NEWS OF THE WEEK.
THE week opened inauspiciously for Ministers. By a large majority, the House of Commons cut down the proposed income of Prince AL- BERT from 50,000/. to 30,00(11. a year. On this occasion the Tories and Radicals united ; and the junction, of course, was too powerful for the Government to withstand. The debate was not very interesting ; nor will it offer much novelty to the reader of this journal, who bears in
mind our remarks on the Royal Marriage-Settlements, three weeks ago, when the impression generally prevailed that whatever sum Ministers might ask, Parliament would grant. when the impression generally prevailed that whatever sum Ministers might ask, Parliament would grant. Mr. Hum:, in a very creditable speech, full of matter bearing on the
question, showed the needlessness and indecency of so extravagant an allowance to Prince AnnEnT. The House laughed when he alluded to the temptations besetting a man of twenty in London with 50,000!. a year ill his pocket ; but the probable consequences of sudden superfluity to a young person accustomed to stint, and certain to be surrounded by a predatory band of sycophants, are serious, and such as it behoved Parliament rather to prevent than induce. Mr. Husns moved to cut down the vote to 21,000/. ; because the Royal Dukes, he said,
received that amount. This had a plausible sound, but, as we for- merly showed, no real analogy. The sum is the same, its application
quite different. Indeed, it was against his better judgment, and in compliance with the suggestion of those around him, that Mr. 111:3tm agreed to vote a shilling to the Prince considering, the Queen's large Civ:1 List enough and to spare fort7te deceat and digniflid expen- diture of the regal establishment in out. times.
The majority against Mr. IlestE's amendment was 305 to 38.
Then came the Tory proposition, to substitute 30,000/. for 50,000/. From Mr. COULBERN'S statement it appeared, that etyang. in addition to the stun previously voted to Queen VICTORIA would make the double Civil List of VicrontA and ALumer 10,00. more than the double Civil
List of WiLmAst and ADELAIDE—nominally ; but really 20,000/. more,
another suns of 10,0001. being saved by redneing the salaries of ccrtaiu officers of the Household. To bring the Civil List of the preseut reign,
therefore, to an equality with that of the last—and which was found to be ample, since, with many illegitimate claims upon him, King WiLlausi lift 11,0001. to his heirs—it was proposed to make Prince ALBERT'S allowance :30,000/. instead of 50,00o/. This ground, adroitly chosen, the Tories firmly maintained. They professed a de-ire to deal liberally with the Sovereign and her Consort. Eennomy, distress of taxpayers, the actual condition of the country—these were considerations of little moment ; lint a certain sum having been sufficient during the last reign, they refused to augment it in the present. Precedents in support of the larger grant were cited by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord hex ItessELL, but easily set aside by Sir Romney PEEL and others. In fact, Ministers had "no case ; " and consciousness of this, perhaps, closed Lord JOHN RUSSELL to overstep the bounds of Parliamentary courtesy and insinuate disloilaky against the Tories: for which he was c:astigated smartly by Sir Bonnier PEEL and Sir JAMES G ItAll.131. The
Tory proposition received the support of a crushing majority-202 to 15s.
The pecuniary saving thus effected is very large. Mr. VILmEns mild see "no difference in principle '' between 30,000/. and 50,000/.;
but if there is such a thing as a of economy—if it is ever de-
!gable to husband the public resources and keep down the piddle tidens—then Lord CLAnExims: s brother ought not to have contented • . lennelt with supporting Mr. HUME'S nunioe, which Ministers lisared
;Ind with retiring beiiire the division on Colonel Sorrnoneins, Oen votes on both sides carried golden eonse:vences. To show that ;nnount of the money in question wa, not utiiMportant. let us that according to the tables,* the :lliuistf:•ial proposition was :livakat to a grant of 1.6;5,000/. The Tory amendment reduced it 1.w.),(moott,, thus effecting a saving of !;7o,t ;Imo/. Surely, Mr. Vits.tEes,
s.ste was a "tangible difference" between the two slims.
On the same evening, an attempt w; :a ma he to sunignie through the liete:o of Lords a measure which purported lobe simply t ge A 1.IIERT'S Naturalization ; " but tacked to it was ZI clause empowering the Qacen to place the young foreigner above all the born Princes of ting.- _ According to the London tables, Prince Ai.n:11T'S expectation of lire is
'!•'_ years ; according 10 the NO1'111:11111/1011 tables, 3:1.1j. 11r inure Ille 111 1 he 11110Vee:11111111111011, heO1111,10 experience falls proved that they Ore 1101 111111 if l'rince A micire possesses the healthy frame he is said 1.10...,cd with, he may rea.Antably be expected to use beintxt/ the 1,,e of nn•Intir. land, in Parliament, in Council, and elsewhere. This is the unaccustomed provision to which we drew attention in the Spectator a fortnight ago. Net a word concerning precedence was mentioned in the title. This omission the Lord Chancellor declared was accidental. Possibly! The Duke of WELLixoTox, however, disliked such misleading mistakes; and he forced Lord MELnounxis to put off the second reading.
