Vtluitto nut Vreutitings in Varlinninat. PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OP THE WEEK.
House or Loans. Monday, Feb. 26. Criminal Justice; the Lord Chancellor's Bill read a second time -Purchasers' Protection against Judgments ; Lord St. Leo- nards's Bill read a third time and passed.
Tuesday, Feb. 27. General Vivian ; Lord Ellenborough's Questions-Criminal Justice ; the Lord Chancellor's Bill committed-Transport Semite; Lord Hard- wicke's Speech.
Thursday, March 1. Common Law Procedure Act Amendment (Ireland) BIB read a second time-Colonies and the Patriotic Fund ; Lord Carnarton's Question.
Friday, March 2. Death of the Emperor of Russia; Lord Clarendon's Announce- ment-Lord Lucan's Statement of his Recall from the Crimea-Common Law Pro- cedure Act Amendment (Ireland) Bill read a third time and passed.
House or COMMONS. Monday, Feb. 28. New Writs ; Lord Palmerston's Obituary Tribute to Mr. Hume-Lord John Russell; Sir Jolla Pakington's Question- Supply; Army Estimates-Militia (Ireland) Bill read a second time.
Tuesday, Feb. 27. Mr. Kennedy's Case ; Sir John Shelley's Motion. Wednesday, Feb. 28. Episcopal and Capitular Estates ; Lord Blandford's Bill read a second time.
Thursday, March I. Sebastopol Committee ; Mr. Roebuck's Report-Promo- tions in the Army ; Lord Goderich's Motion. Friday, March 2. Sebastopol Committee ; Debate on Mr. Roebuck's Application for Secrecy-Supply ; Army Estimates-Property Qualification ; Mr. Murrough's Bill, leave refused-Secretary of State; Lord Palmerston's Bill for a third Secre- tary and Under-Secretary in the House of Commons read a first time.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 7de lord& Hoar of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment.
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6h Th 3094 No sitting. 511 7b. an 5h lib 50m Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Hour of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment. 4h Con) lb Om 4h .(as) lab 45m Noon .... dh 50m 4h (as) 111 30m 4h (ail 111 Om
Sittings this Week, 5; Time, 92h 5m
— this Session, SC 172h Om
The moving for the new writs, on Monday, in the case of Members who have accepted offices in Lord Palmerston's Ministry, caused some displays of party feeling, and drew forth some remarks. When Mr. HATTER moved the new writ for London, Lord John Russell having ac- cepted the office of Colonial Secretary, Sir Joan' PARINCITON inquired when Lord John Russell will return from Vienna, and whether an Under- Secretary for the Colonies had been appointed ? Colonial questions of great interest are pending ; there are gentlemen from Victoria and New South Wales waiting in London to transact business •i and the absence of the Colonial Minister is very inconvenient. To this Mr. Rommex added, that there is a gentleman in town from Newfoundland, seeking neither more nor less than the removal of the Governor : he has waited on three Colonial Ministers; should he attend on Lord John Russell, that will be the fourth !
Lord PALMERSTON said, that Lord John Russell had accepted the office of Colonial Secretary ; but Sir George Grey had undertaken that no incon- venience should attend his temporary absence. The Under-Secretary had not yet been named. He could not say- when Lord John would re- turn ; but he had no reason for supposing, whatever way the negotiations might terminate, that his absence would be so protracted as Sir John Pakington seemed to think.
The motion for the issue of the Halifax writ, in the room of Sir Charles Wood, who has accepted the office of " First Commissioner for executing, the office of Lord High Admiral," was received with derisive shouts by the Opposition ; and when the writ for the borough of Radnor, in the room of Sir George Cornewall Lewis, now Chancellor of the Exchequer, was moved, the Ministerial benches sent forth in reply a burst of cheers.
The writ for Forfarehire in the room of Lord Duncan, now one of the Lords of the Treasury, called forth no remark.
On Tuesday and Thursday, writs were ordered for Northampton, in the room of Mr. Vernon Smith, now President of the Board of Control ; for Stroud, in the room of Mr. Horsman, now Chief Secretary for Ire- land ; for Athlone, in the room of Mr. Keogh, now Attorney-General for Ireland ; and for Ennis, in the room of Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald, now So- licitor-General for Ireland.
