Prhatro an rntrrbtng inVattinintut.
rniweiret BVSINESS or THE W BEE.
n orgy. OP Loans.-Monday, March 29. All Moored of Khyrpore; Lord Ellen. borough's Narrative-Law of-Witts Amendment Bill, read S third time and passed- Proolamativii OF.Assembling Parliament Bill, passed through Committee. Tuesday, M II 30. Length of the present Session of Parliament; Lord Derby's
RxpIab A inistration of fustice in Lunacy ; Lord Lyndhurst's Statement.
. Administration of Justice in Lunacy ; Lord Lyndhurat's Bill
Friday. April 2. East India Couipany'a Chatter renewal; Select Committee- granted to the Earl of Derby.
Noose OF COlugoNS. Mbodllth March 29. Erlintittrgh and Canongate Annuity. tax Abolition Rill, read second time-The Militia ; Mr. Walpole', ThU, to he introduced- Mutiny Bill, passed through Committee. Thesday, March 30. Merchant Steamers as Ships of War Mr. Anderson's Res°, Jution-Wine-eltities ; Sir. Ansley obtains a Select Committee-Voting by Ballot; Mr. Berkeley's Motion, negatived by 246 to 144. Wednesday, March 31. TOW-Right (Ireland) Bill, Mr. Sharman Crawford's; second reading debated till the adjournment of the House at six o'clock. Thursday. April 1. Westminster Bridge-Park in Finsbury-British Subjects abroad ; Mr. Monckton ilnes's Motion debated, and the "previous question" eon. sented to by him-Harwich Borough ; Sir De Lacy Evans's Motion for a Bribery Commission, negatived by IM to 95.-Poor-rates; Mr. Trelawny's Motion post- poned-Poor-law Commission ; lea% e to Sir John Trollopc for a bill to prolong for two years.
Friday. April 2, Charitable Trusts Bill; Committee postponed to 19th Apra_ Mr. Cobden and the Earl of Derby's Explanation-Length of the Session ; Eapiana. tions from Mr. Disraeli-Harwich Borough ; Writ issued-Repayment of Advances (Ireland) Bill, read a second time-Protection of Inventions Act Bill, passed through Committee--Corrupt Practices at Elections Bill, forwarded in Committee-Militi, Bill, read a first -time.
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Friday The Lords.
Rour of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment.
55 . 7h 45m
Oh . 75 Om
.at, . Sh 15m
6h 75 5 m
Hour of Hour of
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411 .(itt) 1211 lbrn Noon ... • Sh Om
45 .(m) 1210 45m 4h .(nal 1h3
StninosuasthissmiB ota,. 246;; Flue, 47011; 3Lint Sittings this Week, 5. TM., 42)t Oo this Seesion. 32; - 193b Ibra NEW STATEMENT ON THE LENGTH OF THE SESSION.
Some little qualification was made by the Earl of DERBY, on Tuesday, respecting his statement on the 19th of March on the probable duration of this session, and the nature of the first session of the new Parliament.
The Earl of Minx° inquired of Lord Lyndhurst, whether he should pro- ceed with his bill for enabling either Hodes of Parliament to take up in an ensuing session a measure passed by the other House in the preceding seg. sion. As there was a general impression that we might expect a dissolution shortly, and that a very short and hurried session would follow the general election, lie thought it might be well to proceed with many measures now when their Lordships had much leisure time. The Earl of DERBY interposed to say, that "nothing had ever fallen from his lips which could lead any man to suppose that the present would be a session of unusually short duration." "I never said anything that could justify such a conclusion. I say further, that the continuance of the ses- sion depends on causes over which I can have no control. As far as I can form an opinion, the next session, so far from being a short and hurried session, will commence at an early period, and will be of no ordinary duration."
Some further conversation ensued between Lord MINTO, the Duke of NEWCASTLE, and Lord DERBY. Lord DERBY-" I certainly expressed my opinion that Parliament should meet in autumn ; but I expressed at the same time my opinion, that that was desirable in order that certain questions might be disposed of previous to Christmas, and in order that the ordinary duration of the session of 18,53 should not be interfered with by the agitation of those questions. I contem- plated, no doubt, an autumnal session, but did not contemplate that which the noble Earl seemed to anticipate, namely, an autumnal session followed by a prorogation of Parliament." The Duke of NEWCASTLE felt that the present explanation did not quite agree with that formerly given, neither as he understood it, as other Peers understood it, nor as the country generally understood it. "The noble Earl will not, I think, deny that he also stated that he did contemplate an early dissolution of Parliament ; and that he did not think it right, considering the temper of the present House of Commons, to persevere with any mea- sures of legislation except those which were of instant urgency. He will not, I think, deny that he also stated that which, of course, produced a great effect, and rendered his explanation more satisfactory-that he would not pledge himself to dissolve Parliament on any definite or particular day; that he would not pledge himself to dissolve in April, May, or June-" The Earl of DERBY-" I never mentioned those months."
The Duke of NEWCASTLE-" I must, then, appeal to the recollection of your Lordships; for my recollection on the point is distinct. If the noble Earl says that he made such a statement without intending it, I am ready to admit it ; but from my perfect reliance on my own recollection, I must say that the noble Earl has forgotten his own statement ; for I aver that he distinctly said that he did not pledge himself to the time of the dissolution, and that he would not say whether it was to take place in the month of April, May, or June." The Earl of Dnany-"The noble Duke has evidently misunderstood what fell from me on a former occasion. I said that I would not pledge myself to specify the day on which I would advise her Majesty to dissolve Parlia- ment, or the month in which a genend election should take phice. I Mid that I thought that it wee expedient for the public advantage that the autumn should not pass over without a new Parliament having an opportunity of discussing certain questions of deep general interest ; and I added, almost in the same words which I repeated today, that. I thought it was expedient that those questions should be disposed of before the ordinary time of assembling Parliament for the session of 1853. That statement I repeat again. Beyond that I have not bound myself, nor will I be induced, to go."
Here the conversation dropped.
THE hirr.rmA, Mr. ViraLeetag, the Home Secretary, explained the Gementnont mea- sure for consolidating and amending the laws relating to the Militia.
He commenced with some modest personal deprecations; claiming the in- dulgence of the House on the ground of his unacquaintance with the subject, and his consciousness of its magnitude, which would have prevented Idin as a private person from even 'venturing to speak respecting it; but stating that he is so convinced of the absolute necessity for some such measure as he would propose, that he should believe himself to be actually betraying the best interests of the kingdom if now he should shrink Irons the task.
