&luau nia rouriug inVarlinutrut,
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THE WEEK.
Horn OP LORDS. Monday, April 7. Australian Postage ; Lord Hardwicke's -Motion--The Currency ; Lord Eglinton's Motion. Tuesday, April 8. Agricultural Statistics Bill read a third time and passed—In- dian Finance; Lord Clanricarde's Motion.
Thursday, April 10. St. James's Park and the Public Offices ; Objections to the Government Plans.
Friday, April 11. Royal Assent to the Trial of Offences Bill, Commons Enclosure Bill, Turnpike Trusts Arrangements Bill, and Secretary of Poor-law Commissioners Bill—Church Discipline ; the Bishop of Exeter's Bill read a first time—Divorce and Matrimonial Causes ; the Lord Chancellor's Bill read a first time.
Horn Op ComMoNs. Monday, April 7. Billeting in Scotland ; Mr. Cowan's Motion—Supply ; Civil Service Estimates—Public Works Bill committed—Partner- ship Amendment (No. 2); Mr. Lowe's Bill read a first time.
Tuesday, April 8. Income and Property tax ; Mr. Muntz's Motion—Education in Scotland ; two Bills by the Lord-Advocate—Local Dues on Shipping ; Nomina- tion of Mr. Lowe's Committee.
Wednesday, April 9. Oath of Abjuration ; Mr. Gibson's Bill read a second time— Parochial Schools and Education (Scotland) Bills read a first time. Thursday, April 10. National Education; Lord John Russell's Resolutions, in Committee—JoInt-Stock Banks Bill read a second time—Medical Profession Bills referred to Select Committee—Poor-law in Ireland ; Mr. Napier's Bill read a first time.
Friday, April 11. Army Chaplains ; Sir De Lacy Evans's Question—National Education; Debate on Lord John Russell's Resolutions concluded—Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill committed.
Now of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment. Monday 415(m) 1 h 45m Tuesday 4h (m) 12h 155n Wednesday Noon .... 611 5051
Thursday Sh .(m) 111 15m
Sittings this Week, 6; Time, 4211 35.11 this Session, 41; — 2841, 5m
Hour of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment.
Monday bh . eh 63m
Tuesday 3h 7h bm Wednesday ...... No sitting. Thursday 6ii 6h 45m
Friday se 6h 4Orn Sittings thisWeek, 4; Time, 6h 23m this Sesdon, 35; — 69h 30m NATIONAL EDUCATION.
Lord Jolm Russell's resolutions on Education came under the con- sideration of the House of Commons on Thursday. Nearly the whole of the evening was taken up by ten speakers on the subject, and the debate was adjourned at a late hour.
Soon after the House met, on the motion of Lord Joex RUSSELL it resolved itself into a Committee, and Mr. Fitzroy took the chair. Then, without any other preface than a reference to the speech in which he in- troduced his resolutions,• Lord John moved the first resolution, which is framed in the following terms—
"That, in the opinion of this House, it is expedient to extend, revise, and consolidate the Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Educa- tion."
Mr. HENLEY at once led off the opposition, by moving that the Chair- man do now leave the chair,—a motion, as he explained, equivalent to the "previous question," and one more courteous to Lord John than the direct negative. Mr. Henley said he found it impossible to deal with the resolutions in detail, because the House was asked to pledge itself to the opinion that it is expedient to extend, revise, and consolidate the Minutes of Council. Bust in what sense were they to be extended ? If in the sense of the resolutions, then they must be considered as a whole. Forthwith entering upon their consideration, Mr. Henley went through the resolutions in order. He objected to settling the number of the Inspectors at 80 "without a tittle of information" ; he objected to a general inspection of all schools throughout the .country,—a scheme that would include private schools, while "no inconsiderable por- tion of the schools would not have a Government Inspector at any price or on any conditions " ; he objected to the proposal to give the Committee of Council power to form districts, because that would break up the parochial system. Then it was proposed to give the Charity Commissioners power to apply funds " useless or injurious to the community" to the education of the middle and lower classes : that would be to take money given to the poor and apply it to the use of the middle classes, mid would have a most injurious effect. Taking up the resolution that dealt with the religious question, lie objected that the mode proposed would lead to yearly religious disturbances ; that a com- pulsory rate would discourage voluntary efforts, and lead to scenes like those attending the making of church-rates ; and that such difficulties would arise as would force them to cut the knot by establishing a system of secular education. To the proposal that employers of labour should pay children for attending schools, he objected, that employers would be driven to employ adults only. In short, Mr. Henley advanced argu- ments against the whole scheme. Mr. ADDERLET although in favour of an educational rate as the best and most effectual means of supporting education' said that his ex- perience had taught him it is impossible at present. He therefore re- commended the House to confine its attention to an extension of the existing system, so as to include all pauper schools, ragged schools, and schools for the reformation of juvenile offenders. The course taken by Mr. Henley in moving the previous question would, however, lead the public to consider that the House was unwilling even to consider the ex- pediency of extending the present system,—a course dangerous in the highest degree. Mr. ELLICE, strongly objecting to the resolutions having reference to charities, said that Lord John Russell had taken a step in , the wrong direction. "The best mode of encouraging education is to give assistance to voluntary efforts." Mr. LIDDELL and Lord ROBERT CECIL took a similar view ; insisting that the principle of a rate involves a reckless tampering with the principles of religious conviction, and would render the people incapable of a settled belief.
Mr. WARREN rose among a crowd, but at the cry of "New Member !" the others gave way. Mr. Warren spoke with earnestness and vigour, impressing upon the House that it is their duty to take a more resolute and imperative tone on the subject of education than it has yet assumed.
