Ethatts ant Vrnmitings in Varliamtnt.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THE WEEK.
HOUSE OF LORDS. Monday, March 5. Administration of Poison Bill, read a second time.
Tisesday, , March 6. Annexation of Savoy and Nice Lord Ellenborough's Ques- tion—Dwellings for the Labouring Classes (Ireland) Bill, read a second time—Attor- neys and solicitors Bill, read a second time.
Thursday, March 8. Annexation of Savoy; Lord Carnarvon's Question—Quali- fication for Offices' Abolition Bill, read a second time.
Friday, March 9. Government of Tuscany; Lord Normanby's Motion.
Noose OF Coxuoxs. Monday, March 5. Whitworth'- Gun ; Mr. Balllie's Question—Commercial Treaty; Mr. Byng's Motion postponed—Savings Banks' Investment Bill, read a second time—Packet Service ((Transfer of Contracts' Bill,) committed—Settled Estates Act(1856 Amendment,) BM thrown out. Tuesday, March 6. Annexation of Savoy ; Mr. Ninglake's Notice of Motion— Sale and Purchase of Commissionl; Sir De Lacy Evans's Motion—Customs Bill read a second time.
Wednesday, March 7. Coroners I Select Committee appointed—University of Oxford Bill committed.
Thursday, March 8. Annexation of Savoy; Mr. Kinglake's Motion postponed— East Indian Emigration ; Mr. Cave's Motion—Commercial Treaty' Mr. Byng's Motion—Bankrupt Law (Scotland) Amendment Bill, read a first time. Friday, March 9. Annexation of Savoy ; Lord Vane Tempest's Question—Com- mercial Treaty; Debate on Mr. Byng's Motion.
THE COMMERCIAL TREATY AND THE OPPOSITION.
In accordance with a notice given on Friday evening, Lord PALMER-, STON, on Monday. moved that the other orders of the day should be post-
poned, in order to enable Mr. Byng to move an address to the Crown on
the commercial treaty with France. This led to a very desultory debate. Mr. LINDSAY, to whom Lord Palmerston appealed, asking him to re- frain from pressing his motion on the shipping-duties' clause, objected
that the terms of the address were not before the House, and that there-
fore he could not judge whether he should refrain or not. Mr. Ewes- Laxn thereupon rose, and introduced the question of the annexation of Savoy—the Opposition cheering. He commented on the ambiguous
terms of the Emperor's speech affecting Savoy, and its appeal to the dan- gerous principle of natural boundaries, and remarked that the Savoy question had only arrived at an unfavourable phase after the treaty was signed. He thought the House should carefully consider the papers re- lating to Savoy before they expressed an opinion on the commercial treaty. The course proposed by Lord Palmerston would accelerate the consideration of a question not ripe for discussion.
Mr. BYNG agreed to postpone his motion until Thursday. Lord PAL- MERSTON immediately asked leave to withdraw his motion, remarking, however, that Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Lindsay were both in possession of the terms of the address. Mr. DISRAELI declared that the course ori- ginally proposed was not in accordance with precedent. He was glad it was changed, but he suggested Friday as the best day for the discussion. Mr. HOR8MAN complained that the Government had had more facilities for carrying on business than any Government ever had, and he thought
that a limit should be put to these concessions. He supported Mr. Dis-
raeli in his demand for Friday, because Thursday belongs to independent Members. Sir Join( PAXINGTON said he remembered no instance which looked more like an attempt to take the House by surprise, and strangle discussion than the notice of Friday. It was unusual and discourteous. (" Oh ! Oh !") Mr. Gransroten denied that there had been any attempt to stifle dis- cussion. It is not a favour to the Government to allow them to proceed
with their measures on days that do not belong to them. A regard for the pressing interests of the trading and commercial community makes the Government anxious to arrive at an early conclusion of the budget. It is for the convenience of all parties that Mr. Byng's motion should be taken on Thursday, when it will take its chance as the motion of an in- independent Member, and the discussion may close on Friday.
Mr. SEYMOUR FITZGERALD carried the question back to the annexation of Savoy and Nice. The question was, should they make our relations
with France more intimate at a time when matters seriously affectirq the relations of France with Europe are before the public ? He argued that Europe is full of fear of the Emperor, and that the English Parliament is expected to take the initiative in expressing public opinion. Lord Palmerston asked the House to draw closer the bonds of alliance as if there were an identity of policy between the two countries. Lord John Russell has remonstrated with France, but "we " want more than the language of mere remonstrance. We want to see a solemn protest against the project of annexation. Under these circumstances, he would suggest
to the noble Lord that the consideration of the clauses of the commercial treaty should not take place until the House had the opportunity of clearly and decidedly expressing en opinion as to this annexation of Sa- voy and Nice. Mr. BRIGHT accepted the language of Mr. Fitzgerald, as the language of Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli. The treaty is evidently unpleasant to
the country party, but the country has only one voice in its favour.