Besides the motions for writs to which some political significance at- taches, Lord PettreesTon himself, on Monday, moved for a new writ for the Montrose district of Burghs, vacant by the death of Mr. Hume. In doing this, he indulged in a handsome end apparently sincere tribute to the memory of the deceased. Unlike Mr. Burke, who to party gave up what was meant for mankind," Mr. Hume devoted the labours of his life to his country, and beyond his country, to the interests of man- kind at large. Sir Joanna WALMSLEY and Mr. BROTHERTON added their testimony to Lord Palmerston's.; the former pointing to the private vir- tues of Mr. Hume, and suggesting a memorial worthy of himself and the country.
SUPPLY : MANAGEMENT OF THE WAR.
Before the House went into Committee of Supply on Monday, Mr. W. S. Linnesx made a statement of the results of his recent-observations in France.
Ho found the War Minister was a plain man, who thoroughly understood his business. On the wall was a large map, with moveable coloured patches representing the armies of Europe, so that at all times, by moving the patches he possessed an exact knowledge of the positions of troops. The Minister readily replied to all his questions as to the quantity of stores at different depots, and seemed to know where everything was. On further in- quiry, he found the system pursued in that country was very simple. There were five directors-one of transport, another of infantry, a third of cavalry, a fourth of the commissariat, and a fifth the nature of which Mr. Lindsay had forgotten. Under these directors there were twenty or twenty-five dif- ferent heads of departments in the various districts of the -country, whose duty it was to send an accurate report daily of the state of the departments under their charge. They had the transports,. the stores, and the army under their charge. Those gentlemen, on receiving reports, Summed them up ; and the five gentlemen every morning waited on the Minister of War, who entered these condensed reports in a small book, from which -he was able to give Mr. Lindsay the information he sought foi. -That appeared to be a simple plan ; it had worked well with an army of 750,000 men, and why should not some such system be adopted here ?
It is time to apply the knife to the stupid-redtapery that encumbers our institutions. Look at the transport service. There are, according to the re- turns, 220,000 tons of shipping attending upon 25,000 men ; but since that return was made 30,000 addltiousl tons have been added, and there are quite 100,000 tons besides the regular transports-in all, 350,000 tons of shipping waiting upon 25,000 men. Now with that amount of shipping, by an order- ly system of lines, eonstantlremploved, he would undertake to convey both the British and French force in the Crimea and all their stores. He strongly objected to the proposed Transport Board, and recommended that Captain Milne should be placed at the head of the transport service.
Mr. G. DUNDAS referred to special cases of mismanagement in the transport service. In one case, a ship was hired to convey stores, and among them some strong acids, which it was thought advisable to place on deck : but when the ship dropped down the river to take in the acids, somebody said, " Why, there is a large quantity of acids already in the hold !" It was so ; and the ship had to be unladen and reloaded.
Admiral BERX.ELEY denied that the whole of the tonnage employed by the Government was in the service of 25,000 men ; it was employed in the service of the French and Turkish as well as the British forces-or 100,000, instead of 25,000 men.
In reply to several statements, Mr. PEEL said that be could give the House little fresh information. In the Transport Corps there will be one responsible head, to see that what is proper to be done is done at the right time and place. Although the number of drivers will consist of 8000 men, all these will not be raised at once, but that will be the per- manent strength of the corps. 'With respect to medicines, and quinine Sittings this Week,
4 ; Time. 6h 35m this Session. 27; - 52h 55m
especially, more has been sent than can be consumed. At the present moment, a commission, consisting of three officers, one Engineer officer, and one Artillery officer, are inquiring at Paris into the state of the French army; and he was glad to be able to state that the French Go- vernment are affording them every assistance in prosecuting the inquiry.
In Committee on the Army Estimates, votes were agreed to of 314,9841.
