Ethairs nul rutttumig iii arlinnant.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THE WEER.
Horse OF Loans. Monday, May SO. Russia and Turkey; Question and Answer-- Conversion of Stock; Lord Chancellor's Statement—Cuban Slave-trade ; Lord Carlisle's Speech—Maldon Election ; Scene in the House; Commission agreed to.
Tuesday, May 31. Alteration of Oaths Bill, read a second time—Aggravated
Assaults. Hill, reported
- Thursday, June 2. Conversion of Stock; further Statement by the Lord Chan- cellor—Alteration of Oaths Bill; Notion for going into Committee negatived by 84 m 69—Common Lodginghouse Bill, passed—Aggravated Assaults Bill, passed— Evidence Amendment Bill, passed. Friday, June 3. Opening of the Parana ; Question and Answer—Danish Succes- alto.; Lord Clarendon' s Statement. Hausa or COM VON& Monday, May 30. Russia and Turkey ; Question and Ao.wer— income-tax Bill, in Committee—Customs Acts, in Committee—Hackney Carriatrs Bill, read a third time. Tuesday, May 31. Irish Church; Mr. hipore's Motion for Committee to inquire into Revenues, negatived by 260 to 98. Wednesday, June 1. New Trials in Criminal Cases BM, thrown out—Judges Ex- clusion Bill; Motion for thin:treading, negatived by 224 to 123. Thursday, June 2. Income-tax Bill, in Committee—Customs Acts, in Committee —Hackney Carriages Bill, passed.
Friday, June 3. Income-tax Bill, considered as amended—Customs Acts, re- ported— Covenament of India; Sir Charles Wood's Statement.
The Lords. The Commons.
Hour of Hour of
Meeting.urng urm of. AdjoHelarent.
Monday 5h 7h 45m Monday 411 (,n) 2h Om Tuesday 5h 712 45m ruosday 4I4 (m) 211 30m.
Wednesday No sitting. Wednesday Noon .... Oh Om .
Thursday 6h . 7h 50m Thursday 411 .(m) 2h 45m Friday 45 75 Om Friday 4h .(m) 12h 45m Sittings this Week, 4; Time. ilh 20m Sittings this Week, 5; Time, 46h Om this Session. 77; — 176h 4m — this Session. 100; — 6731138m PABLIAMENTARY OATHS.
Lord LYNDHURST, in moving the second reading of the Alteration of Oaths Bill, gave a perspicuous explanation of the object and purpose of the bill, because, he observed, there exists great and absurd misapprehension with respect to its object. That object is to strike out those portions of the oaths which persons are bound to take before they can sit in Parlia- ment, which are " inoperative, idle, and absurd." There are three such oaths—the oath of allegiance, the oath of supremacy, and the oath of abjuration. The first is plain and simple in its language, and coeval with the common law of the country ; and he had no desire or intention to alter the terms of that oath. The oath of supremacy owes its origin to the reign of Elizabeth ; it was changed in the reign of William the Third, when it took its present form. " It consists of only two clauses or provisions. In the first, the party is made to declare, that from his heart he abhors, detests, and abjures, as impious and heretical, the damnable doctrine and position that princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects or any other whatso- ever. With respect to the second clause in that oath, it states that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, bath, or ought to have, any juris- diction, power, superiority, preeminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm." The Roman Catholics held these opinions, and held them now ; so that from history and the terms of the oath itself it is clear that it was directed not against Protestants but solely against Ro- man Catholics. " That being so, my Lords' how extraordinary it is that that oath should have been abrogated so far as Roman Catholics are con- cerned—no ROM;111 Catholic being now required to take it—while for Protestants it is retained ! We are in this singular position, that an oath which was framed for the purpose of being applied to Roman Catholics is re- pealed so far as they are concerned, and is kept in force only against those for whom it never was intended. As far, then, as Protestants are concerned, I contend that this oath ought no longer to be required." Now, oaths ought to be interpreted according to the plain ordinary _ meaning of the words : but this oath contains that which is not true. "From the moment that we recognized the Roman Catholic religion to the extent we do now, from that moment we admitted that the Pope had spiritual authority in this country. The spiritual authority of the Pope is part of the Roman Catholic religion. It is blended with it ; it cannot be separated from it ; and you yourselves, in abolishing that oath of supremacy for the Roman Ca- tholics and substituting another oath for them, have constructively admitted that which I have now stated. This being so, then, the oath cannot be ap- plied in its present terms without a qualification, and we are obliged to resort to that which we reprehend in Roman Catholics. We are obliged to qualify it, and are obliged to apply to it mental reservation. When we swear that no foreign prince has any spiritual authority in this realm, what is it sup- posed to mean ?—It means that he has no spiritual authority that can be en- forced in a court of justice; and those, or some such words, we are obliged mentally to supply." That a foreign prelate has spiritual jurisdiction in this realm, is shown by the history of the last ten years, and it is capable of being enforced more stringently than in any court of justice—namely, by with- holding the rites of the church. He cited as proof of the exercise of spiritual authority the case of the "Godless Colleges." The objections now urged against the oath did not apply when it was framed; for then the Catholic re- ligion was not tolerated, miles was not allowed, no person could hold com- munication with the Pope, and the rights of the Romish Church, except in strict secrecy, could not be exercised. "In further support of the applica- tion which I make for the abrogation of this oath on the ground of its being inapplicable, idle, and inoperative, as far as Protestants are concerned, I may appeal with confidence to the Right Reverend Bench, for whom I entertain the greatest possible respect, whether to call the Almighty solemnly to witness an idle and useless ceremony is not contrary to the principle of our religion, and directly at variance with the language of the Scriptures. I should say,
• Nee Deus intersit, nisi &gnus eindice
is an axiom not confined to poetry alone, but extending also to religion and politics. I think I have stated enough, then, to satisfy your Lordships that, as far as Protestants are concerned, that oath ought no longer to be enforced."
Next comes the oath of abjuration. That was framed upon the model of the oath of allegiance, and merely confined to the Pretender : it bears date the 13th William III., when the Pretender was proclaimed King of England by the King of France ; and it sets forth that he has no right or title to the throne of England, and that we abjure all obedience to him. It was altered on the accession of Queen Anne ; on the union with Scotland ; on the at- eession of George the First ; and after the death of the old Pretender it was altered in the 6th George Ill., in order to adapt it to the descendants of the Pretender. It is reasonable that when the descendants of the Pretender were at an end, the oath ought to have terminated also. "To take it now there being no person to whom it can apply, is an idle mockery and an obvinua absurdity. If any person voluntarily were to go into any company, and were to say—'I do sincerely and in my conscience, before God and the world, declare that none of the descendants of the late Pretender (there being no such persons in existence, and no possibility that such persons should have come into existence) have a right to the crown of Great Bri- tain; and I abjure all obedience to them and any of them; and all this I state in the true and lawful sense of the words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever ; and all this I do upon the true faith of a Christian,'—why, my Lords, I say if any person were volun- tarily to go into any society and make such a statement, it would be con- sidered that he was a person who ought to be put under some restraint." (" Hear!" and" a laugh.) Yet noble lords come to the table daily, and that statement—" not voluntarily, but by compulsion—is net only stated, but sworn to, and the Almighty called on to witness it," He would strike out every part of the oath except that which relates to the Act of Settlement fixing the sueeession to the Crown. Referring to the fourth clause of the bill, he defended himself against un- founded insinuations that he proposed to reverse by a side-wind a recent de- cision of the House. He showed that he had no intention to alter the class of persons who could enter the House of Commons. He had not extended the bill to Roman Catholics, because he wished it to pass, and did not wish to encumber it with any attempt of that nature. "I have been asked, also, to.strike out the words on the true faith of a Christian.' My answer to this has been—' I am bound to respect the decision of this House : I cannot atrike out those words, because, if I strike them out, there is no chance of my passing this bill.' I yield to necessity on this occasion : at the same aim, I must be allowed to say, having voted in the minority upon the de- cision to which I have just referred, that in yielding to this necessity, it is against my own convictions. I may be permitted, in justification of myself,
to state very shortly the grounds of that conviction, so far as regards these
words. The history of the introduction of these words into the oath, which is rather curious, may not be known to all your Lordships, at least in its details ; and I will therefore give you an account of it, as briefly as lean. After the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, in the third year of James the
First, a search was made in the chamber of Francis Tresham, one of the conspirators ; in that search a manuscript was found, entitled a Treatise on Equivocation,' which had been altered in many places by Garnett, Supe- rior of the Jesuits, and which was marked with the imprimatur of Blackball, at that time Arch-priest. This manuscript, which was made use of on the trial of the persons connected with the plot, after passing through the hands of Archbishop Abbot and of Archbishop Laud, and being for a long time lost sight of, has been lately published by Mr. Jardine with a suitable preface, and is well worthy of your Lordships' perusal- In the fly-leaf were three or four lines written by Sir Edward Coke, at that time Attorney-Gene-
ral, and who prosecuted in the case. The object of the treatise is to show how the obligation of an oath may be avoided. In one of the chapters the
doctrine is laid down, that, if a question is put to you which you think you are not in conscience bound to answer, you may answer the question with words uttered aloud but at the same time qualify those words with other words uttered mentally, which, taken in connexion with the words uttered aloud, will prevent your taking a false oath. Thus, if a magistrate asks, Were you in London at such a time ?' you may say aloud, was not in London,' and swear to it ; but at the same time you may add mentally, 'not for an improper purpose ' ; which mental reservation will save you from a
false oath. It is remarkable, my Lords, that in the letters of Pascal he as- cribes to the Jesuits precisely the species of equivocation which we have
here laid down as a principle in the handwriting of the Superior of the Je-
suits. It was in the same year that, for the first time, there were intro- duced into the oaths the words without equivocation, mental evasion, or
secret reservation whatsoever.' There can be no doubt whatever that these additional words of precaution were inserted with a view to the Roman Ca- tholics; that they were introduced not as a test of Christianity but solely for the purpose of rendering the oath more binding on the Roman Catholics. When the oath of abjuration was framed, it is to be observed that these same words were adopted in it from the oath to be taken by Roman Catho- lics. Why, I ask, apply these words, 'on the true faith of a Christian,' to persons of the Jewish persuasion, to whom they never were intended to be applied, and to whom they could not be intended to apply, seeing that the Jews had been banished from England for four hundred years previously, and did not return to England till many years afterwards? The application of the words to these persons appears to be altogether extraordinary." Lord Lyndhurst quoted the opinions of Mr. Baron Martin and Mr. Baron Alderson, as delivered in the case of Mr. Alderman Salomons, to the eftbet that it is not in accordance with the principles and practice of the law of
England to exclude persons indirectly from. privileges by an unforeseen and unintended application of a few words. "I say, no British subject, no na- tural-born subject of the Queen, ought to be deprived of the rights enjoyed
by his fellow-subjects, unless he has committed some crime, or unless he is excluded by some act of Parliament directed against hun or against the class
to which he belongs. That is the true principle of the constitution ; and
such being the case, these persons can only rightly be excluded by the con- current voice of the two Houses of Parliament and with the assent of the Crown. If you exclude them by the casual operation of a clause which was never directed against them or against the class to which they belong, you unjustly deprive them of their birthright. I say, then, my Lords, that if I retain these words 'on the true faith of a Christian' in my bill, I retain them eutirely ex necessitate, and as entirely against my decided conviction on the subject."
