an turttiliugs iu pittiamtnt.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OP TSB WEEK. Horse OF LORDS. Monday, Feb. 21. Six-mile Bridge ; Lord Cardigan's Ques- tion—Royal Assent, to the Transfer of Aids Bill, the Stamp-duties on Patents for Inventions Bill, and the Valuations Act Amendment (Ireland) Bill. Tuesday, Feb. 22. Law of Evidence (Scotland) Bill, read second time. Thursday. Feb. 24 Suitors in Chancery Relief Bill, Lunacy Regulation Bill, Lu- natic Asylums Bill, Lunatics' Care and Treatment Bill, Bankruptcy Bill, and Cri- minal Law Digest Bill, read a second time, and referred to Select Committee. _Friday, Feb. 25. Indian Grievances ; Native Petition from Madras. House OF Commons. Monday, Feb. 21. Irish Church ; Question and Answer— Militia Enlistment ; Peace Placard exposed by Lord Palmerston—Navy Estimates —Examiner in Chancery Bill, in Committee. Tuesday, Feb. 22. Supply; Resolutions reported and agreed to—Examiner in Chancery Bill, reported as amended—Public-houses (Scotland) Bill read a first time —Her Majesty's Theatre Bill, thrown out by 170 to 79—Maynooth; Mr. Spooner's Resolution, and Mr. Scholefield's Amendment ; Debate adjourned.
TV , Feb. 23. County Rates Bill, read a second time—Maynooth ; Debate
edVIF ,aelad • r.mooner's Motion negatived, by 192 to 162. _ -Thar' , el1J24. Colonial Policy; Sir John Pakington's Statement—Jewish Di salgitYlf:,,,LI John Russell's Motion, carried by 234 to 205; Bill ordered to be brought m—M oath ; further Debate fixed for Wednesday. Friday, keb.- Clergy Reserves Bill postponed till Friday next—War in Ave— Supply, Array qtimatelo—County Rates 'Bill, committed pro forma.
Hour of Hour of
Hour of flour of
Monday bh 6h 30m Monday Sh „(sm) l2h 45m Tuesday bit bh 30m Tuesday 4h . (m) lh 30m Wednesday No bitting. Wednesday Noon .... 611 Om Thursday 511 6h 30m Thursday 4h .(as) lb ibm Friday Oh 6h 30m Friday 4h .... Its 30m 4; Time, 6h Om Sittings this Week, 5 ;Time. 4Ih Oui
35; — 45h Olin— this Session, la; — 223h 30m T. IRISH CHURCH.
Mr. GEORGE HENRY Moon; professing to be " inclined to give the pre- sent Government a fair trial,' inquired whether it was intended to legis- late with regard to the Established Church in Ireland on the basis of perfect religious equality ? It had been said that, as two in embers of a formidable body " of Irish representatives, constituting a fifth or a sixth part of the whole House, and pledged to oppose any Government not prepared so to legislate, had accepted office,. they must have received some- secret assurance that Government does intend to legislate on the subject. Lord jonx Russ= replied, first, that Government has no intention to introduce any measure having reference to the Established Church of Ireland, with the exception of a bill relating to ministers' money ; se- condly, that he believed the two gentlemen alluded to had taken office from their general knowledge of the principles and policy of the Govern- ment, and not upon the faith of any special assurance. Mr. O'FL&HERTY said that Mr. Moore had taken an injudicious step, on his own responsibility, as it was not a proper time for bringing the ques- tion forward. Mr. Lucas said, that he and those who act with him were prepared to oppose any Government not disposed to do justice to Ireland. Lord John Russell's reply was frank, and did him great credit: justice will not be done to Ireland, unless the Irish representatives unite together "upon principles of perfect independence of English parties and English politics."
Mr. SPOONER brought forward the subject of the Maynooth grant in the following shape— "That this House do resolve itself into a Committee, to consider the act 8 and 9 Vic. c. 25, being'An act to amend two acts passed in Ireland for the better education of persons professing the Roman Catholic religion and for the better government of the College established at Maynooth for the educa- tion of such persona, and also an act passed in the Parliament of the United Kingdom for amending the said two acts,' commonly called the last Maynooth Act, with a view to the repeal of those clauses of the said act which provide money grants in any way to the said College." He explained at the outset, why he had changed his mode of dealing with the 'petition. When he first brought the subject under the consideration of the House, he asked for a Select Committee of inquiry; declaring himself ready to prove that the education carried on at the College of Maynooth was im- moral, subversive of the allegiance due to the Sovereign, and contrary to the Word of God. He knew that many Roman Catholics, both in and out of the House, and the public, were little aware of the doctrines inculcated at May- nooth when he asked for that inquiry. How had he been met? He was personally abused, and told he was desirous of merely raising an electioneer- ing cry; but no one denied the truth of the statements he had made. His charge being admitted, he asked no more for inquiry; but, in the name of the oath taken by every Member to support the constitution in Church and State, he called upon them to do their duty to their Sovereign, and abolish the grant. Mr. Spooner then made several allegations against the College of Maynooth; tracing the riots at the late election to the doctrines taught there. He read extracts from several Irish newspapers, to show that the priests had threatened both spiritual and temporal evils to those who voted against their wishes. He gave some instances. One priest said—" In the presence of the Most High, before the living God, and before the cruci- fix, will you not vote for Lucas?" (Laughter.) Another said—" The pro- spect of the other world for those who voted for Colonel Bruen was far from affording consolation—let them go and be damned." (Great laughter.) Upon the extracts he grounded his conclusion that the College of Maynooth has not fulfilled the expectations of those by whom it was endowed. He de- scribed the origin of the institution; contending that it was a concession to the Roman Catholics, who promised largely that they would be dutiful and obedient in return. But while they were making those promises, what said their teachers ? He quoted the writings of Aquinas, Bellarmine, the bull "in Coma Domini," Dr. M'Nally the Maynooth Professor of Ethics, and the Canon Law, to prove that the doctrines taught at Maynooth absolved Roman Catholic subjects from their allegiance, advocated the punishment of death for heresy, and inculcated general immorality. So long as England suffered and en- couraged Maynooth, she could not expect the continuance of those marked blessings which her Protestant character had bestowed upon her. Reverting to the state of Ireland, he imputed the political evils and the murders to the teaching of Maynooth ; and he implored the Protestant Government to stand by their Protestant Queen, and enable her to maintain the Protestant Church and State pure and unsullied. Mr. Jaws MACGREGOR seconded the motion; but betrayed his un- acquaintance with the forms of the House. If a Committee were appointed, he said, surely the evidence taken before it would justify the course recommended. (Several Voices—" There is no Committee proposed.") Referring to the motion, he said he found it to be for the House to "resolve itself into Committee." (Laughter.). He could easily understand why the friends of Maynooth shrunk from inquiry, whether by a Committee of the whole House or by any other Committee. (Ironical chars.) There was something behind the scenes which could not bear the light. (Cheers and counter-cheers.) Mr. SCHOLEFIELD moved as an amendment, to leave out all the words after the word "consider," and to substitute the following words- " - - - - all enactments now in force whereby the revenue of the State is charged in aid of any ecclesiastical or religious purposes whatsoever, with a view to the repeal of such enactments." He supported his amendment by a general argument in favour of "re- ligious equality " ; by which he dal not mean anything implying religious freedom in this country and persecution in other countries. (Cheers.) Mr. Spooner was always thinking of one set of consciences—Protestant coil- sciences: but grants to Protestants did as much violence to Roman Catholic consciences as this Roman Catholic endowment did to his own. Mr. Schole- field wished to place all on the same footing. From a return obtained by Mr. Anstey, he found that there were a large number of endowments under acts of Parliament, three or four of which he would take the liberty of reading to the House. He found, for example, that there was an endow- ment of 20,3001. per annum for the salaries and expenses of the ecclesiasti- cal establishment in the West Indies • another of M001. for the expenses of the office of the Commissioners for Building Additional Churches; another
Sittings mks Week,
of 11,9441. for augmented stipends to the parochial clergy of the Church of Scotland ; and another of 60401. for stipends to ministers of additional places of worship erected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in connexion with the Church of Scotland ; besides a large number of other items, smaller in amount, but equally vicious in principle. Some of them were charged upon the Woods and Forests, some upon the Consolidated Fund, some upon the Customs, and others upon the Inland Revenue. The object of his amend- ment was to sweep all these away at once. He had been asked, why, if he was anxious to get rid of religious- endowments, he did not begin with Maynooth ? He replied, because it would evidence an unjust and un- generous policy. He should prefer beginning with the more powerful Church.
