13rhatr5 nut rur biiig iiiVorkamtut
IPRINCIPAL 131716INESS OF THE WEER.
House or LOBES. Monday, April 15. The Brick-duties Bill palmed through Committee.
Twesdoy, April 16. 'Exchequer Bills Intl, and Brick-duties Bill, read a third time
Thursday, April is. Finites (Head-money) Bill, read a second time, after debate. Friday, Apri119. Petition of the Guardians of the Union of Carrick-on-Shannon, for inquiry into official fraud. Horse or .Commoss. .Monday, April 15. Notice of a Bill -to diminish ,Chancery -Delays and Expenses ; Mr. Turner—The Church in Malta—Notice of a Bill to Abo- lish the 'Irish office of Lord Lieutenant ; Lord John Russell—Stamp-duties Bill, con- sidered in Committee; Ministers defeated on a proposed reduction, try 164 to 135— Thursday—Medical Charities (Ireland) Bill, read a second tune—Process and Prac- Securities for Advances,.5w.rerreland) Bill, second reading; debate adjourned till tice (Ireland) Bill, considered .as amended—Indemnity Bill 'passed through •Corn- mittee—Metropolitan Interments Bill, read a first time—Ceara Pritons Bill, read a first time—Railway Abandonment 13in, read a first time.
Tuesday, April 16. Fixed Duty on Corn ; Mr. Grantley Berkeley's Motion post- poned till 14th May—Poor-rates; Mr. Trelawney's Motion postponed till 19th May —.Notices of Motion, for a Commission of inquiry into Ionian Riots and Grievances, by Mr. Hume; intothe state of the Church of Ireland, by Mr. Roebuck ; into the 'law relating to Cultivation of Tobacco in Ireland, Thy Colonel Dumm—"Taxee on Knowledge"; Mr. Milner Gibson's Motion, debated and negatived—Investments for the Savings of the Poor ; Select Committee granted to Mr. Slaney—Indian Patronage ; Mr. Sadlew's Motion for returns negatived. Wednesday. April 17. Australian Colonies Bill--Secular F.ducation.: second read- of Mr. Fox's Education Bill debated; debate adjourned till the 2d May. fllursday, April HI Mr. O'Connor's National Land Scheme—Larceny Jurisdic- tion Bill, debated in 'Committee; bill reported as amended—Marriages Bill, in Com- mittee ; debate.aourned till the 16th May—Naval Prize Balance Bill, read a second time—Indemnity Bill, read a third time and passed. :Friday, April 19. Sir Benjamin Hall and Mr. O'Connor—Australian'Colonies Bill, debated in Committee, with.ditisions--Mereantile Marine IiiiisvitintraWn, to be re- introduced with modifications.
Hour of Hour of Meeting. Adjoununent.
flour Of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment.
Monday bh . 5h 30m Monday 4h . (na) IR 15m Tuesday — . 6h 22m Tuesday — ..... 12h 110m Wednesday Na Sitting. Wednesday Noon,... bh 20m Thursday eh Oh 25m Thursday • 4h . tes .1h as Friday — .... 711 36m Friday
Sittings this Week, 4; Time, 4h 52m Sittings this Week, 6; Time, 4Ih bm this
OCN3011; 37 ; 18h 51m
Sessiou,48; —374h fax
A critical discussion, indicating much dissatisfaction with the general tendency of the Stamp-duties Bill, arose on the motion that the Speaker do leave the chair.
Mr. 'GonLEURN observed, that the new ad-valorem or percentage prin- ciple is hastily adopted : if they decided on adopting an amount in the lowest scale sufficient to produce the adequate revenue, it would operate in the higher scale with such extreme oppression as to be inoperative for revenue purpose's. A mortgage of 60,000/. would now -be liable to 25/. duty—it is proposed to take 2501.; and if you go-to 150,0001. then 750/. Ingenuity will evade such oppressive payments ; especially as bills of ex- change are to be left perfectly open. Mr. MuLusios was of opinion that the duties on mortgages, which are to be relieved as-far as loans of about 1,0001., but are tremendouslyincreased after that amount, -will produce a larger revenue than the existing one, instead of causing a loss of 300,000/., as-the Chancellor of the Exchequer assumes. Mr. HENLEY and Mr. DISRAELI concurred in this view, and made it the basis of a charge of false pretences. The measure was origi- nally brought forward as a boon to agriculture : 300,000/. of surplus re- venue was to be abandoned to small landowners ; whereas it -seems that 300,0001. morale to be taken from them: at all events, suppose there be no additional tax, the pretended remission is a juggle ;.for the Chancellor of the Exchequer now says the 300,000/. benefit is to be given to the small land- owners out of the pockets of the large owners—the small duties are to be decreased, but the high duties exaggerated. Sir 'CHARLES WOOD defended 'himself erith animation. He had from the first stated that the application of the adevalorem principle would be to diminish the small dirties and increase the large duties. A far larger sum than the 300,0001. will be lost to the revenue -on the -smaller duties : the gain on the larger duties only reduces the loss so' as to leave a net loss of 300,0001.: the last sum will therefore be given to the small owners from the pocket of the State, and not from the pockets of the larger owners. Mr. BRIGHT felt so puzzled by the details of the measure--he was sure not three persons in the House besides the Chancellor of the Exchequer understood them— that he was anxious for a reference of the whole question to a Commis- sion or a Committee of the House. He felt some of the injustice alleged, of levying the ad-valorem duty in the same proportion on very large amounts as on ordinary ones.; and joined in the doubt whether the bill as • a whole would -not increase rather than remit taxation. -Some 'Members asked poetponementef-the-measme' for farther study of it; other Mem: here raged that the ad-valorem duty should commence at a much lower starting-point than is proposed by the measure—Mr. MrrerrELL proposed 1-8th per cent. Lord Jo me RUSSELL refused the postponement; and ob- jected to appointing a Commission or a Select Committee, as the ad-va- lorem principle seems generally approved 14 and the Committee of the whole House is well suited -to settle amounts. He urged practical pro- gress in Committee.