for general Staff Officers of Hospitals;. 153,5881. for allowances to officers of the public departments ; 177951. for the Royal Military Col- lege; 23,3671. for the Royal Military Asylum and Hibernian Military Schools ; 88,0001. for Volunteer Corps; 3,818,3831. for the Embodied Militia; 22,0001. for rewards for distinguished military service. In the course of the proceedings there was a great deal of conversation respecting Army-administration—leaching on the Staff, the Militia, the Hospitals, and other topics. Replies were made by Mr. Pee; Mr. SID- NEY HERBERT, Lord PaLmeusrms, and Mr. WILSON. In answer to questions respecting the Militia, Lord PALMERSTON said, there is no intention of resorting to the ballot at present. He had re- ceived representations from some quarters of the difficulty of raising men for the Militia, and of the necessity of resorting to the ballot : but his answer was, that he had no doubt that in due time the men would be raised ; that it would be better to trust to the spirit of the people; and that if they were not raised in one year they would be in the next. In reply to Mr. STAFFORD, Mr. SIDNEY HERBERT said, the regulation enabling men to remit pay was of a modern date, and not generally known. On complaint being made, he had ordered it to be published or placarded in every ward. He had ordered that the men who had no pa- pers, should be paid on account on leaving Balaklava, and had sent out the best paymasters to set things right. Some of the officials had de- ducted ninepence per day from the pay of the men in hospital. He had ordered that, at whatever inconvenience, every farthing of arrears should be paid. Mr. PEEL added, that the men had remitted 18,0001. to their relatives and friends.
THE TRANSPORT SERVICE.
In moving for a series of returns, the Earl of HARDWICKE called at- tention to the expenditure for the transport service; which he charac- terized as profligate, careless, and slovenly. The sum voted for that service, 5,000,0001., is equal to the sum voted for the Royal Navy in 1830-'31. The transports employed amount to 214,232 tons, which gums 161. for the whole tonnage employed. But to this the cost of coal must be added, for it is supplied by the Government. As an instance of the ignorant way in which the Government conduct business, Lord Hard- wieke stated that they had contracted to pay for the builders' tonnage of the ships, instead of the registered tonnage. Now, to show the difference between these two measurements, he need only state, that in one of the Cunard line, the builders' tonnage is 1154 tons while the registered ton- nage is 619 tons. He described a variety of alleged instances of misma- nagement; and as a proof that the wasteful system continues, he men- tioned that the Telegraph, worth 28,0001., was recently hired at 25001. a month : so that in ten months the owners will realize the value of the vessel.
Lord PANMURE said, that in the hurry of sending out the expedition, errors, no doubt, had been committed; and with the view of remedying them officers have been appointed to make special inquiries. With re- spect to the contracts, he had been assured that those who made the bar- gains were fully aware of the difference between builders' tonnage and registered tonnage. The contract price upon the whole of the gross ton- nage was much lower than it would have been if made upon the registered tonnage : had the steamers been hired on the registered tonnage, they would have cost a much larger figure. The other matters referred to will be the subjects of inquiry. The Board organized by Sir James Graham will prevent their recurrence, and make the transport service regular and efficient. There was no objection to the production of the returns.
Lord Casuensa corrected an error in Lord Hardwicke's statement re- specting the postal contracts. Instead of receiving a large sum for postal services in addition to what they receive for transports, the companies are only paid an equivalent for the exact service they are enabled to per- form for the Post-office.
MR. ROEBUCK'S Coststrrree.
The appointment of Sir George Lewis to the Chancellorship of the Exchequer vacated his place as a member of the Committee on the Army before Sebastopol, because thereby he ceased to be a Member of the House. On Tuesday, Mr. Berm:twit moved that Sir George Tyler, •a nava/sman should be added in his place. Mr. ROEBUCK explained, that
the first list of Committee which he proposed rot having met with general assent, he consulted Lord-Palmerston, nd it was arranged that the Go- vernment should name six and Mr. Roebuck seven members. Mr. Roe- buck also consulted Mr. Disraeli, and obtained his assent to the amended list. He hoped the House would support that agreement.
After this explanation, the nomination of Sir George Tyler was ne- gatived by 87 to 74. A strong feeling still existing in favour of the nomination of a naval man, Sir Ge*orge l'echell's name was proposed ; but this motion was negatived by 99 to 61; and, on the motion of Mr. ROEBUCK, the name of Sir John Hanmer was added in lieu of Sir George Lewis.
The Committee met on Monday, and unanimously chose Mr. Roebuck to be Chairman. On Thursday, Mr. ROEBUCK appeared at the bar of the House, and reported that the Committee had resolved that its objects would be best attained if it were a Committee of secrecy.
The House agreed to a motion that the House of Lords should be re- quested to permit the attendance of the Duke of Newcastle to give evi- dence before the Committee ; and later in the evening the House of Lords gave permission.