Sir Virumais CLAY seconded the amendment; and Colonel Garviram spoke against the motion.
Mr. Mum hoped the House would give him the indulgence:usually extended to Members who spoke for the first time.
He thought they were all pretty well agreed that the debate hitherto had not been profitable; that the feelings it excited were not the most genial ; and that the country would probably not be proud of the result of their pro- ceedings that night. But that was the natural consequence of interfering in matters of religion. He was glad he could give his vote on two distinct principles. If he voted for the motion, he should, granting that the State has a right to bestow endowments for a religious principle, affirm that it could do so only if that religion were true : if he voted for the amendment, he should simply mark his sense of the impropriety of sustaining religious institutions by state endowments. He would never give a vote designed to have the effect of deciding authoritatively what was truth and what was not. Let the comparative methods of religious systems be settled by reason, by persuasion, by the minds of those who proclaim those systems. Truth is in- dependent of Parliament. The law does not constitute truth; all that law can do is to show its tolerance. If he were obliged to decide in that House what was truth and what was error—if he were under some necessity of dis- tributing endowments in one way or other—he confessed he should be dis- posed rather to give the money of the State for the support of error than for the support of truth. (Derisive cheers from the Opposition.) Honourable gentlemen seemed startled by this doctrine. He would rather do something to support by external means a bad system than he would kill the vitality of a good one; and the last creed which he would consent to endowing would be his own. Why ? Because he believed in it, because he had faith in its own inherent and vital powers. He should say, protect it in the ex- ercise of its rights, but don't interpose either to nurse it or to feed it. If endowments must be given, let them be given to those who say they cannot do without them ; let them be given to the morally weak ; let them be given not to the truth but to that which the truth had to overcome. He had always the strongest objections to Sir Robert Peel's Maynooth Bill : it was not a step towards religious equality ; it did not soothe the irritation of the Irish people ; it added sharpness, strength, subtilty, to the power of the priests. But he would not mystify himself. What end would he gain by voting for the motion ? How could he justify it to his conscience to take the step proposed in relation to only one class of her Majesty's subjects, while a much larger and more influential class were enjoying to a great ex- tent ecclesiastical endowments ? He would not be severe to the weak and compliant to the strong. He would not go with Protestantism to do wrong, or be ashamed at any time to stand by the side of Roman Catholicism when it did right. He wished that both might rest on their own merits, that neither should derive artificial support from the State ; and that, exercising all their inherent vitality—for both of them contained some portion of truth —they might bring their powers to bear on the best interests of the people at large, quite independently of State endowments.
Mr. E. BALL inferred that Mr. Miall would maintain a bad religion rather than a good one. (This "inference" produced cries of contradic- tion, and a restatement by Mr. Miall of what he did say.] Mr. Ball in- sisted upon understanding that Mr. Miall preferred the endowment of error : if he supported the endowment, it was because he thought the re- ligion endowed a very erroneous religion.
Mr. DUFFY replied to Mr. Spooner more directly on the side of May- nooth.
The newspapers quoted by Mr. Spooner were partisan publications against the priests of Ireland ; and the evidence he had gathered from Sir Francis Head would not stand the test ; for speeches that he quoted as delivered by Roman Catholic priests were the speeches of Presbyterian clergymen, and one of the passages so quoted was from a speech of his own ! The withdrawal of the Government grant would not prevent the teaching of Catholics at Maynooth ; for if the motion were carried and the Catholics were driven back upon their own resources, he did not think the United States or the French Empire would be sorry to have the opportunity of assisting them. If the grant were withdrawn, Mr. Duffy himself would not pay a shilling of tithe. Nobody believed that the present motion would pass ; and therefore nobody ever thought it worth their while to stand up and answer the absurd charges which had been so often brought against the system of education at May- nooth. In history, in philosophy, in criticism, and in biography, the College of Maynooth had published books and essays that would be found valuable and permanent additions to the literature of the country. He did not hesitate to say that the politics of most of the students at Maynooth were much more in accordance with the sentiments of the House of Commons than with his sentiments or with those of the gentlemen who sat near him. Experience had shown in the affairs of the Cape of Good Hope, Van Diemen 's Land, and Canada, that they must consult the wishes of the people—not set Celt against Saxon—if they wished to succeed in legislation. Sir Jonx Youaro defended the grant ; and fortified his opinion by read- ing extracts from the letter of a Bishop to Lord Castlereagh in 1798, and from the speeches of the Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Derby in 1846; the first recognizing the policy of educating the Roman Catholics at home, the last two the propriety of increasing the grant. As to the disturbances at the late general election, he would not defend them ; but it must be remembered that there was great excitement, that a Govern- ment supposed to be hostile to theRoman Catholics was in power, and that a proclamation against the Roman Catholic Church had .just been published. There were sixty or eighty elections, and some three thou- sand priests ; but only ten or twelve cases of priestly interference had been produced. Mr. Spooner seemed to be walking on the same ground as the Tuscan potentate, only he had not the same power ; but so far as he could, he outraged and insulted the feelings of the Roman Catholics of Ireland.
After a speech in support of the motion from Mr. STANHOPE, Mr. PA- GAN moved that the debate be adjourned ; and, accordingly, it was ad- journed till Wednesday. When the debate was resumed on Wednesday, Mr. FAGAN spoke against the motion. He vindicated the priests from the charges preferred by Mr. Spooner. They threw themselves heart and soul into the elections, be- cause they had proofs that it was a religious contest. As to Aquinas and Bellarmine, Roman Catholics have nothing to do with the opinions of particular divines, and the doctrine of Bellarmine is repudiated by every Roman Catholic. Mr. A. Mims supported the motion. Mr. J. BALL, Lord Lovaratz, and Mr. FORTESOUE opposed it. Lord STA.NLEY th011$3ht the debate ought not to conclude without any member of the late Government having spoken on the question. He therefore went at some length into the origin of the grant, and gave an account of the settlement of 1845. That settlement, he held, was uneon- ditional, and intended to be permanent He would willingly vote for inquiry ; but while he was prepared to reform the College if abuses could be proved, he was not prepared to repeal the grant.
Mr. Lucas was saluted by cries of "Divide!" He opposed both mo- tion and amendment.
