ihhatto nut Vrurrtitingo iu Varlituurut.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THE WEER.
Bores or LORDS. Monday, August 8. Courts of Common Law (Ireland) Bill, committed—Naval Coast Volunteers Bill, read a second time—Russia and Turkey ; Question and Answer—1 ndia Bill, committed.
Tuesday, August 9. Irish Tenure Bills, read a second time—Naval Coast Volun- teers Bill, committed—Newspaper Stamp-duties Bill, passed. Thursday, August 11. Courts of Common Law (Ireland) Bill, reported—As- sessed Taxes Bill, read a second time—Naval Coast Volunteers Bill, passed.
Friday, August 12. Russia and Turkey; Lord Malmeabury's Motion for Papers— Pilotage Bill, read a second time—Merchant Shipping Bill, committed—Government of India Bill, passed—Universities (Scotland) Bill, read a second time—Hired Horses Duty Bill, committed—Assessed Taxes Bill, committed.
MORSE or COSIstoNs. Monday, August 8. Supply; last of the Estimates—Russia and Turkey; Questions and Answer—Wednesday's Sitting ; Orders to take precedence— Customs Bill, committed—Charitable Trusts Bill, passed—Lunatic Asylums Bill, passed—Ministers-Money (Ireland) Bill, withdrawn—Smoke Nuisance Abatement (Metropolis) Bill, committed—Lunatics Care and Treatment Bill, committed—New Writ for Cork.
Tuesday, August 9. South Sea Dissentients Bill, passed—Transportation Bill, committed—Supply, reported—Metropolitan Sewers Acts Continuance Bill, com- mitted—Hackney Carriage Duties Bill, passed. Wednesday, August 10. Customs Bill, passed—Recovery of Personal Liberty ; Order for adjourned debate discharged—Smoke Nuisance Bill, passed—Betting- houses Bill, passed. Thursday, August 11. Night Sitting. Metropolitan Sewers Acts Continuance Bill, passed—Lunatics' Care and Treatment Bill, passed. Friday, August 12. Transportation Bill, passed—Corrupt Practices at Elections; Mr. Walpole's Bill read a second time—Vaccination Extension Bill, committed.
Hour of Hoar of
Hour of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment.
Monday 111 ...al) 12h 30m Monday Noon .. 4h Om
6h . (m) 3h 41m
Tuesday 5h 101130m
Noon 4h Om
611. .(m) Ili Om Wednesday No sitting. Wednesday Noon .. 2h 45m Thursday 5h 611 20ra Thursday 10h Olin ... Ilk 45m Friday
Sh .(m) lb Om
Friday 4h .... Oh 15m
Sittings this Week, 4; Tune. 221120m Sittings this Week, 7; Time, 33h 35in — this Session. 116; — 309h 56m — this Session. 171; — 1113k 41,a
RUSSIA AND TURKEY.
In both Houses, on Monday, questions were put and replies given respecting the Eastern difficulty.
The Marquis of CLANRICARDE was the interrogator in the House of Peers. He narrated succinctly the stories which have reached us as to the proceedings of Russia in assuming the government of Moldavia and Wallachia, levying contributions on the inhabitants, and forcing some of the Boyards to enter the armies ; and he inquired whether Go- vernment had any information on the subject. He then proceeded to a second question, which occurred so naturally, that he could not refrain from putting it, although he might be considered indiscreet. "I am sure every man in this country, and every member of both Houses of Parliament, must be anxious to know if these facts are true ; and, if they cannot be contradicted, what the Government of this country has done thereupon. The question divides itself naturally into two parts—what has the Government done at home, and what has it done by its functionaries abroad? I have very little doubt or difficulty with regard to the latter point. I hope I shall be told there is very little reason to doubt that, at the moment I have the honour of addressing your Lordships, the combined fleets are, at least, if not before Constantinople, at the other side of the Dardanelles. I cannot imagine it possible that the Ambassadors of France and England should have any restriction on the power granted to their dis- cretion at the present moment, as to the directions they should give the Admirals commanding the forces to which I have referred. Nor can I doubt for an instant that my noble friend and relative at Constantinople will have thought it right tp act with the spirit and energy which become the representative of this great country. If I ask what has been done at home, I expect, and hope I shall be told, either that long before this intel- ligence arrived, or that since it has arrived, there has been, not a request for an explanation, but a categorical demand that the Principality shall be evacuated by the Russian forces. I say, my Lords, if the have undertaken to advise the Porte, so that she held her arm and has not attempted to de- fend her property, we have made ourselves parties to the whole of these transactions, as well by what we are doing now as by what was done on for- mer occasions. I cannot believe, nor allow myself to believe, that these statements which I have named are in all respects correct, because there is no explaining away what is now stated to be the fact. There can be no doubt whatever, that if it be true that Russia has assumed the govern- ment of these Principalities, she has committed an act of aggression and outrage upon Turkey. That is entirely in contradiction to the circular vo- luntarily issued to the Courts of Europe on the subject, as well as to the manifesto issued by the Russian general on entering the Principalities. I am not going to discuss that matter now, as it must form the subject of die- cusaion on a future evening ; but, my Lords, I must my I cannot doubt that the energetic steps to which I have adverted must have been taken, because what is this but the strongest possible proceeding of war ? We are told that when the Russian forces were moved into these provinces, it was not to be
considered as a war with Turkey ; but what is this I have described except war ? If you say it is not war, then I say it is piracy—it is either war or
piracy ; and I want to know whether we are, in this condition, to suffer war on such a pretext as has been put forward, or to stand by and see an act of piracy committed ? I say, my Lords, if we are told there is a question of treaties in going inside or outside the Dardanelles, I say there is now a state of war that has abolished all treaties between Russia and Turkey as far as Russia is concerned. There is not one treaty binding Turkey to Russia after such an aggression as I have described. There are no reasons for our not "U1%. What is the state of things, if they are described in the answer given in the other Rouse of Parliament on Monday ? That we Iwo sent notes, and we have sent another note on Monday or Tuesday from Vienna.
