The House of Lords was busied on Monday and last
night with certain discussions preparatory to an explanation of the his- tory of the connexion of our Government with the affairs of Greece.
The labours of the House of Commons have been more varied. On Monday, South American Missions, and Forgery, were dis- cussed; on Tuesday, the questions of the Currency and of addi- tional Churches ; on Thursday, the affairs of Portugal and Greece were incidentally alluded to, and the state of the Irish Parish Vestries, and of the Court of Chancery, debated at considerable length; last night the Supplies were again under consideration.
In the House of Commons, Sir ROBERT PEEL and his sup- porters were fairly left in a minority on the Baronet's Forgery Bill; and on two different questions connected with the Supplies, the majorities which Government has been able to command, furnish, by their narrowness, a most significant commentary on the present ebbing of its influence. In the Upper House, the Earl of ABER- DEEN has been forced into a position which few will be dis- posed to envy : he has, in fact, been reduced to the necessity of pleading public expediency. as an excuse fbr what seems little . better than a falsification of his promise to produce all the papers connected with the Greek negociations.
1. SOUTH AMERICAN MISSIONS. In a Committee of Supply, a resolution granting 28,000/. to defray the expense of special mis- sions to the New States of South America having been moved,
Sir JAMES GRAHAM remonstrated against the profligacy of the expense with which such missions were attended. After enume- rating the individuals who received public money to a large amount for pretended services in Mexico, Sir James begged in the next place to call the attention of the Committee to the appointment of Mr. Cockburn on the mission to Colombia.
On his appointment in 1825, he received an outfit of 3,200/. and for what ? In 1826 he went to South America, landed at the Caraccas, and never advanced to Bogota. He remained three weeks at the house of the Consul, and about nine weeks altogether in the country. He thus crossed the Atlantic twice at the expense of the public, without-ever 'penetrating to the capital to which he was officially appointed; and in 1827, on ac- count of this mission he received a further sum of 3,7001. It would be thought, possibly, after this, that the public would be quit of Mr. Cock- burn, who had himself come over from Colombia to announce his own movements, instead of transmitting despatches in the usual way ; and who had not, as he was informed, given satisfaction on that account to the Foreign Office. This, however, was not enough—he was, the first year, three weeks in South America; the second year, nine weeks ; and for his services altogether in this mission he had received 13,0002.; and yet he had to make a further application for remuneration. As long as Lord Dudley was at the head of the department for Foreign Affairs, there wail no chance of Mr. Cockburn's receiving further payment ; but when that noble lord was removed, a sum of 1,669/. 4s. was granted "to complete Mr. Cockburn's allowance,"—these were the words : so that the total amount given to him for twelve or thirteen weeks' actual service was 15,9751.—at his post, Sir James could not say, for he hail never reached At; and yet he fell back upon a pension of 1,600/. a year.
Next eame the cases of Mr. Chad, Mr. Turner, and Mr. Henry Fox.
Mr. Chad got 1,6661. for an outfit in the year 1828, together with 3,0401.; and in :1829, 2,0621., although he had oever left London. Mr. Turner got„ in 1829, 2,500/. for this,same mission, besides a large sum for house-rent, he never having been in Colombia at all ; and 5281. for his voyage out. In this manner Mr. Cockburn received 15,000/. for going out, but never en- tering the capital ; Mr. Chad got 5,1021. for preparing to go out, but never going at all ; and Mr. Turner 9,953/. for undertaking thevoyage, but never going to South America. So much for the Colombian missions! There was another item in the estimates, which it would be unfair were he to omit, because it looked like those he had already mentioned : he al- luded to that of Mr. Henry Fox, a near relation of a name very dear to a largd class of persons in this country, and an old friend of his. Mr. H. Fox received an outfit for a mission to Buenos Ayres of 1,5001. in 1828, at the moment he was in Italy, in the receipt of his salary. In 1829 he received an advance of 1,000/. upon account of his mission. What did this mean? Then, again, there was 6,786/. for the special mission of Lord Strangford to the Brazils, for an object as yet unexplained, but which, if intended to subdue the liberties of Portugal by court intrigue, he was glad to say had failed. Sir James said he was sometimes afraid of laying too bare and naked to the public view the abuses of the State, lest it should wean the attachment of the people from the institutions of the country ; but if all persuasion failed to induce his Majesty's Mi- nisters to adopt rigid plans of economy, there was no alternative but to let the people distinctly see the practices of which they were the victims. The time for dallying was past; and he called on the House to mark, by their vote that evening, the sense which they entertained of the extravagant expenditure in question. Let the House recollect the circumstances of national difficulty and distress under which they had met, and the recommendations to economy in the speech from the Throne. Yet they had passed the Army Estimates and the Navy Estimates, as proposed by Ministers, without the reduction of a single shilling, notwithstanding the numerous items which had been pointed out as capable of being advantageously reduced. Not a reduction had been made, with one solitary exception, and that as paltry as the spirit wh:ch had rendered it necessary—he meant the reduction of the pensions that had been granted to the two sons of Cabinet Ministers.
Sir James concluded, amidst loud cheers, with moving to reduce the proposed grant to 18,809/.
The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER claimed for the Go- vernment a desire to be as economical as possible ; but time was necessary for reforms of all sorts : and in reference to the diplo- matic services in question, it should not be forgotten that they were in a great measure experimenlal. When first the South American States were called into existence, it was impossible accurately to estimate the expense of living in those countries. It was thought by Mr. Canning, when Mr. Ward was sent to Mexico, that as it was a kind of experimental mission, some latitude should be given to the individual engaged in it, by which Ministers might be subsequently enabled to ascertain the proper amount. If, however, the expenditure of that period were brought forward now as a proof that Government were not at present disposed to economy, it appeared to him to be a most in- conclusive proceeding. Sir ROBERT WILSON professed himself satisaed with this ex- -planation. Colonel DAVIES thoughtthat the Chancellor of the Exchequer 1w1 not met Sir James Graham's statements at all ; and he begged to express his surprise at the alacrity with which his gallant friend had subscribed to the right honourable gentleman's argument. Mr. STRATFORD CANNING declared that no man could be more B friend to economy than he was ; but he did think that the spirit vf economizing might be carried too far.
