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PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THE WEEK.
HOUSE or LORDS. Tuesday, Feb. 3. Opening. of Parliament by the Queen—The Address carried nem. con.
Thursday, Feb. 5. Law Reform; Government Bills announced—Caffre War ; the Duke of Wellington's Military Opinion of Sir Harry Smith's Tactics—Common Law Procedure Amendment Bill, laid on the table by the Lord Chancellor, and read a first time—Registration of Assurances ; Bill to be introduced in the Commons. Friday, Feb.6. Catfre War; Supplies of Gunpowder restricted—Chancery Re- form Conversation.
House OF Couows. Tuesday, Feb. 3. Address in reply to the Queen's Speech. —Lord Palmerston's Dismissal—Explanations. Wednesday, Feb. 4. Removal of Smithfield Market by the Corporation of London —Sessional Orders : 'Money Votes at late hours; Mr. Hume's Motion negatived by 146 to 64—Report on the Address—Ventilation of the House—The Kitchen. Thursday, Feb. 5. Electric Telegraph to Ireland—Law of Public-houses in Scot- land ; Bill to be brought in by Mr. Mackenzie—County Rates Statutes; Bill to be brought in by Mr. Fresh6eld—Queen's Speech : Committee of Supply agreed to— Gossip about the new House corrected. _Friday, Feb. 6. Westminster Bridge—Outrage on a British Subject at Florence— Education in Scotland—Newspaper-Stamp Law— Militia Enrolment — Suitors in Chancery Relief Bill, brought in by the Solicitor-General—Water Supply to the Me- tropolis; leave for separate Bills to Lord Seymour and Mr. Moffat—Ventilation of the House; Dr. Reid examined on Blasts and Smells.
TIME - TABLE.
Wednesday Thursday Friday Sittings this Week, 8; Time, Th 45m
OPENING OF THE SESSION.
The Queen opened the session of Parliament on Tuesday. Her Majesty arrived at the House of Lords about two o'clock, and took her place on the throne. The Commons entered the House, headed by their Speaker, with more decorum, the reporters say, than has been ob- served for years,—thanks to the new arrangements which fix the places of each Member by the ballot, and which this year placed Mr. Feargus O'Connor among the foremost persons of the Speaker's procession without any necessity for his use of personal prowess.
The QUEEN received from the Lord Chancellor in the usual form, and read with her wonted grace and just emphasis, the following Speech. " My Lords and Gentlemen—The period has arrived when, according to usage, I can again avail myself of your advice and assistance in the prepara- tion and adoption of measures which the welfare of the country may require. " I continue to maintain the most friendly relations with Foreign Powers. " The complicated affairs of the Duchies of Holstein and Schleswig have continued to engage my attention. I have every reason to expect that the treaty between Germany and Denmark, which was concluded at Berlin in the year before last, will in a short time be fully and completely executed. " I regret that the war which unfortunately broke out on the Eastern frontier of the Cape of Good Hope, more than a year ago, still continues. Papers will be laid before you containing full information as to the progress of the war, and the measures which have been taken for bringing it to a termination.
" While I have observed with sincere satisfaction the tranquillity which has prevailed throughout the greater portion of Ireland it is with much regret that I have to inform you, that certain parts of the counties of Ar- magh, Monaghan, and Louth, have been marked by the commission of out- rages of the most serious description. The powers of the existing law have been promptly exerted for the detection of the offenders, and for the re- pression of a system of crime-and violence fatal to the beet interests of the country. My attention will continue to be directed to this important object.
Hour of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment.
bh bh Om No Sitting.
bh 66 30m bh 75 15m
Hoar of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment.
Tuesday 4h .(ns) 12h 43m Wednesday Mt oh 30m Thursday 45 .... bh Ibm Friday 4h .... gh On Sittings this Week, 4; Time, 171i 30m
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons—I have ordered Estimates of the
./penses of the current year to be laid before you. I rely with confidence on your loyalty and zeal to make adequate provision for the public service. where any increase has been made in the Estimates of the present over the past year, such explanations will be given, as will, I trust, satisfy you that such increase is consistent with a steady adherence to a pacific policy and with the dictates of a wise economy. " My. Lords and Gentlemen—The improvement of the administration of justice in its various departments has continued to receive my anxious atten- tion; and in furtherance of that object, I have directed bills to be prepared, founded upon the reports made to me by the respective Commissioners ap- -pointed to inquire into the practice and proceedings of the superior Courts of sv and Equity. As nothing tends more to the peace, prosperity, and con- tentment of a country, than the speedy and impartial administration of justice, I earnestly recommend these measures to your deliberate attention.
" The act of 1848, for suspending the operation of a previous act con- ferring representative institutions on New Zealand, will expire early in the next year. I am happy to believe that there is no necessity for its re- newal, and that no obstacle any longer exists to the enjoyment of representa- tive institutions by New Zealand. The form of these institutions will, however, require your consideration ; and the additional information which has been obtained since the passing of the acts in question will, I trust, enable you to arrive at a decision beneficial to that important colony. "It gives me great satisfaction to be able to state to you, that the large
reductions of taxes which have taken place of late years have not been at- tended with a proportionate diminution of the national income. The reve- nue of the past year has been fully adequate to the demands of the public service, while the reduction of taxation has tended greatly to the relief and comfort of my subjects.
" I acknowledge with thankfulness to Almighty God, that tranquillity, good order, and willing obedience to the laws, continue to prevail generally throughout the country.
