Debates anti Vroretbings inVarliament.
FAMINE IN IRELAND.
Before the House of Commons entered upon the Free-trade discussions on Monday, Mr. O'CONNELL put a question, of which he had given notice, "Whether the Government was prepared to lay before the House a state- ment of the measures taken by them to obviate the impending famine and disease in Ireland?" His own intelligence, received that day, was of the most appalling kind. Sir ROBERT PEEL could not deny the correctness of Mr. O'Connell's statements. In reply to the question, he recapitulated what had already been done by Parliament and the Government in the present session to afford relief and employment to the Irish people— The Government had adopted every precaution to meet the apprehended dis- tress. They had incurred the responsibility of purchasing maize and rice to the extent of 100,0001.; which it was proposed to dispose of at a low rate to the be- nevolent, in order that they may supply the wants of the needy by distributing it at even a lower rate. The sums voted might prove inadequate; but there could be no difficulty in making a new proposal; and were Parliament not sitting, rather than that in any part of Ireland there should be starvation, he should not hesi- tate, as First Lord of the Treasury, to take the responsibility of averting such an evil; but while Parliament is sitting nothing can be more easy than to make re- newed applications, in the event of there being any need. Still, the great depend- ence must be on the spontaneous charity and exertions of the landed proprietors and clergy. In some parts of Ireland there was a prejudice against the use of maize; but in America it was extensively used as food, and there were modes of dressing it which made the bread derived from it little less palatable than wheaten bread. Pains had been taken to ascertain the best mode of preparing the food; and a commission now sitting in Dublin would give every information to the landed proprietors on the subject. The Government were prepared for every emergency; but he hoped the details would not be pressed for.
THE CORN AND CUSTOMS ACTS.
The report of the Committee on the new Corn-duties was brought up; but before it was formally considered, some explanations were given on cognate points by Sir Robert Peel and others.
Sir Roimirr PEEL, in reply to a question by Sir Robert Inglis, as to whether maize, rice, and buck-wheat, would be introduced duty-free on the adoption of the report, stated, that so soon as the resolutions were reported, a Treasury order would be issued authorizing the introduction of the articles at the nominal duties. "In order, however, to prevent the possibility of jealousy, I am perfectly prepared to declare that the Treasury order will only apply to a limited tame; and that bonds will be taken that in case the bill does not receive the sanction of either House of Parliament the whole duty may be paid by the importer."
Mr. Mtizs—" Suppose Parliament should decide against the reduction of the duty?"
Sir ROBERT PEEL--" The difference must be made good by those who grant the bonds."
On the subject of the Timber-duties, Mr. LIDDELL mentioned that he should not persevere in his intended opposition to the proposed alterations. He was obliged to admit that a change had been effected in the opinions of the shipowners whose interests he represented; as was shown by the fact that while many peti- tions in favour of the Ministerial measure had been presented, none of an opposite tendency had been forwarded save the one he had presented himself. He was therefore prepared to withdraw the motion of which he had given notice. . Sir ROBERT PEEL—" And to withdraw, too, the very severe remarks which you made upon me at the same time for commenting on that petition?" (A laugh.) Sir Join,: TYRELL produced letters to qualify statements made during previous debates as to certain farms having been recently taken at increased rents. The explanation, in the only case gone into, amounted to this, that the tenant did undertake to pay 1,4001. a year in place of 1,2001.; but on condition that certain improvements should be made by the landlord; and above all, that a clause be in- serted providing for a break in the engagement should the abolition of the Corn- laws lead to a reduction in prices. The discussion of the report was then entered upon. The resolution re- lating to wheat and the higher descriptions of grain and flour passed with- out remark; but that which referred to maize, rice, and buck-wheat, brought up Mr. MILES- - He had expected that Sir Robert Peel, to make it more palatable, would have introduced into the resolution a few words limiting the free importation of Indian corn, buck-wheat, and rice, to three months. No absolute necessity for the change had been shown; but had the abolition of ditties been merely temporary, the Pro- tectionists would have shown, by the readiness of their assent, that they had no wish to prevent the introduction of food for the Irish people. Should the bill, however, pass1 the abolition would be permanent.; and he hoped the agriculturists would well consider what they were about. Maize, in point of nutriment, came next to wheat, and a bushel of it was equal to a bushel and three-fourths of barley, or to three bushels of oats. No doubt, therefore, it would be used largely, where barley and oats were now consumed; and he was informed that maize could be introduced into the port of Liverpool at only 20s. a quarter, duty included. England could not compete with America in the .production of this article: the climate was too cold. No doubt could exist that its introduction duty-free would displace, to a great ex- tent, barley and oats; for it would not be difficult to render it a palatable substi- tute, especiallysevith a small admixture of wheat. It would thus come into coin- petition chiefly as human food, and, to a certain extent, would doubtless supersede even wheat. "Mr. Miles added, that it was not his intention to divide the House; and heloped the friends with whom he acted would adopt the same course; thus displaying as great an anxiety as those on the Free-trade benches to afford relief to the Irish people.