Mr. HOBHOUSE thought that no answer had been given to the ejections that had been taken to the present vote.
The case of Mr. Gordon was one that most particularly called for ex- planation : he certainly thought that a Cabinet Minister ought to be so good as to explain why 5,500/. had been paid to that gentleman for doing little more than nothing. He did not wish to deny or depreciate the services of that gentleman, but they were all aware what his connexions were ; and he was astonished that a sense of decency and decorum had not prevented the taking of such a step. (Cheers.) He should have thought that, under the circumstances, they would rather have been disposed to cut away the salaries of relations than thus obtrude them upon the country. (Cheers.) He did not mean to say that gentlemen, because they were the brothers of Secretaries of State for the Foreign Department, were to be deprived of their just reward; but when there was any doubt in the case, he thought delicacy ought to be allowed to have some little weight ; and that those who of course followed politics for honour, and not for profit, ought to tell their brothers that such uncalled-for pensions could not be allowed. (Cheers.) Mr. WARD observed, that the New States of South America, standing chiefly in need of maritime support, naturally turned their attention to England and America ; and while England felt that it would be desirable to find in those States a market for her
exports, she could not help seeing that in America she had a dangerous rival. It had been stated, that the exports from this country to South America amounted to nine millions annually. On the truth of this statement would depend the question for the consideration of Pediment, whether our relations with those States ought still to be maintained. Lord Howicx would vote for the reduction.
For the amendment, 99; against it, 118.
2. CONSULSHIPS. In a Committee of Supply Mr. G. DAWSON, in moving for a grant of 8 7,9 70/. for salaries to Consuls, &c., ob-
served that there was a diminution from the estimate of 3,820/.
This arose partly from the cessation of Consuls at Madeira, Palermo, and Lima, partly from a trifling decrease in the Vice-Consuls of Europe, and partly from a superannuated allowance to Mr. Parker of 1,200/. a-year, which, however, he did not enjoy above three months. If there was any blame to be attached to the present system upon which Consuls were paid, that was not attributable
to the Government, but to the honourable members for Montrose and Limerick, on whose strong recommendation the present system, in 1825, was adopted. With respectto the reduction that was to be made in the way of salaries, the noble Lord at the head of the
Foreign Department was prepared to do all that he could ; and he begged to state, that the following reductions were in progress, and would next year appear in the Estimates. (Mr. Dawson then read a list of the proposed reductions, amounting to somewhere about 5000/.) After these remarks he trusted that the member for
Cumberland would not again indulge in those sarcastic remarks about an economic Administration, which he had, on a former oc- casion, dealt out with some bitterness. It would, he hoped, be also remembered, when the House was considering the expenditure, that much of what appeared in the Estimates was expenditure directed by the Government of the year 1825, for which the present Ministry could not be accountable.
He would not go further into details, but he had omitted to state that an error had crept into the Estimates, which threw some blame on indi- viduals who did not deserve it. It appeared, in the Returns, that Mr.
Nugent and Mr. Shenley had been absent from their missions—one three, and the other two years. In both caeca a year's absence had been as- signed to each more than was the fact. It was necessary, also, to state,
that by a regulation adopted by his noble friend at the head of the Foreign Department, it had been determined that Consuls absent in future from their place of service should receive only half their salaries. The other half was to be appropriated to pay the expense of getting their duties performed in their absence, and be carried to the credit of the Govern- ment. It was in contemplation, also, not to allow any Consul any sum for the rent of a house till he had actually arrived at his place of destination.
Sir JAMES GRAHAM congratulated the House and the country on the after-thought of his Majesty's Ministers respecting the es- timates, which had just been explained ; at the same time, it added -very considerably to the trouble he had imposed on himself.
The whole of the calculations on which he proposed to make reduc- tions had been formed from the estimates, on reference to which he had judged these reductions to be necessary; but Mr. Dawson now said, not
out of deference to the sarcasms which displeased him so much, but out of deference to the votes of that House—(Cheers)—passed since these
estimates were framed, and which made him discover that these votes were wrongly framed. In some of the particulars mistakes had been made, and consuls who were absent had been described as away from their posts two years instead of one. This was found out at the eleventh hour, and he had made all his calculations on the returns, supposing them to be correct. The House would recollect, that it had been stated that the practice of paying the consuls by fixed salaries, instead of fees,
had arisen from a recommendation which came from the Opposition side of the House. The member for Aberdeen was described to have said that
he was satisfied that the Government could not fix the salaries of the Consuls too high, provided only the trade was completely free from the payment of fees. This was so much opposed to the member for Aber-
deen's usual sentiments, that there was a prima facie reason to believe that the statement was an error. But if, by any probability, these words had been used—meaning, that the charges for fees were so enormous that almost any thing would be better than them—if Mr. Hume had used these words, they had completely anticipated the conduct pursued by his
Majesty's Government. ifie was hi not of opinion that the public would, in all cases, be better-served by substituting salaries for fees. The House would recollect, too, that Mr. Canning thought we ought not to pay the Consuls by fixed salaries instead of fees. He stated that he objected to the measure, but that he earried it into execution out of deference to the authority of the House and against his better judgment. Sir James begged to submit to the House a few instances of the mode in which the present system worked. He would begin with the case of .Mr. Ricketts, the Consul to Peru. He went to his post in 1825, and passed that year in preparations, and in
his voyage out, and he received,for outfit and salary that year, the sum of 38551. In 1826, being at his post, he received for salary 2,5001. ; for house rent, 510/.; for a clerk, 2501.; for extras, 5631. In 1827, he was on his voyage home, having left his post early in April, and that year he received 2,8121. Mr. Dawson was very testy about any charges being adverted to previously to the year 1828 ; but he should recollect, that most of the members now on the Treasury Benches as his Majesty's Ministers, though they might disclaim the expenses of that period, all formed a part of Mr. Canning's Administration. But, passing from the year previous to 1828, he came to that year and 1829, and these two years Mr. Ricketts was in England, and received 1,6001. a year. These gentlemen, therefore, had been, under Lord Aberdeen's Govern- ment, allowed to spend two years in England doing nothing, at this large salary; he had passed one year in his voyage out and home, he had been the rest of his time at his post, and for that period, not quite two years, he had received the sum of 13,000/. What he charged as the most flagrant part of the case was, the two years he had been in England at 1,600/. a year ; and for these two years the present Foreign Minister was wholly responsible.