" It appears to me that this is a fitting time for calmly considering, whether it may not be advisable to make such amendments in the act of the late reign relating to the Representation of the Commons in Parliament, as may be deemed calculated to carry into more complete effect the principles upon which that law is founded. I have the fullest confidence, that in any such consideration you will firmly adhere to the acknowledged principles of the constitution, by which the prerogatives of the Crown, the authority of both Houses of Parliament, and the rights and liberties of the people, are equally secured."
The session of Parliament being thus opened, the Queen returned to her Palace • the Commons withdrew to their own House ; and the Lords adjourned till five o'clock.
THE LORDS' ADDRESS.
In the House of Lords, the Address in reply to the Royal Speech was moved by the Earl of Aminmanix, and seconded by Lord LEIGH, in speeches of no great length or prominent interest.
Lord ALBEMARLE touched seriatim on the topics of each paragraph in the Speech ; but most copiously in his references to our amicable foreign relations, which are cordial, but which do not relieve us from the prudence of precaution; on the promised Law Reform ; and on the national prosperity. In Paris, a few months since, he himself witnessed the enthusiasm with which Lord Granville'sexpressions of peace and good-will, at the fetes in ho- nour of the Exhibition, were received by all the Frenchmen present ; and afterwards in the South of France, he discovered personally that this feeling had spread from the banks of the Seine to the shores of the Mediterranean. Still, a descent on our coasts is possible, and we are justified in taking necessary precautions. He emphatically hoped that the promised amendment of the law will be no mere cutting off of excrescences, or patching up of an old system, but such a reform as shall make the administration of justice as speedy and cheap as the nature of human affairs will permit. He illustrated our national prosperity by statistics, showing the increase of our exports, and our consumption of tea and sugar. The exports have increased by 52 per cent, the tea consumed by 44 per cent, and the sugar by 61 per cent ; al- lowing for difference of population, a relative increase of 47 per cent in the ten years.
Lord Lziou modestly excused himself from traversing in detail the whole field covered by the mover. The noticeable point in his brief remarks was an expression of gladness that the agriculturalists have partaken of the pros- perity which wise legislation has secured for them in common with the rest of the community.
The Earl of DERBY reviewed the topics of the Speech, not in order to propose any amendment, but criticizing its defective arrangement,—a miscellaneous jumble of the moat various topics, without regard to geo- graphy of place or analogy of subject ; and especially marking his sur- prise at the absence of any reference to two most important points,—tho unaltered situation of the agricultural interest, and the effect of the mea- sure for repelling the Papal aggression. On the first point he said, that though in respect to barley and oats prices have certainly not fallen so low as he anticipated, yet wheat is within a shilling or two of what it was when the Speech from the throne last year condoled with the owners and occupants of the land on the depression of their interest. His opinion was not in the slightest degree altered, that, for the purpose of revenue and protection to native industry, it is desirable that agricultural produce be included among the list of those articles of import upon which a revenue should be raised. On the second point, he begged to ask how far the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, so pompously announced, has as an act been effective in repelling the Papal aggression, when every day we see it contravened and treated as a dead letter ? In his way through the list of subjects, he declared that the supercesaion of the Governor of the Cape colony was a stigma upon the military character of Sir Harry Smith ; and it re- mains to be seen whether it was thrown upon him by Earl Grey, or by the Commander-in-chief.
The dismissal of Lord Palmerston was referred to, simply to introduce a personal tribute to the late Foreign Secretary. But the kernel of the re- marks made on foreign topics was an attack on the English press, for the language it has held respecting the acts of Louis Napoleon. "I firmly be- lieve," said Lord Derby, "that the French President personally is fully disposed to entertain friendly relations, and to maintain a pacific policy to- wards other nations. But, my Lords, I think that if anything could divert him from that course—if he were a man likely to be worked upon by his own personal feelings—if anything. were likely to divert him from that course of policy which I believe his inclination and his sense of the interests of France are likely to make him take, it would be the injudicious, and, I may add, unjustifiable language, which has been made use of by a large por- tion of the public press of this country upon the character of the French Go- vernment and people. (Loud cheers from all parts of the House.) If, as in these days, the press aspires to exercise the influence of statesmen, the press should remember that they are not free from the corresponding re- sponsibility of statesmen ; and that it is incumbent on them, as a sacred duty, to maintain that tone of moderation and respect even in expressing frankly their opinions on foreign affairs, which would be required of every man who pretends to guide public opinion, and which is naturally expected from every man who does not seek to inflict the most serious evils upon his own country and others : and I say that it is more than imprudent, that it is more than injudicious, that it is more than folly—that it is perfect madness, at one and the same time to profess a belief in the hostile intentions of a fo- reign country, and to parade before them the supposed inability of this coun- try to defend itself. (More cheers.) I am sure, my Lords, that whatever unfavourable impression may have been made on the public mind of France by the unjustifiable censures of the public press, that impression may be re- moved to a great extent by the frank expression of opinion such as you have now received, in this and the other House of Parliament ; and oertaui I am, that in making use of these expressions I speak the opinion of every well- judging and well-meaning friend of his country."
The reference to Parliamentary Reform, assumed in the Speech to be well- timed, drew from Lord Derby a contrary assertion, that the time is unfittiug for the introduction of such a measure ; that the announcement of it last ses- sion came upon the Premier's Royal Mistress and upon his own colleagues with equal surprise ; that not five hundred persons now consider it of the slightest importance whether the suffrage is extended. Nevertheless, the op- position of the great party to which Lord Derby belongs will not be given to any measure which does not aim at disturbing the existing balance between the different classes of the community, but only at correcting substantial injus- tice. Any extension of the democratic power at the expense of the more conservative influences which tend to the permanency of our institutions, will be opposed, in whatever shape it is attempted.
Earl GREY congratulated himself that he could concur with almost everything that Lord Derby had said.
