&hits nuh Vrtutttlings in Varliamtut.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THE WEEK.
HOOKE or LORDS. Monday, July 11. Volunteers ; Lord Vivian's Question— Petty Sessional Divisions Bill read a third time and passed.
Tuesday, July 12. Court of Chancery; Lord Lyndhurst's Motion for Inquiry. Thursday, July 14. Attorneys and Solicitors' Bill read a second time—Hudson's Bay Company ; Answer of the Duke of Newcastle.
ROUSE OF COMMONS. Monday, July 11. Red Sea Telegraph ; debate on Lords Amendments—Metropolitan Improvements ; Mr. Kinnaird's Question—Supply ; Navy Estimates—Poor Law Board (Payment of Debts) Bill read a second time— Court of Probate (Acquisition of Site) Bill read a third time and passed.
Tuesday, July 12. Greive's Disabilities Removal Bill thrown out—Peace an- nounced—Civil Service Examinations ; Mr. Cochrane's Motion—Endowed Schools ; Committee nominated—Contract Committee ; debate on nomination—Admiralty Court Bill committed—Roman Catholic Relief Bill; debate on second reading, ad- journed.
Wednesday, July 13. Church-rates Abolition ; Sir J. Trelawny's Bill read a second time.
Thursday, July 14. Supply ; Navy and Army Estimates—Criminal Justice Middlesex (Assistant Judge) Bill committed.
The Wednesday's sitting was occupied by a remarkable debate on the second reading of Sir John Trelawny's Church-rate Abolition Bill.
In the absence of Sir John, detained by illness, Mr. Dria,wrx in few words moved the second reading. For some time the debate was ably sustained by the greater among the lesser lights of the House. Mr. Du Cant moved that the bill should be read a second time that day six months ; and Lord ROBERT Morrmou, in a maiden speech, much ap- plauded, seconded the amendment. Both the speakers regarded the bill as aimed at the Established Church. Mr. Du CANE said that in passing the bill they would pass the Rubicon once for all, and drive the Church to support on the slender reed of voluntary contribution. If the Govern- ment supported the bill, the Conservative party would regard it as a de- claration of open war. Mr. EDWARD BAINES said the Dissenters, of whom he avowed himself one, who do not approve of the union of Church and State, do not say to the Church " stand and deliver," but " hands off." Mr. ADDERLEY replied that the bill did not take that position. It forbids the payment of church-rates, and therefore he re- garded it as a prelude to some further injury to the Church. Mr. MEL- LOR, on the contrary, contended that the bill meets an exceptional griev- ance. Mr. PACKE opposed and Mr. STANTLAND supported the bill. Mr. HENNESSEY had long been of opinion that the attacks made by Dis- senters on the Church of England should not be supported by Roman Catholics. The Church of England has been spoken of as the foe, and the Dissenters as the Mends of toleration, but the very reverse is the case; and being convinced that it is his duty to support the Church when assailed by the Protestant Dissenters, he should cordially vote against the second reading of the bill. Sir GEORGE LEWIS made an elaborate speech on the whole question. Taking the figures of the case, so far as they can be obtained, he showed that while 263,0001. is raised for Church purposes by church-rates, 269,0001. is raised by voluntary contribution. As the rate is not more than 2d. on an average, the objection to it is mainly conscientious and not pecuniary. Many members of the Church object, some because in large towns they have to maintain a mother church and a district church, others because the incumbent is immoral or a preacher of eccentric doc- trine.
In the rural parishes rates are generally made without objection ; but in many cases a practical grievance exists where a reluctant minority is controlled by a majority. Several methods of compromise have been suggested,—such as making the rate a voluntary or compulsory charge upon land, levying the rate on Churchmen exclusively,—but these emu- promises are impracticable. One objection to the bill is that if church- rates are abolished, churches will fall into decay. But during the last twenty years church building has undergone a revival, and this country is less likely than any other to be chargeable with the national sin of neglecting to repair its churehes. If this compulsory tax were removed no serious difference would be perceived, for funds would be found from one source or another.
" As it appears to me that none of the intermediate plans in the nature of compromise are likely to receive the sanction of this Howie, as I see no prospect of any agreement upon any one of those plane, and as it seems• to me that in attempting to maintain the existing system of church-rates. wa.shall only be continuing a fruitless struggle, I am prepared to give my vote for the second reading of the bill. (" Hear, hear !" and " Divide !") I would, however, suggest that in the event of the Legislature, either now or at some future period, agreeing to the principle of the bill now under consideration, it might be possible to establish an organized system by • lative enactments, which would give some facility and some not inconsider- able assistance, with regard to the receipt, the custody, and the administra- tion of voluntary rates and subscription for maintaining the Established Church and meeting the objects to which church-rates are at present appli- cable. I shall not now lay before the House any detailed plan on the sub- ject, but I think it might be possible to construct an organized parochial sys- tem which would be applicable in cases where local funds might prove in- sufficient. In order to afford assistance to those parishes in which local funds proved inadequate, it might be feasible to constitute diocesan boards, which should have powers with respect to the collection and distribution of money." Lord Joan Max:inns opposed the bill. Lord EERMOY expressed his astonishment at the speech of Mr. Hennessey, and said it was high time the legitimate demand of Dissenters should be satisfied. Mr. DRUMMOND desired to waste no words, but indicate the exact point where we have now arrived. When the Lords decided the Braintree case the bishops ought to have brought in a bill and placed church-rates. on the footing of all other rates. There is a true grievance and a false; a true plea and a false. The true plea is that the mother churches swal- low up the rates and leave none to the new churches ; the false plea is the plea of conscience. " The Dissenters have, as I have said before, honestly told you in this House and out of it, that the question is a contest a Youtrance—Established Church or no Established Church. There is no disguising it. On this ground I oppose the bill. I opposed the bill of my right honourable friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, and I will oppose every bill that enters into a compromise on these matters. For there are questions where you had better die and be ruined than give way. It is stated of Prince Metternich that a very short time before hia death he wrote a letter to the Emperor of Austria, in which he said, Make no peace. Fight for what is your own ; and rather give up Vienna to be sacked than com- promise one tittle of your right.' I say that is the counsel of duty, the counsel of principle ; but it is not the counsel of expediency or of Liberal- ism."