The question having been put, the Earl of DERBY said, he had expected some member of the Government would have stated the views of Minis-
ters. For himself, he should not oppose the second reading ; but he could not let it pass without calling attention to the circumstances under which it came before them.
Speaking at considerable length, Lord Derby expressed his fears lest the bill should, if agreed to, be amended hy the House of Commons so as to admit the dews, and, coming back to their Lordships late in the session, be passed by a side-wind in a thin House. Why had it not been brought in at an earlier period ? He would not speak on the suspicion of what might be, but Lord Sohn Russell had significantly informed a deputation of some advocates of the Jewish claims, that the bill of Lord Lyndhurst might be perverted from the purpose intended, and made available for admittiug the Jews. He asked for an assurance from the Government that they would adhere to the previous decision of the House and use their weight and influence in both Houses to preserve the words "on the true faith of a Christian." Other- wise he thought the bill had better be postponed till next session.
- The Earl of ABERDEEN said, that the speech of Lord Lyndhurst was "so powerful, so eloquent, and so great a triumph of good sense," that it
was impossible to resist his proposal. Had it been delivered some time ago, it might have diminished the majority against the bill on the Jewish claims.
With respect to the assurance required by Lord Derby, it was one of a most unusual description, and impossible to be given. He would not pledge the Government to any course in the event of amendments being made by the Commons. If Lord Derby and his friends find attendance on their duties inconvenient, they can have recourse to proxies. What Lord Derby
stated with respect to Lord John Russell's reply to the deputation was an unintentional misrepresentation : Lord John merely said that he would wait and see Lord Lyndhurst's bill before he gave any advice as to what had better be done.
The only speakers decidedly adverse to the bill were Lord REDESDALE and the Earl of Hannowrre. The Earl of CLarrearrre and Lord ABINGER dreaded the use to which it might be put in respect of the Jews. But Lord CAMPBELL, the Earl of Wrcxsow, Lord BROUGHAM, and the Mar- quis of CLASTRICARDE, hoped it would pass ; and they thought Lord Derby's request for an assurance from Government unreasonable. The bill was read a second time.
On the motion for going into Committee, on Thursday, the Earl of ELLENBOROUGH moved that the bill be committed that day three months.
He would be glad to be relieved from witnessing and participating in the mummeries and inarticulate mumblings that take place at the assembling of a new Parliament : they are no security to the house of Hanover ; neither was there any security to that house in the bill before them. But, as the bill might be sent up from the House of Commons, there might be some ad- vantage obtained by the house of Israel. (Laughter.) Apart from this, he thought the form of the proposed oath objectionable: it described an oath as a "declaration, recognition, promise" ; and there was no necessity for the words " heartily, willingly, and truly," when they were followed by the words " on the true faith of a Christian." He thought the Christianity of Parliament should be put forward in the first words, and that the oath should be "I swear, on the trde faith of a Christian," &c. He was not dis- posed to afford to gentlemen of the Jewish persuasion any additional facility of bringing this question again before the House. No debate takes place throughout the year so disagreeable to him as the debate on this question of the admission a Jews to Parliament ; and he gave his vote with pain, but he did it conscientiously. The Jewish gentlemen have knocked often enough at our door already, and unless we owe them money they need not come again. (A laugh.)
The Earl of Wrex.sow described the speech of Lord Enenborough as one in favour of the bill. He hoped this opportunity of dealing with the oaths would not be lost.
The Earl of DERBY repeated much of his previous argument; again urging that the House of Commons might alter the bill in favour of the Jews; and adding, that there seemed a disposition to strike out the excep- tional part of the oath relating to Roman Catholics, by which now they are restrained from seeking to injure the Protestant faith. He would joyfully cooperate with Lord Lyndhurst in placing oaths on a footing sufficient for their purpose and giving reasonable security, without vio- lating the most scrupulous and delicate conscience.
The Earl of ABERDEEN said, their Lordships must admit that this was the first time they had ever proposed to legislate on such grounds as those proposed by Lord Ellenboroug,h.
" You have a bill before you which you admit to be wise and necessary. The only objections that are urged to it are precisely such as admit of amendment in Committee—objections some of them grammatical, some more or less important, but all capable of complete amendment ; and you decline to undertake the amendment of this bill, because, forsooth, it is possible the House of Commons may amend it in a mode which you do not approve. Now, I say, that it is not respectful to the House of Commons to object to a good measure from the apprehension that they will exercise their lawful privilege of amending it according to their own judgment. Nor do I think it alto- gether creditable to your Lordships to reject a measure of which you your- eelvea approve, from any such vague apprehensions."
In regard to the practical objection, he could give no pledge as to what any Member of the House of Commons would do with the bill, but he would undertake that no delay which Ministers could prevent should take place. He submitted that, according to" precedent, and all just and rational modes of proceeding," there was not the slightest objection to going into Committee.
A division was taken—For the amendment, 84; against it, 69; ma- jority, 15. The bill is accordingly lost.
JUDGES' EXCLUSION BLI.L.
The third reading of this bill was moved by Lord HOTHAM on Wednes- day. Mr. HENRY Dituarmossn moved that it be read a third time that day six months.