The House went into Committee. It was stated that the measure would operate on all' instruments signed after the 5th July 1850. Clause 6, imposing the conditions on which inert-untits may be post-stamped,
provides that interest on thenmount 'of the stamp not paid shall be added exiting penalty. The indent -on -very large SUMS has been wroatfully saved by purchasers foreaventy-five or thirty years, and the dame will prevent this. aanceming tothe Betegoef duties, Mr. MuLenees proposed a elnange of Bre duty on agreements -tailed the progressive duty "—the duty proportioned to the length of the instrument. The ArroRNEr-GENERAL opposed the alteration, as a sacrifice of revenue, and as a removal of a check on prolixity : but the Cressiczeecat of the In- CHEQUER premised to consider it. Sir CHARLES WOOD SISO intimated his resolution propose a still further reduction on bonds and mortgages than he at first proposed. The existing duty on a loan of 501. is 11.; the schedule fixes the duties uniformly at a half per cent : he proposed 1-4th per cent : in place of the os. marked in the schedule for 501. of loan, he proposed to take 28. 6de; and so .on. Several Members here renewed their strictirres on the ad-valorem principle ; with-the-view of obtaining a sufficiently low integer as the minimum whence to rise—Mr. Diamtvai conceded that they were all agreed to adopt the principle. Sir HENRY WsLeormsurr moved-that-the duty be is. on 601., instead of 28. 6d., 'as the Chancellor of the Picchequer proposed. Sir VILAICLES WOOD objected— some regard must be had to revenue : the further reduction he himself proposed-would add 70000/. to the sacrifice .of 300,000/. which he origi- nally
After some discursive conversation, the House divided, and affirmed Sir Henry Willoughby's amendment, by 164 to 135 ; a result the announee- ment of which raised great cheering.
Sir 'CHARLES WOOD immediately stated, that in consequence of this-de- cision, the Government would proceed with the billtio farther that night. He did not assent to the proposition implied by the vote ; "but not knowing what the effect out of doors of this vote will be, though I know it will involve a serious loss of revenue, I must take time to consider be- fore further proceeding with the measure."
"Taxes ON KNOWLEDGE."
Mr. MrrerER GIBSON'S 'notion was moulded in the following quadruple form- " Whereas all taxes-which directly impede the diffusion of knowledge are highly injurious to the public interests, and are most impolitic sonnies of revenue, this House is of opinion—
lit, That such financial arrangements ought to beinade as will enable Parlia- ment to repeal the excise-duty on paper. -" 24, That it is expedient to abolish the starap-duties now payable on newspa- pers in Great Britain and Ireland. ".34, That it is expedient to abolish the duties now payable on advertisementsin Great Britain and Ireland.
"4th, And that the customs-duty on foreign books ought-to be repealed." He separately enforced each of -these propositions ; and as his 'speech was more marked by effectiveness of arrangement and statement than by newness of matter, it will 'suffice to indicate and characterize his topics.
The .exchseeluty on paper produces a net revenue of about 750,000/. There are serious considerations against it unconnected with the diffusion of know-
ledge. Is it, for instance, in the power of the -Government, by any device, to protect the honest from the dishonest dealer ? -The unfair competition in the case of tobacco, 'or wine and spirits, is not tole compared to -that which
takes place in the paper-manufacture ; yet, after all the most vexatious in-
terference, the Government is baffled. The dry-pciper manufacturer, -whom Government tried to suppress, now defies them as a "felt-manufacturer,"-
producing a non-exciseable " felt" that effectively competes with the ex- ceseable paper. Mr. Crompton has stated that the repeal would lead to the direct and -subsidiary employment of 40;000 people in London alone. We are trtally driven out of our own Colonies in British America by the paper of the United States, France, Germany, and Italy. But the effeet of the duty in preventing the diffusion of knowledge is the most important. The suppression of Chamber? s Miscellany, and the prevented reissue of Mr. Charles Xmglit's Penny Cyclopedia, from the pressure of the duty, are gross in- stances of this effect : but even in the more expensive description of books, speculations are -checked by the immensely increased risk; especially since you cannot bond your books, as you may your tobacco or gin, and pay .duty only on what you use, but you must pay equally for all that arc published whether sold or not.
The stamp-duties payable -on newspapers yield about 350,000/. He did not propose to alter the postal part of the question : all the duty paid for postage—a very large proportion—would therefore still be paid. There are
already fifty-three registered newspapers that publish portionsof their impression without a sta e. ; lie asked the extension of this privilege to all.
He dwelt on the unjust 8, else caprices which permit this privilege 'to hu- morous and scientific weekly periodicals and even to the candlestick and candelabrum circular of an advertizing tradesman-.-" Savory's Newspaper" —but deny it to the avowed "news" -columns of the daily press ; and he especially showed 'by extracts from a hea_p of unstamped newspapers before him, that the greatest possible evil is committed on the poorest reading classes by thus .denying them that useful fact and true exposition which would be the beet antidote tothtemiciorrs principles now disseminate d among them by the cheap imetam press. There is no reason but this duty why the poor man -should not have his permy and even his halfpenny newepaper, to give him the leading facts and the important ideas of the passing tinie • and information eminently calculated to prevent that congestion of labour so Manifest and so injurious in past times, at particular districts where improvements in machinery have been made, or new motive powers dis- covered. With such -welcome information, the displaced artisan would be
prevented from degenerating into the listless, hopeless pauper, and sent an active enterprising seeker of occupation in new distuicts—perhaps, under the same paternal government, in new climes. Thus papers might be of infinite importance both in expounding great questions to the artisan mind and in 'facilitating the great movements of his industrial class.
The tax on advertisements inflicts all its injustice, checking information, fining poverty, mulcting charity, depressing literature, and impeding every
species of mental activity, to realize /50,000/. per annum : and the me- mos tax on knowledge in the shape of the duty on foreign books—a most heavy and impeding tax on the importation of foreign classics—is im- posed for the sake of no more than 8,000!. a year! Mr. Gibson concluded by expressing his firm conviction that unless these taxes were removed, and the proeress of knowledge by that and every other possible means facilitated, evils most terrible would -arise in the future,—a not unfit retribution for the gross iuipolicy of the Legislature.
Mr. Cowes seconded the motion and enforced it by facts from his ex- perience as one of the most extensive manufacturers in the kingdom ; declaring that the Excise system is rather calculated to invite than to check frauds. Addressing the benches opposite—which were nearly empty—he said he could hold out prospects to gentlemen connected with agriculture, if the duty were repealed.