A desultory discussion followed; in which few of the Protectionists took part, and none of them objected to the policy recommended by Mr. Miles.
• Mr. NEWDEGATE remarked, that maize was known to be extensively used in the United States in preference to wheat. The Earl of MARCH and Lord GEORGE SENTINCK addressed themselves to the potato disease.
The Free-traders lauded the measure. The Irish Members anticipated permanent benefit from the reclamation of the people of Ireland from potatoes to a more palatable and nutritious food. The English Members expected a more general advantage.
Mr. BICKHAM Escorr spoke of the English labourer. In his case, the only kind of animal food which came within his reach was pork or bacon; and when an agricultural labourer of the better class was able to keep a pig, he was gene- rally obliged to pawn half of it before he could eat the other, in order to pay for the food he had given it What a blessing it would be to place cheaper food within Ins reach, and to enable him to reserve the whole of the pig for himself and his family !
. Mr. Hum: hoped that maize would come into competition with oatmeal, and be found useful where oats could not be grown. It would greatly benefit the High- lands and Islands of Scotland.
The report was agreed to.
The new Tariff was next taken up; Lord GEORGE BENTINCK agreeing, on the suggestion of Sir Robert Peel, to defer his objections to the altera- tions in the duties on silk, brandy, timber, and some other matters, till the resolutions should be reported.
The items were all agreed to without a division; but the mention of some of them gave rise to considerable discussion.
A proposition made by Mr. EWART for the entire removal of the duty on foreign books was warmly supported by Mr. CHARLES Brrmarit, Mr. DISRAELI, and some others: in fact, so general was the support, that an apprehension began to be felt that the Minister would be left in a minority; but Sir ROBERT PEEL stated, that although such were the case, he should not be influenced by it. It was urged for the abolition of duty, that the existence of any tax on books created an impediment to our literary intercourse with various nations; and that, as a matter of revenue, it was of little consequence, the amount realized being not more than from 10,0001. to 15,0001. Sir GEORGE CLERIC, the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER, and Sir ROBERT PEEL, opposed the proposal, on the grounds of revenue and of pending negotiations for international copyright arrangements. Sir ROBERT PEEL remarked, that an Englishman who published a fo- reign work in England must pay the excise-duty on the paper; whilst the
foreigner, under the proposal of Mr. Ewart, would be free from it. Surely that was not just. Treaties were pending with France and Prussia calcu- lated to effect Mr. Ewart's object on the principle of complete reciprocity; and he hoped that the proposal would not be pressed.
- Ultimately, Mr. EWART agreed to waive his proposal: and Mr. DISRAELI improved the occasion by a discharge of sarcasms on the compliance of the Opposition with the behests of the Minister.
Lord Jonx RUSSELL introduced the question of the propriety of retain- ing any duties on manufactured goods after 1849, when the duty on corn would cease: he thought that no such duties should be retained.
Sir ROBERT PEEL remarked, that considerations of revenue must partly influence the decision of Government in determining what duties should be retained, and what should be abolished or reduced—
He was not prepared to propose the instantaneous abolition of duties on naann- factured articles; neither was he in a position to say that at the end of three years he should be prepared to propose the abolition of duties on every species of manufactured article. If it were found at the end of three years, that in conse- quence of the reduction of duties upon articles of general consumption a propor- tionate increase of revenue were obtained, the noble Lord, being then a member of the Government—(A laugh)—might make a further reduction of 3 per cent or even 7 per cent.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL expressed his concurrence, so far as regards articles which yield a large revenue-' but he reminded Sir Robert, that the 10 per cent was to be continued on various articles the revenue from which did not exceed 6001. or 7001. In the case of woollen goods, for instance, only 6251. had been realized.
The Tariff resolutions having all been passed without division, were ordered to be reported on Friday.
PACIFICATION OF IRELAND.