He and his friends could not conceal from themselves that the amendment .was dictated by the same feelings of bigotry and opposition to Catholicity that animated the supporters of the motion. ("No, no !") The fact was so. The purpose of the amendment was to avoid, under a plausible and de- lusive pretence, the full and open expression of that bigotry.. (Renewed cries of " No ! ") Now he would join Mr. Scholefield if he would put his practi- cal conclusion to an issue, and include in some form of words a declaration against all endowments in Ireland, whether of Maynooth or of the Regium Donum, or that most flagrant and flagitious of all endowments, not by volun- tary grant of state funds, but an endowment conceived in fraud and carried out by robbery—the endowment of the Established Church in Ireland, which had plundered the Catholics of their own funds, and given them to a mi- nority of the people. (" Oh, oh !") It was the principle of taking all they could and keeping all they had once got. (" Oh, oh !") Who believed the motion would pass ? It was only supported by what, without offence, he might call the tails of the two parties, without the consent of the heads of either. (Cries of "Divide !") It was the Catholic religion, and not merely a Catholic College, which was in question. (Cries of "Divide !" very general.) Mr. DRUMMOND, amid constant expressions of impatience, made a brief and humorous speech, at once against the Catholics and against the motion.
His constituents had told him to vote against the grant ; but he said to them, "No, I won't "—(" Hear!" and laughter)—" I won't do an act of injustice." He was for inquiry. Turning upon the Jesuits, he amused the House by an anecdote of their "cleverness." They had beaten a dozen Popes, and he did not suppose that he could beat them as they bad beaten the Popes. (Laughter.) Bellarmine was one of those clever men, and he said, " Pon- tifex potest legem Dei mutare." That was a very startling proposition, and the King of France, after a good deal of trouble, got the Pope to put it into the propositiones damnatse : but how did they suppose the Jesuits got over the difficulty ? By adding a word or two, and making the phrase run "Pond- fez non sine justa causa potest legem Dei mutare." (Laughter.) There were a dozen instances of the same kind.
Several Members now attempted to speak. Amid the confusion, Lord CLAUDE HAMILTON moved the adjournment of the debate. Sir ROBERT Nous obtained a hearing while he protested against the language used by Mr. Lucas with respect to the Established Church.
Mr. Lucas said, he did not mean to insult : he spoke of the Establish- ment as a political institution. At length the motion for adjournment was withdrawn, and the House proceeded to a division on the question that Mr. Spooner's motion should be the question to be put to the House ; when there appeared—Ayes, 162; Noes, 192; majority, 30. The House having thus decided that Mr. Spooner's motion should not be the question put, immediately after- wards adjourned, as it was by this time past aix o'clock. This still left Mr. Scholefield's amendment to be disposed of.
DISABILITIPS OP THE JEWS.
Before making his statement on the subject, Lord Iona; Russzu. hoped Sir Robert Inglis would not object to going into Committee at once. Sir ROBERT replied, that he had the strongest objection ; as that would be permitting the first step.
Lord JOHN Russus.r., noticing that the course which was allowed to be taken more than twenty years ago by Mr. Robert Grant was now ob- jected to, went on to state the nature of the proposition he had to make, before the House went into Committee.
It would have been agreeable to him to propose a simple oath to be taken alike by all ; but that would have raised questions as to the intentions of the Roman Catholics. So that he only proposed so far to complete the edifice of religious liberty as to admit the Jews to the same rights and privileges as Dissenters and Roman Catholics. In making this proposal, he laboured under a disadvantage; for the Jews are not numerous, they hold no threaten- ing meetings, they wield no electoral influence. He had nothing to rest upon but the truth, the justice, and charity of his proposals : and was it to be imagined that those who had resisted such arguments so many times would yield now ? But those who felt the force of justice would impartially concede these claims when no extrinsic means were used to press upon them. It would not redound to the character of the House, if, when all reason and argument are in their favour, a prejudice should be indulged in. (Cheers.) After this exordium, Lord John made out, that legislative disabilities had never been grounded on a difference of religious faith. He showed that the words "on the true faith of a Christian" had been introduced in the reign of James I. immediately after the Gunpowder Plot, for the purpose of ex- cluding Roman Catholics not true to the Crown. Baron Alderson, on the trial of Mr. &lemons, held the same view, and inferred that the oath could not properly be called a test of Christianity. Lord John argued that the Catholics were excluded because of the dangers to political freedom appre- hended from their political doctrines—doctrines supposed to be connected with their faith. From the beginning of this disqualification, in 1606, down to its abolition in 1829, the argument had always been, that persons belong- ing to a certain religion, whether dissenting from the Church of England as Protestants or dissenting from the Church of England as Roman Catholics, have connected with that faith certain political doctrines, which make them unsafe depositaries of power. Having laid down this proposition, Lord John insisted that the special ground of religious faith was first introduced in 1830. But that was the question to argue. "I ask you, are men on ac- count of their religious faith to be disqualified, or are they not ? Can you or can you not maintain, that, because a man believes in the Old Testament, and does not believe in the New—(Ironical cheers and laughter from the Opposition.) That is the question. (Cheers.) Are you, on account of what you believe to be the errors of his faith, to deprive a man of political power and of civil privileges ? (Cheers.) Now I contend, that differences of religious opinion, that errors in faith, are no ground whatever for depriving a man of his right to serve the Crown and to sit in Parliament." ((,heers.) Following this up, he disposed of the stock arguments advanced by the op- ponents of the bill,—as that the Jews are aliens ; that they are a separate people; that their moral character is not good ; that their admission to Par- liament will unchristianize the nation ; and that they are so few in number that exclusion does not amount to injustice. "I ask you," he concluded,
" to take away this last disqualification, and then you may with truth say, that having, for political reasons, done away with it in regard to others, you have now done away with this remaining disqualification solely upon the grounds of truth and justice; that you have no other ground to do it away upon but truth and justice ; and that it is upon that truth and that justice that you found your truly Christian character." (Cheers.)
Lord John's motion was, "That this House do resolve itself into a Com- mittee to take into consideration certain civil disabilities affecting the Jews." Sir ROBERT INGLIS opposed the motion for going into Committee.
He would never take off his hat and open the gate to let Lord John into the sacred enclosure. Let hint break down the barrier if he could. Sir Ro- bert maintained that power is a trust and not a right; that if the Jews were admitted to Parliament, they would be unfit to legislate on Church matters for instance, because they regard our blessed Lord as an impostor. He re- vived the argument that the admission of the Jews would annul the Chris- tian character of the House. Replying to Lord John Russell's statements respecting the purpose for which the restrictive words of the oath were intro- duced, he said, that whether the words existed in the oath or not, no Jew could take his seat in that House except by virtue of an oath sworn on the New Testament. The hypocritlezd eetpect which Gibbon and Wilkes paid to Christianity, bad as it was, was better than the avowed blasphemy of the Jew. If the admission of Jews were conceded, Mahomedans might come in.
The debate was next carried on by Sir ROBERT PEEL; who followed the lead of the last speaker. His main argument was, that the admission of the Jews had nothing to do with civil.and religious liberty. The Jews are better treated here than in any other country ; neither are they dis- satisfied at being excluded from seats in Parliament.
He denied the justice of the praise bestowed on the Jews: why, they are the chief instigators to crime, and the receivers of stolen goods. The House was now considering a personal affair of the noble Member for London. (Cheers from the Opposition.) He represented the City of London with a Jew—a very wealthy man—but everybody knew how his wealth had been amassed. (Groans, and cheers from the Opposition.) He helped to gag Liberal opinions by lending money to the Despotic Powers. (" Oh, oh ! ") Sir Robert trusted the other House would reject the bill. (Cheers.)
Lord litmus, Mr. W. D. SEYMOUR, and Mr. M. O'Coseats, supported -the motion ; Mr. Narrea, Mr. WIGRAM, and Colonel SLBTHORP, opposed it. Lord DairteLatiaio, amid ironical cheers from the Opposition, an- nounced that he was about to reverse the vote he had formerly given against the Jew Bill, and to vote for going into Committee.