The country is becoming disconcerted and disgusted with the vacillation of the Legislature. The state is bound to interfere where no education ex- ists. He could not believe that the difficulties are insurmountable. He could not persuade himself that there is something so exceptional in the cha- racter of this country, that its idiosyncrasy is such, that what has been done elsewhere—that that which is most practicable in a free state and in a des- potic state, in a young state and in an old state, in a great state and in a small state, in a Monarchical state and in a Republican state—could not be accomplished in this country. The voluntary system has done admirably well ; there is no wish to supersede its friends, but rather a wish to strengthen their hands and give them the benefit of cooperation. That word " coopera- tion " contains the gist of Lord John Russell's resolutions. The nation has been told that it cannot stir a step in reclaiming the great moral waste, be- cause if it did it would be ruining and beating down the safeguards of civil and religious liberty. He asked the House to look at this grand argument, the substratum of so much unreal opposition—of so much unsubstantial though showy opposition—to these resolutions. Let the House consider into what a strange paradox it resolved itself. Our strength was the source of our weakness. We were so powerful that we were powerless. But was it to go forth to the nations of the world that England, so great, could not educate her own children, and that where power was the greatest the least could be done ? If this were so, it ought not to be so. Let them not in the nineteenth century—in these critical and remarkable times—stultify themselves by converting that noble thing liberty into licence, by submitting to an ignominious tyranny that arrogated to it- self the name of freedom. No language more bitter' no rebuke more severe and grave, could be addressed to the Legislature, than the very reasons which have been assigned for its abdicating its authority in this matter, since that authority was to be seen in constant action, limiting and direct- ing the exercise of the rights of the subject in whatever oourse it pleased. Mr. Miums and Mr. EWART argued in favour of the resolutions. Sir JAMES GRAHAM made a "slashing" speech in opposition ; necessarily going over ground previously trodden by Mr. Henley, yet doing it in a peculiar way. The main characteristics of the oration were its strong leaning towards the Voluntary system, which Sir James contended had educated England ; and the great use made of two pamphlets re- cently published by the leaders in the Voluntary cause. Objecting to the form of proceeding as being the reverse of that of a bill, and calling upon the House to deal with details before principles, he examined and condemned the resolutions one by one. Then he produced a set of statis- tics, quoted from the two pamphlets, to show that the proportion of scholars to population in England--1 in 7—is equal to that of all the states where education is undertaken by the Government, except Prussia. He en- ' See Spectator, March 8, page 260. larged on the expense of carrying out the scheme, fixing it at not less than 6,000z000/.—which would "double the amount of the poor-rate and county-rate as affecting land." Ile condemned the project of inspection, as throwing so much additional patronage in the hands of Government, and the principle of a rate which would light the torch of discord in every land. He quoted Guizot, Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Mann, the Chevalier Bunsen, and M. Cousin, to show that a neutral position on the religious question would lead to the giving of no religious instruction at all. Sir JOIN PAKINGTON closed the debate with a speech replying at length to Sir James Graham, and giving a qualified adhesion to the reso- lutions. The points on which he objected to Lord John Russell's scheme were—the first resolution, as the matters it refers to should be left to the new Department of Education ; the proposal to throw upon the Quarter- sessions the duty of deciding the amount of the rate ; and the intro- duction of matters relating to charities into the resolutions at all. Sir John contended, against Mr. Henley, that the old parochial bound- ary cannot be maintained—there is a parish on his own estate eontaining only thirty-six inhabitants and five children of school age. He told Sir James Graham that hes was thoroughly wrong in his statistics ; instead of England having only one country above it in respect of education, there are not above three or four countries in Europe which are in a worse position than that in "which England stands at this moment. Sir John denied that there is any analogy between a school-rate and a church-rate. He went largely into figures to show that England is not educated. It is the duty of parents to educate their children—nobody ever doubted it; but they do not edueate their 'children, and it is the duty of the state to assist them. On the motion of Mr. Briontenrost, the debate was adjourned ; and at the request of Lord JOHN RUSSELL, who desired to correct Sir James Graham's misapprehension of the scope of the resolutions, Lord Pennell- SION consented to postpone the Committee of Supply, fixed for Friday, so that the adjourned debate might proceed on that day.
The LORD-ADVOCATE obtained leave, on Tuesday, to bring in two bills —one called the Parochial School Bill, the other a Bill for Education within Scotch Burghs. It is impossible to maintain the exclusive cha- racter of the parochial schools ; and the bill proposed to abolish the tests, he trusted for ever. The bill provides that the Presbytery shall not initiate prosecutions against schoolmasters in cases of moral delinquency ; hut that it shall be in the power of the heritors and inspectors to enter- tain accusations and suspend or dismiss the aceused, who, if he feel ag- grieved, may appeal to the Sheriff of the county. The right of exami- nation pertaining to the Presbytery will be abolished in all cases where the schoolmaster is not of the Established Church. Provision will be made for the inspection of schools by the Government Inspector and for the examination of masters. The salaries and comforts of the school- masters are to be increased; and the expense is to be borne by rates on the landowners in the county and by the ratepayers in the towns. With regard to education in burghs, he proposed to give the Town-Councils power to assess the property within the burghs, up to a certain amount, for educational purposes. There are no corporate bodies who have more at heart, or are more fitted to manage the instruction of the lower orders in Scotland, than the Town-Councils.
If these two bills were favourably received and the tests abolished, he would state what he should propose as a more general measure of educa- tion. At present he only intimated that the measure would only affect new schools ; would establish a Board of Inspectors, with instructions to report to the Minister of Rancation ; opportunities would be given to the parishes to make objections ; Inspectors would make another inquiry and if they reported that the schools were required the schools would be established.