Mr. MAGUIRE said as a Roman Catholic he should vote for the bill.
The perpetuation of the Established Church in Ireland is a wrong and a grievance to the Catholics of that country, and the Irish Catholic .Members- should remember that they would yet want the aid of the Radical and Dis- senting parties in England to strike down that monster injustice. Lord Ps.minasrox began his speech thus-
" Sir—I am anxious to state in a very few words the grounds upon which I shall give my deliberate vote in support of the bill before the House. I think] that I have never hitherto voted for a bill of this description. (Cheers and laughter front the Opposition.) I am very glad to see that those who are themselves patterns and models of converts, receive with such joy others who are also converts to an opinion which they have not always entertained. (Counter cheers.) I have thought, and I still think, that it is essential for the interest and the honour of the country, as well as for the sake of religion, that the fabrics of our national Church should bemaintained; and if it had been possible to continue the system by which that object is accomplished by a rate, I should have preferred that that system should be adhered to. But when I find from repeated instances that public opinion not only out of doors, but in Parliament, has been declared strongly and by great majorities in favour of a change in this respect, I can- not set my individual preference against the force of that public opinion, and I am compelled to look about and see whether the same end cannot to
by some less objectionable means."
District churches are built and maintained without the aid of church- rates, and our parish churches may be maintained by similar arrangements. Dissenters would contribute voluntarily what they refuse on compulsion. "It is said that the abolition of compulsory church-rates would be• destructive to the Established Church. I repudiate that argument. I think it is unfair to the Church of England to put its maintenance upon such a ground. I am convinced that the Church rests upon the affection and respect of the people, and that if it is ever to fall it will be not by the abolition of church-rates, but by the faults of its own ministers and members. I see no such faults at the present moment ; the contrary, in- deed, is manifested in the conduct of the clergy of the Established Church, and I am persuaded that the exemplary proceedings of its ministers and of those who belong to its communion will tend year after year to rivet still more strongly the attachment which now exists among the great majority of the people. So far, therefore, from agreeing with those who think that church-rates are necessary and should be maintained for the support of the Established Church, I believe that the abolition of an impost which is dis- liked not only by Dissenters, but in many cases also by members of the Church itself, would tend to strengthen and extend the established religion of the country." (Cheers.) Mr. DISRAELI commented on changes of opinion, and on the changes of Lord Palmerston. Had he come forward in a manner becoming the- difficulties of the situation ? had he given advice worthy of the position he occupied ? His speech implied that he favoured the voluntary system. He spoke of district churches, but they existed when he made his speeches against church-rates. Who had impressed Parliament with the conviction that the abolition of church-rates is revohltionary more. than Lord John Russell ? Mr. Disraeli did not reflect the manful course of Sir John Trelawny. " He thinks that church-rates ought to be abolished ; he does not think that a substitute ought to be supplied. But Ministers are not of that opi- nion. I do not refer merely to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, with whose extravagant notions I never could agree, because I could never think that church-rates were in the English constitution what the noble lord has more than once represented them to be, but some of his colleagues have today, in their more temperate and tempered view of the question, acknowledged that if the proposed charge took place, a substitute ought to be furnished. What I say, then, is that if such Is their opinion they are bound to supply that substitute, or, at all events, not to support any measure which is recom- mended to the House without proposing a remedy which they think so de- sirable." Admitting the present case of things to be unsatisfactory, de- clining to discuss the merits of the bill, he declared that Ministers ought to make an attempt to settle the question and not leave it to the Committee. "I am quite certain that no Ministry is justified in voting for the abolition of church-rates, while at the same time it acknowledges that a substi'ute ought to be supplied, and shrinks from the responsibility of affording the remedy which the country has a right to demand." (Cheers.) Lord JOHN RUSSELL reminded Mr. Disraeli that when ho tried to pre- vent the abolition of church-rates, the Conservative leader gave him no assistance, but was silent. But now, when public opinion is in favour of abolition, he makes a speech of despair. Lord John contended that there was no injustice in church-rates, and that his previous arguments had been directed against those who say there is. The party now be- coming more popular, say that these rates may be abolished to the ad- vantage of the Church. That was the view of the Conservative candi- date for the West Riding. Then there is a majority in the House fa- vourable to their abolition. The compromises proposed would have drawn a line of separation between Churchmen and Dissenters, and would have degraded the Church into the position of a powerful sect. If church-rates were abolished, voluntary contributions have so increased that the churches would be maintained.
" Neither my noble friend nor myself say that the exaction of church- rates is unjust and intolerable, but we do say, looking at the state of public opinion, that it will be better and safer for the Church to rely upon the voluntary offerings of the people than to continue a compulsory rate which is disliked by almost all classes of the community." (Cheers.)