But while we are sending notes, the Russian army is advancing, and fast taking possession of the territory of Turkey beyond the Principalities I have named.
"News, which is gladly termed good news, appears in the papers of this day, namely, that a proposal had been received favourably at St. Petersburg by the Emperor, and was to be entertained. But we know not what that proposal was ; and, until we know a good deal more, we cannot be expected to express our unqualified satiafaction, and we should require, naturally, to know what that proposal may have been. But it cannot be the proposal which we were told of last week in the other House of Parliament ; for we were told that the messenger was to leave Vienna, with such a proposal as England and France thought satisfactory, on Sunday or Monday. Now the news to which I advert, and which has probably met the eye of every noble lord in this House, states that advices had been received from St. Peters- burg on the 3d instant. I think it is utterly impossible that, leaving Vienna on the 1st, advices could have left St. Petersburg on the 3d ; indeed,
they could not possibly have reached St. Petersburg, and the news n.ques- tion must therefore relate to some Austrian proposition made to Russia be- fore. We do not know what it was ; but after what has happened, both this House and the other House of Parliament, and the people of this country, will consider no proposal that may have been accepted as satisfactory, if it is not for the immediate evacuation of the Turkish territory.
" But under this, which I thought good news, there is news of a very different quality arrived by this day's mail; for it is stated that the Russian
flotilla, which has its basis of operations at Ismail, is in possession of the
whole of the inner part of the river. That flotilla consists of 200 boats, of which 150 bre gun-boats ; so that we have not only an invasion of Wallachia
and Moldavia, but, while you are passing your notes to and fro, and sending couriers, there is an invasion also of Bulgaria. This is a matter of the ut- most importance; for the whole of that great river, the most important for its commerce with all Europe, is taken possession of on both sides by the Russian forces.
" This is a state of things I have waited with the utmost patience to hear an explanation of on the part of the Government ; not wishing hastily to say
one word which might excite the public mind on the subject ; but I found it impossible to refrain from asking these questions, in the hope of getting a direct and clear answer. I can assure your Lordships of this, there is no man, I believe, in either House of Parliament, who has a more sincere abhorrence of war than I have, unless it be necessary—I don't say justifiable—but un- less it be necessary for the honour and character and essential interests of this country. At the same time I do say, if we are to sacrifice our honour and character when they are involved before the face of Europe, the whole material interests of this country must also suffer. It is therefore I have taken the liberty of making this statement before asking the question I wished to put to my noble friend. I wish to know, first of all, whether the noble Earl has received any authentic or official information that the state- ments I have made are correct ; and if that is the case, what have been the steps taken by the Government in consequence ?" The Earl of CLARENDON said, he was afraid that it would not be in his power to give a reply differing materially from that he gave five days ago. " I agree entirely now, as I did last week, in everything that has fallen from my noble friend with respect to the consequences that would arise both to Turkey and to Europe from a permanent occupation, or anything re-
sembling a permanent occupation, of the Principalities occupied by Russia : but I must again inform my noble friend, that we have no official informa-
tion whatever of the character which he has now brought before this House.
I am not, certainly, prepared b deny that many of the acts" to which he has alluded may have been committed by the Russian Government. I may
certainly say—but I have derived my information merely from the same sources as my noble friend—that a sort of committee of government has been formed for carrying on the business of the Principalities together with the Hospodars. But we have no information whatever on the subject; and I am sure my noble friend will be of opinion, and your Lordships will agree with me, that for the Government to act upon reports as they arrive by telegraph, would be the height of rashness ; and yet in no other way could we have proceeded to carry out the measures to which my noble friend alludes.
" My noble friend said he believed the Danube had been crossed and Bul- garia had been actually entered by the Russian forces. I have no reason to
believe that is so, but the contrary ; because I have this afternoon received letters from Galata of the 28th, in which no allusion whatever is made to those circumstances : but there are certainly some allusions, to which I will not now allude, with respect to the few gun-boats that have been brought
there, and to the bellicose character of the Russian arrangements. We have likewise letters from Jassy of the 27th, and from Bucharest of the 26th, and
no mention whatever is made of this new form of government having been established. It is certainly true that the presence of the Russian troops is alluded to as a hardship to the peasants, who are made to do a certain amount of work, and are withdrawn from their agricultural labours ; but there is no mention of any recruits having been drawn from them. Men- tion is also made of a considerable quantity of provisions having been sent from Bessarabia, in the Russian territories, for the use of the Russian troops in the Principalities. "I am sure your Lordships will agree with me, that we ought not to act on any such information as we have received from the newspapers ; some of which, since my noble friend put his question last week, has already been proved to be incorrect: and I can only say that my noble friend cannot ex- ceed me, first in his abhorrence of war, and next in his desire for peace,
provided that peace be an honourable peace. I am sure that no other peace would ever be for the interest of this country, or receive the support of this great nation. (Cheers.)