The House divided—For the motion, 234; against it, 205; majority for going into Committee, 29.
The House went into Committee ; and:Mr. Wriaox PATrwr, from the chair, read tho following resolution- " That it is expedient to remove all the civil disabilities at present ex- isting affecting her Majesty's subjects of the Jewish persuasion, in like man- ner and with the like exceptions as are provided with reference to her Ma- jesty's subjects professing the Roman Catholic religion."
When this resolution was put, the cries of "Aye" and " No " were nearly equal; and strangers were ordered to withdraw, as if for another -division. Sitting with his hat on, apparently supposing that the galleries had been cleared, Mr. Wei.roxm explained to the new Members, that it was not usual or necessary to divide again on the formal motion after such a decision as that just taken : accordingly, without further contest, the resolution was carried, reported, and a bill was ordered to be brought ..in by Lord John Rusgell, Viscount Palmerston, and Mr. Wilson Patten. Tin Wen iii AVA.
The Earl of ELLENBOROUGH made a question respecting a letter from the Secret Committee of the Court of Directors of the East India Com- pany to the Governor-General of India in Council, dated in September 1.829, the text of a commentary on the causes and conduct of the war with Ava.
In 1829 he was President:of the Board of Control, and all his information on the war in Ava then recent he placed before the late Duke of Wellington, in order that he might obtain his authoritative instructions as to the line of
• operations to be followed in the event of another war. The Duke gave his views in detail, and they were sent out to India in the despatch to which his question referred. Now he believed that the course of operations recently adopted by the Government of India was not that described by the Duke of Wellington; because the Duke never would have sanctioned the employment of troops on the internal waters of a great empire without animals and means of movement. After the relief of Pegu, General Godwin collected twenty- five carts, and marched twenty-four miles in three days, driving the enemy before him; but he was obliged to return because a provision-cart broke down. It was impossible to subdue an empire with troops so ill-provided. He knew we had compelled the Emperor of China to submit to terms with very limited means of carriage ; but even there, in spite of all our successes, no impression was made until we brought all our force to bear on the mouth • of the Great Canal. Have we the same means of success in Ava? Or if there were, could we expect to produce the same effect on the barbarous sovereign - of a barbarous people ? Had we rested our forces on the provinces of Arm- can, placed 8000 men at nearly equal distances on the Irrawaddy between Ara and Rangoon, with perfect means of movement, we should have had a better chance of success. What is the present position of the army in that part of India ? He calculated, that by the 4th of January, General Godwin would be at Prome with 4800 men, of whom 200 would be cavalry, and 16 guns, of which not more than 10 would be horsed. There is no trace of any provision for moving ammunition or provisions. Out of the 4800 men, as the soldiers were dying, six, eight, ten a day, from cholera, one-fifth were in the hospital. This, with 500 as a guard for the sick, left the moveable army at 3500 men. Before they could get to the enemy on the left bank of the river, they must take six miles of stockades, supported in the rear by three immense stockades, and in front by two miles and a half of jungle. How can it be ex- pected that these forces, limited in amount, seriously affected by sickness, would --be able at last to march on Ava, "as was the dream of those who look at the - subject from a distance " ? Then we had 500 men, without a commissariat, em- ployed in making a road for the passage of animals over the pass that leads from Autumn to the Irrawaddy; but we had allowed the pass to be strongly forti- -fied, instead of taking possession of it on the first day of the war. We had fewer than 3.500 men at Rangoon; and in consequence of the "unfortunate" occupation of Pegu, not a man could be spared from the lower part of the river as a reinforcement. Yet this was the chosen moment when we "declared annexed, the province of Pegu, which we did not occupy, and intimated our intention, if our proposals were not acceded to, of moving upon Avg That was a very grandiloquent proclamation ; but, unfortunately, there did not exist a force sufficient to enable us to carry it into execution." Why should we annex the province of Pegu at all ? And if we do, can we stand there ? Pegu has no frontier, no range of mountains, not the slightest line of de- marcation. If we annex Pegu, we must annex Ave. In either ease, consi- derable additions must be made to our forces ; yet the annexation of Ave would bring no military advantages. Turning from this point, Lord Ellenborough rapidly summed up. When he remembered the great expense, the extensive operations, with our honour pledged by "that unfortunate proclamation" to dethrone a sovereign—when he remembered that the original pretexts put forward in justification were "two little injuries inflicted on British subjects "—" two little insults, as they were called "—when he remembered that the whole amount of the original damage was said to be 9001., and considered how the Burmese might have felt insulted at the presence of five of our ships in their river—he con- fessed it was "painful to see the great and lamentable consequences which had arisen from a cause so small." The King of Ave did not desire war ; the notion of acting hostilely had never entered his head : former Govern- ments had avoided collisions. Lord Ellenborough desired to hear, if pos- sible, the views of the Government on our position with regard to the Go- vernment of Ave, and in what manner we can beat extricate ourselves. The Earl of ABERDEEN said, that although it has never been customary to produce any despatch of the Secret Committee, he was not disposed to withhold the paper now asked for. It was written twenty-five years ago, and much may have happened to render completely inappropriate any line of conduct prescribed in a despatch of so old a date: although it would possess historical interest, he thought it of little practical utility. He was likewise prepared to produce papers explanatory of the war, in- cluding the proclamation, and also an account of the expense already in- curred.
The Ministers, he continued, did:not feel called upon to discuss in any manner the propriety of the measures which have taken place. They had great reliance on the discretion, judgment, and experience of Lord Dalliousie. With the most pacific intentions, every Governor-General had found him- self engaged more or less in war. Lord Dalhousie had been led by the ne- cessities of the case to extend the sphere of his warlike operations ; and he had reluctantly adopted annexation. "The present Government are strangers to the whole of the policy and execution of that war up to the present time. Her Majesty's late Government, I apprehend, gave their general approbation to that policy and to the conduct of the war. In general terms, I acquiesce in the opinion which has been expressed by the late Government upon the subject, and in the eulogies which were passed by them upon the Governor- General."
The Earl of DERBY vigorously defended the policy of his Government from the attack of Lord Ellenborough. He insisted that the war was necessary to maintain the prestige of British arms; that there had been a succession of insults and encroachments on the part of the Burmese ever since 1826; and these, not the loss of 9001. sustained by a Britiah mer- chant, had compelled the Governor-General not to pass them over.
When our troops had occupied Rangoon and Martaban, and made an ad- vance on Pegu, it was necessary to determine what further should be done. The Governor-General had proposed three courses to her Majesty's Govern- ment: one, to retreat, retaining Rangoon, Martaban, and the command of the mouth of the Irrawaddy; a second, to annex Pegu up to Prome, without seeking the consent of the King of Axe ; and a third, to insist on a treaty of annexation, and in the event of refusal to advance on Ave. He stated that he had made adequate provision for carrying out either of the courses— naming the number of troops required, the supply of elephants and the pro- per means of transport, should the Government think it necessary to advance on Amerapoora. Under these circumstances, Lord Derby took the advice of the Duke of Wellington ; who, on the 24th of August last, sent him a despatch explaining the course he recommended, which confirmed the views of the Government. , The Duke of Wellington came to these conclusions,—first, that war could not have been averted ; next, that the operations proposed were judicious; next, that the measures adopted were performed with great gallantry and success ; and lastly, that in honour to the inhabitants of Pegu, as well as in policy, we were bound not to stop short, but, unless the King of Ava ceded to us by treaty the ter- ritory we had already adopted, we must force compliance. "These must be ceded by the stipulations of a treaty of peace, or the state must be destroyed." Accordingly, instructions were forwarded to the Governor-General, and the annexation of Pegu took place. Lord Derby had heard with astonishment the statement that our army was suffering from sickness: at the time he quitted office, every successive mail brought reports of the increasing good health of the troops. He had no hesitation in saying that the forces at the disposal of the Governor-General were adequate to the occupation of Pegu, with the good-will of the population already annexed. If the larger opera- tions were found necessary, he had the fullest confidence that the Governor- General would be quite prepared to act with vigour and effect.
