14 MARCH 1840, Page 1


PARLIAMENT has been rather languid—exhausted by idleness. The Lords, who sink under the weight of their accumulated labours io August, seem indisposed to despatch the little business which the Commons provide for them in March : the discussion on the Irish Municipal Bill sent up on Tuesday the 10th, is put off by their Lordships till Monday the 30th instant. Perhaps they require repose after the fatigue of passing the Duke of RIM- MOND'S horse-racing bill—a measure of the utmost urgency, as the "spring meetings" are about to commence.

The Army Estimates were brought forward by Mr. MACAULAY on Monday, in a speech sufficient for the occasion. Lord HILL pro- bably finds the Member for Edinburgh as ready and docile a clerk as any of the former Cabinet Ministers employed to do his behests. It would seem that persons of the most ordinary capacity are fit for Secretaries of War. A little industry and well-arranged memoranda enable them to make their great display for the session. To create a sensation in Parliament and the country, the " crack" orator of the Whig Cabinet must go beyond his official sphere.

Mr. MACAULAY got through his task with much ease. The badgering which used to annoy and even sometimes disconcert the veteran PALMERSTON, the tyro MACAULAY escapes. Mr. liumn indeed, fancying that he ought to make a show at least of resuming his old vocation, moved to level the Estimates to those of-1792, the ancient Humeian standard ?—no-1837. That was a long leap, and we hardly keep pace with Mr. Hums:. His preference of the standard of one epoch to another seems rather capricious : and as the Parliaments of the Boroughmongers were not persuaded to reduce the establishments according to his rule in the pinch- ing days of GEORGE and WILLIAM, what can he expect in the bounteous sera of a Liberal Ministry and a young Queen who has just wedded a Field-Marshal ? Mr. Hums: protests that in his experience he never knew such extravagant estimates. Then, re- torts Colonel SIBTUORPE, if extravagance shocks you so severely, why support the Government? And Mr. Hums) ought to know, that as long as upon pushing questions he votes with the Ministers, he is perfectly welcome to rail at their expenditure. There are questions of military reform, which might be profit- ably discussed at a time when it is needful to put the Army in the highest state of efficiency, and also to husband the finances. It has been proved in this journal, that, by internal alterations and improvements, a more powerful force than we now possess might be obtained at a diminished cost. We have materials, furnished by most able and experienced officers, to carry the demonstration further than has yet been accomplished : but cal bono What Minister will practice economy, as long as Parliament votes the full amount he asks?

A very disagreeable subject was mooted by Lord Howicis—the discontent of the Indian Army on account of the practice, on the face of it most utnitir, of valuing the rupees in which soldiers are pad at half.a-crown each, while their real English worth is only 2s. or Is. 10/1. Sir JOHN IIonnousn and Sir Itien Amp JENKINS came to Mr. MAeAuLAy's,defence against his pertinacious predecessor ; but the President of' the Board of Control did not, we think, mend the matter much by stating, that the agitation of this same question had in 1799 produced a mutiny in India which lasted ten days. It Is manifest, that in the present perilous condition of aflitirs III Asia, when so much depends upon the fluidity and alacrity of the Army, it is most desirable to remove causes of dissatisthetion ; and it is difficult to believe that a mutiny would be precipitated by a knowledge among the troops that the attention of the Legislature had been roused to their complaints of wrong.

The appointment or a Select Committee on Banking, on the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave rise to much loose talk on questions which, more than others, require precision of thought and expression. The discussion was uninstructive, and

remarkable only as indicating a general unsettlement of opinion on the subjects suggested by the motion, mid an universal assent to the benefit of further inquiry. The Chancellor of the Exchequer on the part -of the Government, Sir JOHN RAE REID for the Bank of England, Mr. Gisnoaxis for the Joint Stock Banks, and Mr. GROTE, a more impartial mind than any of them, but who may be taken to represent the Private Bankers of London, all assented to the appointment of the Committee. The Finance Minister seems to have DO definite ideas on the subject of inquiry, and no fixed plan for the course of Government. If the Committee require a guide, they will not find him in Downing Street. On Wednesday, the Commons adjourned to Drury Lane Theatre, for the benefit of Mr. BYNG. That gentleman having represented. Middlesex for half a century, the Whigs thought the occasion suit- able for a dinner and speeches. Cabinet Ministers and Officers of the Household, with about 150 Members of Parliament, assembled to do honour to the veteran follower of CHARLES Fox. Mr. WIN- GROVE COOKE, in his History of Party, had described Mr. BYNG as so like his finites, that " on reading the Parliamentary debates, we are obliged to have recourse to extraneous sources to ascertain where it was the father's course ended and the son's begins ;" and Lord CHARLES JAMES Fox Its-5E1,1,, who presided at the dinner, quoted the remark of the " historian" 03 quite decisive of Mr. BYNG'S patriotism. In fIct, little more remained to be sail of the honoured guest. Mr.11sNo was as firm s as his father, and when the greater portion of the old Whigs deserted to PITT he stood fast by Fox. He has moved along with his party: when they found it expedient to become Reformers, Mr. livxs; became a Reformer also ; and now, in the true spirit of Whiggism, he is prepared to extend the franchise upon conditions unattainable by the claimants. Indeed Mr. 13Y-Nu deserves well of his partv and their leaders. A. man of large po:,se:.,,sions, irreproachable character in private life, representative of the Metropolitan County, wlio swears by C11.11ILEs Fox and FaANcis Duke of Bedford, yet gives a willing support to Mst.courtNE, PALMETON, LANSDOWNE, and CONYNGHAM, is really an invaluable adherent to the modern Whigs. Ile is a prime spe- cimen of a class rare ,,-ong their followers—the " fine old English