Starting with a word of defence for the order of the Speech, fixed by Lord Sohn Russell, which was the " natural " order of the subjects, he succes- sively dealt with Lord Derby's opinions and criticisms. The l'rotec- timid points were elaborately disposed of, and a challenge given to bring the subject definitively to the test of Parliamentary judgment in the tangible shape of a definite measure, for raising revenue or imposing protection on corn. The Ecclesiastical Titles Act Lord Grey considered to have been not an attempted Protestant vindication of the truth, but the national repulsion of a most wanton foreign insult. He applauded Lord Derby's opinions on the French situation, and on the English press. "Ho observed with the deepest concern, and he must say with the indignation also which the noble Earl had expressed, the tone assumed by a large portion of the press of this country. He thought that the denunciations of the person at the head of the government of France, coupled, as the noble Earl had remarked, with the more than exaggerated—he would say the un- true—representations of the defenceless condition of this country, were the height not only of imprudence but of something far worse than imprudence. He rejoiced that the noble Earl, occupying the position which he did, had come forward, and, in his emphatic words, utterly repudiated the language
which had been employed ; and ho trusted that after he had given an assu- rance of the full concurrence of his colleagues in that repudiation—a repu- diation in which he thought every one of their Lordships would join—lie did believe and hope, that the incalculable evils which might otherwise have re- sulted from the language used by a great part of the newspaper press of this country. would to a great extent be neutralized ; that it would be understood in foreign countries, that, however these newspapers might express the opinions and feelings of their writers, they did not express the opinions and feelings of any great and powerful party in this country, or of the Rouses of Parliament." Respecting our national defences, he said that the subject has received the attention of the present as well as of preceding Administra- tions. Without going into imprudent statements, he might say, that those who have attended most to the subject know that much has been done. v
(" Hear!" from the Duke of Wellington.) In reference to the promise of Reform, he concurred with the Earl of Derby in saying there ought to be no disturbance of the general settlement of the act of 1832. The personal tri- bute of Lord Derby to Lord Palmerston, Earl Grey decorously echoed. The criticisms on the Premier's promise of Parliamentary Reform were answered by the suggestion, that at least a time of " apathy " ie a time for " calm and careful consideration."
Lord Grey glanced at two Colonial topics. In a recent despatch from Sir Harry Smith, Governor of the Cape colony, Sir Harry concurs in Lord Grey's opinion that it was unwise to extend our power over districts ao remote, but states that he was compelled to do so by the preceding acts of Lord Stanley and Sir Peregrine Maitland. The constitution of New Zealand will require some amendment : he admitted a mistake as to the relative proportion of the natives and Europeans, which may now be rectified.
The Duke of Rienstosrn rejoiced that Lord Derby adhered to a protec- tive duty for corn. Lord BROUGHAM joined the chorus of censors of the English press, but in a milder tone ; and objected to a sweeping phrase of Lord Derby, that "for the last sixty years the government of France has consisted of a succession of usurpations." The Earl of HAILILOWBY defended the strictures of the English press on the French Usurpation, as very fairly representing the public opinion of this country ; and ho pro- tested against the press being gagged, or against debates on that or any other subject in Parliament being tacitly restricted. The Earl of YAR- BOROUGH stated, from personal knowledge, that the condition of the farm- ers is greatly improving.
The Address was agreed to nemine contradieente.
• REASSEMBLY OF THE COMMONS.
The Members of the House of Commons began to assemble on Tuesday, for the opening of the session, soon after twelve o'clock ; and the regular attendants to fix their names on their favourite seats. The chamber has undergone considerable improvements since last session.
The Speaker entered at half-past one; and prayers being over, the bal- lot of order for the Members to observe in proceeding to attend her Ma- jesty in the House of Lords took place. The first few lots fell upon Mr. Bennet, Mr. Clements, Captain Bolder° Mr. D'Eyncourt, Colonel Sib- thorp, Lord Arthur Lennox, and Mr. Sharman Crawford. At the time when the Yeoman Usher delivered the Queen's command to the Commons to attend her Majesty, about three hundred Members had assembled, and most of them followed the Speaker. After their return, and the formal reading over of the Queen's Speech by the Speaker, the House adjourned till four o'clock.
THE COMMONS' ADDRESS : THE PALMERSTON EXPLANATIONS. The reply to her Majesty's Speech was moved by Sir RICHARD BULKELEY, Member for Anglesea; and seconded by Mr. BoNowe CARTER, Member for Winchester. The mover spoke as an humble but earnest and anxious friend of the Ministry and its head, whom he had followed for the last twenty years.
Venturing to take the subjects of the Speech out of the order in which he found them, the paragraphs to which he drew most attention were those re- ferring to our Foreign relations, to Law Reform, and to Parliamentary Re- form. The first point introduced a reference to Kossuth, as a nine- days wonder, whose mission was one to get hp a war of intervention, which has failed even in America, and which as regards this country
was simply prepoeterous,—although it met aneh a singular compli- mentary reception from sonic parties here who are always preaching up peace. Approval of the prudent increase of our national defences gave opportunity, nevertheless, for a fling at political writers and disap- pointed Admirals, who decry our fleet, which Sir Richard was happy to Be enabled to state was at no period of our history in such excellent condition as at present. Upon Law Reform, Sir Richard was even more unctuous than the mover of the Address in the 'House of Lords ; being able to give Mem- bers illustrations of flagrant Chancery proceedings out of his own experiences as a trustee. Upon the Parliamentary Reform topic, he declared himself in favour of giving a vote to every man contributing to the direct taxation of the state, to every man rated under the poor-law, and to every man possessing a savings- bank deposit ; but he is hostile to triennial parliaments, and he did not hesi- tate to avow his utter abhorrence of the ballot.