The House then divided. The numbers were—for the second reading, 283 ; against it, 193 ; majority, 70. The bill was then read a second time.
ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIEF.
The House of Commons sat to a late hour on Tuesday night to debate the second reading of Sir William Somerville's bill enabling a Roman Catholic to become Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The motion provoked a formidable opposition. Mr. NEWDF,GA.TE led the way, and on his side came Mr. WI-imagine, Mr. WALPOLE, and Mr. DISRAELI. Their argu- ment against the measure was that Sir Robert Peel in 1829 deliberately excluded Roman Catholics from this office, because the Lord Chancellor is the representative of the Crown, because he exercises ecclesiastical patronage, because he may exercise functions as a judge in matters of ecclesiastical discipline, may become patron of livings appertaining to lunatics and others, may become Regent of the kingdom ; because he is the adviser of the Lord-Lieutenant, and because it is unwise to disturb the great settlement of 1829. Mr. Warresum said the measure was the most indecent proposition ever submitted to Parliament, because it proposed that a Roman Catholic should decide questions touching the doctrine of the Church of England. On the other side were Mr. CARDWELL. Mr. Geinseose, Lord PAL. MERSTON, and Sir GEORGE LEWIS. They showed that the Lord Chan- cellor of Ireland has no ecclesiastical patronage except the right of ap- pointing, in conjunction with five other persons, to two livings; that his functions in matters of ecclesiastical discipline are merely ministerial ; that none but a Protestant can be a member of the Ecclesiastical Com- mission' and that a Roman Catholic cannot become Regent. The Re- lief Act established the rule that Roman Catholics might fill purely civil offices. Its principle was the equality of civil and religious privi- leges. Exception was made in the case of the Lord Chancellor of Ire- land, because it was erroneously thought that he exercised ecclesiastical functions and enjoyed ecclesiastical patronage. That is not so. " Will any man contend," said Mr. Gladstone, "that the office of Lord Chancellor in its main scope and purpose is anything but a civil office ? If he has other functions, which take up one-sixth of his time, is it for those functions that the office exists ? It is not, in substance, a legal and judi- cial, but strictly secular duty that he is called upon to discharge ? And if there are these rags and shreds which the right honourable gentleman de- scribes, does not the Lord Chancellor go on year after year discharging legal functions, and does any one dream of those phantoms of an appeal upon questions of ecclesiastical discipline which disturb the mind of Mr. White- side ? "
In the course of the debate Mr. Gladstone congratulated Mr. White- side on his appearance as the defender, almost the disciple of Sir Robert Peel ; and Lord PALMERSTON said—" I certainly must condole with honourable gentlemen opposite upon the abrupt dissolution of what, with- out disrespect, I may call the holy alliance which not long ago existed among them." ("Ifear, hear !" and laughter.) Mr. DISRAELI did not take such decisive ground of opposition as his late colleagues, but contended that the bill ought to be referred to a Se- lect Committee in order that the House might know clearly what are the functions of the Irish Lord Chancellor.
To this Sir GEORGE LEWIS, on the part of the Government, was will- ing to agree if the Opposition would permit the bill to be read a second time. They were not willing. On the contrary, Sir WILLIAM MILES moved the adjournment of the debate ; a motion negatived by 210 to 142. The motion was renewed and again negatived, this time without a division. But it was now nearly two o'clock, and Lord PALMERSTON agreed to adjourn the debate.
Lord Lynnirensr moved for a Select Committee to inquire into the mode of taking evidence in Chancery; and in doing so described what the mode ought to be and what it is. The machinery for ascertaining facts ought to be calculated to elicit truth, chiefly, and at a convenient time. This is done in the courts of common law ; but it is not done in the Court of Chancery. All attempts to remedy the defects of that court in this respect have failed, because they were not sufficiently comprehen- sive. They were attempts to patch up the old and expensive system founded on the civil law. The examination of witnesses is by affidavit —the worst mode that could bo established. These affidavits are framed by the solicitors. They go to a willing witness, and put leading ques- tions intended to draw out only what is favourable to their clients. Then comes the process of "cooking the affidavit." It is drawn in an artifi- cial form, and every word to the disadvantage of the client is avoided. Next it is taken to a counsel to be "settled," that is touched up by a more experienced and dexterous hand. This process is encouraged by the court, which allows costs for settling the affidavit. Then the party at- tends, not before a judge but an officer who swears the affidavit. "It is read over to him, and it is altered according to the circumstances.