He had received, a few days ago, some specimens of paper manufactured at establishments with -which he was connected, and nearly all of which were
produced from indigenous vegetable materials which lad not hitherto been employed in this country, though they had been in others, in the manufacture of paper. An attempt was made a few years ago, by a company in Glou- cestershire, to manufacture paper from straw ; but w.henteetated, that While .the cost of the raw material was 2.1. a hundredweight, the duty was 14a. 9d. Abe hundredweight, gentlemen weuld not be surprised that the undertaking
had not been successful. He had in his possession some paper made so long ago as the year 1800 from straw ; .and he could show that, but for them-
cubes imposed upon the paper-make:shy the present excise system, that pe- culiar manufacture would be by this time, in consequence, of the .advanee of denoe, have been brought to a high state of perfection.
The .CLIANCELL011 of the EaCKF.QUER resisted the motion, on grounds proper to his office : the House had already approved of his division of the surplus ; the surplus is already absorbed, therefore; and he could by .sso means consent to gacrifiee so large an amount of revenue.
He declared, too, that part of the effect of Mr. Gibson's speech as due to saner-trances which chiefly existed in his imagination : the capricioumeas of
the Excise had been overdrawn ; the hinderances and inconveniences alleged in the ease of the paper-manufacture do not exist, for the process of the manufacture is wholly -uninterfered with; and the only " interference " is the weighing of the paper when it is made. Sir Charles addressed a few worth to the House generally, on the subject of the various propositions forrepeal of taxation made or to be made within a short time. Hoping he was not more nervous than a Chancellor of the 33xchequer might properly be on .finance questions, he seriously apprehended -that if the present course were to be pursued, a surplus would be more astrous than udeficieney. If the House wilfully and deliberately created a deficiency, a leer even of -" repudiation" might not unreasonably be enter- tained, and a most dangerous wound upon the character and credit of the country would be inflicted.
Mr. ROEBUCK contemned the -Chancellor of the Exchequer's bad and narrow political arithmetic, which left wholly out of view the paramount necessity for instructing the great mass of the people. When the con- dition of such millions of men is at stake, of what importance are mere fiscal considerations?
He was sick of the word "charity." Give the pal* instruction, and they would spurn the charity of the House. A liberal Administration would be the first to strike down all fiscal regulations and restrictions upon the edu- cation of the people ; but Lord John Russell's Administration was not of that sorts He has hung on to office, -tided over difficulties, and not sought to raise the omnipotent people in his support. (Cheers from the Opposition, among which Mr-.1tOebitek stood.) He assured them they were centuries behind. (Laughter.) That laughter he eared not for. Let those around him not dream of resuscitating protection. "It is idle : once attain • and we will_put you under our heeL" The tide was rolling on to raise John ; but he had a narrow tqsirit, a contracted mind—though a boldness and courage always to be aduured. If, however, he do not mount the flood, it will overwhelm him, and he will be as nothing in the multitude of sur- rounding waters. 'The education which the Hoare refuses, the Socialists from the other side of the water will give. The masses are learning-their power II= those teachers of the strength of-combination. They will put you down to a certainty ; but they won't know bow to direct their power for the good of mankind. Per God's sake, therefore, Allow us to give the in- struction which these vast multitudes need, who are destined -to exeroise power in this country." He had always supported a large increase of the franchise ; he had done so with his eyes open ; but he had done so in the hope that the Government would not put themselves in opposition to the education of the people. There was nothing pleasant to contemplate in the spectacle of an uneducated, excited, and ignorant multitude possessing the power of this vast empire. But they must and would have it ; and be ad- dressed himself to those who had in their hands the mighty interests of this kingdom and he called upon them to discard these petty coneeptions—to be no longer a Iffinisn'y clinging to office—to expand and exsdt thew minds, and to say to those who direct public opinion in this country, "Weave about to raise the people to exercise and appreciate the great business of empire : the tide of time willmise them up to that position; we cannot peevent the censum- roation ; but we are about to instruct the million of our -countrymen to un- derstand their own interest, and understanding it, to minister to the interest of mankind" Lord JOHN RUSSELL enforced the financial objections put forwarll 1}y Sir Charles Wood, and then turned to reply to Mr. Roebuers political raid social criticisms.
The honourable and learned gentleman eaid, the whole fault was that he (Lord John) had a contracted mind. He could not help the censure of the honourable and learned gentleman. So it was, and so it must be. He could not rise to theleights of the honourable and learned gentleman's magnificent sweep ; but be trusted that he warrnot =favourable to the progress of know- ledge, and to the reduction of these duties when it could be done. There is great exaggeration in the benefits stated to be derived from the abolition of these taxes. The very phrase itself, "taxes on knowledge," is an exaggeration. It is 4‘ very desirable that the people in general ahould have political intelligence ; and when they are able to by newspapers, 1 think it is very fit that all the political concerns of the ,country should be known" : hut much of the matter contained in the newepapers is hardly to be dignified by the name of knowledge. Mr. Gibson had shown what was the mischief of the unstaruped press; and he read some articles "from what I suppose were =stamped papers ; lout they veally seemed to me to be like some of the articles of the stamped papers. There is the character of Lord Grey, that I really Amid have thought was written by Jacob Oinninin,' a writer in the daily press. 'The perils of France are held up as a warn ; but the present state of Trance is not ,cosing to any erscessive price of newspapers, nor to any want of general instruction among the people. I am told that for a halfpenny you may 'obtain a newspaper in Paris full of the most ingenious sophisms, and -the 'cleverest writing, with all the intelli- gence of the day ; and that schoolmasters are spread throughout France. unfortunately, these newspapers contain attacks not only against the Government of the day but Against all government. They are newspapers that endeavour to make government impossible, and their schoolmasters are schoolmasters who endeavour to make religion odious:" The people of this country have been long accustomed to political discussion, to knew and take part in the political create ef this, smuntry. " The nseu ofsEngland are men who have been proud of the whit:rice ef England ; they are men who have been proud of the intelligence of the people of England ; they are men who love the religion of their country ; and, having -these feelings, they have watched with anxiety,- theyshAve watched with care, every tun of events in their country; and while they have followed some ministers and some chiefs with admiration and with enthusiasm, they have been as ready tereondenm others for -their incompetency and thew unfitness. Now, Sir, the honourable and learned gentlemantelisine'thatl carefornothing, and that those-who are my celleagues care for nothing, but holding on toplaee. 