The speech of the seconder dwelt much on the increased capacity of the people, now more intelligent and instructed by cheap literature, for increased political rights. It was shortened by the impatience of the House to hear the Palmerston explanations.
The question being put, that the Address be adopted, Sir BENJAMIN HALL rose, and with some retrospective notices complimentary to Lord Palmerston, called upon Lord John Russell for explanations concerning the recent Cabinet change—the "dismissal or resignation" of Lord Palmerston.
Lord Jonw RUSSELL proceeded at once to answer the appeal thus made to him.
"I am entirely ready to admit, that in the debate of 1850 with respect to Greek affairs, I did express the utmost confidence in the administration of foreign affairs by my noble friend. I will say more, that it is not in words alone that I have shown my sense of the energy, the ability, the knowledge of the interests of this country in all parts of the world, which are pre- eminently the qualifications of my noble friend. When the Administration of 1835 was formed by Lord Melbourne, the first proceeding of Lord Mel- bourne was to send for me and ask me to what office I desired him to recom- mend me to the Crown; adding, that he supposed the office I should wish to accept was that of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. My answer was, that I did not propose to take that office unless it particularly suited the con- venience of my noble friend Lord Melbourne in the arrangements ho was about to make ; that Lord Palmerston, who was then, I believe, out of Par- liament, was eminently qualified for that post ; and that I should be ready to take the Home Department if that arrangement were found to meet approval. I showed my sense on that occasion, certainly, of the qualifications of my noble friend. Again, when in December 1845 and in July 1846 I was called upon by her Majesty to submit the plan of an Administration to her ap- proval, I earnestly recommended to her Majesty to place Lord Palmerston in the situation of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, as the person best qualified to hold that office. Her Majesty was pleased to appoint him to that office, and from that time until December last my noble friend con- tinued to retain that situation : and it was with deep regret I found that circumstances had occurred, which, to my mind, made it utterly impossible for me to act any longer with my noble friend in the situation in which for so long a period he had so greatly distinguished himself. "Before I enter into a detail of these circumstances, it is as well that I should state what I conceive to be the position of a Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs as regards the Crown and as regards the Prime Minis- ter. With respect to the first, I think when, in consequence of a vote of the House of Commons, the Crown places its constitutional con- fidence in a Minister, that Minister is bound to give to the Crown the most frank and full details of every measure, and either to obey the instructions he receives from the Crown, or to leave to the Crown the exercise of the full liberty of which it is possessed of no longer continuing him in that Ministerial office. Such I hold to be the general doctrine ; but with regard to my noble friend, it did so happen, that in August 1850 pre- cise terms were laid down in a communication which was made to him with respect to the transaction of business between the Crown and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. I became the organ of making that communi- cation to my noble friend, and thus became responsible for the document which I am about to read to the House. I omit the former part of the paper, which refers to past transactions : I only refer to that part which has refer- ence to the future."
" The Queen requires, first, that Lord Palmerston will distinctly state what he proposes in a given case, in order that the Queen may know as distinctly to what she is giving her Royal sanction. Secondly, having once given her sanction to a measure, that it be not arbitrarily altered or modified by the Minister. Such an act she must consider as failing in sincerity towards the Crown, and justly to be 'elated by the exercise of her constitutional right of dismissing that Minister. She expects to be kept informed of what passes between him and the Foreign Ministers before important decisions are taken based upon that intercourse; to receive the foreign despatches in good time; and to have the draughts for her approval sent to her in sufficient time to make herself acquainted with their contents before they must be sent off. The Queen thinks it best that Lord John Russell should show this letter to Lord Palmerston."
Lord John sent the letter to Lord Palmerston, and received from him in return a letter, saying-
" I have taken a copy of this memorandum of the Queen, and will not fail to attend to the directions which it contains."
Lord John now stated the duty of the Prime Minister, not in his own words, but in words used by Sir Robert Peel in giving hie evidence before the Official Salaries Committee-
" Take the case of the Prime Minister. You must presume that he reads every important despatch from every Foreign Court. He cannot consult with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and exercise the influence which he ought to have with respect to the conduct of foreign affairs, unless he be master of everything of real importance passing in that department."
That statement, Lord John conceived, lays down the duty of the Prime Minister, and makes him responsible for the business of the department. "I may say likewise, that I was informed, both by her Majesty and by Sir Robert Peel on his quitting office, that he had advised her Majesty to consult use upon every question relating to foreign affairs, and to take my advice upon all such subjects. That being the state of the relations in which I stood with the Crown on the one hand and with my noble friend on the other, I must say that I found the position to be one of very. great difficulty indeed. When my noble friend first held the seals of the Foreign Office, he was placed under Lord Grey, a statesman of age and experience; to whom my noble friend, then young in that particular office, would, no doubt, readily defer. So also when Lord Melbourne was at the head of the Government, no doubt Lord Melbourne's long intimacy and connexion with my noble friend gave him too an influence over the conduct of affairs by my noble friend. But, without any such advantages as these, I have certainly found that these relations were very difficult to conduct, whilst at the same time I felt the gravest responsibility resting upon me.' .