In the House of Lords, on Monday, Lord DENMAN moved the second reading of a bill for the punishment of persons who shall endeavour to in- timidate prosecutors, witnesses, and jurors, from the discharge of their duty—
The object of the bill was to render of general application a law which at pre- sent applied only to England. It had been intended to introduce certain provi- sions on the subject of the intimidation of witnesses in the Irish Protection of Life Bill; but it occurred to Lord Denman that it would be better not to incur the odium of making a severe punishment of this offence a portion of that parti- cular bill, but to make it part of the general law of the land. The position of Ireland rendered the passing of such a law peculiarly necessary; but under any- circumstances he would have advocated the extension of the existing law in Eng- land, relative to changing the venue, to all parts of the kingdom. It was essen- tial to justice that the bill should be generaL
The bill was read a second time; _after expressions of approval from Lord BROUGHAM, Lord CAMPBELL, the Marquis of CLANRICARDE, and the Earl of WrewLow.
The Protection of Life Bill was considered in Committee on Tuesday-- Some verbal amendments were agreed to; also the addition of the words "suspicious circumstances" to the clause relating to the apprehension of persons found out of doors at night in a proclaimed district. One clause was postponed.
On Thursday the bill was reported. Earl GREY had some amendments to propose- but he thought it better to postpone them, as he intended on Monday week to propose an address to her Majesty on the subject of Ire- land generally. Friday was then named for the third reading.
THE CHARTD3T CONVICTS.
In the House of Commons, on Tuesday, Mr. Thostes DUNCOMBE moved an address to the Queen to take into her gracious consideration the petitions presented during the present session of Parliament in favour of a restora- tion to their native land of Frost, Williams, and Jones, the Chartist convicts— In addition to the petitions presented by other Members, Mr. Duncombe men- tioned that he was intrusted with two hundred and forty-nine, bearing the signa- tures of no less than fourteen hundred thousand persons. These petitions bed proceeded from most of the important localities in the empire; and the one from Leeds was signed by Dr. Hook, the Vicar, twelve members of the Town- Council, and some of the Guardians of the Poor. The petition from Aberga- venny, in Wales, was particularly important, as containing the names of six of the Jury who sat on the trial: of the other six three had died, two could not be found, and the sixth could not write. [After a brief enumeration of the contents of the petitions, Mr. Duncombe offered to leave the matter in the hands of Sir James Graham on the slightest intimation that the prayer of the petitioners would receive
Graham, consideration. Six James Graham, however, intimated that the better course would be to make the statement, and then he would explain what his views were.]
Mr. Duncombe was well aware, that under ordinary circumstances it would be inexpedient in the House to interfere with the prerogative of the Crown; but if it could be justified in any case it was in the case of the Chartist convicts, as to whom every other means had been tried in vain. He did not complain of the de- lay; for he was free to admit, looking at the heinous offence of which the persons were accused, that no Government would be justified in recommending the ex- tension of pardon hastily, unpremeditatedly, or on light grounds; but he thought that so strong, BO extraordinary, and so universal a demonstration of public feel- ing had been made in favour of an extension of mercy, as would aft'ord ample justification for compliance.
Sympathy for the convicts arose in part from an impression in the minds of four- fifths of the people that their conviction was not altogether legal. The probability was, that had the point raised in favour of the prisoners by Sir Frederick Pollock, their counsel, been disposed of instanter by the Court, they would not have been tried at ail. But the trial went on; the objection being reserved for the opinion of the fifteen Judges. And what was that opinion? Six of them decided that the ob- jection was altogether fatal to the trial and conviction; and nine decided that the objection would have been good and valid if taken at the time, but that it then came too late. If the prisoners had been tried in the Court of Queen's Bench, they must have been acquitted; for four out of five of the Judges of the Queen's Bench recorded their votes in favour of its being an illegal conviction, saying it was fatal, and that the objection was taken in time. Lord Brougham had ex- pressed a similar opinion. To obtain a commutation of the sentence of death, Sir Frederick Pollock waited six times upon Lord Melbourne and the then Home Secretary; but it was not till he had called a seventh time, at the suggestion of Lord Brougham, who desired him to say that the men would be legally murdered if the execution was carried into effect, that he succeeded. The sentence was commuted to transportation for life; but an impression would always remain on, the public mind, that if the extreme penalty of the law could not be executed legally, !wither could the sentence of transportation.
buncombe ancombe thought that the time had now arrived when the prayers of the people could be responded to. Frost and his companions had undergone six years of severe suffering, and the majesty of the law had thus been fay vindicated_ He did not think that in any other country political offenders would have been treated with equal severity: in France, amnesties to political prisoners were com- mon. He complained of two letters which had been written by Mr. Macaulay, as calculated to prejudice the public against the extension of mercy to the convicts. He contended that the Chartist convicts were as much entitled to favour as the Canadian rebels, who had not only been pardoned, but placed in offices of trust and emolument. The Canadians were engaged in a systematic and continuous state of warfare against the Queen's troops; but in the case of Frost there was no re- bellion: there was a tumult, a dangerous tumult, and certainly lives were lost on the occasion; but there was not that systematic rebellion that had taken place in Canada.