He laid down the two propositions-that this country ought, in its means
of defence, at least, whatever may be its means of attack, to be put on an equal footing with other powers ; and that it is not the position of the country at this moment. Though there is no immediate danger in the pre- sent state of Europe, we should be prepared for possible dangers that maY soon arise out of the elements of anarchy and confusion. The Government has not received any information from or respecting any foreign power which has increased or modified the danger which the present Ministry considered to exist at the time of their accession to power ; but that is one of the cir- cumstances by which they justify their present proposal because end friendly relations with foreign powers have increased and are increasing, the measure tow proposed should be brought forward at this time ; for it will be plain that under such circumstances it is not brought forward i? jealousy or apprehension, but simply and solely because we believe that it is the first of duties to keep the country in a state of self-defence, because we know that provident precaution against danger is the highest wisdom, and that the best security against the possibility of attack is always to be pre- wred and ready to meet it. As to the necessity for the measure, it is proved toth by the concurrent opinion of all high military authorities, and by the very fact thatGovernment after Government has prepared measures in times or panic such as that now to be proposed. But there are three classes of ob- jectors to such a measure,—those who say the defence is enough ; those who deny the immediate danger of attack ; and those who say that if the defence be insufficient the proper improvement of it would be, not by a Militia, but by adding to the Army and Navy. Mr. Williams the other night cast up the troops very accurately : there are 100,000 men for the Army, 30,000 in India, 15,000 Pensioners, 13,500 Yeomanry—in all, 160,000 men. But what num- ber of men remelt' out of these for our home defenees ? Even this number is not a quarter of the army of Russia, not a half of the army of Prussia, nor one-third of the army of France, and very little more thsn the army of Belgium. But the British empire comprehends one-sixth of the population and one-eighth of the habitable surface of the globe ; and Mr. Walpole assured the House, that, drawing from the manufacturing districts, from our central depots, from the Metropolis itself, and from. most of the fortified places a great portion of the soldiers, we could not bring on any one point 25,000 men; and then the rest of the country, the Metropolis itself, and the Queen's Palace, would be left to the defence of Pensioners and Police. The House was told the other night, by a gallant Admiral, that there are ships enough to cover the Southern coast. But have we men in them ? Supposing all the ships that might be manned andput in commission Were manned, even that would not be sufficient. The only ships in commission for the home station at this moment are nine vessels of war, five frigates, one sloop, nine steamers propelled by screw, and eight steamers propelled by paddle. Without dis- paragement to either force he thought he might assume that in such a state of things the country ought not to be left. Those who urge that there is no immediate danger he answered by these words of prescient wisdom from Edmund Burke— Early and provident fear is the mother of safety ; for in that state of things the mind is !um and collected and the judgment unembarrassed : but when fear and the thing feared come on together and press upon us at once, even deliberation, which at other times saves, becomes one's ruin, because it delays decision; and when the peril is instant the decision should be instant too." Those who propose to meet any conceded danger by increasing the Army or Navy, he met with the objections, first, of expense, and secondly, in the ease of the regular Army, of constitutional repugnance—in the case of the Navy, of inefficiency, for with all our naval precautions a reckless and for- tunate enemy might still elude our fleets and descend on our shores. Then, on behalf of the Militia, there is the familiarity with the force for two hun- dred years, the good service it has actually performed, especially in recruit- ment—the victory of Talavera was gained by an army which mostly consisted of men who were little more than raw Militia recruits—and the actual ex- istence of the force at this moment. The life and habits of the regular soldier are inconsonant with the feelings and habits of the masses of the civil community ; but the Militiaman—serving in a double character as defender of his country and.a contributor to its prosperity, mixing with other classes when his service is over, and interested in maintaining the laws—stands on a different, and on a popular footing. If it is asked, are we to have the Militia with all its evils and hardships, withdrawing the people from their industrious pursuits whether they will or not, and giving an advantage to the rich, who may escape from the service by paying for a substitute, but forcing the poor man from his home, or else driving him to the necessity of selling his goods, furniture, and probably his tools ? he answered, once for all, that he hoped nothing of that kind would happen except in case of ex- treme necessity. , Before explaining his scheme, be briefly traced the progress of the law on the subject, from the a3ra of "commissions of array;, ' which were the old mode of providing for home defence, through the times when the Militia was first established, in Charles the Second's reign—thorn' of George the Second, when the organization of the body was resuscitated nnder a feeling of na- tional disgrace inspired by the introduction to this country of Hanoverian re- gular troops—the later date of 1802, when the Militia was remodelled, and the period of 1831, which was the year when the Militia was regularly called out for the last time. At the close of the historical sketch, he ob- served that though the Militia has not been called out since 1831, yet it must not be supposed we have been paying nothiog for it ; last year we paid 83,000/.
The manner in which the Government now proposes to raise the Militia is this. Primarily, they will obtain it, if they can, through the means of vo- lunteers, attracted ' by bounty. Their measure may be 'Considered in these five branches,—with regard to the mode of raising the men, with regard to the officers, with regard to the payment and consequent expenses of the force, with regard to the time for training and chilling, and with regard to the circumstances under which they may be employed.
• The force deemed necessary is 80,000 men; but to raise these at once would be costly, and not the most convenient way. In the first year 50,000 Could be levied, and then the other 30,000 in the setiond ; and thus the expense would be divided • and we should always have some skilled men in the force. The bounties would be paid as the 'men desire, and as might be arranged by the Secretary-at-War, either in a single sum of 31. or 4/., or in divided pay- ments of 28. or 28. 6d. per month for the whole peried of service. , For the officers there are now under the act 41st George III, five qualifica- tions: II is proposed to dispense with those qualificatiene in all officers below the rank of a major, and to dispense with them in all cases whatsoever where half-pay officers of her Majesty's Service are emploYed; and it would be con- sidered a great advantage to have the Militia so officered. '
The cost of the force would be about 1,200,0001. for the five years—little more than 240,000/. a year ; but equipments and arms would make the outlay in the first year about 400,000/. As the force is national, it is thought that a great
alteration in the existing law should be made, and that" the expense for the equipment and arms of the men and occasioned by the bounties should be
borne by the public purse." "It would be hard upon particular districts that
they should have to contribute out of local property. tower& such an expense if the object of the force is to be a permanent and national one; but at the
same time, if any district should neglect its duty and not provide the proper quota, it seems reasonable that for that neglect the:expense of the ballot, al.?eposing it should ever be called into operation, should be thrown upon the an_nict so neglecting to furnish its proper quota..", The time for training and drilling is now twent ...eight days : it is pro- Rased that, as the ordinary rule, twenty-one days the time, but that the crown have the power to lessen the _period to one or three clays, and, in emergency, to extend it to forty-nine days, Or seven' Weeks. As to the embodiment of the force, the existing law would be maintained Illaltered : the force would be embodied in case of "actual invasion or im- minent danger." The period of service would be five years. uch is the general framework of the measure.