The case of Mr. Nugent, who had been appointed to Chili, and that of Mr. Mackenzie, the Consul to Haiti, were equally flagrant.
He then came to the case of Mr. Shenley, who was one of those whose services were mis-stated in the Return. Mr. Shenley had been sent as Vice-Consul to Guatimala. In 1825 he received for his outfit 300/. and for his salary 7001.; but he did not go, if he understood the Return cor- rectly, that year. He went out in 1826. He was at Guatimala that year and in 1827, and he received his salary of 7001., but before the end of 1827 he left Guatimala ; and in 1828 he came to England on his full salary. In 1829, under Lord Aberdeen's Foreign Administration, when the pub- lic expense had been so much reduced, this gentleman was appointed Consul at Haiti, and received 500/. for his outfit. Unless the Returns were erroneous, this was in January ; and between January 1829 and Ja- nuary 1830, he received 1,2001. as his salary. The House would be sur- prised to learn, that he was in England yet—that he had not attempted to go out to Haiti; he remained in England up to that time : and the reason for which he remained, the members of that House would be well able to appreciate. The reason on which he remained in England was urgent private business. (Laughter.) This was a species of reason which would be very intelligible to the members of that House. Sir James begged to call the attention of the House to the dif- ference of charge for Diplomatic and Consular expenses in 1792 and the present time. The amount of Diplomatic and Consular expenses, in 1 79 2, including the charge for superannuations aPd•-* pensions, was 113,9271.; in 1829 it amounted to 366,0013!. The charge for Consuls alone, in the estimate for 18 3 0, was 121,8201., being upwards of MO. more than the charge for the whole Diplomatic expenses in 17 9 2. Sir James further begged to con- trast our Diplomatic expenses with those of America, and even of any Continental state. He protested against the system pursued by the Government, as unjust and extravagant, and calculated to produce dangerous consequences ; and concluded by moving, as an amendment, that 79,9701. be substituted for 87,9701. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER defended the conduct of Government, and complained of the wide latitude of observation which Sir James Graham had indulged in with reference to the different branches of public expenditure. It was not his intention at that moment to follow him through the wide field he had chosen for the exertion of his talents on this occasion ; but he
took leave to deny the accusations thrown out against the Government,
and challenged Sir James to name an Administration in this country that had ever been so little desirous of exercising for its support, or for the re- wards of its adherents, the extent of political patronage. (Cheers _from the Treasury Benches.) It was indeed, notorious, that the Duke of Wel- lington had, throughout the whole of the period of his being at the head of affairs, abstained from appointing a 'single Commissionership, although many had become vacant ; and that he had sought every occasion to re- duce those offices which already existed. (Continued Cheers from the Treasury Benches.)
Mr. Goulburn begged, in conclusion, to observe, that he did not think we could fairly borrow precedents from the practice of America; but if we did refer to that country, we should find that her Consuls were paid by fees. Mr. C. WOOD hoped that the House would express its opinion on the estimate before it, tainted as that estimate was with some of the grossest jobs that had ever been submitted to the public. Mr. HumE denied that he had ever advocated the substitution of fixed salaries instead of fees to our Consuls, in the manner ascribed to him by the mover of the present vote. He had only recommended reasonable salaries.
It was astonishing how many abuses lurked in various shapes in the public accounts. He recollected having himself for five years concurred
in voting a salary to a dead man ; and the fact was at last discovered only
by accident. He thought it would be well worth the while of his Majesty's Government to consider whether the business of a Consul would not be
best done by a person acquainted with business. He held that commercial men were the beat fitted to discharge the duties of a Consul, and the fees were in themselves quite sufficient to induce many most respectable cora- mercial men to undertake to do so.
Mr. ROBINSON thought that the whole 9uestion of the Consular salaries should be remitted to the Committee above stairs.
Mr. MABERLY regretted that Sir James Graham had not moved for a much greater reduction. Mr. J. STUART should not oppose the vote. Sir ROBERT PEEL dwelt upon the reductions which had already been made by Government. When did any preceding Government, of its own accord, the circum- stances of the country remaining the same, propose a reduction in one year of 1,100,0001.? Having done that in a single year, and having de- clared their determination, if they continued in office, to persevere in their course, afforded in his mind a conclusive answer to the charge against them of being a profligate and corrupt government. Mr. P. TemaisoN had not heard any body charge his Majesty's Government with being profligate and corrupt. If he had, he should have been the last man in the House to assent to the jus- tice of the accusation. But when the Home Secretary got up and declared that Government had spontaneously introduced a system of economy to a certain extent, the circumstances of the country remaining the same as last year, he must deny the accuracy of the statement.
Colonel SIBTHORPE declared himself anxious to support the amendment.
Sir JAMES GRAHAM, in reply, observed that he did not accuse his Majesty's Government of profligacy. "What I did say was this—the Ministers of the Crown, in their pro- fessions of economy, when those professions were brought to the test of their acts, did not appear to be marked with sincerity. All their reduc- tions affected subordinate officers—men powerless, destitute of influence; and they uniformly avoided any thing like reduction when they came to deal with men having votes in either House of Parliament, or influencino. votes in Parliament. This spirit of reduction immediately disappeared, and they were found pertinaciously adhering to every thing in the nature of patronage that could affect the two Houses of Parliament." For the original motion, 1 2 1 ; against it, 93.