This bill was a reform bill and a reform bill brought forward from the other side of the House, with every evil that every reform bill hitherto had in it ; framed upon narrow exceptions, and for ephemeral purposes, without taking any grasp of the past in order to become a guide for the future. He ascribed much utility to the presence of men of great judicial capacity in the House of Commons ; referring to the times of Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox, when he himself was present at debates which required the presence of men like the late Sir William Scott. There seems a desire on both sides of the House to exclude men of ability : on the Ministerial side they bring in bills to exclude all property, and on the Opposition side to exclude all brains. No reform bill for the future should receive his assent which did not provide for increasing the number of men of ability in this House. . . . . Whenever they had made this House a place for persons without pro- perty and without intelligence, the sooner they fell into the hands of a mili- tary despot the better. (Laughter.) Mr. MACAULAY supported the amendment "with all his heart and soul" ; thinking it hardly creditable to the House that such a bill should have come to this stage without a division. "On what ground is this bill brought in ? Is it brought forward on the ground—the only ground on which, as I should conceive, a Conserva- tive statesman could ever propose any important reform—is it brought forward on the ground that the present state of the law has produced any practical evil whatever ? That ground is utterly disclaimed by those who support the bill. No one has ventured to assert that any inconvenience during the experience of past ages has arisen from our permitting the Master of the Rolls to have a scat in this House. Doctors' Commons and the office of Master of the Rolls commenced their existence, if not at the same time, certainly in the same century. For six hundred years, to go no further back, the Master of the Rolls has been eligible to a seat in this House. We have had here among the most distinguished members of the House a succession of Masters of the Rolls, comprising the names of Fortescue, Kenyon, Hard- wicke, Sir William Grant, Sir John Copley, Sir Charles Pepys, and now Sir John Hominy. Is it pretended that in any one of these cases any ono of these eminent judges ever in any respect discharged his judicial duties less efficiently from being admitted to a seat in this House ? Is it, above all, for a Conservative politician to propose to alter a system which has existed for six centuries, and against which it is not alleged that in any single case it has produced any single inconvenience, solely because it does not appear to us to square with an abstract principle ? Well, and what is that principle ? Ls it that it is desirable to separate the political from the judicial functions ? —that there is nothing so hateful in the world as a political judge ; and the union of the political and judicial character is contrary to a principle so sacred, that, even when it cannot be found that the union has produced any pernicious effect, yet in order to be true to a theory we ought to provide against the possibility of such an occurrence ? Well, now, I say that, if I adopt the principle, I must pronounce this bill to be the most wretched and most pitiable reform that ever was proposed—the most homreopatlito dose that ever was administered. If the noble Lord considers the nature of the political and judicial institutions of this country, he will find the political and judicial character so combined and interwoven from the top to the bottom, that the reform which he proposes to make will be a mere infinitems mal change." On the principle of the bill, not only the Master of the Rolls but the Recorder of London, nay the Chairmen of Quarter-Se:410ns, should be excluded. The judicial and political functions are not .separated simply by excluding a judge from the House of Commons, for he might sit in the House
"If it be true that the Master of the Rolls should be absent from political
assemblies, why do you not exclude him from all political assemblies ? You do no such thing. You shut him out of this House, but you leave the House of Lords open to him. But is that not a political assembly ? Is it not the fact that several judges have not only held great away, but have even en-
joyed political ascendancy in that House ? Is it not notorious that Lord Hard- wick° ruled that House, and bequeathed his power to another judge equally famous—to Lord Mansfield ? When his energies decayed, did he not bequeath the power which he had received from Lord Hardwicke to Lord Thurlow, who was in his turn succeeded by Lord Eldon ? We all know how Lord Eldon made and unmade Ministriea; we remember with what reverence and admiration he was regarded by one party, and with what hatred and aversion by the other. When Lord Eldon 's long domination ceased over the Lords, there arose both Whig and Tory Lord Chancellors, who divided and contended for power in that House. Some of us remember—it ia impossible for some to forget—those first ten days of October 1831. That was the most alarming and exciting political crisis that has occurred in my life. It was the time when the debates in the House of Lords, which had lasted for many months, ended in the rejection of the Reform Bill in that House. God for- bid that I should again see such a crisis! I never hope to hear such a debate again. It was, undoubtedly, a great and splendid display ; and I dare say that some of us here may remember how we waited that night until day- break, waiting for that late division—now walking up and clown the Court of Requests—now catching a few words of that wonderful conflict of oratory ; and there, in the front rank on both aides, were pitted against each other two judges—Lord Brougham, the Lord Chancellor, on the one side, and Lord Lyndhurst, the Chief Baron, on the other. How eagerly we hung upon their words ! how eagerly they were read before noon on that day by hundreds of thousands in the country ! what fearful excitement they caused !—excite- meat followed by the disasters of Nottingham and the sack of Bristol : and this arena the noble Lord, who hates political judges, is ready to open to the Master of the Rolls. His objection is not to the union of the judicial and political character, but it is simply to the union of the judicial character with that of the Master of the Rolls in the House you are now assembled in. A judge this day may be—the Master of the Rolls may be—the soul and head of a great party ; he may be the leader of a democracy or the chief of an aristocracy ; he may use all the powers of oratory, or all his powers of sophistry'room;to enlist the passions or to mislead the understanding of the Senate :
but he must not do it in this he must go a few hundred
yards off; he must sit upon red, and not upon green ; he must say, 'My Lords,' and not 'Mr. Speaker ' ; and then the noble Lord is perfectly willing to suffer it. (Cheers and laughter.) But I am understating the case—I greatly understate the case ; for this union of the judicial and politi- cal character is not in the other House a mere accidental union ; the fact is, it is not only that a judge may be made a Peer, but that all the Peers are necessarily judges." To that assembly go up appeals from all the courts. If the principle of the proposed law is sound, we ought to begin with the House of Lords, not with the Master of the Rolls. If the Master of the Rolls goes wrong, the House of Lords may correct him; but who is to correct the errors of the House of Lords ? Lord Hotham was perfectly content to let the Lords sit as judges in the morning, and as politicians meet in the evening and debate—" sometimes pretty sharply, and sometimes in such a way that if you, Sir, were among them, you would call them to order— (Cheers and laughter)—such questions as the Clergy Reserves, Irish Educa- tion, and the Government of India."
"But this bill for the purposes of purifying the administration of justice is utterly ineffectual. It is effectual, I admit, for one purpose, and for one purpose only—that of weakening and degrading the House of Commons. This is not the first time that a similar attempt has been made. More than a hundred and fifty years ago there was a great and general cry—and a just one—against the number of placemen in Parliament. The evil was great ; but rash and shortsighted men, although doubtless well-intentioned, like the noble Lord, proposed a remedy which would have produced an evil ueb greater than that which they sought to correct. They brought in a bill which provided that no person who held any office under the Crown i
should sit n this House. This clause was not to take effect before the ac- cession of the house of Hanover, and before that accession occurred it was happily repealed. It is easy to see what the effect would have been. It was easy to say that the bill would purify the Parliamentary atmosphere ; that the influence of the Crown, which was so fatal to the liberty of the people, would have been done away with; and that it was just that the ser- vants of the nation should be the servants of the nation alone. The supporters of that bill asked how it was possible for persons who were appointed by the prerogative of the Crown to be the faithful guardians a the rights and liberties of the people ? That argument was specious, but no more. The effect would have been to depress that branch of the Legislature which springs from the people, and to elevate the here- , ditary aristocracy. All the Ministers of the Crown must necessarily have i been Peers, and all the eminent Members of the House of Commons would have made it their object to obtain a Peerage ; and as Boon as any man by his eloquence and knowledge had obtained the distinction of being selected to fill the post of Chanceller of the Exchequer, or Secretary of State, or First Lord of the Admiralty, or Secretary at War—no matter what—he would in- stantly have turned his back on what would then have been emphatically the 'Lower' House, and would have gone to that House in which alone it would have been possible for him to display his great abilities.. Walpole, the two Pitts, Fox, Canning, Peel, and all the men whose memory is now inseparably associated with the Rouse of Commons, and whose names we think of with pride as we pass through St. Stephen's Chapel, the old scene of their con- quests, all these men, in the vigour and prime of life, would have become Peers, while the great conflicts of opinion would have been transferred from the House of Commons to the House of Lords, and it would have been im- possible for the House of Commons, left without one single great statesman or constitutional authority, and filling its high place no more, to give a ge- neral direction to the policy of the realm. All Europe would have been looking for those great contests between Pitt and Fox to the House of Lords, and we should have been left to look after turnpike-roads and canals." (Laughter and cheers.)
There is a general, growing, earnest, and he might say reasonable and
sober desire in the public mind, for law-reform. "And at such a time it is we are called upon to shut the door of this House against the last great judi- cial functionary whom the bungling legislation of Parliament has left to us. In the mean time, the other House is open to him and to other judicial offi- cers who are excluded from this House. The Judge of the Admiralty Court is one of the judges thus excluded from this house; and that obligation, I believe, the House owes to the noble Lord who brings forward this bill. In the House of Peers you may have the Lord Chancellor, the Chief Justices, the Chief Baron' -the Lords Justices, the Master of the Rolls, and the Vice- Chancellor ; but here you are driving out the last man who by his judicial position gave this House any weight and consequence. I am very far from anticipating any conflict with the House of Lords, but it may be of great im- portance that we should have the advice and authority of so high a judicial personage in any question with that House. I was much struck the other day—I do not know whether the honourable Member for Montrose is in his pl ice—the last time this bill was to have come before the House, I came down to vote against this bill, but it could not come on in consequence of the debate upon a bill brought in by the honourable Member for West Surrey— the Combination of Workmen Bill : I believe that the honourable Member for 'Montrose is decidedly favourable to that bill, but I was amused at hear- ing him press the Government to pass the Combination of Workmen Bill, for this reason—' We really know nothing about it : send it to the Lords, for they have the Judges there, and they will say whether it is right or wrong.' (Cheers and laughter.) Did anybody ever hear of a great legislative assembly being called upon to abdicate its functions like that ? and is it not extras ordinary that a gentleman ordinarily zealous for the popular part of the con- stitution should propose that in matters so grave the House should °entails itself with registering what the Judges in the House of Lords may be pleased to say ? " Mr. Macaulay denied that the duties of the Master of the Rolls are in- compatible with the duties of a Member of Parliament. The division of la- bour cannot be carried too far in matters mechanical, but it may in matters of intellect. "I do not believe that Michael Angelo would have been a greater painter if he had not been a sculptor ; I do not believe that Newton would have been a greater experimental philosopher if he had never been a mathematician and a logician ; and I do not believe that a man would be a worse lawgiver because he is a great judge." Mr. Bentham said, "The very best school for a great legislator is the judicial bench, and legislative ability is so rarely found in any society that it is madness to throw it away when it is accessible."