The papers were ordered.
On Thursday, Sir JOHN PAXINGTON moved for copies of despate.hea written by himself when he was Colonial Secretary., to the Government of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tan Diemen's Land; and he called the attention of the House to the condition of the Austra- lian Colonies, and to the policy which he would advise for the Imperial Government.
In the speech which prefaced this motion, Sir John traced the rifle of the Australian Colonies in wealth, population and importance, especially after the ceasing of transportation, and subsequently after the gold-discoveries. Notwithstanding the sudden change following the discovery of the gold- fields, the conduct of the inhabitants has been most creditable. He also traced the claims advanced by the colonists of New South Wales for local legislation and control of their own movements. Lord Grey had admitted that it might be desirable to transfer to a colony the control of its own waste lands, but he thought the time had not yet come : in this Sir John differed with hint, especially since the present state of the colony, and the rapid in- crease of its population and wealth, render an allotment of the land-fund for emigration no longer necessary. On these grounds, Sir John supported the claim of the colonists to an improved constitution, and especially to a second chamber ; a proposition unsuccessfully advanced by Mr. Walpole, and subse- quently by Sir William Molesworth, who had been defeated by Lord John Rus- sell's Government. Sir William had taken great interest in Colonial matters; it surprised Sir John to see him intrusted with the care of parks and gardens: he regretted also to find that Sir. William was not present on this occa- sion. [Lord John Russell—" He is ill."] Then he regretted the cause of his absence more than the absence itself. He now understood that a de- spatch, not differing from that which the late Government sent out, was on its way to authorize the amended constitution. • The present Government had also announced, through the Duke of Newcastle, the intention to ad- here to the decision of their predecessors in favour of the cessation of transportation to all the Australian Colonies : on the merits of which mea- sure Sir John enlarged. He still, however, recommended the sending of convicts to Western Australia ; and even commended to the Government a passage from a speech delivered by Lord John Rusifell in 1850, declaring that Englishmen wherever they go should enjoy English freedom and have English institutions. Mr. FREDERICK PEEL in great part echoed Sir John Pakington's speech : the only fault he could lind with it was, that it was not needed
as a vindication of Sir John's own policy, which nobody had impugned. Because they had reverted to the policy of the Government before Sir John's with respect to the Clergy Reserves in Canada, Ministers did not intend to disturb the changes that had recently taken place in Australia ; and Mr. Peel went on to explain that many things have been conceded to the management of the colonists. The control of the Customs has been transferred to them. Government is quite prepared to accept the civil list voted by the Colenial Legislature, in lieu of that voted by Par-
liament; the Legislative Council of New South Wales in fact proposing 88,0001. instead of the 73,0001. appropriated by Parliament Sums had been reserved for carrying on the public business, in earn supplies should be refused-20,0001., for example, in the colony of Victoria—a more trifle as compared with the estimated revenue for next year' 1,750,0001. Al- though upholding the principle of the Land-Sales Act, Mr. Peel was not unprepared to carry out the intentions of the last Government in respect to land-sales; economical reasons giving way to political reasons. The explanation on the subject of transportation did not differ from the Duke of Newcastle's statement on the same subject. Mr. ADDERLEY recognized in both speeches just delivered the princi- ples of Colonial government which had been urged upon them by gentle- men combined for that purpose ; and he generally approved of what had taken place. Only two or three things remained to give the Australian constitution a perfectly British form,—such as the abandonment of the Royal veto on local legislation, and the system of reference to the Colo- nial Office in this country. It would be impossible to continue trans- portation to Western Australia ; and Government must forthwith deal with the whole question of secondary punishments, especially the treat- ment of juvenile offenders. Lord Jonx RUSSELL corrected some errors in Sir John Pakington's
speech ; and replied to Mr. Adderley's last suggestion, that Government only desire time to consider the important subject of secondary punish- ments. "No unnecessary delay will occur ; and as soon as we decide on the substitute that is most efficient for the purpose, we shall lose no time in laying a measure before Parliament."
After a few words of satisfaction from Mr. HUME, the motion was agreed to.
Lew REFORM BILLS.
On the motion of Lord Sr. Lzmiaans, the six Law Bills which he has introduced into the House of Peers have been read a second time, and ordered to be referred to a Select Committee. They are the Chancery Suitors Relief Bill, the Lunacy Regulation Bill, the Lunatic Asylums Bill, the Lunatics Care and Treatment Bill, the Bankruptcy Bill, and the Criminal Law Amendment Bill.
On the last-named., a conversation arose. Lord CAMPBELL protested against the bill's coming into operation until the criminal code should be completed. Lord Sr. DEONARDS said, it would be advantageous to have the benefit of experience in regard to a part of the code, while the rest of the work was in progress. Lord BROUGHAM explained the position of the subject, and stated his own objection to the postponement proposed by Lord Campbell. The Criminal Law Commissioners had approved of a Digest of the whole Criminal Law with reference to Crimes and Punishments, reserving for a future report the digest relative to criminal proceedings. The report re- specting crimes and punishments was referred hack to the Commissioners, in order that some alterations might be made, and one or two gentlemen were then added to the Commission. The Commissioners made a second report, and a bill founded thereon was brought in, and was referred to a Select Committee. That bill had, however, been delayed until the Commissioners had agreed upon a digest as to the mode of criminal procedure. In 1850 he had done all he could to induce the then Government to provide for the con- tinuance of the Commission for another year' when they might have com- pleted the whole digest of criminal procedure; but the Government declined to accede to this suggestion, stating that enough had been done to enable them to proceed themselves in the matter. He had been hopeless of seeing the digest completed at all, when the late Government promised to give im- mediate attention to the subject. Then came the question how they were to proceed; and it was suggested, that instead of proceeding with the whole digest in one bill, it might be considered and adopted piecemeal,—that first one chapter should be taken, and then another, until the whole digest should be passed into law. Lord St. Leonards then took up that chapter which Lord Brougham thought was the most important—namely, that relating to offences against the person. He did not understand that Lord St. Leonards abandoned the other bills, but that, beginnning with this measure, he in- tended to introduce others afterwards. He would fain hope, therefore, that there would be no difficulty in following up the enactment of the first chapter by the enactment of others, and that the result would be, that before the end of the session such a clearly-digested view of the criminal laws of this country would be provided as would suffice to inform, authoritatively and distinctly, the subjects of the Crown what those laws are to which their obe- dience is exacted under such high punishments. He did not think that it would, upon the whole, be desirable to postpone the operation of any part of the digest.
, REPORT OF THE DIVORCE COMMISSION.
At the close of a conversation which took place on the second read- ing of Lord Brougham's Bill to extend to Scotland the Law of Evidence, Lord CAMPBELL stated the substance of the report which has been signed by the Divorce Commissioners.