Mr. BAXTER, Mr. BLACK, and Sir ANDREW AGNEW united in regret- ting that the measure proposed fell short of what might have been ex- pected; but they consented to accept it. If, said Mr. Btscat, it only swept away the obstructive religious test, it would well requite the ex- ertions of its advocates to pass it into law. Sectarianism is the bane of the educational system of Scotland. Two-thirds of the population are now disqualified by the religious test for the office of schoolmaster. The great obstacle is the religious element, certainly ; but if manfully grap- pled with, it would prove an idle bugbear. Mr. Black was strengthened in this belief by the fact, that the High School of Edinburgh at present has teachers connected with the Presbyterian Establishment, with the Free Church, and with the Episcopalian denomination ; and yet nobody intending to send his son thither ever dreamt of inquiring to what sect the masters belonged. The same thing would most probably happen in regard to the National Schools when they were once fairly set in motion.
THE OATH OF ABJURATION.
The Wednesday sitting of the Commons was occupied with the discus- sion of the Jewish claim to eligibility for a seat in Parliament It came under the notice of the House on the motion of Mr. MILNER Grilses, that the Oath of Abjuration Bill should be read a second time. The bill deals only with one oath. The enacting clause merely provides, that the oath of abjuratioitand the assurance as set forth and prescribed in an act of his late Majesty George III. should not, from and after the passing of this act, be required to be taken, subscribed, or made, on any occasion or for any purpose whatsoever. The ground he took up and argued out in support of his motion was, that the oath was a political one adapted to meet a political danger which has long since passed away, and is there- fore obsolete, superfluous, and unnecessary. It is not even required to maintain the Act of Succession, because it is superseded by the oath of fidelity and allegiance to the Sovereign for the time being. As regards the Jews, Mr. Gibson revived in detail, "for the benefit of Members who have paid little attention to the subject," the old series of arguments, showing that the oath was not framed for the purpose of excluding the Jews ; it was not intended as a test of Christianity, but was applied to Roman Catholics on the discovery of the Jesuit Garnet's doctrine of equi- vocation. He denied that he had any communication with Baron Roth- schild on the subject : he brought forward the bill for maintenance of a principle of the highest value—the principle that men should not be excluded from civil office and employment on account of their religious opinions. He described his proposal as straightforward and not indirect. The oath of abjuration is the only obstacle excluding Jews ; and could any course he more straightforward than a proposal to abolish that ob- stacle? The measure is substantially the same as the bill introduced in-
to the other branch of the Legislature by his noble and learned friend Lord Lyndhurst ; and, though verbally different, it enjoyed the entire approval of that distinguished man. •
Sir PREDIDLICE THESIGER moved that the bill be read a second time that day six months. He rested his opposition on the ground that the failure of the descendants of the Pretender did not warrant the abolition of the oath ; because it contains, in addition to the renunciation of the rights of the Pretender and his descendants, a formal and solemn recog- nition of the Protestant succession to the Crown as established by the Act of Settlement. No other oath contains that recognition. Besides, it is the only oath that bears upon it the express stamp of Christianity; and if that portion of the oath were abrogated and Jews were admitted the Legislature would cease to be a Christian institution. He warned the House that the Protestant succession would be in danger if the oath of abjuration were abolished ,• and insisted that the Legislature not only intended to exclude from Parliament those who objected to the Protestant succession but Jews also. One great object of the oath was to acknowledge the undoubted right of succession to the Crown in certain named persons being Protestants ; another was to bind up with that a solemn profession of Christianity as the groundwork of the constitution. The LORD-ADVOCATE ridiculed the alarm expressed by Sir Frederick Thesiger for the safety of the Protestant succession, and for the Christian character of the House. The Protestant faith never rested on so large an amount of opinion as it does at this time ; and as to the Christian character of that House, he should be sorry indeed if it rested on such a subterfuge as the fag-end of an oath, abjuring that which has no exist- ence, on "the true faith of a Christian." Mr. NArien said, the Lord- Advocate's argument would equally apply to the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; for it might be said with perfect truth that never did alle- giance to the Sovereign rest on such sure lixotid, and deep grounds, as at this moment. It was asked, "having admitted Roman Catholics, where will you stop?" Mr. Napier would stop at the limits of Christianity. If the bill passed, its direct and immediate tendency would be to make the Protestant succession and the truth of the Christian faith open ques- tions. Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, that the Protestant alarms, and the assertion that the admission of the Jews to Parliament would /trace Christianity an open question, were matters beside the question at issue. It is also beside the question to say that Jews differ more from Protest, ants than either Roman Catholics or Dissenters, because it is not for the House to decide what doctrine is right or wrong, but whether_ persons admitted to Parliament -would perform the duties of subjects. Ilis vote would be founded on the principle that the exercise of political functions should not be made to depend on religious faith. It was said that if a single Jew were admitted to the Parliament it would forfeit its Christian character. "Now, would that be the case ? If the 'whole of a community loses its Christian character by the admission of a single Jew, what are we to say of the present position of the City which I have the honour of representing ? (Loud cries of "Hear, hear !") We have there an instance of a Jew not only holding office, but holding the very highest office ; and has the City of London ceased to be a Christian city ? Has it lost that character, not to be reassumed until the 9th of next November ? " ("Hear' hear !" and a ktugh.) Lord John admitted, that if the oath of abjuration were abolished it would be fitting that the words referring to the Protestant succession should be retained ; and if no other Member did so' he should propose in Committee the insertion of words similar to those which were con- tained in the bill of 1864, and which retained the words at present in the oath of abjuration, and were similar to those contained in the Roman Catholic oath.