To the argument that the mode of getting a seat in the House of Commons is unworthy of the ermine, Mr. Macaulay replied—" The noble Lord spoke of unseemly jollifications at elections. I wish from the bottom of my heart that indecent jollifications were the worst means by which men, reputed to be men of honour and respectability, stoop to obtain seats in this House. I should be sorry if the Master of the Rolls, in order to obtain a seat in this House, played the mountebank or stooped to tricks upon the hustings. But I should be still more sorry if any Master of the Rolls should stoop to avail himself of the low arts, the false addresses, and the machinery of corruption, by which some honourable Members have entered this House. I am told that the Master of the Rolls ought to be scrupulous in the means by which he is elected. For this I can answer—for a long friendship and an intimate acquaintance with the Master of the Rolls entitle me to speak with confi- dence upon this point—that if ever the present Master of the Rolls sits in this House, he will be brought in by very different means from those by which he was sent out. (Much cheering.) But let me ask, are we prepared to say that no person can come into the .House of Commons except by means inconsistent with the conscientious self-respect which ought to distinguish the judicial character ? If so, it well becomes us to set our House in order; for how can a country long prosper if that assembly on which all its dearest interests depend—if the assembly which can by a single vote give a new direction to the whole policy of the country, colonial, commercial, and financial, can be entered only by means that lower the character?" Were the characters of Sir William Grant and Sir John Copley, representa- tives for Universities, lowered ? "But it is not necessary to speak of uni- versities. It would be most unjust and ungrateful in many Members of this House not to say that a delicacy and liberality of sentiment that would do honour to any university might be found in the ten-pound householders of some great cities. Need you go further into that subject than to look to your own chair ?" (Cheers.) The law is in an inconsistent state : we have entered on a bad course, and had better retrace our steps. "As the law now stands, no person can sit in this House whose office was created since a particular day—I think since the 25th October 1705. The effect is highly inconvenient. For example, there can be only two Secretaries of State in this House, and only two Under-Secretaries of State. If there were two Secretaries of State in this House, and if a vacancy should take place in the office of Foreign Secretary, then, although a Member of this House of Parliament might be the best man to fill the office, he could not have it : you must give him the Admiralty, and give the office of Secretary of Foreign Affairs to some Member of the House of Peers, who would, perhaps, be better suited to the Admiralty. Again, the Postmaster-General cannot sit in this House he is generally a member of the Cabinet, and, with the single exception's of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, there is no public functionary whom it would be so convenient to have in the House of Commons." Mr. Macaulay would admit any judge whom the people would elect, unless there was some plain reason why he should be excluded,—as in the case of the fifteen Judges, who sit in the House of Lords when that House sits as a Court of Error ; and there he would leave them, "for it would be inconsistent alike with our convenience and our dignity to have any Members here who are at the beck and call of the other House." He would open the door to the Master of the Rolls and the Judge of the Admiralty Court—(Cheers)—and the Lords Jus- tices and Vice-Chancellors.
Mr. Macaulay concluded by asking the Conservatives, whether they would change a law which has lasted twenty generations; and the Liberals, whe- ther they "would think it right to lower the character and diminish the efficiency of that branch of the Legislature which springs from the people ? As to myself, I wish to unite the characters of Liberal and Conservative ; and I do in both characters give my vote most cordially for the motion of my honourable friend." (Loud and long-continued cheering.) Lord Hornitm at once replied. He pointed out to Mr. Macaulay that the exclusion of the Judge of the Admiralty Court had been recom- mended by a Committee in 1833. He brought forward again the argu- ment that the scenes at an election are degrading to a judge ; and cited the names of Sir Samuel Rorailly, Lord Langdale, Lord Brougham, and Mr. Curran, as authorities against the propriety of a judge's being a Member of that House.
Mr. Hums briefly spoke in favour of the bill ; and the House divided— For the third reading, 123; for the amendment, 224; majority against the bill, 101.
THE IRISH CHUROH.
Mr. GEORGE HENRY MOORE moved for a Select Committee to inquire into the ecclesiastical revenues of Ireland, with the view of ascertaining how far they are made applicable to the benefit of the Irish people. The grievance he called on them to consider is no new one ; it has tor- mented the Legislature almost as much as the people who have endured it. No people on earth except the English would consent to bear this Irish grievance for the mere luxury of obstinacy in wrong. It is the fashion to call the Irish loyal, but they are not loyal. If a fight took place off the Irish coast between an English and an American ship, a very large majority of the lookers-on would wish the Americans to win. That state of feeling is an Imperial danger ; and its cause is to be found in the religious policy of England towards Ireland. That policy has been condemned by all au- thorities among English statesmen—by Lord John Russell, Mr. Dis- raeli, Lord Campbell, Lord Brougham, and Mr. Macaulay. He main- tained that the Church revenues are a fund set apart by public au- thority for a public purpose, and not a tax paid by the Protestant owners of land, or by the people, to a minority. Those revenues were set apart for the education of the people and the maintenance of religion, and they ought not to be diverted from their original purposes. The proportion of Catholics to Protestants is still as five to one; and yet revenues which by proper management might be made to yield a million a year are given to the minority. But the policy of England is even more evil in principle than destructive in practice ; for it contains the evils both of the voluntary and the endowment principles—endowing the religion of the rich, and hand.
ing over the religion of the poor to the voluntary principle. Mr. Gladstone had defended the establishment in Ireland on the ground that Ireland was an integral portion of the British empire, and that Protestantism was the re-
ligion of the great majority of the people : but if this were a sound argu- ment, why not pay for this Imperial Church out of the Imperial revenue ?
The case of Scotland, too, which was also an integral part of the United Kingdom, but where the Episcopal Church was not, however, made the esta- blished religion, entirely destroyed the force of such an argument. Then it is argued that the Act of Union must be maintained in all its integrity ; and that the Establishment is part of the Act of Union : but if both parties agreed to alter that Act, he did not see that there could be any objection to that course. It was said that the Irish Reformation Society had made con- verts: was it true, then, that the Establishment, with from 500,000/. to 1,000,000/. a year, had failed to do what the subscriptions of a few thousands had effected ? He wished "to give Protestantism fair play, in order that it might meet its great adversary before a free people ; and then God defend the right." (Cheers.)
Mr. O'CONNELL seconded the motion, with pain, as it was rash and im- prudent to approach the question at present. Such motions damage the cause they are meant to serve.
Sir Jour; Yonana characterized the motion as one really for the total destruction of the Established Church in Ireland. The ills of Ireland had been referred to every cause in turn ; but the Irish Church was answerable for only a small portion of them ; she had possessed her property for three hundred years, and that property was not more than sufficient for her wants, although her friends might distribute it more equitably. If a great agitation existed, it might be for the ad- vantage of the Church to give up a portion of the revenues in order to obtain peace ; but there was no agitation in the direction of this motion.
On the contrary, the public suspected the designs of the Roman Catholics. Such motions were in antagonism to the assurances given during the struggle for Catholic Emancipation, that the legislative privileges sought should not be used against the Protestant Establishment. He warned the House against granting the Committee.
Mr. Munitounit, Mr. POLLARD T.TRQVHART, Mr. GARDNER, Mr. J. rimmmoitn, Mr. HENRY DRUMMOND, and Mr. Meunier., supported, while Sir ROBERT Imam, rating Sir John Young for his weakness, Mr. NEWDEGATE, and Mr. R088 MOORE, and Mr. WHITESIDE, opposed the motion, with some bitterness.
Mr. Lucas felt it difficult to speak upon a motion which ought to be carried as a matter of course. It was a motion for inquiry into all the ec- clesiastical revenues of Ireland—the Established Church, the Regium Donum, the Maynooth grant. The question was one of justice to all classes of the community ; and he and his friends were prepared to adopt any method which would really establish religious equality in Ireland. There, in spite of the deep-rooted, fixed, irrevocable will of the Irish peo- ple, stands the monstrous iniquity of the Irish Church erect and triumphant in 1853. Sir John Young had said this was a bad time to make this motion, because there was no disturbance : that is the doctrine of her Majesty's Ministers ; that is the wisdom and statesmanship of "all the talents." (" Hear, hear !" and a laugh.) But they were only at the beginning of the struggle ; and he rejoiced that the extension of the Income-tax to Ireland puts it in the power of the Irish Members to come to that House with a loftier determination and say—" If you make the taxes of Ireland equal to those of England, you shall put her institutions upon a similar footing." (Cheers.)
Lord Sonar Russ= said, he would rather deal with the speech of Mr. Lucas than with the motion and speech of Mr. Moore; because Mr. Lucas had frankly stated his objects.
Lord John did not agree that the Roman Catholics are in a state of social and political degradation ; that they have any social inequalities to complain of; and if Roman Catholics of former years have expressed gratitude for con- cessions made in their favour, they are extremely unlike some of the Roman Catholics of the present day, who have met the largest concessions of Par- liament with reproaches and revilings,—as if they wish to prove how much they differ from their ancestors, and to make up for their exuberance of loyalty and attachment to their country. (Cheers.) Ile believed that Mr. Lucas, and those who had spoken with him, do not carry with them the great body of the Roman Catholics. Sir John Young had been misrepresented as saying that inquiry might be desirable if there was a great pressure,—mean- ing, that if the intelligence of England and Ireland complained of a griev- ance there would be more cause for inquiry than can be pretended at pre- sent.