Sir JAmns GRAHAM admitted that Mr. Duncombe's motion had the support of a great many petitions, and that many memorials had been presented to the Queen on the same subject; but he demurred to the in- ference that the feeling in favour of the convicts was universal—
Mr. Duncombe had spoken of Frost and his associates as unhappy and mis-
guided men; but Sir James Graham felt bound to say, that having had their lives spared, they should consider themselves most fortunate. With regard to the technical point raised at the trial, it was true that nine of the Judges held that the objection taken on the trial was a valid one, but they also held that that ob- jection had not been taken in proper time. But what was the unanimous opinion of the fifteen Judges ?—that even if the point had been taken at the proper time, it would only have had the effect of postponing the trial.
Sir James went minutely into the facts of the outbreak, to show that it was of
a much more serious character than the "moral demonstration" spoken of by Mr. Duncombe. He quoted also from the summing up of Chief Justice Tindal, and from his address to the prisoners on pronouncing sentence of death, to show the opinion which that learned judge entertained of the heinousness of the crime. Though it was not deemed proper by the advisers of the Crown, under all the circumstances attending the trial, to enforce the extreme punishment of the law, transportation for life was substituted. He could not agree with Mr. Duncombe in thinking that the convicts had suffered enough already. They had not been transported for a period exceeding five years. Persons for many comparatively minor offences were transported for seven years. In the ordinary course the sen- tences of those transported for life were not commuted under ten years. He could not accede, therefore, to the prayer of the petitioners at the present time. He was bound to say that his sympathies were not with Frost or Jones or Wil- liams, but with the widows and orphans of those who fell victims to their crime; and he thought that it was most useful to society that they should remain where they are, as an example to others, who give bold advice in council, but when the time comes for action leave their victims in the lurch and are the first to screen themselves. Far be it from him to say that the door of mercy should ever be closed on these persons; it was a question of time; but at the present time, and under present circumstances, he would not go further than say that he could not, consistently with his duty, recommend the extension of mercy to these unfortu- nate prisoners.
Mr. MACAULAY explained the history of his two letters, complained of by Mr. Duncombe; and vigorously justified their sentiments, though they were not intended for publication— He had no hesitation in saying, he would rather intrust the Crown's perogative of mercy in the hands of the very worst Ministry that ever held office, than allow it to be exercised under the direction of the very best House of Commons. As to the remark made by Mr. Duncombe about the extension of pardon to the Cana- dian rebels, he reminded him that a number of the ringleaders were hanged.
Mr. Disitaxti, having been one of a minority of four who on a former occasion voted for a motion identically the same as the present, now stated his reasons— He did not think it was possible to aggravate the enormity of the crime of which the convicts had been found guilty, or dispute the leniency of the punish- ment inflicted; but he had nevertheless voted for an extension of mercy, for rea- sons founded on the circumstances under which the crime occurred. "I believe that was in the year 1839; and I could not forget that we then lived at a period of great political excitement. I could not forget that the system called agitation had obtained in this kingdom for a number of years—that that agitation had car- ried us to the veriest confines of sedition. Men had become Ministers—parties had been destroyed and had been constructed—Administrations had risen to power formed of individuals who in the course of that time had sat on both sides of the • House—whether they were Secretaries of State or not, I need not now inquire. I felt that this state of things had been very prevalent in the country; that there had been also a debauched state of the public mind, when a person who to a certain degree was ignorant, uninformed, and inexperienced, had been seduced by these great examples by circumstances which had made Ministers, and which in another part of 'the United Kingdom had raised a man to be more powerful than any Minister. When they had been induced by these successful fortunes of indi- viduals to play a card infinitely dangerous to the fortunes of this country, I did not think that we could decide on the conduct of these men without reference to these circumstances."
Mr. Disraeli proceeded to inquire whether anything had occurred to induce him to withhold his support from the present motion; and in the course of his remarks adverted to Mr. Macaulay's argument about the propriety of leaving the attribute of mercy in the hands of her Majesty's Ministers. This involved, he said, the question of how far these Ministers possessed the confidence of the House. He commented severely on Sir James Graham for having qualified his resistance to the motion by the words "at least for a time." He suggested that the motion should be withdrawn; but if persisted in, he should support it.