ing of the Cabinet on the 3d of November, Lord John expressed which he has preserved a note. He then said that he of Europe very critical ; that we seemed on the verge r what is called Social Democracy or absolute power either ease the position of England was one of great not expect, on the one hand, that a Social Democratic would observe the faith of treaties or abstain from at-
tacking our allies, nor on the other hand, if this country became the only exception from the prevalence of absolute forms of government, that de. mends might not be made upon us which we could not submit to con. aistently with the honour of the coantry; that in this critical state of affairs, it was the interest of England to observe a strict neutrality ; that we ought to beware most especially of giving any just cause of offence, and to exercise the utmost vigilance in order to prevent such cause of offence. (Cheers "rpm all parts of the House) No formal resolution was come to in that Cabinet; but there was a general understanding as to the desirableness of adopting that course of policy. "Now, Sir, a very short time after that Cabinet Council, my noble friend, unfortunately as I think, received at the Foreign Office certain delegates from districts in the Metropolis with addresses containing terms which were most offensive to Sovereigns in alliance with us. But I was fully persuaded, and I am still fully persuaded, that though my noble friend had not exercised due caution in that respect—though he did not take the precaution of seeing the ad- dresses before they were presented to him—thongh he bad not taken the further precaution, when the delegates came to him in reference to a most delicate subject, of assuring himself that his words should be accurately reported,..... yet I was fully persuaded that my noble friend had fallen into error that day entirely from oversight and the immense press of business in his department. I was persuaded likewise that great misrepresentations were made with re. spect to the words which my noble friend had used to those deputations. I was ready, therefore, and I declared it at once, to accept with my noble friend the whole responsibility of his conduct on that occasion., although could not forbear seeing that an error had been committed. I did hope that, after this occurrence, my noble friend would have treated me with the frank.ness to which I think I was entitled; that he would have taken no import. ant step, that he would have made no important communication to a Foreign Minister, without first giving me information, and enabling me to express my opinion upon that step; in short, without that concurrent commune& tion to which Sir Robert Peel alluded in the extract from his evidence which I have read to the House. The next transaction which occurred, and it is that by which the whole of this unfortunate result has been produced, re- lates to the events which took place on the 2d of December last in Paris. There was a meeting of the Cabinet, I think on the 3d of that month : one question before it related to the request of Lord Normanby to be furnished with instructions as to the continuance of his-diplomatic relations with the Government of the President at Paris; and there was, I think, a generally prevailing opinion at that Council, that with respect to any foreign power we had nothing more to do than to abstain from any interference whatever with its internal affairs. My noble friend correctly represented the views of the Government in this respect, and which had obtained her Majesty's sanc- tion and approval, in the following despatch which he afterwards sent to
Lord Normanby. •
"Foreign Office, Dec. 5, 1851. " My Lord—I have received and laid before the Queen your Excellency's despatch No. 365, of the 3d instant, requesting to be furnished with instructions for your guidance in the present state of affairs in France. I am commanded by her Majesty to instruct your Excellency, to make no change in your relations with the French Government. It is her Majesty's desire that nothing should be done by her Ambas- sador at Paris which could wear the appearance of an interference of any kind in
the internal affairs of France. I am, &c. Psutzawrox."
That despatch embodied the solemn and formal decision of her. Majesty's Government, approved of by the Queen, pointing out the Ambassadors line of conduct. A few days afterwards, among the despatches from the Foreign Office which came to Lord John Russell's hands, was the following, from the Marquis of Normanby to Lord Palmerston.
"Paris, Dec. 6, 1851.
" My Lord—I this morning received your Lordship's despatch No. 600, of yester- day's date; and I afterwards called on M. Turgot, and informed him that I. ad re- ceived her Majesty's commands to say that I need make no change in my relations with the French Government in consequence of what bad passed. I added, that if there had been some little delay in making this communication, it arose from material circumstances not connected with any doubt on the subject. M. Turgot said that delay had been of less importance, as he had two days since heard from M. Walew- ski that your Lordship had expressed to him your entire approbation of the act of the President, and your conviction that he could not have acted otherwise than be had done. I said I had no knowledge of any such communication, and no in- structions beyond our invariable rule to do nothing which should have the appear- ance of interfering in any way in the internal affairs of. Fiance • but that I had often had an opportunity of showing, under very varied circumstances, that whatever might be the Government here. I attached the utmost importanc-e to maintaining the most amicable relations between the two countries. I added, that I was sure, had the Government known of the suppression of the insurrection of the Rouges at the time I had heard from them, I should have been commissioned to add their congra- tulations to mine. I have thought it necessary to mention what was stated about M. Walewski's despatch, because two of my colleagues here mentioned to me that the despatch containing expressions precisely to that effect had been read to them, in order to show the decided opinion which England had pronounced. " I have, &c. NORDIANBT." Hereupon Lord John wrote to Lord Palmerston, not doubting he could give full and satisfactory explanation. But 'he heard nothing : he received no information from the Secretary of State for Foreign Af- fairs as to the meaning of this declaration at Paris that England had pronounced in favour of the act of the President. " Not having re- ceived any Communication from my noble friend of any kind, bat being at Woburn Abbey on the 13th of December, a messenger arrived, bringing to me a communication from her Majesty, making inquiries respecting the said despatch of December 6th, and asking for an ex- planation. The next morning (the 14th) I sent a messenger to the noble Lord and my communication must have arrived in London at an early hour; I but received no answer from the noble Lord on that day. On the 15th I received no answer. On the 16th I wrote a note by the early post to the noble Lord, expressing my opinion that silence was not respectful to her Majesty, and asking for a reply. However, neither on the 15th nor on the ltith did any communication reach me, but the same disdainful silence was observed. The inquiry of the Queen as to what was the meaning of the alleged conversation between her Foreign Secretary and the Ambassador of a foreign country was left entirely unnoticed. But on the morning of the 17th I received copies of two despatches, one from the Marquis of Normanby to Lord Palmerston, and the:other from Lord Palmetston to the Marquis of Normanby. The former despatch was in the following. terms. " Pans, December 15, 1851. " My Lord—In my despatch No. 372, of the 6th instant, notifying my communi- cation of my instruction to M. Turgot, I reported that his Excellency had mentioned that M. Walewski had written a despatch in which he stated that your Lordship had expressed your complete approbation of the course taken by the President in the re- cent coup d'etat. I also reported that I had conveyed to M. Turgot my belief that there must be some mistake in this statement, and my reasons for that belief. But, as a week has now elapsed without any explanation from your Lordship on this point, I must conclude M. Walewski's report to have been substantially correct. That being the case, I am perfectly aware that it is beyond the sphere of my present duties to make any remark upon the acts of your Lordship, except inasmuch as they affect my own position. But within these limits I must, with due deference, be permitted to observe, that if your Lordship, as Foreign Minister, holds one language on such s delicate point in Downing Street, without giving me any intimation you had done so —prescribing afterwards a different course to me, namely, the avoidance of anY ap- pearance of interference of any kind in the internal affairs of France—I am placed thereby in a very awkward position. If the language held in Downing Street is more favourable to the existing order of things in France than the instructions on which I am directed to guide myself upon the spot, it must be obvious that by that act of your Lordship's I become subject to misrepresentation and suspicion in merely doing my duty according to the official orders received through your Lordship from her Ms- Testy; All this is of more importance to me, because, as I stated before, several of lay diplomatic colleagues had had the despatch read to them, and had derived from it the conviction that, if accurately reported, your expressions had been those of un- qualified satisfaction. "I have, &c. Noismaxicr."