Lord John admitted that an ecclesiastical, not a religious inequality, ex- ists in Ireland ; and that the majority of the 'people share in none of the endowments. In discussing these subjects, he thought that the oaths ought not to be a bar to debate, nor the argument drawn from the Act of Union pushed too far ; because there is nothing in that act to prevent a change if the great body of the people of Ireland desire a change. Having said so much, Lord John came to the practical question, and confessed that the ex- perience of the last few years has not been lost upon him. Some years ago, he had proposed a compromise, but no one would consent to it ; and he had been compelled, therefore, to consider what course Parliament should take —how it could remedy that which was alleged as a grievance. "I am sorry to think, that while I cannot hold that the present state of things is, in its apparent arrangement, satisfactory, I see the greatest difficulties—the greatest objections—more than that, I see no small peril in the alterations that have been proposed. The honourable gentleman who spoke last, as I understood him, said, 'Let us have equality : whatever mode you please to take to attain that, I shall be content with it provided it is equality." There are only two modes obviously in which ecclesiastical equality—for that is the important question—can be attained. The one is the total abolition of the revenues of the Established Church of Ireland. I am not prepared to take that course. I never thall be willing to consent to the total abolition of the revenues of the Established Church of Ireland. Putting aside the great change it would make—the violation of engagements it would make,—setting aside these matters, I cannot but think that you could not abolish the revenues of the Established Church of Ireland without striking at the root of ecclesiastical endowments and violating the great principle upon which all our endow- ments are founded. That may be a wrong principle—I mean the _principle of ecclesiastical endowments ; but it is one I sin in favour of, which has been hitherto maintained by the Parliament of this country, and I cannot believe that you could abolish it in Ireland without leading in other parts of the United Kingdom to a similar abolition. Than let us consider whether we can at present make a new distribution of the revenues of the Established Church according to number. Dividing them according to number, you would give by far the greater part of those revenues to the Roman Catholic Church. In so doing, you would be acting according to principle—according
to the principle you have adopted in other cases, as the late Mr. O'Connell frequently put the contrast before us,—as you have the Presbyterian religion inaka, so you would have the Roman Catholic religion endowed in Ireland. If the Roman Catholic Church resembled the Presbyterian Church
in Scotland, although it would not be just that the Roman Catholics should have, as the Presbyterians in Scotland have a national church entirely de- voted to them, yet I can imagine that a large endowment should be given to the Roman Catholic Church: but, unfortunately, ecclesiastical equality would not be thereby increased." It has been evident of late years, that the Roman Catholic clergy have aimed at political power at variance with the due attachment to the Crown, the liberties of the subject, and the general cause of liberty. "I am con- vinced that if the Roman Catholic clergy had increased power given to them, and if they, as ecclesiastics, were to exercise greater control and greater poli- tical influence than they do now, that power would not be exercised in ac- cordance with the general freedom that prevails in this country, and that neither in respect to political power nor upon other subjects would they fa- vour that general freedom of discussion and that activity and energy of the human mind which belong to the spirit of the constitution of this country. (Loud and general cheering.) I do not think that in that respect they are upon a par with the Presbyterians of Scotland. The Presbyterians of Scot- land, the Wesleyans of this country, and the Established Church of this country and of Scotland, all no doubt exercise a certain influence over their congregations ; but that influence which they thus exercise over their con- gregations must be compatible with a certain freedom of the mind—must be compatible with a certain spirit of inquiry, which the ministers of these churches do not dare to overstep, and, if they did overstep it, that influence would be destroyed. I am obliged, then, to conclude—most unwillingly to conclude, but most decidedly—that the endowment of the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland in the place of the endowment of the Protestant Church in that country, in connexion with the State, is not an object which the Par- liament of this country ought to adopt or to sanction." (Cheers.) He must look at what is passing in Belgium, Sardinia, and various coun- tries in Europe ; and " regard the influence which, if not exercised, has been attempted to be exercised, in the United Kingdom of these late years ; and seeing these things, resist a proposal for the abolition of the Church of Ireland." (Cheers.)
Mr. BRIGHT was met by ironical cheers and laughter from the Oppo- sition, when he expressed the sorrow with which he had heard that speech; and similar manifestations continued as he contrasted the past career of Lord John Russell with the present—cheered as he had been by those who sat opposite, and listened to with silence by those who sat be- hind him. This contrast Mr. Bright followed up with a long speech, urging that in Irish matters the opinion of the majority in Ireland ought to be consulted more, as that of the Canadians had been in yielding the Clergy Reserves. 31r. J. D. FITZGVB ATM also vindicated the constitutional demeanour of the Irish Members from the attacks of Lord John Russell. Cries of "Divide!" cut short this speech ; and Mr. MOORE having replied, the House divided—For the motion, 98; against it, 240; majority against, 162.
THE SLAVE-TRADE IN CUBA.
The Earl of CanusLE presented to the House of Lords a petition, very numerously signed, from ladies inhabitants of Kingston in Jamaica, com- plaining of the continued importations of slaves into the island of Cuba, and the non-fulfilment of treaty by the Spanish Government. They also refer the "depressed condition of all the interests" in Jamaica mainly to alteration of the Imperial policy respecting the British Sugar Colonies, and the encouragement it gives to slave-grown productions.
"I, my Lords, cannot deny my own complicity in the adoption of that policy," said Lord Carlisle ; "and, at this time of day, I still feel great doubt whether in so doing I was right or wrong. This I know, that in the whole course of my Parliamentary experience I never acquiesced in any measure with so much doubt or hesitation, and there is none with regard to which at this day I should be so glad to be quit of all responsibility. However, my Lords, after several successive Administrations, consisting, like the last, of persons wholly opposed, or like the present Administration, of many who were also opposed to those original measures—after the results of that have been repeatedly under their consideration, and they find unable to move in the matter, I certainly cannot entertain any expectation that there is any probability, or I would say possibility, of such policy being now reversed."
The petitioners pray that such measures may be adopted as may effectively oblige the Spanish Government to put an end to the iniquitous traffic in slaves carried on in Cuba, and connived at by the Spanish Government. If the House needed to be reminded of the engagements of Spain, he could not do better than refer them to a despatch by Lord Aberdeen, dated the 31st December 1843. "It appears that by a treaty which dates so far back as 1817, which came into operation in 1820, and which was further enlarged by subsequent treaties, Spain solemnly stipulated to suppress the slave-trade on the part of Spanish subjects ; and in consideration of that treaty and that undertaking, Spain received from this country the sum of 400,0001." There is reason to believe that the provisions of that treaty have been "systemati- cally, wilfully, and all but continuously violated" ; that with two excep- tions—the Generals Valdez and Concha—the Captains-General of Cuba have received bribes or hush-money for every single slave landed through their guilty connivance on the island of Cuba. [Lord Carlisle subsequently in- cluded General Tacon.] Indeed, suspicion does not stop with them, but ascends much higher. "Of course I do not pretend to address any inquiries to my noble friend opposite respecting the justice of such suspicions ; and I admit that no one ought lightly to infer the 'deep damnation' of their truth. But true it is, my Lords, that no sooner does any Captain-General of Cuba seem to respect the faith of treaties and the laws alike of humanity and honour, than very speedily, for some reason or other, he is sure to be removed, in order to give place to some less scrupulous and more accommodating function- ary in his stead." Under the present Captain-General, Caned°, the slave- trade "is being carried on with unexampled vigour and audacity' ; and Cuba, which, "from my own experience I can depose, our God has fitted to be a paradise," the White man, ever since he first set foot there, "has con- verted, I can use no softer phrase, into a hell."