Mr. STUART WORTLEY ascribed the bitterness of Mr. Disraeli's speech, and his appearance as one of the minority of four, to considerations of a personal kind; and maintained that if at this moment the Crown were to extend mercy to the convicts, nothing could give a greater shock to public opinion. Mr. AGLIONBY supported the motion; and Sir ROBERT Nous opposed it but defended Mr. Disraeli.
Mr. 1Va1ttse contended that no prerogative of the Crown was involved: it was merely an appeal to the Minister for the Home Department to exer- cise his discretion as regarded the remission of the sentence.
Mr. G. W. HOPE denied that any persons who had been engaged in the rebellion in Canada had been employed or promoted by the Government: the leaders of the rebellion in Canada had been permitted to return to their native country, but it was in consequence of a legal objection to the sentence.
• Lord JOHN MANNERS adverted to some inconsistencies-
- The House had been asked to consider what. motives Frost could have to under- take his rebellion. Why, he was a lineradraper, and he wished to become a dic- tator. Last year the House passed a vote, the effect of which waste celebrate among others the name of Hampden, a man who had levied war against the au- thorities of the country; and many of the Members were prepared to vote a statue Cromwell,—which might be looked upon by others as an encouragement to regicides.
tOBERT PEEL deprecated such discussions in popular assemblies- estion of legality were concerned, the House of Commons is not the
. banal for settling it; and if it were asked, as certainly it had been, "Is -be no concession to popular feeling ? " he would answer, Most certainly he found the popular feeling running counter to the opinion of the f the land.
nld not ask Mr. Duncombe to withdraw his motion as a compromise.
"Nothing can be so unwise as to allow the Crown to retire from discussions of this sort with any sort of understanding, expressed or implied, as to the course here- after to be taken. I think that ought always to be left to the unfettered discretion of the Crown. I think, when my right honourable friend Gays that he will not undertake to say that at no time shall mercy be shown, he is stating what is quite right: but whether the honourable Member divide or not I think that this debate ought to close with an understanding that the Crown is under no obligation to take any other course than that which a sense of justice dictates." Lord Joni( RUSSELL expressed similar opinions: he thought that all the circumstances of each ease were much more likely to have a deliberate consideration from the Home Secretary than if they were left to the de- cision of a popular assembly.
Mr. Manx Piours, Mr. PMLIP HOWARD, and Lord FRANCIS EGER- TON, spoke in opposition to the motion.
Mr. DUNCOMBE replied; and the House divided—For the motion, 31; against it, 196.
ROMAN CATHOLIC DISABILITIES.
On Wednesday, Mr. Biomass Eseorr, in the absence of Mr. Watson, moved the second reading of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill—
The Government had introduced a bill with similar objects into the Howse of Lords; more comprehensive, indeed, than the one he was now in charge of; but as it was deficient in some things which the present bill supplied, the two ought to be considered in conjunction.
Mr. Escott enumerated the more vexatious disabilities to which ROMMI Catho- lics are still exposed. Roman Catholic schoolmasters must have a licence to teach from the Archbishop of the province, or the Bishop of the diocese the Archbishop and Bishop being Protestants; and for neglect they were liable to be prosecuted in the Ecclesiastical Courts. No Catholic could act as proctor in these courts without taking the oath. A class of Roman Catholics usually denominated "Christian Brothers" are subject to peculiar hardship. There are some thou- sands of them in the United Kingdom; and they are at this moment dispensing education to hundreds of thousands of people who would otherwise receive none. By the law, however, these men are outlaws, subject to banishment; and if they return, transportation for life awaits them. No Roman Catholic is allowed to bequeath a shilling to English colleges and universities abroad. To prove that the grievances have a "practical" effect, Mr. Escott mentioned several instances where Roman Catholics declined to take the oath required as a qualification for the discharge of public duties. Sir ROBERT Isous reminded the House, that the continuance of the enactments complained of were deemed by Sir Robert Peel, in 1829, essen- tial to the success of the Emancipation Act: when Mr. Eseott removed the " rubbish " from the statute-book, of which he spoke, Sir Robert hoped he would remove the act of 1829 with the rest—
He was willing to admit that unrepealed laws existed, which if acted upon would cause inconvenience and more than inconvenience; but could Mr. Escott supply him with an instance of such enactments being enforced within the last century and a half? He contended that the bill before the House repealed the Act of Supremacy, and many other enactments besides, such as the law which expelled the Jesuits, and that which prohibited Roman Catholic processions. As no prac- tical grievance existed, and as the passing of the bill would deprive the Pro- testants of England of the poor consolation of thinking that there was something still left to prevent the extension of the Church of Rome in this country, he should move that the bill be read a second time that day six months.
Mr. Fusels, Mr. Cotcrunouss Mr. NEWDEGATE, and some others, oppose& the bill.
