Uthntro nut Vrntraings in Varliumtnt.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OP THE WREN.
Horst or Loans. Monday, Feb. 5. North' American Fisheries Bill read a first time.
Tuesday, Feb. 6. Cathedral Appointments Act Continuance Bill read a third time and passed—Bills of Exchange Bills read a third time and pasted—North American Fisheries Bill read a second time—Protection of Purchasers against Judgments; Lord St. Leonards's Bill read a first time.
Thursday, Feb. 8. Formation of the Ministry; Earl Granvitle's, Earl of Derby's, and Marquis of Lansdowne's Speeches—North American Fisheries Bill committed.
BOOsa OP COMAIONS. Monday, Feb. 5. North American Fisheries Bill read a third time and passed—Balaklava; Explanation by Admiral Berkeley—Lord John Russell's Explanation in reply to the Duke of Newcastle.
Tuesday, Feb. 6. Ministerial Interregnum; Desultory Conversation. Wednesday, Feb. 7. Supply; Supplementary Ordnance Estimates—Hospitals at Scutari; Mr. Stafford's Remarks—Public Libraries and Museums ; Mr. Draft's Bill read a second time.
Thursday, Feb. 8. Supply; Vote for the Navy—State of the Crimean Army; Exaggerated Statements corrected by Lord John Russell. Friday, Feb. 9. Writ for New Windsor, vacated by Lord Charles Wellesley—Sir Charles Napier's Mansionhouse Speech ; Admiral Berkeley's Statement—Supply ; Supplemental Civil Estimates—Ways and Means Committee.
Loan JOHN Russxm's LAST EXPLANATION.
In the House of Commons, on Monday. when the adjournment was moved, Lord JOHN RUSSELL took occasion to make a long speech in fur- ther explanation of his resignation. He could not refrain from noticing "a publication of what is stated to be a speech of the Duke of New- castle, made elsewhere," unless he were content to allow what he thought "grave errors to become established and settled in the public mind." That speech, he thought, placed the question too much as a dispute be- tween himself and the Duke of Newcastle,
"It appeared to ins at the end of last session, that the composition of the Government was such that, not relying upon party support, it did not create any great attachment or enthusiasm, and frequent defeats attended the pro- positions that were made • but in ordinary circumstances, I should have thought these defeats a sufficient reason to allow me to state to the Earl of Aberdeen that it was not advisable that such a Government should continue, and that I could no longer attempt to conduct the business of the Govern- ment in the House of Commons. But there was a great question then pend- ing—a great question which is still pending—namely, that of the prosecu- tion of the war. The House gave its confidence to the Government upon that subject ; and I stated, and I thought I was justified in stating, that so long as I thought the war would be prosecuted in a vigorous and efficient manner we should be justified in holding office in spite of the defeats that I have mentioned. There is another consideration of a general nature which I wish to place before the House—namely, that it is of the utmost consequence in whose hands the conduct of the war is placed. My belief is that if Lord North had conducted the Seven Years war, we should not have had to boast of the conquest of Canada ; and that if Lord Chatham had conducted the war of American Independence, we should not have had to deplore the capitulations of Saratoga and Yorktown, and to behold the triumphant fleet of an enemy riding in the Channel. Of so much conse- quence is it in whose hands the conduct of a war is placed. But if this be so, the House, I am sure, will not think that it was unreasonable in me, being the principal member of the Government to answer in this House for the conduct of the war, not relying upon measures of internal improvement, upon which we had the undoubted confidence of the country—you will not I think consider it was an unreasonable anxiety on my part that I should witch with the utmost care the prosecution of the war.' As to the particular points in dispute. First, the Duke of Newcastle -objected to the statement that there, was a " strong wish" on his part to hold the office of Secretary of State for the War Department. But se- veral members of the Cabinet had so stated it to Lord John ; and Lord Aberdeen's letter, where he said that no objection whatever was made to the choice of the War Department by the Duke," made the matter very clear. True, the Duke of Newcastle declared himself ready to hold either or neither of the offices ; but Lord Aberdeen, who had great confi- dence in the Duke's abilities, proposed to leave the choice of departments to himself. Had Iced Aberdeen requested Lord John to take, the War
Hour of Hour of
Meeting. Adjournment. Monday' oh Oh 30m
Tuesday 6h .... 5h 50m Wednesday No sitting. Thursday. 511 . 7h 45m
.:.:SittIngsthisWeek, 3; Time. 4h 5m— this Session. IS; — 39b 55m
Hour of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment. Monday 4h .... 611 Om Tuesday 4h .... 611 30m
wedneeday Noon. 45m
Thursday 4h 65 30m