3. GREECE. The Earl of CARLISLE and the Marquis of LANS- DOWDTE moved for further information on the affairs of Greece, contained in papers that had not yet been produced. The Earl of ABERDEEN said it was not easy to satisfy all parties. While some required additional information, others complained that too many papers had already been furnished ; and one noble baron in particular had actually accused them of emptying their trunks on the table of the House. Ile had already said, that the only difficulty as to producing these papers was this—that, in substance, all the important points they contained were comprised in the protocols drawn up at Lon- don. The protocol of the 22nd March, 1829, comprised all that was mate- rial upon the subject of the boundary. As to the full papers, they were very voluminous; they were all in French, and for the purposes of the House they must be translated.
LORD HOLLAND begged to say, that he had used the expres- sion about emptying the trunks; but that referred to the little value of the documents placed upon the table, not to the unneces- sarily large quantity of them. One of the objections made to putting these papers on the table of the House was, that they must be teanslated. He wished to ask whether the same translator was to be employed on these as on the former papers ? Their Lordships must know that it had been again and again stated in that House, that his Russian Majesty had agreed to waive his rights as a belligerent in the Mediterranean ; and that after a short time had elapsed, subsequent to his declaration to that effect, it had been carried into full operation. He had looked to the translation of that assurance made by Russia (it was to be found in p. 223 of the papers marked A), and there he observed the assurance, that Russia would not exercise her rights as a belligerent, put into this form—" Now, the Emperor declares, that Russia will cease immediately to be so," &e. On turning back to the ori- ginal, he found the French to stand thus—" Or, l'Empereur d6clare, que la Russie cessera momentanement de l'etre." There was a great difference between the two.
The Earl of ABERDEEN admitted that the word ought to have been translated" for the time," instead of "immediately ;" but it was true, in fact, that his Imperial Majesty did consent imme- diately to lay down the character of a belligerent—the words in the protocol were "he does lay down "—" II &Tose " in the pre- sent tense. The mistake, therefore, was by no means one of ma- terial consequence. • The Marquis of LA.NSDOWNE then moved for "copies of all com- munications received from the Ambassadors of the Allied Powers, in consequence of the instructions of the 2nd of July 1828, relating to the boundaries of Greece ; and also copies of all papers relating to the blockades established by the Greeks, and to the raising of those blockades."
The Earl of ABERDEEN said he should have no objection to the production of copies of the papers referred to, with such limita- tions, however, as he should feel it consistent with his duty to exercise with respect to such portions of the papers as related to other matters.
The Marquis of LONDONDERRY was surprised that the noble Earl should wish to put any limitation upon the papers he intended to produce, after his promise the other night that he would give any noble lord these papers to "his heart's content." The Earl of ABERDEEN observed that some of the papers were on subjects of an insulated 'native, and consisted of various de- tached negotiations on other points.
The information to which the noble marquis had referred was perfectly tight. There was a negotiation between Russia and Turkey on the sub- ject of the remission of a portion of the sum claimed by Russia as an in- demnity; and it was true that the Emperor of Russia had signified to the Porte that the amount of the indemnity would be increased one million of ducats, if the assent of the Porte to certain propositions then made to it were not promptly given. He saw no reason to object to the conduct of the Emperor on that account—it was a proceeding highly honourable to the wisdom and generosity of his Imperial Majesty. He was, indeed, glad that the Emperor of Russia had had such an argument in his hands, and we ought to be rejoiced that he had employed it in such a manner.
The Marquis of LONDONDERRY said, that in fact Russia, by deduct* from her demand two or three millions of ducats, had accomplished that which France and England had in vain tried to effect. That single transaction was sufficient to show the immefise power ichich Russia now possessed. 'Turkey, too, had found out that her avowed enemy would behave better to her than her pro- fessed friends—France and England ; and so she gave to Russia what she refused to them. The noble Earl ought to have granted all these papers at once, and then he might have escaped these remarks ; but by attempting to withhold the information, he had brought these observations on himself. He should not press the motion, as he hoped the other papers might furnish the informa- tion he required. The Marquis of LONDONDERRY, on Friday, moved for addi- tional papers respecting Greece. He complained of the want of courtesy with which he had been treated by the Earl of Aberdeen, and trusted that the noble Duke would supply more ample in- formation. He wished to know what communications had taken place between Prince Leopold and the noble Earl prior to the first communication in the papers on the table. In that, the noble Earl warned Prince Leopold against political advisers. Prince Leopold had stated that he should not seek the advice of any one till he should have received an answer to his letter of the 9th of February. The Marquis of Londonderry wished to ask the noble Du'ke whe- ther he believed the Prince's statement. He also wished for some further information as to the nature of " the hidden interest which caused the separation of Candia from Greece." The whole con- duct of Austria in the negotiations relating to Greece required to be explained ; and he hoped that the necessary explanation would not be withheld.
The Earl of ABERDEEN begged to be allowed to give the noble Marquis a piece of advice—namely, to take the trouble to look at the documents on the table before he made a speech and moved for further papers. In the papers already produced, he would have found all the information he required. In reference to the expres sions in his letter to Prince Leopold, Lord Aberdeen begged to say that they were justified by the previous personal intercourse that had taken place between his Royal Highness and himself. The Duke of WELLINGTON, in answer to the question that had been put to him about secret influence, begged to refer the noble inquirer to Prince Leopold : for himself, he had no answer to give. The noble Marquis had also asked whether the Duke of Wellington believed the statement in Prince Leopold's letter ? The question was not a proper one, and he must decline answer- ing, it. Lord DURHAM expressed his conviction that Prince Leopold's conduct would bear the strictest scrutiny. The Marquis of LONDONDERRY rejoined. He had read the communication of the Austrian Minister ; but there was this difference between that communication and the papers he wanted —that the first were communications from diplomatic servants abroad, while the others were the statements.of our own agents to the Govern- ment at home. They all knew what diplomacy was. It was not always what. a diplomatist said that explained what were his real sentiments. (Hear, hear !) He wanted the despatches from our Ambassadors to ex- plain the real state of the fact. Let the noble Earl put those papers on the table, and let their Lordships see whether those despatches corresponded with that flummery. (Hear, hPar I) They knew very well that what a diplomatist said when he talked about cordial co-operation with others, was often complete bombast ; and he wanted these papers to see what were the sober steady opinions, and the well-judging opinions, of his Ma- jesty's Ministers at that Court upon these communications. They were persons whose testimony could be relied on. In all diplomacy there were various absurd phrases used, that he believed were called the apocalypse of the proceedings. (Laughter.) He would now say a word or two upon the laconic and dignified man- ner in which the noble Duke had answered him with respect to the infor- mation he sought upon two important points. He believed that, upon one of those points, the noble Duke had told him to ask Prince Leopold for an answer. Prince Leopold was not in that House, and therefore could not be asked the question ; but when he asked the question of the noble Duke, he supposed that, as the noble Duke had got the letter, he of course understood what was meant by it. With respect to the other point, Prince Leopold must have come to the noble Duke, as the King's Minister, and have put the paper into his hand, and must, no doubt, have asked him who was the proper person to advise with on the subject. He must say, that he did not think the question he had put deserved the marked and sharp mode adopted in giving the answer. He had at first understood they were to have the papers : but now it seemed only some were to be granted; and he believed that, in fact, the noble Earl would have given the papers, if he had not been arrested in it by the noble Duke.