Mr. WALPOLE made a calm and argumentative speech in opposition to the bill. If on no other ground, he should oppose it on this, that it wan to accomplish objects for which it was not professedly intended. It is ostensibly a bill to abolish a form of words no longer applicable to the circumstances of the present times - but in reality it is a bill to do away with a solemn recognition of the irotestant character of the Government and the Christian character of the Legislature. It was said that as Jews were admitted to civil offices they should also be admitted to the Legislature. The answer to that is that a Magistrate is bound to administer the laws, but the Legislature mass the laws, and may make them contrary to the spirit of a Christian Parliament. They could never meet on common_ground on this question. One side argued that thcro was a great principle of religious liberty, bringing with it certain conse- quences; which to some extent he admitted. But he did not admit that religious liberty brought with it a title to hold any office in the state, if such office were incongruously held. There is a principle of religious liberty, but there is also a principle of religious truth, which requires that a national legislature should recognize a religious obligation—namely, the principle of Christianity. The supporters of the bill seek to establish a right that has never been recognized. "Your notions have never availed ; whereas our notions have been recognized from time immeinorial to the present moment." Lord PALMERSTON briefly stated that he should heartily concur in the second reading of the bill ; but he admitted that it would be desirable still to require some declaration to be made with reference to the main- tenance of the Protestant succession.
Mr. Dississm regretted that a simple issue had not been raised on the question whether power should be intrusted to British Jews ? He had never advocated the cause of the Jews on the principle of religious liberty.
"I have always felt that the claim of the Jews to an entrance into Par- liament, and to the full enjoyment of all the rights which this state can confer upon the subjects of her Majesty, mainly, and in my opiuion justly, rests upon the principle that this is a Christian state, and that we are a Christian community. I have more than once expressed the reasons which I have always cherished for entertaining this opinion. It appears to lee that the claim of the Jew to the respect of the ChriStian cannot be for a mo- ment contested. (Cheers.) If the religion of this country were not Chris- tian, if this were not a Christian community, there might be many plausible reasons urged against the admission of Jews as Members into this House. But, with all becoming respect, I may be allowed to say that this would not be a Christian state or a Christian community, had it not been, under Divine impulse and inspiration for the efforts and exertions of a Jew. I think that that fact constitute; a claim to the respect and consideration and sym- pathy of this House." (Cheers.)
In Committee,: he should propose an oath in lieu of the oath of abjura- tion which the bill contains, retaining the words "on the true faith of a Christian"; and subsequently an oath which will meet the case of any Jew who may be elected a Member of this House, and which will prevent the necessity_ of his using those words, which he cannot conscientiously do.
- Mr. NEWDEGATE could not understand the argument of Mr. Disraeli. What is the sense of voting against the Protestant succession and Christianity, and then in Committee to reinsert the words they had re- jected? It is a positive absurdity. He would not daily in that way with a great question—he could not understand such conduct; and, " As a Christian man," he should refuse to vote with the right honourable gentleman. The House then went to a division ; but before the numbers were declared, Sir FREDERICK THESIGER, one of the tellers, informed the Speaker, that the honourable Member for Rochester [Mr. Martin] refused to -vote, saying he had gone into the wrong lobby. There was some laughter ; which was increased when the Speaker gravely ordered the honourable Member to be brought to the table. Sir Frederick Thesiger and Mr. Gibson tellers of the "Noes," having returned from the lobby with Mr. Martin, the Speaker asked him if he had heard the question put. Mr. Martin said he had. "Then," said the Speaker, "the honour- able Member's vote must be recorded in the lobby into which he went."
The numbers were—For the second reading, 230; against it, 195; majority for the second reading, 35. The announcement was received with loud cheers from the Opposition.
Mr. Mussrz, on Tuesday' moved the following resolution-
" That, in the opinion of this House, an equitable adjustment of the In- come and Property tax is essential to the interests of the country, particu- larly as regards the rates of payment upon industrial and professional in- comes compared with those derived from fixed property."
The Income-tax, as at present collected, is unjust and unequal in its operation. Not only is the same rate of taxation levied upon industrial and professional incomes as upon real property, but it is unjustly levied. Within the last three months, the drivers on railways applied to be re- lieved from the tax, on the ground that, in consequence of one thing and another, they did not make 100/. a year :-they were told they would not be taxed on more than 100/., but they 'must pay on that amount. A man who derives a gross income of 100/. from three houses is subject to annual deductions and losses amounting to upwards of 281.; yet he is obliged to pay upon 100/. In the case of small houses the Injustice of the tax is yet more glaring. A man deriving a gross income of 101/. 88. from thirteen small houses at three shillings a week is subject to de- ductions and losses to the extent of upwards of 561.; yet he also pays upon 100/. Thus, while landowners and fundholders pay 61 per cent, owners of middling and small house property pay at the rate of 10 and 15 per cent. Mr. Muntz avowed himself to be in favour of a property- tax, but he could see no reason why the Income-tax could not be pro- perly adjusted and honestly collected.
Mr. POLLARD-URQUHART seconded the motion. He could not agree, however, that landowners do not pay their share. The tax presses with severity on professional incomes and life annuities. The Government should capitalize all incomes and thus make the tax fair and equitable. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER admitted that the motion was of great importance ; but he pointed out that Mr. Runts, who asked the House to pledge itself to reconstruct the Income-tax, had not stated with distinctness the grounds on which he called for a reversal of our policy, nor had he indicated the general principles on which that reconstruction ought to proceed. All taxes are open to serious objections. The In- come-tax last year yielded 16,418,000/., and such an amount could not be levied without producing many complaints : but if a Minister waited until he could find a perfect tax, he would annually have to come for- ward with an empty budget.
