/Dania ma rtudiugo in Varlinatut.
rat:tort. stretrrsss 'OF TER WERR.
Hews or Loans. Monday, Aprd 28. Diplomatic Protreedings; Lord Norman- by's Motion respecting the Savoy correspondence.
Tuesday, April 24. Law and Equity; the Lord Chancellor's Bill read a second time.
Thursday, April 26. rnion of Benefices Bill read a second time—Divorce Court Bill committed.
Friday, April 27. Durham ; Lord DungsOmon's Gompleint—Oxford Cniversite Bill read a third time and passed.
House or Colmtons. Monday, April 23. Reform Bill; Debate on the second reading, adjourned—Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill committed. Tuesday, April 25. Foreshores; Mr. A. Smith's Motion—British Museum; Mr. Gregory s Motion—Dockyard Management ; Mr. lackson's Motion—Londcin Cor- poration Billrescl a second time—Census (England) Bill read a second time. Wednesday, April 25. Law of Property; Lord St. Leonards' Bill committed— Jews Act Amendment Bill reported—Pawnbrokers Act Amendment Bill read a thhil time and passed. Thursday, April 26. Reform Bill; Debate on the second reading, further ad- journed—Education in Pactories ; Mr; Adderley's DM read a firetlime. Friday, April 27. The Conference; Lord John:Russeal's Statement.-Gharsh- ates Abolition Bill read a third time and passed.
TER REFORM Bus.
Early on Monday evening, the House took up the first order on paper—the Representation of the People--the qtrestionliefore the Ilona being " that the bill be noW read a second time." Before the debate was reswned by Mr.,Itessea, oaf r. Gnomes aske8 lk. Massey, whether he intended to press his =ties to refer the bill to a Select Committee Mr. Massa,/ said, that as Lord Zoluilussel had stated that the success of the motion would be regarded as a eetion of the bill, and as he had no such object, M51114110 ether belt"to abandon his motion. (Vries of "Oh r. attarneuelleng Mr. JAMES began by taunting the Oppasilion With having Assenled the bill as dangerous and revolutionary, and haviig refrained from
opposing the seeond reading by a direct negative. Be went on to show up the contradictory speeches of the Members of the Opposition on the subject of the franchise and the working classes, and seemed about to argue in favour of a great extension. Then he went on to criticise the accuracy of the returns furnished by the Government. Lord John Russell's celenlotion that the bill will add only 160,000 to the borough constituency is fallacious. Lord John could not be aware of the extent to which the constituencies will be increased.
The House ought to have correct data; they ought to know what will be the effect of the measure. (0Aparition cheer.%) A return of 1857 showed the number of houses in the metropolis rated to the poor ; and ac- cording to this return the total additions to the aggregate constituencies of the metropolitan boroughs, estimated by the Government returns at only 13,992, will he all deductions made 109,960. A similar increase will take place throughout the country. The bill will unsettle much and settle nothing. It is defective on account of its non-disfranchisement, for it retahm old Whig nomination boroughs, and for its non-enfranchise- ment because it does not provide a lodger franchise. That monstrous in- justice, the making a right to vote depend on the payment of rates, is pre- served, and no clauses provide for a revision of the registration. He trusted that the bill would go into committee and be amended there, so that the question might be settled for a quarter of a century.
Mr. HARDY said it would be difficult to determine on which side Mr. James's speech had been made. Surely, he was himself in that dilemma where he sought to place the Opposition, and it was his duty to move a direct negative.
Mr. Hardy declared that no member of the Government had told them what was the object of the hill. It had been supported by the out-of- door agent of the Government (Mr. Bright) and Sir George Grey, who did not say iamb in its favour, and Mr. Stansfeld, who, as a Radical Reformer, took the bill as a lever to place the question on a better foot-
ing. Now„ Mr. Bright's support alone rendered the bill auspicious. He
considers the bill as a stepping-stone to a much wider extension. But what are the effects of these reckless extensions ,of the franchise ? Look at the working of the Municipal Act. It has increased rates, led to expenses, and to an unlimited increase of corruption among the electors. Yet they proposed to give that very class a vote for Members of Parlia- ment. Questioning the accuracy of the Government returns, he inferred from the grant of a Committee to Lord Grey that it was felt that there was a case for inquiry, and appealed to Lord Palmerston to give the House of 'Commons the same opportunity for obtaining accurate infor- mation. He taunted the Premier with having yielded up his Conserva- tive sentiments ; defended .smail boroughs ; assailed Ms. Bright at every turn; and contrasted the bill of 1860 with the bill of 1854, which Mr. Hardy seemed to prefer. Re declared that the only real supporters of the bill are those who want to carry it farther, and that the only voices raised in its favour are those of persona who declare that nothing will be safe or satisfactory which does not give the suffrage to every man rated to the poor, distribute representation in proportion to property and popu- lation, and adopt the ballot. He described Mr. Bright as leading the Ministry into an abyss, and said he should feel disgraced if be did not denounce Mr. Bright's schemes. Finally, he repudiated any factious motives. The House ought to combine to defend the well-defined rights of the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the people. Sir GEORGE Lewis began a long speech by a vindication of the Govern- mentreturns. Explainiug the careful process of collecting them, he declared them to be substantially accurate, and he showed, by citing the returns themselves, that the members who have criticised them had overlooked information, and had made blunders. Then he accepted Mr. Hardy's challenge, and stated the evils that were to be remedied, and endeavoured to show that the remedy is adequate to the eviL This led him into a historical retrospect, involving the origin and working of the Reform Act of 1832. Showing that the attention of Par- liament at that time was directed, not to the suffrage, but to the disfran- chisement of boroughs, and the enfranchisement of boroughs sad counties, he described how- the Act had worked well, promoting the union of classes, so essential to the joint action of an united people in times of danger, and leading to legislative improvements in every department of the State. A measure framed in a similar spirit would still further pro- mote that union of classes. Then this is a fit moment to legislate. There is an absence of irrational theories, and An absence of pressure, so that the House can deliberate and adept such portions of the bill as seem reasonable.
" It is my belief that the measure is one calculated to guard against evils, now of slight magnitude, but increasing every year, and that for these pur- poses it is a safe and moderate measure. Its contents are simple—it is divided into three portions—each of which can be dealt with separately in Committee. it has been framed studiously so as net to.00mplicate the sub- ject—not to embarrass it with subordinate and irrelevant matter, but to
raise in a distinct form the three main subjects on which every Reform Bill must turn, viz., the enlargement of the franchise in counties, the enlarge- ment ofthe franchise in boroughs, and the disfranchisement, or partial dis- franchisement of constituencies. I cannot understand the objection taken to this measure, at one time that it is revolutionary, and at another that it is an insignificant measure, a mere abortion. If any person carefully ex- amines this bill, he will come to the conclusion that it deals with all the most important parts of the subject in a clear andAlecisive manner."
Mr. James objected that no system for revising registration is provided ; but that is matter for separate legislation. Mr. Hardy says the bill does not contain a lodger franchise. But it is a chimera to suppose that this -would be an aristocraticond not a working-clam franchise. As to the addi- tion to the constituency under the bill, it will not add 500,000—Mr. Dis- rueli's conjectural estimate of the addition his bill would have made—but the addition in boroughs will be less than 190,000, and in counties about 157,779 ; so that the total addition to the constituency made by the bill is -short of 400,000. These are the two main objects of the bill—to enlarge the county and borough franchise, and supply what seems a defect, not in the sense of a fault, but an imperfect enactment in the act of 1932. Then comes the the third object, the disfranchisement and transfer of seats. Sir George contended that what are called nomination boroughs in 1860, do not stand on the same footing as the nomination boroughs of 1830, which were boroughs without voters. Arguing in favour of the retention of small boroughs, on the ground that they preserve local interests and se- cure a more complete representation of the country, be showed that the bill places all the small boroughs on the same footing, although some towns having a larger population than 7000, have fewer voters than towns with a Population fewer than 7000. But the rule of population is the fairer of the two. The Cabinet bad not overlooked the question. They did not ignore anomalies ; ?tor did they endeavour to produce a symmetrical system. Their object was to leave the eonstitution as they found it, removing its patent defects. He trusted that whatever the fate of the bill, it would be fairly met, that there would be a fair stand-up fight upon it, and that no attempt so ignoble as that of pursuing a Fabian policy of delay would be made to de- feat the measure. The whole of June can be devoted to the consideration of the bill in committee, and if it passes early in July, there will be full time for its discussion in the House of Lords.
Lord Roomer Sfoirrative made a long speech against the bill. He urged that no one wants reform.; that evils were produced by the bill of 1832 ; that the bill before the House took numbers only into account, quantity, not quality ; and that it would place power in the hands of the men'who indulge in strikes. Re contended that the small boroughs re- turn the best numbers, and asked why they should repeat an experiment which has already been tried, and which has failed. Mr. HENRY BERKE- LEY could not agree that the measure is a Reform Bill. He objected to it on account of its deficiencies—it is a most infinitesimal dose. The franchise is extended, the ballot is denied, the nomination boroughs are not taken away ; and nothing has been done as regards the trial of con- troverted elections.
Lord ROBERT Cacte replied to Sir George Lewis. The measure will have a wider operation than the Reform Act of 1832. That was athingof counterpoises and balances ; this bill advances in one direction only ; that Act .adjusted the balance ; this bill upsets it. The power of the poor is so increased, .the influence of the rich will not be felt. That is even now the case in hiarylebone. The franchise is given to those who have no wealth at alL When •the bill has passed, there will he a House inclined to make common cause with the poor ; that House will fLy at the control of taxation ; indirect taxes will disappear, and direct 'taxes will take their place. It is the question of taxation that makes the swamping power so, dangerous. What the working classes would do is shown on a small scale in the boroughs. The class they would enfranchise is precisely that which furnished the eorrnpt freemen.
Mr. MONCKTON M.11.KES said he supported the bill because it was not a revolutionary measure ; but a simple step in the ancient path of our constitution. He did not believe in the .social geology of Lord Robert Cecil, And he wished the two noble Lards had spoken less of the upper craves, and had treated the lower .classes with less disrespect. It is dis- xeepectful to any class of Englishmen to impute to them that, if they had political power, they would use it for selfish ends. If more power were given them, they would not make a worse use of it than they do of the power they already enjoy. Taking a great interest in the education of the_people, he felt how large a part is the political element-
He did not think that in any country there would be a highly educated class of artisans unless they were enabled to participate in the political du- ties and privileges incident to its constitution. They would either separate their political from their intellectual life, or in proportion as their intel- lectual life was developed, they would become discontented at being excluded from the political machine to which they belonged. There were a great number of people who believed they could get on without politics at all. He should be sorry to see that feeling predominate. The spectacle of any large class of society separating themselves from the political action of that society was always fraught with danger,. especiallywhen that was an edit- _cabal, literary, and accomplished class, whose influence ought, if properly directed, to improve the political condition of their countrymen. He gave his adhesion to the bill as it stood. He did not wish in any degree to take- it as an instalment. The great body of the people of this country, had ad- vanced and were still advancing in intelligence and power ; and, with the education of the community placed on a safer basis, he was not the man to be alarmed at the introduction to the exercise of political power of any number of men whatever. He should give his support to the bill, believing that it would tend to the development of the political education of the people, and that the extension of the suffrage did not necessarily carry danger with it.
Mr. PEACOCKE defended small boroughs. Mr. Toomrsoe said the bill would give the franchise to the upper attratutuad the working classes. Mr. NEWDEGATE dealt with the returns. He could not fix the addition to the constituency lower than .300,000.
Mr. BLACK moved the adjournment ofithe debate. Thursday was fixed for the resumption of the debate, Lord PALMER- STON expressing a hope that then it would be brought to a close. There
were some cries of " !" followed by a vindication from Mr. Das- RAMAT of the right to criticise without moving the rejection of a bill, and a sarcastic allusion to the restiveness of the followers of the.Government. Mr. Disraeli desires not delay, but deep and deliberate investigation.
[It is worthy of remark that all who objected to the closing of the debate on Thursday were, with the exception of Mr. Viugent Scully, Tories of the old school—Mr. Bentinok, ME. Fellowes, Mr. Enightley.J Mr. Brame resumed the debate on Thursday. Holding that the vote is a trust and not a right, he questioned whether the reduction of' the franchise to 6/. would be an improvement. He 'thought not. So low a franchise will not improve the character of the constituency, but bring down the constituency to the level of the class of voters admitted under the bill.
Sir Bowan]) Berwsa Lorros spoke next. He was received with cheering. Promising to state his views in a spirit free from party bias, he began by an inriry into the standard of the electoral suffrage, start- ing from the prima facie right of manhood suffrage, showing the limita- tions to that claim in the good government .0 a state. He was eloquent on the evils resulting from entrusting political power to a class, espe- cially the poorest class, whose poverty, in quiet times, subjects them to the corruption of the rich, and whose passions, in stormy times, subject them to the ambition of the demagogue. He quated Mr. J. S. Mill against the measure, and went on to question the accuracy of the Government re- turns, pointing out that 2e. 6d. is the lowest rent paid by a labourer and that 28. 6d. a week is 61. a year. Every year, as prosperity and population increase, the constituency will widen. There is no variety of classes in the Addition proposed by the bill ; it is confined to a single class, and
that class the most democratic and excitable; "so that, the more some town has been rendered populous and flourishing by expenditure of capi- tal and activity of educated intellect, the leas eapital and educated intel- lect will have a voice in the representation of the place the prosperity of which they created and maintain." (Cheers) Sir Edward argued that the working.masses are not now excluded from the franchise. Re asked the blouse not to lower the franchise on the principle of admitting the poor solely because they are poor ; "though we are willueg to admit poverty and passion into the franchise, we are not willing to give them the lion's share of political power over capital and knowledge." He
showed that in America, a popular suffrage does not return educated men, and that in England, the man who has had the largest share of the confi- dence of the working classes was not Mr. Bright, but Mr. Feargus O'Connor. Would not the interests of the working classes be better represented by gentle.. men than they would be if the House could be turned into a synagogue of Feargus O'Connor's ? The bill would not make the House of Commons wiser and more enlightened ; nor will it purify and exalt the character of the constituency. On the contrary, it will lead to bribery, which no ballot could cure. Sir George Lewis said the bill made further progress in the path we entered upon in 1831. But, by this bill, you do not advance; you go back to the very constituency which the experience of centuries has proved to be venal. He appealed to the history of Athens in support of his views. Next, he laid it down that the bill would settle nothing, but only afford Mr. Bright a lever for agitation. The bill does not mitigate a single inconvenience of which educated men complain, neither lessening election expenses, nor enfranchising enlightened men who are not householders, nor decreasing the chances of bribery. "Thus we go into committee on this bill with the conviction beforehand that it pleases no one and settles nothing—that, do what we can with it, it will remedy no evil, produce no benefit, satisfy no class—not even the working men ; all we shall have done, if we pass the bill, is to place an empire, which rests its wealth and great- ness upon causes so artificial and delicate that, once destroyed, that wealth and greatness could no more return to England than they could ever again return to Venice, in the hands of men whose means of existence and faculties for education are—if a household test be any test at all—nearly one-half below
the lowest standard of the existing suffrage in our towns.' (Cheers.) At
great length, and with great force, he insisted that the time is not propitious for the proposed change; because in affairs abroad there are omens that indicate storms; and in affairs at home there will be a great deficit to be met next year by a new Parliament. No doubt Members would make high sounding speeches against truckling to absolute sovereigns, but would they readily submit to taxation, and be as provident of practical defences as of verbal provoeatives ? They would be chosen by the minimum of political ex- perience to meet times that may require the maximum of political know- ledge. He seemed to recommend an inquiry like that undertaken in the House of Lords—a hint received with " great cheering," and he ended his speech by a broader hint to Ministers to withdraw the bill.
Mr. MARSH spoke decisively against the bill. Sir JAMES FERGUSSON followed on the same side. [In the midst of his speech, dinner being
now the business of the evening, an attempt was made to count out the House, facilitated by a body of "young Conservatives" who "hap- pened" to be lounging in the entrance, and who did their best to keep out those who were running in to make a House. By the time the sand of the hour-glass had run out, a House was made.]
Sir Jesus FERGUSSON then continued his speech against the bill. Mr. DEN3IAN took the opposite side, and supported the bill in a speech full of fact and argument, showing that the great improvement in the education of the people entitled them to the franchise. Sir Joss WALSH said he had predicted these changes in 1832, and that further attempts would be made to effect changes, if the bill were carried, until the House became a mere democratic assembly.
Lord Joss RUSSELL said it was agreeable to be reminded by Sir John Walsh of a time when they were younger men ; but Sir John's argu-
ments were the same that he had heard thirty years ago. Why, since the bill of 1832 became law, the most useful measures of legislation have been from time to time adopted ; the wealth, the commerce, the popula- tion of the country has increased ; and we have not had those dangerous conspiracies which existed before the Reform Bill. Those who show their dislike of the present bill, and with so much alarm, have taken no pains to show that their arguments flow naturally from its contents. They say the bill will throw the representation into the hands of the poor, but they do not even make an attempt to prove it. Referring to the Government returns, and the statements of Mr. James, Lord John showed that nothing like the number of persons who live in 101. houses have the right to vote, because they do not comply with the conditions imposed by the law. Some do not reside in one house twelve months, others do not pay the rates, the rates of others are compounded for by their landlords. If not more than 50 per cent of the 10/. house- holders are on the register, surely fewer than 50 per cent of 6/. house- holders will be registered. Mr. James did not consider these things. Lord John showed that the common law gave every man paying scot and lot a right to vote, citing in proof thereof the authority of Serjeant Glanville. But when the Reform Bill of 1832 was prepared, it was felt that numbers who paid scot and lot were not substantial householders, as householders were two centuries ago. Therefore, they proposed the 10/. franchise, andaccompanied it with the provision that the obligation to pay poor-rates, a part of the payment of scot and lot, should be ascertained at the time Of the registration in July. Perhaps the Reform Act placed the franchise unreasonably high. There are persons with houses much under 101. entitled to the franchise by property and education.
" Now I have heard much said—indeed the greater part of this debate on the other side of the House has been conducted on the principle—that no xtcnsion of the franchise should be allowed to reach the working classes. (" No, no.") I think the representation generally has been that the work-
ing classes are entitled to all our respect, but they are very poor—the work- ing classes are persons whose good qualities we exceedingly esteem, but they are very ignorant—the working classes deserve all our care and our affection, but they are very corrupt ; and, being poor, ignorant, and cor-
rupt, they are not entitled to the franchise. ("No, no.") Gentlemen say 4No,' but I really have heard one speech after another to this effect, and
that speech which on this point most excited my surprise, was that of the right honourable gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire. The speech of the right honourable and learned gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin, and many speeches since, have all gone to that point. They have none of them said that the working classes, having a very great share of the 101. franchise, ought to be more largely. admitted to
the right of voting—they did not propose an Si. or 71. franchise ; but they objected to this particular franchise, which does introduce a great number of the working classes. Therefore, I say—and I can :come to no other conclusion,, and that is a very serious conclusion to come to—that a spirit of distrust of the working classes as holding any portion of political power is apparent in the speeches of honourable gentlemen opposite. ("No, no !" and cheers.) Gentlemen say, No' ; but what is their proposal for
the admission of the working classes ? They allowed there might be some cities of refuge, in which the working classes might be allowed to vote for Members. The Member for Edinburgh said that something of that kind
might be allowed, although he did not tell us that Edinburgh was one of those places. (Cheers.) It really behoves honourable gentlemen to recon- sider their speeches if this were not their meaning ; but, I say, the whole impression I have derived from their speeches is, that you ought not to trust the franchise to the working classes—(Cheers, and " No, no 1 ")—and that they ought not to be generally admitted to it" Pointing out that the Go- vernment of Lord Derby%spotted to lower the franchise in boroughs, in
order to introduce the wor classes, he said :—" Successive Governments have proposed measures on subject. The Government of which I had the honour to be the head, the Government of Lord Aberdeen, the Govern- ment of my noble friend near me, and, lastly, the Government of Lord Derby, although they did not propose to alter the 101. franchise, have all introduced bills on this subject of Reform, and I' own it is my opinion that, if you have a Reform Bill without a reduction of the franchise, that will be more perilous than passing this bill." Having answered some of the argu- ments of Mr. Black, he showed that many boroughs and counties are not likely to be swamped by 61. householders. " On referring to the returns, I find that boroughs having a population of 20,000 return 137 Members; that those having from 20,000 to 8000 return 109; and that boroughs having less than 8000 return not less than 87. Taking also the smaller boroughs having a population of less than 1000, I find that no fewer than 111 return 172 Members, which, added to the 159 Members which are returned for counties, constitute a majority in the list of returns." Lord John argued against the disfranchisement of small boroughs, and showed that in dealing with the county franchise the Government had not done more than the House had already decided should be done. He insisted that the present time is a good time to legislate, and instanced the delay in con- ceding Roman Catholic claims, the Reform Bill, and the Corn Laws, to prove that if measures are delayed they are passed in times of agitation and excitement. " The right honourable gentleman the Member for Bucking- hamshire told you last year that it was right to admit the working classes to the franchise ; that you should not attempt to hold them in a state of dependence ; that, with regard to them, you should not keep the word of promise to the ear and break it to the hope.' "
Mr. DISRAELI—" You have not read the extract correctly." Lord JOHN RUSSELL—" I have read every word of the passage."
Mr. DISRAELI—" No; read what follows hope.' " Lord Joss RUSSELL—" When lowering the suffrage, it should be done in such a manner as completely to effect the object consistently with the maintenance of the institutions of the country.' (Loud cheers from the Opposition). Well, I say that we, in proposing to lower the suffrage, be- lieve that we shall satisfactorily and completely effect our object ; that is our opinion. The right honourable gentleman has another way of maintain- ing the institutions of the country : but I think we are as well entitled to be thought anxious to maintain those institutions as Lord Derby or the right honourable gentleman. (Cheers.) We proposed the Reform Bill in 1831, and Lord Grey advised his Majesty to declare in the speech from the throne that a measure of Reform was proposed with regard to the House of Commons that would respect and preserve every portion of the Constitution. Was not that promise kept ? I have shown how well it was kept. I have shown that the institutions of the country are stronger now than they were in 1831 ; does the right honourable gentleman deny that ? Then, if we have kept that promise and have maintained those institutions, examine this bill; examine it as much as you please, and if you find anything dangerous in it, alter that part of the measure. But my belief is, that the bill tends to preserve our institutions ; and this I think above all, that if you find there is a numerous class that has advanced in intelligence, well- being, and comfort, and is fitted to possess the electoral franchise, it is an injury, not so much to them as to yourselves and the institutions of the country, if you exclude them from it. I remember well the homely and forcible expression of the honourable Member for Oxfordshire last year ; if you draw bard line,' and will have a 10/. franchise and nothing below it, I think the ' ugly rush' he spoke of may very possibly come to pass. I hope, therefore, that you will, by enlarging.the franchise, strengthen the institutions of the country, and, by admitting a larger class to the exercise of the suffrage, give those institutions an increased safety." (Cheers.)
On the motion of Mr. Barmsex, the debate was then adjourned.
The Marquis of NORMANDY moved the following resolutions on Mon- day evening :— ' That it appears by the papers lately laid before Parliament, and espe- cially by a despatch from Earl Cowley to Lord John Russell, dated 5th of February, that the French Minister had stated, and truly, that the inten- tion of the Emperor of the French to take possession of Savoy under certain contingencies had been made known to her Majesty's Ambassador at Paris, and by him communicated to her Majesty's Secretary of State on more than one occasion between the 12th of July 1859, and the 25th of January, 1860, in private letters. That, while this House fully recognizes the necessity of a private correspondence between the Secretary of State and her Majesty's representatives abroad, it is of opinion that all facts of international'import- ance ought to be made matter of official correspondence, and as such to re- main on record for the use not only of the Government of the day, but of their successors in office, to be produced to or withheld from Parliament by the Ministers of the Crown on their responsibility. That the absence of any such record, more especially if such private correspondence is referred to in public despatches, is injurious to the public service, unjust alike to the Fo- reign Minister who made the communication and to official colleagues at home, and calculated to withhold important matter from the full and free control of Parliament."
Lord Normanby disclaimed any intention to censure Lord Cowley. The object of his resolutions was to guard the public service from irre- gularities. He had been asked if he meant to turn out the Government. Now, all his resolutions implied was, that the proceedings of the Foreign Office had not been perfectly unassailable iu point of regularity or of judgment. Lord Normanby supported his motion by repeating the diplomatic history of the annexation of Savoy, interpolating references to the negotiation of the commercial treaty, the quarrels between Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston, and Italian policy. [Lord Nor- manby was indistinctly heard.]
Lord COWLEY thanked Lord Normanby for postponing the discussion until his return. As the resolutions contained a distinct and specific charge against himself, he felt it necessary to obtain the permission of the Secretary of State to appear and answer a charge which was a vote of censure. The best way to meet it was to state all that had taken place in reference to these transactions.
In March 1859, at the request of Lord Malmesbury, he inquired whether a treaty had been signed for the cession of Savoy, and he was told no such treaty was in existence. In July, he made further inqui- ries in consequence of inforMation from the Swiss Government, and was told by Count Walewski that there had been discussions, but that it had been laid down that, if territorial additions were made to Sardinia, France would demand an extension of her frontier.
That information he sent home, and then received instructions which had guided his conduct towards, the French Government. On the 8th of July, Count Walewski, of his own accord and without any kind of provocation on Lord Cowley's part " made a declaration that, if at any time the idea of an- nexing Savoy to France had been entertained, it was entirely abandoned. This declaration was made unequivocally and without any reserve whatever. . . . . It is perfectly true that in various conversations which I bad with him, but particularly on the 26th of August and the 3d of November, he de- clared to me his private opinion—(cheers)—he had no authority whatever to convey it to my Government—but he stated that, in his opinion, if the an- nexation of the Duchies of Sardinia took place, such a step would be followed by a demand on the part of France that Savoy should be annexed to her. This was not an official communication made to me ; it was an observation Which passed in common conversation, and I certainly did not take it, nor was it meant to be taken, as a declaration made to the British Government. (Loud cheers.) That information was sent to Government in private let- ters. "I was in possession of the solemn declaration which Count Walew- ski gave in July and, if I had made the observation the subject of an official communication ; I should have involved the Government at once in the dis- cussion of a question which to all appearance was about to engage the atten- tion of a Congress, and I should have given up the advantage of a previous declaration which I had received unequivocally, and without any qua- lification whatever. (Cheers.) Another consideration which weighed very strongly with me was that, whatever the wish or intention of France might be, it was impossible that Sardinia would give up its territory " Lord Cowley next accounted for that irregularity the al- lusion to private letters in public correspondence. " When the change of Government, or rather the change in the department for Foreign Affairs took place, I happened to be out of town. On return- ing to Paris, I found the whole aspect of matters altered. The question of Savoy, which had completely fallen to the ground, was in everybody's mouth, and it consequently became necessary for me to speak to the new Minister for Foreign Affairs on the point. Congress, moreover, was shortly expected to assemble. As soon as M. Thouvenel had taken office, I went and spoke to him on this question ; but he was so totally unacquainted with what had taken place that he told me, on various occasions, until he had on opportunity of informing himself fully, he could give me no information. It was not until the 5th of February that he gave me any notification of the intentions of the French Government. I had received information in the meantime from other sources, but it was only on the 5th that anything like an official communication was made to me. It was necessary for me, then, to recall attention to the declarations formerly made, and M. Thouvenel ad- mitted the accuracy of my representations, but pointed out that on more than one occasion allusion had been made to the possibility of a demand by France in the event of territorial additions being made to Sardinia. I hope I have said enough to convince your lordships that, throughout the whole of these transactions, no important communication was ever withheld by me from her Majesty's Government, and that in making this particular com- munication by a private letter, and not in a public despatch, I did that which I thought best for the public interest." (Cheers.) Lord GRANVILLE thought, after the clear, candid, and satisfactory answer of Lord Cowley, no peer could agree to the motion. Lord Nor- manby had disclaimed any intention of turning out the present Govern- ment; but he did think that, when Lord Normanby's speeches and con- duct were considered, his disclaimer of turning out the Government was due entirely to his inability to do anything of the kind. He proceeded to defend the conduct of Lord Cowley by reading extracts from the de- spatches, and contended that her Majesty's Government had really no official information as to the intention of France to annex Savoy. He entirely repudiated the assumption of Lord Normanby that, as the Go- vernment had favoured the annexation of the Duchies to Piedmont, the Government had only themselves to blame if France annexed Savoy, and pointed out that the policy of the. Government had been to leave the Italians to settle their own affairs, without any intervention what- ever. In passing to the direct question of the resolution, he briefly and humourously examined the wording of the resolutions, and said that, though as an abstract proposition he should be willing to agree with it, he could not in the present instance concur with the motion, and pro- posed that their Lordships should pass on to the orders of the day. The Earl of MALMESEURY said there was no intention of conveying a censure upon Lord Cowley, who had shown great zeal and ability in dis- charging his public duties. The irregularities which had taken place had enabled the Government to evade inquiries by stating that they had received no official communication on certain subjects. when they were in reality aware of everything that was taking place. He could not help thinking that the Government had not shown sufficient vigilance in the matter, and had not been jealous enough as to the annexation of Savoy and Nice to France. Taking, however, all things into consideration, he thought it would be the better plan if Lord Normanby withdrew his resolution.
Lord WODEHOUSE denied that her Majesty's Government had ever had any intention to mislead the public, or to withhold information. He thought the opinion of her Majesty's Government in respect to the an- nexation of Savoy and Nice was well known, and was a sufficient proof that the Government had not been apathetic or indifferent.
The previous question was agreed to without a division.
LAW AND EQUITY.
The Lonn CHANCELLOR moved the second reading of the Law and Equity Bill on Tuesday. He said that a crisis has arrived in law re- form, and the question is, shall there be a further fusion of law and equity ? Describing the conflict between the courts of law and equity in former' times, he quoted from the report of the Commissioners appointed to investigate the subject. The Commissioners laid down principles which he wished to see adopted. They said, "It is obviously most de- sirable that in every case the court which has the cognizance of the matter in dispute should be able to give complete relief." Having then discussed the various remedies which had been suggested, they con- tinued :-
" We have arrived at the conclusion that, without abolishing the distinc- tion between law and equity, or blending the courts into one court of uni- versal jurisdiction, a practical and effectual remedy for many of the evils in question may be found in such a transfer, or blending of jurisdiction, coupled with such other practical amendments as will render each court competent to administer complete justice in the cases which fall under its cognizance. We think that the jurisdiction now exercieed by the courts of equity may be conferred upon courts of law, and that the jurisdiction now exercised by courts of law may be conferred upon courts of equity, to such an extent as to render both courts competent to administer entire justice without the parties in the one court being obliged to resort to the aid of the ether."
There the ground was laid down on which this bill was founded,—one cause and one court. It was not proposed that a suit should be brought in the Court of Queen's Bench against a trustee for breach of trust, or that an action for assault and battery should be brought in the Court of Chancery ; but that legal rights should be enforced in the courts of com- mon law, and, if equitable questions arose incidentally, that those courts should have power to dispose of them without entailing on the parties the necessity of going to another tribunal, employing ,another set of counsel, and thus incurring infinite delay and expense.
He also quoted passages from a speech of Sir Richard Bethell, and from the Report of the Common Law Commissioners, upon whose recom- mendations his bill is founded. He did not set forth its provisions, but he gave the credit of drawing to Mr. Justice Willes. He proposed, after it had been read a second time, to refer it to a Select Committee.
Lord ST. LEONARDS took exception to the whole measure as one that would promote confusion in law and equity. He showed that it would transfer the duties of the equity courts to the common law courts, now unable to do their work ; and, further, that the common law courts have not the machinery wherewith to carry out the bill. He severely cri- ticised its provisions, and said that they had been condemned by every equity judge, except the Lord Chancellor. Lord CRANWORTR gave some support to the bill, but said that he should feel great reluctance in assenting to the bulk of its clauses. He hoped the House would read it a second time. Lord KINGSTOWN condemned the bill in the strongest terms. Lord WENSLEYDALE objected to the measure. Lord CHELMS- FORD joined in opposition to the bill. The LORD CHANCELLOR said that some of the objections to the Bill seemed to be based on an entire misapprehension of its meaning, for it
did not propose that suits, of whatever character they might be, might be brought indiscriminately before either equitable or common law tribunals, but that if; incidentally, a question of law arose in a suit in equity, the equity courts might be empowered to deal with it, and vice versa.
The bill was read a second time.
LONDON CORPORATION REFORM.
The motion for the second reading of the London Corporation Bill, on Tuesday, was met by a request from Alderman SALOMONS that it should be further postponed, because many Members had left the House, not expecting it to come on. Mr. ESTCOURT said the bill had been so often postponed, that if not discussed then, there was no knowing when it would be discussed.
Mr. AYRTON rose to move that it should be referred to a Select Com- mittee, with instruction to inquire into and report upon the charges and taxes on the metropolis, and the expediency of constituting the metro- polis a county of itself for all purposes of local management, and for the administration of justice. Instead of doing so, however, he made a very long speech, and then deferred his motion. In the course of this speech, he went far back into the antiquities of corporation history, and criticised the selfish and exacting spirit in which they had discharged the func- tions intrusted to them by successive Parliaments. He contended that the taxes levied by the corporation—the metage-dues, the coal-dues, and other impositions—were illegal, uncalled-for, and should no longer be tolerated, now that the relations between the City and the metropolis had undergone so complete a change. The corporation had altogether ceased to care for its constituents, and had become nothing but the miserable shadow of its former self. He proposed to substitute for the present corporation a really effective metropolitan municipality, consist- ing of aldermen and common councillors elected by the district• now re- presented at the Board of Works, but the variety of details which such a scheme would embrace he left for future examination and discussion. He also wished to see the administration of justice improved by making the metropolis a county in itself, and by instituting a commission of the peace for the entire metropolis. The present mode of administering the civil law was also extremely inconvenient, and, in many cases, oppres- sive. A number of courts were simultaneously thrown open, the result of which was that counsel, solicitors, witnesses, plaintiffs, and defendants were all attempting the rather impossible feat of being in three or four places at the same time. This evil might be remedied by the establish- ing of one central court, which would sit continuously throughout the year, and at which every man might obtain cheap and expeditious jus- tice.
Mr. WILLIAMS said, that of all the bills which bad been brought in to reform the Corporation of London, this was undoubtedly the worst, as it did not propose to carry out a single recommendation of the Royal commission of which the Secretary for the Home Department, whose name was on the bill, had been a Member. He hoped the measure would be either withdrawn or rejected, for it was idle to suppose that it could reform anything, much less the Corporation of London.
Sir GEORGE LEWIS described the measures taken to reform the corpo- ration since the year 1831, and the reasons for exempting the City of London from the operation of the Municipal Corporation Act. He ad- mitted that this bill adopted fewer of the recommendations of the Com- mittee of 1854 than the bill of Sir GEORGE GREY, but observed that the explanation was a simple one ; that bill had been referred to a Select Committee, whence it emerged in the form substantially of the present bill, which he believed would be useful as far as it went. He could not, he said, assent to the proposal of Mr. Ayrton, to transform the entire metropolis into a county, with an administration ill-adapted to the wants of the inhabitants.
Mr. LoCEE moved the adjournment of the debate, and the motion was negatived by 82 to 37. Then Mr. Rovessi, moved the adjournment of the House, and Mr. AYRTON attacked the Government for conducting business in a manner that deprives it of all confidence. Mr. ESTCOURT said, confidence or no confidence, Sir George Lewis had never been found wanting in consideration for what was due to the House, or to the just claims of those who opposed the Government measures. (Loud sheers.) Mr. HANXEY said, the very lengthened speech of Mr. Ayrton had been mainly instrumental in preventing the bill from being generally discussed that evening. (" Hear," and laughter.)
The bill was read a second time, on the understanding that an evening should be given for its discussion.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
Mr. GREGORY moved for a Select Committee to inquire in what way it might be desirable to find increased space for the extension and ar- rangement of the various collections of the British Museum, and the best means of rendering them available for the promotion of science and art. He described the Museum as in a state of congestion more hopeless than ever. Inquiry should be made whether the collections should be sepa- rated, and what separation there should be ; whether they should remain, or be removed. He suggested the establishment of lectures, and seemed to think that the Museum might lead duplicate copies of books to other museums. Mr. Gregory is in favour of separation, but not of removal, and especially not of removal to Brompton, Mr. Smirke had drawn up a plan for fresh buildings for one collection, but it appeared that the cost entailed would exceed by 212,5001. the cost of the removal of that collection to Brompton. But the Natural History collection, proposed to be moved, is the most popular in the Museum, and it would be an unpopular measure to transfer it to Brompton. The step proposed is contrary to the opinions of the working staff of trustees, and of the sci- entific world.
Mr. Kurneawn seconded the motion.
Sir GEOROE Lewis offered no opposition. In his opinion, it would be a great advantage if a removal and separation of the collections took place. He said nothing of the site to which they should be removed. Mr. Gregory thought Brompton too far west. Let him indicate a site in the east or north, and it would be fairly considered. The question of new buildings newt the Museum, of new libraries for the reception of duplicates in other quarters of London is a question of expense. So is the question of lectures ; and that is for the House to consider.
Mr. TURNER objected to the expense of removing the Natural His- tory Collection to Brompton just as much as to the expense of erecting large buildings near the Museum. The expense of removal would be enormous ; and they could get all the accommodations required by pur- chasing one row of houses on the south-east of Montague Place. He complained that the trustees were fossilizing the superior officers of the Museum by starving them. Colonel SYKES desired to see all the col- lections in different parts of the Metropolis. Lord PALMERSTON agreed that the question was solely one of expense. If all the collections could be kept where they are without expense, it would be ridiettlous to subdivide them. But the building will not hold all the collections on the spot. Many are stowed away, and are not ac- cessible. The trustees had agreed that the Natural History Collection should be removed. They would prefer to keep it on some contiguous site, but to do that would cost 200,000/. more than to take it to Bromp- ton. He, who had to look after the interests of the public as well as of the Museum, was bound to give a vote adverse to an arrangement in- volving that expense. Mr. JACKSON suggested a rate on the metropolis to provide a fund for enlarging the Museum, and speaking of salaries of the officers said they were a disgrace to the country. Mr. GLADSTONE said these officers are as well paid as other classes of public servants.
Motion agreed to.
trerioN or BF21EFICES. The Bishop of LONDON, in moving the second reading of the Union of Benefices Bill, said that the object of the bill was to provide that a wealthy parish with a small population should contribute to the necessities of its poorer neighbours, or rather that the wealthy parish should contribute to the spiritual instruetien of its own poor, as there was no doubt that the poor who lived in the, immediate neighbourhood, although out of the parish, were its own podr.' 'It was proposed by the bill that churches in certain instances which were at present useless should be taken down altogether, in such a manner, he trusted, by the safeguards pro- vided in the bill, as to prevent any desecration in the removal of any build- ing consecrated by the reminiscencies of the past. Many of the city churches, which had neither beauty nor antiquity to recommend them, might, he thought, be removed into districts teeming with population with the greatest benefit. Before any ohurch could be removed, however, it would be necessary to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of the diocese. When any change was proposed to be made it was provided in the bill that a commission should be previously issued, consisting of three clergy- men and two laymen, the latter in the city of London to be appointed by the Corporation. The bill was opposed by Lord Csinesityme, the Bishop of OXFORD and Lord REDESDALE. The general opinion was that it should be limited to London. The bill was read a second time.
FORESHORES. Mr. At-animus SMITH moved on Tuesday for a Select Committee to inquire into the rights of the Crown as connected with the foreshores tidal rivers, estuaries, and bed of the sea round the coasts of the United Kingdom, and the manner in which the Commissileners of Woods and Forests are dealing with the same. Mr. MORRIS seconded the motion. The ATTORNEY,-GENERAL on behalf of the Crown, really the consolidated fund, opposed the motion, and it was negatived by 134 to 117.
Li/ornery OP Irresaorens. Colonel Se YTH obtained leave to bring in a bill limiting the liability of innkeepers in regard to the property of guests. He proposes that they shall only be liable for property deposited in their houses up to 401. ; unless they have personal charge of it, and that the value of property above that amount shall be declared to the innkeeper, and it should then be deposited in a safe place, the innkeeper giving a ticket for it during the absence of the owner. The bill was read a first time.
DOCKYARDS. On the motion of Mr. JACKSON, the House of Commons has agreed that an humble address be presented to her Majesty, praying that she will be graciously pleased to issue a Royal commission to inquire into the system of control and management of her Majesty'? dockards, the pur- chase of materials and stores, the cost of building, repairing, altering, fitting, and refitting her Majesty's ships, and the best mode of keeping the accounts thereof. Lord Otannwen Peaty readily assented to the motion, saying he was glad to perceive SO strong a disposition in favour of this inquiry.
LAW OF PROPERTY. The Law of Property Bill took up nearly the whole of the Wednesday sitting. It has passed the House of Lords. Mr. Wsie POLE had the conduct of the measure in the House of Commons. It was discussed in committee &idly by lawyers, and the debate was almost strictly of a technical character. The bill passed through committee.