Au objection might be made that the raising of so large a force of volun- teers would interfere with recruitment for the regular . Army : it is proposed to meet this by arrangements' as to the age and height of the men who may be chosen. The standard maxintum age of an Array recruit is twenty-five. Years, and the standard minimum height of an Army recruit 5 feet 6 inches :
it is proposed to admit Militia recruits between the ages of eighteen and thirty- five ; thus enlarging the scope of choice for the Militia ranks by all the male adult population between twenty-five and thirty-five. The standard height of the English Army recruit being 5 feet 6 inches, that of the Russian recruit is 6 feet 4 inches, and that of the French recruit 6 feet 1 inch. That of the English Militia recruit is 6 feet 4 inches. A nobler and more gallant soldiery than the French never existed ; and if they have been able to fight the battles they have fought throughout the length and breadth of Europe with men of a standard height of 5 feet 1 inch, surely our men at 5 feet 2 inches would be equal to all the purposes required. Mr. Walpole addressed to the House some grave and eloquent persuasions to adopt the permanent security to the national hearths and homes which he believed his measure to offer, and especially some warnings against a paltry and dangerous parsimoniousness : he then concluded by a formal motion for leave to " prepare and bring in " his bill to " amend and consolidate the laws respecting the Militia."
The speeches which followed were of three sorts : several against the 'principle of the measure, made by Mr. Holm, Mr. COBDEN, Mr. BRIGHT,
and others ; some in favour of the principle but in criticism of its de- tails, made by members of the late Cabinet and their supporters ; and those by the Ministerial bench and their supporters, among whom, for the nonce, was Lord Patoeztorrost.
Mr. HUME occupied his former ground, that there is no reason for the measure ; that " the panic " has gone ; that our Army of 232,000 men
and our Navy of 250 sail of vessels is quite adequate to our defence ; and that the measure will be deeply unpopular. He inquired for more specific information as to the exemptions intended—for the lawyers, for instance. He would allow the bill to be laid on the table, but would oppose it at the second reading.
Sir Dn LACY MA'AM; found that the resolution which be had given notice of moving would be irregular at this stage; so he would postpone
it till the second reading. He greatly doubted the propriety of the plan ; asked what reason Government could give for having discouraged the Volunteer Rifle Corps; and doubted the accuracy of the assertion that not more than 25,000 men could be concentrated on any point of our Southern coasts.
Mr. MILNER Greson suggested, that as the measure was to be part of a permanent policy, it would be proper for the Government to postpone it along with other questions, until after the approaching appeal to the country. Lord PALMERSTON reargued the question of the possibility of our danger, and said at last he wondered how anybody could be so absurd as to doubt it. He thought the measure of the Government, generally speak- ing, a good one.
He had always thought that voluntary enlistment might be advantageously resorted to as a substitute for the ballot ; and he admitted the ingenuity of the plan of 'allying the bounty by monthly instalments, though he believed most would elect to have it at once. He supposed that the force would be liable to the obligations of the present Militia-law, and be applicable to serve in
any part of the United Kingdom. (" Hear !" from Me Treasury-bench.)
Then he deemed the plan to be highly deserving of the favour and sanction of the house; and, so far from feeling any desire to take advantage of it to turn out her Majesty's present Government, he should be happy to afford them every assistance in his power carry into effect what he deemed of im- portance to the nation. Lord Joinv Russimi, also enlarged on the precariousness of our safety ; referring to the Pritchard affair, in Louis Philippe's time, to show how suddenly a most dangerous complication might come about. Lord John canvassed the measure ; demanaing fuller explanations on what bad always been the great difficulty with the Militia, but what had been passed over in the admirably clear speech of Mr. Walpole—the ballot. How
would it be taken ? what would be the arrangements about the substitutes where the ballot failed ? He doubted whether the bounty would be effectual
were it put into instalments ; and feared that the volunteers would not reappear if the bounty were all paid on the first occasion of service. He commented jocularly on the course Lord Palmerston was taking. "The right honourable gentleman (Mr. Walpole) proposes a bill for England ; he proposes that the Militia should be sent to any part of the United Kingdom, ius I proposed ; but he does not propose a Scotch or Irish Militia. The objection of the noble
Lord, however, does not apply to this bill, although the propositions are the same. (Laughter.) The Scotch may be very brave men, end the Irish very loyal men, but the Militia Bill is not now to be applied to them." Mr. WALPOLE rose and gave some of those detailed explanations which Lord John Russell asked.
He proposed to take for the purposes of the ballot the registrars' districts and the census of 18.51; which would enable the quotas of men to be equitably fixed upon each district. The Government intended to fall back upon the ballot in the event of voluntary enlistment failing; and as a necessary consequence, substi- tutes must be allowed. With regard to the expense of such a force, if 31. a man was paid as bounty, the sem required for the firet50,000 men would be 150,0001.3 and the 30,000 men to be raised next year would cost 90,0001. Of course, if the bounty was 4/. the expenditure would be somewhat more. The pay and
allowances to 50,000 men with officers would be, for twenty-one days,
87,1291.; marching-money for men joining and returning, 62501.; carriage of baggage, 50001.; clothing, at 11. 15.e. a man, 93.663!.; extra allowances
to innkeepers, 15,0004.; makings total for 1352of 207,042/. The 30,000 men proposed to be enrolled in 1853 would entail an additional expense of 38,027/. 10s, for the twenty-one days' training; with 38251., for marching-money ; 9180/. for innkeepers' allowances ; clothing at 11. 15s. per man, 53,5601.; making, with some allowances for medicines, &c., a total expenditure for the two years of 311,9521. Deducting the cost of clothing provided in 185.4 (93,6631.), the total coat of 80,000 men for 1853 would be 218,2881.; and again deducting the cost of clothing in 1853 (53,5,500, the cost of training for 1854 would be 164,738/. The cost for five years, be believed, might be taken, to stand thus—for 1852, 200,0001.; for 1853, 210,0001.; for 1854, 160,0001.; for 1855, 160,000!.; for 1856, 164,0004 Mr. COBDEN spoke at some length from his usual points of view, against the principle of the measure ; declaring himself of opinion, the more he heard, that there is less necessity for it than ever. He called to mind the great preparations for a whole year that Napoleon the Great had to make for the expedition against us, which, after all, he abandoned ; and argued, that if it were a surprise of ten or fifteen thousand only—that of a mere band of desperadoes who did not contemplate getting back again—that of a body of Thugs—which was feared, then a militia would not prevent it. "One would be sorry to make a suggestion to them, but would it not be better to come over individually with passports, diverse themselves in the country, and do ten times the mischief by fire and murder, and so on ?" (Laughter.) Then, surely, they had something to fear in France, as well as we here. "Talk of their coming here to devastate our cities, or rob the Bank of England ! had not they vast cities in France, and more bullion in their bank ? Were we to treat them as men who had net common sense ?" And so on. Avowing suspicions of all the statements tint fell Iron/the Treasury-bench as to the paucity of our forces, he justified those suspicions by reference to the conduct of Admiral Berkeley in and out of office. "We were told in the newspapers in December and January and part el. February, that we were defenceless, and had not a ship of war we could send to sea ; and the gallant Admiral said nothing against it while he sat on the Treasury-bench ; but no sooner did he get into the wholesome at- mosphere of the Opposition side than he showed that we had been com- pletely hoaxed, and that in twenty-four hours we could cover the Channel with steamers within hailing distance. Ile wished the gallant Admiral had told us that before. He doubted whether it was not something of the same kind of ease now with regard to our Army, and he should like to see a Com- mittee inquire into the number of armed men we have in this country. The exact distribution of the troops ought to be stated in the Estimates. As to its letting out the secret to foreigners, any one could find it out by analyzing the Army and Navy Lists."