" But, my Lords, I must say, that at the point at which we are arrived in these negotiations,—which I do see reason to hope are tending to a satik factory and peaceable solution,—I must say, that exciting debates in either House of Parliament at this moment is not the way that is likely to pro- duce that peculiar character of peace which would be beneficial to this coun- try, and which alone this country would sanction. I can inform my noble friend, that the negotiations appear to use to have assumed that character which we must all desire to see. This question has not been left ghaply between Russia and the Porte ;. it has not been left between England and
France, united closely although they may be in supporting the Porte ; but it has assumed an European character. It is not only a question between the
Porte and Russia, but it is Austria, Prussia, France, and England, acting together in order to check designs that they think cannot but be inconsistent with the balance of power, and with those territorial limits established by previous treaties. This, I think, is a state of things that must be satisfac- tory, because it is likely to lead to a satisfactory and permanent conclusion ; and I think your Lordships will not press me to enter into more detail with
respect to the state of the negotiations pending between Vienna and St. Petersburg further than this—thatnothing has been done at Vienna without the consent'of France and England ; and that the English and French Go= vernmenta would consent to nothing that did not secure the dignity and protect the independence of Turkey.' The Earl of MALMRSBURY, taking credit for the prudence displayed on his side of the House, said there was a point at which even this prudent
conduct must be stayed. Parliament is on the eve of prorogation ; we are on the brink of a great war, and yet know nothing of what has passed in the negotiations between Russia and England. Government have pur- posely avoided explanation; while other Governments, those of France and Russia, have published their views.
"I do trust that, in the present circumstances of the session, the noble Earl will not refuse, on a future day, to give this country some idea of what he expects from the Russian Government ; and that he will tell us a little more fully whether it is to be a sine quit non that the Russians shall eva- cuate, and rapidly evacuate, these provinces ; because when he talks of their 'permanent occupation' by Russia, ' permanent occupation' are words Which it is difficult to explain. A permanent occupation may be an appro- priation of these provinces by Russia. Under these circumstances, I do not think this country would be satisfied unless a speedy evacuation were brought about ; and I conceive that, with perfect good faith, the noble Earl might state whether the basis of these negotiations is that these provinces are to be immediately evacuated." Lord Cr.snmenox—" I should be very sorry that there should exist the slightest misapprehension for a single day with respect to my meaning re- garding the occupation of the provinces. I have no hesitation in now in- forming my noble friend, without waiting for any further discussion that may arise, that I look at the immediate and complete evacuation of the Princi- palities as a sine qui non of any agreement whatever : and with respect to the discussion that it may be desirable should take place, I think your Lord- ships will bear in mind, that the Government have never wished to shrink from discussion, or shown any indisposition to lay before your Lordships and the country the fullest information in their power of what has been done. I did not even ask my noble friend, when he brought on his motion, to with- draw it. I felt that both your Lordships and the country, if you pleased to ask for all the information I could give, were perfectly right and justified in so doing. My noble friend knows he withdrew it at the request of noble Lords altogether independent of the Government, and who had not even given the Government notice of their intention. I hope my noble friend will admit that the Government has not shrunk from any discussion. I think it is highly desirable that the country should have all the informa- tion we can give it ; and I can assure my. noble friend that nothing will pre- vent her Majesty's Government from doing so, except those reasons whioh have hitherto influenced them—namely, a sense of what is necessary for the public service."
In reply to the Earl of ELLENBOROUGH, Lord CLARENDON said that no official information had been received confirming or otherwise the current report, that Russia had taken this moment to demand the payment of a large sum of money from Persia, intimating that she would receive a pro- vince in part payment of that money.
In the House of Commons, Sir JosHuA WAIMSLEY asked whether Lord John Russell would before the prorogation furnish a statement of the existing relations between England and Turkey and Russia, and name a day for a discussion.
Lord JOHN Russell, said, that he would, at the latest moment before prorogation, give such information as was consistent with his public duty ; but a general discussion would be unadvisable.
Lord DUDLEY STUART put another question—
Would Lord John Russell state " whether the rumours which have been circulated in the papers today of a moat important character—namely, that the Emperor of Russia has agreed to certain propositions which have been submitted to him by the different Powers of Europe for the adjustment of the differences between Russia and Turkey—have any foundation ; and whether we are any nearer to a solution of the question than we were some days ago ? "
Lord kali RUSSELL—" In answer to the question of my noble friend, I have to state- that there is a foundation for the rumours to which he has al- luded. (Cheers.) The telegraphic despatch which has been received from her Majesty's Minister at Vienna is of a satisfactory character. (Cheers.) I may say further, that the messenger who was to leave Vienna for Constan- tinople on the 31st of July did not leave Vienna until the 2d of August ; and therefore, the reply to the despatch whioh he conveyed cannot be expected so soon as was expected."
Mr. Lavann repeated the question, would there be a discussion ? Lord JOHN RUSSELL said—" It is the opinion of her Majesty's Go- vernment that it would not be advisable to have such a discussion." (Cheers.)
Later in the evening, Mr. DISRAELI inquired whether Lord John would state the nature of the proposals which he understood the Emperor of Russia had accepted. Lord Jour RUSSELL declined to state what they were.
THE INDIA Govan/0min Buz.