The witness is careless or attentive, according to circumstances, while the affidavit is being read, and after it is read he signs it. Now what is the oath ? 'Is that your signature ? "Yes." Is the affidavit true ? ' Yes.' Is it satisfactory that an oath should be administered in that form ? What is the form of oath upon the examination of witnesses ? The evidence that you shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.' But in the case of an affidavit the only question is, ' Are the eon- tents of the oath true ?' Without any great stretch of conscience the party swears that the contents are true, although the affidavit does not contain the whole truth. Now, this is the objection which I have to make to evi- dence by affidavit." He should bo told that the remedy is cross-examina- llon. Bat first let me mention the fact that if I call a witness in a com- mon law court I pay for that witness. If he is cross-examined by the adverse party I pay for the cross-examination. If the cross-examination should extend for a week I pay for the cross-examination because it is my witness. What is the ease in the Court of Chancery? If a witness make an affidavit and the other parties wish to cross-examine, they have to find the witness, bring him before the court, and attend the cross-examination. At whose expense ? The whole is at the expense of the cross-examiner. It is not at the expense of the party whose witness he is, and this tends to prevent the exercise of the power to cross-examine. That is only a part of the evil. If I am an unhappy party in a Chancery suit and want to exer- cise the power, I have to go to the examiner and say, want to cross- examine such a witness.' I'lle examiner says, I must look et my book and see which is the first open day,' and having looked, he says, My first open day is two months hence.' " If the witness attends, and sometimes ho does not, it frequently happens that the counsel is not ready ; and when at last, the examination takes place, the examiner has no power to check rambling and irrelevant cross-examination. Their Lordships might thence judge of the expense of the proceeding. The effect of the cross-examination is not like that of a common law court. "I am told by authority which I consider unimpeachable that it not unfrequently happens that counsel employ short-hand writers to take down the evidence, not to lay before the Court, but for their own guidance, and that evidence, so taken, not unfrequently differs in essential particulars from the evidence taken by the examiner. But the main objection is that the Court has no means of judging of the demeanour of a witness, his hesitation, his flinching with the question: and the many other circumstances which tend to betray a witness who is not speaking the truth. Can your Lordships be surprised, after what I have stated—and I have not exaggerated anything—that parties are not willing to go through the process of cross-examination, considering it almost use- less, very expensive, and very dilatory ? There is, another branch of the Court of Chancery to which I wish to refer—viz., with regard to inter- locutory motions. Questions of the utmost interest are decided by the Court on interlocutory motions. How does the Court proceed ? Entirely by affi- davit. The party who makes the motion files an affidavit. The other party answers. Then there is an affidavit in reply. Then, perhaps, an affidavit in rejoinder, in rebutter, or surrebutter. There is no rule fixing the number of affidavits, and I am told that sometimes they are so numerous counsel have not time to read them through, but have to guess at the facts. The parties may be examined and cross-examined before the Court, as in the courts of common law, if the Court thinks proper ; but it is the exception. It is not liked in the Court of Chancery. The practitioners of that Court are men of extraordinary talent, but they are not accustomed to the examina- tion of witnesses ; they are not handy at it. They put in a common law barrister to assist, but I am told that while these examinations go on the state of the court is anything but edifying." The experiment of 1854 was "tentative" and it has failed. Ho would suggest no remedy until he knew the extent of the evil. He proposed an inquiry by a Select Committee, but it was not for him to determine whether the inquiry should be by Committee or Commission. The proposed inquiry was favourably received by the House. The LORD Ciissenteon said the Court of Chancery had been marvellously improved, but agreed that the mode of taking evidence is imperfect. The inquiry should be by commission. Lord CRAM WORTH concurred in the motion. Lord Cirnmisronn was of opinion that no inquiry is needed. He thought the remedy obvious. In disputed cases parties should be examined in open court. Lord Bum: mum did not think the remedy ob- vious. He was of opinion that the inquiry should be by commission.
The motion was altered in accordance with the suggestion of the Lord Chancellor, and took the form of an address to the Crown praying for the appointment of a commission.
CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATIONS.
Mr. BAILLIE COCHRANE moved a resolution for an address to her Ma- jesty praying that she would " instruct the Civil Service Examiners that all persons who entered any service or profession prior to the 21st day of May, 1855, to which service or profession the present system of examina- tions is applicable, shall be considered eligible for promotion -without being subjected to any examination." He described several instances where temporary clerks had been rejected, not because they were inefficient, but because they did not obtain a sufficient number of marks. These were cases of great hardship. He was not hos- tile to the system of examination : on the contrary, he thought it an ad- vantage; but lie contended that questions were put scarcely fair to the candidates. He read to the House seine of the questions put to persons who were applying for admission to the Irish police force—" Explain fully the meaning of the following geogiaphieal terms—' Peninsula," promontory,' estuary," delta," plateau," watershed,' and give three instances of each. (A laugh.) Describe the position of the following places—St. Helena, St. Albans, Corfu, Toronto, Salisbury, Copenhagen, Agra, Vienna, Inrceary, Stapore, Stirling, Cairo, Nillala, Meerut, Hastings, Owhyhee. (Lamilder.) Write a geographical description of any one country of Ancient Europe, stating its boundaries, physical features, products, manufactures, divisions, and principal towns." (Renewed laughter.)
to unpaid attaches are untenable ; and contended that temporary clerks have not the same rights as members of the permanent service. The temporary clerk is employed from time to time ; the engagement with him is amply fulfilled, and he has no right to pass the threshold of the State without submitting to a test of his competency.
After some desultory re:narks from several Members, Lord PALMER• STON defended the present system, showed that the redundant questions were used to test the differences in cultivation between several young men tolerably equal in matters essential. Candidates are not rejected because they cannot answer these questions, but because, besides being unable to answer them, they were more or less deficient in the essentials. He highly praised the competitive system, which has given a stimulus to education all over the country. " With regard to this particular motion, I trust the honourable Member will not think it necessary to press it, because it is quite clear that those young men who have taken temporary clerkships knew very well when they took them that they were temporary, and they have no right or just chum to be transferred to the permanent establishment without going through the process of examination which is established for all other tem- porary clerks. An unpaid attaché is perfectly aware that his future promo- tion in his profession depends upon his conduct in that position, and I can- not see that there is any hardship in requiring him to go through the same examination as other attaches."