The Income-tax was introduced by Mr. Pitt, and underwent various alterations between 1797 and 1816. In 1842, Sir Robert Peel, profiting by the experience of Mr. Pitt, introduced the tax in its present form ; and now Mr. Muntz demands that we should depart from a system founded on experience and substitute for it one of which we know nothing. In 1842 both sides adopted the dictum of Adam Smith, that every subject should pay towards the support of the Government i proportion to his ability. Now Mr. Muntz proposes a property-tax : but .Adam Smith did not say subjects should pay in proportion to the property they possess, but "in proportion, to the revenue they enjoy under the protection of the state." The ability of a person to pay ought to be measured by his annual revenue. Taxation cannot be considered prospective. If, as Mr. Hume said, the best tax would be "an equal tax on the realized and industrial property of the United Kingdom "—and if that principle were worked out—the whole of our present system of taxation must be swept away. It is erroneously assumed that there are only two sets of incomes—one permanent, the other precarious—one represented by an estate, the other by a profession. But the fact is that no such distinction exists : there is a scale of incomes from the most permanent to the most precarious, but between them there are in- finite degrees, and it is scarcely possible to define where the sources of a permanent nature end and those of a precarious nature begin.
Sir George illustrated his proposition by a variety of familiar instances ; and showed that an attempt to construct the Income and Property tax upon the principle of measuring each man's ability to pay would involve a special schedule for almost every taxpayer in the kingdom. It would be totally inconsistent with our system of indirect taxation, where so far as the amount is concerned, the pressure falls equally on the Millionaire with 100,0001. a year and the man whose wages are 15s. a week. Nor is this all : local taxation Yielding 10,000,0001. anhevied on the principle of the In- come-tax, would have to be remodelled. "The produce of schedule D during the last year was 3,101,0001.; of schedule A, 7,666,0001.; of sche- dule C, 1,862,0001. The number of persons who contributed under schedule D was upwards of 282,000. With regard, however, to that schedule, it should be borne in mind, when comparing it with the others, that all taxation under the others is charged on property before the property comes into the hands of the taxpayer. It is impossible that any such practice should prevail in the case of sche- dule D, for, be it remembered, that is a self-assessing schedule. I am far from desiring to cast an imputation on the honour or integrity of the professional and commercial men who are classified under that category, but it is in human nature that when men are required to assess themselves for the purposes of a tax they should make their calculations on principles more lenient and indulgent than they would be likely to adopt if they had been required to perform the same duty for other people. It may safely be assumed, that in cases of uncertainty they will not hesitate to give them- selves the benefit of the doubt, and that they will put upon their own liability as cautious a construction as possible. It should also be borne in mind, that no inconsiderable quantity of property, which may justly be re- garded as commercial, is included under schedule A—such, for instance, as quarries, mines, ironworks, gasworks, waterworks, canals, railways, and fisheries. There is in many respects a great analogy between this class of
i property and that included n the commercial schedule ; yet Mr. Muntz
would draw a marked distinction between them, and apply a very different rule of treatment to each. Nor must we in contrasting these schedules, forget that, since the discussion which took place some four Tears ago on the subject of the Income-tax, a new tax has been propoeed, which to a cer- tain degree alters the relative positions of schedules A and D—I allude to the tax upon Successions. That HI an impost of very considerable magni- tude, paid at certain periods in large sums, and which falls exclusively upon property classified under schedule A. All these compensating circumstances must be taken into account ; and, when we have examined and contrasted the claims and conditions of each schedule respectively, we shall probably arrive at the conclusion that taxation, under whatever system, is at best but a rough adjustment of rival rights and liabilities. In entertaining a pro- posal the effect of which would be most materially to diminish the burdens in schedule D and to aggravate those in schedule A, it must not, I repeat, be overlooked that since the time when this resolution was last under dis- cussion a new tax has been imposed which disturbs not a little the propor- tions then existing." He thought, considering that circumstance, and bearing in mind Mr. Gladstone's treatment of the question, they might have been spared this unprofitable discussion ; and he trusted the House would not adopt an abstract resolution, which, however plausible in theory, it would be difficult indeed, if not impossible, to reduce to practice.
Mr LAING opposed the motion ; but suggested that the tax, which may be now looked upon as permanently fixed on the present genera- tion, does require revision to make it more palatable to the public. Mr. Srooxsu supported the motion ; but, like Mr. Pollard-Urquhart, and for the same reasons, he quarrelled with the arguments of Mr. Mintz. Landowners have as much reason to complain of the inequality as the commercial and industrial interests.
Some other Members tried to address a House impatient for a division ; and when they divided the motion was negatived by 194 to 63.
The Earl of EGLINTON, in a speech of some length, moved an address for "a Royal Commission to inquire into the state of the Currency of the United Kingdom." The time is favourable for such an inquiry, because the Bank Charter Act is now liable to be terminated at a twelve- month's notice, and cannot be renewed without a searching investiga- tion; and because, now that peace is about to commence, we are on the
eve of a considerable career of commercial enterprise. e entered into some statements showing the fluctuations of the rate of interest, to make out that the Bank Act of 1844 has not worked well—has not prevented over-speculation ; and he suggested some points in which the act may be improved. The powers of the Bank ought to be enlarged so as to enable it to issue one-pound notes ; a change should be made in the constitution of the Bank direction, so as to avoid the necessity of sending every year eight Directors "out to grass," just as they have learned their business. Matters of importance should not be decided by a mere majority. As the Bank of England is a State Bank, it should be under Government supervision. It might also, perhaps, be desirable to adopt some minimum rate of interest; and the Bank might be authorized to issue notes over and above those that must be represented by gold.