*hat did Mr. Binglake propose—to take the foreign question out of the hands of the Crown or the Government ? If so, why not bring forward a
motion, and battle it out ? If they succeeded, they would turn out the Go- vernment and then carry out the same policy. He accused the Conser- vatives of rendering the Russian war inevitable by their hostility to Lord Aberdeen ; and said there were persons in high position who would prefer even a war to a growing friendship with France. These irritating dis- cussions carried on from night to night imperil the peace of Europe.
Mr. LIDDELL said the Members on his side were not prepared to view the annexation of Savoy with pusillanimous indifference. Mr. Warm- SIDE said it was the Emperor of the French, and not the Conservative party, who places the peace of Europe in peril. No imputation rests on Lord John Russell, but what is wanted is a simple and manly protest
against the project of annexation. The Conservatives desire peace, but at the same time desire to preserve the faith of treaties and the honour of the country. Mr. Osisomrs forcibly deprecated these discussions, and
asked whether we are to lay hold of the commercial treaty and convert what was intended as a source of amity, into a source of war ? Mr. Roz- BUCX here struck in with an attack upon the Emperor of the French, whom he described as "that man." As thus :- " I have to consider the honour of England. (Cheers.) I say that if at this time we did not speak our minds, we should be truckling to the Emperor of
the Frenob. (Cheers.) We should not be the England which I believe we are. (Continued cheers.) I say that this man who is now entering into friendly relations with us is breaking all the treaties we have made, and is
elating dishonour upon England by melting it appear that we are his friends, while he is doing a disgraceful and dishonourable act. (" Hear, hear" and " Olt ! ") I do not mine° my language. I don't fear that man, but I have a fear lest England be thought to truckle to him. What is he doing ? He
invites us to enter into friendly intercourse. To that invitation I willingly secede. I think he has done boldly by so doing. I think he has acted
doubly boldly, when, having quarrelled with his priests, he ventures to
quarrel with his Prohibitionists at the same time. But he has done a bolder act. At the same time that he invites England to be his friend, he seeks to
break the treaties which England has made. He talks of acquiring the versants des Alpes. If I understand what that means, he will go still fur- ther. The man who talks of geographical reasons for wishing to approach the Alps, may for the seine reasons, desire to approach the Rhine. And so, if we now stand by with "bated breath " while he approaches the Alps, we shall by-and-bye see him acquire the Rhenish provinces of Prussia and crush Belgium in his grasp." (Cheers.) Mr. Roebuck thought that the consideration of the treaty should be deferred until the House had declared its opinion on the annexation of Savoy. Mr. CONLNGHAH added his counsels to those of Mr. Osborne. Lord ,Tosui RUSSELL also deprecated irritating, objectless discussions, and pointed out that they must lead to a rupture of amicable relations.
He asked the Opposition to come to a definite resolution. What do they mean ? Then he again stated, what he has twice stated before, the course of events touching the annexation of Savoy. Nothing can be more per- nicious than to indulge in invective without a definite object. Having mentioned M. Thouvenel's despatch to Baron de Talleyrand, he said- " The question of annexation concerns Sardinia more than any other Power in the world. It is naturally the part of his dominions of which the ling of Sardinia must be the most proud ; it is the country in which his house arose; and, in the course of time, it has numbered among its people many of the most gallant and skilful of officers, and many of the bravest of men whose deeds have adorned the page of history. The Government of the King of Sardinia have answered at great length, and with much detail so far as relates to Italy ; but with regard to Savoy, Count Cavour has said that he reserves that as the subject for a separate despatch, and that he will
treat it very soon in that separate despatch, which he will communicate to the Government of France. Then, I say again, when the Power most of all
interested in this question has not yet decided in what way it will act, that
this is not the moment in which we should come to a precipitate conclu- sion. (Cheers.) But this I will say, that whatever may be said with re-
spect to Savoy, my opinion it, that the treaty of commerce with France is destined, if it obtains the approbation of the 'Parliament of this country, to strengthen the ties of friendship between the two nations, to increase the
wealth and stimulate the industry of both, and that by thus giving a greater number of our own people and a greater number of the people of France an interest in the blessings of peace, we shall delay, perhaps prevent, that calamity of war which, I think, it is the business of every European states- man to use his utmost efforts to avert. (Loud cheers.) Lord Ions Mhisarons insisted on connecting the treaty with the pro- ject of annexation. Mr. NEWDEGATE did the same. Mr. B1LNTINCK charged Ministers with sacrificing the honour of England for the sake of the supposed benefits of a commercial treaty. Lord HARRY VANE de- clined to connect the two ; but Mr. STIRLING treated of them together. Motion withdrawn.