The House of Peers having gone into Committee on the bill, After a great deal of conversation, a proviso to render valid and give authority to a letter sent to India by the President of the Board of Con- trol, if signed by the Secretary of the Board, was inserted in clause 1, on the motion of the Earl of ELLENBOROTIGH. This is intended to obviate the inconvenience of delay occasioned by the Court of Directors in not immediately procuring the requisite number of signatures. Lord ELLENBOROUGH then successively proposed amendments in clauses 3 and 4 ; one to enlarge the time for the appointment of the nominees; a second to enable Government to appoint "six" nominees at once instead of " three" ; and a third providing that, in case the Court of Directors neglected to select fifteen from among themselves in compliance with the bill, Government should select' twelve from them and nominate six. All these amendments were negatived. On clause 7, Lord Faxmenoliotem moved that all the retired officers of the Company, civil and military, who had served twenty years in India, should be added to the present constituency. This was supported by Lord MornasoLe and the Earl of HARROWS; and occasioned some ob- servations as to the corruptibility of the present constituency. Earl GRANVILLE and Lord ELFRINSTONE opposed the amendment, and it was rejected.
On clause 13, Lord ELLEnrnonormai complained of the slovenly man- ner in which the clause and the oath contained in it were drawn, and proposed a new oath, couched in stringent terms. But Earl Gas:wax/3 having promised to reconsider the oath before the third reading, the amendment was withdrawn.
On clause 22, providing for the addition of Legislative Councillors to the Council of India, Lord ELLENnonouow desired the insertion of words making it clear that the Councillors were to be appointed from time to time, to be chosen from each Presidency, and to be removeable. Lord BROUGHTON protested against the whole clause, as fatal to the bill, since Under it a Native might become acting Governor-General. But the clause passed as it stood, with the omission of the word " civil." Lord Euutemmorron proposed two amendments in clauses 25 and 30 ; the former providing that nothing in the act should affect the power now vested in the Governor-General by the act of the 3d and 4th William IV. ; and the latter to make the Commander-in-chief of the Queen's troops ex officio Member of Council, and the Commanders-in-chief of the Pre- sidencies ex officio Members of the Presidential Councils. But both were negatived.
Lord MONTEAGLE proposed a clause declaring that no natural-born sub- ject of the Queen should by reason of birth, colour, or religion, be incapable of holding employment either in the covenanted or uncovenanted service. Lord Gicsievnix did not object to the clause because he doubted the ap- titude of the Natives, but because it was directed against an imaginary evil. Under the present bill, any Native who exhibits equal talent with an Englishman will be employed. The clause was rejected. On the motion of Lord ELLENBOROUGH, Sir John Pakington's clause
prohibiting to the Company the sale or manufacture of salt, and render- ing it free to private enterprise, was expunged; on the ground that it was an unwarrantable interference with the financial arrangements of India ; that it imperilled the revenue ; and would, if carried out, render necessary the employment of an army of excisemen.
On the third reading of the Charitable Trusts Bill, Mr. Hurr proposed to leave out of clause 5 the words " Paid Commissioners," and to add words enabling the Commissioners to sit in Parliament. Although ge- nerally disposed to take away disqualifications with respect to persons sitting in that House, Lord Tonle RUSSELL could not assent to the pro- position : it would not be fair, after the bill had passed through so many stages. Several other Members objected ; and on a division the amend- ment was negatived by 113 to 32. On clause 46, Mr. HADFIELD moved an amendment limiting the pre- ference given to the Church of England by the rules and practices of the Court of Chancery. The House divided at once, and the amendment was negatived by 90 to 41.
On the clause which provides exemptions, Lord JOHN RUSSELL said the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are exempted, because it is probable they will be the objects of special legislation ; but that is no reason why the universities of London and Durham should be exempted. London had already been struck out ; he moved that the University of Durham should be struck out also. Mr. THORNELY and Mr. THOMAS CHAMBERS objected, that either all ought to be exempted or all included in the operation of the bill. Sir RICHARD BETHELL explained, that having property of their own, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge could be made the subjects of special legislation ; but unless included in the bill, the "schools" of London and Durham would be beyond the pale of the law. On a division, Lord John Russell's motion was negatived by 70 to 65.
Mr. THORNELY moved the exemption of the London University. To this Lord JOHN Rrssare. raised objections: charity schools might connect themselves with the University of London, and elude the act. The mo- tion was negatived by 79 to 64. The bill was read a third time and passed.
IRISH LAND TENURE.
In moving the second reading of the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Bill, the Duke of NEWCASTLE explained its scope and bearing, and in- cluded in his statement explanations of the two bills next on the paper— the Tenants' Improvement Compensation Bill, and the Leasing Powers Bill. He prefaced his explanation by a detailed account showing that the bills originated with Mr. Napier, the Attorney-General for Ireland in Lord Derby's Administration ; that they had not been changed la their passage through the other House more than is customary with most im- portant measures introduced into Parliament ; and that they are identical in principle with the bills sanctioned by the late Government. Under the existing law, settlements and mortgages form an insuperable bar to an effective sale of laud ; and in Ireland that evil is remedied by spe- cial enactments. The object of the Leasing Powers Bill is to do for the smaller properties of Ireland what is done for the larger ones by special and private acts. It consolidates no fewer than sixty acts of Parliament ; and places all proprietors on the same footing, enabling them to grant leases for twenty-one years. The Landlord and Tenant Bill has in view to provide a convenient and practical law for regulating the relations of landlord and tenant, and to faci- litate the enforcement of contracts by both parties; and, if fairly carried out, he believed it would be second to none in value as affecting the morality and honesty of all classes in Ireland, and as tending to produce that punc- tuality so essential between man and man in all commercial transactions. It proposes to prevent rather than punish " burning "; itprovides for put- ting an end to subletting" ; and it modifies the existing laws with regard to distress and distraint.