The debate on Sir J 01IN YARDE BuLLEn's motion, that " Her Majesty's Government, as at present constituted, does not possess the confidence of the House of Commons," commenced on Tuesday, occupied the House to a late hour on the two following days, and is not concluded at the time we write.
Although Ministers were placed in " the dock," yet, as Sir GEORGE GREY observed, and Lord STANLEY admitted, both the great parties in Parliament were on their trial. Mutual crimination, however, rather than a fair arraignment and just deliverance, seemed the highest object of each. Evidence was adduced ill support of counter-indictments ; there were cross-prosecutions. Were it decorous to pronounce a final verdict at this unfinished stage of the proceedings, we should find both " guilty "—without troubling ourselves about recommendations to mercy.
Let us in the mean time hear what the public accusers lay to each other's charge. By promoting agitation, and placing agitators on the bench of justice,
the Whigs have produced Chartism. Such is their ignorance of the state of the country, that a few days before the Monmouthshire riots broke out, the Attorney-General boasted that he had " extin- guished Chartism." So much for the Executive foresight and pru- dence of the Government. Turn to the finances. Expenditure has outrun income, during the last three years, at the rate of a million an- nually. An holiest Government would have imposed taxes to meet the deficiency ; but the Whigs leave that disagreeable duty to their successors, and raise supplies by loans. At the same time, they consent to a measure by which the deficit must be increased—the Penny Post- age scheme, admitted by themselves to be imprudent. By " opening" the Corn question, they disfavour the landed interest. By encouraging resistence to Church-rates, hostility to the Establishment appears. The Constitution itself is tampered with by supporting time Ballot. In the distribution of military and naval patronage, little note is taken of the advantage of the two services, but votes iu Parliament and political support are secured.
In Ireland, Mr. O'CONNELL is petted by your Vieeroys. He is pre-
pared to renew his agitation for the dismemberment of the empire; he threatens an attack upon England with five hundred thousand fighting men : yet his sons and reluires uLtaiu eireelenoents under the Go- vernment, and he is an honoured guest at Dublin Castle. A Repealer and Tithe Rebel, :Mr. SHELL, is promoted to an important place and made a Privy Councillor ; and Mr. WrsE, an enemy to the Established Church, is selected for a similar honour.
The commerce of the United Kingdom is declining ; and a most im- portant branch of it—the trade with China—entirely stopped. The South American trade also suffers from the French blockade of Buenos Ayres. In India, an expensive war, of which the results are uncertain, drains the resources of the Government. The state of the Colonies in general is elarmiug—except that of Jamaica, where, thanks to the Tories, loyalty has been rekindled and peace restored. Such a condition of affairs at home and abroad argues incapacity in
the Government ; and, looking to the composition of that Government, nothing better could be expected. No two members of it seem agreed on important questions. They are maintained in power 1,y continually de- luding their Radical supporters with expectations which never can be realized. Lacking courage to follow an independent course of action, or rather, knowing that by such a course it would be impossible for them to retain office, they adopt the policy of " open questions "—some members of the Government being advocates of changes denoulice: 1).- others as injurious in the extreme. and such as madmen only could imagine. Unity of design and vigolli in action cannot be looked tar in these men. llow then can reens',,,ne be ilaced in them ?
These were the chief counts in the Tory ',ill of indictment. Miaisterialists retort. that Chartism owes its birth to the Tory agita-
tion against the Poor-law : and to '.fors patronage of OA sri,urt, STE- oll s, and men of' that stamp, who firs: proclaimed tor,11 :mtl ;la " meethms. and taught the masses organization. So far from neeleeting means oe preserving the peace of time conntry. the Government took the precaution to inset:as.. the police and military form of the (H.- :erected distriets ; they suppressed disturbauess i amedielely on their occurrence, mad brought otfenders to trilll and conviction. And this was done without recourse to the old 'Posy helps of spies al-.d informers, by steady ett'lireement of the law, and under a mitigated p,n1 al code.
Whiletlic Tories taunt the Ministry with disimion. what is their own
Ca ,0 e 1 low did Sir lionincr PEE:. like the vituperation of Ca- tholics, and the threats of rei,ealing ills II eller Pi IL which a nume- rous section of his suppretvrs indulged in i 1t•.ostoad he 01:1)0.1 to form a permanent Administration out of such discordant mat eai.11s
enli2thtened statesman at the head of bigots.