In the House of Lords, the Duke of NEWCASTLE said that if the address on the treaty came up from the Lower House on Tuesday, he should fix Friday for its discussion. Both the Earl of DERBY and Earl GREY said they had no desire to throw any obstacle in the way of the execution of the treaty. [But these arrangements were frustrated by the turn of affairs in the House of Commons.] On Thursday, Mr. BYNG moved the following resolution :-
" That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, to assure her Majesty that, having considered the treaty of commerce concluded between
her Majesty, and the Emperor of the French, this House begs leave to ap-
proach her Majesty with their sincere and grateful acknowledgments for this new proof of her Majesty's desire to promote the welfare and happiness of her subjects ; to assure her Majesty that we shall proceed to take such steps as may be necessary for giving effect to a system which we trust will promote a beneficial intercourse between Great Britain and France, tend to the extension of trade and manufacture, and give additional security for the continuance of the blessings of peace." He made a full statement of his views on the subject, the substance of which was that he believed the treaty would tend to promote a friendly feeling and augment the commerce between the two countries. He did not over estimate the advantages or the disadvantages of the treaty, but on the whole he thought it would have beneficial results for both coun- tries. He took occasion to approve of the foreign policy of the Govern- ment, and paid a deserved tribute to Mr. Cobden.
Mr. BAINES seconded the motion. It is desirable to stimulate trade with France. He does not fear competition. The treaty will cement the friendship and advance the interests of the two greatest nations in the world.
Mr. LLIDSAY moved an amendment expressing a wish to see the prin- ciples of the treaty extended to navigation. He expounded the present
state of the French navigation laws, and showed that they are more in- jurious to France than to England ; keeping down the growth of her shipping and restricting her trade. He contended that a change in the navigation laws of France is more required for the indirect than the
direct trade. But he declined to press his motion, preferring to bring it forward substantively on some future occasion. Mr. PEACOCK objected to the treaty and made an anti-free-trade speech. Mr. CLAY supported, and Mr. BAJT.T TV COCHRANE opposed the treaty. Mr. Wn.aleat EwART congratulated Mr. Gladstone on his great achievement. Mr. Msounto as an Irish Member, warmly defended the treaty, which ho insisted would prove very beneficial to Ireland ; therein contesting a contrary opinion expressed by Mr. Pope Hennessy. Mr. RIDLEY, Lord ADOLPHUS VANE TEMPEST, and Mr. SLANEY spoke in favour of the treaty. Sir liven CAIRNS was the first speaker who intimated the practical course of the Opposition. He began thus :—
" I do not rise to express distant from the motion of the honourable Member for Middlesex. I should regret very much if that motion were not carried. The rejection of it would be the overthrow of this treaty, and, for my part, I do not desire that the treaty should be overthrown. But if my assent to the motion were to be held to imply that I believed this to be a treaty wise in its details, well-considered in its provisions, or such a treaty
as the trade of the country required, and had a right to expect, the opinion which I entertain of the treaty would be very much misapprehended; and
it is in order to prevent that misapprehension that I do not wish to give a
silent vote on the present occe.aion.' It had been denied, he observed, that the treaty is a bargain; hut, if it was not a bargain? what is the meaning of the terms in the treaty under which the validity of its stipulations depended upon the sanction of the House of Commons? His objection was that it is nut only a bargain, but a very bad bargain for us. He dwelt upon the de- fects of the treaty in relation to our shipping and to the linen and linen yarn of Ireland, loaded with an almost prohibitory duty, expressing his doubt whether the negotiators could have had their attention directed to the subject of the linen trade. He specified other objections to the manner in which the treaty had been framed, and commented upon the spirit-duty. originally fixed at 10s. per gallon, which was subsequently reduced to 8s. 2d., and he asked what concession had been made by the French Government for this Is. 10d.. He contrasted the vigilance of the French negotiators of the treaty with the supineness of ours, and, with reference to the 11th article, he observed that up to that moment the House had not had any explana-
tion of the object of the Government in regard to that article, and he asked what right they had to surrender a power to prohibit the export of coal,
possessed for political purposes, and which had no relation to commerce. Although he considered the treaty one-sided, imperfect, and halting, he supported the motion because much greater injury would be done, and greater risk incurred, by arresting it than by assenting to it, and he was- not prepared to take the responsibility of defeating the treaty in that way.
Mr. MU.NER GrnsoN was glad to hear that Sir Hugh. Cairns would throw no impediment in the way of the treaty, by which we have ob- tained what is good in itself, as well as beneficial to the people of both France and England. With regard to Irish linens, he had been assured by a deputation from the manufacturers of Belfast that they would be satisfied if they were put upon the same footing as those of Belgium, and they were to be so placed in June, 1861. In repect to coals, what could be done by international law before the treaty could be done afterwards ; the non-prohibition of the export of coal is only in a commercial sense. The spirit duty is governed by considerations relating to the Excise sur- vey and regulations applicable to British spirits, which the difference of duty is intended to cover ; and, as to shipping, he insisted that the treaty placed British shipping in a better position, and conferred upon our ship- owners an important advantage. He should be glad to see, he said, all navigation laws entirely abolished; but the restriction of the French law has but a small effect upon British shipping, and too much importance was, in his opinion, attached to such a matter. But the House, he ob- served, must look at the principle of the treaty ; had the negotiators tra- velled from the broad principle into the minute details alluded to by Sir Hugh Cairns, they would have fallen altogether. He hoped the House would give an unanimous vote in favour of the address.
