In the House of Commons last night, Mr. Muumuus; asked the Go- vernment if they had any measure to prevent the desertion of seamen in Australia.
Sir JOUR PARINGTON stated, that the most assiduous attention had been directed to this important subject.
At the port of Melbourne, on the 6th of January, there were thirty-five vessels, with crews of 816 persons, of whom no fewer than 472 had deserted. Ministers had resolved to assist the Colonial Governments by sending some military to their aid. Two service companies of infantry would be sta- tioned at Sydney, and four at Melbourne ; and a man-of-war would be ac- corded to the port of Melbourne, as a most effectual restraint on the de- sertion of the crews.
In reply to Mr. Guinirrows, Sir JOHN stated further, that he had made this assistance to the Colonies contingent on the payment of the expenses by the Colonies receiving it. To Mr. Hum?, questioning him, he stated that money had been lately sent home from the Colonies to the Govern- ment in sums of unusual magnitude for the purpose of emigration. From Victoria had come 113,0001., which with the sum left in hand made between 160,0001. and 170,000/. disposable for emigration to Victoria. New South Wales had sent home about 70,000/. for the same purpose. He was now in communication with the Emigration Commissioners as to the mode in which that sum could be most beneficially expended.
The Militia Bill was discussed in Committee a few more clauses in ad- vance. The features of the proceedings were three. Mr. WALPOLE having incidentally stated that "if 30,000 or 40,000 men were raised, it would not be necessary for the sake of 10,000 men to put the ballot in force," Mr. MILNER Grimm fixed on this statement as throwing an air of insincerity over the whole measure ; and his charge was fol- lowed up by MT. CO"BDR.67 and Mr. BRIGHT. They argued, that the late Government asked for 120,000 men, and the present Go- vernment for 80,000 men : at first these 80,000 men were to be raised immediately by compulsory ballot—yes, that was so, though it were denied; then the 80,000 were divided between two years, only 50,000 to be raised in the first year ; and now from 30,000 to 40,000 Would do ! Thus was the original ground of the bill gradually frittered away. Lord Personisrosr was the only defender of Ministers against this attack ; though it was prolonged and emphatic. The second feature was the introduction of certain verbal amendments by Mr. WALPOLE to defend individual counties from having the levy of more than their quota of men imposed upon them. The third feature was a restate- ment of expenses, by Mr. WaLeorai. The whole of the cost, spread over the five years, would be 1,155,000!.; not including the cost of the arms beyond the first year—there are enough in store for the first Year; and not including the cost of the ballot, if that be found necessary. There were four divisions upon different points, in all of which the Go- vernment had majorities of about two to one-84 to 41, 95 to 55, 164 to 39, and 186 to 80. The Committee arrived at the 14th clause, and sits again on Monday. The debate disclosed some new symptoms of party discordance. Mr. COBDEN said, the country had the Whigs only to thank for this bill- " It was the noble Lord the Member for the City of Landon who had ren-
dered it possible, and his opposition that rendered opposition almost impossible. The very proposition of this Militia would render it impossible for a Whig Government, constituted as before, ever to return to power; for it was to them this Militia was owing."
In the House of Peers, after a vague discussion, Earl TALBOT prevailed on their Lordships to grant him a Select Committee on Captain Warner's inventions.