Friday Noon .... 15 em Sittings this Week. 6 ; Tian, Sh 45m this Session. 23; — '585 5m department, he would have felt it his duty to accept it, though with great reluctance, it being totally alien to his habits of business. Next, it was said that he had imputed errors to the Duke of Newcastle with respect to the Ninety-seventh Regiment. Now he had mentioned those things to show the inefficiency of the system. Not that he felt that the Duke of Newcastle was unfit for the War department, but that either the Prime Minister should have constantly exerted himself to hurry on preparations, or that the War Minister should have been a person of extraordinary authority and energy : "had the Prime Minister been a man whose persuasions and dispositions led him to hasten on with eagerness the preparations and arrangements for war, the Duke of New- castle would have been perfectly competent for the department which he held." In conformity with that opinion, he had written to the Duke, saying, "you have done all yowt ould do,"—meaning, that having been overruled by departments he could not do more. With regard to the statement that he had, on the 10th of December changed his opinion on the subject, Lord John explained, that there were two questions, one re- lating to the constitution of the War department, the other to the person who should hold it. About the former he had consulted Lord Panmure; who gave him his opinion, but advised him not to bring about a rupture of the Government. What he stated to Lord Aberdeen related to that proposal; but he might have stated that he should not bring the personal question before the Cabinet, since, if carried, it would have driven Lord Aberdeen from the Government. The personal question he left in abey- ance. Lord John admitted that he very likely ought to have submitted the question to the judgment of the Cabinet, and if the Cabinet decided against him, to have resigned at once : but, under the circumstances, he was then averse to going that length. Lord Palmerston was entirely right in saying that he had not taken the right time or mode of resigning. It was an error not to have fully considered the position he would be in if a motion for inquiry were made. But having committed that error, he would have been guilty of a greater error, "an error of morality— and there can be no sound politics without sound morality "—had he re- sisted inquiry and professed himself satisfied with arrangements he felt to he unsatisfactory. Neither could he, as suggested, have stood by his colleagues, and on defeat, have resigned with them; because a majority might have declared in favour of the Government partly on his assurance that he was not dissatisfied with the conduct of the war. While his re- signation has been called hasty, he was struck by a statement in the speech ascribed to the Duke of Newcastle,. that, some days before the meeting of Parliament, he had placed his resignation in the hands of Lord Aberdeen. Lord John had been kept totally ignorant of that resignation; "and," he continued, "as my resignation was accepted, I must say I think my noble friend's advice to the Queen immediately to accept it, without any further communication with me, was somewhat hasty." "And now, Sir, you will perhaps permit me to observe, that, having been subject to many slanderous attacks on account of the course which I then pursued—having been made a mark for obloquy for the last week on account of the step which I took—I have only to say that if my past public life does not justify me from the charges of selfishness and of treachery—(Loud cheers from the Ministerial side)—I shall seek no argument for the purposes of de- fence. It is not that I propose to live down such calumnies; but I do hope that I have anticipated them by the course which I have pursued during a somewhat extended public life. I may here be allowed to observe upon one phrase which is said to have been used by the noble Duke—namely, that he had said to the Earl of Aberdeen, when my first letter was received, 'Do not give Lord John Russell any ,prelext for leaving the Government. Accept my resignation.' (" Hear . and laughter from the Opposition.) Now, I must say, considering that for nearly two years I had been a suboreinate member of the Earl of Aberdeen's Government—that I had consented, after holding the office of Prime Minister for five years and a half, to serve under Lord Aberdeen, and had done my best to promote the success of his Admin- istration—that I had consented to the diminished importance of the great party to which I belonged,—I must say, I think such a sneer on the part of the .Duke of Newcastle was somewhat misplaced. (Cheers.) I wonder it should not have occurred to him, 'These objections to my continuing to hold this office must be sincere. It may even be possible that there is some de- ficiency in my management of this great department.' ("Hear!" and a laugh.) But it does not seem to have occurred to him as within the range of possibility that he might not be absolutely faultless in his conduct of the office which he held-Laughter)—and that I should have had any other than some indirect motive in wishing for a change in that department."
Lord John again referred to the case of Lord Goderieb, now Earl of Ripon, to show that there was a precedent for the arrangement he pro- posed—to substitute Lord Palmerston for the Duke of Newcastle ; and he lauded the patriotism of Lord Ripon—intimating that the Duke of . Newcastle would have done well to follow his example. Having finished these statements, Lord John informed the House, that he had accepted her Majesty's commands to form an Administration; that he had accepted them, feeling it incumbent on him not to shrink from the task ; but that he had found insuperable objections to the accomplish- ment of that duty. But whoever formed a Government, he thought the House would feel that it would be its duty to support the Executive in any measures they may think necessary.
Before he sat down, Lord John expressed regret for the omissions pointed out by Sir De Lacy Evans, when he moved the vote of thanks to the Army.