'Why, itis 'but 'a few days ago that I was rispmached with respect to the slave-trade, that I WBB wantonly causing a great public mischief by declining that I was um-willing to retain office unless my opinions on that question were assented to by the House. I am ready to submit to other imputations, feeling confident that I am not guilty in either respect. So long as we can maintain the principles on which we think the greatness of England has been founded—so long as we can maintain this country in the possession of those great benefits which she has the happiness to -enjoy—so long as we can keep her in the pursuit ' of that path which has 'been placed by Providence for her course—so long it I will be a matter of pride to us to he the foremost advisers of our Sovereign. ' If it should please this House to take a course which we ahould disagree
with, which we should think humiliating or disgraceful to the country to which we belong, then our names must be severed from the possession of power, and we could only lament that the House had taken a course which we thought unfortunate. lash the House to show to the ocamtry that you are determined to maintain that credit which is worthy of the people you SepreStel
Mr. Disnerat would not indulge in those general and passionate flights which had characterized the harangues just heard ; nor would he enter into the .causeswhy, After the-reduction of 9,000,000/. of taxes on-trade and commerce, they atiliformd, year after year, day after day, and hour after hour, the burden of taxation grow snore grievous and oppressive ; nor was it necessary to criticize that immortal budget, -the happy accident of a surplus, whose chief feature was a proposition of relief from the duty on bricks, which was heard with derision by those who were to be re-
But before dealing practically with the miappropriated surplus of 4,00090004 he would especially impress on friends around him, that " there .18 nothi.ing more dangerous—there is nothing more to be deprecated—than to make in-this House the offer to relieve the people from taxation always a question between town and country. The question of relief from taxation should be always a general,and national question. And if at any time at this side of the House, so far as I-am individually concerned, any proposal for the relief el taxation has been brought forward ostensibly /or the purpose of rdie-ting one class only, it was because that class was universally con- fessed to be, not only the most suffering class, but the only suffering class. It should be remembered that, motwitharsodieg the events of last night, the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not come forward at half-past four o'clock today and frankly tell us what he intended to do with this surplus. Ho did not tell us whether he meant to proceed with his measure respecting the stamp-duties-or not. He has left us in complete obscurity on that subject." They had therefore to consider, whether it would be most to the advantage of the country that the Prrisp-duty on paper should be repealed, or that the Chancellor of the, Exchequer should retain a sum in his possession, for the discreet exercise of wh:w.li there is no security whatever. In Mr. Disraeli's opinion, the first resolution was a prudent, politic, and be- neficial motion which ought to be assented to. He asked then—"Shall wg be prevented from assenting to a resolution so justified by circumstances, so practical in its chorortar and beneficial as it must be in its results, by the en- sanguined phantoms of a revolutionary republic conjured up before us and the possible catastrophe indicated in sentences ? After all that we hare seared this somewhat eventual session, especially as regards finance— after all we have seen, respecting the African squadron, to which, from mo- tives of dedicaey I intended not to allude, and which, from the uneasiness expressed an that aisle of the House whenever the subject is referred to, has thrown a shade of darksome tint over the Liberal beadles—after all we wit- nessed last night, and all we may witness in imbue, I trust the House will not be 'frightened from tak ing that course which is justified by circiunstancee ; a course which is consist, with the state of the exchequer, and in accord. &nee with public opinion.' The House divided upon the first resolution ; and negatived it, by 190 to M. The -second, third, and. fourth resolutions, were negatived without a division.
The second reading of Mr. Fox's Education 13111 was opposed by Mr. STAFFORD ; on the -two grounds of respect to religious convictions, and the danger of too great a State interference involving all the evils of a cen- tralizing system. The author of -the bill bad entirely avoided defining the epithet which he prefixes to the title of the bill—the -word " secular" - there is no indication of whats"eceular" is. He would tell the author what it is believed not to be: it is believed not to be religious, -and not being religious, to be irreligi- ous; and the timewill come when the people will affix a stronger epithet and ask if 4' atheistic" be not its gynonyme. -None of the great organs of public opinion on education have declared themselves in favour of this secular prin- ciple; even in the various documents published by the British and Foreign Sehool-Society--the Noneonformastorgan —there isnot a single sentence which does not entirely oppose the plan. Public feeling is indeed again& the bill, as one that could not advance a step further in the House without violating scruples constantly put forward, And convictions demonstratively
Under the guise of local self-government, the bill transfers the e of the power to the Committee of Education, who alone possess the initiative, and who after all detennine on final appeal. In a • ing -parish the application might be refused ; and in an unwilg parish, where peaceful education was
dis- turbed by a letter summoning the rate-payers to submit a turd another already proceeding -satisfactorily, they aught be one snerning4tahretited and die- morning struck dumb with -a plan which they must accept w her or not, and must carry out at their ovrn cost. Parishes without restrictions may be combined, and expenses without limit incurred. Scotland, Ireland, anti Christianity, are excluded from the hills and a system is treated which com- bines all the despotism of tyranny with all the confusion of anarchy in order to give ascendancy to the smallest and worst sect among us—the iteet of the Seoularizors.
Mr. -Stafford therefore moved as an amendment, that the -bill be read a se- sand time that day nix months.