Viscount GODERICH raised a formal discussion of the question of pro- motion in the Army, by moving- " That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, praying that she will be graciously pleased to take into her consideration the present system of promotion in her Majesty's Army, under which, non-commissioned officers rarely attain to the rank of commissioned officer, and scarcely ever to that of field-officer ; and humbly to recommend to her Majesty that it is the opinion of this House that the said sys- tem is injurious to the public service, and unjust to the private soldier in her Ma- jesty's Army."
In support of his motion, Lord Goderich argued, that the loud, deep, earnest demand of the people of this country, that those persons who are the most capable should be selected for positions of trust, without regard to
considerations of social position or personal and political connexion, is just. The present system has never been established by law, but is one of bargain and sale between individuals; limiting the choice of the Horse Guards, and only providing for the advancement of merit by that safety-valve of the system which enables the Commander-in-chief to fill up, without purchase, vacancies caused by deaths. Generally speaking, the officers of the Army are drawn from the wealthier classes, the privates from the poor ; and thus there is a Styx between the two seldom crossed by the private soldier, He did not ask the House to abolish the system of purchase at once, for that would be simple eonfiscation ; but there is now an opportunity for a beginning. Yet what is the case with recent promotions ? Of the 621 commissions. filled up since the 1st of last October, 150 were by purchase, and 371 had been given away : of these, 266 figured in the Gazette under the equivocal title of 'gents," 39 had been promoted from the Militia, and 66 were sergeants. Among the 66 were 40 who had been promoted under the system introduced by Mr. Sidney Her- bert; and therefore 26 only had taken place under the old system. Is that system just ? Military qualities are not confined to any class. Look at the case of France. Ney, 'le plus brave des braves," and Massone, the "child of victory," rose from the ranks. Do not the letters from the soldiers in the Crimea prove that they are as fit for promotion as the soldiers of France? Soldiers are now better educated than formerly : they naturally expect dif- ferent treatment ; and every one should be made to feel, as Napoleon said, that he has a Marshal's baton in his knapsack. If the present system were altered, a more intelligent class would enter the Army. Now the sergeants instruct the young officers in command, yet are not intrusted with commands themselves. He wished them to return to the practice of their German forefathers, of whom Tacitus said—" lieges ex nobilitate, duces ex virtute sumunt."
Mr. PEEL contended, that though the present:system may be defective in theory, it is not injurious in practice. It facilitates the promotion of young men, and the retirement of aged officers by the sale of their commissions: it is preferable to promotion by seniority ; and if given up, a system of favouritism must ensue. The exami- nation which precedes promotion is a check upon its evils. What Lord Goderich asks is that the Government should do to a greater extent and upon a systematic plan what is now done without a plan. Lord LOVAINE, Colonel SIBTHORP, and Sir Joins Warms, opposed the motion. It was supported by Mr. Omar, Mr. WARNER, and Captain SOOBELL.
Lord SEYMOUR remarked, that the point introduced by Lord Goderich was but a small part of the whole question; that it trifled with the sub- ject, and was calculated to mislead the House. If vacancies are filled up by common soldiers, they would have old en- signs when they wanted young officers, well-instructed and well-informed. In 1840, the Duke of Wellington, at the head of a Military Commission, re- ported that if young officers were wanted they could only be obtained by a system of purchase ; and it is a fact, that in the Artillery, where there is no purchase, the officers are old. He suggested that a system of qualification should be established.
Mr. JOHN BALL saw no reason why the Army should not, like other professions, be open to all without distinction. Lord &cuts defended the present system ; but expressed a hope that the time will come when a larger number of privates will be promoted.
Sir DE LACY EVANS rose in compliance with a general invitation, and delivered an interesting speech in support of the motion.
The report of the Commission referred to by Lord Seymour was practically the report of the Duke of Wellington ; who was influenced by the considera- tion of political matters, and the maintenance of the aristocracy, which he thought of more importance than the efficiency of the army. If commissions are sold, why not Secretaryships of State ? if a regiment is sold for 60001., why not a brigade for 15,0001., and a division for 20,0001. Why not sell seats on the Bench ? In the professions the humblest persons rise to distinc- tion. "But that is morally impossible in the Army. It is almost impos- sible even for the sons of the gentry. (" Oh!" and " Hear, hear ! ") Look at my own position ? We are beaten by time. (Cries of " Hear, hear ! ") We are kept back until we are worn out. (Continued cheers.) Those who have more friends get up to the higher ranks of the Army; but, if there is a question of selecting some one for the command of a corps or an army, the answer is—' Oh ! such a man is not of such a class,' and 'Don't talk to us of him.' "
The army is greatly improved in character. Nothing like a capital crime has been committed in the Crimea. The soldiers are eminently brave, obe- dient, and subordinate. Yet this is the army that is to be excluded from any adtancement!