Sir STAFFORD NORTHCOTE considered that the objections of Sir H. Cairns had been very feebly dealt with by Mr. Gibson, and had not been answered at all. Whatever opinion might be entertained of the general charaCter of the treaty, the House ought not to be precluded from discus- sing its details, and he proceeded to review and enforce the objections founded upon some of those details, disputing the theory of Mr. Gibson as to the sense of the 11th article, and contending that this article fet- tered our liberty of action ; and this, he said, was his objection to the treaty, confessedly a clumsy one, that it tied up the hands of Parliament for ten years. The motion proposedto thank her Majesty for much more than the treaty, for financial arrangements were mixed up with the treaty. It was, therefore, impossible for him to join cordially in the motion.
The amendment having been withdrawn, the debate upon the original motion was adjourned.
SAVOY AND NICE.
The Earl of Eaammonormr wished to know whether the Government had communicated its views on the Savoy question to the Courts of Vienna, Berlin, and St. Petersburgh, and whether steps have been taken to obtain their cooperation in inducing France to abandon that project. Those Governments ought to say that the frontier of France had been settled in 1815, and they would not acquiesce in its extension.
The Duke of NEWCASTLE said that the views of the Government have been reported to those courts, but no specific proposition inviting their cooperation, has been made, and there is no intention of forming that kind of counter alliance which Lord Ellenborough seemed to desire. The Earl of DERBY asked why a despatch referred to la the corre- spondence has been omitted. The Duke of Nearcssrao said that it was omitted because it was of no importance. There was no objection what- ever to its production.
On Thursday, in the Lower House, Mr. KiNorhaan gave notice that on Monday next he would mom the following resolution :- " That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, thanking her Majesty for having caused to be produced to this House the Correspond- ence respecting the proposed annexation of Savoy and Nice to France, the Treaties of peace and amity,' and the Treaties of alliance and friend- ship,' presented to this House pursuant to the address of the 16th of Febru- ary last ; for Extracts of the treaties by which her Majesty is engaged to maintain in force any stipulations coneerning the frontiers of France ; and expressing to her Majesty the deep concern with which this House has heard of the contemplated annexation of Savoy and Nice to the empire of France, and assuring her Majesty of the satisfaction with which this House would learn that her Majestyhad invited the other Powers who wereparties to the above-mentioned Treaties of alliance and friendship' to join with her Majesty in endeavouring to avert the realization of a project which has excited distrust and alarm in Europe."
On Wednesday, Mr. Moscaeroar MILNPA gave notice that on Monday next, on the motion of Mr. Kinglake, for an address to her Majesty res- pecting the annexation of Nice and Savoy to France, he should move, by way of amendment, to leave out all the words after "annexation of Nice and Savoy to France," for the purpose of inserting these,—" humbly ex- pressing to her Majesty the deep regret of this House at the agitation of a question affecting the frontiers of a great State, defined and secured by the consent of Europe, on apparently insufficient grounds ; and humbly assuring her Majesty that this House will earnestly support her Ma- jesty's advisers in conducting the negotiations on the question to an issue compatible with the true interests of France, of Switzerland, and of Italy, with the faithful observance of treaties, and with the maintenance of the peace of Europe."
But on Thursday, at the request of Lord Joie; Russia., Mr. XING- LABE consented to postpone his motion.
In the House of Lords, a conversation arose touching the private cor- respondence which had passed between Lord John Russell and Lord Cowley respecting the annexation of Savoy. The Earl of CARNARNON, stating his opinion that the power of treating public affairs by private correspondence should be sparingly used, said he should be satisfied if, in this instance, he were told that there was nothing in the private corre- spondence to modify the views which might be formed from reading the published papers. The Duke of NEWCASTLE admitted that the power must be used with discretion. In the present instance, he expressed his belief that the
whole case is fully and frankly before Parliament. In conversations with Lord Cowley, Count Walewski put the ease of annexation hypothetically, but did not state that it was a proposal before the French Government.
Until the question was revived, the Govhrnment bad no reason to sup- pose the denial of Count Walewski would be departed from. When the project became definite, the correspondence became public, and was then on the table.
The course pursued by Lord John Russell was blamed by Earl GREY, the Earl of MALMESBURY, the Marquis of NORMANS; and the Earl of DERBY, and was defended by Lord WODEHOUSE and the Duke of ARGYLL.
THE ARMY PURCHASE SYSTEM.
On Tuesday evening, Sir DE LACY EYANS moved the following reso- lution :- " That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, praying that she will be graciously pleased to order the gradual abolition, as soon as practi- cable, of the sale and purchase of commissions in the Army (having due re- gard in doing so to existing rights), with the view of substituting for the purchase system, promotion partly by selection, partly seniority, grounded on war services of merit, length of colonial and home services, and attested professional fitness, under such regulations as her Majesty shall be pleased to direct."
