The constituents of Mr. Roebuck at Sheffield came to their " annual reckoning " with their Member, at a public meeting in their Council Hall, on Tuesday afternoon; Mr. Isaac Ironsides in the chair. Mr. Roebuck took the framework of a Queen's Speech for his model ; first considering home topics, and then giving his opinions on the critical posi- tion of foreign affairs ; and he wound up by giving explicit answers to is long list of written queries.
Mr. Roebuck believes that at present the Administration is broken up, and that in a few weeks it will be at an end,—for the reason that it was not a national administration, but that of a clique ; though at its head there is a man for whom, on account of his great ability and great courage, Mr. Roebuck has personally a Omit respect. An man who had sat, as Mr. Roebuck has day after day and night after night looking with anxious eyes upon the Treasury benches, could not have f • ed to have wondered in his own heart, as he has often dons how the great destinies of a great people should be con- fided to such little men. (Laughter and cheers.) Why, to pass over the Premier, when he wondered, as he did wonder, at the sort of erackbrained audacity, of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the feeble but decorous Minis- ter of the Interior, and the kind goodnatured imbecility of him who rules over the Trade of this country, he asked himself, if there is a factory with a thousand hands to be paid every Saturday night, whether there is one man who would intrust any one of them with the government of that factory. (Laughter and applause.) He thought not. There was one man among them of great power and capacity—they have got rid of him. (Much cheering.) And now we are to have a session of Parliament with the only member of that Cabinet who ever commanded a European reputation, or had with him the feeling of the large body of the people of this country, either in the equivocal and most dangerous position of a supposed friend, or in the more open character of an actual opponent of the present Administration. Look- ing at the personnel of the Cabinet, from their peculiar position both with regard to their old colleague and their ancient opponents he is quite con- vinced that they are about to go to pieces. But we are told that statesmen are only to be produced by a peculiar distinct set of people born in the pur- ple ; and that as fast as one Minister fades away another is supplied by this Minister-breeding class. Are we to be told that the vast millions in Lanca- shire and Yorkshire have nobody to represent the intellect of these two great counties—have nobody to represent the interests of these two great counties? He could not believe it. Let them try. One of the first subjects before Parliament will be Parliamentary Reform. On this subject English statesmen show a hesitation and want of confidence in a people that has shown great capacities for self-government. But though universal suffrage were instituted tomorrow, Mr. Roebuck does not believe that the House of Commons would become anything very different from what it is now. "It is a very curious place is that House of CAMICIIOns. It repre- sents not only the intelligence but the prejudices of this country very cu- riously. The House of Commons are very thrifty—so are the people of Eng- land. They are rather slow to move—so are the people of England. •They have a very accurate perception of their own personal interests—so haie the people of England. They are courageous beyond the power of anybody to frighten them—so are the people of England." And it is this sort of charac- teristic which makes the House of Commons what he believes it to be, namely, a very accurate representation of the feelings and interests and the prejudices of this country. But if there were a much larger extension of the suffrage, a feeling of injustice, that now rankles among the people of this country, would be done away with. He might be mistaken, but he did not believe that they would thereby effect any very great change in the House of Commons; • for he had watched that House of Commons for some time, and he should have to touch upon points in which he had found them most cu- riously sensitive to the feelings of the people out of doors, and earnestly repre- senting them. Every now and then he had seen interest craw them, but that was the case with all of us ; and he did not believe that if they had universal suffrage tomorrow they would have any more virtue' any more in- corruptibility, any more industry, any more energy, in that House. They would be just what they are now—a very fair section of the great people of England. ("No, no ! ") He might be mistaken, but that was his view of the consequence. But his hopes are one thing, his wishes another. What- was it he desired to see done, and what in the name of the people should he be prepared to vote for ? Why, he should vote for every extension of the suffrage. Mr. Hume had a certain proposal, "which he dared say would come forward in a definite shape: he should support Mr. Hume. (Loud cheers.) If Mr. Hume were beaten, he should support the next scheme ; and if after all, they could get no more than what Ministers proposed, why he should say, Well, I'll take what I can get enhat. Upon foreign policy he spoke with great anxiety, because he felt that we are on the eve of very great and starring times. "Amongst ray fellow countrymen and amongst those for whose politics I have the greatest regard, with whom I have the greatest sympathy, with whom I