'The Earl of IIRUNDEL and 'Seitaxir seconded the amendment ; and maintained that all ,experienee is against the conclusion that secular edu- cation is consistent 'With religion. He read extracts from various works to show the tendency of a system of education without religionin foreign countries ; and then warped the House, that in this country there are hooks of a high intellectual -character, beauta fully 'written and 'widely Aireulated, which would utterly destroy every ves- tige of the Christian religion. W, . slating says the Prussian educatonal system isa failure.; itisa -training that has not raised but lowered the human character. Religion M. &gland is not too firmly placed to be above fear from such experiments : the sore is already open4 And it is impossible to say how deeply the -poison has entered Icaueseah writings as those in the "Catholic Seeds" published by Chapman—noteriand praised as they are by respectable prints. .Popular Christiauity, by Mr. T. J. Feitton—no lo a " clergyman of the Church of Ragland," it is .to he hopedTs of "indefinite doctrine" alb" "inspiration af tha Sctipt o the "really Pagandoettine cf the divinity of. Chriatasnowtaught au at the "fatal and futile ' doctrine -of teaching • by ".dqgmatical creeds and.articies." A ildiscourse of _iliattem ..E'ertaialug to's/las:gifts by Theodore Parker 'of Mas- sauhussetts, "written inmost Attractive lauguage," _contents the most hor- rible And subversive doctrines : admits 'no Autho.rity but that of man's reison, and no revelation besides that of Nature, yet listens to and honours one of the best expounders of God and Nature in the Man of Nazareth." Mr. Newman, brother of Father Newman, in his book called The Soul de- nies the existence of a Mediator ; and another author, in Reverberations, a little book of very pretty poetry, writes- " What help for hourly errors shall I find ?
How tread the dangerous path that must be trod Guileless and simple be in heart and mind : Live bravely, man, and leave the rest to God."
Those who propagate these views are as zealous as priests in propagating the faith, and such measures as the present bill are precisely the cloak they
long. for. The present skirmishing-party may be driven in, but the two armies are joined ;. the battle-cry is "Religion or Irreligion,' "God or the Devil" ; and the issue to fight for is "Heaven or Hell."
Mr ROEBUCK said, he now felt how bold a man was the introducer of this bill.
The honourable mover of the amendment had come with his quiver full of arrows, feathered with epithets, and barbed with imputations: in a melliflu-
ous voice and well-poised sentences, he had nakedly clerg.d the supporters of the bill with supporting Atheism. The noble seconder had followed with quoted doctrines which have as little to do with the bill as the doctrines of every saint in the calendar. No doubt objecting to the Reformation as the first great deviation from the right path, and showing only one-half of the meaning in the mind, he had sought to influence the House through its fears .and prejudices. One could imagine one of his ancestors, an Earl of Surrey before the days of Henry the Eighth, thundering against a measure of this kind, as impious, heretical, and accursed, saying—" Here is a man who is sowing poisonous seed ; mark what the harvest will be. You will find in the course of three hundred years a people great in every art and science, leading mankind on to every possible discovery ; but you will not find them crouch- ing at the feet of a priest—they will be heretics, whose souls are in danger of damnation." There is the same spirit in the honourable Member and in the noble Lord. The noble Lord represents Grandmother Church; the ho- nourable gentleman Mother Church ; and, no doubt, many on the Ministerial aide represent some of her improper daughters : all equally find it im- possible to mingle cheerfully in a true Christian spirit with those who differ from them on doctrinal points. Far from him be it to declare either of them, or any of the Dissenters in the House, unfit to teach or expound the doctrines of ordinary morality. He hoped he had formed his mind to receive every man as a brother, without reference to his opinions upon the mysterious sub- jects about which they were probably all in the wrong. He only asked obe- dience to the law, and the conduct of a good man ; and he left it between the man and the Creator to decide whether the man's opinions of the Creator were correct. He vindicated the right of the people to educa- tion; and maintained that as a matter of mere police, the education of the people comes within the limits of the Government. Lord Ashley, from his benevolent experiences among the poor of the Ragged Schools, could testify that all the separated and disjointed efforts now making are impotent to diminish the MIES of vice which is fostered beneath hideous ignorance. Every day the evil grows ; every day private benevolence will become less effective to mitigate misery, and justice less able to repress crime. We pass laws, send forth an army of judges and barristers to administer the laws, and erect prisons and place aloft gibbets to enforce the laws ; but religious bigotry prevents the chance of our controlling the evil at the source by so teaching the people as to prevent the crimes we _strive to punish. Secular education would open and strengthen the child's mind to receive the religious instruction of his natural guardians at home. Educa- tion fashions the mind for the due performance of duty in this world, and by enabling such due performance here, fits man for the hereafter. In all the broad principles of morality there is no difference among the Christian sects : differences on mysterious doctrinal points alone stand in the way of the general education of the people. The author of the bill asked himself, can- not there be such a division of the duty of teaching as that all may apply themselves united to forward one part of education, and all apply themselves separated to forward the other portion. Mr. Roebuck rejoiced at Mr. Fox's courage, hailed his superior intellectual help to the cause, and promised him
• every possible council and support.
Lord ASHLEY believed, that this is indeed only the beginning of a series of conflicts; and he confessed his deep alarm that the propounders of this measure will persevere in their course, and renew again and again their attacks on the religious education of the country. He quoted statistics to show that the common comparison of the quantity of education in this country with that of foreign countries is very fallacious. The estimates of schools in this country take no note at all of our universities and great schools, or of the establishments maintained by private benevo- lence: one-third must be added to the estimate on this account. The Prus- sian average is greatly exaggerated, and instead of being one in six is nearer one in nine. There should be in England and Wales about 1,700,000 chil- dren requiring eleemosynary education ; there are according to calculations, about 1,300,000,—leaving a deficiency of about 4b0,000; and if so large a number as this attend no school, there are causes besides deficiency of edu- cational means enough to account for it. How many thousands of children from five to thirteen years old are employed in labour from ten to eighteen hours a day ? Look to the metal works of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Sheffield; the pin-works, the nail-making, and calico-printing, in War- rington, in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Derby- shire, Kent ; the hosiery in Nottingham, Leicester, Derby ; the lace-mills ; the tobacco-manufacturers in London. If our means were far greater, we could not obtain the desired proportion of children. If we would carry out a system of day schools in this country, we must revise our whole system of infantile labour. The scheme of the bill would confer enormous power on the Committee of Council ; it would financially extinguish all existing schools ; yet it is impracticable from wanting the sympathy of any one great body of Christians in this country. Seven-tenths of the people are wiilin to receive education according to the doctrines and discipluis of the Churef of England ; the whole according to the Scriptures. Religion has carried this country through famine and disease, and through long and perilous wars : it is this day proposed to us, " Chow ye this day whom ye will serve"; he believed he might answer for the millions of this country, as for himself, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Lord Joins Russ= was willing to make every admission either to the author or the principle of the measure respecting the lamentable want of education for the poor ; and he thought it would be unjust to infer that if the schools were established the doctrines referred to would be preva- lent among its teachers.