Mr. SIDNEY HERBERT observed that they had travelled beyond the re- solution before them, and had discussed not only whether non-commis- sioned officers shall be promoted, but the rule of promotion in the Army.
Last year, 88 non-commissioned officers were promoted ; a proof that the system is growing. But it must not grow without a limit. Most of the sergeants would prefer to remain where they are, because promotion en- tails ruinous expenses, and half-pay on retirement is lees than a sergeant's pension. To meet the money hardships attendant on promotion, Mr. Sidney Herbert introduced the rule that every non-commissioned officer, on promo- tion, should receive 1001. in the infantry and 150/. in the cavalry. If a rule were to be laid down that a man should be promoted because he was in the ranks, they would obtain uneducated and inefficient officers : the same result would follow from a mere educational test—in fact, from any fixed principles of promotion. In the French army, it is true, one-third of the officers are necessarily raised from the ranks ; but it should be recollected that the French army is raised by conscription ; that the younger sons of gentlemen, too poor to find substitutes, enter the ranks ; and frequently these men are selected for officers, because they are gentlemen. In our army the men are volunteers, and by any fixed principles of promotion we should get uneducated men. Mr. Herbert expressed great confidence in "the steady annual increase of commissioned officers rising from the ranks," and be was sure that the number will not fall off; but he trusted the House would not sanction any indiscriminate promotion of any rank.
After a few words in support of the motion from Sir ERSKINE PERRY, Lord PALMERSTON addressed the House ; taking much the same general line as Mr. Herbert, but adding some new points. The present system has not discouraged recruiting. Last year we raised 35,000 men ; 6000 were raised in the single month of January, being at the rate of 72,000 a year. The greatest number raised in a single year during
the last war was 25,000. With respect to the sale of commissions, it is the remnant of an ancient system ; and if we were about to form an army for
the first time no one would dream of making commissions matters of sale and purchase. Abstractedly it is an evil ; but it is not unaccompanied by advantages, such as its tendency to bring younger men into the higher com- mands. Like Mr. Herbert, be laid great stress on the fact that, unlike the French army, ours is recruited only from the humbler classes of soci y, by persons who would not find employment in civil occupations. But he eed that it is desirable to hold out the prospect of a commission for dieting hed service in the field; and be promised that the system of promoting non- commisioned officers should be continued. There is no difference of opinion between the Government and Lord Goderich upon the main principle ; and he wished that, lest an impression should go abroad that there is a difference, Lord Goderich would withdraw his motion.
This, however, Lord GODERICH declined to do ; and the House went to a division—For the motion, 114; against it, 158; majority against the motion, 44.
The Earl of ELLENBOROUGH called in question the appointment of Major-General Vivian, of the Madras army, to the command of the Turkish levies. In the Madras army, which had not been employed in recent wars, he could not have seen any grand military operations ; he could not have acquired that kind of experience which would fit him for dealing with irregular troops ; nor could he know the fittest men to ap- point as officers to the corps.
Lord PANMUD.E said, he could not deny the right of Lord Ellenborough to take this course ; but he denied its justice as regards General Vivian, and its prudence as regards our Army in the East. General Vivian had not yet been appointed to command the Turkish levies ; but, so far as Lord Panmure was concerned, he meant to select him. General Vivian had in youth displayed his courage on the plains of India ; and as Adju- tant-General of the Madras army, he had so conducted himself as to win the very highest testimonials from the General in command and the civil authorities.
"It requires a man who is not only respected and looked up to in the ser- vice to which he belongs, but who also has filled such a position as Major- General Vivian has held, to warrant the expectation that he can organize a large body of troops, and, having organized them, to subdivide them as may be requisite into the different arms of the service." Applications upon ap- plications have flowed in from officers connected with the Indian service anxious to serve under General Vivian - and that confirmed the belief in his fitness for the command. With regard officers, Lord Panmure said—" In Every way it will be my desire to appoint officers to this contingent who will not only make it effective for the immediate service for which it is required, but who also will do their best to disseminate, through that portion of the Turkish army at least, the spirit, the order, and the gallantry of British troops; thereby conferring a temporary advantage on this country as well as on Turkey, and on Turkey herself a permanent good, by the new spirit and life which will be infused into her army."