"Now, although no answer had been given to me, and although I was unable to satisfy the inquiries which were made by the Sovereign, it appears that Lord Palmerston, on the 16th, the day on which this despatch was re- ceived, wrote on his own authority a despatch which was sent to our Ambas- sador at Paris, but which had not obtained the sanction of her Majesty.' It was in these terms.
"Foreign Office, Dec. 16, 1851.
My Lord—I have received your Excellency's despatch, No. 406, of the 15th in- glint, referring to the statement made to you by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs on the occasion of your communicating to his Excellency the instructions with which you have been furnished by her Majesty's Government for your guidance io the present state of affairs in France; and I have to state to your Excellency, that there has been nothing in the language which I have held, nor in the opinions which 1 have at any time expressed on the recent events in France, which has been in any way inconsistent with the instructions addressed to your Excellency, to ab- stain from anything which cdtiki bear the appearance of any interference in the in- ternal affairs of France. The instructions contained in my despatch No. 600, of the 5th instant, to which your Excellency refers, were sent to you not in reply to a question as to what opinions your Excellency should express, but in reply to a question, which I understood to be, whether your Excellency should continue your usual diplomatic relations with the President during the interval which was to elapse between the date of your Excellency's despatch No. 365, of the 3d instant, and the voting by the French nation on the question to be proposed to them by the President. As to ap- proving. or condemning the step taken by the President in dissolving the Assembly, I conceive it is for the French nation, and not for the British Secretary of State, or for the British Ambassador, to pronounce judgment upon that event : but if your Excellency wishes to know my own opinion on the change which has taken place in France, it is, that such a state of antagonism had arisen between the President and the Assembly, that it was becoming every day more clear that their coexistence could not be of long duration; and it seemed to me better for the interests of France, and through them for the interests of the rest of Europe, that the power of the President should prevail, inasmuch as the continuance of his authority might afford a prospect of the maintenance of social order in France, whereas the divisions of opinions and parties in the Assembly appeared to betoken that their victory over the President would be the starting-point for disastrous civil strife. Whether my opinion was right or wrong, it seems to be shared by persons interested in property in France, as far:at least as great and sudden rise in the Funds and in other investments may be assumed to be indications of increasing confidence in the improved prospect of internal tranquillity in France.
"I am, &c_., PALNEFASTON."
This despatch was not written in Lord Palmerston's usual style—it was very unlike his usual force and correctness ; but moreover it altogether avoided the real question. It gave no answer to Lord Normanby'a question, "Have you expressed your complete satisfaction with the act of the Pre- sident on the 2d of December? and if so, am I to guide myself by that opi- nion, or to act on the despatch of the 5th of December ?" " To that ques- tion no answer whatever was given ; neither is there in that despatch a reference to the opinion which the Government had given, nor was the opi- nion expressed sanctioned by the Crown. But the Secretary of State for Foreign i Affairs put himself in the place of the Crown ; he neglected and by the Crown in order to give his own opinion with respect to the state of affairs in Paris. Now, it strikes me that the Secretary of State con- stitutionally has no such power. It appears to me that he can only act with the sanction and by the authority of the Crown in matters of very great importance. In matters of small importance, I am ready to admit that the Secretary of State must be allowed to take that course which he may deem best, without continually referring himself to the Crown. But, on a matter which was of the utmost importance—namely, giving the moral influence and the moral support of England to the act of the President of the French Republic—it seemed to me a measure so grave that the opinion not only of the Prime Minister but of the Cabinet should have been taken, and that no such question should have been decided upon without their interference and without the sanction of the Crown. What was the act to which that de- spatch referred ? It is a question certainly of the utmost delicacy, but it is, nevertheless, one upon which I cannot refrain from saying a few words. The act of the President was not merely that of dissolving the Assembly—it was an act which, in the first place, dissolved the Assembly and put an end to the existing constitution ; it was an act, in the next place, which anticipated the elections of 1852, which were to take place according to that constitu- tion, but with respect to which great apprehensions had been entertained ; in the third place, it was an act putting an end to Parliamentary government in France—an act which, together with Parliamentary government, sus- pended the right of freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, which are considered the usual accompaniments of Parliamentary government. I am not going to enter into any dispute whether that was a fit thing to be done ; that was entirely a question for the French people to decide. The Frenchpeo- ple might say that their history entitled them to say, that what we call in Eng- land Parliamentary government has produced such evils in France, it has so frequently led to convulsions in the state, and is so incompatible with the peace of society in their country, that it ought at once to be abolished, and a dif- ferent system established in its place. If the French nation choose to say that, who has the right or the least pretence to contradict it ? But it is another question to give the moral approbation of England, to place the broad seal of England upon that doctrine with respect to so great a question. If France has so resolved, let us acquiesce in that decision. I shall do nothing to pre- vent it. I may lament that those great qualities of human nature which are brought out by Parliamentary government, by free discussion, and by a free press, could not henceforth have full development and display. But with respect to our position, it was to be remembered that during the existence of the present Administration, with my noble friend as its