Office and Inland Revenue Buildings.

(16.) £9,774, to complete the sum for the British Museum Buildings.

said, he wished to ask how far it was necessary, considering how valuable the space in such a quarter was, that the officers of the Museum should live within the area of the building? They might easily live on the opposite side of the street.

said, he would suggest that the stores contained in the Museum which had never yet, for want of accommodation, been exhibited to the public, might be advantageously lent to the different Universities of the three kingdoms, and to the large towns of the country.

said, these were questions relating to the administration of the British Museum, which could be better discussed on the British Museum Vote. He agreed that the less the number of residents on the site, the less risk there would be to the contents.

Vote agreed to.

(17.) £40,762, to complete the sum for County Courts, Buildings.

(18.) £80,100, to complete the sum for Survey of the United Kingdom.

said, he thought that greater facilities should be given to the public for the purchase of the Ordnance Survey maps.

said, the surveys were made on an arbitrary principle, some districts being considerably favoured, while others were neglected, and he should like some information as to how they were managed.

said, the surveys were not so well managed as they might have been under the Army; but they had now been transferred to the Office of Works, and it was hoped they would now be better managed.

said, the survey was unnecessary, as there was already a map of the whole of England showing every field made for the tithe survey. The money the surveys cost was a very large amount, and a private map-maker would do the work for half the sum with quite as much accuracy, considering that the important part of the work was finished, and that all that remained to be done was the enlargement and reducing of maps.

said, he hoped the six-inch map would be completed, as it was of great service for agricultural and other purposes. While Ireland and Scotland had been mapped on the six-inch scale, the interior part of England had not been surveyed.

said, the public found difficulty in purchasing the maps, and he thought that greater facilities should be given for their sale.

said, the survey had been very expensive, costing about £1,500,000 in 10 years; but the maps produced had been of very great value. The subject would be considered during the Recess, and he should be able to state next Session the exact mode of proceeding.

Vote agreed to.

(19.) £7,600, Enlargement of Marlborough House.

(20.) £28,199, to complete the sum for Harbours, &c. under the Board of Trade.

(21.) £2,380, to complete the sum for Portland Harbour.

(22.) £6,500, to complete the sum for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

(23.) £23,913, to complete the sum for Rates on Government Property.

(24.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £99,542, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Erection, Repairs, and Maintenance of the several Public Buildings in the Department of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland."

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £97,542, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Erection, Repairs, and Maintenance of the several Public Buildings in the Department of the Commissioners of Public Works in Irelrnd."—(Mr. Lusk.)

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed, to.

(25.) £3,500, to complete the sum for the Ulster Canal.

(26.) £10,010, to complete the sum for Lighthouses Abroad.

(27.) £1,722, to complete the sum for Embassy Houses Abroad.

said, he must complain of the great expense of keeping up that at Paris, though he admitted that it was less than during the last two or three years.

said, that the whole matter was examined by a Committee last year, and the expenditure was declared to be satisfactory.

Vote agreed to.

(28.) £41,610, to complete the sum for Embassy Houses, &c, Constantinople, China, Japan, and Tehran.

said, that since 1840 the Embassy Houses at Pera had cost about £200,000 for building alone, independently of several thousands a year for repairs.

said, there was no explanation as to the £48,000 asked for China and Japan.

said, he regretted that the house at Constantinople had not been entirely destroyed. He hoped that it would not be determined to rebuild it without consulting Parliament.

said, it was not. He might add that the site was one which had the advantage of very cool air. They had sent Major Crawson to Constantinople, and he reported that the walls of the building were almost entire. Of course, they would have come to the House if they determined to rebuild.

Vote agreed to.

(29.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £4,231, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries of the Officers and Attendants of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and other Expenses."

said, he would move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £1,562 for Queen's Plates.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Item of £1,562 for Queen's Plates, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Rylands.)

said, he thought the Queen's Plates were an institution that should not now be interfered with.

said, that having done away with Queen's Plates in Scotland, he did not see how they could vote money for them in Ireland.

said, he considered that the time had arrived for abolishing mock royalty in Ireland.

said, he objected to public money being appropriated for such purposes as horse-racing. He did not believe in the argument that the system improved the breed of horses, for race-horses were only exaggerated greyhounds; while our hunting horses, cattle, and sheep were the finest in the world.

said, he consented on Friday to the omission of the Vote for Queen's Plates in Scotland, in deference to the opinion of the Members for Scotland; but as there had been no demonstration against this Vote on the part of the majority of the Irish Members, he could not consistently consent to reduce it.

said, he would remind the House that many of our best horses came from Ireland.

said, as an Irish Member, he considered that Vote worthy of the support of the House. Nearly the whole of the cavalry was supplied with horses by Ireland.

said, he would support the Vote, and must observe that the opposition would be regarded by many persons in Ireland as a fling at that country.

Question put.

The Committee divided: — Ayes 61; Noes 81: Majority 20.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(30.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £17,746, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Offices of the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Dublin and London, and Subordinate Departments."

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Sir James Elphinstone.)

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(31.) £250, to complete the sum for Boundary Survey, Ireland.

(32.) £43, to complete the sum for the Charitable Donations and Bequests Office, Ireland.

(33.) £13,130, to complete the sum for the General Register Office, Ireland.

(34.) £65,522, to complete the sum for the Poor Law Commission, Ireland.

(35.) £2,992, to complete the sum for the Public Record Office, Ireland, &c.

(36.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £17,730, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of Public Works in Ireland."

Whereupon Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £16,530, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of Public Works in Ireland."—(Mr. Bentinck.)

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow, at Two of the clock;

Committee to sit again To-morrow, at Two of the clock.


Resolutions [July 21, 22] reported.

On the Vote relating to Friendly Societies,

said, it was expected that the Assistant Solicitor to the Treasury would be employed in discharging the duties of this office pro- visionally for at least 12 months; he therefore proposed that they should reduce the Vote by £400 for his salary, one-half the Estimate made on the presumption that the office would be promptly refilled. First Resolution read a second time, and amended, by leaving out "£1,794," and inserting "£1,394," instead thereof.

Resolution, as amended, agreed to.

Subsequent Resolutions agreed to.

Petty Sessions Clerks (Ireland) Act (1858) Amendment Bill

On Motion of Mr. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE, Bill to amend the Petty Sessions Clerks (Ireland) Act (1858), ordered to be brought in by Mr. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE and Mr. SOLICITOR GENERAL for IRELAND.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 236.]

Census (Ireland) Bill

On Motion of Mr. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE, Bill for taking the Census of Ireland, ordered to be brought in by Mr. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE, Mr. Secretary BRUCE, and Mr. SOLICITOR GENERAL for IRELAND.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 237.]

Shannon Navigation Bill

Select Committee nominated:—Mr. STANSFELD, Mr. WILLIAM GREGORY, and Three Members to be appointed by the Committee of Selection:—Three to be the quorum.

House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock.