There was a Cabinet Council at the Foreign Office on Saturday. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was absent, from indisposition.
Tuesday's Gazette contained a Treasury warrant for removing the postage charge of a halfpenny on newspapers sent to Prussia: they are henceforward free of postage. Printed papers and pamphlets are to be charged 6d. for the first half-ounce.
It is with pleasure that we are enabled to announce the speedy comple- tion of an arrangement relating to the Colonial [and Indian] mails, calculated greatly to facilitate the correspondence of parties having connexions with the Colonies. Postage-stamps are in preparation, and almost ready to be issued, by which prepayment may be effected on letters to any places out of England which are covered by the shilling postage.---Shipping Gazette.
In a letter to Earl Grey, as Colonial Secretary, Sir George Grey, the Home Secretary, explains the mode in which Government intend to dispose of convicts, instead of the existing system of transportation.
Transportation to New South Wales was discontinued,in 1840; criminals having since been sent only to Van Diemen's Land, Norfolk Island, Ber- muda, and Gibraltar. The Model Prison at Pentonville was completed in 1842. In 1843 the practice of sending prisoners to the hulks ceased, and. the number in the hulks has since been allowed to decrease. Milbank Prison was at the same time converted from a penitentiary to a depot- prison, to which all prisoners were sent. Some of these were selected for discipline in the Model Prison; whence those who conducted themselves well for a certain period were conveyed to Port Phillip as "exiles, witir conditional pardons. The remainder were sent as convicts to Van Die- men's Land, with some advantages not possessed by ordinary convicts- The rest of the adult prisoners in Milbank were sent direct to the penal. settlements. The following is a statement of the mode in which, since the
beginning of this system, adult male convicts have been disposed of after their reception at Milbank. In 1843. In 1844. In 1845.
Pentonville 497 240 283 Bermuda 330 150 400 Gibraltar 100 350 1,888 Van Diemen's Land 2,420 1,629 Norfolk Island.... 199 684 419 Invalid Hulk 38 98 148 Females have generally been sent to Van Diemen's Land; to which colony also the worst description of boys have been transported—placed in a distinct penal establishment at Tasman's Peninsula. A better descrip- tion of boys have been sent to Parkhurst, and eventually to the Australian Colonies with conditional pardons. Some have been pardoned on con- dition of entering the Refuge at Hoxion; and a certain number have of late been received into the Philanthropic Institution.
The evils growing out of transportation to Van Diemen's Land led to its suspension for two years, in June last. Subsequent information has ren- dered it necessary to break up the establishment at Norfolk Island. The result of these two measures has been to throw upon the hands of Govern- ment a rapidly-increasing number of convicts, for whom it is necessary to provide. The experience of transportation to Australia renders the pro- spect of resuming the former system of transportation to Van Diemen's Land illusory. The Australian Colonies being thinly peopled, and want- ing labourers, possess advantages over the Mother-country for the re- ception of criminals who have undergone their term of punishment; but the same causes operate to render those colonies unfit as places for retain- ing control over the criminals, or for inflicting punishment— So far from possessing any advantages over this country as places for carry- ing out this strictly penal system, the Colonies appear to labour in this respect under serious disadvantages. Without adverting to the comparative expense of enforcing this system at home and in these distant colonies, it is obvious that a the most important respects they offer fewer facilities than exist in this coun- ty for carrying out an efficient system of penal discipline. The Government is, of course, unable to exercise the close and vigilant supervision over the practical working of the plans adopted for the management of the convicts which can be secured here; and there is less opportunity in the Colonies of obtaining the ser- vices of a sufficient number of well-qualified officers for their superintendence."
The immediate convenience of getting rid of convicts has led to results injurious to the criminals themselves. Transportation, therefore, will be abandoned-
" On a careful consideration of this question, I am unable to devise or suggest any precautions or regulations by which the transportation of a considerable number of criminals to any of our Australian Colonies, to be there kept under sentence as convicts, can be resumed without the certainty of a recurrence of the evils which have heretofore resulted from it; and I think that the transportation of male convicts to Van Diemen's Land, as hitherto carried on, ought to be wholly abandoned."
The system adopted at Pentonville Prison has stood the test of expe- rience; and, under careful superintendence, may be extended to other prisons throughout the country. The plan proposed involves "a limited pried of separate imprisonment, succeeded by employment on public works, either abroad, as at Gibraltar and Bermuda, or in this country; and ultimately followed, in ordinary eases, by exile or banishment for the re- maining term of the original sentence."
"It is intended that the first stage, that of separate imprisonment, should in no case exceed eighteen months; and that the average term of such imprison- ment should not be more than one year. It is proposed that this imprisonment should take place either in Pentonville Prison, or in such of the prisons in the country as shall be ascertained on inspection to have made arrangements properly adapted for carrying out the system of separate imprisonment, and in which spare accommodation exists beyond what is required for local purposes." The separate imprisonment to be gradually relaxed towards its close, so as to prepare the con- victs for the second stage of punishment.
"It is intended that, on the expiration of the period of separate imprisonment, the prisoners shall be sent, as at present, to Milbank; and that they shall be sent from thence, according to the circumstances of their respective cases either to Bermuda or Gibraltar, or to other places which may be appointed by her Ma- jesty in Council, out of England, or to employment on public works in this coun- try, such as the construction of harbours of refuge, or works under some public department."
Precautions are to be taken against the evils of the "indiscriminate as- sociation of convicts," as it exists under the hulk system. The convicts will be subjected to a course of separate imprisonment, moral and reli- gious instruction, and industrial training. In this second stage, the system recommended by Colonel Reid, late Governor of Bermuda, will be adopted- " This system is in principle, though not in all its practical details, verysimilar to that which has been ably advocated by Captain Maconochie. Its most import- ant features are, that the convicts work by task; and that a regular register is kept of the amount of work done by each convict, and of his conduct; by which means, the labour is no longer exacted by the mere influence of fear or coercion, as in the case of slave-labour, but motives of a higher class are called into action, by the offer of advantages, both immediate and prospective, to the industrious and well-conducted."
On the release of prisoners from the second stage of punishment, it is proposed, whenever their conduct may entitle them to the indulgence, to grant them conditional pardons after a certain time passed in penal labour; the condition of the pardon being the same as that now enforced in the case of " exiles " from Pentonville,—namely, that they shall quit this country, and not return during the term of their original sentences. But there is to be a difference: instead of sending the prisoners out collectively, they will 'be required to quit this country, and be assisted to emigrate "individually"; a portion of the earnings of the prisoner during his imprisonments and ,employment on public works being applied to defray the expense of his emigration, or, in certain cases, that of his family.
The number of women sentenced to transportation being comparatively small, no alteration is at present contemplated in the manner of disposing of them.
As regards juvenile offenders, the object will be to rescue them from their career of crime. The system applicable to them should have a refor- matory rather than a penal character. A penal school is to be established in the neighbourhood of London, to which boys under a certain age will be sent. Here they will receive a religions, moral, and industrial education. For older boys the present practice of granting conditional pardons will be continued, with facilities for emigration.
"With regard to others, a contemplated union between the Refuge for the Des- titute and the Philanthropic Society, and the consequent formation of a joint establishment in a situation affording the opportunity of agricultural and other out-door employment, would, if carried into effect, offer great advantages in pro- viding for a considerable number of boys on their discharge either from prison or from the penal school. This proposal is now under consideration; one essential condition of its adoption being, that the projected establishment should be at all times open to Government inspection."
For the present, the plan is to be considered as experimental; power • being reserved to the Government to modify it.
The deputation to the Government from the Roman Catholic clergy of the diocese of Cloyne and Ross, consisting of the Very Reverend Dr. Collins and the Reverend Justin WCarthy, arrived in London on Thursday. On Friday they waited on Mr. Ponlett Sorope, to thank him for his exertions in advocating an efficient poor-law. They afterwards had an interview with Lord John Russell, at Downing Street. Dr. Collins read a memorial embodying thi general views of those whom the deputation represented; and he spoke at considerable length, urging an extended system of out- door relief, as the only means of forcing on the owners of the soil a proper discharge of their duties. He denounced the "Irish party," for their selfish objects; and declared that they had no hold on the feelings of the people of Ireland, whose wants and wishes they did not represent, and by whom indeed they were disavowed. Dr. Collins complained of the maletreatment of the poor by the Irish landlords: this had led to mistrust, and to neglect of cultivation; for the tenants asked themselves why they should till the ground when the landlords would seize all the produce for rent? He ad- vanced a somewhat despotic remedy,—namely, the passing of a law that only one third of the crops sown since last September, or to be sown dur- ing the present year, should be liable to seizure for rent. Lord John Russell deplored the state of things described by the deputation; and said that he had written to the Lord-Lieutenant with the view of obtaining an united action between the landlords and tenants for the common object of cultivating the soil: but he gave no special intimation as to the inten- tions of the Government.
The Pilot of Dublin has put forward an anxious contradiction of certain rumours of Mr. O'Connell's illness. It says- " The Liberator is not attacked by any form of disease of a chronic character, and the slightest ground does not exist for alarm respecting the soundness of his giant constitution. The Liberator is not as robust as he has been. Why? Ask any man of seventy years, who has gone through one tenth the wear and tear, of absorbing, harrassing, and exhausting public and professional business, and the answer will account. But, besides these sufficing causes—causes under which any other man would have fallen, crushed long years ago—there are special circumstances in O'Connell's case which add immeasurably to the influence of those ceases. See the condition of the country There is no question that Mr. O'Connell has been indisposed. . . . . There is nothing constitutional or chronic in that indisposition. Mr. O'Connell has been advised, by his physicians, that bodily rest is necessary to the resuscitation of the natural strength and energy which
have been affected. He has also been advised that he cannot with impunity at- tend Parliament—because Parliament, loving darkness, chooses to do its work at night. He must avoid night air, heated atmospheres, and the destructive currents which they promote. But Mr. O'Connell rises every day—reads his communica- tions—dictates replies to such as seem to require them—mingles in public, and goes abroad to take the air, every day of his sojourn in Londonduring the pre- sent Session."