Lord VrviAN vindicated the appointment of his relative, and adduced strong testimonials to his capacity.
THE COLONIES AND THE PATRIOTIC FUND.
In reply to the Earl of CARNARVON, Earl GRANVILLE said that the loyal addresses from the Colonies respecting the war had been brought under the notice of the Queen, and had received most gracious answers. There being no precedents, there may be some difficulty as to the best form in which the British Legislature could convey its acknowledgments for the moral and pecuniary assistance tendered by the Colonies. Other addresses, now on their way, must be received before the Government can come to a decision • and it is desirable that Lord John Russell (the new Colonial Minister) should have an opportunity of taking the initia- tive in proposing a vote of thanks, or acknowledging in some other mode the sympathy and support shown by the Colonies.
The Marquis of BLANDFORD moved the second reading of the Episcopal and Capitular Estates Bill. He repeated at great length the reasons which call for the bill, and explained its provisions ; which he had already explained on several occasions. The bill vests in the Estate Commissioners the management of Episcopal and Capitular estates ; proposes to empower them to enfranchise the property of the Chapters, and to pay fixed incomes to the Bishops. Mr. H. G. LIDDELL moved that the bill be read a second time that day six months : he described the bill as a stepping-stone to a direct attack upon Church property. Mr. HEADLam seconded the amendment. As no Minister was present, Mr. H. T. LIDDELL moved the adjournment of the .debate. Upon this Sir BENJAMIN HALL, empowered by Sir George Grey, stated that the Government was anxious that the second reading should be agreed to, and the Committee should be postponed until the report of the Cathedral Commission had been received and considered. Mr. LIDDELL consented to withdraw his motion for the adjournment ; but Mr. HADFIELD and Mr. Tisomes DusicomBE objected, and the debate continued. Mr. COWPER, Mr. HENLEY, Mr. WIGRAM, Lord ROBERT GROSVENOR, supported, and Mr. R. PHILLIMORE, Mr. MOWBRAY,_ Mr. APSLEY PELLATT, Mr. L. HEYWORTH, Mr. BARROW, Mr. MIALL, and Sir Zorn; Dueinvoirrn, declared themselves against the second reading. A division was first taken on the motion for the adjournment of the debate; which was negatived by 102 to 71. Next the House divided on the second reading ; and it was carried by 102 to 66. The Committee was fixed for the 23d May.
In moving the second reading of the Criminal Justice Bill, the Loma CHANCELLOR explained that it would give to Justices in Petty-Sessions cognizance of all simple larcenies where the property stolen should not exceed twenty shillings in value. At present, Justices have cognizance of offences very similar to those in question ; they may, for instance, try a case of dog-stealing, though not a case of duck-stealing; they have jurisdiction where fruit is stolen by plucking it from trees or walls, though not where it is picked up from the ground. The bill will give Justices jurisdiction in all small cases of larceny, and power to inflict punishment, not exceeding imprisonment for two years.
Lord BROUGHAM showed that some measure of the sort is an absolute necessity. Taking the returns of trials for six counties, equal to one-tenth of the population, it will be found that of 1500 cases so tried, 895, or three-fifths of the whole number, were larcenies under the amount of five shillings ; 400, or one-third of the whole number, for larcenies under the value of one shilling ; and 240, or one-sixth, for larcenies under the value of tenpence. Upon this calculation, taking the proportion of these counties to the whole population of England and Wales, it would appear that about 12,000 offenders throughout the country for larcenies under the value of vies under the value of one shilling, or umber tried.
almost identical with that of the Lord circumstances of aggravation, and had trates at Petty-Sessions the option of The Lord Chancellor's bill allows cases are tried annual
five shilling, I., I 111
half and o • ;'• • 7ap. .1
The "NV Chance •,.'t :s `•
given Jiro trial a ed to be tried before a single Magistrate when he is either a Stipendiary or an Alderman of the City of London. Now Lord Brougham would on no ac- count allow an Alderman of London to exercise summary jurisdiction to the extent of pronouncing a sentence of two years' imprisonment; and there- fore, in his bill, he had only made an exception in favour of Stipendiary Magistrates; for, while the Stipendiary may be removed, the charter Ma- gistrates cannot be removed.
Lord CAMPBELL said that the House could hardly form an idea of the magnitude of the evils now prevailing, and be hoped they would give the bill their most serious consideration. Lord ST. LEONARDS thought they should be very careful how they gave such extensive powers to Magis- trates in Petty-Sessions, who, it is said, when sitting in Quarter-Sessions abuse their power.
The bill was read a second time.
In Committee, the LORD CHANCELLOR stated the amendments he pro- posed. The jurisdiction will be reduced from 20s. to 108., and the power of imprisonment from two years to one year. No conviction under the bill to be attended with any forfeiture. Prisoners to have the option of summary trial or trial by jury.
In the course of conversation on the Petty Larceny Bill, Lord BROUGRAM said that two circuits in the year are insufficient to meet the exigencies of the country ; and suggested that steps should be taken to increase permanently the number of circuits to four. Lord CAMPBELL said, he was quite willing to serve either in town or country ; but the time of the Judges is now entirely occupied with the duties cast upon them. With the present staff it would be impossible to hold Assizes four times a year. Unless the Judges are thirty in number instead of fifteen, the suggestion cannot be carried out.
Mn. KENNEDY'S CASE.
Nearly the whole sitting of the House of Commons on Tuesday was taken up with a tedious discussion on in the case of Mr. Kennedy.
In moving for a Select Committee to inquire into the grounds of Mr. Kennedy's dismissal from the Office of the Woods and Forests, Sir JOHN SHELLEY made a statement of great length, full of details and quotations from official documents. Put briefly, the case is this. Mr. Kennedy was appointed by Lord John Russell, in 1848, because it was felt that some person should be appointed superior to jobbery. But Mr. Kennedy soon found that obstacles were placed in his way ; and he displeased the Treasury gentlemen by sending a Mr. Brown to inspect certain woods without their consent. A difference of opinion arose between Mr. Brown and Mr. Higginbotham, Deputy-Surveyor of Alice Holt Forest, respect- ing " the thinnings" : Mr. Kennedy charged Mr. Higginbotham with suppressing facts, and wrote to tell him that ho could place no reliance on his statements. Mr. Higginbotham appealed to the Treasury against this treatment; the Treasury, after much correspondence, appointed three referees to look into the case ; and within twenty-four hours after they made their report Mr. Kennedy was politely dismissed by Mr. Gladstone, in a latter commencing " My dear Sir." Sir John Shelley said that the Treasury minute dismissing him involved his " honour, veracity, and integrity " ; and therefore he asked for an impartial inquiry. The real fact was that Mr. Kennedy was dismissed because he had shown too much zeal and activity for the public service to please certain members of the Government.
Mr. GLADSTONE defended himself with great energy. If Sir John Shelley would stand by the words he had used—if he would make a spe- cific charge to the effect that Mr. Kennedy had been dismissed because he was too active and zealous to suit certain members of the Government— Mr. Gladstone's objection to the motion would be removed. [Here Mr. Gladstone sat down, after distinctly asking Sir John Shelley if he would abide by his words ? Sir John Shelley began to refer to a conversation between Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Gladstone, instead of answering the ques- tion, and Mr. Gladstone resumed.] " The honourable gentleman will not abide by his words." It was not Mr. Wilson who dismissed Mr. Kennedy—it was the Chancellor of the Exchequer who had done that ; and who dismissed him, having first investigated the case. Mr. Kennedy was not dismissed on account of any matters affecting his "honour, veracity, or integrity " ; nor on account of his management of the Woods and Forests ; nor on account of his zeal in the public service; but be- . cause he did not manage his office well—because he treated his subor- dinates tyrannically, and was not fitted for the government of others.
In the course of his speech, Mr. Gladstone severely lectured Sir John Shelley for referring to and misreporting a private conversation between them. In that conversation he had not said anything so absurd as that "it would be difficult for the Government to fill Mr. Kennedy's place until the motion had been made." What he did say was—" I am sorry you have given that notice about Mr. Kennedy, because while it is on the books, it would be very difficult for the Government to place him in any other appointment in the public service." After speaking, Mr. Gladstone left the House. Lord STANLEY took up the Kennedy side of the case ; and some other Members continued the debate. But, upon the promise of Lord PALMERSTON to place on record at the Treasury an acknowledgment that Mr. Kennedy's honour stands perfectly unimpeached, the motion was withdrawn.