He doubted very much, if Parliament at once established the schools, and gave secular education to the people, whether all religious education must ONISO to mist. But that was not the question : with the prevalent habits of the people, they are disinclined to such exclusively secular education ; on the contrary, rather than accept such they would throw themselves on the Pro- testant clergy and the Roman priesthood. Admitting that there must be some cases where secular education alone could be obtained, he thought that any national system excluding religion must be lamentably deficient. If it were totally impossible to agree on any mode of religious instruction he should pay, better have secular education than none; but nothing shore of extreme and absolute necessity could justify the omission of religion. The bill is very different from all this. It is despotic in its operation. The Inspector is to report his "opinion," without data or reasons ; and on that wide dis- cretion the Committee of Council is to have the power of ordering the appointment of a local committee ; and if the order be refused, they may send forth their edict to levy such rates and taxes as they may think necessary. When the Education Committee of the Privy Council was first established, Lord Lansdowne wrote to Lord John Russell to say he considered its power ought to be limited to the disposal of grants voted by Parliament. The grant is first made by Parliament, and then the Com- mittee disposes of it according to the regulations laid before Parliament: if the grant is not made the Committee has no power : but by the bill, "a power of taxation" is given, perhaps extending to an amount of three mil- lions—an enormous power of taxation for an object not asked nor desired by those who would have to pay for it. The bill would altogether destroy ex- isting schools ; for "when so much was demanded in rates, the voluntary system must fail." Now he thought it would be extremely hard that those who had spent their money, their time, and much labour in establishing schools upon the religious basis which they held sacred, should have their purposes defeated by such a measure. The Church of England is clearly op- posed to the bill; the Wesleyan community opposes an earnest protest against its principle ; and he had every reason to believe that the objections of the Wesleyan body are held with equal earnestness by the great mass of the people. He therefore felt compelled to vote for the amendment.
Lord John, however, repeated his conviction that we ought not to be sa- tisfied with what we have done; and thought it desirable to obtain fuller in- formation than Parliament now possesses as to what is the real extent of the educational means now in operation, and on the questions whether the ex-
isting deficiency of education arises from the want of schools, from the poverty of the people, or from the continuous employment of the children at too early an age. Mr. Mosterrom Missms cordially supported the bill, in the absence of any other proposition ; believing it would not interfere with a sound re- ligious education. Mr. Hums regretted Lord John Russell's opposition, as contrary to the whole t,enour of his previous conduct and opinions. The Marquis of BLANDFOR.D concurred in the arguments so ably and re- ligiously urged against the measure.
On the motion of Mr. ANSTEY, the debate was adjourned to Thursday the 2d of May. LARCENY SUMMARY JURISDICTION Buss An obstinate and diversified attempt to defeat the Larceny Summary Jurisdiction Bill was made on the motion to go into Committee. 'Mr. Mr. M`Ctuasscut moved to go into Committeeon that day six months.; and was supported by Sir GEORGE STR/CKLAND, Mr. LAW, and others, with speeches against the principle of the bill. The amendment was negatived, by 133 to 76. The House went into Committee ; and the Chairman announced the instruction of the House, given on a former day; that the Committee should have power to divide the clauses relating to the age of the offender from those relating to the value of the theft. fir JON& Remixes= said, he considered that former vote to have been got by surprise as he had no notice of it : he would therefore proceed with the bill undivided. Mr. LAW explained, that he did give notice of an equivalent amendment, which was changed only to comply with technical requirements. He moved the omission of all words relating to adults. On a division, Mr. Law's amendment was carried, by 102 to 50. Mr. Hums wished progress to be reported, and the bill printed in two parts ; but Sir Joins Peunserom induced the Committee to go on with the whole bill, dealing only with the parts not referring to adults. A smart discussion then arose on the main features of the bill. Mr. Roman= denounced it, as a measure to extend to magistrates the pleasure of flog- ging up to sixteen, which at present they only enjoy over boys up to four- teen ; and he insisted, with some piquancy of phrase, on the unfitness of magistrates in petty sessions to be the recipients of any increase of juris- diction. Sir Jomis Pexuserrom complained of the personal asperity of Mr. Roebuck ; who was so accustomed to indulge his sarcasm that he must always give point to his speeches by attacking somebody. Sir GEORGE GREY deprecated personalities ; and, with Mr. AGLIONIW, (who was not afraid of Mr. B.oebuck's hard words,) Mr. DENISON, and Mr. Mnasas, supported the extension of summary jurisdiction which the bill proposes. The discussion growing very general, Colonel Timm:nos ob- served, that the knotty point before the House appearedlo be, at what age posterity should be whipped : he was for not whipping at all, and should regulate his vote as soon as any issue arose. Mr. Lew presented an issue, by moving that the Chairman leave the chair. This was nega- tived, by 70 to 61. Mr. ROEBUCK renewed his contest against whipping "men of sixteen "; and moved that words be inserted substituting the age of fourteen for that of sixteen. He was supported by Mr. MTULLAGH, Mr. HENRY Diunamossi, and Mr. Plums HOWARD—who adduced the civil law as authority for siring the limit of fourteen as the distinction between the juvenile and the adult. The amendment was negatived, by 84 to 78. Sir GEORGE STRICKLAND again renewed the contest, by moving a pro- viso that the punishment of whipping should not be inflicted on offenders above the age of fourteen. Mr. ROEBUCK renewed the battle with such extreme energy as to cause some amusement to the House. Speaking of himself, he could say, that if anybody had laid hands upon him as a boy — (Much laughter.) He only spoke what he felt as an m- dividual upon this subject, and he had a right to suppose that the same feel- ings that he experienced were felt in the breast of the peasant. (Cheere.) The debate was kept up, with much repetition of old argument, by Members who were not present early in the evening. Mr. Musrrz spoke on the same aide and in somewhat the same vein with Mr. Roebuck, but with the additional effect due to his grave and substantial port—
They were boys at fourteen; but, for himself, be must say that at sixteen he felt very muck like a man. He never received a stripe in his life • and when he was sixteen he would have been a clever fellow who attempted it. All the difference lay in the period betwixt fourteen and sixteen years of age; and he would never vote for the degradation which must follow the scour- ging of one who had reached the latter.