Mr. Finest, as one of his reasons for resisting the measure, urged the necessity of discouraging the efforts of a section of the Established Church which had shown a great desire to go all lengths to favour the Roman Catholic religion. Mr. Corsaunouis objected to the repeal of the Act of Supremacy; and adverted to the authority which the Church of Rome exercised over the public acts of her votaries, as an element dangerous to civil liberty.
Sir JAMES GRAHAM, Lord MORPETH, Mr. O'CoNNELL, Lord JOHN MANNERS, Lord Joins RUSSELL, Mr. MONCKTON MILERS, and others, ex- pressed their approval of the principle of the bill. Sir Jamrs GRAHAM was favourable to the principle of the bill because it was conceived in the spirit of toleration. Sir Robert Inglis had called the act of 1829 an unhappy act: so far was he from agreeing in this opinion, that he regarded it as one of the brightest pages in the statute-book, and was proud to have borne a humble part in its consummation. The bill now proposed was in accordance with the spirit of that act; and he wished the House to affirm its principle, although he was not prepared to pledge himself to assent to all its provisions. As to the Act of Supremacy, he was not prepared to vote for its repeal, nor was its repeal proposed by the bill; but he had no objection to a modification of that act. Lord MORPETH mentioned as reasons for supporting the bill, that the reten- tion of the existing enactments made a connivance at falsehood nesessary; and that there was no security that the penalties might not any day be enforced for a malicious purpose. "Let us not have toleration by parts. I am not, myself, inclined to view with any particular favour either the principles or the doctrines of the Jesuits; but still, I would, if I attempted to conquer them, most them with weapons wielded by such men as Pascal, and even Miehelet, rather than with penal enactments and legalized oppression. And when Roman Catholic Govern- ments or other Governments banish the Jesuits from beyond their territories, let them find on our shores as ready a reception as is given to them in the United States—as any Polish or Italian refugee meets with here. I desire our soil to be as safe and inviolate an asylum for the proscribed in religion as for the proscribed in ipolitics."
Mr. O'CoNNELL illustrated the practical operation of the existing enactments, and defended the Jesuits. He would defy any man to put his hand upon a single fact derogatory to the Jesuits which he would not be able to refute. They lived a life of ascetic virtue, and had been eminently successful in promoting the ink- rests of science and literature. As to the writings of Michelet, a more atrocious attack upon innocent men had never been made. That person felt he had no foundation in fact for his calumnies, and had therefore constructed a romance.
Lord JOHN MANNERS did not participate in the fears which had been expressed of the Jesuits and other religious bodies, by some of those Members who had spoken. He knew that in England some hundreds of years ago the Templars were looked upon in the same light as the Jesuits now are; there was no mon- strosity too horrible to be attributed to them. Such however, was not the uni- versal feeling among liberal and literary men. He recollected reading about two years ago, in that very able newspaper the Spectator, a description of the Jesuits, which struck him forcibly at the time. He would read it to the House—" There are two sets of Jesuits, the Jesuits of fact and the Jesuits of fiction; and as there are more readers of romances than students of history, the latter are more familiar to the public. The Jesuits of fiction will be admitted on all hands to be terrible fellows; but their proper place is in the circulating library, not in polemiaal and far less in political discussions. (" Bear, hear! ") The Jesuits of fact closely resemble all other respectable Romish clergymen, except in so far as their order has long supplied the most accomplished members of that body. ("Hear, hear!") In the history of every branch of science and literature distinguished Jesuits are met with; the practice and theory of education are deeply indebted to their ex periments; among the earliest and most ably planned missions to the Heathen were those of the Jesuits." Mkhelet must be classed among the romance-writers.
Lord John remarked, that when allusion was made to the great feats of our Army and Navy in China, it should not be forgotten that the Jesuits were the first to open that great empire to the Christian religion. Instead of putting down mo- nastic institutions by law, he thought that they should rather take an example from them, and, rather then persecute the Christian Brothers at. Birmingham, or the Trappists at Mount Mellene, they should imitate their example. Lord Jour; RUSSELL remarked, that many years ago Mr. Canning stated in that House that he had taken the opinion of the Law-officers of the Crown on the sub- ject, and found that he could not answer a letter from the Pope without incurring certain penalties imposed by statute. He had not read the bill before the House, and he did not know whether it repealed those penalties or not: but it appeared to him that all such penalties should be repealed; and if the bill were not so framed as to remove them, he should suggest the propriety of inserting a clause in Committee for the purpose. Mr. Escoav promised to attend to this point.
• The House divided--For the second reading, 66; against it, 23; ma- jority, 43. EDUCATION IN WALES.