On the motion for going into Committee of Supply on Monday, the
recent grant of a bounty to seamen already in the fleet was partially discussed. Sir JOHN PAKINGTON condemned this policy as contrary to prescription and precedent. It will give rise to complaints of unfairness and dissatisfaction. He was told that it was generous, but generosity must not be carried to an extent inconsistent with public policy. The Government had stated no reasons for the change. The SPEAKER in- terrupted Sir John, who, he said, was replying to a speech made in com- mittee. Lord CLARENCE PAGET said it was evident Sir John knew the reasons on which the Government had acted, for he had replied to them. At the proper time—when the estimate is on the table—Lord Clarence will be ready to discuss the question.
After Mr. Williams had complained of the amount of the Navy Esti-
mates, and of the practice of flogging, Sir CHARLES NAPIER recurred to the question of the bounty, and lauded the recent act of the Govern- ment. But he expressed his astonishment and regret that the men had not entered in greater numbers. He dilated on the importance of manning our fleet. Russia has ships ready at Cronstadt ; there was an armistice in Italy ; the French love war; no one can tell what may hap- pen. The French force is now equal, in some respects superior, to ours. England ought to be equal to all other maritime nations. Mr. LINDSAY thought these remarks were calculated to alarm the country. Though it is difficult to man our ships in ordinary times, if it were a question of invasion all the men in our merchant service would come forward.
Later, when the House went into Committee of Supply, Sir CHARLES renewed the subject, and thus called up Admiral WaLcorr, who cor- roborated the views of Mr. Lindsay. Then ensued this amusing con- versation— Sir C. NAPIER—" Good God, Sir! Does the gallant Admiral suppose that these 160,000 men are in the Thames, or at Bristol or Liverpool ? They are scattered all over the world."
Admiral WALeorr—" But you could get 50,000." Sir C. NAPIER—" If there were a certainty of invasion tomorrow, could he get 20,000 :" Admiral WAteorr—"I would lay my life I could." (Laughter.) Sir C. NAPIER—" The merchant service is not so well manned as is sup- posed. There are foreigners in it and men not fit for a man-of-war. Does the gallant Admiral mean to tell me that the moment a man is put on board a ship he would be fit to fight ?" Admiral WA.r.coTr—" Yes, he would." Sir C. NAPIER—"I fought an action not long ago, and half the crews were undisciplined men, and I saw that those men did not do their duty. I tell the gallant Admiral that if he wants men and sailors to fight ana de- fend these ships, they must be regularly disciplined and well-trained. All the gallantry and courage and determination to fight to their very stumps will not enable undisciplined men to meet disciplined men, any more than an undisciplined army can meet a disciplined army." Admiral Wateorr—" I do not want them all efficient ; I calculate there would be 30,000 men versed in gunnery, and I should only want men to work the guns and use the ropes of the ship." Sir CHUMPS NAPIER returned to the charge.
He hoped the Admiralty, in ease of another war, would not man the
navy as they manned his fleet, with all the tinkers, tailors, butcher boys, and cabmen they could pick up out of the streets of London. (.4 laugh.) He was accused of alarming the country. He admitted that he wanted to alarm the country. Let the Admiralty give their Admirals men to com- mand, and not men they were ashamed of.
The Committee agreed to several votes, items in the naval estimates, and Members kept up a conversation on anchors, gunboats, machinery, timber, and dockyard labour.
Before the Committee reported progress, Sir CHARLES NAPIER referred to a plan, drawn up by Sir John Pakington, for disposing of old naval officers. Sir JOHN PAKINGTON said the plan had not been shown to any one except in confidence ; and he protested that Sir Charles had no right to pretend to give a description of what he had no right to know any- thing. Sir CHARLES said it was not communicated in confidence. It had been shown to all the admirals in London and a petition to the Queen against it had been signed. Sir JOHN repeated his opinion that the mention of it was most irregular. Mr. LINDSAY said he had seen the plan ; the paper was marked confidential ; and he should never have thought of naming it in the House. Sir CHARLES again rase, but cries of " Order !" put him down.
The question of the policy of the bounty was revived in Committee of Supply on Thursday, when the vote of 100,0001. for the payment of
gratuities to seamen now serving in the fleet was moved. Mr. LINDSAY strongly objected to the original offer of a bounty, and the grant of gratuities, as inimical to the shipping interest, and not likely to serve the purpose of the Government. Lord CLARENCE PAGET and Sir SAXES GRAHAM spoke out very freely against the policy of offering bounty in time of peace, but these two, together with Sir CHARLES NAPIER, re- garded the grant of gratuities to men already serving as the inevitable consequence of the bad precedent of offering bounty to raise new hands. It was only just to the seamen. On the other hand, Sir JOHN PAKING. TON defended the act of his cabinet in offering a bounty, and vehemently assailed the new gratuities.
After a skirmish between Sir James Graham and Sir Charles Napier on the old theme of the manning of the Baltic fleet, the vote was agreed to.
There was also a long discussion on the half-pay and retirement list, and a plan of retirement framed by SirJohn Pakington, but never pub- lished, which seemed to give rise to general opposition.
Three military discussions have taken place this week; one on the strength of our home force ; one on the Indian army ; and one on the army estimates.