Sir Romurr PEEL summed up the arguments, and added his authority against whipping after the age of fourteen—
Some very strong case should be alleged for acting so much at variance with the principle on which they had been acting—that of mitigating the severity of the criminal code. There is a growing conviction that corporal punishment ought not to be inflicted except in very grave cases.
The House divided, and adopted Sir George Strickland's proviso, by 170 to 89. Sir JOHN PA KINGTON extremely regretted the decision ; and Mr. AGLIONBY complained in detail— Here had they been sitting in a comparatively small House for five hour; and at every hour a set of fresh Members came who had not heard a word of the previous debate. Each speaker began the discussion de novo, so that the same arguments had been repeated over and over again. At last in came the right honourable Baronet the Member for Tamworth, and made a speech; when, " heigh ! presto! change!" and the whole of that which had been already decided upon—(" Ho, no !")—substantially so at least, was im- mediately upset; so that they might as well have come to a division five hours ap without any discussion whatever. Mr. if uses said, the House was decidedly against the measure. If the members of the Government had been excluded from the majority on two of the divisions; the opponents of the bill would have prevailed. The bill was reported as amended. . MErnormixtirs INTERMENTS.
_ Sir GEORGE GREY obtained leave to introduce the Metropolitan Inter- ments Bill- which he briefly explained to be generally founded on the basis of the report made by the Board of Health, leaving details to be considered hereafter.
The bill will establish a Metropolitan Burial District, for which cemeteries will be provided—by purchase of existing cemeteries or by establishment of new ones—wherein exclusively the Metropolitan interments will be conducted. Places of reception will be established ; and those appointed to execute the act will provide the means of conveying the bodies to the cemeteries, and in- terring them, at moderate fixed eharges. The Board of Health is to be the Commission for executing the act—one additional paid Commissioner being appointed. In consideration that a very large proportion of the incomes of some of the clergy is derived from burial-fees, it is proposed to extend their compensation beyond the existing incumbencies. There is no doubt but that the changes will more than pay the cost of making them; but to facili- tate the raising of money, the interest of loans will be collaterally secured on the rates.
The bill was react a first time.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A MEDICAL RELIEF BOARD IN IRELAND.
Introducing the Medical Charities (Ireland) Bill, Sir WiT.T.T am SOMER- VILLE explained that it proposes to appoint a central board for regulating the dispensation of medical relief in Ireland, and to place the expenses on tbarrates. In 1848, the extra charges on the poor-rates for erecting tem- porary fever hospitals and other medical charities was upwards of 80,0001.: the bill proposes that all medical officers, paid by a compulsory rate under its provisions, should be bound to give the medical aid during epidemics without any fresh payment. It is calculated that the transfer will effect a saving of 20,0001. -a year. Sir DENHAM NORREYS and Mr. G. A. HAMILTON felt very strong objections to the creation of the new board. The bill was read a second time, and ordered to be committed pro forma to introduce amendments.
IRISH SHARE OF INDIAN PATRONAGE.
Mr. SADLEIR moved for a return of gentlemen appointed to offices in India by or through the influence of Sir John Hobhouse. There are se- ven Indian Judgeships, and since 1825 no gentleman of the Irish bar has been appointed to the Indian bench. In the last twenty-five years the Indian bench has been three times renewed from the English bar. Sir John Hobhouse had not fulfilled a pledge made last year, to consider the claims of the Irish bar on a vacancy. Sir Jonas HOEHOUSE opposed the motion : the return could not be made and if made it would not support Mr. Sadleir's case. The Irish bar has been very much considered. When a vacancy in the Recorder- ship of Penang occurred—an office of 4,000/. a year, and a fit stepping- stone to the Indian bench—he wrote to Lord Clarendon to recommend an Iriskbarrister. One came over to England, but he refused the office, on the ground that it is not a Judgeship ; he wrote again, another gentleman came, and he refused it because Penang is a penal settlement for Indian convicts ; he wrote again, and a third gentleman came, who now holds the office. He has had the satisfaction of offering four or five places on the Indian bench to Irish barristers, and the further satisfaction of being refused on every occasion. It is a mistake to think the Irish bar is for- gotten : Government has no such inclination' but if it had, the Irish bar would not permit it, as that bar are continually reminding the Govern- ment of their sufferings, their merits, and their claims.
The motion was negatived, by 63 to 23.
BORNEAN PraecT : Sin Zunis BROOKE.
The second reading of the Pirates (Head-money) Bill was moved by the Marquis of LANSDOWNE, with a brief explanation. It is not intended to deprive of all reward the parties engaged in the capture or destruction of pirate vessels, but the Admiralty is to have the power of adjudicating the reward in every case. The Earl of ELLENBOROUGH censured the existing law, under which the remuneration is extravagant ; criticized the bill, suggesting improve- ments; and then made some condemnatory remarks on an action where, without loss of a single man on our part, British ships, with shot and shell and thirty-two-pounders, had destroyed and sunk a multitude of ves- sels and natives alleged to be piratical. He could not think such "mili- tary executions" necessary off Borneo, even if so on the China coast ; and he felt sure that the extermination of tribes met at open sea—not en- gaged, as he was informed, in piratical enterprises, but carrying on an international war—was not within the purview of the existing act of Par- liament.
The Earl of ELLESMERE made a few observations in justice to an in- dividual whom every one would rank hereafter with the heroes of civili- zation—Sir James Brooke. It would be difficult to get legal evidence of piracy, in cases where the pirates murdered every person who fell into their hands. In such cases common rumour was sufficient to prove that the persons intercepted were engaged in the most sanguinary piracy. The Earl of ELLENEOROUGH repeated, that the character of our opera-
tions savoured more of internecine war than of suppressing piracy : the tribe was not in vessels of war but in boats only, and not armed with musketry but with bows and arrows only.