organ, we have given the moral support and moral sympathy of England to constitutional government. We have done so in Spain, we have done so in Portugal, we have done so in Piedmont; and none was more ready than my noble friend to impart that moral influence. But if we were at once to side with a de- viation from constitutional government, and to give our sanction to the act of the President of France, how can we tell any other country that we ad- vise them to continue Parliamentary government ? When this took place— when, as I conceived, the authority of the Queen had been set aside, it ap- peared to me that I had no other course than to inform my noble friend that he, while I held office, could no longer hold the seals as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Later in the day, and after I had formed that resolu- tion, I received a long letter from my noble friend, stating the reasons why he approved of the act of the President of France. But it appeared to me that those reasons no longer touched the case ; because the real question now was, whether the Secretary of State was entitled, of his own authority, to write a despatch, as the organ of the Queen's Government, in which his col- leagues had never concurred, and to which the Queen had never given her royal sanction ? It appeared to me, that, without degrading the Crown, I could not advise her Majesty to retain that Minister in the Foreign depart- ment of her Government. I at the same time informed her Majesty, that a correspondence had gone on between Lord Palmerston and myself with re- spect to her Majesty." That was on the Wednesday. Lord John waited till Saturday to consider and reconsider the matter fully. On the Thursday, he informed Lord Palmerston that he would be " at home," thinking he might propose some course by which a separation might be avoided ; but nothing of the kind took place. " Then, on Saturday the 20th, being still as fully convinced as I had been I wrote to her Majesty, conveying the cor- respondence which had passed 'between my noble friend and myself, and shortly intimating my advice to her Majesty that Lord Palmerston should be required to give up the seals of the Foreign Office."
"Sir, in coming to a decision so painful—in coming to the decision that I must separate from a colleague with whom I had acted so long, whose abilities I had admired, and in whose policy I bad agreed—I felt, whether rightly or wrongly it is not for me now to say, I was bound to take that de- cision alone—to consult none of my colleagues, to avoid anything which might hereafter have the appearance of a cabal, but to assume the sole and entire responsibility on myself. (Cheers.) With respect, therefore, to the stories which my honourable friend [Sir Benjamin. Hall] has quoted from a Bres- lau paper as regards a letter written in Vienna, I can assure him, that, how- ever curious the coincidence of that letter may be, there is no truth what- ever in the stories that there was an attempt to establish more intimate relations with the Court of Austria, and that the affair was entirely founded on the correspondence I have stated and on the motives I have laid before the House. In two days after, the Cabinet met : I read to them the correspondence—both official correspondence and private correspond- ence—which had taken place between my noble friend and myself; and I stated to them that I was, of course, responsible for what had passed ; that if they disapproved of my conduct, then of course I must quit office ; and I left it to them to form their judgment. They decided, without any difference of opinion, that they thought I could take no other course than that I had taken."
Having made these personal statements, Lord John felt it necessary to correct any impression that might result from the necessary. avowal he had made that we could not properly or fairly express an opinion favourable to the conduct of the President of France on the 2d of December—that we could not do what we hear the Russian and Austrian Ministers did, go at once and congratulate the President on his act. Lord John felt bound to admit, that the President, having all the information which he had, took his course from a consideration of the state of France, under a belief that his course was best suited to insure the welfare of his country. This avowal producing " murmurs and laughter," Lord John "begged to say that over again" : while he did not concur in "the approbation' of his noble friend, everything he has heardconfirms his opinion that the President, in anticipating the election of 1852, and in the abolition of the Parliamentary constitution, believed he was doing what would tend to the happiness and social welfare of France. At this repetition of opinion the cheers and laughter again greeted the Premier. He proceeded to say, that he has seen with very great regret the language which has been used by a portion of the press of this country with respect to the President. (Loud cheers.) He went on to tell of his be- lief, formed partly from the personal recollections of his boyhood, that the bitter language of the press during the peace of Amiens prevented the con- tinuance of that peace, and involved the two countries in the most bloody hostilities that ever mangled the face of Europe. But the First Consul, great as were his abilities, was totally ignorant of the manners and constitution of this country ; while the present President of France is personally aware of what liberty of speech we enjoy ; and that the most unmeasured invective of the press does not necessarily imply the hostility of the Government or the nation. "I am convinced of this, that there never was a time in which it was more essential that these two countries should preserve the relations of peace and amity. I am convinced that there never was a time when the peace of Europe would contribute more to the course of civilization and hap- piness. I am convinced, likewise, from every source of information I have had, that the ruler of France, the present President of France, is desirous of keeping on those terms of amity, and it shall not be any fault of ours—it shall not be any fault of the Government of this country, if these terms of peace and amity are not continued. I have said this more especially be- cause it certainly will be our duty, as her Majesty has intimated in her Speech, to propose some increase of our Estimates. When the proper time comes, and when the measures for that purpose are produced, it will be shown to you—I trust to the satisfaction of the House—that those measures are not for an increase of our armaments, and that they propose no more precautions than what every country, and even the United States, thinks it necessary to take for national defence."