Slightly referring to the case of the Emancipados, Lord Carlisle pointed out, that although Spain had lately undertaken to free those who were en- titled to their liberty in 1828, and those under contracts as soon as the contracts expired, yet that as the slave population employed in field labour dies off every ten years, few could be alive to avail themselves of the mi- serable boon. What is the state of the facts at present ? Between the months of November and February last 5000 slaves were landed in Cuba ; it is to.be feared that many landings take place on retired parts of the coast of which we bear nothing ; and since he gave notice of this motion there has been a landing of 1100, kidnapped from a Portuguese settlement. Of that number, as was mentioned lately in the House, 300 are said to have been rescued by the British Consul. But can we be sure that tills 300 have been effectually rescued ? The account of the transaction, which originally ap- peared in one of the American journals, would lead one to infer that they had mainly been given up to the insular government as a bribe. The laws of Cuba, it was said the other evening, expressly stipulate that no proceed- ings shall be instituted into the origin of slaves once in the possession of pro- prietors ; a blieldatitlil eireldrUU11y lihUtting out relief. Then, by a " dodge" —he was going to say—by the system pursued when a slave dies, the
name of an Emaneipado is returned to the Government instead, and the Emancipado is transferred to the name and place of the old slave. When these things take place, especially when the Spanish Government is concerned, we may be sure that all that may be done or can be done will be done. "I would very earnestly recommend it to the attention of her Majesty's Government, whether they could not give directions—I cannot take upon myself to say whether, under the existing law, they have the power ; but if they have not the power, whether they could not, by negotiations with Spain, acquire the power, to send the captured slavers, not into the slave-courts or before the Mixed Commission of the Havannah, (where, even if a condemnation takes
place—and I do not believe that so much complaint exists upon that ground, or that the Mixed Commission Court, on the whole, does not perform its duty
—but even if it does do its duty, it turns out to be much the same thing for the slave as if no capture or condemnation, had taken place at all,) but into some free port for adjudication. I wish to know whether, instead of sending the captured slavers into a slave-port for adjudication, they cannot be sent to some free port, before sonic untrammelled mixed commission, where jus- tiee is sure to be done ? "
Amid all these disgraceful and revolting proceedings, it is refreshing to find how efficiently our gallant naval service is performing its duty in those seas. Three slavers have been taken in one day by Captain Hamilton of the Vestal ; and Lord Carlisle gave a spirited narration of the capture, from an account written by an eye-witness. "There was in port with the Vestal a steam-schooner, the Venus,—so named, I suppose, from its being the model of piratical beauty in naval architecture,—a schooner noted as the fastest vessel in those seas. It was reported to Captain Hamilton that the Venus, taking advantage of the Vestal's undergoing painting and repairing, intended to slip out of harbour and be off on a slaving expedition. Captain Hamilton did not mention the information thus received to any one, but kept himself prepared for the contingency. That same night a tornado, accompanied with heavy thunder, springing up, the Venus seized the opportunity, and at daybreak it was reported to Captain Hamilton that she was off. The captain immediately sprang out of bed, and in less than three minutes the Vestal
was under press of canvass on her way out of the harbour in pursuit. There were eleven ships of war in the harbour at the time, and the American
crews, like good brethren, saluted the Vestal on her way with three cheers. There were several vessels discerned in the distance, and at first it was not blown which of these was the chase ; but the Venus was presently identified by the peculiar whiteness of her sails, and pursuit was eagerly directed after her. In the course of the night another tornado came on, and the Venus was once more lost sight of. Thereupon came the question, which way should the Vestal direct her course ? After some consultation, it was conjectured that the Venus would steer for the Bahama Shoals,—a locality of dangerous navigation for larger vessels. At sunrise it was found that this conjecture was accurate, for the Venus was seen in the Shoals. The Vestal proceeded after her, until, the lead giving as the soundings only a quarter-less-four, it was impracticable for the Vestal to get nearer to the chase. Under these circumstances, Cap- tain Hamilton thought he would try the effect of a long gun enormously charged. The shot told upon the slave-ship, and she came to. Captain Hamilton at this moment discovered two slave-schooners further on among the shoals. He could not follow them in the Vestal, but, proceeding on board the Venus, he put his revolver to the captain's head, and thus made him steer after the two schooners, which were speedily captured. They were
found laden with arms, slaving implements, 8m.; and there were on board
one of them documents which authorized Captain Hamilton, on his return to the harbour, in taking possession of a large brig there, La Arragonese. As the Vestal came into harbour, towing her three prizes, she was received with loud cheers by the shipping in port; and one of the American captains made this speech in honour of her exploit—' Well, it made my heart run over to see the Old Country come out so proud, and the ship pass through the Spanish fleet so silent and calm with her prizes.' But what I want your Lordships to consider is this—if these things are done in the harbour of Ha-
vanuah, in the capital of the island, under the guns of the Mole, what may eoing_on along, the ,wild and unfrequented coast of the island—an large as Engniad ?,
Lord Carlisle made no charge against the British Government. He spoke of Lord Palmerston's " arduous and indefatigable exertions" ; believed there had been no slackening under the late Administration ; and could not suspect that there would be any slackening on the part of Lord Clarendon. But it cannot be denied that gross derelictions of duty have been frequently manifested by the Spanish Government. "Talk of causes of war with Spain ! sure I am that this country has been over and over again embroiled in long and
ruinous war on grounds which, in my judgment, were absolutely paltry in comparison with this. Let me not lie understood as expressing an opinion that this country is called upon to go to war with Spain, even for the sup-
pression of the slave-trade. I know the apathy and indifference which pre- vail among& large proportion of the inhabitants of this country on all such external topics, and that many of those who feel most zealously and ardently on the subject would be the foremost to discourage our having recourse to a violent physical mode of interference. But Spain ought to be told, that if she does not observe her treaties—if she, almost alone of all the nations of the earth, persists in this infernal traffic—she must, if her possession of Cuba is ever endangered, be at least prepared to find this country neutral in the conflict. I do not either desire to throw the sole blame upon the Spaniards ; for I am not sure that the United States, considering the liberties they possess, considering their freedom of origin, have not, by their abomi-
nable Fugitive Slave Law, committed an even greater outrage upon liberty. I wish to ask my noble friend, if he has any additional facts or information to give us?"
The Earl of CLARENDON expressed his admiration of the eloquent speech just delivered, and bore testimony to the perfect correctness of its facts.
lie wished he could give a satisfactory answer. The treaties alluded to
have been "constantly, nay feloniously violated " ; and he could not deny what was said of the Captains-General of Cuba. Stating that he had little
to add, but that little not altogether unsatisfactory, Lord Clarendon gave some interesting information as to the professions of the Spanish Govern- ment.
Anticipating allusion to General Carted°, he had brought down two de- spatches containing extracts of letters from the late and the new Spanish Ministers for Foreign Affairs, and addressed to Lord Howden. The late Minister states that General Catiedo averred he was "making every possible effort to check the slave-trade," and that the slave-traders were " dis- heartened" ; the new Minister, repeating what his predecessor has said, re- ports that he was informed by Carted°, that, "finding the observance of the strict letter of the law impeded this object, he had not hesitated to adopt ex-
treme measures, and that, suspending the penal law of 1805 which forbids the pursuit of newly-imported slaves after they have once passed on to their pur- chaser's estate, he has resolved to pursue such slaves wherever he can find them, and to release them from their holders."
The Minister hoped that this would be taken as "a proof of the desire of Spain to fulfil her engagements." That afternoon, Lord Clarendon had re- ceived a despatch from Lord Howden, stating "that a communication had
been received from the Captain-General of Cuba, in which he informs his Government that some Negroes having been landed on the island and con- veyed to the estate of their purchaser, he had followed them thither and re- leased them, to the number of 100." In other despatches, Lord Howden states that the Emancipados are to be liberated on the terms agreed on with them ; and he further mentions that there is a growing desire on the part of the Spanish Government to listen to the expostulations of England: the Eo. reign Office has received from the Royal Council a recommendation to fur- nish the Captain-General of Cuba with the larger powers requisite to enable him effectually to deal with the evil,—the first time that any such recom- mendation has issued from that Council.
With respect to the suggestion of taking captured slavers into free ports for adjudication, Lord Clarendon pointed out, that, by the treaty, only two Mixed Courts of Commission are provided—one at Havannah, and the other at Sierra Leone ; so that our naval officers have no option.
The Bishop of OxPortn praised Lord Carlisle for the "graceful and ef- fective passage in which he expressed repentance for his complicity in the political movement " that led to the introduction of slave-grown sugar; and he contended that we should yet undo the evils then done. Lord BROUGHAM threw some doubt on the value of the promises of the Cap- tain-General of Cuba and the Spanish Government. Lord WM-RECLINES held that it was no small step to have obtained those promises.
The House of Commons continued the Committee on the Income-tax Bill on Monday.
On clause 31, providing that tenants of lands who are called upon to pay arrears due from former occupiers may deduct the amount from their rent, Mr. SPOONER moved as an amendment, a proviso to the effect that tenants of lands should not be called upon to pay the arrears of former te- nants, or deduct the amount from the rent. This was negatived by 145 to 69. Some other slight amendments were proposed, llut negatived by decisive majorities. On the motion of Mr. GLADSTONE, a new clause which might be called clause 13, as the form was retained, was added to the bill. This new clause is intended to levy the income-tax payable in Ireland rimier schedule A by the landlord or the immediate lessor, giving to the Com- missioners the power of levying it in special cases from the occupier. To the clause are added two provisoes. The first gives to the party assessed the right of an appeal when the annual value of the land is less than the Poor-law valuation, and grants a claim for assessment on the annual value. The second gives to the landlord the power of reducing the Poor- law valuation to the standard of the actual rental when that is less than the Poor-law valuation.
A clause proposed by Mr. GEORGE ANTHONY HAMILTON defining the i
deductions eases of ecclesiastical preferment—and two clauses proposed by Mr. GLADSTONE, the one relating to friendly societies, and the other relating to deductions in cases of annuities—were also brought up and added to the bill.
Mr. Butaturrr moved the addition of three clauses —one making allow- ance for bad debts as deductions from the income clauses,—one to be taxed; the second providing for a deduction at the rate of 8/. per cent for wear and tear of machinery ; and the third providing that whenever a person is called upon to produce his accounts, he may require all further proceed- ings to be taken before the Commissioners for Special Purposes. A long debate ensued. Mr. GLADSTONE objected to the second and third ; but admitted, that, seeing there is a discrepancy among good authorities as to the practical working of the first clause, the better way would be to leave it with him. Ultimately, Mr. BLecx3rrr declined to press the amendments ; and they were negatived without a division.
The House resumed, and the bill was reported.
On Thursday, the House went again into Committee, to consider the bill as amended. As the Chairman read over the clauses, various amend- ments were proposed by Irish Members, but negatived by large major- ities: one amendment proposed to exempt lands in Ireland rated under 151.; and another to give the landlords the right of assessing themselves.