The report recommends that the House should renounce the practice of passing an act of Parliament in each case ; that there should be a regular judicial tribunal appointed to take cognizance of these cases, consisting of a Vice-Chancellor, an Ecclesiastical Judge, and a Common Law Judge; and that the proceedings should take place judicially where the petition comes from the husband on the ground of the wife's adultery, but that in the ex- traordinary case of the wife seeking a dissolution of the marriage for the husband's misconduct, that should be matter for legislation, because it would be impossible that any code could be laid down by which a court of justice could be regulated in deciding cases involving such variety of circumstances. He trusted the report would meet with the approbation of the House.
Dna BOARD OF CrsToms.
In reply to Mr. Hottsrarm, Mr. GLADSTONE said he was not yet certain whether any measure which Government might take for the improvement of the Customs department would require legislative interposition. The subject was under consideration, and the result would probably be em- bodied in a Treasury minute.
An important change, one which must be the foundation of all other changes, is in progress with respect to the Board of Customs—the reduc- tion of the number of Commissioners. In September last there were eight Commiss' ioners ; but about that time Mr. Lushington resigned, and
the vacancy has not been filled up. Within the last three weeks another Commissioner applied for permission to resign. Neither would that TS- cancy be filled up. So that the number of the Commissioners will now be only six.
COFFEE AND CHICORY.
In reply to a question put by Mr. Hums, the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER said, that the Treasury have resolved to allow chicory to be sold " in a state of mixture with coffee, provided it is so distinctly desig- nated by labels attached to the packets."
INTEREST ON EXCHEQUER BFLLR.
As it had been stated in a morning journal that the Bank of England had the undue advantage of a previous knowledge of the intention of Go- vernment to reduce the rate of interest on Exchequer Bills, Mr. MASTER- tux inquired whether the Governor of the Bank knew of the intended reduction previously to the 12th instant ; and whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer would object to state when the reduction was determined on ?
Mr. GLADSTONE answered, that the exact date when the reductiter be- come known to the public was the 15th of February. He had finally de- termined on that reduction on the evening of the 14th, without taking the advice of the Bank of England. He had written a note to the Go- vernor and Deputy-Governor on the 12th, requesting their attendance on the 14th, without specifically naming the subject upon which he wished to confer with them, but simply stating that it was a subject which must be decided on the 14th. They accordingly waited upon him on the 14th, and left him in the middle of the day without being apprized of his final in- tention.
THE IRISH FAMERE LOANS.
In reply to Lord MONTEAGLE, who with the Marquis of CLANILICARDE and the Earl of WICKLOW protested against the repayment of advances which had been unsolicited, the Earl of ABERDEEN stated that the Irish consolidated annuities were under the consideration of the Government. Cennected as the subject is with the financial arrangements of the year, it would be premature and improper for him to make any announce- ment on the subject. THE Stx-fartz Munoz AFFAIR.
The Earl of CARDIGAN asked, on Monday, whether the Government in- tended to prosecute the soldiers of the Thirty-first Regiment for their con- duct at Six-mile Bridge ?
These soldiers may not be much considered or thought of, but they are a portion of an army which is exposed to every danger and hardship, called to serve in unhealthy climates, and in every situation demanding courage and patient endurance,—an army which has not only shown courage in action, but the greatest heroism and devotion to duty, under such difficulties as those to which he had alluded. It was a body of men belonging to this army that stood upon a sinking wreck, firmly and steadily and without a murmur, as if they were on parade, and, allowing the helpless women and children to be saved, themselves never moving or showing anxiety for their own safety, suffered themselves to be swept off that wreck, passing into eternity silent and steady, probably without uttering a word, only offering, perhaps, a si- lent prayer for forgiveness of their errors. Or to take another instance to show what this army is :—Only the other day we heard of two or three men, of different ranks, under orders, and under a sense of duty, (though possibly a mistaken one,) venturing into impassable snow, and rather than neglect their orders to carry despatches, or whatever their orders might be, meeting a miserable death. It was an army which, though hated by the people of this country, they could not dispense with, but sent for when they apprehended an outbreak. The army is hated by the people of this country until it is required for their protection, and then the soldiers are asked for and waited for with trembling anxiety by the inhabitants of the large towns. To show the confidence the people have in the smallest bodies of this army, he might mention that he recollected asking the head of a large manufacturing town of 30,000 or 40,000 what he wanted to pro- tect the town from danger ; and he said the opinion in the town was, that if they could have at any time a score of dragoons they should be perfectly safe. What ought to be the conduct of the Government towards such an army as ho had described ? Surely they are bound to support them, and ought to defend these men, instead of prosecuting them. The course which it seemed probable the Government would adopt would be an insult and affront to the Army. Lord Cardigan further inquired, whether the priests who had incited the populace to attack the troops would also be prosecuted ?
The Earl of ABERDEEN replied to both questions; and denied that there had been any undue delay in regard to these proceedings.
It was not necessary for him to enlarge upon the admirable conduct of the troops in Ireland, because he had already acknowledged it, and it came with better grace from the noble Earl. He utterly denied the accuracy of Lord Cardigan's assertion that the army is hated by the people of this country. (Loud cries of "Hear, hear !") As to this special case, the late Lord-Lieu- tenant had reprobated a request made to him by relatives of the parties that the prosecution should be withdrawn from the Law-officers of the Crown ; and the Court of Queen's Bench had sustained the verdict of the Coroner's Jury, on an application made by the late Government to quash the proceed- ings. After that decision, no other course than that in question was left, if they were to have law at all in Ireland. Government will prosecute the two priests. So long as Lord Aberdeen has anything to do with the Government of Ireland, no distinction will be made between soldier or priest, peasant or peer. The Grand Jury will deal with both cases as they think proper.
OBSTRUCTION TO ENLISTMENT.
Replying to Mr. HINDLE; in the absence of Lord Palmerston, Mr FITZROY said that Government do not intend to proceed with prosecutions commenced against persons who had distributed placards dissuading peo- ple from enlisting in the Militia. Mr. BruonT then made a speech to show that Government gagged the bill-poster, in a country boasting of a free press. He exhibited a placard issued by the Peace Society, contain- ing a wood-cut of the flogging of a militiaman, garnished with extracts from the New Testament, and from the Autobiography of a Working Han, by Alexander Somerville, who had himself been flogged as a soldier in the Scots Greys.
Lord PaLmEnrrox having entered the House in the midst of this con- versation, he further explained, that the prosecutions were abandoned be- cause the good sense and patriotic spirit of the British people had induced them to treat those incentives to abandon the cause of their country with the contempt they deserved.
With regard to the question put by Mr. Hindley, Lord Palmerston read two letters from Alexander Somerville ; one to himself, and the copy of one addressed to Mr. Hindley, which Mr. Somerville begged him to read to the House in case Mr. Hindley did not, as the Peace Society had placed the writer in a "false and odious position." [Mr. Somerville's letter complained of the offensive placard, because he was in favour of voluntary enlistment; because militiamen were not likely
to be flogged unless they committed crimes they might easily avoid ; because his book was intended as a warning to young recruits not to connect them- eaves with politics or regimental politicians, and to dissuade civilians from resorting to physical force ; and because the Peace Society had used his name, and his alone, without asking leave, and without mentioning why he was flogged—leading any one to suppose he was a malefactor.] Lord Palmerston considered that persons distributing those placards were guilty of a grave offence. Any man may publish what he pleases, but when
the publication breaks the law or goes against the interest of the country, it is the duty of Government to put a stop to it. "It is not my wish to say anything hostile to the Peace Society ; hook upon the persons composing it as a set of well-intentioned fanatics. They are much too good to be intrusted with political functions in this wicked and sinful world." (Cheers and laughter.)