daily act in the House of Commons, there is a feeling which I believe is an erroneous one. Now Mr. Cobden—I call him, and I am sure he will permit me so to do, my friend Mr. Cobden—not long ago, when that wonderful, and in my notion horrible catastrophe, happened in France,. said, "That i the consequence of an army.' But supposing that you are living in the country and in an iso- lated house—that you learnt tomorrow morning that the house of a neigh- bour in the same situation as yours had been entered and rifled and its master killed—should you think it wise to open your doors, to take away all your bolts, to draw the loading from your guns and pistols and bury them in the garden, and expect that you were to be quite safe from moral force and public opinion ? Now, that is our difficulty at present. I acknowledge the evils and horrors of an overwhelming army ; but I say to my country, do not be in a fatal security. There are mischievous feelings abroad, and despotism is triumphant in Europe now. Constitutional govern- ment, liberty, and truth, have their sacred sphere only in England. If England be invaded and crushed, that liberty and that truth must fly across the Atlantic for protection. Europe would be a continent of slaves; a dark- ness would come over mankind ; and that torch of truth which is now held up almost singly by the glorious arm of England would be reversed and extin- guished. Shall such a thing be ? And shall I, representing the people of England, tell you not to be alarmed, not to expect encroachment, not to ex- pect that real aggression ? I will do no such thing. Be prepared ! Have a national armv—(Cheers, increasing in 'force for some momenta)—and, let soldiers say whet they like, if the thing be properly done, we shall give a good account of anybody who comes here. (Laughter, and nniell-alseering.) Now, I am not going to terrify my countrymen—I am not going to hold the hand, and say, 'For God's sake, do not come here !'—for that is the language of most people who are so terribly afraid that they should give courage to their opponents. I say, be not afraid, but be ready ; and if they do come, let them never return." (Vehement cheering.)
Mr. Roebuck then replied to numerous questions which were put to him by constituents; always using the most perfect frankness, even when his replies were not quite up to the mark of the querist's opinions, and for that reason calling forth a warm expression of general favour from the meeting. A vote of thanks and of confidence was passed by accla- mation.
A public meeting was held at Newcastle last week, in compliance with a requisition numerously signed, "to petition Parliament against the re- newal of the Property-tax in any shape whatever." The Daily Hews as- cribes to the getters-up of the requisition, political aims, matured in con- sultation with the leaders of the Protectionist party, and for this reason emphatically notes the result. Mr. Hodson Hinde moved the principal resolution, with arguments that no proposal would unite all interests in its favour except that of total abolition and with the slightest possible reference to the necessity, if the Property-tax be repealed, to submit to some other taxes to meet the deficiency. Mr. Charles Rayne and others scented a party mancenvre in the requisition—the object of tripping up the Ministry, and imposing a duty on corn. He and other speakers pro- posed more than one amendment to the resolution ; but at last it was re- solved, against the opposition of Mr. Hodson Hinde, that the original resolution should be modified so as to demand the abolition of the tax only so far as it applies to income derived from trades and professions. In this shape the resolution was carried by a large majority ; and it was resolved that a petition in accordance with the resolution should be sent to the House of Commons.
The Liberal press of Manchester is exhilarated at the reception given by Lord John Russell to the deputation from the National Public School Association. Lord John's speech was "much more explicit than was expected." The Manchester .Examiner now thinks that, "it is evident, from the sentiments expressed by Lord John Russell, that we need not fear that he will lend his aid to the 'Local Scheme.' " Mr. Labouchere, President of the Board of Trade, has been spending some days at Liverpool, visiting the docks and public buildings, and re- ceiving the hospitalities of the Mayor at the Town-hall.
The proposal lately made by Sir James Graham, that his tenantry should introduce flax into their rotation of crops, was brought to a prac- tical head on Monday, by a meeting at Longtown in Cumberland, to hear Sir James explain what steps he has been taking towards securing a re- gular manufacturing demand for the flax grown. Sir James went over the whole case in favour of flax-cultivation, with his characteristic 1118f3- tery of details and cautious generalization. The result seemed to be, that farmers in Cumberland had even better chances of a profit on flax than farmers in Ireland, who have made the crop a staple produce of their country. After Sir James's explanations, Mr. Rome of Carlisle was in- troduced, to state that he would undertake to purchase next season to the extent of three hundred acres, at prices which in case of difference should be fixed by a referee, and which he felt no doubt would return a profit of Si. or 71. per acre. Favourable conversation occurred ; but the farmers resolved to deliberate awhile, and to meet and state determinations on the 2d of February.