Mr. Cobden wourid up by recommending that we propose to the French to lay their ships up in ordinary, reciprocally, ship for ship, instead of continu- ing our competition of wasteful extravagance. Mr. BERESFORD, Secretary-at-War, attacked Mr. Cobden on the falla- ciousness of his prophesies of peace ; defended the limitation of the bill to England, as in accordance with all the precedents, and as called for by the fact that we arc most exposed to invasion on the South coast of Eng- land.
Admiral BERKELEY followed up the assault on Mr. Cobden with cri- ticisms on his ignorance of naval affairs ; and defended his own recent assertion as to covering the Channel with vessels from the North Foreland to the Channel Islands. Before the Lisbon squadron returned, there were three steamers in com- mission in port, and three ordinary guard-ships in commission. There were fifteen first-class reserve steamers—vessels ready in every point to proceed to sea, wanting the men. It might be asked how he proposed to man them ? There were marines, officers, boys, seamen, gunners, and riggers of the dock- yards, on the spot. The commander of the Coast Guard had orders to have 1500 men told off ready to join either at Devonport, Portsmouth, Sheerness, or wherever it was necessary. In the year 1827, before the days of railways and electric telegraphs, in forty-eight hours a squadron sailed for Lisbon, manned, and carrying troops on board. Mr. Canning boasted of that in the House of Commons ; and if in 1827 that could be done in forty-eight hours, he believed that the Navy had not so far lost its energy that it could not now be done in twenty-four hours. He admitted he was not satisfied that there were at present men enough in the Royal Navy. (Ministerial cheers.) If they had wanted a squadron such as he had described to watch the Channel, he should have been taking away the men who ought to be left at home to fit out other ships. He repeated what he had declared on former occasions, that they ought not to be content with less than one-third of the men in peace that were required for the Navy in war.
Mr. Fox Mauve threw his detailed knowledge, recently brought from the War Office, into objections to the details of the measure. The bill went a great deal farther than the measure of the late Govern- ment, and was to all intents and purposes a revival of the Regular Militia, with all which that implied, of long service at a distance from home, and
the necessary destruction of the trade or profession of the recruit unable to procure a substitute. Of course, one volunteer would be worth many im- preased men; but his belief was that they would get very few volunteers, for 2s. ad. per month or ld. a day. Again, hadeMr. Walpole examined the confused machinery of the ballot which he proposes to retain ? If he had, he would have found, that instead of assembling the force in ten weeks, as the measure of the late Government would have secured, it would not as- semble it in less than ten months. Had he also considered the subject of the local expenses of the old ballot, and all staff clerks, sub-clerks, constable
and other officers; and the burden they would impose on the county-rates ? Had he reflected on the consequences of taking his force from married men with fixed trades, between twenty-five and thirty-five, instead of confining it to the youth between eighteen and twenty-three?
Mr. HOBHOUSE confessed, that until the delivery of Mr. Maule's speech all the authority was on one side of the House and the argument on the other; but when Mr. Maule came fresh from the War Office and told them that the bill was almost unworkable, he thought that the weight of authority as well as that of argument was against the bill. Contend- ing strongly that the measure ought to be carried on the hustings, and settled by a new Parliament, he moved as an amendment, that there be added to the motion the words" this day six months." But the SPEAKER decided that this amendment was irregular; so it was not put. Mr. Honsume briefly opposed the measure; relying on the opinion of all great military authorities that the fate of England would be sealed for over if her defence was left to a militia instead of to a regular army. Colonel Surnionr supported the measure, because he has confidence in the Ministry.
• Mr. DISRAELI controverted the main ground of Mr. Cobden's " able and agreeable speech" ; which was no more or less than "the assumption, that in the present state of Europe no nation need defend itself." But his chief object was to ask the favour of unembarrassed progress with the bill, on the ground of formal course and usage: he hoped there would be no division, because the Government were in fact only obeying the former order of the House; all they naked for was permission to lay on the table of the House that bill which the majority of the House had decided should be prepared. There would be many opportunities of ample discussion hereafter. Mr. BRIGHT was sarcastic on the grave face with which Ministers now prayed the observance of a rule through the violation of which they occu- pied their present seats.
"The order of the House to which Mr. Disraeli had so pathetically refer- red, had passed before the right honourable gentleman enlisted under the banners of the vindictive noble Lord who sat below the gangway."
Priming on to the working of the measure, he suggested, that though volun- teem might be plentiful in the South-western counties, where work is scarce and wages range at Is. to la. 64. a day, it would certainly fail in Lancashire and Yorkshire, where work is abundant and wages from 2s. 64. to 58. a day. He also put in a strong light the great evils that would result from a forced application of local recruitment by the ballot, among the skilled workmen in the factories. "The, em i ploynent n all those mills was by a succession of links. The chain of industry was of a most ingenious and wonderfully ar- ranged character. It was the most important and most productive industry in the country ; but Mr. Welpole proposed to take by ballot the men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five who were engaged in those delicate, diffi- cult, and skilled operations. When they came to work the question, and when the balloting system was put in operation, they would find that it was not the great capitalist alone, but the workmen whom they were about to with- draw from their regular and well-paid industry, who would be the steady and implacable enemies to the measure now proposed." He strongly recommended the Government to follow their admirable precedent with regard to the ques- tion of Protection, and postpone the measure to the next meeting of Parlia- ment, when the opinion of the country would be ascertained on it. 1 Mr. ROEBUCK said, he would sooner see ten thousand added to the re. gular army than a hundred thousand industrious artisans converted into a militia farce. The House testified its impatience of further speaking by cries of " Divide !" but there was no disposition to divide : so the motion was agreed to, and leave was given to bring in the Government bill.
HELP IN WAR FROM MERCHANT STEAMERS.
Mr. ANDERSON, founding on the report of a Select Committee of 1849 in favour of providing, by means of the commercial steam marine of the country, " a reserve steam navy " available for the national defence whoa required," moved a resolution affirming the sentiment of -the report of the Committee. In support of his proposition, he stated that the United Kingdom possesses 1300 mercantile steamers of all classes, of an aggregate burden of 300,000 tons and the aggregate power of 100,000 homes. All of those might be made fit to serve for coast defence ; but if Government would make arrangements to have fitted readily from a hundred to two hundred of the larger ones— largest mail-steamers being already under contract to be so fitted—in such a manner that they could be armed with two heavy guns, 32-pounders or 68- pounders, they might secure the object he had in view for an outlay of +591. to 14501. on each boat, and maintain available the required force for a cost of about 10,0001. a year.
Mr. Maexuerrox, the Chairman of the Committee alluded to, seconded the motion, as it had his entire approval.
Mr. STAFFORD, Secretary to the Admiralty, acknowledged that the conduct of Mr. Anderson had been not only plain, practical, and business- like, but entirely free from party considerations : he intimated that the principle of the proposition had the acquiescence of the Board of Admi. rally, and stated, that as the Board had not found an opportunity of laying any lengthened statement before the House, it was thought desirable that he should on the present occasion call the earnest attention of the House to a few particulars.
"The Secretary for the Home Department, in his speech on the Militia Bill, stated the number of vessels we had ready to serve,—namely, 9 sail- of-the-line, 5 frigates, 1 sloop, 9 screw-steamers, and 8 paddle-steamers. Besides these, the following are engaged in our home defences—at Woolwich, 9 vessels, with 530 men ; Sheerness, 7, with 1544 men ; Portsmouth, 16, with 6642 men ; Devonport, 11, with 2822 men ; Cork, 5, with 368 men; in all 48 vessels, and 11,906 men. To these add the Hecate (cruising), 160 men; Pluto, 55; Antelope, 55; Vulcan, 152; making in all 52 vessels and 12,328 men, exclusive of 4500 Marines on shore, and Coast Guard and Dock- yard Battalions; being altogether 29,648 men. In addition, he had to men- tion that the Simoorn and Vulcan, large screw-steamers, were each capable of moving a regiment, and there were several small steamers besides.
"The whole of her Majesty's ships in commission were—in the East In- dies and China, 19; Cape of Good Hope, 9; coast of Africa 22.; South-east coast of America, 8; West coast of America, 9; North America and Weal Indies, 13; Mediterranean, 19. "He would now refer to the naval force of two foreign powers, • from a statement compiled with the greatest care. The number of Russian line-of. battle ships in commission were—in the Baltic, twenty-seven ; Black Sea, eighteen ; making together forty-five : of frigates and corvettes—in the Baltic, twelve ; tho Black Sea, twelve • together twenty-four : of brigs, sloops, and schooners—in the Baltic, fifteen; the Black Sea, nineteen - to- gether thirty-four; making a total of 103. Of steam-vessels, Russia ad in the Baltic eight, awl in the Ea& Sea six frigates. Of small steamers, there were in the Baltic five, in the Black Sea fifteen ; in all thirty-four ; the en- tire naval- force of Russia being 137. The French had in commission—of line-of-battle ships, seven ; frigates, eleven ; corvettes, ten ; brigs, elevem small vessels, twelve; transports, twenty-two ; in all seventy-three. Of steam-vessels of 600-horse power and upwards they had two ; between 500 and 600, one ; between 400 and 500, eight; between 300 and 400, one; be- tween 200 and 300, fifteen; between 100 and 200, thirty-one; under 100, eight; in all, 66. "The naval forces of the three great maritime powers of Europe were- Line-of-battle ships—Great-Britain, 72; France, 45; Ruspia, 45. Frigates, —Great Britain, 83; France, 55; Russia, 10. The total sailing force was— Great Britain, 236; France, 257; Russia, 174. Coming to large steamers, Great Britain had 37; France, 61-; Russia, 8. Of steamers under 200-horse power, Great Britain had 97; France, 57, Russia, 24."
In reference to the motion made by Mr. Anderson, Mr. Stafford said that the Admiralty would acquiesce in it ; but the Navy Estimates having al-
ready ipassed, there would be no funds this year available for carrying it out. He might also say, that if there were any difficulty to be apprehended, it would not be one of coat, but one founded on the question whether naval and mercantile crews would work well together ; and whether the latter would like to be placed under martial law. However, on that point encouraging evidence was given before the Committee of 1849. The explanations were received as satisfactory; and Mr. Animism( withdrew his motion.
Just at the conclusion of the discussion, Lord PeLmEnsxon suggested, that it might be well to exclude iron steamers from the contemplated ar- rangement, as unfit for war. Captain Dimooxim stated that the attention of the Government had been called to that subject, and that iron merchant- steamers would not be employed.
THE AFRICAN SLATE SQUADRON.
In the course of the statement of the strength of our Navy relatively with that of France and Russia, Mr. STAFFORD said, that since the dis- missal of Lord Palmerston from the office of Foreign Secretary, there had arisen among foreign powers a notion that England was inclined to aban- don her efforts for the suppression of the slave-trade : he had only to ob- serve, that whether it is wise or unwise to maintain that squadron on the coast of Africa, the Admiralty would consider it their duty, so long as the squadron was maintained, to keep it in an efficient state.
- BOROUGH OP HARWICH.
Sir Da LACY Evens redeemed his promise to ask leave for a bill to appoint Commissioners to inquire into the existence of bribery in the bo- rough of Harwich. Hed3upported his motion by recalling the Parlia- mentary history of Harwich since 1840; showing the numerous peti- tions that have been presented against the election-returns on the ground of the bribery practised there ; and reminding the House that twice had its own Committees convicted the borough of corrupt elections, by un- seating the Member returned, OR the ground of bribery. Edwards at St. Alban 's was a mere pigmy as a bribery-agent, in comparison with MOSS, the agent of Mr. Attwood at Harwich. Mr. Attwood confessed his ex- penses on one election to have been at least 9000/. ; yet that was only a part of what he then spent, and he said frankly that the bribery was "notorious."
Mr. D'ETscouirr seconded the motion(
31p. WALPOLE argued strongly against the motion, on the ground that segue notoriety would be a most dangerous ground for issuing such com- missions.
If they were to send out these Commissioners armed with enormous powers, and depriving all witnesses of the privileges they possessed in ordi- vary cases, whenever an honourable Member happened to get up and say that bribery and corruption existed, they would institute a system of inquiry, wbjeh, by the exercise of great unconstitutional power, would give to a ma- joriy enormous means to get rid of boroughs, or even counties, opposed to their own views. If there was one thing more than another the House was bound to do, it was to protect the minority. (Laughter) Yes, they might laugh, but he repeated that they should take care the minority was not over- ridden by a majority in the House claiming enormous and unconstitutional powers.
Mr. CLAY, Mr. Becanraw, and Mr. T. Dtuscomint supported the mo- tion; Mr. SEYMER, Mr. BANICPS Mr. DEEMS, and Mr. ROEBUCK opposed it-s-the last on the ground that the .Commission should have been issued a year ago. On division, the motion was negatived, by 137 to 95.
' THE BALLOT.
In the debate this year on the motion by Mr. HENRY BERKELEY for leave to bring in a bill to take the votes of Parliamentary electors by bal- lot, all the speakers in support treated the logic of the question as now abandoned by their opponents. With the exception of one practical point, the discussion turned on the moral aspects of the secrecy which the ballot is proposed to secure. The practical point was a reply by Mr. Berkeley to the inference which Mr. Disraeli had drawn from the fact that bribery in elections, and violent strife at the vote-pollings, have taken jilace in the State of New York, where the ballot exists.
Re pointed out, that though the Governor of New York made official mention of the bribery and violence, and recommended the adoption of means to sup- press them, he never hinted the remotest idea that the way to do that would be the abolition of the ballot. Nor is there the slightest notion among the members of the Government or Legislature or amens the people of New York, that these evils would be diminished by abolishing the ballot.
In his picture of the moral evils of the present system, Mr. Berkeley dwelt on the unusual causes for a fierbe struggle at the ensuing general election. A rich and powerful party, after a lapse of,years, had just obtained the Government, and they would no doubt make a great struggle to retain it. Already crowds and herds of low attomies had crept from the Police and low Bankruptcy Courts, where they had wrung fees from poverty and vice, to bernme electioneering agents in the ranks of the great and noble. And what was their agency ? - It commenced with a searching inquiry into the lives of electors, with the view of finding out their misfortunes and liabilities ; and the devilish ingenuity by which they obtained screws whereby to extort dishonest votes exceeded all belief. If such was their agency, let them look to aleir trade. Their trade was with electors' consciences ; their means were theelectore miseries ; their employers were the House of Lords ; the result was the House of Commons.
Among speakers against the motion, Mr. Berrxre Coerrnarre made a point by raking up a saying of Sir James Graham in 1842, that the only persons to whom the ballot would be valuable would be "dirty hypo- critical cowards." Mr. Commis spoke at some length on the moral ad- Vantages of getting rid of the flags, banners, bands, mobs, and violence of &Won's. He made a quotation from a former speech of Lord Derby, then Lord Stanley, which le. seemed to interpret as an assertion that the tenantiare the political capital of the landlords. Mr. WALPOLE warmly defended the Premier from Mr. Cobden's aspersion; nd being inter- rupted by Mr. Cobden with a disclaimer, twice repeated, of the sense put on the use he had made of the quotation, he repelled Mr. Cobden's inter- ruptions, saying he would not be put out or diverted by them. He then replied to Mr. Cobden's moral arguments ; taking exactly the antagonist ground to his, namely, that the moral consequences of the ballot would be evil. While insisting that Mr. Disraeli's quotations from American experience show. the ballot to fail in its primary object of secrecy, he yet rested his objection on the principle of secrecy itself. Secrecy, if secured, would shut out all possibility of punishing any fraud or impropriety in the election ; and it would deprive the representative of that right to know how his electors vote which is correlative with their en- joyment of the trust of the franchise, and with their privilege to know the vote of their representative. But, worse than that, it would debase the cha- racter .of the people, and recall in practice that impressive picture given by Pliny of the Boman voter who belied in the ballot-box the pledge he had given in the canvass—" Tabellas poposcit, stilum accepit, fidem abjecit, eaput demisit, neminem veretur, se contemnit." The whole number of the speakers in the debate was but small. Be- sides those above named, they were—for the motion Sir BENJAMIN Hass, Mr. W. WILLIAMS, and Captain SCOBELL ; againseit, Mr. Rummy.
On a division the votes were—For the motion, 144; against it, 246; majority against the ballot, 102. After the division, Mr. Hirrr stated that he had voted with the oppo- nents of the motion by mistake.
TENANT-RIGHT IN IRELAND.
On the motion by Mr. SHARMAN CRAWFOB.D, that his Tenant-Right (Ireland) Bill be read a second time, it seemed at first as if there would be little set debate. Mr. Crawford explained his bill in a speech of gentle and conciliatory tone.
The measure, he said, was presented by him not as a crotchet of his own, but as the message of a nation, against which not one petition had been pre- sented,—an unparalleled circumstance on a question of such vital import- once: that message, however, did but embody a principle—the principle that it is unjust that one man should reap what anether man has sown. He thought that the Secretary for Ireland, Lord Naas, had in fact confirmed that principle in his speech to the electors of Coleraine. But he would submit to any alteration of details or machinery thought proper for carrying out that Principle of justice. As this was perhaps the last time he should have the opjportunity of bringing any measure before Parliament, he the more earn- estly put It to the House, whether rejecting the bill would not tend to in- crease agrarian outrages in Ireland ; and prayed them not to refuse the Opportunity of promoting the peace, happiness, and prosperity of his country.
Mr. NAPIER, Attorney-General for Ireland, cordially acknowledged the good motives, temper, and spirit of Mr. Crawford ; and then proceeded to explain his own views, in language which seemed to concede what Mr. Crawford had described as the principle of his bill. He had always advocated the principle of "compensation for nnexhausted improvements," and of the doctrine that "what a man sows that shall he 1) " ; but, going into moredetail, he seemed to apply this compensation to improvements in the soil, and not on it—to increased value given by draining, subsoiling, manuring, 8rc., but not to buildings erected. Yet again, he seemed to concede the principle of compensating for buildings also, wheil
. he said that the act of last session already secured that.. However, summing
1 up his principles and objections, he said, he " concurred in the proposition that the tenant should be allowed compensation for useful and unexhausted improvements " ; but he did not recognize the principle of " fixity of tenure," I or that of "compulsory valuation." 1 Having stated his views on Mr. Crawford's measure, he announced that he has shadowed out the outline of measures on the subject., and put his outline under the consideration of the Government of which he is a member, for their sanction. He would consolidate sixty statutes ; would "propose the complete investigation of all the remedies suggested on both sides with re- spect to this question between landlord and tenant, with a view of adopting such as might be simple and safe " ; and he would " give a power of agree- ment in all cases; but if the parties could not agree, then the law should step in and say what was fair and reasonable." It would not be possible to do anything this session. Government requires time to consider his prep- sals. A Select Committee he thought inmeeessary. Mr. Pim, a member of the Society of Friends, who has devoted great attention to the interests of
Ireland, concurs in these views. -
The-tone of Mr. Napiees speech seemed to make a great impression on the Irish Members, but its substance was as disappointing to them. Mr. ROCHE felt that it was most important for Ireland to have the principles ventilated by Lord Naas at Coleraine and repeated by Mr. Napier made law ; for the mainspring of the evils of Ireland lies in the Unsettled state of the land question : but if this were refused, mere declarations were a sham. Lord CASTLEREAGH acknowledged the admirable, " the 'affec- tionate" spirit of Mr. Napier, towards Ireland ; but he said he pro- portionately felt disappointment at the intended delay.