The whole of the anuses having been adopted, Mr. GLADSTONE pro- posed five new clauses.
The first clause entitles an Irish landlord to claim a return of duty which might have been paid in respect to rent subsequently lost by the bankruptcy, insolvency, or absconding of a tenant. The purpose of the second clause is, in the case of a dispute arising as to the annual value of land, to entitle the party appealing to require a valuation of the land, as well as the Commis- sioners: The object of the third clause is to extend the range of the privi- lege granted in 1851 to tenant-farmers to come forward at the end of the year, if they think fit, and prove that the profits of their farms were less than half of their assessed rent, and to obtain a correspond- ing abatement. The fourth clause proposes to allow clergymen and min- isters of all religious denominations to deduct from their assessable in- comes any charges necessarily incurred in the exercise of their professional duties : although this has the appearance of an exemption in favour of clergymen, it in fact only places them on the same footing as other profes- sional persons. The fifth and last clause has for its object to enlarge the powers of the Commissioners with reference to bad debts : its effect will be to allow the Commissioners in cases of composition to put down as good whatever the composition amounts to ; in cases of bankruptcy to allow them to put down the whole as bad, and to charge the party afterwards upon the dividends when received ; and in cases of doubtful debts to allow them to make a reasonable estimate of their value.
These clauses were accepted, and added to the bill. The preamble was agreed to; and the House resumed.
CUSTOMS-DUTIES : TEA. • In Committee on the Customs Acts, on Monday, a desultory conversa- tion arose between Lord Joan MANNERS, Mr. Dimes BARING, and Mr. DISRAELI, on one side, and Mr. GuanrroNE and Mr. CARDWELL on the other. On the list of duties reduced and abolished being read, at the suggestion of the Opposition, several, and among them " cables, ' were postponed. Mr. TRomes BARLIG led off a discussion, by complaining that so much revenue was thrown away by the abolition of "miserable duties" on a number of articles. Mr. GLADSTONE agreed, that duties on agates, anchovies, and carnelians, were "miserable duties" ; but he was astonished Mr. Baring should think those "miserable duties" ought to be retained. Lord JOHN MANNERS followed this up by a complaint, that although so many duties had been reduced, yet the cost of collecting the Customs had increased 36,0001. since 1842. Mr. CARDWELL replied, that if the cost had increased with the trade of the country, it would have exceeded by some hundreds of thousands the amount reached in 1842.
On the Tea-duties reduction being read, Mr. Disassztr made repeated speeches, in order, apparently, to induce Mr. Gladstone to make afttatE-
ment on the present state of affairs in China. Mr. GLADSTONE said, he would be happy to give what information he could at a subsequent
Mr. Morn= complained of the withdrawal of the one-pound 4g draught " on tea. Mr. GriAnsrostz said, that all tea imported and re- ported at the Customhouse before the 10th July would have the benefit of the one-pound draught ; after that date it will cease altogether. Mr. Duns= again renewed his attempt to extract a speech on the
Tea-duties from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mr. GLADSTONE, however, would not humour him, but narrowed the question to this- " whether they would have the speech of the Minister, or their tea at a lower duty." Mr. MASTERMAN supported this view ; speaking for the commercial world against speechification. After a great deal of profitless talk, Lord ADOLPHUS VANE moved that the Chairman should report pro- gress : on which Mr. GLADSTONE at once agreed to postpone the duty if it were opposed. But Mr Damara.' now declared that he would not be an obstacle; and he recommended Lord Adolphus Vane to withdraw his motion. This was done ; the resolution was agreed to; and the Chairman reported progress.
Again in Committee, on Thursday, Mr. GLADSTONE announced that he should adhere to the first edition of the tariff in respect of raisins, and re- duce the duty 10s. the hundredweight. On the item for remitting the duty on cables not of iron, a division was taken, on the motion of Lord Joan MANNERS, that the item be not agreed to—Negatived by 194 to 68.
By similar majorities, motions to reject the removal of duty on "pic- tures," and the reduction of the duties on " butter " and "cheese," were negatived.
Mr. VANSITTART moved that the Chairman report progress—Rejected by 125 to 11. The unopposed items were then agreed to ; and the House resumed.
CoNvEnsion OF Brom.
Lord Sr. LEONARDS expressed a wish to know from the Lord Chancel- lor what the operation of the recent Act for the Conversion of Stock was likely to be upon the interests of the suitors in Chancery ? The LORD Cireareampon was glad that Lord St. Leopards had given him an opportunity of explaining this matter.
By the act of Parliament, the Accountant-General might signify his as-
sent to take any one of the three species of Stock ; or, not signifying any such assent., he would have the money paid on the 5th January as to some sort of Stock, and on the 5th April as to the other. The act received the Royal assent on the 9th May, and the time for signifying assent was to be the 3d June. This might appear to be a short interval, but it became perfectly obvious that the act would have received the Royal assent some days before it did, and he therefore turned his attention to the consideration of what he had better do with reference to those suitors who had funds in that species of Stock in the Court of Chancery. The sum involved is large, amount- ing to between 400,0001. and 500,000/. His own impression was, that it was not the business of the Chancellor to be entering into any speculations on the subject; and he thought it his duty to consult the other Judges with reference to it. Several of his learned brethren were clearly of opinion, that what he ought to do would be to assent at once to take the lowest species of Stock ; but as they were pretty evenly divided in opinion, he thought he had better see what had been done in cases of preceding conversions that were nearly analogous. Upon a reference of this nature,. he found that in every ease his predecessors invariably, either by not dissenting or by assenting, had deemed it to be for the interest of the suitor to take the new Stock. He thought, therefore that the best thing he could do was to make an order upon the Accountant-General to take the lowest Stock, which was the Two- and-a-half per Cent Stock, unless the suitor could convince one of the Judges of the Court that it was more to his interest to take other Stock.
Lord Sr. LEONARDS reverted to the subject next day, but he received a similar reply. The Lon]) CHANCELLOR stated subsequently, that since he made the
order referred to above, the Bank of England had raised the rate of dis- count, and the Funds had fallen, so that the value of Two-and-a-half per Cent Stock was reduced between 3/. and 4/. below the value of 100/. That being the case, it would be injurious to carry the order into execu- tion; and he had revoked it accordingly.
RUSSIA AND TURKEY.
The Earl of HARDWICKE, on Monday, inquired whether Admiral Dun- des had been directed to move from Malta ; and if so when he would set sail? If it is true that Prince Menschikoff left Constantinople on the 22d of May, it is probable that the Emperor at St. Petersburg would be informed of it on the 29th; that orders from the Emperor might reach Sebastopol, where the fleet and army were stationed, by the 6th of June; and that on the 12th at latest, possibly on the 9th of June, the Russian fleet would arrive in the Bosphorus. On the other hand, if Admiral Dundas received orders to sail on the 1st of June, he could reach the Dardanelles on the 10th—two days before the arrival of the Russians.
The Earl of asnalinow, apologizing for absence during a part of this statement, said, that after what had passed on Friday, when their Lord- ships concurred in the propriety of withholding explanations, he was sure they would still more concur now in the propriety of his declining altogether to state what orders had been given.
In the House of Commons, on the same evening, Mr. DISRAELI put
the same question, based on similar calculations ; reckoning that the Russian fleet "might anchor opposite the Seraglio on the Ilth of June, and in twenty-four hours after be in possession of the castles of the Dardanelles"; but that the British fleet could make its appearance two days before the Russian fleet.
Lord Jomor Rossarr, replied, that in the present state of the relations between Turkey and Russia, he must decline answering the question. He added- " I must leave the right honourable gentleman to give notice of any mo- tion on this subject which he may think proper to bring forward, and I shall ' then be prepared fully to defend the course we have taken."
NEW TRIAIS tie CILIMI, AL CASES.
Mr. ISAAC Burr moved the second reading of a bill to establish a tri- bunal to determine upon new trials in criminal cases. In civil cases every plaintiff or defendant has the right of appeal. A person criminally accused before the Court of Queen's Bench has the right of appeal inde- pendently of the judge ; but a person tried for the very same offence at a borough sessions has no right of appeal. Mr. Butt proposed in the pre- sent bill to give an appeal on points of law, either with or contrary to the opinion of the judge, and also on points of fact; and in case of capital Punishment he proposed that a special tribunal should instantly be con-
vened to determine whether the punishment should be carried into effect or not. He limited his bill to Ireland, because he was well acquainted with the machinery of the courts of law in Ireland, and not competent to deal with the question in its bearing upon England. He conceived it, however, to be an Imperial question ; and if the House approved of the bill, it might be extended to England when in Committee.
Mr. EWART seconded the motion ; and it was supported by Mr. PHTNN and Mr. M‘Msmos ; opposed by Mr. J. PHILLMORE, Lord PaussitsroN, Mr. SOSEPH NAPIER, and Sir GEORGE GREY.