The Tenants' Improvement Compensation Bill provides compensation for improvements effected by a tenant in the absence of any contract with the landlord; where a contract exists, the case is provided for by the other two bills. No very strong opposition to the clauses of this bill was expected, with the exception of those particular ones which have a retrospective opera- tion, and especially the fourteenth clause. The bill has been framed in the most careful manner. No tenant can claim compensation for any improve- ment which he may have made unless he has given notice to his landlord of his intention to make such improvement; and the landlord, after being served with such notice, has power to serve a counter-notice that he will undertake to carry out the improvements himself; and he is allowed, under those cir- cumstanoes, to claim from the tenant a fair percentage for the improvement. To prevent fraud, it is also provided that no tenant who has executed an im- provement with the sanction of the landlord can claim compensation if he was not entirely free from all default at the time that the improvement is effected. The fourteenth clause has been altered, but its spirit and intention are the same, with this difference—that, as it was introduced, it did not con- tain the restrictions now imposed, which limit its operation so that no com- pensation shall be given for improvements not claimed for within twelve months from the passing of the act.
If the House should pass these bills, the credit of the settlement would justly belong to Mr. Napier. But if they should not succeed, on whom would the reproach fall, but on the present Government, because they had
endeavoured to assist in carrying them out ? The Government only did their bounden duty ; but where, then, were their party motives ? They had but done honour to one who had done honour to noble Lords opposite and to
their Government when in of but whom they were now anxious to dis- card when it suited their purpose. The Duke earnestly appealed to the House to give these bills a second reading, with a view to that fair consideration of their merits to which they are entitled.
The Marquis of CIANRICARDE observed, that at the end of the session, the House of Lords was called upon to pass, in ten days, bills which had coupled the other House for ten months. In spite of all this care, the bills were not in a state to be passed. He looked with the least disfavour on the Leasing Powers Bill; but the Tenants' Compensation Bill was a total violation and disregard of contracts. By passing such bills as these, they would deteriorate property, deter investments, and cause endless litigation. The Earl of MALMRSEURY resented some remarks made by the Duke of Newcastle. He maintained,—backing his assertion by a passage from a letter from Mr. Napier,—that the bills before the House were not " the
same bills" as those introduced by Mr. Napier. [The Duke of NEW- CASTLE said he had a letter from Mr. Napier, of the same date, which led him to infer that Mr. Napier had a different opinion.] So long as he
was Mr. Napier's colleague, he cheerfully shared the responsibility of his acts ; but he was not bound to follow Mr. Napier through the Committees of the House of Commons. Neither was he acting in this matter in op- position to Lord Derby; for Lord Derby had authorized him to state that he took the same view of the case. He admitted, however, that Mr. Na- pier's opinion was that the bill should pass. The Earl of Rorom opposed the bills. The Earl of Wicm.ow cor- rected some interpretations put on them by Lord Clanricarde. Lord ST. LEONARDS said that there never was a question which should be con- sidered less of a party question than that before them. He justified the present Government in bringing the measures forward ; but he was more than doubtful whether the bills should pass in their present shape. He instanced objectionable matter,—such as the clause giving compensation for past improvements ; and the Leasing Powers Bill, which confers the most extensive powers.
The Earl of ABERDEEN saw with some concern the feeling manifested against the bills. He had hoped that the time had arrived for settling this exciting question. Introduced by the late Government and adopted by the present, he had hoped the bills would have been carried to a suc- cessful issue. Government had only one object—that of benefiting Ire- land; but, seeing the unfavourable opinion now expressed, it would be in vain for him to press the bills at present. If the House would agree to the second reading, he undertook on the part of the Government, that at an early period of next session the whole subject should be taken into consideration--probably in that House in the first instance—with a view to settlement.
Lord Mammanuay having expressed his approval of the principle of the bills, and attributed their defeat to the practice of bringing important business before the House of Lords at so late a period of the session, the Landlord and Tenant Bill was read a second time.
THB TRANSPORTATION BILL.
In Committee on this bill, Lord PALMERSTON gave a popularized version of the plan adopted by the Government. When a prisoner has undergone a preliminary or separate confinement, he will not be sent out to a colony and there get a ticket-of-leave as heretofore ; but will get his ticket-of-leave in this country, and be liable, on bad behaviour, to be re- manded back to punishment. The persons so released will be employed upon public works, separate from convicts, and at suitable wages ; a state of transition from which they may easily slide into the avocations of ordinary industry. This detention of so many convicts in this country is not to entail additional expense on the counties—the expense will fall on the public in the first instance •, but ultimately the plan will be at- tended with a considerable saving of public money.
Mr. WALPOLE concurred in the scheme as a whole, but differed on two points. By the second clause, transportation for a shorter period than fourteen years is abolished : it would be better to give the Crown power to commute all sentences of transportation for periods of penal servitude. As the bill stands, no convicts but those who have committed the gravest offences can be sent to the Colonies: but some colonists might desire our convicts, and if the bill were altered as he suggested, that would enable the 'Crown to send convicts to any colony desiring it. He also suggested, that where a man, after remission, again commits an offence similar to that for which he has already been punished, he should receive the next higher punishment.