Mr. GLADSTONE commented on the inconvenience of such discussions as the present, between persons who did not meet on the floor of the same House, and who had recently been colleagues ; and he proposed to follow Lord John only through the earlier part of his observations, confining himself to matters of fact. It was not necessary or just to advert to the assumption of office by the Duke of Newcastle, because his retention of office took effect "with the full, unqualified, unhesitating sanction of the entire Cabinet," and on the entire Cabinet the responsibility must rest. The Duke of Newcastle had no means of knowing that Lord John Russell was willing to take the office. Lord John said he did not think the com- bination of Lord Aberdeen and the Duke of Newcastle suited the exi- gency of the country ; but did be make that opinion known to the Go- vernment until the month of November ? ("No, no !" from Lord Tohn .Russell.) Then to the words of his note—" You have done all you could," he had added these—" but you have been obstructed and over- ruled by other departments ": the latter words were not quoted from the note, but the words of the note were emphatic—" You have done all that could be done, and I am sanguine of success." With respect to Lord John's change of opinion, Mr. Gladstone showed that Lord Aberdeen had not had the means of ascertaining the nature of the distinction between the two questions—the change of men and the change in departments— which Lord John Russell had described. Lord Aberdeen was not (mg- nizant of any such distinction ; and the conduct of Lord John up to the 23d January was in harmony with the impression be conveyed to Lord Aberdeen in December. Lord John had said that he was dissatisfied be- cause no preparations had been made for the next campaign ; but his col- leagues were not aware that he required such preparations. Mr. Gladstone showed, by quoting the Duke of Newcastle's speech, that Lord John was incorrect in saying that the Duke had placed his resignation in the hands of Lord Aberdeen ; the fact being that he had done no such thing—he had told Lord Aberdeen that he should resign, whatever decision might be come to in Parliament. The case of Lord Ripon did not apply to the case of the Duke of Newcastle. A perfectly straightforward and above- board proposal was made to Lord Ripon ; and, like a gentlemanly, up- right, and honourable politician, he gave way to the proposal. Did the Duke of Newcastle resist any proposition of the kind, made by regular and responsible persons ? "Did his course differ from that taken by Lord Ripon ? Is he to be ex- posed to an invidious contrast with that nobleman, as if he had for one mo- ment hesitated to accede to a proposition emanating from the head of the Government ? No such thing. 'Why, Sir, my noble friend went further than Lord Ripon did, for Lord Ripon, as he fairly tells the public, [in a letter published in the newspapers, last week,] made no offer, but acceded to a pro- posal that had been made to him. The noble Duke, in a letter addressed to Lord Aberdeen, requested the Prime Minister, on his own part and on the part of my right honourable friend the Secretary at War, to make such dis- position, and such disposition only, of both their office', as might be best for the advantage of the Government and the benefit of the public, service. (Cheers from the Opposition.) I must say, therefore, that on this point I think my noble friend behind me, in his anxiety to do full justice to Lord Ripon, has really done scant justice to the Duke of Newcastle."
Expressing a desire that this controversy should be wound up, Mr. Gladstone trusted that nothing he had said made him a party, by conni- vance or otherwise, to the charges of treachery or cowardice brought against Lord John Russell. The man deserves contempt who can make such charges, and neither from him nor from his colleagues had they re- ceived credence.
Some conversation t000k place on Tuesday respecting the delay expe- rienced in the formation of a Ministry. Mr. BENTINCK represented it as disastrous both for the prospects and the character of the country. Re intimated, on the authority of public rumour, that Lord Palmerston had first consented, and then had declined to join Lord Derby in the forma- tion of a Ministry ; that Lord John Russell had tried, and had failed. "Nobody could feel surprise that public men should hesitate before they join their fortunes with his in office." Lord Palmerston had duce un- dertaken to form a Ministry ; but, still speaking from public rumour, he was told that Lord Palmerston's difficulty arose from "the determina- tion of certain public men to force a preponderance of their own party into the formation of a new Government." Such a state of things was discreditable, and called for an expression of opinion from the House. Sir CHARLES WOOD described Mr. Bentinck's course as without prece- dent. The proper time to ask for explanations will be when the new Ministers are in the House. Mr. WHITESIDE and Mr. F. Scorr defended Mr. Bentinek, and attacked the late Ministry. Mr. LAnoucazna pointed out how the character of the House would be affected by desultory dis- cussions of that kind, which could promote no public object. Mr. Muxre said the House was in a humiliating position, waiting while " two or three great families " adjusted their interests. Mr. MAtries pursued this theme, and followed it by a disquisition on the state of par- ties arising from the break-up in 1815-'46, which rendered Parliamentary government all but impossible. The most powerful party in the country, because it has not a majority over all the parties combined, has no voice in the management of the affairs of the country. A small party of not more than forty, who refused to act with that old party, their natural al- lies, stand between two parties, and yet upon that small party it falls to govern the country. Mr. STUART WORTLEY said that these discussions could only embarrass the course and increase the difficulties of Lord Palmerston, the one man who could command the confidence of the nation.
In reply to a question from Mr. Marisa, Mr. ROEBUCK said that he had not moved for his Committee, because he wished that it should obtain the confidence of the country—that some leading Members of the House should sit on the Committee : but until he knew who would form the Government he could not make a selection. With regard to the forma- tion of an Administration, Mr. Roebuck counselled Lord Palmerston to put anybody aside who threw difficulties in his way. The country had declared itself, and on the country he might rely if he acted without re- gard to party or persor al considerations.
FORMATION OF THE MINISTRY.
