The Liberal Members for Bridgwater, Colonel Tynte and Mr. A. King. lake, met their constituents on Monday and made speeches to them on home and foreign affairs. The remarks on the former subject were mainly retrospective, of the kind usually made in giving an account of the doings of Members in Parliament. Mr. Kinglake however, stepped beyond this arena, and delivered a remarkable speech on our relations with France. He wished to know why we are arming in a period of peace ; and he said distinctly we are arming on account of the state of government in France and its policy. "It has happened to me, I think I may say, to know something of the people of France ; to know something of the army of France ; and to know a little, mostly, of course, by reading, and partly by a little personal acquaint- ance, in old times, of the Emperor of the French. Now, gentlemen, the people of France, we all know, are a proud and brave people, who would rise like one man to avenge anything like an injury or insult to that great country. On the other hand, there are a great many people in France who would take a good deal of pleasure in hearing of the successes of a short and triumphant war. That is the case in most countries. But upon the whole I believe the mass of the population of France are an industrious and peaceful people. You may have seen the other day a curious anecdote in the newspapers, which I do not advert to merely because it is an anecdote, but because I really and truly think that it was a good illustration of the character of the French people. It was said that a ,peasant presented to the Emperor a large tureen of—what do you think r —of turnip soup ; and he presented this turnip soup with a request that his son might be let off serving in the army. Now, I do not think the turnip soup would be very good stuff to live upon and still less to fight upon ; but still I think that humble gift of the French peasant and that simple request which he made to the Em- peror of the French were a true illustration of the great majority of the French people. They want to live in peace and enjoy the humble food to which they are accustomed, and not to be called upon to serve in foreign wars. That, I believe, to be the feelings of the 'French people. Then' if we go to the army, no doubt there are several corps of men of very brave and enterprising character—we speak of them mostly as the Zouaves—men who enter the service as volunteers, who are as brave as tigers ; no doubt they are ambitious people, and would be disposed, as many good troops are, to go to war if ever an opportunity offered. But when you come to look at the great bulk of the French army—when you come to look at the troops of the line, you find there exactly the 'reagent class of whom I have been speaking. You go back to the poor humble pea- sant of the turnip soup, and they are men, as far as I am able to judge, as harmless and inoffensive, if only let alone, as are to be found in Europe. I have passed a good deal of time with the French army. I have been with them in the bivouac, I have been with them on the march, I have been with them on board ship. I have seen them in almost all situations you can see troops, and I think I can undertake to say, whatever the &wives and crack regiments may be that a more harmless and inoffensive body of men than the troops of the line is hardly to be found perhaps anywhere in Europe. So much for the people and the army. I now come to the French Em- peror. The French Emperor was a guest in this country ; he has a friendly feeling towards England ; he has always been a faithful ally to this country, and at present he has no quarrel with us. I have come to this, that the French people are generally speaking peaceful, that the army is not especially warlike, and that the French Emperor is what I have just described. Now, why is it, I ask, that we are all in a state of anxiety ? I proceed to tell you. I tell you that the cause of our anxiety is this,—that the Government of France is centred in one man. All the re- sources of 37,000,000 of a warlike people are centred not in a Parliament, not in a Council of State, not even in that crop of statesmen which we are accustomed to call a Ministry, but in one man. That is the circumstance which in my mind makes all the difference with regard to the safety of France as our neighbour. If the Government of France were vested in a Parliament, or in an ordinarily organized Council of State, we should know that a body of that kind would be pursuing the interests of France, and that unless it should be for the interests of France to go to war with us we might safely rely upon it that peace would continue, and, at all events, we should be sure that we should have due notice of the change, for it would be im- possible that in a day, a week, or a month, an ordinarily organized Council of State, such as France possessed before the last Revolution, could suddenly pass from a state of perfect amity to a state of hostility with England. But In the state of things which actually exists you have the vast army of France, the enormous pecuniary resources of France, the navy of France, and even the commercial navy of Frence, all placed under the power of one human being. The Emperor of the French not only commands all the armies of France, not only commands the navy of France, but he has the power of marching almost the whole of the commercial navy of France— marching them like soldiers, to serve in the military navy of the country; and we all know, also, that he has succeeded in inventing a financial system which enables him to borrow the earnings of the country, and to raise al- most ally amount of money at a very short notice, and without the interven- tion of the ordinary capitalists who used to be employed for purposes of that sort. It comes to this—that you have sitting, as it were, in his library a thoughtful man who is in the habit of keeping his own counsel—a man who pores over books relating to battles and wars. I recollect he told me once that he was engaged in writing a history of all the battles that had ever been fought. There he sits alone in his library, surrounded by books of this de- scription, surrounded by plans and designs of all contrivances which human ingenuity has invented to destroy human life, and commanding at the same time the resources of which I have endeavoured to give you some concep- tion. Well, then, it is very evident that this man is a dangerous neighbour. . . . . What we must look to is not to the words of the Emperor of the French, or of any living prince, but to his acts. The acts of the Emperor of the French are of this kind :—He has surrounded himself with so vast an army, under the name of a peace establishment, that at a few weeks' notice he can attack, and victoriously attack, one of the greatest military empires in the world. That is how he stands in regard to his land force. Well, you may say that he assembles this land force for the purpose of attacking Austria, Prussia, or some Continental States, or even for the purpose of keeping down his own people at home. But against whom is he making his
great naval preparations ? For what purpose is he busily engaged in pre- .