If they looked to the reports upon the subject they would find that the system of employing criminals upon public works has not only proved highly beneficial to the convicts themselves, but has also contributed to the lasting advantage of the country. The cost of transportation is little short of 200,0001. a year, including the expenses incurred in the Colonies ; the cost of the prisoners at home is also very great : but the works at Portland pay themselves at the present moment, besides producing a noble harbour ; and he was satisfied that if similar works were prosecuted in other parts of the kingdom, great public good would accrue to the country, and great pro- gress would be made in the improvement and reformation of criminals. In the year 1849, the profitable labour at the works at Portland produced up- wards of 17,0001. ; in 1S50, it produced 14,0001. ; in 1851, 20,5411.; during the past year the earnings of the convicts have exceeded the cost of the establishment ; and there is no reason to doubt that, wherever the same facilities exist for the employment of offenders, the same results will follow.
Sir JOHN Pamtioxor complained of the course taken by the Govern- ment in bringing forward this measure at a time when it could not be dis- cussed. There should have been a full discussion. He hoped Ministers had not been too precipitate in abolishing transportation: he had in- tended to continue it until 1854. The bill bears evident marks of haste ; but on the whole he agreed with its provisions, and should offer no opposi- tion. Mr. ADDERLEY approved of the plan; condemned transportation as a punishment; and expressed his preference for the present proposition over that of Sir John Pakington. Several other Members approved of the plan ; none opposed ; and the bill passed through the Committee.
THE SMOGS NUISANCE.
The Smoke Nuisance Abatement (Metropolis) Bill went through Com- mittee.
The bill enacted, that from and after the 1st August 1854, "every fur- nace employed or to be employed in the Metropolis in the working of engines by steam, and every furnace employed or to beemployed in any mill, factory, printing-house, dye-house, iron-foundry, bake-house, glass- house, distillery, brew-house, sugar-refinery, gas-works, water-works, or other buildings," excepting glass-works or pottery-works, shall be so contructed or altered as to consume their own smoke. The same rule to apply to steam-boats on the Thames between London Bridge and Rich- mond Bridge. Penalties—for the first offence, not more than five pounds nor less than forty shillings; for the second offence, not more than ten pounds ; for every subsequent offence, double that of the preceding. Penalties not to attach where only fuel not emitting smoke is used in any furnace or steam-engine. Constables are empowered to enter and inspect furnaces and steam-engines. Mr. SPOONER opposed the motion for go into Committee on the Bill. Surely this evil of long standing could be borne with a little longer, Mr. Kum seconded the request : was it fitting to press the bill for- ward at two o'clock in the morning ? Mr. Mammies( and Mr. Prro urged Lord Palmerston to proceed.
Lord PALMERSTON said, Mr. Spooner's argument went against all provement whatever.
Then the honourable gentleman said, this could not be done—manu- facturers could not consume their smoke. The same thing had been said by the glove trade and the silk trade, when it was proposed to admit French gloves and silks : they declared that they could not possibly compete with the foreigner. But the trade was thrown open, and they did compete, and successfully too. The same argument had been used in agriculture ; and so it was in regard to smoke. The manufacturers said they could not consume their own smoke ; but if Parliament would only say, You must do so." the smoke would be consumed, and the public would be relieved from this nuisance. (Cheers.) If ever there was a case in which, he would not say the interests, but the prejudices, of the few were opposed to the interests of the many, this was such a case. Here were a few, perhaps a hundred gentlemen, connected with these different furnaces in London, who wished to make two millions of their fellow inhabitants swallow the smoke which they could not themselves consume, and who thereby helped to deface all our architectural monuments, and to impose the greatest inconvenience and in- jury upon the lower class. Here were the prejudices and ignorance, the affected ignorance, of a small combination of men, set up against the ma. terial interest, the physical enjoyment, the health, and the comfort of up- wards of two millions of their fellow men. (Cheers.) He would not be- lieve that Parliament would back these smoke-producing monopolists ; and he was ready, therefore, with great confidence to go to a division. Mr. Bracrrrr, Mr. Borresi CARTER, and Lord DUDLEY STUART, supported Mr. Spooner. Sir BENJAMIN HALL supported the bill, now that the provisions with regard to glass-works and potteries had been modified.
On a division, there appeared in favour of going into Committee a majority of 66 to 12. The clauses were not disputed, and the House resumed.
On the question that the bill do now pass, Lord Parassasror moved the addition of a clause providing that no information should be laid against any person except by the authority of a Secretary of State, or the Commissioners of Police either in the Metropolitan district or the City of London. Mr. Borrmarn objected to the restrictive operation of the clause. On a division, it was carried by 60 to 6.
Mr. Pstmerr and dr. Sr000 aa. asked for a power of appeal ; but Lord PALMERSTON declined to assent to any further modification ; and,the bill passed.
Some opposition was raised against the motion for going into Commit- tee on the Metropolitan Sewers Acta Continuance Bill, on the part of the Metropolitan Members. Lord PautansroN explained, that he had restricted the sum which the Commissioners were originally empowered to borrow (500,0001.) to 300,0001. ; 100,0001. of which is already borrowed: and he had arranged that no works should be executed during the next twelve months, except such as are essential.
Sir BENJAMIN Harm spoke at great length against the Commission ; going into details, and complaining of the irregular mode in which the minutes of the Commissioners have been kept. Sir Rum SHELLEY, Mr. Burma, and Lord DUDLEY STUART, took the same line. Mr. Prro and Mr. MALINS were not indisposed to agree to the motion, while stigmatizing the proceedings of the Commission hitherto as a failure.