. The Earl of HAnnoway said that Government intend to appoint a Committee to inquire into the Bank Act of 1844 before any revision of existing arrangements be attempted. The Earl of DERBY, not satisfied with this, pressed the Government to declare its intentions ; to make a more distinct declaration of their opinion as to the merits of the Act of 1844, and of the course they intend to pursue. The Duke of ARGYLL said, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had distinctly stated that the Government did not intend to make any change in the Bank Charter' but that they would not oppose an inquiry if any Member thought it desirable. But Lord Eglinton's proposal was of a very different character, because if the Government appointed a Com- mission it would be a distinct intimation to the country that they are dissatisfied with the law, and attribute to it evils which they desire to remedy. The Government has arrived at no such opinion, and therefore they are not prepared to recommend the Crown to issue a Royal Com- mission upon this subject. The Earl of DERBY, returning to the charge, said that if he were to take the Duke of Argyll as the exponent of the Ministry, he would infer that they thought inquiry unnecessary because they did not intend to alter the Charter. Did they think it desirable that the Charter should go on from year to year with a perpetual liability to be put an end to at the expiration of twelve months ? If this were the intention of the Government, it seemed to him very like an intention to tide over a difficult question with which they did not know how to deal, and to throw upon others a responsibility which ought to fall upon them- selves. The Duke of ARGYLL rejoined, that it was the intention of the Government to tide over a difficult question at a time most unsuited for dealing with it. Earl GREY contended that the present is a proper time—how could there be a better ? The period fixed for the absolute duration Of the Charter is past, and they would never get any nearer to the actual ter- mination of the Bank privileges until they had given the notice i-eqiiired by law. He did not agree with Lord Eglinton, but he admitted that the act is imperfect.
The Marquis of CLANRICARDE brought under the notice of the House of Lords the subject of Indian finance ; thinking it high time for Parlia- ment to consider the matter. In 1834, the general revenue of India amounted to 18,016,9181. ; in 1851-'2, it had increased to 25,536,6341.; of this increase 4,860,479/. was from old sources, 2,311,2371. from new territories. In those seventeen years the increase of the debt was 12,912,6071.; the aggregate debt in May 1851 being 51,899,3271. Of that increase, 5,000,000/. was expended on public works. The aggre- gate deficit during the six years between 1848 and 1854 amounted to 4,334,7271. The total charge in 1854-'6 was 22,915,1601.; the total income was 20,371,4501.—a diminution since 1851 of 5,165,1841. There was therefore nothing satisfactory in the present aspect of Indian finance. Under such an administrator as Lord Dalhousie the finances could not have gone on in an unsatisfactory condition unless there was something in the system of Indian government beyond the control of the Governor-General. We are out of pocket by the annexation of the five provinces of Nagpore, Burmah, Scinde, Setters, and the Punjab ; and the whole subject demands the grave consideration of Parliament. It struck him with surprise that the Indian financial accounts had never been printed; and he moved that the return of the territorial revenues and disbursements of the East India Company lately presented to Parlia- meld should be printed. The Duke of ARGYLL offered no objection to the motion. He declined to follow Lord Clanriearde into his unexpected statement on the subject of Indian finance. It could not be in a very unsound state when the Indian Government could on its own credit borrow almost any amount of money at 41 per cent. Lord Morgraman urged the importance of furnishing regular, detailed, and correct information as to the financial condition of India. Parliament should not depend for such information on the result of desultory motions. The Earl of ELLEarnOROIJOH, praising his own administration of India, admitted that with all his care he had never been able to see daylight, and never could ascertain whether there would be a surplus of revenue over expenditure.
He believed the finances of India are at present in an extremely difficult position, but he entertained great hopes of their improvement from the able and honest exertions of the new Governor-General. Lord Canning went out with the best possible intentions ; he is an able man, willing to listen to those who will give him information, and he would know how to use it. "From personal intercourse I had with the noble Lord before his departure, I believe that no man ever went to India with a more earnest desire to make his government generally beneficial to the people of India and creditable to this country." Motion agreed to.
Tire Brixarrivo SYSTEM.
When the order of the day for going into Committee of Supply was read on Monday, Mr. COWAN brought under the notice of the House the billeting system as pursued in Scotland. Militia and troops of the Line are billeted upon private houses in Scotland. It is an intolerable grievance. There is no sort of rule or principle in the mode of billeting ; the authorities act in an entirely arbitrary manner. Some houses they pass over altogether. In Glasgow persons in so lowly a condition as 3/. renters are liable. Besides frequently introducing loathsome disease, the soldiers are in the habit of using coarse and indecent language in the presence of the families where they are billeted. In some cases the children of _the-poor have to be turned out to make room for the sol- diers. . The reimmeration—three halfpence. per night—is totally inade- quate. A medical officer of a Militia regiment had told him that the whole of these billets are unwholesome and bad for the men. Mr. Cowan moved, as an amendment on the order of the day- " That, in the opinion of this House, the practice of billeting soldiers of the Militia and of the Line in Scotland upon private families is injurious to the comfort and discipline of the men, as wel.1 as oppressive to the people ; and that it is the duty of the Government to take means to abolish the grievance." The motion led to an animated debate. Sir ANDREW AGNEW and Mr. 33Axren, mentioning. special cases, supported the amendment. Mr. PEEL resisted it. He said that the conclusion of peace would put an end to all the disagreeable consequences of the system. There had not been any complaint from the people of Scotland. Government had made great ex- ertions to diminish a grievance as old as the Union. Large camps have been formed; and although the quota of Scotland is 10,000 men, not more than 2000 have been billeted on the people. In the abstract, the Scotch system is more just than the English, which throws the pressure of the billeting on one class alone. Sir JAMES FERGUSON, Mr. EWART, and Mr. Ionic MACGREGOR expressed a hope that the evil would be abo- lished; and appealed from Mr. Peel to Lord Palmerston. Mr. ELLICE [of Coventryj said he was aware that the billeting system was felt to be a grievance in Scotland ; but he begged the House to consider how heavily any attempt to remedy it would press upon the purse of the United Kingdom. They might safely vote the proposed estimate, in order that the • Government might have time to consider what arrangement should be made with regard to the Militia system. Large sums have already been spent on barracks, and the House should be careful how it encouraged expenditure of that kind until they were informed by the Government upon what system the lodging of the whole military force of the country would be permanently established.