Earl Gassivria.z, in moving the adjournment of the Lords on Thursday, until Friday next, explained his own position in the House as one of the new Ministers. During the last two Administrations, it happened that the Prime Minister sat in the House of Lords. Even in Lord Aberdeen's presence he might be allowed to say, that, having had opportunities of appreciating his qualities, he regarded Lord Aberdeen as "one of the most generous-minded, -liberal, just, and courageous men" with whom he had ever associated. The times are now more critical than when Lord Aberdeen assumed office, and Lord Granville felt that it was some- thing of an incongruity that he should be the mouthpiece of the Govern- ment, even as a matter of form, owing to the precedence given to him by the office he occupies. He could only say that it would be unfair to himself; to those able men within the Government, and almost disrespectful to the House, if he had undertaken it without being able to go for support, advice, and guidance, to the Marquis of Lansdowne ; whose predminent qualities as a leader of that House have not only secured him devoted friends, but have become proverbial on every side and in every corner of that assembly. With a great deal of what had transpired since the resignation of the late Cabinet he was not acquainted; some concerned in those transactions were present, and might explain ; but this he could say, that no public men or political parties had laid themselves open to the charge of self- application or want of public spirit on the oocasion.Lord Palmerston has been successful in forming a Ministry ; and its principles will be iden- tically the same as those which guided the late Cabinet. Where oppor- tunities occur for internal improvement, they will not be neglected ; but
-the paramount object to which the energy of the Government and the wis- dom of Parliament should be applied is the prosecution of the war, with all the power and activity possible. At one time, all parties gave way to exaggerated feelings of exultation, but now they are in danger of giving way to despondency. No doubt, there has been great discomfort, sickness, and loss of life, in the army in the Crimea ; but it would not be becoming in the Government or the people of this country to indulge in feelings of des- pondency which that brave army does not share. Our resources are unlimit- ed ; we are only at the beginning of those resources ; and more has been achieved than this country ever before achieved in a great Continental war during an equal period. Relying with confidence on the continuance of in- timate and cordial relations with France and Austria while Lord Clarendon directs foreign affairs, and benefiting by experience, Lord Palmerston and his colleagues will carry on the war with all possible vigour and energy,
until that day, and not one day later, when a just and honourable peace, oomprehending both the interests of Europe and the honour of this country, shall be attained. With these sentiments and intentions, Ministers could appeal to the Parliament and the country for support.
The Earl of DEBBY took the opportunity afforded him, feeling that it was but his duty to place the House, the country, and his political friends, in a position to judge of the course he had taken ; for it is right that the country should know the motives of public men, and the difficulties that frequently prevent the formation of an Administration. Without further preface, he made a statement, beginning with a review of the position of -affairs when the late Government resigned. At the commencement of the session, the great Conservative party felt it their duty to abstain from making any motion that implied a censure of the Government. But that was no easy task. If they implied a censure, they were called upon to move a vote of want of confidence; if they moved a direct vote of cen- sure, it was said to be for party purposes; if they took neither course, and remained silent, they were charged with being accessories after the fact. Yet in spite of these difficulties, the great Conservative party felt bound to bring forward no vote of censure on the Government. But soon after Parliament reassembled, a gentleman in the other House—a supporter of the Government—party you can hardly call it, "but of that great body split up into various ramifications of parties, and who pass by the name of Liberals in this country "—gave notice of a motion which led to a result unparalleled in history. Had that division taken place on Fri- day instead of Monday, little more than one half of the Conservative Opposition would have been in their places to pass a vote of cen- sure; but when they were invited to give a vote of confidence, it was impossible that they should not give expression to their views. The vote was accepted as a test of confidence, and the Government as a whole could not muster more than 198 out of 650 Members. The majority of 305 was the same to a unit as that which two years ago ejected Lord Derby's Government from office ; though on the former occasion it was 305 to 286, while on the present it is 305 to 148. Of these 300, the Conservatives constituted about 200, and of the Liberal sections about 100 voted on one side and 100 on the other. Such being the result of the division, he was not surprised when on the following evening he was commanded to wait upon the Queen ; and it became necessary that he should maturely consider the position of the country. In ordinary times he would have accepted the responsi- bility; but under existing circumstance; he was bound to consider the interest of the country. There can be no more honourable position than that of chief Minister of the Crown supported by both Houses of Parlia- ment; but no man of honour would expose himself to the intolerable and galling servitude of a Minister on sufferance, dependent from day to day on precarious majorities, except from motives of the purest patriotism and from absolute necessity. It was his duty to consider his position not only as regards men but as regards numerical strength. It is true, he could have filled several offices in a manner that would have commanded the approbation of all parties. For the War department he might have had the support of a noble Lord of vast experience, not a military man himself, but possessed of a mind emi- nently military, and who had proved himself a successful minister of war. He might have had recourse to a class who when excluded from office are usually characterized as " a necessary infusion of new blood," but who when in office are called "an enlistment of raw recruits." And when he spoke of new blood, his friends would not deem it invidious in him to say that he should have had the support and assistance, the unrivalled eloquence and commanding talents of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. As to numerical strength, he was still honoured with the confidence of 280 gentlemen, who after the expiry of two years remain faithful to their engagements : but though he might rely on them, still he might fall, as he had fallen before, from a combination of parties. " What reason had I to suppose that the same combination would not arise ? It is the same House of Commons ; there are the same persons, and there are the same parties, so far as I can judge from the construction of the late Government, and so far as I can assume from the construction of the present Government : so that there might have been the same combi- nation of parties by which I was formerly assailed." It is said that the House of Commons would support any Government accepting the responsibilities of office : but Lord Derby doubted—when Lord Palmerston was the one man called for by the voice of the country, when Mr. Roebuck had declared that Lord Palmerston was the only per- son fit to govern the country—when Lord John Russell had generously sacrificed himself to a colleague, declaring that Lord Palmerston was the only person to conduct the military affairs of the country—whether there would have been an abstinence from opposition. These were not the only considerations which induced him to seek the cooperation of Lord Palmerston. He readily acknowledged Lord Palmerston's great abilities, his great official experience, his popularity ; and, though it is not a usual ground to be stated in Parliament, he admitted that the confidence felt in him by those with whom on the Continent we are in strict alliance, and his acquaintance with all the details and difficulties of diplomacy, are great and legitimate qualifications to which no party could be insensible. Im- pressed with the view that he must have extraneous aid to secure a strong Government, he waited on the Queen, and obtained her permission, not only to request the assistance of Lord Palmerston, but through him of one or two of those with whom he had recently acted, whose presence was desirable not only on account of the support and countenance they would give to Lord Palmerston in joining the Government, but on ac- count of their personal merit and experience. Bound to consider the in- terests of this Crown and the welfare of the country, he felt he could not
promise her Majesty a strong Government without some extraneous aid ; but he assured her Majesty, that if all other combinations failed, she should not be left without a Government, but that, whether with or with- out better hopes, the party with whom he acted would place themselves unreservedly at her Majesty's disposal. And here he would correct a statement that her Majesty had sought to fetter his discretion : not only was no restriction placed in his way, but her Majesty made not the slightest difficulty as to any one subject which he had submitted to her.