On a division, the motion for going into Committee was carried by 71 to 32.
In Committee, Lord Pammtsrosr said that nothing satisfactory can be done until a general system of draining be adopted. The ratepayers have a right to complain, for'they have been left without relief; but the Com- missioners also have reason to complain, for they are men of great ability, anxious to do what is necessary, but without funds to do it.
The preamble was postponed, and the bill committed.
On the motion for going into Committee of Ways and Means, Mr. En- WARD RILL moved ayesolution condemnirr, the Malt-tax, and declaring the expediency of re:.ng the Excise-regulations on the subject. He preceded the motion by the speech he had intended to make on a previous occasion. Mr. CATLEY called on Mr. Gladstone not to attempt to answer such an unanswerable speech. Mr. GLansTors said, he certainly should not— He had every reason to be satisfied with the result of the speech he made on a former occasion ; for although it was admitted that Mr. Ball was likely to have a majority on his side when the motion was made, "yet," said Mr. Gladstone, "such was the force of my arguments, and the ingenuousness of my reasoning, that before I had done speaking the majority had dwindled into a minority." (Laughter and cheers.) Mr. SPOONER objected to questions of this important nature being treated in so jocose a manner. (" Oh, oh ! " and laughter.)
Mr. BALL, without further remark, withdrew his motion.
On Monday, the Commons went once more into Committee of Supply.
On the vote of 799,7351. for the Post-office contract packet service, Mr. COWPER explained, that the Committee appointed to examine and re- port on this subject has not been able to recommend any immediate or great reduction of the service, as the contracts were for series.of years. When they fall in, more economical arrangements may be made, as steam- navigation has so greatly increased.
Probably the mails may be carried by the mercantile marine. According to an estimate which would be found in the report of the Committee, the gross amount received by the Post-office upon Foreign and Colonial postage was 556,492/. The net receipts, deducting the amount to be paid to foreign countries and the inland postage, were 443,7821. The annual amount paid for the service which earned this was 822,390k The total amount paid for all lines, including Colonial, Foreign, and the British Islands, was 877,7971.; and this was paid to vessels which earned 521,6131. Carried to the account of the Post-office. On the whole, he believed that this service has been per- formed in a manner generally satisfactory.
On the vote of 200,0001. for the expenses of the Caffre war Mr. AD- 'ERLEY took occasion to advert to the late frontier settlement.
Generally speaking, he supported the Colonial policy of the Duke of Newcastle • but he strongly condemned his policy with regard to the frontier
Question. 'In Mr. Adderley's opinion, the inhabitants themselves ought to fix the limits of the territory they wish to occupy. The varied and ca- pricious views of the frontier question taken by Colonial Secretaries has been a most fertile source of war. It is now proposed to try Swiss troops for the defence of the frontier, as they are more accustomed to mountain war- fare : be had no objection to that proposal, but it ought to be submitted to parliament. Re argued, that incessant wars would follow the employment of Imperial troops in that service ; and that the settlers should be trained back to habits of self-reliance to enable them to cope with the Caffres. He objected to the proposed abandonment of the Orange River Sovereignty ; which it would be more costly to abandon than to retain, and which might involve the loss of Natal. Besides is it legal? Mr. Adderley also objected to the keeping a force of 4000 men in the colony at the expense of Great Britain ; and characterized the settlement of the tribes as of all plans the least likely to lead to permanent peace.
Mr. Pezi, made some remarks in reply. Lord Grey had foreseen the evacuation of the Orange Sovereignty ; Sir John Pakington had taken the same view; and the present Government think that the limits of the colony ought to be contracted. Mr. Peel traced much of the late difficulties to the large additions of territory made by Sir Harry Smith. Of course, the manner and time of carrying out the evacuation would depend on circumstances, and Sir George Clerk had been sent out as Special Commissioner to Caffraria to make the necessary arrange- ments. In evacuating the territory, every care would be taken to leave the titles to property secure ; and its value would be enhanced by the change. There is no reason why the loss of Natal should follow the abandonment of the Orange Sovereignty. The two territories are separated by a range of mountains ; and so little has the internal communication been regarded, that within the last twelve months steam communication has been es- tablished. To remove the troops from the colony, would be only to repeat the error of 1846 and 1847. Everything to relieve the troops, in the way of making the local forces efficient, has been done ; and he believed the risk of war is greatly diminished.
In proposing the estimate of 478,7401. for the Militia, Mr. SIDNEY HERBERT stated that the number now enrolled amounts to about 62,000 ; and he congratulated Mr. Walpole on the success which has attended his measure. The most competent officers have borne testimony to the effi- ciency of the regiments, and the civil authorities to the excellence of their conduct.
Mr. BRIGHT made a Peace speech.
Last year they had been induced to raise a Militia and grant additional votes on the faith of alarming predictions,—such as Lord Palmerston's, that 60,000 Frenchmen might be suddenly landed on our shores ; and another noble lord's that the landing would take place in three months. Now, so far from those alarms having proved to be well-founded, he understood that Ad- miral Dundee had lately received the officers of the French fleet on board his ship, and the English officers had dined in the French Admiral's ship, and had drunk the healthy of Queen Victoria and the Emperor Louis Napo- leon with so much cheering that it was difficult to hear the artillery. He Wished to know whether, under these circumstances, when we are now on such friendly terms with Prance, which was the bete noire of Government last year—and when it seems probable also that the affairs of the East will be settled without war—the right honourable gentleman considered it necessary to go on increasing the number of Militiamen up to the full ex- tent which the act of last session permits? Would not Government take advantage of the present state of friendly feeling between the French and English Governments, to propose a reduction of the armaments of both ?