The speech made by Sir De Lacy Evans in support of his motion was nearly inaudible; but he was understood to say that he simply desired to have carried out the views of the Royal Commission which inquired into the subject.
Mr. RICK seconded the motion. The question raised is that of money as opposed to merit. He joined issue with those who say that the sys- tem has upheld the efficiency of the Army ; showing that before the Crimean war it had not produced young officers either in the lower or higher ranks, that it had produced lieutenants of twenty-eight, captains of thirty-eight, majors of forty-four, and major-generals of sixty. He inveighed against the excessive prices charged for commissions, and argued in favour of a system half-seniority half-selection. Captain LEICESTER VERNON moved this amendment: " That whereas promotion in the seniority corps already existing—viz., the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and Royal Marines—being of an un- satisfactory character, this House is of opinion that it is not desirable to ex- tend the seniority system to the whole of the Army." His argument was that, if purchase were abolished, promotion would depend on death vacancies. Now promotion by seniority in the en- gineers, artillery, and marines prevented a man from being a captain until he had served twenty-four years. In the Crimea, the colonels failed from physical inability to do the work, and it was left to the cap- tains and second-lieutenants. Captain Vernon contended that the army is a middle class and not an aristocratic institution, and gave several in- stances of good officers who have sprung from the middle class. Then promotion by seniority in the Indian service is such a drag that the offi- cers invented a purchase system of their own. If promotion by merit were introduced in England, how long would it be before merit and fa- vour became one ? The purchase system benefits poor officers by bring- ing them rapidly up to the top of their rank, and passing them on to the next at the first death vacancy. Captain Vernon also produced authori- ties in support of his view, showed how the purchasing officers of the English Army beat Napoleon's marshals. Then, he said, came the crowning field of glorious Waterloo, and there the star of Napoleon, the so-called soldier of merit, sank for ever before the genius of Wellington, the so-called soldier of purchase. Colonel Mermen seconded the amendment. Mr. Nimes. O'BRIEN deprecated any reference to victories gained over the French. Sir PRE.- I/ERICK Stara spoke in opposition to the resolution, and could not see how seniority and selection could be combined. Captain JERVIS, as a member of a non-purchasing corps, the Royal Artillery, said that the purchase system could not be done away with unless the pay of officers is raised. Colonel LINDSAY, an officer who has been purchased over eighteen times, spoke in favour of the system, which he believes to be good, both as regards the Army and the public. Examinations can be carried on as well with the purchase system as without it. Selection is impracticable. Colonel PERCY HERBERT said the purchase system pro- motes the efficiency of the service and the economy of the public purse. What would be be the cost of retirement necessary to keep up promo- tion, were there no purchase ? Mr. SIDNEY HERBERT, after commenting on the exaggerated state- ments made on both sides, and referring to the difficulties of the ques- tion, stated his views at some length. He is ready to act on any scheme which will get rid of the abuses and scandals that overlay the system of purchase. He admits that purchase alone will not ensure physical vigour among officers, but that supplemented by other measures it will. Speaking of the reduction in the price of cavalry commis- sions, he said that he believed it would diminish extravagance, by bringing a sounder public opinion into regiments. Then he came to the abuses of the system and the remedies. "No doubt, this purchase system is indefen- sible in theory, but in practice it is extremely useful, andI think you should pause before adopting any sweeping measure of abolition. Where is it that the great scandals of purchase arise ? Not in the lower ranks. The great prices are given in the superior grades by very wealthy men, who want a position which gives them power, responsibility, and reputation. It is in these cases that public feeling is justly shocked. We hear, too, of ex- changes made for the purpose of trafficking in this way, and sometimes a
regiment is thus deprived of its step The Duke of Somerset's Com- mission recommended that, in order to check the great prices which are given in the upper ranks of the army, purchase should be confined to the rank of major and the grades below it. The importance of a lieutenant- colonelcy was so great, it was argued, that succession to it should not be allowed by seniority—that is, by seniority either with or without purchase. The commission objected very much to the system of seniority. So do I. I have always been opposed to it. I was responsible for the introduction of a system which I freely admit has been much complained of in the army, but which I am sure has added very much to its efficiency, by which officers are selected from among the colonels, are made either brigadiers or temporary major-generals, and ultimately attain the rank of major-general. That, therefore, is not promotion by seniority, but by selection. . . . . The Duke of Cambridge in this respect is very much opposed to the system of selection, as casting upon the person who has to select a burden which it is almost impossible for him to bear. . . . . We, who signed this Report in 1854, conceived that if a stop were put to the purchase of the rank o
lieu- tenant-colonel, by which an indefeasible right is acquired to the successive steps of major-general and lieutenant-general, with the command of a regi- ment, and all the perquisites and emoluments attaching to that important position, the same inducement would no longer exist to give extravagant prices in the junior ranks of the service. There have been very important changes in the system of promotion during the last six years ; formerly every officer rose to be a captain, and then obtained a brevet, becoming, in course of time, lieutenant-colonel, major-general, and so on ; he might never have served a day in command of a regiment, or acquired any experience of that character, but he was eligible for command, and could retire on half- pay. It is impossible to imagine any worse system than this ; not only was