Lord Derby waited upon Lord Palmerston at his house. Lord Pal- merston said he should be unwilling without the cooperation of some of his friends to give that assistance which otherwise he did not express himself disinclined to afford. Lord Derby named two of his colleagues, Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Sidney Herbert, with whom he might be most desirous of acting, and went so far as to discuss Lord Palmerston's future position in the Government ; stating to lam that it would not be possible for any Minister to combine the onerous duties of the War department with the lead of the House of Commons; that, by an act of self-abnega- tion and forbearance, for which he deserves the highest credit, Mr. Disraeli had waived all claim to the leadership, and would willingly act under Lord Palmerston ; and that he hoped "such a surrender might render more easy two of the friends of the noble Viscount, who might be willing to act under the noble Viscount, though they might be less wil- ling to act under my right honourable friend." On quitting Lord Pal- merston, he informed him that her Majesty would leave a messenger in waiting to receive the result of his communication with Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Sidney Herbert. "I certainly returned from the interview with a very strong impression upon my mind that the noble Viscount was ready and willing, if he should obtain the concurrence of his late colleagues, to join, in unison with them, the Administration which I was endeavouring to form ; and the statement he made to me was, that of course he could give no definitive answer till he had the opportunity of communicating with them, but that he hoped in a very short time, probably before the post went out, but at all events in a very few hours, to convey to me the final decision at which be arrived. I did not hear from the noble Viscount until half-past nine o'clock at night." [A. Peer inquired at what time the noble Earl left Lord Palmerston's ?] Lord DERBY—" I left the noble Viscount shortly before two o'clock ; and at half-past nine, just as I had written to the noble Viscount that it was im- possible for me longer to detain the messenger if he was to arrive at Wind- sor that night, I received with considerable surprise a note from the noble Viscount. I am not going to trouble your Lordships with the precise terms of that note; but it certainly did surprise me to receive from the noble Vis- count, after a delay of so long a time, a note merely stating that, upon full and complete reflection, he had come to the conclusion that if he were to join my Government he could not give to it that support which I was good enough to think his presence would insure ; that he had communicated with Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Sidney Herbert, according to my desire, but that they would write answers to me, and he thought it better that they should do so. At half-past twelve that night I received a note from Mr. Gladstone, and between seven and eight the following morning I received one from Mr. Sidney Herbert, both written in kind and courteous terms—terms of which I certainly could have no reason whatever to complain ; but I certainly was struck with this expression in Mr. Gladstone's note, after stating that Lord Palmerston had communicated to him the wish I had expressed that he should form part of the Administration—' I also learned from him (Lord Palmerston) that he is not of opinion that he can himself render you useful service in that Administration. Now, my Lords, I confess I received that note with some surprise, because I had reason to suppose, that when, at two o'clock, I left the noble Viscount, his consent depended in a great measure upon the concurrence of his late colleagues; but at half-past twelve the same night I received this note from Mr. Gladstone, stating that the noble Viscount, in communicating my message to him, had stated at the same time that he could not concur in being a member of the Government." Lord Derby then informed the Queen that he had not succeeded ; ad- vised her Majesty to try whether any stronger Administration could be formed ; and repeated his offer in the event of failure. It might be asked why he had not sought cooperation in another quarter—why he had not called upon Lord Clarendon : but he had explained to her Majesty, that, with a high appreciation of his abilities and services as Foreign Minister, he did not think the political connexions of Lord Clarendon, and the re- lation in which he stood to those with whom he acted, would have justi- fied him, whatever might be his personal esteem, to make to him any direct overture; and that he should not feel justified in making such over- ture without her Majesty's express command.
Of subsequent proceedings he knew nothing. It was not for him to say whether Lord Palmerston had judged correctly in thinking he could secure the confidence of Parliament. He would not suppose that Lord Palmerston has not believed he could recommend to her Majesty a Go- vernment entitled to confidence, because any other supposition would lay him open to the imputation that in declining to join Lord Derby he had been influenced by personal considerations rather than a desire to form a strong Government. " Of such motives I absolutely and wholly acquit the noble Viscount."