Lord GODERICH professed himself willing to bear his share of the blame that might attach to the commencement of our inter- ference with Greece.
The Duke of WELLINGTON observed, that Lord Holland and the Marquis of Londonderry had different objects in view.
The noble Marquis says that he wants to show that this Government had no ground for saying that the Austrian Government had given their assurance to co-operate with the Allies in forwarding the objects of the treaty of London ; and he is desirous of knowing what was the opinion of the Austrian and Prussian Governments at the moment. But the noble Baron tells us that he believes the Austrian and Prussian Governments did give this assurance, but that they never were in earnest; and he puts the case with regard to them hypothetically, saying that he wants papers to show what the real opinions Of these two Governments were upon the subject of these transactions. No ground had been shown for the pro- duction of the papers called for, and therefore he should oppose their production.
Lord HOLLAND then addressed their Lordships.
"The noble Duke asserts that the object of the noble Marquis and of myself are distinct and different. It may possibly be so, but we have at least one object in common, and that is to ascertain a fact. The noble Duke seems to have satisfied himself that he has knocked the arguments of the noble Marquis and myself on the head by his mode of knocking them together. If he will allow me, I think I can return the obligation quite as completely, and knock his arguments and those of the noble Earl on the head, by knocking them together. (Laughter.) The noble Duke says, that there is no Parliamentary ground for granting these papers. The noble Earl said on one occasion recently, that we should have these papers to our hearts' content. (Hear, hear !) Now the heart of the noble Marquis is not so easily contented, and he says that he has an appetite for more. (Laughter.) But the noble Duke says that a fair Parliamentary ground has not been made out. Is it not, my Lords, a fair Parliamentary ground . to_ say, Let me see how these assurances are commented on.by our own Ambassadors ?' At present, my Lords, we are but imperfectly supplied with information on this question. We ask you to get us more." The Earl of WiNcHiLsEA. and the • Duke of RICHMOND ex- pressed themselves willing to support the motion.
Lord CALTHORPE wished to know whether these papers were to be refused, on the ground that their prcduction would be detri- mental to the public service. Lord ABERDEEN had no hesitation in admitting that such would be the case.
In consequence of this declaration, no division took place ; and Lord DukirAm then remarked, that from the anxiety of the noble Lords opposite to secure what they considered a triumph, a scene had been exhibited as little befitting the sober dignity of that House.as had ever taken place in any British Parliament.
9. PORTUGAL. In answer to a question by Lord JOHN Rus- SELL, Sir ROBERT PEEL stated that Government had received an intimation of the existence of a Regency in the Island of Terceira, and that a communication had been made by the British Govern- ment on the state of Portugal to the Emperor of Brazil, but no answer had yet been received. No relations, Sir Robert added, existed at present between this country and Portugal, nor had England formally recognized the Queen. 'A vote of 1 2 0,0001., for the expenses of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land was keenly opposed by Mr. HUME and Mr. O'CONNELL.
A vote of 16,0001. for the expenses of the Law Commission was also objected to by Mr. HumE. Mr. BROUGHAM and Sir C. WETHERELL bore testimony-to the services of the Commissioners, and the vote was agreed to.
4. THE CURRENCY. Mr. ATTWOOD, in a very long speech, repeated all the arguments which he has at various times advanced to show that our present distresses have their origin solely in the present state of the currency. He concluded with moving certain resolutions, declaring that gold and silver should be deemed equally legal tenders, and that the act prohibiting the circulation of small notes should be repealed.
Mr. E. DAVENPORT seconded the resolutions.
Mr. BARING, in a speech as long as Mr. Attwood's, advanced a great many opinions on both sides of the question ; but concluded by giving his support to the resolutions.
Mr. HERRIES, LORD HOWICK, Mr. HUSKISSON, and Sir ROBERT PEEL, opposed them; observing that nothing new had been advanced, nor any thing calculated to disturb the settled conclusions of the country on the subject.
The resolutions were then negatived without a division.