paring the coast fortifications of France ? Why, ail the world knows that there is no country against which the naval preparations of France can be directed except England. I have received intelligence only within a few days which shows me that the Emperor has no Minister,—Chat he does not allow Ministers to make a remonstrance to him of the most respectful kind. Then it comes to this, that you have one man, with the vast resources of 37,000,000 of people, without any Minister, governing alone, with this enor- mous power,—not quarrelling with you, he is much wiser than that ; but preparing for the eventuality of war. I say that if we were to remain per- fectly passive in this state of things we should be madmen or idiots. You will ask me, how long is this state of things to last ? When is there to be an end of all this ? When is there to be a termination of this miserable state of things, which brings two European countries into the wretched con- dition of perpetually arming against each other ? I can only answer that, in my own opinion, the end of it will be in the day when it shall please France to return to Parliamentary Government." Cheers.) Mr. Kinglake showed that as a fatal blow might be struck at us by depriving us of the supremacy of the seas it is necessary to have a strong navy; and as invasion may occur although we are supreme at sea, we must have a strong force on land. Thence he turned to the volun- teer movement, and gave it most hearty support. He was frequently and enthusiastically cheered.
Mr. Mills and Lord Gifford addressed their constituents at Totnes on Tuesday. They also dealt with the incidents and facts of the current year's history. Lord Gifford, however, took a wider latitude than Mr. Mills, and treated in a broad manner of Barney's invasion of San Juan and the ownership of that island, and of our relations with France. On the former subject he made these curious statements— There happened to be a cluster of islands in the middle of this channel, which divided it into three small channels—Haro Channel on the west, a se- cond between that and another island, and, thirdly, Rosario Channel, between those islands and the Continent. The east channel must be the one indi- cated by the words of the treaty, as it was the only one used by sailing vessels in 1846, but in case there should be any doubt about this channel, the Americana themselves had supplied us with a proof of it. When in London, a short time ago, he paid a visit to the Geographical Society, for the purpose of seeing the American official map of this part of the coast, and he then took the details as follows :—" Map of Oregon and Upper California, from the surveys of J. C. Fremont, drawn by Charles Reuss, under the orders of the Senate of the United State, Washington City, 1848." In that map the boundary line was drawn down the centre of the Rosario Channel. Subsequently he was told that the American Government possessed amap drawn by our geographer, Mr. Arrowsmith, in which the boundary line was so drawn as to give the island to the Americans. He accordingly wrote to Mr. Arrowsnuth, and he replied to him by letter, in which he gave a positive denial to any snob statement. There were one or two other ways in which the question might be treated. It might be said the word " channel " signified the whole channel between Vancouver's Island and the Con- tinent, but he would, for a moment, see how the question stood on that as- sumption. The whole distance across is twenty-two miles, and the nearest point of San Juan to the American Continent is eleven miles, so, on that as- sumption, the whole Island of San Juan was on the English side of the boundary.
Several agricultural meetings have been held recently, at which speeches were made by Mr. Ker Seymer, the Duke of Rutland, Sir Alexander Hood, and others, strongly advocating ample measures of na- tional defence, and warmly supporting the Volunteer movement. Sir John Pakington, in a letter to the Secretary of the Worcester Committee for establishing a volunteer rifle corps, after expressing his satisfaction at seeing rifle companies being enrolled so generally, says- " I am not one of those who regard the invasion of England by a foreign Power as a probable occurrence. But I have long been one of those who think that England has supinely neglected her national defence, and that our best security for continued peace will be to let Europe see that our national spirit has not diminished, and that we are determined always to be adequately prepared for the possibility of war."
A large meeting has been held at Exeter to support church-rates. The Rural Dean, Mr. Sanders, presided ; Sir John Coleridge, Sir Stafford Northeote, and others, locally eminent, took part in the proceedings. Sir John Coleridge made an eloquent speech in favour of the maintenance of the rate. He asked, is our title bad ?