On Tuesday, Mr. WILLIAMS moved an address for inquiry into the state of education in Wales— In no .part of the country did there exist so great difficulty in acquiring the English language. In many parishes there existed no school, in others the school- master was altogether inefficient. The Welsh language possessed no literature, and consequently did not afford the people the means of instruction. Mr. Williams cited various authorities to show the necessity for inquiry. The Reverend Mr. Griffiths, Principal of the College of Brecknock, stated, that in the Principality there were 250,000 children, from the ages of fear to fourteen, who ought to receive the blessings of education; but of that number, 70,000 did not attend school at all, while a large proportion of those who did, received an edu- cation of so inferior a kind that it was merely nominal: there were 150,000 child- ren whose immortal spirits were deprived of the guide they should receive from a moral and religious education. Mr. Tremenhere, who reported on the state of education in 1840, stated that in four parishes in the county of Monmouth, and one in Glamorganshire, containing an aggregate of 85,000 inhabitants, there were only forty-seven schools for elementary education; thirty-three of these were dame schools for children between three and five years of age; the number of children at all the schools was 3,308; allowing 5,600 for the number of children of agents and superior workmen who attended schcols elsewhere, there were 8,026 children in that district who went to no schools, and who had no means of edu- cation whatever. Of these schools five were kept by women, sixteen by persons who had been unsuccessful in some retail trade; eleven by miners and labourers disabled by accident; ten by men who had received some instruction with the view of becoming schoolmasters; four by Dissenting preachers; and one by the clerk of the parish. This gentleman also made some inquiries at an extensive iron-work; he requested the manager to show him some workmen whom he could examine as to the state of education among them: lie was shown ten rows of houses, of twelve houses each and was told to take any two he chose: from his inquiries among these twenty-four houses the result was, that of seventeen Welsh families ten husbands could read Welsh, seven could not read at all none of the seventeen could write and four only of the wives could read the Welsh Bible. This might be considered only a fair sample of the population. The Reverend H. W. Bellaire, one of the Inspectors employed by the Education Committee of the Privy Council, had mentioned that breaches of the peace could not fail to arise from the continuance of such deplorable ignorance; and Mr. Tremenhere had also stated that the physical condition of the people was very inferior, though they earned high wages. Mr. Williams strengthened his case by quotations from the Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Turnpike Trust ques- tion and from the letters of the Times Commissioner. He also referred to a charge by the Bishop of St. David's, strongly enforcing the necessity of measures to increase the educational resources of the Principality, and giving it as his opinion that the first step is to teach the people the English language. He contrasted the condition of Wales with Scotland and Ireland; and in the latter case pointed out the liberality displayed by the Government in supporting schools and colleges. No later than last year 1002000/. had been voted for the establishment of three Colleges, and 50,0001. a year was to be set apart for their endowment. In Wales there was only one College, and within the last four years not more than 400/. had been voted towards its support. It was abso- lutely necessary that the Government should do something. The clergy and the people were too poor to do anything themselves; and the great iron-masters were not disposed to display much liberality. Very few of the masters and land- owners had contributed so much as 101.; while Mr. Joseph Sturge of Birming- ham had contributed 50/. Mr. Williams mentioned, that under present circum- stances the administration of justice was a mere mockery, actually disgraceful to a civilized country. The people of Wales did not ask that laws should be passed and administered in their language, but merely that the schoolmaster should be sent among them to teach them English. Sir JAMES GRAHAM coincided generally in this statement; but thought that Mr. Williams had scarcely done justice to the exertions which had been made in the way of increasing the means of education in Wales—
He admitted that a serious bar to the administration of justice had arisen from
- of the English language; and hoped that when the measures now in progress for promoting the physical welfare of the working classes were completed, the attention of Parliament would be directed to measures calculated to advance the moral and social condition of the same classes.
Sir James mentioned, that in 1839 the state of education in Wales had attracted the attention of the Education Committee of the Privy Council; and they issued a circular inviting the cooperation of landowners and others in building school- houses and maintaining qualified schoolmasters. Consequent upon that circular letter no fewer than eighty-five schools had been built in different parishes, and the sum of 10,5001. had been contributed by the Committee of the Privy Council towards the erection of them. The same gentleman who had made the report in 1839 had more recently visited the same district in the capacity of Inspector of Mines and Collieries, and had incidentally reported to the Government, that on comparing the present state of education with that in 1839 there was decided pro- gress, although great deficiencies still existed. Praiseworthy efforts had been made also by individuals to assist in supplying the acknowledged want. Sir James consented on the part of the Government to a still further inquiry; and his proposal would be, that the Committee of the Privy Council should send one if not two Inspectors, immediately, both into North and South Wales, to in- quire into the means of instruction particularly with respect to the English lan- guage. When the reports of those inspectors should be completed, he should have great pleasure in laying them upon the table. He trusted the arrangement would prove satisfactory to the House. His earnest wish was to see a comprehensive scheme of national education, not for Wales alone, but for all England, gradually adopted. He was fully aware of the difficulties; but he would not to the last moment of his life despair of accomplishing an object so deeply affecting the wel- fare and happiness of the whole people. Mr. VirmaAns, Mr. WYNN, Mr. Davis, and Mr. WYSE, expressed their satisfaction with the Government proposal; and the motion was withdrawn.