It was urged, that if the principle were sound it should be applied to the United Kingdom ; that certainty and rapidity are essential in the execution of the criminal law, whereas new trials would cause delay; that the law affords security for the innocent ; and that practically there is an appeal to the Home Secretary. If judges and juries felt that their decision was not final, they might be lax in the administration of justice. On this point Lord PALMERSTON said- " That would be a very great evil were any change of the law to bring it about. But let us see how the thing would work. Even now, in cases of disputed rights to property, although it is generally matter of great scruple of conscience to depose to statements which are not consistent with truth, yet we frequently see evidence brought before courts of law not founded in fact. But in matters regarding life and liberty, I am sorry to say that benevolent individuals have very little conscience at all. (" Hear ' and laughter.) You may depend upon it that I have had too much experience of the truth of what I have stated. I get applications signed by great numbers of most respectable persons in favour of individuals with regard to whose guilt there can be no possible doubt, or any doubt that they have committed the most atrocious crimes. That is a matter of every-day occur- rence. Not long ago, a member of the Society of Friends actually tried to bribe a witness to absent himself from the trial of a prisoner, in order to screen the man from punishment, of whose guilt no human being could doubt. If you had these second trials, you would have these pious frauds as frequently committed."
Mr. PI:FILLMORE had moved that the bill be read a second time that day six months. Mr. Burr, however, after the expression of opinion to which he had listened, declined to take a division on the bill; and it was negatived without a division.
THE MALDON COMMISSION.
The Earl of ABERDEEN moved that the address to the Crown for a commission to inquire into corrupt practices at elections for the borough of Malden be agreed to. In this case the Committee of the Commons had used the words of the act, and had reported that "corrupt practices extensively prevailed." Lord Sr. LEONARDS opposed the motion, on the ground that there was not sufficient evidence to warrant the terms of the report. Lord Bezel:mem argued that the Committee of the House of Commons were the best judges of that, and they had come to an unani- mous resolution. Lord Sr. LEONARDS disputed the assertion that the report was worded according to the terms of the act of Parliament. Lord CAMPBELL asked him if he would read the act of Parliament. Lord Sr. LEONARDS rejoined—" Does the noble and learned Lord mean to say that I cannot state the effect of an act of Parliament without reading it?" Nevertheless, he appeared to be about to read it, when some Peer laughed, and Lord St. Leopards, apparently in a pet, abruptly quitted the House.
The Loan CHANCELLOR supported the motion. The Earl of DERBY
spoke in opposition : but before he sat down he referred to the cause of the departure of Lord St. Leonards ; and said that neither the discussion nor Lord St. Leonards was a subject "for that levity and sneering laugh which I regret to see permitted by the noble Earl opposite on the part of some of his subordinates."
Lord ABERDEM,: rose, with considerable warmth- " What does the noble Earl mean ? (Cheers.) Does the noble Earl say that I permitted my 'subordinates' to sneer or laugh ? Whom does he mean by my ' subordinates' ? (Cheers.) And what does he mean by saying that I gave them permission to laugh or sneer ? (Cheers.) I can only say for myself, that I have ;the most unfeigned respect for the noble and learned Lord, and that I neither sneered nor entertained the slightest feeling of any- thing but the greatest respect towards him, and that I listened attentively to his observations. The noble Earl charges me with permitting' my ' sub- ordinates ' to do so and so ; but I know none in this Iclouse but those who are perfectly free either to laugh or cry as they please." (Cheers.) After an expression of regret from Lord CARPBELL—" If there is blame anywhere, I take the blame for having originated what has ended in a manner so much to be deplored"—the motion was agreed to.
In reply to Mr. MASTERS Ssurn, Lord Jousz Russmx stated, that a bill of which he had given notice on the subject of the disfranchisement of persons employed in the Dockyards was to have been introduced iii consequence of the report of the Committee on the Chatham election.. It would be unreasonable to withhold the writ without disfranchising the borough or passing a measure to prevent undue influence. But he had since learned that the bill would meet with considerable opposition ; and, not thinking it desirable to interrupt public business, he should not in- troduce it this session, but postpone it until the general reform of the representation is considered.
Does awn COMMITTEE.
On the motion of Sir GEORGE PECHELL, it was made an instruction to the Committee on the Dockyard Appointments to consider the return re- ferred to them on the 30th of April last, and the circumstances connected therewith, and to report their opinion thereupon.
The Committee, appointed on the motion of Mr. Mitchell, to inquire into the circumstances connected with the petition against the return of Mr. Matthew Forster and Mr. Stapleton for Berwick-on-Tweed met OII Wednesday. The story of this petition has been told before. Mr. Mat- thew Forster states, that Mr. Hodgson, the petitioner, called on him at the House of Commons, in November, about the petition; that Mr. Fors- ter refused to entertain any proposals, and referred Mr. Hodgson to Mr. John Forster, the son. Subsequently, Mr. Hugh Taylor made a volun- tary proposal to Mr. Forster, to pay 2000/., or 1000/., and finally 800I., to get rid of the petition. This overture was scouted. Mr. Coppock VMS instructed to manage the defence of the petition, and to call Mr. Forster as a witness. Be did not call him;' and Mr. Forster was very indignant, at the time as he intended to show that offers of a compromise had been made and Aso an attempt to obtain money. Mr. John Forster, the present Member for Berwick, stated, that Mr. Hodgson had called on him and offered to compromise the petition as against Mr. Forster, on condition that Mr. Hodgeon were elected in the
place of Mr. Stapleton. "Mr. Hodgson said, -I might lay a wager with him for 10001. that he would be returned in Mr. Stapleton's room." Mr. John Forster refused. He denied that Mr. Hodgson had said that Mr. Forster senior did not wish the matter to be known.
Mr. Hodgson's statement of what took place at the interview between himself and Mr. John Forster differs only in this one point, that he did say to Mr. John Forster, "There are four walls to this room; your father distinctly wishes it not to be known." But with respect to the in- terview between himself and Mr. Forster senior, he solemnly declares that he made the same proposals to the father that he afterwards made to the son—not in the lobby of the House, but in Mr. Forster's writing-room ; and that Mr. Forster had referred him to his son, knowing that he had those proposals to make. He further states, that Mr. John Forster agreed that their proposed conversation should be strictly confidential. Mr. Hodgson Hinde, brother of Mr. Hodgson, spoke as to the actual compromise. His version is, that Mr. Coppock agreed to pay 800/. as " costs " of the petition, on the understanding that the evidence should be dropped at a certain point, when Mr. Stapleton would be unseated, Mr. Forster taking the risk of that course. That arrangement was repudiated by Mr. Coppock.
Mr. Hugh Taylor admitted his share in the negotiations. They had been authorized and instigated by Mr. Hodgson Hinde, Mr. Hodgson's brother.
Mr. Coppock was examined at great length. The main fact ascertained was the admission that there bad been a compromise, but that the 8001. was only to be paid in ease Mr. Forster kept his seat. Sir Frederick Thesiger pressed upon Mr. Coppock ; endeavouring to show that Mr. Coppock had stated to the Committee what was false, in saying that he had had no communication with the agents. That, Mr. Coppock in- sisted, was strictly true. If the Committee had asked him directly whether there had been a compromise, he should have told the truth. In the course of the cross-examination, Mr. Coppock provoked Sir Frederick to the manifest danger of his temper, by asking the question whether Sir Frederick was entirely ignorant of compromises in election matters ? The proceedings still continue : it seems a question of personal veracity, or rather perhaps of collected memory.
The Committees of inquiry into the allegations of petitions against the return of Members for bribery, treating, and intimidation, have been in full activity this week, in the cases of Liverpool, Peterborough, Clare, Sligo, and Bury St. Edmunds.
The Liverpool inquiry threatens to be very protracted, but as yet the evidence is not of a striking kind. It is stated that there are three hun- dred witnesses summoned ; that the list of "persons bribed" amounts to one hundred and thirteen ; and that sixty-one houses are set down as places where treating was carried on. A great deal of evidence has been given by working men, shipwrights chiefly, who voted for Mackenzie and Turner, and received five shillings each, as a compensation for the loss of their day's work, from the agents of the sitting Members. The plan seems to have been this. Some masters gave their men a holyday on the two days of the election ; the men were told that if they voted for the Tories they would have five shillings. Several cases were proved ; but some of the men did not look upon the five shillings received in the light of a bribe, but only as boni fide compensation for lost time. The leading counsel for the petitioners stated in his opening speech, that rosettes containing sovereigns were given away • but no evidence of that fact has yet been adduced.
The .Peteriorough Committee have elicited evidence only of treating ; but it is as ve* slight and loose, referring to tea-parties, "likely to in-
.---..fmatite fro-wives of voters," and so forth. One of the witnesses, named Scholey, stated before he took the oath, that although he was willing to be sworn on the New Testament, and the oath so taken was binding on his conscience, he did not attach more importance to that book than any other : whether sworn or not, he would speak nothing but the truth. After some deliberation, Scholey admitted that he believed "in a superior something "—in a God ; and he was sworn. His evidence merely went to show that his wife made rosettes for Mr. Whalley; that a bill, in blank, was sent in ; that he received 21.158. for the rosettes; that his house was used as a committee-room, but that he received nothing for it. He voted for Whalley.
The two Committees sitting to inquire into the elections at Clare and Sligo present no novel facts. The Clare case is a repetition of the story of the Six-Mile Bridge affair.
The allegations of the petition against the return of Mr. Oakes for .Thav St. Edmunds respect bribery and treating. Nothing worth recotd has transpired in evidence.