At the close of his speech, Lord Derby said that he had been influenced by no desire of unduly grasping at office, or of timidly shrinking from responsibility. He might have erred ; he might have disappointed his sanguine and over-zealous friends,—whom, much as he desired to please and gratify, he desired still more effectively to serve : his justification or condemnation rests with them. He hoped that whoever were intrusted with the government of the empire, they would carry on this great and awful war until it be honourably concluded : a deep responsibility will rest on that Minister who concludes a peace without effectual guarantees, and a deeper on him who after such an issue should continue for one moment an unnecessary war. The Marquis of LANSDOWNE gave an account of his share in the forma- tion of the new Government. He had no desire to impugn that extraor- dinary vote which caused the late Government to resign, or to discuss the principles of the combination ; but he should be much disappointed if at some future period that vote was not regretted by the House of Com- mons. Lord Lansdowne described how, after Lord Derby had declined the task of forming a Government, her Majesty had sent for him ; how he had entered into communication with many eminent persons, some of whom form the present Government ; how, considering the constitution of the majority, she had looked to Lord John Russell, the next person who had contributed to the crisis ; how Lord John Russell, after reflec- tion, had also declined the task ; and how Lord Palmerston, then sent for, had accepted, and had succeeded in the task of forming a Govern- ment. The question was, not what Government the country was to
have, but whether the country was to have any Government at all. He bad offered his assistance, and had submitted to his Mends whether he could not more effectually aid them by consulting his tastes and his years and forming no part of the Government. They judged otherwise, and he bowed to their decision. They have undertaken the Government with no undue confidence, but with firm reliance on the patriotism of the country and the Parliament.
"My Lords, the necessity to which I have alluded, that some immediate arrangement should take place, has every day manifested itself more and more ; and the evils of any long delay added to that which has already existed would, 1 can confidently state, have materially impaired the confidence of Europe in this country. What, my Lords, could have been a more shameful spectacle to .present to the eyes of the world than that, at a moment of greater unanimity of opinion in the country than has ever occurred before upon any great question with respect to the prosecution of a war, there should not be found the means in England of carrying on a Government by which that war could be prosecuted ? I say it was due to the policy of the country to have a Government, if formed at all, formed speedily and as effectually as the materials at hand admitted. My Lords, I feel that it is scarcely necessary for nie, after what the noble Earl opposite has already said, to add that her Majesty's Government will rely not only upon their own exertions, not only upon the support they may derive from partisans, but that they will rely upon the feeling and patriotism of those who are their nominal
opponents But, my Lords, it is not in the field of politics alone, it is not in this House alone, nor is it in the other House of Parliament alone, that a great duty has to be performed. Every person in thiscountry has a duty to perform - at this moment. In a great measure we must, undoubtedly, depend for the issue of the great cause in which we are engaged with one of the greatest and the most powerful empires in the world, upon the courage of our soldiers, the courage of our seamen, and the ability of our commanders. But be it remem- bered that it is not they alone who are actively engaged in the contest—that the contest is one of representative government against despotism ; and that if we are not enabled to oppose to the energy of that despotism those peculiar powers which a representative government contains, or ought to contain, we shall fail in that contest. (Cheers.) If we do not procure that unani- mity by patriotism, by argument, and by similarity of opinion, which des- potism is able at all times and in all periods to command, despotism will be too powerful for liberty, and the moral to be learnt from the transactions of these times will be the feebleness and the vices of a free and representative government. (Cheers.) The only mode by which that can be prevented— the only mode by which a different view can be presented to the eyes of the world of the character of the constitution of this country—is by the united effort of every man in it ; and it is the duty, not only of Members of this House, not only of Members in the other House of Parliament, but also of persons exercising influence out of it—of those very eminent and dis- tinguished persons by their talents who are connected with one of the noblest institutions of this country, the free press of this country—it is the duty of these individuals, and it is the duty of all persons who by any accident of position or talent command the confidence and the appro- bation of the different circles, great or small, in which they live—it is the duty of all these, by every act, word, and deed, at this moment, to take care that they say nothing, that they do nothing, that they write nothing, that can have the effect of impairing the national strength, or of interrupting the action of the national cause in the great contest in which it is engaged : and I trust that no man, on reflection, will forego his share in the national triumph, when that triumph is established, .by having done anything that could retard it ; or if, unhappily, there should be a failure, that he will be aware of having done nothing that can saddle his own conscience and his own mind with the reproach of having by any act, or word, or deed, con- tributed to that failure." (Cheers.)
He agreed with Lord Granville, that we may have gone too far in despondency ; and he trusted that the Government would carry on the war with vigour. That which had above all governed him in the advice he had given, was the prospect of securing the continuation and maintenance of those negotiations which have been conducted with increasing success by Lord Clarendon—unimpeached and unattaeked ; which are in a fair way of uniting "the whole of Europe in the cause that is the cause of the whole of Europe ; and which, by bringing other Powers into union with this country, cannot fail, whatever may have happened hitherto, to effect the great object for which this war, with the unanimous consent of this country, was under- taken —a war entered into solely for great national objects, and pursued solely for the purpose of obtaining a permanent peace." (Cheers.)
The Earl of MALMESBURY, expressing his satisfaction that the inter- regnum was over, referred to that passage in Lord Lansdowne's speech relating to representative government and despotism, which he said was liable to misapprehension.