3. FORGERY. The third reading of the Forgery Bill having been moved,
Sir JAMES MACKINTOSH proposed certain amendments upon it. He moved that the punishment of death for forgery should be remitted in all cases except in those of forgery of wills. In that particular case, he sacrificed his own opinion to the opinions of many members, who thought the peculiar nature of wills called for their exemption from the common rule. Instead of death, he should propose to inflict imprisonment for a period not exceeding fourteen years, with or without hard labour, at the pleasure of the court. Banishment for a similar period might also be permitted ; and in cases of peculiar enormity the Judge might be empowered to combine these punishments. He should also propose to take away the power possessed by the Governor of New South Wales, of mitigatinc,a the punishments of forgery. Mr. F. Bux-rox seconded the amendments. He applied him- self to answer the arguments which had been urged on a former occasion by Sir Robert PeeL Sir Robert had stated, that through the Clearing-house during four days in March no less than ten millions of money passed, and yet that there were only four cases of forgery prosecuted by the London bankers Last year : coupling this great amount of money transactions with the few prosecutions, be argued that the system worked well—that property was, in fact, protected, and the crime of forgery prevented, by the severity of the law. Sir Robert was surely not aware, when he made this statement of the facts of the case, that this enormous sum of ten millions sterling all consisted of bankers' checks, which were not liable to forgery, and which he might say it was impossible to forge. These checks were generally drawn by some well-known persons, and the bankers on whom they were drawn did not pay them till the following clay. If the severity of the law were really efficient in the protection of property, that severity must have. bad the same operation at all times. It should have had the same effect ten years ago as now. Since that time the small notes have been withdrawn from circulation. What was the effect of the seve- rity of the law when they were in circulation ? There were some curious facts on this subject. During the year 1817, there were no less than 31,180 forged notes presented at the Bank of England ; 31,180 capital crimes were committed, and committed, in a great measure, with impunity. That statement showed, then, that the Bank of Eng- land was protected, not by the severity of the law, but by the with- drawal of the 1/. and 21. notes. Another curious circumstance whi ch this illustrated, was the chance of escape. The number of capital crime's, it bad been seen, was 31,180: of these, 142 were prosecuted, there were 60 convictions, and 14 culprits had been executed; so that it was 200 to 1 that the crime would not be prosecuted, 500 to 1 that it would not be convicted, and 2,000 to 1 that execution would not follow the commis- sion. This example showed that the severity of the law produced immu- nity, and encouraged the commission of the crime.
:Mr. LUNA= corroborated these statements. The SOLICITOR-GENERAL opposed the amendments. Mr. MACAULAY supported them.
The chance of death could not produce any great effect in deterring from the crime ; for the chance was very small. Judges, prosecutors, grand juries, petit juries, witnesses, all were adverse to the punishment of death for forgery—all but the Secretary of State ; and he, whatever he Might say in that House, was not more friendly' to the punishment else- where, for a very small proportion of the persons convicted were executed. The number of executions was too small to deter from the commission of the crime, but it was quite large enough to keep up the public disgust and horror—it was quite large enough to occasion cries of " Murder 1" " Shame !" when the drop fell with a criminal. The case of Fauntleroy was allowed on all hands to te one of the worst that could be imagined— there was no excuse whatever for his conduct ; and yet eight thousand persons signed the petition praying that his life might be spared. Un- questionably, forgery was a great moral offence ; but what was the offence of those who set the best feelings of the people against the law ? As it was, those who were sworn to do justice on the trials of persons charged with forgery, hesitated between what they considered blood-guiltiness and per- jury. This was a ,,reat evil. It was an evil which rested on the heads of those who were determined to ho:ve an unpopular law administered by a popular tribunal. Mr. CRIPPS opposed the amendments. Sir C. WETHERELL objected to the punishments proposed to be substituted, as more severe than the punishment of' death.
Sir ROBERT PEEL, so for from thinking that the Clearing- house afforded any security, was persuaded that it facilitated forgery.
For instance, but the other day a forged bill of exchange for 5001.. pur- porting to be Rothschild's, passed through the Clearing-house. So much skill was displayed in forgeries of that description, by tracing the names, and by other devices, that irwas impossible entirely to avoid fraud. Sir Robert drew an argument against the amendments, from the horror in which the French held their secondary punishments— they regarded them as more dreadful than death ; and such, he believed, would the proposed secondary punishments be found to be in this country.
Mr. BRotrommu supported the amendments.
The House then divided. For the amendments, 1 5 1 ; against them, 138.
On the clauses being brought up, Sir ROBERT PEEL said he must now bow to the opinion of the House, as expressed on this subject. He begged leave to say, therefore, that he withdrew all further opposition.
As he would be one of the last to offer any vexatious or factious oppo- sition, he bequeathed the Bill to Sir James Mackintosh and taking it for granted that the clauses he had proposed were the best to accomplish his purpose, he threw the responsibility of the course now adopted on that right honourable gentleman and the House,—merely taking leave to say, on his own part, that his opinions remained unchanged, and that he thought the time was not far. distant when they would be compelled. to retrace their course.
7. CHANCERY. Sir CHARLES WETFIERELL called the atten- tion of the House to the proposed changes in the Court of Chan- cery; and moved as a resolution, " That it is the duty of this House, before it gives its sanction to the appointment of a further Judge in the Court of Chancery, to ascertain, by the examination of witnesses, and other inquiries, whether a case of necessity exists for such appointment." Sir Charles then argued at great length against the existence of any such necessity ; and, in the course of his speech, took occasion to abuse every one who dif- fered in opinion from himself. We shall give a few specimens of his manner.
He knew it might be urged, that because, in his examination before the Chancery Commission, Vice-Chancellor Shadwell had observed, three angels could not do the duty of the Court of Chancery, it was quite im- possible that he could express a contrary opinion at that moment. But it should be remembered that the Vice-Chancellor's metaphor applied to a particular period, when there was a great arrear—one which it was doubted could ever be got over. But now it was different; and Vice- Chancellor Shadwell was a gentleman in whom there was no backsliding or tergiversation—a quality not belonging to all men. (Loud cheers.) He trusted, therefore, that he would have no Nisi Prius allusions to the me- taphor. Two out of three of the Judges of the Court of Chancery were then opposed to this appointment ; two of three to whom there could be no injustice in applying the doctrines of liberty and equality, for certainly Lord Lyndhurst could not claim a higher scale for adhering to his opi- nions, or for his veracity or pretensions, than could either of the others. (Cheers and laughter.) His Lordship might be equal to them, but he was not more than equal; his solitary opinion therefore could not overbalance those of the other two. All men must believe those Judges perfectly equal ; all men under the canopy of the British Constitution would give them equal and co-ordinate credit. He had also, in addition to the Vice-Chancellor and the Master of the Rolls, another witness to call—the right honourable gentleman opposite (Sir J. B. Sugden). He would abstract the honourable member for Wey- mouth of 1828 from the Solicitor-General of 1830. In 1828 he found the honourable member for Weymouth declared that the plan proposed by the honourable member for Durham for amending the practice of the Court of Chancery, would cut up our solid foundations and revolutionize the country. (Hear, hear.) He took this from the document they usually consulted—Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. Now his moderate lan- guage was, that the change was not necessary. He had taken the sting out -of the metaphorical accusations of the Solicitor-General. (Continued laughter.) Another witness on his side was the honourable member for Wootton Bassett, who made a very able speech for which, he received Lord Lynd- hurst's thanks. The honourable member shook his head ; not of course because he had received, but because he had not received the Lord Chan- cellor's thanks. (Laughter.) He hoped, then, that he would have that honourable member's able assistance to prevent the Lord Chancellor from being thrown into the predicament of doing nothing himself, and having a journeyman to assist him. (Loud laughter.) • Even supposing it could be shown that the new Judge could do no harm —still the absence of a necessity for his appointment was decisive against the proposed measure. To adopt the language of the right honourable Secretary opposite, he would object to the multiplication of Judge's as one of the greatest evils that could attach to the administration of justice.