he promoted, though he had no service, but he had better chances than a man with service, because he did not go to unhealthy climates. This mode of promotion has been swept away, and in its stead has been substituted that of promotion for service. At the present moment, no man can rise above the rank of lieutenant-colonel unless he has held a regimental com- mand for a certain period, or served for a certain time upon the staff. The staff will be very soon closed to everybody who has not passed through the Staff College. The mass of regimental officers, of course, will not go there —in fact, it would be very inconvenient if they were to do so—and you will consequently have a number of excellent officers whose only chance of rising to the higher grades of their profession will be by having five years' service in command of a regiment. How are they to obtain this qualification? I will suppose the case of officers who have not the money sufficient to pur- chase their promotion. I hear it said that they may acquire the necessary qualification by attaining retired full-pay or by death vacancies. But again .t ask, with the long list which precedes his own name, and the few oppor- tunities which can thus occur, how is it possible for the necessary qualifica- tions to be obtained by deserving officers ? As a broad and general rule I believe it will be very difficult for a man who cannot purchase his lieutenant- colonelcy to rise to the higher ranks ; and if such a rule should once become established, the injustice will be felt to be intolerable, and will lower the army, as a profession, in the eyes of the British people. It is, therefore, necessary to devise some means by which the rule may be broken through in favour of those who have not money, and who may not succeed in getting the death vacancies. . . . . It is argued that the selection by the Commander-in-chief is not only liable to be influenced, but that it cannot be made with proper regard to efficiency.
I doubt that very much. I am quite sure that the Commander-in-chief has the means of knowing the character, capacity, and intelligence of every officer in the Army, if he goes to the proper quarter to ascertain them—the Adjutant-General's office. I have myself been repeatedly sent for by Lord Raglan to discuss the fitness and ability of officers required for a particular service. Sir George Simpson and Lord Panmure both state that the Com- mander-in-chief has full means of knowing the character of every officer. It is said that this power of selection may be exercised during a war, but not in time of peace. In peace, promotion should be given by seniority— seniority accelerated by purchase. But there is a difficulty of selecting in the case of officers serving abroad. The Duke of Cambridge says he can select officers at home, but not so well abroad. I admit there is a difficulty in doing so. Though in India, or wherever large bodies of troops are col- lected, the means exist of comparing officers together, yet where the force is less there are less means of comparison. I have gone through the objec- tions raised to the question of selection for the rank of lieutenant-colonel. I have in this Blue-book evidence on evidence, from men whose opinion is entitled to great weight, that the command of a regiment should not be held for a very long period by one officer. This is the opinion of Sir Charles Yorke and Lord Panmure. The distinction drawn by the Commission of which I was a member is, that it is in the upper ranks of the Army the sale of commissions gives rise to scandal and injustice, but that in the lower ranks it gives that acceleration to promotion necessary to keep the Army in proper physical youth and vigour without being attended by the evils it causes in the upper grades. When I signed the Report of the Commission I did so with the conviction that on a very difficult question this was the best course to take. I view with apprehension and alarm any proposal for the en- tire abolition of purchase ; I do not see what is to replace it Holding, as I do, that purchase in some shape, to some extent, in some ranks, is necessary, I believe it better to preserve that system and make it more useful. Without pledging myself to details, because many points will require very careful consideration, I may state that the principle laid down by the Commission is the principle the Government acknowledgesin dealing with this question. It will be my duty to prepare a scheme founded on that principle, and lay it before the military authorities for consideration. On one side, it may be said this is a miserable course of proceeding, and a very small measure of improvement. My right honourable friend behind me will say the change is too hasty, too sweeping, and too rash. I have been accustomed to live between two fires, and, between two extremes, I am not sure but we are nearer the truth. As far as I see my way, I am prepared to wait. It must depend, of course, on the Government how the measure can best be shaped. There are great difficulties to encounter, strong prejudices to be met; but beyond the point to which I see my way, I will not move an inch. This great machine, the English Army, is not a thing to play with. The value and reputation of an army do not depend merely on its nume- rical force, but on the spirit by which it is animated, and we must not deal lightly with anything that concerns it. I have, for a civilian, had much experience of military matters ; and every day I am disposed to think more highly of the English Army, its working, and administration. I have told you the principle on which the Government are prepared to act. I will lay before the military authorities a scheme based on that principle, and which will carry our views honestly into effect. I trust the House and the coun- try will support us in bringing this scheme to a successful issue." Mr. Mainz, admitting that no administration has done so much for the Army as that of Mr. Herbert, warned the House not tb adopt the scheme suggested by him. It will aggravate existing evils ; it will lead to fa- vouritism. Our regiments are the best formed bodies for the military chess-board ; be just to the Army and do not curtail the privileges and advantages of officers. He was afraid the scheme would be badly re- ceived by the Army. He urged the Government to devise tome scheme for settling the affairs of the whole Army, that of India included. Colonel NORTH supported the amendment. Lord STANLEY urged Sir De Lacy Evans not to press the motion to a division, because no division would represent the opinion of the House. Sir DE LACY Evens agreed to withdraw the motion, and Captain Vernon withdrew his amendment ; but some military enthusiasts insisted on a division upon the original motion. The numbers were—Ayes, 59 ; Noes, 213.