The Marquis of LANSDOWNE —" Allow me to explain my meaning. What I meant to say was, that the principle of representative govern- ment is now undergoing its ordeal in this country ; and that we ought to be showing to the world the advantages to which we lay claim as the peculiar merit of a representative government, and which I hope it has, as opposed to a. despotic government." Lord MALMESBURY commented in a favourable tone on the appoint- ments of Lord Granville and Lord Panmure ; expressed his disapproval of Lord Grey's proposition for transferring the patronage of the army from the Commander-in-chief; combated the objection that "the constitution of the army is too aristocratic" ; and went into an examina- tion of the Army-list to show that our regiments are not officered by the blood relations of the Peerage. Lord PAIIMURE, called up by the remark of Lord Malmesbury, said he felt the great responsibilities of his position. Reforms must take place ; but he would not then discuss what they ought to be, nor with what speed he could enter on those reforms.- He looked to Lord Ellenborough for assistance. He should endeavour so to discharge his duty that only fitting persons should be employed ; and if ever he should be called upon to do an act painful to himself but necessary for the public good, he hoped he should do it in a proper manner. But too much must not be expected. He brought to the duties of his office six years' practical experience of the military administration, and twelve years' experience of regimental service. Whatever defects may exist in the organization of the army, the regimental system is perfect. The House adjourned to Friday the 16th.
LORD LYNDHURST'S MOTION.
Lord LiarDwunsx has withdrawn his intended motion on the Crimean expedition. In doing this, ho remarked that his original notice was meant to apply to the late Government generally, and not to any special member. In this view Lord Palmerston had quite concurred. Now the present Ad. ministration consists of thirteen members; twelve of them, including Lord Palmerston, were members of the late Government, and consequently in- volved in the responsibility for the conduct of the war. Nevertheless, considering the present state of affairs, and considering that it seemed im- possible to form any other Administration, he felt it would be wrong to take any step to disturb its first movements. On the contrary, he thought that " every one ought to endeavour in the present state of things to unite heart and soul for the purpose of assisting the Admi- nistration in retrieving past disasters and restoring the lost credit of the country."
STATE OP THE CRIMEAN ARMY.
On a motion of adjournment, on Thursday, Mr. Burr called the at- tention of the House to a statement made by Mr. Gladstone, that, including the naval force on shore, the numbers before Sebastopol amount to 30,000 men. He had received a letter from a gentleman high in rank, and it agreed with the statement in the Times of Thursday—that the effective force did not amount to more than 12,000 men. He wished Mr. Glad- stone could satisfy the House that his statement was correct. Mr. WORTLEY deprecated the giving of such statements from the benches of the House of Commons, and expressed his belief that the statements in the newspapers are " grossly exaggerated." Mr. BAILLIE said, he knew- the accounts that had been received at the Horse Guards, and could tell- the House that the latest returns did not give more than 10,365 bayonets before Sebastopol.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, he did not wonder that Mr. Wortley should deprecate discussion ; nor did he wonder that gentlemen should ask ex- planations; nor was he surprised at the difference between the ordinarily- circulated and the official statements. It is not fair to compare the numbers originally sent out, 54,000, and the number said to remain. The 54,000 included every military man—the cavalry, artillery, com- missioned and non-commissioned officers, and every orderly ; and when they had taken away all the cavalry, artillery, the commissioned and _ non-commissioned officers, they would have a residue of from 14,000 to 16,000 men ; but with these added they would have from 28,000 to 30,000 men. That might be called a small force ; but there were, in- cluding their allies, 80,000 men—sufficient to meet any attack. Lord John, on the authority of a civilian just returned from the Crimea, said that many of the troops were emaciated and fallen in strength, but that a large portion of the army seemed in possession of their strength and ready to perform any military duty. He had seen with disdain some attacks on Lord Raglan - but he hoped Lord Raglan would rise superior to the attacks of a " ribald press."
After some further conversation, the House adjourned.
STATE OP BALAILAVA.
Mr. DEEDES put a question to Admiral Berkeley respecting the alleged: state of confusion in the port of Balaklava.
Admiral BERKELEY hoped he could give an answer that would be sa- tisfactory. He then read extracts from two letters by Sir Edmund. Lyons. In the first, written on the 13th January, Sir Edmund speaks highly of the efficiency of Captain Mends, Captain Heath, Captain Dacres, and Commander Powell, his assistants, whose "conduct has won for them the admiration of the army and the good-will of all." Sir Ed- mund proceeds-
" I observe that it is alleged that quantities of hay and firewood were al- lowed to float about the harbour when both were in much request ; and I freely admit it must have appeared so to passers-by ; but the truth is, the hay had become so saturated with salt water in the late hurricane that the animals would not eat the innermost part of the trusses ; the wood was only fit for firewcod, and it was considered that the best means of preventing its being pilfered was to let it float out of the reach of the strand until measures could be taken for collecting and distributing it."
In the second extract, dated 20th January, Sir Edmund states that he en- closes some documents which he had received from Captain Heath of the Sanspareil, "by which their Lordships will observe, that many of the ac- counts of the confusion in Balaklava harbour, if not altogether untrue, are at least greatly exaggerated."
The masters of thirty-six transports bore testimony to "the unceasing en- deavours of Captain Heath to regulate the berthing and insure the safety of the ships in the harbour." Admiral Berkeley also read an extract from a report by Captain Methden of the Columbo, expressing his unqualified admi- ration of the conduct of Captain Powell and Captain Heath. " I consider," he adds, "the present state of the harbour a marvel of exact arrangement,— and the amount of accommodation afforded only to be exampled by one of the crowded docks of Liverpool." (Ironical cheers.) .