A different version is given in a private letter from Mr. P. V. Fitzpatrick to Mr. Hackett of Cork. The letter, which is dated on the 18th instant, commences thus- " I deplore to write that the Liberator has been very ill, and unceasingly so, since he left the shores of Ireland. More than one consultation has been held by his physicians in London; and although they consider that there is nothilig im- minent nor perhaps very serious in his case, his letters to me prove that his own misgivings are such as to he likely to aggravate any bad symptoms." Mr. Fitzpatrick, however, expresses himself sanguine of a favourable result.
We regret to announce the indisposition of Mr. Baron Platt: the learned Judge underwent an operation on Tuesday by Mr. Travers.—Standard.
The Reverend John Gordon, M.A., whose resignation of the curacy of Christ Church, St. Pancras, was announced some time back, has been re-
caved into the Roman Catholic Church. The Reverend Mr. New, also a curate of Christ Church, St. Pancras, has withdrawn from ministerial duty in the Established Church, on grounds similar to those which led to the resignation of his colleague.—Norning Poet.
The Paris Motional quotes a letter from Munich, telling a strange story, how the assthetical King of Bavaria has become so enamoured of the ad- venturous Spanish dancer Lola Mentes, that she is openly installed as "La Favorite "— " She has become the channel of all graces and disgraces. She has thus upset the Ministry who opposed her being created Countess de Starenberg, and the donation which the King wished to make her of one of the finest Crown domains. The Count de Bray, Minister for Foreign Affairs, has resigned rather than coun- tersign a rescript which he deemed unworthy of the King. His colleagues have followed his example. The King has accepted some of these resignations, and refused the rest. The people are irritated, the nobility discontented. It is openly said that the King is mad; the boldest talk of having him pronounced such, and of appointing the Prince Royal Regent of the kingdom." This tale is somewhat corroborated by an advertisement which the lady has published in divers German papers, notifying that she will receive no memorials or petitions, as she is unacquainted with Bavarian affairs.
Count Walewski, lately appointed as the French Envoy to La Plata on a mission to settle the affairs of the Argentine Republic, is to leave Paris for his destination on the 5th or 6th March. Lord Howden is to leave Paris at the same time for Southampton, there to embark. The two Plenipotentiaries meet at Rio Janeiro, and proceed together to Buenos Ayres and Monte Video. After the conclusion of his present mission, Count Walewski is to go on another mission to Paraguay, where he is to instal new French Consuls.
Letters from Constantinople describe a terrible conflagration that ravaged Pent on the night of January the 26th. It broke out in a house adjoining the residence of the Attaches to the British Embassy; in ten minutes four houses were in flames; the fire spread with terrible rapidity through the wooden town. The Turkish authorities, and the crews of Russian, French, and Austrian war-ships, used great exertions to save the British Embassy; Baron Stunner, the Austrian Internuncio, was personally active; but all in vain—the Embassy was a total wreck. Nearly a hundred houses, of the best in Perm, were destroyed; and among other buildings burned down was the Italian Operabouse. Mr. John Ryder, one of the Churchwardens of Upper Chelsea, has written to tb& Times cautioning the public against a set of unauthorized persons who are erying contributions for the Irish and Scotch destitution, under the guise of col- lectors under the Queen's Letter. The Breehin Castle, bound from Adelaide in South Australia, to Swansea, has been lost off the latter port It is supposed that the vessel struck, on Thursday or Friday night last week, on the Helwick Sands, fourteen miles from Swansea. Only a vestige of the hull was visible; and the fate of the vessel and people has been too truly told by the wreck and bodies washed ashore. The crew were sixteen in number, and there were eight passengers: all have been lost. The mail-bag was picked up on the beach. One of the bodies, that of a seaman, had a life- buoy attached to it.
Both the ship's boats have been found shattered. The cause of the disaster is conjectured to be, that a light-ship which had been recently placed on the lid. wicks was mistaken for the Mumbles light at the head of the bay. The ship and cargo were valued at 20,000/. Jacob Webb, a Dublin policeman, has eloped with and married Miss Honore Macmahon, an heiress with 2,0001. a year.
Results of the Registrar-General's return of mortality in the Metropolis for the week ending on Saturday last—
Zymotic (or Epidemic, Endemic, and Contagious) Diseases Dropsy, Cancer, and other diseases of uncertain or variable seat Diseases of the Brain, Spinal Marrow, Nerves, and Senses Diseases of the Lungs, and of the other Organs of Respiration Diseases of the Heart and Blood-vessels Diseases of the Stomach, Liver, and other Organs of Digestion Diseases of the Kidneys, Sc Childbirth, diseases of the Uterus, Sc. Rheumatism, diseases of the Bones, Jointside. Diseases of the Skis, Cellular Tissue, Sc. Old Age Vitae:we, Privation, Gold, and Intemperance Total (Including unspecified causes) 1253 1088
The temperature of the thermometer ranged from 56.6° in the sun to 36.00 in the shade; the mean temperature by day being warmer than the average mean temperature by 7.2°. The direction of the wind for the week was South-west by West.
Number of Winter deaths. average. 156 183 100 112 187 170 614 354 68 32 77 70 14 8 10 12 14 7 3 78 81 31 30