Our establishment of Labuan was a false step. Labuan now has twenty- nine inhabitants, of whom five are women. No coal company had ever worked any mines, as we were promised ; and the island is utterly useless to England,—though not so perhaps to those who, like Sir James Brooke and others, are speculating in Borneo. He viewed with great alarm Sir James Brooke's announced intention to raise a fort at the mouth of one of the rivers of Borneo, and to post armed vessels at the mouths of two other rivers. We have colonies enough already ; and if we allow ourselves to be led on step by step, we shall be involved in wars and transactions injurious to the prosperity and the name of the country. Earl GREY witnessed with the acutest pain these attacks upon the con- duct of a man whose character he admired more almost than that of any other man in the country,—a man whose self-devotion, entire disinte- restedness, and constant refusal to procure any favour or advantage for himself, are beyond all doubt.
In 1846, a person told Sir James Brooke, that if he would give up his for- mal notions about keeping himself entirely independent of all commercial transactions, he might easily become one of the richest commoners in Eu- rope. Sir James replied—"I see no objection to your engaging in commerce in thaw seas but that is not my object. My object is quite distinct. I will not endanger the success of it by having any concern in speculations which are calculated to produce a pecuniary profit." Lord Grey verily be- lieved, that so far from profiting by his discoveries in the East, Sir James Brooke has sacrificed much of his fortune in his great enterprises for suffer- ing humanity, and has also endangered his most valuable life. He has never recovered from the attack of fever he sustained in 1848, and his exer- tions against these very pirates have brought on a relapse. His medical officers now enjoin him to retire to Penang ; and if he do not soon recover, he must of necessity return to England. Lord Grey read documents signed by the most respectable merchants of Singapore, testifying their sense of the absolute necessity, and great value to commerce of Six James Brooke's measures against piracy.: he has brought five hundred miles of insecure coast into commercial security, has spread a knowledge of English arta, and has introduced the mild teachings of Christian- ity among the barbarous and Pagan populations. Evidence from the Admi- ralty proceedings at Singapore, received yesterday, establishes beyond doubt the piratical character of the enterprise in question : and Lord Grey could not for the life of him comprehend why it should be desired that our gallant soldiers should have perished in the attack, or why our thirty-two-pounders should not be "let loose" on these "murderous savages," even though they are armed with bows and arrows only. At Labuan the marsh has been drained and the jungle cut down; and the medical officers now report it to be a healthy settlement : since these effective sanatory measures were com- pleted, the Chinese and Kling merchants have waited in a body on Sir James Brooke and stated their desire to settle at Labuan personally. One hundred and twenty town allotments are sold ; and the revenue estimated for the year has been already received in January alone. From the coal-mines the Go- vernment has been supplied with 2,000 tons of good coals at 178. 6d. a ton, whereas the price was formerly 33s. 6d.; and a seam has been discovered within five hundred yards of the shore, which will lead to a great further diminution of cost.
The Earl of ELLENBOROUGH observed, that he had been in the East, and- he knew that Eastern coal is so inferior as to be dearer than English. He would candidly say of Sir James Brooke, that he is a great, generous, an romantic English gentleman; but he is blindly devoted to his own ideas : he will fail in his objects, and bring on humanity great suffering and evil.
The bill was read a second time.
Air A TtRT &GE BILL.
After the lengthened proceedings on the Larceny Bill on Thursday, the Commons threw away considerably more time in contesting whether or not the Marriages Bill should be considered that night in Committee. Mr. STUART WORTLEY though ill, had waited many hours to secure G. stage for his bill, and urged procedure even if only pro forma; Sir GEORGE' GREY concurring. But Sir FasminacK Tinsman, Mr. Gorrunnass, and. others, pertinaciously refused the accommodation ; though Mr. Fox. Mums observed it would never have been refused at an earlier period in the evening. The House decided on going into Committee, by 152 to 89. In Committee, Captain BOLDERO immediately moved the adjournment of the House. Mr. WALrous and Mr. ROUND= PALM.ER, opponents of the bill, entreated all with whom their voices had influence to allow a merely formal step ; but Sir Rossaar Nous backed Captain Boldero, and another division was taken-147 to 52 against adjournment Mr. FORBES moved to adjourn the debate—negatived by133 to 48. On another mo- tion to adjourn the House, invalided Mr. STUART WORTLEY gave in; and the debate was adjourned till Thursday the 16th May.
THE CHURCH IN MALTA.
In reply to Sir ROBERT INGLIS it was stated by Mr. Hewns, that no ordinance has reached the Secretary of State from the Government of Malta by which the Church of Rome is declared the dominant religion in Malta. In the Council of the island, a proposition has been made to amend the municipal law, and a majority has decided that there shall be higher penalties against interrupting Catholic worship ; but the Secre- tary of State for the Colonies has thought it right to declare that no ordi- nance will be sanctioned which imposes discriminating penalties.
Anna/max COLONIES Brix.
Sir Wir.rxem liformswonin inquired, on Wednesday, whether Lord John Russell had seen a despatch that morning placed in the hands of Members, wherein Sir William Denison, Governor of Van Diemen's Land, condemns some leading provisions of the Australian Colonies Bill, espe- cially that for the establishment of a single partly nominated Chamber, and recommended the establishment of two Chambers, to be constituted on the elective principle. Does Lord John intend to persist in establish- ing in Van Diemen's Land a single Chamber, partly nominated ? Lord Joni" RUSSELL said, he had carefully read the despatch- and if Sir Wil- liam would read Earl Grey's answer to it he would find the reasons given - by Lord Grey conclusive against the recommendations of Sir William • Denison. (A laugh.)
THE NATIONAL LAND SCHEME . SCENE PREVIDTTED.
Sir Bsacremiw Man repeated, on Thursday, the questions he has often- put to Mr. Feargus O'Connor as to when he will bring in a bill to wind up the National Land Scheme—a bill many limes promised to the House. Mr. O'Connor!. stated that he had been severely ill; but he had made an appointment for Friday morning to meet a Parliamentary agent relative to the bill. He would now ask the honourable Baronet, whether it was true that he was once a trustee of funds for a number of poor people in his neighbourhood, and— Here the SPEAKER called Mr. O'Connor to order ; and he sat down amidst laughter. Soon after, Sir BENJAMIN HALL begged to say one word on the subject which— The SPEAKER again interposed ; and Sir Benjamin sat down amidst laughter. He rose again, and moved the adjournment of the debate, in order to state that an opportunity would occur tomorrow " ; and he challenged Mr. O'Connor to be then in his place.