He feared that the Mokanna of the Treasury-bench had been rivalled by the Secretary for Ireland—the Lady of Mystery ; and these things are stili put off. He prayed the Government to allow the bill a second reading, though he himself saw many objectionable details in it; that it might be considered in Committee with candour and conciliation.
Mr. GREENE and Mr. Sensor followed in the same tone ; and there seemed no disposition to prolong debate, till Sir EMERSON TENNENT rose, and dissected the whole measure clause by clause, in a long speech of trenchant criticism. He showed some annoyance at the gentle sarcasm of Lord Castlereagh. He moved that the bill be read a second time that day six months. Mr. KEOGH regretted the acerbity of tone introduced by Sir Emerson Tennent—perhaps due to some ancient hostility towards Lord Castlereagh. Mr. GRATTAN threatened the Government, that they might rue it at the general election, if they both prevented this bill from a second reading, and brought forward none of their own. The Irish Brigade had been taunted with bringing them into power—let Ministers beware lest the Brigade unseated them again. Mr. OSBORNE offered to persuade his friends not to vote against the second reading, if Mr. Napier would say his measure would be ready soon after Easter. Mr. Wnris- BIDE spoke till it was almost six o'clock; and before the friends of the measure could force a division, the final hour arrived, and the SPEAKER adjourned the House.
REFUGEES IN ENGLAND: BRITISH SUBJECTS ABROAD.
Mr. Motics•rox Mnains moved the following resolution- " That this House has observed with regret, in the correspondence respecting foreign refugees laid upon the table, a menace on the part of a friendly power to visit upon unoffending British travellers its displeasure at that exercise of the right of asylum which is agreeable to the laws, the customs, and the feelings of the people of Great Britain, and which in recent times has afforded refuge and security to per- sons of various nations, without any distinction of political opinions:. Mr. Milnes went over the field of controversy in the despatches-, defending Lord Palmerston; giving approval to Earl Granville for the ability, sound sense, and moderation he showed ; and then objecting to the despatches of Lord Malmesbury, on the ground that while pursuing the same course as Lord Palmerston, he put that course less on the ground of high unchanging national policy than on the personalground of the predilection of a par- ticular Ministry. Upon this feature he said—If British travellers were to owe their security, not to the moral weight and power of England—not to the consciousness that they had a Government at home that could protect them—but to the accident that Lord Derb was at the head of that Govern- ment., that we had a Foreign Secretary fendly to Austrian policy, and a gentleman holding office in the same Government who had defended the de- struction of the free city of Cracow, and had rarely lost an opportunity of throwing the weight of his talents and influence into the cause of the Abso- lutists of Europe,—if this were to be so, than he thought they Were called upon to adopt some resolution upon the subject. Recalling in eloquent lan- guage of historical retrospect the instances ancient and modern in which we have granted asylum to exiles—to distinguished political personages, to mi- nisters, princes, and kings, and even to whole sections of oppressed nations— he concluded by saying, that his motion had the objects, first, to give pro- tection to British subjects in foreign countries; secondly, to assert the right of England to grant an asylum to foreign refugees ; and in a subsidiary way he hoped it would have the use of showing foreign governments that -de- spatches such as that which Prince Schwarzenberg sent to Lord Malmesbury were not acceptable to the people of this country.
Lord DUDLEY STUART seconded the motion, in a speech of character- istic warmth against "foreign despots." . MP. WALPOLE, "in the unavoidable absence of his right honourable
friend," met the motion. .
Disposing with a single word of "the more inflammatory topics intro- duced," he stated, that after a perusal of the despatches, on little notice, he drew three inferences from them, which should dispose Mr. Mines not to press his resolution to a division. The first was, that the conduct of the Government—the late as well as the present—had been such as to maintain and uphold the dignity of the country in its foreign relations ; the second was, that foreign powers had somewhat misunderstood our laws and regula- tions with reference to foreign refugees; and the third was, that considering the misapprehension of those foreign powers has now been more or less re- moved by the representations made by the late Government, and seeing that a more conciliatory tone has been used towards this country during the close of the late Government, and that more amicable relations are now subsisting between them, it would be inexpedient by any abstract resolution of the House to permit any feeling of dissatisfaction to arise on the part of these powers. These inferences he supported by detailed quotations from the de- spatches, on which he exercised a free but conciliatory criticism. The prin- ciples at first contended for by foreign governments had certainly been strange, and such as we could not agree in. But the Prussian Government had speedily said it would "let the its drop " ; the French Govern-
ment its representations ; the Russian had ment had explained and
accepted as satisfactory our assurances ; and the Austrian Government, which alone had used language that the present as well as the late Govern- ment cannot but regret, received a "quiet answer" from Earl Granville, and that which was regretted is not likely to be repeated. Upon the prac- tical point of the prospects of British travellers, Mr. Walpole admitted that our Consular passports may have been somewhat abused; and he implied,
that as the abuse has been corrected, the etrict measures of Austria will not be persevered in.
Lord PALMERSTON went over the whole subject, in a style which blended the mode of an expectant Minister with that of a diplomatist wishing to have some "last words." He said that "some allowances" are to be made for the earnestness with which foreign governments pressed their fears of the refugees lastyear ; we should "put ourselves in their condition," and remember their anxiety about the results of the Great Exhibition. Going into detail, he gave ex- planationa, in a more impressive tone of excuse, of the course taken by France. However, though he asked for "allowances to foreign govern- ments, he himself amusingly criticized their fears ;—that those poor unhappy refugees would send abroad large sums of money, when they themselves lived in lodgings and back places almost without the means of sustenance; that they should raise great public loans, when their banker stated that though they had opened an account with him yet not one single farthing had been paid in ; that they would send thousands of muskets, which are so difficult to smuggle over any frontier. He had told the foreign governments that conspiracy here might be harmless : a spark might set fire to gunpow- der, but a blazing faggot would burn out as harmless as a torch on the open turnpike-road: this country is the open road for all. On the despatches between Schwarzenberg and Lord Malmesbury he was very facetious. "The amicable Arcadian dialogue," "the beautiful com- plimentary and amicable feeling" exchanged, was worthy of a Virgil's de- scription. "I must say, I could not read the despatches without a smile." "It was certainly rather amusing, many things considered." A blunder of Lord Malmesbury in diplomacy was jocosely marked : he hod styled Austria "the oldest ally of England"; true, one treaty was in 1659, but we have had a treaty offensive and defensive with Portugal since 1373, and we sent aid to Portugal against Castile a couple of years after that treaty was signed. Having thus run over the field, he recurred to the motion before the House, to express his trust, after the assurances given, and in the present happy state of our mutual relations with Austria, that there is no longer any danger of annoyance to British travellers in the Austrian dominions. He therefore suggested to his friend Mr. Milnes, that if the Government Amid think it better to move the previous question, he might acquiesce in that mode of disposing of his very proper and useful motion. The succeeding speeches were by Sir JOHN WALSH against the motion, by Mr. Vearroe SMITH in favour of it, and by Mr. Baissie COCHRANE and Mr. HENLEY against it. Mr. Moncitrox HILNES acceded to the suggestion of Lord Palmerston, and the motion was disposed of by the mode of "the previous question."
