15 APRIL 1876, Page 2

The debate on the sinking of the ' Mistletoe' by

the ' Alberta' came off on Monday night, Mr. Anderson making an injudicious and too violent speech on behalf of the motion he submitted, which practically came to this, that as the Admiralty had admitted that the ' Alberta' was in the wrong, and had paid the owner of the 'Mistletoe' compensation for the wrong, and as the wrong had resulted in death, and great public interest had been felt in the case, they ought to have sent the officers responsible for the calamity before a public Court-martial. That was a proposi- tion the sound sense of which no one could really gainsay. Mr. Ward Hunt did not gainsay it, but excused himself for not accepting it, on the ground that one of the coroner's juries had found the deaths accidental, though adding something like cen- sure of the speed maintained by the 'Alberta' ; and Mr. Goschen did not gainsay it, but declared himself unable to accept it, because he had not seen the report of the Court of Inquiry,—not a very admirable reason. The truth, in all probability, is that the Court-martial was not ordered because it was well known that such a course would be very disagreeable to the Queen,—the very reason why, considering the suspiciousness which always seizes the English people whenever the course of justice seems to be altered to please the Throne, there should have been a public as well as official inquiry. Mr. Anderson's motion was defeated by a majority of 92 (157 against 65).