Though the Whigs lu.1 repealed six millions of taxes since 1510, the revenue had only mLerease,l about three 'Prue, the.sts7-.
rendition. lied been ausenentel : but why slic■tdd NV hies be Insaitaiinlose' : than Tories for event, in for;itn coantries. neither ratty could prevent As to the inevimble di!lieultiee had bean increased. by the factious conduct I f the Tories at 1 0.110.
ire ho' of the country had not declined. At:then:1c returns of imports and experts, of the nuieber of vessels entering British ports, and of the consumption of various articles, showed improvement in all the leading branches of manufactures and commerce.
" Open questions" had been adopted by the Tory Cabinets, and, should the Tories return to office, must be again. Even on the Corn- laws different opinions existed : witness a late electioneering speech at Devonport by Mr. Dawsox—brother-in-law to Sir ROBERT PEEL. There were evident symptoms of weakness in the Tory phalanx, and dissatisfaction with the leadership. On the recent Privilege debates this animosity to Sir ROBERT PEEL broke forth. On the other hand, movements in a Liberal direction—making the Ballot an open ques- tion, and introducing one of its principal supporters into the Cabinet— procured an accession of strength to the Government, weak only when leaning to Toryism and distrusting popular support. Such was the case attempted to be made out for Ministers and the Liberal party.
As French HENRY the Fourth exclaimed after hearing arguments from learned doctors on the Catholic and Protestant faith, "Ii me scmble, yue tous lea deux out raison," so we are led to the conclusion, that the Tories have pretty well made out that the Whigs are unfit to govern the British empire in these perilous times, and that the Whigs put their adversaries iu a similar predicament. As choice lies between the two factions, the prospects of the country, so far as statesmen can affect them, are rather melancholy.
Some able speeches have been delivered—not displaying the higher powers of oratory, but painstaking and effective. Sir GEORGE GREY was put forward us the Whig champion on the first night of the discussion. He is nitwit improved as a debater. Two sessionsback, he wearied the House, and was " voted a bore." On Tuesday night he kept Members awake, was salient and ready, and carried the war with spirit into the enemy's quarters. Mr. 31.te,tunAv was too pompous and pedantic : he claimed let,ution and attracted ridicule by announcing himself as the "first t 'a .)inet 3linister" who had addressed the House. Though he fol- lowed, he did not reply to Sir ES G u MIA?I; who had delivered one of his elaborate, artful, and weighty speeches—rather tiresome to read, but calculated to damage the Ministry, and certainly requiring an able answer. Mr. MACAULAY is not, and lie gives no promise of becoming, a. good debater : he wandered far from the question, fluently delivering well-conned epigrams and sounding commonplaces, but sagacious states- manship and the eloquence that touches men's souls were wanting. Lord llowicK's speech had a peculiar interest. He stated clearly and candidly his reasons of seeeszion. Lord MELBOURNE had residved to strengthen his Administration, but in a different direction from that whence Lord Ilow IL& conceived aid should be sought. Daving ob- served that the 1:14),4t valuable supporters of the Ministry—the Conser- vative \V constantly dropping off from it, one or two at a time, L4,4.41 14 4',t 4- wished to regain them by a course of resistance to
further c■, I!!_t4s the constitution. Lord Mmatoraxs determined to make his inure Liberal, and Lord llowicK left it. Still, he was not prepared to join in the want-of-confidence vote ; for he did not be- lieve that the opposite party could take or keep the Government. 3Ieauwhile, his speech will have a twofold effect,—the wavering Con- servatives, not yet separated front the Government, will be alarmed ; the Radical Members, who seek excuses fur supporting Ministers, will gladly inter from Lord HowIcK's evidence that the Government is really Liberalized. By ffir the most vigorous assault upon the Treasury Bench came from Lord STANLEY. There was more matter with less of invective than is usually found in that Lord's speeches. He replied to preceding apolo- gists of the Government without breaking the continuity of his own argument. He dealt blow upon blow with rapidity, skill, and force.
The other speeches were, for the most part, commonplace. Mr. HAWES produced useful details on the state of trade. Mr. WARD was rather happy in the attempt to make the entire Tory party responsible for the bigotry of a portion. 11r. Fox Mainz was prepared with a well-got-up defence of the Home Office. Mr. GISBORNE'S jokes were, for once, Meffective. The Tory mover and seconder, Sir J. YARDE BUL- LER and Alderman THOMPSON, were particularly dull. Mr. Comemous, Mr. LASCELLES, Mr. PAKINGTON, and Lord POWERSCOURT, were re- spectable—quite equal certainly to men of the same standing on the other side.