ALI MOORAD OF ICHYRPOOR.
The deposition of All Moored, Rais of Khyrpoor, and his deprivation of all territoriea in Upper Scinde except those he inherited from his father, was canvassed by the Earl of ELLENBOROUGH on a motion for papers. The substance of the statement was, that the tribunal by which All Moored was tried was not constituted so as to be impartial ; that the evidence of crime was not free from doubt ; and that the punishment was excessive,—he had been accused of defrauding us of territory by forging' a leaf of the Koran in which the treaty was written under which he held his territories ; and being condemned, he was deprived of far more ter- ritories than he was alleged to have obtained by the fraud. Lord Baormirron defended the act of the Governor-General of India, by which Ali Moorad was deposed. Going into a great mass of de- tails, he showed that All Moored had been guilty of manifold crimes besides the particular One of forgery whith was inquired into by the special tribunal. In fact, to the machinations of that wicked man had been due the ruin of his own brother, and our war with the Ameers of Scinde which ended in their destruction. He had been deposed as a man already fallen through his own bad actions, as an enemy to the British power, and as unworthy of the headship of his family and country. The ELI of DERBY accepted the defence made by Lord Broughton as complete and took on his own Government the responsibility of the acts impugned.
In the course of his speech, Lord Derby stated that the case of the Ameers of Soinde has had such a new light thrown upon it that an in- quiry has been directed, to learn how far they acted under the influence of All Moored.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN LUNACY.
Lord LYNDHURST made an interesting statement in moving for returns as a basis for extending the provisions of the act passed in 1842 for the better administration of the estates of lunatics.
It appeared that of all the parties engaged in an inquiry into the state of mind of any alleged lunatic—the solicitors and counsel, the commissioners, and even the jury—not one is interested in shortening the duration of the inquest. It is also an evil without corresponding good, that the inquiry always relates to the state of mind of the alleged lunatic at a long period -past, as well as at the moment of inquiry : yet the finding is not con- clusive on any person of the fact of lunacy, and any debtor may controvert the finding in a court of law by separate evidence in Ina Own cause: surely it would be better to leave it to the discretion of the commissioners to narrow the limit of the inquiry. At present the jury is one of twenty-four, and a majority must agree : but the jurors are not of the character of a grand jury. It has been proposed on the one hand to do away with the jury, on the other hand to do away with the -commissioner, and try by a judge and jury at the regular assizes; but Lord Lyndhurst disapproved of both suggestions ; he thought no tribunal so fit as that of a jury of sensible ordinary men, to adjudge whether the lu- natic is capable of managing his affairs ; and he thought that a trial at assizes would often be of disastrous effect on the lunatic's mind : he proposed to re- tain the present tribunal, but to dispense with a jury in all cases where it is not specially demanded on behalf of the alleged lunatic. Referring to the case of Mrs. Cumming, and to the legal decision just given by the Lords Justices of Appeal on her right to traverse the verdict affirming her lunacy, he said he would propose to abolish the right of traverse as a matter of course, and to make it subject to the discretionary control of the Lords Justices. The cost of managing a lunatic's estate is greatly exaggerated by the cumbrous mode of acting. Nothing can be done without application to the Lord Chancellor and the payment of ruinous fees. He would propose to enable applications in the first instance to the Commissioners in Lunacy, and to make the steps more ready and inexpensive.
The Loan CHANCELLOR received with pleasure the various suggestions
made : they nearly all appeared to him worthy of very serious considera- tion. The first and main object should be one which he feared has often been the last thought of, the securing of a sufficient maintenance for the lunatic. Lord TRURO also expressed his pleasure to hear that Lord Lynd- hurst had prepared some legislative propositions ; many of his observa- tions were founded on suggestions made by Lord Truro himself.
The returns were ordered as of course. Loan LYNDHURST afterwards brought in a bill on the subject, and it was read a first time on Thursday.
Sir Jonar Tnorsomss has obtained leave to bring in a bill to continue the Poor-law Commission for two years.
Mr. Ansawr moved for a Select Committee on the causes of the de- cline in the revenue derived from the import-duties on wines. He showed that in 1669 the consumption of &reign wine in England wag two /gallons per head, but that it has now fallen to little more than a bottle per head ; that in 1789 the consumption was nearly eight millions of gallons, but in 1849 not six and a half millions of gallons; that the revenue has been altered fifteen times since 1789, and that when the duty was about halved in 1826 the consumption at once rose from five millions to eight millions of gallons. The consumption here is 1.2 bottle per head ; in Hamburg it is 29 bottles per head, in Paris 216 bottles. If our consumption rose only to 12 bottles, the present revenue of 1,500,0001. would be doubled; and if, as is more probable, to 18 bottles, half that of Hamburg, the revenue would be 4,000,0001.,—a good sum for relieving any "distressed interest" in the coun- try.
Mr. DISRAELI assented to the general accuracy and ability of the state- ment made.
He showed, however, by figures, that the wine-duties have not de- clined in the last four gears. He admitted that the duties might be in- creased by applying the sound principles of Mr. Pitt, but the experiment would be hazardous. Be would not object to inquiry, if the inaccurate words about "decline" were omitted ; but he suggested that the facts were already well known, and that gentlemen are already much harassed by Committee- work.
Mr. Ansawr omitted the word "decline," and the House granted his Committee.
THE CRYSTAL PALACE.
In reply to a question by Lord Cue nn, on Tuesday, it was stated by the Earl of Dims; that her Majesty's Government have taken into consideration the report of the Commissioners on the Crystal Palace, that the beautiful building should disappear, as it has answered all the objects for which it was erected; and the Government has determined that the contractors shall be called upon to remove it.
NEW BRIDGE AT WESTMINSTER.
Lord joins Maisimas has informed the House of Commons, that as the report of the Westminster Bridge Commissioners is not satisfactory on the question of the cost of a new bridge, and more inquiry is needed on this point, and as the old bridge will do for a little longer, the Government will not bring in any bill for a new bridge this session.
PARK FOR FINSBURY.
The CHANCELLOR of the Exemicanni announced, that Government is most desirous to assist the inhabitants of Finsbury in Fermin,' a Park : but the cost is very great-400,0001. ; and he must consider the matter a little more before he can pledge the Government to give such a sum.