Lord PArarrasrosi admitted the grievance. It is undesirable that sol- diers should at any time be quartered otherwise than in barracks. But to construct the barracks required would cause a great expense ; it must be done gradually, and great care must be bestowed in the selection of sites. With a view to the efficiency of the service, however, barrack- accommodation should be considerably extended. With regard to the particular grievance, it is of old standing. No good result could follow a division on the motion, because the grievance can only be removed by an alteration of the Mutiny Act of next year. Government earnestly desire to mitigate the grievance ; it will be greatly diminished when the Militia are disembodied; and he hoped that means would ere long be discovered to effect its complete abolition.
This statement did not satisfy the Scotch Members ; who complained of the "irritating" speech of Mr. PeeL Mr. Deseral urged Mr. Cowan to press the motion to a division. Redress has been promised before but not granted. Mr. Madam-Ex Mr. lama, Mr. CaAurnan, Mr ALEX- ANDER HASTIE, Mr. Cummpro'BRUCE, followed on the same side. On the other hand, the LORD-ADVOCATE pointed out that it would be useless to pass an abstract resolution. Sir GEORGE GREY said it would pledge the House to a foregone conclusion on a question that demanded consi- deration. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER warned the House that it was a question of finance ; a grievance that could only be removed by grantin_g additiciruil votes in Committee of Supply.
Mr. Dismairra insisted that the Hour was bound to accede to a reso- lution which did not pledge_the Executive to anything but that which is its duty—to devise some remedy for an acknowledged grievance. - It was not a resolution that would be barren of results, for unless the House . expressed its opinion in a manner not to be mistaken, the grievance would not be removed.
Mr. Virazron Shorn reminded the House, that Lord Palmerston had 'yen assurance that he would consider how to remedy the evil ; and Lord Peranursirow himself renewed his statement—pledging himself to assimilate the law of Scotland to that of England. But it was in vain. Mr. Emu; who "usually voted with the Government," said that Mr. Peel had treated the Scotch people with contempt, and that they did not like. On' a division, the amendment was carried, by 139 to 116; and the announcement was re dyedwith cheering.'
One of the reasons urged by the Government against Mr. Cowan's motion for abolishing billeting, moved as an amendment upon the order of the day for going into Committee of Supply, was that if carried it would prevent the House from going into Committee that evening.
When the motion was carried, however, Lord PA.LMERSTON said he un- derstood that it would sot be at variance with precedent if the House at once went into Committee of Supply ; and, subject to the decision of the Speaker, he moved that it should do so. Mr. DISRAELI taunted the Go- vernment with ignorance of the forms of the House, for they could not have condescended to misrepresentation. He congratulated the House, " not only upon having defeated the Government in their opposition to a wise and just resolution, but upon having been able to arrive at a certain and accurate result with regard to the conduct of public business." The CHANCELLOR of the ExCHEQUER said, the Government were fully under the impression that when an amendment on the motion for going into Committee of Supply was carried the motion itself was lost. But dining the division a precedent had been found which enabled them to go into Committee. Mr. Cu•sranaro Berea pressed for the citation of die prece- dent. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER said that it occurred on the 8th of April 1855: an amendment then moved by Captain Boldero on the subject of Naval Assistant-Surgeons was carried, the main question was put and agreed to, and the House resolved into a Committee of Supply. The SPEAKER—" There is nothing in the amendment to negative the motion for the House going into Committee of Supply." And accord- ingly the House went into Committee.
On the vote of 2976/. for Theological Professors at Belfast, and the Belfast Academical Institution, Mr. HEYWORTH moved that the vote be reduced by 1500/., the amount paid to the Professors. The amendment was supported by Mr. HADFIELD and Mr. W. J. Fox ; opposed by Mr. KIRK, Mr. CALRI.IS, and Mr. SPOONER ; and on a division it was negatived by 85 to 31. Mr. SPOONER then moved to reduce the vote by 3001.—salaries given to two "Professors of Divinity, Non-subscribing Association" : these Professors are Unitarians, and the House ought not to grant salaries to persons who deny the leading doctrines of the Christian religion. There was no debate. Amendment negatived by 88 to 42. Still another amendment : Mr. CHEETHAM proposed to reduce the vote by 2501.— incidental expenses of the General Assembly College, Belfast. Negatived by 108 to 36. Vote agreed to. On the vote of 17,639/. for the expenses of the National Gallery, Mr. OTWAY, censuring the appointment of Director and Travelling Agent, and censuring the management of Sir Charles Eastlake, especially in the purchase of pictures, moved to reduce the vote by 6501., the sum for travelling expenses. Mr. HARCOURT VERNON seconded the motion. The debate continued at some length, and turned chiefly on the merits of Sir Charles Eastlake and Mr. Otto Miindler, much to their disad- vantage; the speakers on that side being Lord ELeno, Mr. BOWYER, and Mr. Ewenr. On the other hand, Mr. WiLsox and Mr. THOMAS BARING defended the management of Sir Charles, and remarked that there is a good deal of party-feeling in. matters connected with art. Mr. GLAD- STONE was not prepared to question the propriety of the appointment of Sir Charles Eastlake, nor to question the salary given to a man of such experience and character ; but he thought 3000/. a year for mere salaries was somewhat heavy. Mr. WALTER Srrarraro defended both the Director and the Travelling Agent. Lord PALMERSTON did the same ; and on a division the amendment was negatived by 152 to 72. Vote agreed to.