THE WHITWORTH AND ARMSTRONG GUNS.
In reply to questions from Mr. BAILLIE, Mr. SIDNEY HERBERT made a statement respecting these guns.
Nothing could apparently be more satisfactory, considering the small number of experiments which had been made, than the result in the case of Mr. Whitworth's gun so far as fouling was concerned. He might also state, in reference to Sir W. Armstrong's gun, that wherrit had been first used it khad been found necessary to employ a wet sponge, not indeed at every dis- charge, but at certain intervals. A new lubricating wash had, however, been introduced by him, by the operation of which that objection had been obviated. With respect to the question whether the committee which had been appointed to decide on the respective merits of the Armstrong and the Whitworth cannon had adopted the former without going to Manchester to look at Mr. Whitworth's gun, he could only say that he was not in a posi- tion to give to it a positive answer. He believed, however, that it was quite true that the committee had not visited Manchester, but had taken the report of another committee who had inspected the Whitworth gun. It must be borne in mind that that gun had not at the time to which the honourable gentleman's question related, produced those admirable re- sults which had since been accomplished ; and he might, perhaps, be per- mitted to take the present opportunity to state the course in the matter which he had determined to pursue. He had invited Mr. Whitworth to send his gun or guns to Shoeburyness, and there, not by means of short trials, but of those lengthened experiments which were necessary, to test the relative merits of the two guns in question for all purposes, including not only accuracy of aim and distance, but above all, efficiency as used against an enemy. By such competition he had no doubt useful results would be attained and great improvements effected. As the case at present stood, the Whitworth gun had, so far as he was aware, exceeded the Arm- strong in range, and very nearly, if not quite, equalled it in accuracy. The subject was one, he might add, to which the Government felt it to be their duty to pay the utmost attention. They deemed it, therefore, to be the best course to try both guns, and he was certainly by no means prepared to say that there existed any such difference between them as to induce the Go- vernmentto prevent the completion of the Armstrong guns which were now being made.
POISON. The Loan CHANCELLOR has brought in a bill to correct a de- fect in the law relating to the administration of poison. It consists of two clauses. The first provides that the administration of poison, with intent to do grievous bodily harm, shall be regarded as felony, and punished with penal servitude. The other provides that, in the event of the administration of poison being withcut intent to do grievous bodily harm, and with intent only to annoy and aggrieve, it shall be regarded as a misdemeanour, and punished with three years' imprisonment. The bill was read a second time on Monday.
EXPORT OF RAGS. Lord Sonar RUSSBLL, in answer to a question, stated on Monday that the repeal of the duty upon the admission of rags into this country for the purpose of manufacturing paper had been under the consi- deration of the French Government, and that the Council of Ministers were prepared to recommend to the Legislative Body the removal of that prohi- bition. (Cheers.) SAVINGS BANKS. The Savings Banks and Friendly Societies Invest- ments Bill, was read a second time on Monday. Mr. Gladstone explained its general nature. The government and management of Savings Banks, and the security which depositors ought to enjoy or do enjoy as respect the liabilities to them, this bill, he said, has nothing to do with. Its main ob- ject is to provide for a real and bond fide statement of this portion of the Na- tional Debt ; it likewise imposes certain limitations upon the powers of the Executive Government over the moneys of Savings Banks and Friendly Societies, and it provides a larger liberty of investment for those funds than heretofore, under certain restrictions, and a power of varying securities. The effect of the proposed arrangements would be a permanent saving to the country in two or three years of not less than 40,0001. or 50,000/. a year.
HAMPSTEAD HEATH. The Settled Estates Act (1856) Amendment Bill— a measure giving Sir Thomas Wilson certain powers to build on Hampstead Heath—was thrown out on the second reading by a majority of 86 to 43.
CORONERS. Two bills were before the House on Wednesday relating to Coroners. One was introduced by the Government and one by Mr. Cobbett. The latter gives the Coroner a fixed salary, in lieu of fees ; the former gives the liberty to appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench in cases when Coroners and Magistrates come into collision. Mr. Connwrr's motion for the second reading of his bill was negatived ; and the House agreed to refer the whole subject to a Select Committee.
EMIGRATION FROM BRITISH INDIA. Mr. CAVE has moved for, and ob- tained copies of, correspondence between the British and French Govern- ments with respect to the legalizing the export of Natives of British India as indentured labourers to French colonies. Mr. Cave strongly objected to the treaty. Lord Joins RUSSELL entered into a statement of its provisions similar to that made by Lord Wodehouse last week. He admitted that there were dangers in connexion with the treaty, but on the whole he thought it best that it should be negotiated ; the main inducement being to prevent a revival of the Slave-trade on the part of French traders. The greatest care has been taken to guard against abuse, but Lord John does not feel confident that with all their care they have been able to guard against all.