Mr. SIDNEY HERBERT said, that in all probability about 75,000 men would be raised if the enlistment went on at its present rapidity. He could not assent to Mr. Bright's doctrine, that because there were indica- tions of familiarities between two nations their armaments should be al- tered up and down according to these indications.
Mr. IIUME also urged the reduction of the vote, on various grounds—
The military mania now abroad would cost the country very nearly 1,000,0001. The irrational panic that prevailed has now subsided, and we enjoy the friendship of the French nation. He was of opinion that one of the best things that could be done, by way of showing our confidence in their ruler, would be to recluse our forces. Including disembodied officers, there are not fewer than 91,819 persons connected with the Militia. Mr. 'WALPOLE reminded Mr. Hume, when the measure for embodying the Militia was brought forward last year, that both himself and other Ministers explained in their statements on the part of the Government, that it was not proposed on any motives of panic or alarm, or apprehensions of immediate danger. The question had been considered by former Governments ; and it was urged on the attention of the Ministry by those most competent to judge of the subject, that some such force as that sanctioned by Parliament last year might be wisely and judiciously raised for the public defence. It was therefore a measure proposed on permanent and not on special grounds.
Mr. HUME replied, that Mr. Walpole had forgotten the increase to our forces : we have actually now a larger force by land and sea enrolled in pro- portion to our population than France ; having 385,000 defensive troops of all sorts against 425,000 in Prance.
Ultimately, the resolutions of the Committee of Supply—the last this session—were reported with cheers.
. When the report was brought up, Mr. Lucas, on the vote of 407,6671. for Government prisons and convict establishments at home, complained that no provision was made for the religious instruction and moral re- formation of Roman Catholic prisoners in Great Britain. In the Colonies and in Ireland there are chaplains to minister to Roman Catholic con- aids and prisoners ; but in Great Britain they are left to the Protestant chaplain. The consequence is, that Roman Catholic prisoners, anxious to'secure the good-will of the chaplain, on whose report of their conduct to much depends, often cause themselves to be entered as Protestants. They could only obtain the services of a priest by special appli- cation. Recently, at Pentonville, the list of Catholic prisoners was refused by the authorities, and the priest only obtained at Easter the names of fifteen (last year it was eighty) who had the hardihood to make the demand in the face of their temporal interest.
Lord PALMERSTON said, he should feel it his duty to see that in every Government prison religious instruction shall be given to every Roman Catholic iibsl Dissenter, as well as to every member of the Church of England ;* awl that the person who gives it shall be treated with respect and receive a reward adequate to his duties. If the Crown has power, he would next session submit to Parliament a measure' for placing reli- gious instruction in county gaols on the same footing as in prisons more immediately under the control of the Crown. We ought not to make our
gaols arenas of theological discussion or schools of proselytism, but places of reformation and religious improvement. The whole of the resolutions reported were agreed to
THE CusTosis Bum
This bill, which either repeals or consolidates from one thousand to fifteen hundred acts of Parliament, passed through Committee, after com- plimentary speeches from commercial Members, thanking Mr. Wilson,, on whom chiefly the responsibility of preparing the bill had fallen.
On the third reading of the Hackney Carriage Duties Bill, two new clauses were added. Mr. FREDERIC% SCULLY moved a clause, providing- that whenever a hackney carriage is withdrawn from the public streets for two days, without sufficient reason, the proprietor shall be liable to a penaltS, of twenty shillings, and the suspension or loss of his licence, at the discretion of the Commissioners of Police. Mr. VisiessiT SCULLY carried a clause in substitution for clause 13 of the bill, to the effect that an additional sixpence per mile shall be paid for every mile beyond the four-mile circle from Temple Bar.
Some further amendments were proposed, but negatived. Lord DUD- LEY STUART renewed his motion for an appeal against the decisions of the Police Magistrates.—Negatived by 47 to 27.
The bill was read a third time and passed.
BRIBERY AT ELECTIONS.
Mr. WatroLE brought in a bill to consolidate and amend the laws re- lating to bribery, treating, and intimidation at elections.
THE NUNNERIES QUESTION.
The order for the adjourned debate on referring the Recovery of Per- sonal Liberty Bill to a Select Committee was discharged on Wednesday.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL, on Monday, moved "that Government orders of the day have precedence on Wednesday next till three o'clock." Mr. BOUVERIE moved the omission of the words "till three o'clock."
Mr. NEWDEGATE got up a discussion on the motion, in which several Members joined ; objecting to it as interfering with the debate on the Nunneries question. The House divided ; and the motion, as amended by Mr. Bouverie, was carried by 105 to 52.
In pursuance of arrangements previously discussed, to allow a day for the naval review without interrupting formal business, both Houses sat for brief periods on Thursday night. In the House of Lords, four or five Peers only assembled at five o'clock, and sat for twenty minutes; advancing nine bills through their several stages in that time.
The Commons were to meet at ten o'clock. Some twenty Members were present at that hour ; but no Speaker ! At half-past ten his arrival was reported ; but he did not take the chair until five minutes before eleven, having waited without until there was a " House." Eight bills made progress, and the House rose at a quarter before twelve.