He begged of the House to look a little at the consequences. If a new Judge were appointed in Chancery, the Lord Chancellor would never come into court, for he might well say that the Legislature had given him permission to be absent, and small reproach would attach to him for availing himself of the services of the new officer—he knew not by what name he was to be called—whether the orderly of the Lord Chancellor, or by some other appellation :—the existing nomenclature of the Courts of Equity was exhausted, and it would be necessary to find out a new name for him; and, no doubt, a competent term would be discovered by which to designate that high officer. At an early period of our history, it had been the practice for the Lord Chancellor, on his appointment, to deliver an inauguration speech, set- ting forth his high sense of the duties that had devolved upon him, and detailing the various improvements which he might intend to introduce in the constitution of the Court, and the remedies which Ise might pro- pose for the redress of grievances and the reform of abuses ; and Sir Samuel Romilly, referring to the speech of Lord Bacon, which was pre- served, and to the speeches of others, subsequently imagined the case of some Shotesbury—Sorne hackiwyed intriguer—some debating politician —hackneyed in debate, and hackneyed on both sides of questions—hack- neyed here and hackneyed there, the ready tool of any party—the possi- bility of such men attaining to high places, though not now in them
the telescopic eye of Romillfforesaw, and he repudiated the appointment of a third Judge. Ought not, then, the Parliament of the present clay, for Hari, to repudiate the appointment of a fourth ?
He believed, also, that he spok,..; within compass when he said that the Rolls, constituted as it at present was, and the business of it conducted as it was by Sir John Leach, formed an additional assistance to the busi- ness of Chancery, which might be estimated at half a Court; so that now there might truly be said to be three Courts and a half for the despatch of Equity business ; but if they appointed a fourth Judge, the Lord Chancellor might employ his afternoon much more agreeably than heretofore—he need never be open to the imputation cast so frequently upon Lord Eldon, of being too fond of taking home papers with him, for in the new state of affairs he would have no papers to take—he would have nothing to do, vacuti rex soles in wild, But it was said that the Lord Chs.nceilor might hear appeals. He would have his Vice- Chancellor, and his Master of the Rolls, and his third Judge—he knew not by what name to call him—the Lord Chancellor's Orderly—his Tack Rugby—and over the whole three he was to be—to borrow the lan- guage of an honourable gentleman near him—he was to be the school- master who was to correct the errors of the other three, who were to be towards him inferior judges. Now, he would ask, where was this sham Lord Chancellor to acquire the learning, the experience, and the skill which were to qualify him for being the superior of those three Judges ? He would have no Court to practise in. He might be a man of great powers ; he might be a very able and skilful advocate at Nisi Prius ; he might have all the capabilities of becoming a great equity lawyer ; but by that arrangement he would be left without a court in which to learn the principles of the science. Thus, of the four, he would be, not the first, but the last ; and the proposal was to make him the superior of all. It was a mockery, a farce, a delusion upon the public, to think of appointing a man to correct the errors of men less likely to fall into errors than he was himself.
The SOLICITOR-GENERAL deprecated the use of such epithets as the learned gentleman had had recourse to ; expressed regrt for having formerly delivered strong opinions on the sukect, which a more enlarged experience had induced him to depart from ; and then proceeded to contend that the appointment of a fourth judge was indispensable to facilitate the attainment of justice..: Among other grounds for his present opinion, he begged to state, that there were forty millions sterling to be distributed by the Court of Chancery ; a great portion of which was subject to litigation. Mr. C. FERGUSSON moved is an amendment, that the further consideration of the question should be adjourned till Tuesday. After a conversation, in which Mr. BROUGHAM, Sir ROBERT PEEL, the ATTORNEY-GENERAL, and Mr. FERGUSSON took part, the Amendment was agreed to.
6. Ittisu VESTRY ACTS. Mr. O'Coxxsta, moved for leave to bring in a Bill "to repeal so much of the several statutes in force in Ireland as; enabled parish vestries to aesess rates for the building, rebuilding, and enlarging of Chnrches and Chapels, and also for the repairing of the chancel of Churches, and also for providing things necessary for the celebration of divine service therein." Mr. -O'Connell enlarged upon the hardships imposed upon the bulk of the Irish population, by the necessity of providine- and supportine-b Protestant churches. In England, where the majority of the population is Protestant, they are not obliged to build churches ; but in Ireland, where the mass consists of Catholics, they are obliged to build churches for the Protestants. In England, churches are built by act of Parliament. In Ire- land they are erected by the authority of the Bishops : thus presenting the spectacle of- the ministers of the richest church in the world taxing the poorest people on earth for the purpose of rearing places of public worship. It' the system was bad in prin- ciple, the details of its administration rendered it still more re- volting. All was extravagance, jobbing, and utter disregard of the feelings of the people. These charges Mr. O'Connell esta- blished by a great many instances. The measure which he pro- posed had for its object the relief of Protestants of the Established Church, as well as of Protestant Dissenters and Catholics, upon all of whom the present law bore with very great severity. In the course of his speech, Mr. O'Connell complained of the thin attendance of Irish members during every debate that had refer- ence to Ireland ; observing-, however, that the circumstance of so few among them having constituents might account for their indifference.