In continuation of the Committee adjourned from Friday night, seve- ral explanatory conversations arose out of the various items of the Navy Estimates.
Sir JAMES GRAHAM explained, in reply to Mr. STAPLE-row, that corpo- ra punishment on board ships should be checked as much as possible ; but he objected to an entire abolition. The present rule is, that twenty- four hours must elapse between the offence and the punishment ; not more than forty-eight lashes may be inflicted in one day ; each punish- ment and its cause must be recorded and sent regularly to the Admiralty ; and in deciding on the merits of commanding-officers, preference is given to those who maintain order with the smallest number of punishments. Mr. Humn wished to know why the oft-repeated recommendation that the whole of the Admiralty should be placed under one roof had not been carried out ? The private apartments of the officers ought to be given up to the public service. He would remove the First Lord. There can be no real efficiency while the department is so scattered. Sir JAMES GRA- nem explained how necessary it is that there should be at all times a number of members resident sufficient to constitute a Board. Mr. Hume had said the Lords of the Admiralty ought to be at their offices by ten o'clock : that is impossible, when the House constantly sit until one -or two in the morning. Efficiency is sound and true economy. If the whole department were under one roof, it would be a public advantage, but it would lead to great expense. Complaint being made that the publication of charts is delayed, Sir JAMES GB.AIIAM admitted the delay, and urged it as a reason for dimi- nishing the surveying until these be cleared off. As an illustration, he mentioned the fact that when he was before at the Admiralty, there was one particular officer engaged in the survey of the Thames ; on his return to the Admiralty, after a lapse of twenty-two year; he found the same officer still engaged upon the survey of the Thames ! Mr. TUFNELL, Mr. COLLIER, and Mr. MONTAGUE CHAMBERS, called at- tention to the low rate of wages paid to shipwrights in the Royal Dock- yards. Sir damns GRAmAm said that Government are not prepared to add in the least degree to the rates of wages in those establishments. There are no vacancies ; yet Mr. OSBORNE stated that he is inundated with applications. Mr. CHAMBERS noticed with surprise, a report that it was contemplated to take away the franchise from the dockyard men. Mr. HUME thought that if it were taken away promotions could be made on account of merit ; and Mr. WILT IAN WILLIAMS added that it would be a check on extravagance. On the other hand, Sir FRANcis BARING declared that taking away the franchise would not destroy patronage.
All the various votes were agreed to. The report of Friday's Supply was brought up and received.
On the motion of Sir ROBERT Isous, the House agreed to the appoint- ment of a Select Committee to consider the best means of providing for the execution of the office of Speaker in the event of Mr. Speaker's un- avoidable absence from illness or other cause.
Sir Robert cited a variety of instances, dating from 1606 to 1761, to show that the House had been put to inconvenience in former times by the ab- sence of the Speaker. Some of these instances were ludicrous. In 1672, Mr. Speaker Charlton was ill, and the marginal note in the journals said -" he was sick of his post." In 1694, Sir John Trevor, then Speaker, wrote to say that "he had a violent colic," and requested the House to excuse him: but a report was made by a Committee of the House, proving that the Speaker had received a bribe of 1000 guineas, and the Clerk a bribe of 100 guineas, for passing a certain bill. Speaker Onslow had been ill three times, and Speaker Cust twice. In all the instances mentioned, the House had been impeded in the performance of its duties ; and Sir Robert asked them to provide for the contingencies to which the Speaker is as liable as other Members of the House.
Mr. Hums objected; but the motion was carried without division.
Tun LEADER OP THE HOUSE.
Mr. CAYLEY finding, on putting the question to Lord .TorrN Russzn; that Lord John does not hold any office under Government to which a salary is attached, gave notice of a motion, "That, considering the great increase of public business of late years, it is just and expedient that a salary should be attached to the office of leader of the House of Com- mons." [This notice excited some merriment in the House.] COUNTY FINANCIAL BOARDS.
At the second reading of the County Rates and Expenditure Bill, Mr. MILNER Gresoar stated what had been done on the subject, bringing the matter down to the present time.
Immediately after the passing of the Reform Bill, there were two Com- mittees, one in each House of Parliament, and soon afterwards a Commis- sion to consider County-rates. Subsequently bills were introduced, in 1850 and 1851,- bah pawed a second reading, and were referred to a Select Com- mittee. Mr. Gibson had undertaken to make some alterations in the bill of 1851 as it had come from the Select Committee. The first material altera- tion, to which he attached much importance, was that, instead of the County Board being elected one half by the elective portion of the Board of Guardians and one half by the Justices, all the members should be elected by the elec- tive portion of the Board of Guardians; rendering those who constituted the County Board responsible to the ratepayers. By the next change, the bill vested in the County Board all the powers for the control of the police con- ferred by Parliament on Town-Councils ; with a proviso that the Justices might make a representation to the Secretary of State should they consider the constabulary not efficient for the protection of the county. He also thought that they should have the control of the salaries paid to officers in gaols, without interfering with the patronage or the gaol regulations ; and that they should give the Board the same power in reference to lunatic asy- lums. For himself, he would rather that Government took the bill in hand.
He hoped it would not be referred to the torturing process of a Select Com- mittee, but rather rejected at once, if rejected it were to be. Lord PALammurroat explained the intentions of the Government.
Former Parliaments had so completely admitted the principle of the bill, that he was quite ready to acquiesce in it as far as that principle was con- cerned. But the House must bear in mind, that much of the county expen- diture is regulated by acts of Parliament, over which no body of persons can exercise any efficient control ; and therefore the introduction of the repre- sentative system cannot materially influence the expenditure. He would concur in the second reading, with a view to bringing back the bill to the provisions of the bill of 1851 as it left the Committee. On one point, how- ever, he would not insist—the mode of electing the Board. He thought it would be more conducive to harmonious action if the Board were elected by the Board of Guardians than by two separate bodies. He trusted the House would not suppose that this acquiescence arose from any distrust of the un- paid Magistracy ; for he was of opinion, that, with a few exceptions, the funds had been administered with a due regard to the interests of the rate- payers. A suggestion he had received was worth consideration : as this mea- sure might naturally be repugnant to the opinions and feelings of certain persons, though not to the Magistracy at large, its adoption might be made optional instead of imperative. Mr. Fmasitrintn opposed the bill ; on the ground that no such Board was required as that contemplated ; that the Guardians would probably wish to elect parsimonious men ; that it was a degradation to the Magis- trates; and that it was "Lancashire against all England." Let them not press such a measure on Middlesex. Sir BENJAMIN IT ATM., OR the con- trary, said that the people of Middlesex desired to have a control over their expenditure. He was for making the bill compulsory. Sir Joam PAKINGTON reiterated the assertion, that the animus clearly was to strike a blow at the Magistracy of England. He saw many serious evils in the working of the measure before the House.
Take the case of 'Worcester. There are twelve unions in the county, and
therefore the members of the new Board would be twenty-four, of whom twelve would be magistrates and twelve ratepayers: but there were nearly two hundred magistrates in the county, and this bill would deprive the whole of them, except twelve, of all the powers they had hitherto possessed, and which they had used for the benefit of the county. He warned Lord Pal- merston, not to commence his career as Home Secretary by giving his sanc- tion to restrictions which would only excite the greatest feeling of disgust on the part of those gentlemen who had without pay or reward discharged the laborious duties of the magistracy. Sir GEortaz GREY and Mr. Berms supported Lord Palmerston. Mr.