"Why, gentlemen, there is no landowner—I won't merely say in the deanery; but there is scarcely a landowner.in the kingdom that holds the title but is convinced, after many examinations, that he ought not to sur- render a title so ancient and so unquestionable as the title of church-rates. Before a single landowner, or any of his ancestors, existed upon the land which he now holds, the Church had her rights in respect to it. It is a remarkable thing, which is perhaps not known to all of you, that the obli- gation or the privilege of the parishioners to repair the nave of the church stands not upon church law—not on the general canon law of Europe—but on the custom and common law of England. It is the same title by which the best holding of land can be maintained—only it has the advantage of being a great deal older. In Europe and before the time of the Reforma- tion (for one is bound to go back to ancient times) the parishioners did not repair, and were not bound to repair the nave of churches. It is in Eng- land alone, by force of custom and common law, on which we all rely, that the custom attaches to parishioners." Not a single judge has ever other- wise decided. Sir John argued that the rate is really paid by the land- owners, and that rents would be raised were rates abolished. Take the amount of church-rates at 300,0001. "Multiply that by thirty years' pur- chase, and you get a sum of 9,000,0001. I do not hesitate to say that it would be 9,000,000/. put into the pockets of the owners of land for nothing. It would be giving them that which they. had not before, if the church- rate was abolished. Who then can say it 1B relieving them from a burden when it is giving them what they had not before? " He said that many pub- lic men had been cenverted to the anti-church-rate party through sheer weariness, and he described the motive-which actuates his opponents to be a desire to pull down the Church of England. The meeting adopted a petition to Parliament against the abolition of church-rates.
After an animated and acrimonious debate on Tuesday, the Norwich Town Council resolved by 28 to 19 to rescind the order directing the prosecution of Collins and Croxford for conspiracy to bribe Mr. Coun- cillor Fox. No fresh evidence has been brought forward to show that an offence has not been committed. Yet the Council determine to abandon the prosecution. This has given great dissatisfaction, and the Liberals, it is said, will prosecute the case at their own expense.
The Norwich Magistrates have decided by 15 to 16 not to commit Mr. Collins for trial ; but by 12 to 10 they called upon him to put in bail to
answer any future charge. Mr. Coffins, after being formally arrested, put in bail. The farce was then completed by the Tory and Liberal agents withdrawing the charges against the Tory and Liberal magnates for bribery.
A society has recently been formed, under the title of "The Miners' Association of Cornwall and Devon." Its objects are to promote en- couragement and advaneenaent of Mining and Mine Engineering—the exchange of information and ideas—the record of the results of ex- perience and observation—the education of the practical miner in the branches of science which bear immediately on mining—local col- lections which should illustrate the Geology, Mineralogy, and Physical Phenomena of each district, and generally the improvement of the great mining interests of Western England. The Association is to consist of members, who shall be mine agents, officers of mines, or such persons as shall be deemed eligible by a council, who shall pay as a subscription IL per annum ; of graduates, who shall be working miners, and who shall pay a subscription of 5s. per annum ; of associates, who shall be the pro- prietors of mineral property ; large mine adventurers, and others, who shall have given donations to the Association ; and of honorary members, who shall be such men of eminence as the council may see fit to elect.
At the Newcastle Assizes, John Watson Moody, an American, second mate of the Mary, has been found guilty of the murder of Daniel Witham, a seaman. Moody killed Witham by striking him with steel knuckles and a "bolt," Sentence—penal servitude for life.
Three soldiers have been sentenced, at the Winchester Assizes, to seven years' penal servitude, for wilfully setting fire to a hay-rick. There was direct evidence against them.
Two soldiers have been found guilty of arson at the Maidstone Assizes. One says he fired a rick in order that he might escape from serving in the army. The other says that he did not fire a rick, but falsely confessed he i did, n order to escape military duty.
At these assizes Edmund Wardrope, late solicitor of Petersfleld, was found guilty of forging two promissory notes, and sentenced to ten years' penal servitude.
At Norwich, Samuel Dickerson, a labourer, addicted to poaching, was found guilty of shooting at Buckle, Lord Walsingham's gamekeeper, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm, and sentenced to eight years' penal servitude. Dickerson was pursued by the keeper, and he fired to keep him off.
The perils of constables are great. Thomas Holloway, a constable, was sent to arrest one Rolf, an escaped prisoner. After a hard chase he caught himpind was proceeding to handcuff him, when one Goodchild came up, and seizing the handcuffs used them to beat the constable over the head. Rolf fled; Holloway pursued ; there was anothet struggle, during which Good- child interfered ; but Rolf putting his hand in Holloway's mouth, the latter fastened on the thumb. Rolf then drew a knife, and seeing this the ex- hausted constable called for quarter. The men beat him again and let him go. Rolf and Goodchild, for this offence, have been sentenced to three years' penal servitude.