On Wednesday, Mr. THOMAS BUNCOMBE having moved the committal of the Friendly Societies Bill, Sir Js GRAHAM stated the course he intended to pursue regarding it— Having held a consultation with Mr. Tidd Pratt and the Law-officers of the Crown on the subject of the bill, he was bound to state that the evil sought to be remedied was greater than he had apprehended it to be in the first instance. He was now prepared to make an order for expediting the settlement of the question. If Mr. Duneombe would consent to go into Committee pro forma, he was pre- pared introduce into the bill the amendments which Mr. Tidd Pratt and the Law- officers of the Crown have suggested. He proposed to classify and to specify all societies duodena generis with those already sanctioned by law, and declare them under the operation of the act, and to extend the provisions of the existing act still further' by allowing an application to be made for enrolment on the part of societies not now included under the classes specified in the act. On being certified by Mr. Tidd Pratt to be legal, though not falling within the classifica- tion enumerated in the act, there would be an application to the Secretary of State; and the society, though not falling within the particular class, would be registered. He also proposed that Mr. Tidd Pratt should be paid by salary, the fees received being carried to public account; and that he should bold office during pleasure. He also proposed, what he felt would be of great importance— in point of fact, the practical adoption of a recommendation thrown out by Chief Justice Tindal. Mr. Tidd Pratt, by the rules of the savings banks, had the power of arbitration; but with reference to friendly societies' in cases of dispute, there was no such power. He therefore proposed to give Mr. Tidd Pratt the power of arbitration, in cases of dispute, with reference to friendly societies. He also proposed to introduce another important provision, namely, that a distinct re- cord should be kept of all the societies enrolled, with a short summary of all their objects. This was an outline of all the alterations he intended to propose; and he thought the House would agree with him that they were very important. He therefore suggested that the House should go into CGmmittee pro forma, and that the bill be reprinted with the proposed amendments; and it might also be expedient to postpone the recommittal for at least a fortnight, in order that the whole measure might be circulated through the country.
Mr. DUNCOAIBE consented to the arrangement; stipulating that he should be at liberty to regard the amended bill as the measure of the Government: he feared that the operation of the amendments would tend to limit the operation of the existing act.
The House then went into Committee on the bill; and a short discus- sion ensued. Mr. Watu.nr and Mr. HAWES expressed their approval of the arbitration clause; but advised the postponement of the measure till after Easter, to give time for consideration. In reply to questions, Sir JAMES GRAHAM stated that the clauses as amended would include all benefit societies now in existence.
The amended bill was reported; the discussion to take place on the 25th.
THE BASILIAN Nuxs. This subject having been adverted to in the House of Lords on Monday, by the Marquis of LONDONDERRY, the Earl of ABERDEEN took occasion to state that he had received a copy of the official answer of the Russian Government to the reports which had gone abroad. Under all the cir- cumstances, he did not hesitate to say, that the incredulity he had previously expressed as to the truth of the persecution had been very much confirmed by the document he had received.
TILE REGISTRATION. Mr. NEWDEGA'rE presented a number of petitions on Tuesday, complaining of the interference of the Anti-Corn-law League in the Re- gistration Courts; and moved the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the subject, particular reference being made to Warwickshire and some other counties. After some discussion as to the propriety of postponing the motion, it was agreed, on the suggestion of Sir ROBERT PEEL, to appoint the Committee, with instructions to make the inquiry general in so far as counties are con- cerned.
FACTORY LABOUR. Mr. Tnomas BUNCOMBE obtained leave on Wednesday to introduce a bill to limit the hours of night labour in all factories where bobbin- net and warp-lace machinery was employed. Sir SaraEs GRAIIA3t, in assenting to the introduction of the bill, was not to be understood as pledging himself to support its second reading.
NEW WRIT ordered for Windsor, in the room of Mr. Ralph Neville, a Lord of the Treasury.