ELECTION ComarrrEss. The Committee appointed to inquire into the petition of Sir William Russell, against the return to Parliament of Admi- ral Sir Henry John Leeke and Mr. William Nicol, as Members for Dover, met on Saturday. Mr. Phinn, Q.C., appeared for the petitioner, Sir F. Slade, Q.C., for the sitting Members. A large portion of the inquiry con- sisted in examining freemen, who appeared bent on outswearing each other. The whole evidence was of the most contradictory character. One Dodd, a railway-guard, went to Folkestone as agent for the Conservative candidates. He gave Barton, a hair-dresser, Se. 3d., which was spent amongst freemen at his house. Then he gave Barton 201., really for division amongst those freemen in meeting assembled ; but, ostensibly for a new shop-window. Subsequent meetings were alleged to have taken place at a public-house kept by a Mr. Bromley, and on the table at this house, one Mempes found the sum of 30s., his bribe. Allen, a bricklayer, was at Bromley's on the day previous to the nomination, where there was a meeting of freemen. One Venner wrote on the table "28" in "slopped beer," which meant that so many shillings would be Allen's if he gave a blue vote. Bromley denies all these things, and many more. Bromley's wife, it is reported, had been sent out of the way, to avoid further conflicting evidence. She had a " great objection " to be cross-examined. Captain Carnegie stated on his examination that he was one of the Lords of the Admiralty-in Lord Derby's time. When a dissolution of Parliament was announced, he was requested to stand for Dover. " An interview took place between me and Mr. Church- ward in Mr. Murray's room." Mr. Murray was private secretary to Sir John Pakington. Mr. Churchward, " assuming that I was going to Dover, I sup- pose tendered, me his assistance He informed me that I should meet with very considerable opposition, and then proceeded to state that he wished to have his contract renewed." He wished for a friend in power, whoever was in office. Mr. Churchward had been referred to him as a person of in- fluence at Dover. Witness had had both verbal and written communica- tions with Mr. Murray on the subject of the election. Captain Carnegie produced a letter, dated 5th of April 1859, from H. Murray to him, to the effect that Sir William Jolliffe was very anxious to see him at the committee- room, 6, Victoria Street. "They say they must get you to stand either for Dover or Devonport, both of which must be fought by Admiralty men." Another letter, from Sir John Pakington, informs Captain Carnegie that he had seen that evening (April 6, 1859) a gentleman " who is now quartered at Dover, and who is willing to be our second candidate at that place he does not seem to be very confident as to his own election, but he entertains no doubt at all that the seat of a Lord of the Admiralty is quite secure. . . . . It will, however, be more satisfactory to you to investigate the state of affairs yourself ; and if you will call at No. 6, Victoria Street (Mr. Rose's), tomorrow morning, at half-past 11, you will receive the necessary information. Timepresses." On the 6th of April, Captain Carnegie received another letter from Mr. Murray, stating that " Sir John has just come back from the House, and wishes me to write at once to you that our interests are already seriously injured by the indecision of the last two days ; and that Lord Derby especially wishes you to be at Dover tomorrow morning." Captain Carnegie did not think he should ever have gone to Dover had the interview with Mr. Churchward never taken place ; but after that interview, be felt he could not go : "it capped the climax." He expressed his feelings to Mr. Murray that "a case involving the renewal of a contract with so in- fluential an elector as Mr. Churchward might be brought up against him at some future period." After a protracted examination into various matters, the Chairman, Mr. Gaskell, said that " no doubt, Mr. Churchward did in- terfere for the sitting members, but what is wanting to be proved is agency." Mr. Phinn said he should consider in the interval between the rising of the committee and its sitting tomorrow, how best to shorten the inquiry." The Chairman—" With regard to the allegation of corruption, the committee have a very strong opinion indeed." Mr. Phinn—" But you have not heard the evidence." The Chairman—" No ; but at present the committee have a very strong impresaion."
The Committee concluded their labours on Thursday, when the Chairman reported that Sir J. Leeke and Mr. W. Nicol were duly elected ; and that the allegations in the petition of ministerial interference, were not proved to their satisfaction. An application for costa on behalf of the sitting Mem- bers was refused. Bribery was proved against several freemen, but the Committee could not connect it with the sitting Members.
The sittings of the Roscommon Election Committee closed on Monday, when the Chairman announced the following resolutions as having been come to :—" That Captain William Goff is not duly elected a knight of the shire for the county of Roscommon. That the last election for the county of Roscommon, as far as regards Captain William Goff, is a void election. That Captain William Goff was, by his agents, guilty of treating at the last election for the county of Roscommon ; but that it is not proved that such treating was committed with the knowledge or consent of the said Captain William Goff."
A Committee is setting on the petition against the return of Luke White for the county of Clare.