Colonel Diessos, referring to a letter in the leading journal, ques- tioning some statements made by General Peel, described the letter as a tissue of unmitigated nonsense, and thought that the military authorities ought to discover the writer Who styled himself a commanding officer. General PEEL treats anonymous letters with the greatest contempt. He had said there were, including the embodied militia, 110,000 troops in the United Kingdom. He held in his hand the last return made to him before he left office, dated 1st of June 1859, and in that return he found that the army at home consisted of—Cavalry, 11,698 ; Foot Guards, 6184 ; Infantry, 50,032; Horse Artillery, 1749. Foot ditto, 12,669; Engineers, 1854; Military Train, 1861 ; Medical Staff, 375 ; total regular forces, 86,422. Embodied Militia, 23,218. Total, 109,640. This officer, who described himself as commanding a regiment, said the artillery was almost in a disgraceful con- dition. Now, it appeared from the return to which he had referred that there were about 14,500 Royal Artillery, and besides these there were 5000 militia artillery, and he had the authority of the Commander-in-chief for saying that the artillery force was in a most efficient state. About 180 guns could be turned out tomorrow, if it were necessary, and there were 110 guns in store and he repeated what he had said on a former evening, that at no time had the artillery of this country been in a more effective condi- tion. (Cheers) The accuracy of this statement having been questioned in the journals, General PEEL, on Thursday, explained that he bad been misunderstood, as his figures include the recruits for India, while the criticisms exclude them. He does not include the marines. His figures, he said, and in this he was subsequently confirmed by Mr. Sidney Herbert, are literally exact. Colonel PERCY HERBERT, however, pointed out that statements of gross totals lead to misapprehension, because they always include large numbers not available for active service.
The discussion on the Indian army was raised by Mr. HENRY Bermas on the motion for going into Committee of Supply. The purport of his remarks was that 80,000 Europeans in India, the number suggested by the Commissioners, would not only overburden the Revenue, but constitute a drain on our resources. Our army, he said, is merely efficient upon paper. It is not right to count the militia, which should be the reserve as effectives.
A very desultory conversation ensued, in which Sir CHARLES Wotan and Lord STANLEY both said that the time had not arrived for discussing the organization of the Indian army. Mr. SIDNEY HERBERT made a compact explanation in moving the army estimates. Our force, small as it is, has of late been admirably administered. We have got what we never had before, 180 guns in ser- vice, and 110 in reserve. Aldershott, which once caused so much dis- satisfaction, now contributes greatly to the improvement of the army. "Within the last few days I have read a report from the general com- manding at that camp as to how the troops have been engaged during a certain period. He says that the drill is good, that the second battalions have made remarkable progress, and that the embodied militia is in a state of efficiency which has astonished military men. It used to be said that at this 'camp nothing was done which would enable the soldiers really and practically to learn camp life. I believe that that defect has been supplied. Earthworks are now thrown up by untrained military labour—a very wise arrangement—and the engineers are making faseines, and instructing others in their manufacture. The general says that brigades of infantry and artillery have been sent out to encamp at a distance of fifteen miles off, and that under the hot sun which we have experienced during the last month these marches have been effected without a single man falling out ; that the men show the greatest aptitude in encamping, erecting temporary ovens, and so on ; and that there is a marked improvement in the facility with which these operations are conducted. The commissariat corps has been practised in the field. It accompanies the troops and purchases animals, slaughterhouses are established under the management of the troops, and all the operations for victualling the force are conducted as they would be in war. Lastly, I may mention that crime has greatly diminished at Aldershott. During the last few months there has been a marked diminution in the number of deserters from the army. It is also stated that the health of the troops at Aldershott is something unequalled in the annals of the British or any other army. The sum required to keep up the embodied militia is 410,0001. ; for gun factories, 48421. " The vote for the Royal carriage department includes ten new batteries of 18-pounders, to be em- ployed as a moveable force along the coast. This was recommended by a committee which sat to inquire into the national defences. Perhaps the House would like to know what are the probabilities with regard to the delivery of the guns in course of manufacture by Sir William Armstrong. If the new buildings and machinery should be completed by the 1st of October, then I believe we may expect to have the delivery of 100 guns by the end of the year, and I hope we shall have something like 200 more in the course of the next financial year. After that the delivery will continue at a rate which will soon enable us to have both on board ship and for our land defences, a very great number of these formidable instruments of war." The vote for miscellaneous stcres is 225,000/. ; for fortifications, 123,5001. " We only propose to expend a larger amount this year to hasten on these works of defence. It is clear that if they are to be executed at all, they should be executed as speedily as possible. I take it that if England were attacked, an unfinished fortification would be a much worse thing for us than none at all because it would be incapable of defence in itself, while if taken by an enemy it might, perhaps, be easily turned against us." At Devonport, Alderney, and Portsmouth, works are going on. "At Portland there is a necessity for carrying out works which have not yet stood upon the estimates at all. Portland is one of the finest harbours in the world, and is at present utterly defenceless. If an enemy were to take possession of the island of Portland, he would have facilities for establishing himself on that height, from which it would be extremely difficult to dislodge him." Mr. Herbert entered minutely into details of a very varied character ; his speech was followed by a debate equally varied ; and at its close he gave further explanations and said—
It may be true that our system its faulty; but if it is faulty, he is ready
to learn, and, having learnt, he should be ready to act. (Cheers.) He ad- vised the committee to lose no time in getting the best information they could from the most competent witnesses to enable them to come to a prac- tical conclusion as to the best organization of the War Department. He had recently served on a commission which had visited many of the barrack es- tablishments in England and Ireland, and he might say he was almost appalled at the amount of work to be done in order to place them on a satis- factory footing. They were not only deserving but having the most earnest attention of the Government; and he hoped he might count upon the sup- port and assistance of the House in carrying the work forward to completion.
The vote for the embodied militia, and other votes having been agreed to, the House resumed. Vounrriasit Colas.
