18 MAY 1878, Page 1

The debates in the Lords and Commons on the conduct

of Government in summoning Sepoys to Europe without consulting Parliament are fixed for Monday, Lord Selborne having changed his original day, Thursday, so that the debates may advance pan i possu ; but an anticipatory debate was raised on Monday, during the discussion on the Budget Bill, by Mr. Hussey Vivian, who made a very sharp and decided speech. The Government, he said, had taken the most high-banded course be had ever known, and one for which Lord North had been forced by his own party to bring in a Bill of Indemnity. lie hinted that though the heads of the Ministry were safe, their purses were not, for if Parliament rejected the bill for the Sepoys, who was to pay expenses ? If the act had been done by a Liberal Ministry, the Liberals, who were independent, and not a mere flock of sheep, would have dismissed them for such a violation of the Constitution. There was an utter want of frankness in the Ministry, which had "sent the British Fleet into the Sea of Marmora with a lie in its mouth," saying it was to protect British subjects, whereas it was to protect British influence in the East. "It seemed to him that the Government had cast a slight upon Parliament, and that its conduct had been in the highest degree unconstitutional." Sir S. Northcote replied, taking the line that he had not time to put the Indian expenses in his Budget. He stated that the principle of summoning Indian troops had been accepted on March 27th,—the day before Lord Derby resigned,—but the orders were not given till April 12th, after the Budget. As the Viceroy of India telegraphed on April 16th that all was ready, he must have had his orders long before, and this elaborate statement of dates is therefore either a shuffle, or an admission that an inner Cabinet gives orders of the last importance before the general body of Ministers bear of them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer affirmed, however, that if there had been time, he should have been silent, as the movement—which, be it remembered, he last week described as a mere movement of her Majesty's troops from one station to another—was of a kind in which secrecy was necessary to success.