Minnow heartily supported the bill. Mr. HENLEY opposed it. After some more debating, on the suggestion of Mr. Hum; Mr. GIBSON accepted Lord Palmerston's terms. The bill was read a second time, and com- mitted pro forma last night.
HER MAJESTY'S TErEATRE ASSOCIATION BILL.
The second reading of this bill was moved by Mr. PinerN, with an ex- planatory statement.
The object of the bill was to invest a large body of gentlemen, who are willing to risk a paid-up capital of 198,000/., with corporate privileges and a limited liability. Hitherto all who have undertaken the management of the Operahouse, from the time of Handel to the present time, have suffered severe Imes. The present undertaking was not a trading speculation, but undertaken for the support of the fine arts. Neither were the powers demanded without precedent. In 1812 the proprietors of Drury Lane Theatre obtained similar privileges; and lately powers of the most stringent description have been granted to the Electric 'Telegraph Company and the Custal Palace Company. He trusted the House would allow the present bill to be referred to a Select Committee.
Mr. Hums and Mr. CLAY opposed the bill, because it involved the principle of limited liability, upon which Government are about to ap- point a commission of inquiry.
Mr. Morrammv Mliams supported the bill. , Mr. Csanwzrz, specially called upon for his opinion by Sir Gzonam Pscimax, regarded the bill as an appeal against the decision of the Board of Trade.
Mr. Henley, his predecessor, had refused to grant the Association a charter with limited liability; and ehat decision had come before him for review. He had seen Mr. Lumley and heard his statements; but had not the shadow of a doubt that Mr. Henley's decision was consistent with sound principle and the precedents of office. As to the great respectability of the names of the Association, the law recognized no difference between one subject and another; and if they granted this charter to noblemen and gentlemen, they might be called upon to grant one to others whom the law would not be very anxious to protect.
Mr. Puncx observed, that though the Board of Trade was bound to act on fixed rules, Parliament legislated according to circumstances. On a division, the bill was rejected, by 170 to 79,
The Committees appointed to inquire into Election Petitions have been sitting for the last week, and have made some progress. The most inte- resting inquiries have been those of Clitheroe, Chatham, Blackburn, and Bridgenorth.
At Clitheroe, strong eases of treating were made out against the agents of Mr. Wilson, the sitting Member. In one instance, a body of voters were taken to a shooting-box and kept there for some days before the election, and then driven into Clitheroe to vote for Wilson. The most flagrant case of bribery was that of one Taylor, a grocer. Whalley, the Postmaster, offered Taylor 301. to vote for Wiliton : this was acceded to; and it was further agreed that the money should be deposited in notes with Mrs. Whalley, locked in a box, and the key given to Taylor: after seeing on the morning of the election that the notes were safe, Taylor went with Dewhurst, Wilson's agent, and voted for Wilson ; he then fetched the 301. from Whalley's, carried it to the committee of Aspinall, the op- position candidate, and gave it up to Mr. Aspinall's agent. Taylor ad- mitted that he had planned the transaction, as "the ends of justice re- quired it." Witnesses proved that great numbers of rough fellows with sticks were engaged on both sides.
The investigations before the Chatham Committee have elicited some curious facts. Several witnesses deposed that Sir Frederick Smith had promised appointments in the Dockyard in return for votes. Thomas Cooper wished to get one Pitt reinstated in an office in the Ropeyard ; he applied to Sir Frederick, who promised to see it done on condition that Cooper voted for him. Subsequently, Cooper and others attended at the Admiralty and delivered a letter to the Secretary, pressing for the imme- diate appointment, and the answer was that it should be done. But Pitt after all was passed over, and Cooper voted for Sir James Stirling. Esau Driver, a bricklayer, took the same means to get an appointment for his
son, on condition that he voted for Sir Frederick. In this case the ap- pointment was made. John Sibbett, a ropemaker, promised to vote and asked for an appointment at the same time ; but the place proposed was not good enough ; and he did not vote at all, in consequence of his attention being called to some "blue" bills on the subject of bribery. "Then," the witness said, " for the first time I felt certain that I had been doing wrong ; I had been trying to find a situation with my vote."
There were cases in which places had been given to the relations of Sir Fredericks conscientious supporters,—for instance, that of Greathead, a druggist, whose two sons had respectively been placed in the Post-office and the Navy. Sir Baldwin Walker, the Surveyor of the Navy, was ex- amined. He proved that one Wells had been dismissed from his post at Portsmouth, and a Chatham voter named Cotsell appointed in his stead. He also proved, that in April 1852 an order was issued that papers bear- ing on Dockyard appointments should be sent to the Admiralty direct This order restored the state of things existing before 1845. He regarded that step as casting a slur on him, for previously he had the supervision of the appointments. An inquiry had since been instituted ; Wells was rein- stated, and the supervision of the appointments restored to the Surveyor.
At the Blackburn election, distinct cases of bribery and treating were proved. Mr. Eccles, the sitting Member, against whom the petition was lodged, was examined. The election cost him 20001. or 25001.; but he denied all knowledge of the way in which it had been spent. The sons of Mr. Eccles were implicated. The Committee decided that Mr. Eccles had been guilty of bribery, by his agents, and had not been duly elected. The inquiry into the Brielgenorth election showed that there was clearly an expectation on the part of the electors that bribes would be given. Mr. Cadogan, the unsuccessful candidate, stated that he had been repeatedly Baked for money, but had refused. The usual
way of putting that question at Bridgnorth was to say, " see you again " ; and when they asked him would they "see him again," and he replied "No," they then asked would Mr. Backhouse or Mr. Grierson (one of his committee) see them again; but he declined.
In respect of the Lancaster election, Mr. Divett, on Monday, reported to the House of Commons, that Mr. Robert Baynes Armstrong was, by his agents, guilty of bribery. On Tuesday, it was ordered that the re- port should be printed, and that no new writ should be issued until the 4th of April.
On Monday, Lord Robert Grosvenor reported that Mr. Samuel Car- ter, not being qualified to sit for Tavistock, had not been duly elected ; and that Mr. Robert J. Phillimore was duly elected. Mr. Ker Seymer, on Tuesday, reported that Mr. Henry Plumptre Gipps and the Honourable Butler Johnstone had been guilty of bribery, by their agents, at the late Canterbury election ; and that the election is therefore void. On Wednesday, the report was ordered to be printed, and the issue of the writ suspended until after Easter.
There were two proceedings in the House of Commons, on Thursday, with reference to the late Norwich Election.
On the motion of Mr. LOCKE Knea, a petition from Norwich, presented by Colonel Boldero, was read by the Clerk. The allegations were, that two petitions had been presented against the return of sitting Members, one against both and the other against Mr. Warner alone ; that the latter had been withdrawn by the Parliamentary agents without the consent of the petitioners ; and praying that the resolution discharging the order re- lating to the trial of the petitions might be rescinded.
On the motion of Mr. LOCKE KING, the petition was ordered to be printed. Mr. King farther stated, that he should propose that the petition be referred to a Select Committee.
Later in the evening, Mr. THOMAS Duscoaniz presented a petition from Colonel Dickson, the unsuccessful candidate, whose petition against Mr. Warner had been withdrawn. Mr. Duncombe believed that a breach of privilege had been committed. An appeal was made to the Speaker, on the question whether the statements of Mr. Duncombe involved a breach of privilege ? The &Falun said, that if the petition contained all the facts, there had been no breach of privilege. If Mr. Duncombe had any more facts to state, of course he could not say whether there had been any breach of privilege.
After a good deal of talk, in which Mr. Deriecomini maintained that he had other facts to state, Mr. Heflin suggested that the petition should be printed with the Votes. This was agreed to.