In reply to a question from Lord VIVIAN, the Earl of RrroN stated that the Government are desirous of preventing the volunteers from clashing with the militia. For that reason they declined to give the volunteers pecuniary assistance ; but sergeants of the disembodied militia will be allowed to instruct volunteers, provided they pay them Is. a day and find them a billet. The Government desire to leave to the volunteers as much as possible the management of their own affairs. He could not agree to pay the volunteer artillery, but they will receive in- struction and ammunition gratuitously. The Government has agreed to permit the formation of battalions of volunteers as well as companies. The Enfield rifle will be issued to the miitia according to the state of the public stores. Complaints were made by Lord Vivvin that some militia regiments have never fired once, and by the Earl of MALNESBUAv that no ammu- nition is furnished to the militia artillery for months together.
THE RED SEA TELEGRAPH.
On the motion that the Lords' amendments to the Red Sea Telegraph Bill (No. 2) be considered, Sir Loess GRAHAM moved the postponement of the order to give time for the Committee on Contracts to report upon the subject. The bill was introduced last session as a private bill. No attention was paid to it, the House passed the measure, and it went to the Lords. The late Government were prevented from hastily passing it, and it was taken up again this session, when, just as it was about to pass, Lord Stanley of Alderley insisted that the whole agreement between the company and the Government should be inserted in the bill. That VMS the amendment they had to consider. The bill contains objection- able clauses. It guarantees the company 41 per cent on its capital (800,0001.) for fifty years. The Government was nominated ex officio directors ; one of them, a friend of his own, is a first class clerk in the Treasury. But these ex officio directors are not restrained by the bill from becoming shareholders, and are thus exposed to temptation. He thought inquiry needed.
Mr. ELLICE seconded the amendment. The Treasury give sanction to bills of this kind without the House having before them the grounds on which they do so, a proceeding contrary to what used to be the practice of the Treasury. Mr. GREGSON showed that the capital had been subscribed on the faith of the contract with the Treasury ; that the value of the shares rose and fell with the progress of legislation, and that as the House had assented to the bill in March he hoped the amendment would be withdrawn. Sir HENRY WILLOUGHBY said the House ought not to learn its financial obli- gations from Lords' amendments. It March last the House adopted a resolution, but was not informed that an actual agreement was in exist- ence. Mr. HENRY BAILLIE and Mr. LABOUCHERE supported the amend- ment. Sir STAFFORD NORTHCOTE contended that the bill had passed through the "usual course " ; and justified the contract on the ground that the line is important, that the guarantee was required to float the line, and that the contract was a good, proper, and economical arrange- ment. Mr. Krexsrnn said there was nothing irregular in the way the bill passed its stages. The directors, who have acted on the faith of the contract, are not able to complete the line, to borrow or make a call until the bill has passed. Mr. CRAWFORD supported this view. Lord DUNCAN thought the question was whether they were to sanction a sys- tem of giving away the public money by private bills. Mr. GLADSTONE was of opinion that the Government was pledged to the bill as it stood, and that it is too late to question its merits. He found a written agreement, and had no choice except to give his support to the bill. Such was the position of the Government ; it was for the House to consider where its jurisdiction begins. He did not understand that Sir James Graham raised any question on the merits of the measure, but that the :question might be referred to the Contract Committee in order that the House might exactly learn what they were asked to do. It was merely a demand for time with a view to consideration. He further pointed out that the first resolutions of the House on these mat- ters are commonly if not universally regarded as a warrant to the parties in proceeding with their arrangements. Mr. DISRAELI contended that the late Government was influenced by motives of public policy. It is a disgrace to the country that in such an age of science and progress as the present, we should not possess means of telegraphic communication with India. After long deliberation the late Government arrived at the conclusion that the scheme under con- sideration is the only one that will secure that telegraphic communica- tion. He held that if the Parliament determines to continue the labours of its predecessors with regard to this class of legislation, they ought to adopt the resolutions of their predecessors, and not say that matters they take up come before them for the first time. He did not, however, ob- ject to the motion. Mr. BOUVERIE could not see the use of any postponement, since the matter has gone so far that the House is pledged to the agreement. The bargain may or may not be improvident, but advantage should not be taken of a technicality to get rid of it. The See wen said that there was nothing informal in the Lords' amendments. He informed the House that in the bill as originally printed the guarantee clauses were not printed in italics, and that he had caused them to be so printed, thereby inviting special attention.
On a division, the amendment was negatived by 177 to 130, and the Lords' amendments were agreed to.
IRISH ENDOWED SCHOOLS.
The Earl of CORK called attention to the Endowed Schools of Ireland. There are 2300 and they have considerable funds. The Queen's Col- leges receive 70001. a year from the Consolidated Fund, but though the professors are able and the education good there are only 1686 students. One cause of the small number is that there are few intermediate schools. He urged the Government to step in and render more available for educa- tion the vast resources which the Endowed School Commissioners have proved to exist. The Earl of DONOUGHMORE pointed out the differences of opinion among the Commissioners, and said that unless the question, to whom do the endowments belong, is decided, no scheme can be satisfactory. Earl GRANVILLE admitted the importance and dwelt on the difficul- ties of a subject which the Government have under consideration.
METROPOLITAN IMPROVEMENTS. Mr. KINNAUiD expressed a hope that, now Berkeley House has been removed, a carriage way will be made from Charing Cross through Spring Gardens into St. James's Park. He complained of the absence of efforts to improve the metropolis. Lord DUNCAN said that the property belongs to the Crown. If property be- longing to the Crown is taken for improvements, it should be paid for just as if it belonged to an individual. Mr. Kinnaird said nothing about compensation. If the Board of Works would give up their idea of a palace in Spring Gardens, hand the money to the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer and return to Soho, they would save 20000/., and the improve- ment might be made. Lord Jenne MAnesns, Mr. &Arlin-, Mr. Frrz- ROY, and others, objected that what was described as an improvement would only benefit a few, and would destroy a quiet nook, now the fa- vourite resort of poor children. The funds of the country ought not to be applied to metropolitan improvements, which will only benefit a few.