The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER admitted that the pre- sent statutes required revision. A bill at present in preparation would, he hoped, remove all that might be objectionable in the present law • though that, he contended, was a great improvement upon the statutes which were in force previous to Lord Plunkett's Mr. SPRING RICE approved of the principles of the measure which Mr. O'Connell recommended ; but he could have wished that some member of the Established Church had brought it for- ward. For his own part, he had hoped that Government would originate some measure of the kind; but the close of the Session was approaching, and nothine; had been done. As a remedy for the abuses under the consideration of the House, he thought that, in future leases, the payment of church-rates should be thrown upon the land. • Sir R. Isores leeeel to correct a misapprelemson or mis- statement of Arr. (1 '1. Church-rates in Lel were a tax upon land,•Nvill • , • • ' • Lord F. T:. r the greater numl'er of ' • • ; 1!lat 1d been made to the cxistime sta- tute eould Mr. HUME even though so far advanced, wo::' ss away without giving birth to some ; • • a nuisance universally complau-.1 •'• Sir R. PE •.' turn:al up,.an the cities tion whether ea for the dee,: rd performance of divine v,•(.1.
It was all one thousand Catholics in many pa-
rishes where t::, ee Protestants ; and surely it would be
nothing better IL 1,1Iow the. Catholics to determine what should he the pro.,-•f.n the performance of Protestant worship. The honourahm mee , ;.A• Aberdeen had recommended, nay, had called on him and his col lesom es. to bring in a bill to repeal the existing law. Now, he must say, in the presence of that I-Immutable member, that they could not get, at -this moment, a fair consEeration of any measure they proposed, fur honourable members did not afford them time for the pur- pose; they Imo night after night to discuss every question that was introduced. It was true that every honourable member m4;lit say, " I am a member of the Legislature, and every point on which I make a long speech is a matter of importance, and I have a duty to perform ;" hut if twenty other members took the same view of their duty as the honourable member opposite, not only the 'loose would not be able to pass one bill, hilt they would not get any one bill through the first read- ing. Admitting that such discussion; were not unnecessary—that there was not an unnecessary arginnent in the honourable member's speech, yet he must repeat, that if twenty other honourable members pursued the same course, they should never get through their business. Ile must say, that when the honoorable member oeculaed in various discussions four or five hours every night, it was a little hard in him to become the accuser of Ministers for not introducing other measures. Ile appealed to the House, whether it was not with the greatest difficulty that Ministers now got a fair hearing for any bill they introduced ; and when they did obtain something like a hearing for it, whether they were ever able to do so before one or two o'clock in the morning ? Under these circumstances, he must confess that he felt the. greatest reluctance to add any thing to the business of the session ; and for his own part, he was quite unable to undertake any new business with the least hope of doing it justice. At present he was often employed seventeen or eighteen hours out of the twenty-four ; and when it was considered that he was frequently ten hours in attendance on that House, it must be admitted that he could have but little leisure for properly considering any measure with a view to bring it under their notice. He had thought 'that it would not -be for the public advantage for him to press an irnmatured measure upon their discussion ; and he had consequently avoided, and should still avoid, taking on himself the responsibility of introducins.' the bill. Mr. PROTHEROE defended Mr. Hume, and bore testimony to his great public services. For Mr. O'Connell's motion, 17; against it, 141.
5. CHURCHES. Mr. HUME presented a petition from the parish of St. Luke's, Middlesex, relative to the New Church Building Act. There were already two churches in the perish, neither half filled; yet the Commissioners under the Act persisted in assessing the inhabitants Thr the erection of another. A correspondence had taken place between them and sortie of the parishioners, in the course of which the Commissioners behaved in the most impe- rious and insolent style. The parish was overwhelmed with poor- rates, and could, in truth, bear no additional burden.
The CHANCELLOR 01' the EXCHEQUER defended the Commis- sioners. Rather than have them subjected to such treatment as they had experienced from the parish in question, it would be much better not to build churches at all, and at once to rescind the statute empowering the Commissioners to act. It was said that the parish was poor, but it was precisely for poor parishes that Parliament had granted the money ; so that both on ac- count of poverty and population St. Luke had a claim on the Commis- sioners. Whatever portion of their poverty and distress might arise from improper conduct—and he believed much distress had that origin—would, most probably, be relieved by Christian instruction. For that distress and poverty, which arose from vicious habits, he knew no better cure than the moral and religious instruction of Christian pastors. The honourable member might smile, as lie generally did when the advantages of religious influence were mentioned; but he (Mr. Goulburn) could not doubt that religious instruction by the ministers of the Gospel humanized the mind, and, by doing away with irregular habits, might put an end to poverty and distress. Mr. JOHN Woon enlarged upon the extravagance, recklessness, and ignorance of the Commissioners.
He was himself a Dissenter, and had no hesitation in saying that the Established Church was, perhaps, not the best to instruct the people. It was too well endowed. He believed, if individuals might build and endow churches, they would do so to a great extant. He did not believe that they were good friends to religion who upheld its abuses. The curse of this age was cant and hypocrisy ; and he believed that religion would be better served—and he was a religious man—if the cant about it were less.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL objected to the insinuations against Mr. Hume which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had permitted him- self to employ. Mr. RIDLEY COLBORNE fully agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that it would be better to abolish the acts altogether. The petition was read and laid on the Table. Ftks ON THE DEMISE OF THE CROWN....-ESTI DARNLEY has inti- mated, that on Monday next he shall move for a Committee on the Bill for regulating the payment of these fees. Ex OFFICIO INFORMATIONS.—Sir C. WETHERELL has given no. tice, "that on the 17th of June he would move for leave to bring in a Bill to limit the power of the Attorney-General to file Ex Officio In- formations."
WINDSOR CASTLE.—A Committee, to inquire into the necessary ex- pense of completing the improvements at Windsor Castle, has been ap- pointed, on the motion of Mr. Go vi,n URN.
The House of Lords sat on Monday till eight o'clock, and last night till half-past seven. The House of Commons sat on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday till three ; and last night till past two.