Mr. Bounden Palmer, Member for Plymouth, delivered a lecture, on the evening of the 9th, to a crowded audience of the inhabitants of Plymouth: his subject was the connexion of poetry with history.
Mr. John Walter, Member for Nottingham, intends to edify the townsmen of Nottingham, on the 27th instant, with a lecture on the life and death of Socrates.
The examination of preserved meats supplied to the Navy at Portsmouth has been continued this week. On Wednesday, out of 400 canisters, 189 were reported "good,"—an enormous advance beyond the proportion of "good" canisters discovered in the previously examined stores. The canisters examined on Wednesday consisted of portions of the stock returned into store on the paying-off of the Queen's ship Hercules (72), troop-ship Frolic (16), both lately from the Mediterranean station, and Sharpshooter iron steam-sloop, lately from the River Plate station.
Giovanni Kalabergo, an Italian, who has for many years carried on the business of a jeweller at Banbury, was murdered on Saturday night, about three miles from the town. He was in the habit of travelling to the neigh- bouring villages in a light cart ; on Saturday evening he was returning to the town, accompanied by a nephew, a young man who has been in Eng- land only two months. About half-past five o'clock, Kalabergo's body was discovered on the road at Wilscot Hill ; itotvas yet warm ; he had been shot through the head with a bullet ; the cart was a little distance forward on the road, untended. The nephew came into Banbury with an improbable story, that he and his uncle were attacked by robbers, who killed his uncle. But Kalabergo's pockets had not been rifled. The nephew was taken into custody. On the first day of the inquest, a surgeon stated, that besides the bullet which had passed through the head, another appeared to have been discharged at the forehead, which had been grazed : the pistols had been fired close to the victim's head, for his cravat was /ringed. No evidence directly affecting the nephew has yet been adduced ; but after he had been arrested he attempted to escape : he leaped from the window of a public- house and though he broke the small bone of one of his legs, he got some distance before he was retaken.
There has been a fatal explosion of fire-damp at Norbury Hall Colliery, near Wigan. At a time when no. danger was apprehended, a quantity of gas suddenly ignited, and sixteen miners were burnt. Nine were hurt so se- riously that two of them have since died, and the state of others is pre- carious. As usual, the-men worked with unprotected candles: they dislike safety-lamps, the light they give being so small that a considerable dimi- nution of wages, it is said, would retinft from their use, the men being paid by piece-work.
A coach which runs between Chapel-en-le-Frith and Manchester has been overturned by the breaking of an axle. Ode of the outside passengers, a policeman, was crushed to death under the coach.,, A lad, the son of the stationmaster at Lowestoft, wag, standing on the plat- form at night with a lantern in his hand ; suddenly te lAght went out, and in the darkness the youth fell upon the rails as a train 'dashed past : both legs were so crushed that it was necessary to amputate them to give a chance of life.
John Tweddle, a ticket-collector at Edge Hill station, near Liverpool, has perished in a humane attempt to save a child. A little girl, daughter of a -clerk at the station, ran on to the rails as a train approached; Tweddle rushed forward, but the child was struck down, and Tweddle himself was struck and hurled against the platform : his skull and some ribs were frac- tured. The deceased was an Irishman, formerly of the Enniskillen Dra- goons, and a favourite with travellers. He has left a family ; fer whom_a subscription has been opened. .
The opening of part of the Alston branch Railway was attended by a fatal accident. Some goods were carried on the line; a number of people were allowed to mount the unoccupied trucks; a sudden jerk of the engine threw a boy off, and the train passed over his legs. In falling, the boy nearly pulled a companion with bins; but the second boy was preserved by a third boy, who seized hold of his legs.
While a man was at the bottom of a well sixty feet deep, at Beaconhill, near Bath, the wall gave way, and the well was choked up for upwards of twenty feet ; yet, after many hours' labour, the man was extricated, little hurt, though much exhausted.