THE HOSPITAL AT SCUTARI.
Before the House went into Committee of Supply on Wednesday, Mr. STAFFORD made a statement respecting the hospitals at Scutari. Orders had been sent thither from the Crimea to provide for 500 sick every week. Coupled with that, there was the statement that Dr. M'Grigor had been removed from the office of Inspector of transports. The transport system had been the most disgraceful of the many disgraceful details of this miserable business. Dr. M'Grigor had fitted up the transports for the sick in a way much better than that formerly in use ; and he called upon the Minister of War to do the one thing that would arrest disasters —to bestow some substantial mark of confidence on Dr. M'Grigor.
Mr. GLADSTONE said, that Mr. Stafford might either have carried his statement to the proper department of the Government, or have called
the members of the Government in that House to account for neglect.. He had not given notice of his complaint, so as to enable some one to give him an answer. Mr. Gladstone explained, that Mr. Sidney Herbert had made the best provision he could to meet the enlarged demands for space. He had done all he could to make use of the existing Army Medical, Staff; but when he found the demand went beyond the provision that had been made, he further considered in what way he could best adjust a scheme for making the civil medical profession of the country available for the wants of the army. A staff of medical officers would be immedi- ately sent out for the purpose of superintending the hospital at Scutari. Mr. Gladstone reproved Mr. Stafford for interfering with the duties of the Executive, by deprecating removals and invoking honours upon par- ticular persons. Mr. WHITESIDE, Colonel Kanax, and Colonel Duwws took part in the conversation ; vindicating the course of Mr. Stafford, and assailing Mr. Gladstone for giving a lecture on discretion, and speaking without emo- tion when the army in the Crimea was reduced to 11,000 effective men. Sir WILLIAM MOLESWORTH said it was not true to say the army was perishing at the rate of 1000 a day : Mr. Herbert was quite correct in stating that " the British force" in the Crimea amounted to 30,000 men, including the naval brigade.
SUPPLY : SUPPLEAIENTAL ESTIMATES.
Mr. Gnens-rostn, on Wednesday, moved that the House should go into Committee of Supply, when he would move a part of the Supplementary Estimates for the Ordnance Department. This was rendered necessary because they bad come rather near the margin given to them by the Ways and Means Bill of hurt session ; and he proposed to take a vote on account of the Ordnance service for the present year, so as in no degree to interfere with the liberty of discussion on the part of Members. If the Douse agreed to the vote, Government would carefully examine whether, conformably with the present law, they could issue the money without putting the House to the trouble of meeting from day to day to pass a Ways and Means bill. Sir HENRY WILLOUGHBY and Mr. Mutsu complained of this course as irregular. Mr. WALPOLE saw no objection to going into Committee of Supply, as the exigencies of the public service required the money. Sir -enamors Wows said, that by agreeing to the vote, the House would be in no degree bound by the estimate itself. The demands of the Ordnance had been greater than were anticipated, and it became necessary to ask the House for authority to expend an additional sum of money. In Committee, a vote of 1,200,0001. was agreed to on account of the Ordnance Supplementary Estimate.
The Commons sat for a short time yesterday morning, to enable the Government to take a vote of Supply, and pass a resolution in Committee of Ways and Means. The vote of Supply was for 130,0001. to meet an excess on the vote of last year for the Civil Service. The Estimates, in consequence of a delay of the printer, were not before the House; but, at the suggestion of Mr. GLADSTONE, the House granted the vote, in order that the whole of the supplemental votes, for the Ordnance, iavy, and Civil Service, agreed to during the week, might be included in the same Ways and Means Bill.
In Committee of Ways and Means, the House granted 2,000,0001. for the purpose of making good the deficiency in the supply for the service of the year ending 31st March 1855.
Sin CHARLES NAPIER.
At the sitting of the House of Commons yesterday, Mr. CRAUPURD put a question relating to a statement made by Sir Charles Napier in a speech at the Mansionhouse. In reply, Admiral BERKELEY expressed his regret that his old and gallant friend Sir Charles Napier should have been so highly indiscreet as to make the speech which he is reported to have made at the Mansionbouse.
" Baring expressed these regrets, it is my duty to inform the House, that Sir Charles Napier has not been censured ; that Sir Charles Napier has not been dismissed from Lis command ; that Sir Charles Napier was not goaded into improperly attacking any one fortification in the Baltic ; that Sir Charles Napier was not restricted in any way from attacking those fortresses, if he had so thought proper; and that Sir Charles Napier was in- formed by the Admiralty that the country expected everything that such a fleet could perform to be carried out and executed against the enemy. I regret extremely that Sir Charles Napier is setting so bad an example to those officers whom he would command. I regret extremely that it is my duty to state, as the senior naval officer of the Admiralty, how highly we must disapprove of such conduct in any officer in her Majesty's service.' Sir Charles Napier should reflect whether his conduct to his superiors would en- able him to secure the confidence of officers under him, " if such confidence they have in him ; and whether such conduct is becoming in an officer who assumes to command a fleet in conjunction with our allies the French." (Cheers.) ARMY Paostonox.
Lord GODERICH has given notice of the following motion for the 20th instant-
" That, in the opinion of this House, the present system of promotions in the Army, under which non-commissioned officers rarely attain the rank of commissioned officers and scarcely ever that of field officers, is injurious to the public service and unjust to the private soldier."