THE CONTRACT COMMITTEE. When Mr. GLADSTONE moved the nomi- nation of the Committee on Contracts, Mr. ROEBUCK made a remarkable
speech. He did not object to inquiry, but in this case inquiry would make
the House of Commons usurp the executive functions by calling in question the validity of the acts of the late Government. There has been a vast
outbreak of what we may term " virtue " on the Treasury bench, where it had been suddenly discovered that this inquiry is necessary to public mo- rality. This inquiry would damage constitutional Government and
jeopardize a contract. The motion having been agreed to, Mr. GLADSTONE said it must be taken for granted that the committee would act with the strictest regard for the public faith.
Then ensued a long debate, in which the Irish Members insisted that in- justice was done to Ireland, because they said only " one " Irishman was on the list. [Lord Naas is not Considered an Irishman.] Several names were
agreed to, but when the name of Mr. Baxter was proposed, Mr. MAGUIRE moved that Mr. Hennessey should be substituted for Mr. Baxter. [It
seemed to be the opinion of the Irish Members that hostility to Galway was
at the bottom of the demand for inquiry.] Mr. BRIGHT thought a Com- mittee, nineteen strong, too cumbersome. Few of its proposed Members
were free from official trammels. He desired no more officials than were necessary to elucidate the system, and as few as possible connected with local interests. There are plenty of independent Members whose report would carry more weight than that of a Committee composed like the pre- sent.
On a division, Mr. Baxter's name was retained by 135 to 34. But further debate ensued on the proposal of the names of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Laing, officials connected with the present Government intended to balance ex-
officials connected with the late Government. Mr. Disr..em advocated more Irish Members. Mr. GLADSTONE said the origin of the difficulty was
in the large representation of the late Government. At length the Com- mittee was nominated, as follows—Mr. Cobden, Sir Francis Baring, Sir Stafford Northcote, Lord John Manners, Mr. Corry, Sir Henry Willoughby, Mr. Seolefield, Mr. Dunlop, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Leicester Vernon, Captain Gladstone, Lord Naas, Mr. Hubbard, Mr. Hope, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Laing, Mr. Henry Herbert, Mr. Crawford, and Mr. Bazley.
GREIVE'S DisAmtrriss REMOVAL BILL. This was a private bill to enable a clergyman ordained by a Scotch bishop to hold a benefice in England. When it came on for the second reading it was objected that it would be unwise to make exceptions to the law of the land for the benefit of individuals ; and Mr. STEUART moved that the bill should be read a second time that day three months. On the other side it was argued that what a convert from Roman Catholicism could do without coming to the House should not be denied to a Protestant, and it was alleged by Mr.
Roebuck that the real ground of opposition was that Mr. Greive is too much like a Roman Catholic priest. The opposition prevailed, and the bill was thrown out by 232 to 84.
AFFAIRS OF HONGKONG. Mr. EDWIN JAMES moved for several papers relating to recent trials of Hongkong with which Mr. Chisholm Anstey was connected, and in consequence of which lie was dismissed from the post of Attorney-General. Ile asked for them as a matter of justice to an individual. Mr. CHICHESTER FonTEscun declined to produce all the papers, but promised to lay on the table such as could be produced. Motion withdrawn.
Enna-wen Benoots. After much debate, and coniplain!s that Irish members were not included in the list proposed, the following members
were appointed a Select Committee on Mr. Dillwyn's Endowed Schools
Bill. Mr. Dillwyn, the Attorney-General, Lord Stanley, Sir James Graham, Mr. Lowe, Sir Hugh Cairns, Sir Stafford Northcote, Mr. Puller,
Sir Erskine Perry, Mr. Adderley, Lord Robert Cecil, Sir John Pakington, Mr. Henry Austin Bruce, Mr. George William Hope, and Mr. Baines ; five to be the quorum.
HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. In answer to a statement from the Earl of CARNARYON, the Duke of NEWCASTLE said that the Government do not intend to renew the licence whereby the Company have an exclusive right to trade over certain vast territories not included in their charter. Some legislation will be necessary to regulate trade and the relations between the white men and Indians.
DEBTS OF POOR LAW GUARDIANS. Mr. CHARLES GILPIN moved the second reading of the Poor Law Boards (payment of debts) Bill. Mr. WALTER observed that portions of this bill were unobjectionable ; but the second clause had a retrospective action, and unless this clause was withdrawn he should be obliged to move the rejection of the bill. The ob- ject of this clause was to set aside a judgment of the Court of Exchequer Chamber, and compel ratepayers, who 'had been assessed prospectively, paid their contributions, and obtained receipts, by an ex poet facto law, to pay them over again to cover deficiencies occasioned by the acts of swindlers. He moved to defer the second reading for three months. Mr. SOTIIERON ESTCOURT defended the bill. He was of opinion that it was fair and just that Boards of Guardians elected by the ratepayers should be enabled to pay debts, incurred under those circumstances, by a retrospective rate. Mr. HENLEY moved that the debate be adjourned, but after a shortdis- cession, the motion was negatived by 64 to 44. The House then divided upon the original motion, which was carried by 60 to 43; and the bill was read a second time.