Sr. JAMES'S PARK AND THE PUBLIC OFFICES.
A conversation arose in the House of Lords on Thursday respecting the recommendations of the St. James's Park Road Committee and the improvements talked of between the Horse Guards and the Houses of Parliament. The Marquis of CLANRICARDE, the Earl of ABERDEEN, the Earl of MALMESBURY, and-the Earl of CARNARYON, all objected to the Proposed removal of the column and statue of the Duke of York, and the proposed road from Waterloo Place to Storey's Gate. The Marquis of LANSDOWNE said that the Government had come to no decision re-• specting the recommendations of the Committee. Speaking as an indivi- dual, he agreed that the monument to the Duke of York should not be lightly set aside. Allusion was also made to the improvement of Downing Street. The Duke of NEWCASTLE and Earl GREY thought it would be good policy to concentrate the public offices between the Horse Guards and the Houses of Parliament, instead of setting up a separate War-Office in Pall Mall, at an inconvenient distance from the other offices. The ground in Pall Mall is more valuable for private than for _public purposes. Lord PAN- S/EIRE suggested, that the distance between Downing Street and Pall Mall is not so great as to make communication difficult even in war-time. However, he thought it desirable to concentrate the War-Office on some one point as soon as possible. Lord LANSDOWNE said, that setting aside the mere question of orna- ment, immense advantage would accrue from the concentration of every official department in that space which commences at the Horse Guard's and ends at Palace Yard.
He doubted whether in this or any other metropolis in the world there is a space so small as that circumscribed by the Park on one side, the Houses of Parliament and the River and Bridges on the other, in which so much public advantage, publicornament, public con- venience, and, ultimately, public economy, might be combined, as in the skilful arrangement by a judicious architect of the Public Offices on this spot- The concentration of the Government Offices in this space might be made to form one of the finest features and grandest approaches which this or any other metropolis could produce. (Cheers.)
POSTAL COMMUNICATION WTTH AUSTRALIA.
The Earl of HARDWICKE asking whether the Government would object to produce the memorial presented by the General Association of the Australian Colonies on the subject of postal communication with those colonies, commented on the course pursued by the Government on the subject. They had invited tenders for the reestablishment of the comniunicittion, but they had sPecifici no route. They had declared that no decision could be come to until it be ascertained what the Colonies would contribute towards the expense of the line' —a proceeding that would involve a delay of eighteen months. Lord Hardwicke ad- vocated the direct route by Aden and the Island of Diego Garcia, which would be shorter by 3319 miles than the route by the Cape, and 2338 miles shorter than the route by Singapore.
The Duke of .Anoym. stated that there was no objection to produce the memorial. That the Treasury has not specified a route, does not imply that the Government are not to select a route. They did not specify one because they wished to test the comparative expense of the different routes by the estimates of the contractors. The memorial re- ferred to states that the route by Diego Garcia is shorter than any other route by 2338 miles, whereas it is only 1100 miles shorter than the route by Singapore, Neither is the latter the only Eastern route ; there is another by Point de Galle, considerably shorter. The Government is not inclined to postpone the settlement of the question, but the Colonies are expected to bear half the expense ; and it was desirable therefore that their opinions should be known, especially as they had offered con- tributions on conditions not easily. re-candled with each other. If, how- ever, a satisfactory arrangement can be made in this country, it will not be desirable to await the assent of every one of the Colonies.
THE SHIPPING-DUES COMMITTEE.
On the nomination of the Select Committee to consider the local dues on shipping, there arose a protracted debate. Mr. Lowe's name was the first proposed; and Mr. VINeeser SCULLY objected to the nomination, on the ground that there was not in a list of fifteen the name of a single gentleman connected with the ports of Ireland. Irishmen are systemati- cally excluded from Committees. The CHANCELLOR of the Exenvaxsa offered to add two Irish Members to the list ; and denied that the Go- vernmentintended to treat Irish Members with disrespect. Mr. DISRAELI attacked Mr. Scully for reviving a charge for which there is no founda- tion. The easiest mode of settling the question would be to adopt the Suggestion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mr. Wersoe, Sir FRANCIS BARING, and Lord HoreAra, charged it against the Government that they had formed a "partisan Committee." Mr. Heiserman complained that the towns most interested were not re- presented. Mr. GLBSON thought the Committee a fair one—since every- body objected to it. Lord PALMERSTON remarked, that the objects and nature of the Committee were misconceived. It is not to be a Jury to • decide what measures are to be adopted; it is a Committee to investigate special cases, obtain information, and report to the House. After further controversy, Mr. HORSPALL moved that the debate should be adjourned to that day week. Negatived by 108 to 67. The names of the Committee were then proposed and agreed to as follows— Mr. Lowe Mr. Hardy, -Mr. Gibson, Mr. llorsfall, Mr. Fenwick, Sir S. Northcote, Lowe, Cobden, Mr. Watson, Mr. Bouverie, Mr. Headlam, Mr. Cardwell, Sir J. Duckworth, Mr. Duncan, Lord Hotham, and Mr. Moffatt. Subsequently the names of Mr. Vance and Mr. Kirk were added.
TILE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE.
The Select Committee to inquire into the Transportation Act was no- minated on Tuesday, as follows— Mr. Baines, Sir John Pakington, Mr. Scott, Mr. Wortley, Sir William Heathcote, Mr. Adderley, the Lord-Advocate, Mr. Sergeant O'Brien, Mr. Henley, Mr. Wickham, Mr. John Wynne, Mr. Massey, Mr. Beckett Deni-
son, Deedes, Mr. Seymour Fitzgerald. [On Thursday Lord Naas was substituted for Mr. Scott.]