Lord John concluded with a reference to the duties of hospitality, which this country will never under any circumstances forego her privilege of exer- cising; and with hopes, notwithstanding events in Europe which he deplores as the natural reaction and "certain consequences of the revolution of 1848," that by peace and civilization, by the intelligence daily increasing, and the inventions constantly pouring upon us to improve mankind, liberty shall at length be introduced and established, and with religion will govern the hearts of men, and produce happier days. (Loud cheers.) Lord PALMERSTON rose from his place on the front bench below the gangway on the Ministerial side. He began by saying—
"1 should be sorry indeed, Sir, that this House and the country should run away with the impression which the epee& of the noble Lord has been too well calculated to make, that I have abandoned the principles I have ever entertained ; that I have changed the opinions I have expressed, and which I will never alter; that I have been the advocate of absolute power, and i that I have been in favour of the abolition of constitutional governments."
He quite concurred in Lord John Russell's definition of the relations which should. subsist between the Foreign Secretary and the Crown on the one part, and the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister. He flattered himself that he had done nothing inconsistent with either of those relations. The practice of the Foreign Office did not commence with the memorandum of 1850, but existed before that, and was already well recognized. He adverted to the Finsbury and Islington deputations, just to admit that he was in that in- stance surprised into a false position. Being less used to such deputations than the Premier, he did not expect his expressions would next day be para- graphed as an important declaration by the Government. He regretted that through his inadvertence in not reading the document beforehand, expres- sions were used to him which it was entirely unfitting that a person in his situation should have presented to him • but, taken by Surprise, he could only repudiate all participation in them. His own words on that occasion certainly said nothing at all that he had not already stated in the House of Commons, and that was not publicly known. He could not think that what passed then was "reasonably calculated to impair the friendly relations between her Ma- jesty's Government and any Continental power.' Passing on therefore, he came "to the particular transactions to which my noble friend—[A pause at the words]—the noble Lord, has referred, as to the groundwork of my removal from office." On the day after the "event which is commonly called the coup d'itat," M. Walewski " called on me at my house, to inform me of what he had received, and to talk over the events of the preceding day ; and I stated conversationally the opinion I entertained of the events which had taken place. That opinion was exactly the opinion expressed in the latter part of the despatch which the noble Lord has read; and the French Ambassador, as I am Informed,. in a private letter communi- cated the result of that conversation to his Minister.' Afterwards a letter of Lord Normanb.y, written on the 3d of December, asked, " What instructions he should receive for his guidance in France during the interval before the vote of the French people on the question that was to be proposed to them, and whether in that interval he should infuse in the relations with the French
Government any greater degree of reserve than usual." Lord Palmerston took the opinion of the Cabinet on the question, and embodied their opinion in the note which Lord John Russell had quoted at length. "There was no instruction to communicate that document to the French Government ; it simply contained instructions, not, in fact, what the English Ambassador was to do, but what he was to abstain from doing. The Marquis of Normanby thought it right to -communicate to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs the substance of that document, accompanying his communication with certain excuses for the delay ; which, however, did not rest with that noble Marquis, as his despatch to the English Government was dated the 3d of December. The French Minister stated that he had nothing to do with respect to the delay, and the less indeed, because two days before he had received from the French Ambassador in Lon- don a statement that I had entirely approved of what had been done, and thought the President of the French fully justified. That was a somewhat highly-coloured explanation of the result of the long conversation we held together. Those particular words I never used, and probably the French Ambassador never would have conceived it consistent with the dignity due to his country to ask the approval of a Foreign Secretary of State. Conse- quently, the approval was not given, and was not asked." When the Marquis of Normanby'spatch reached Lord John Russell, he wrote to say he trusted that Lord Palmerston could contradict that report. His letter was dated the 14th, and Lord Palmerston's answer on the 16th—that was the interval which elapsed, and that interval was due to great pressure of business. The answer stated, that the words quoted by Lord Normanby gave a high colour- ing to anything that Lord Palmerston could have said in conversation with the French Ambassador; and it stated his "opinion" in much the same words used in the despatch of Lord Palmerston to Lord Normanby, already quoted. Lord John Russell replied, that he bad reluctantly concluded that Lord Palmerston must relinquish the Foreign seals : the question now was, not whether the President was right or not, but whether her Majesty's Se- cretary of State for Foreign Affairs was justified in having expressed any opinion on the subject. Lord Palmerston replied, that there is in diplomatic intercourse a well-understood distinction between conversations which repre- sent the opinions of governments, and by which they are bound, and con- versations not official, in which the speakers do not express the opinions of government, but merely those which they themselves may for the moment entertain, and by which governments are not bound. The conversation with M. Walewski could not in the slightest degree fetter the action of her Ma- jesty's Government ; and if such conversations were restricted, and no opinions allowed expression but such as were given in the capacity of an organ of the Cabinet, and after consultation with the Cabinet, there would be an end to that freedom of intercourse, in easy and familiar conversation, which tended so much to good understanding and to the facility of public business.
But Lord Palmerston had example as well as principle in his favour. "I expressed this opinion to which the noble Lord has referred to the French Ambassador on the 3d of December ; but was I the only member of the Cabi- net who did thus express an opinion on passing events? I am informed that on the evening of that very day, and under the same roof as I expressed my opinion, the noble Lord at the head of the Government, in conversation with the same Ambassador, expressed his opinion. (Cheers and laughter) I cannot tell what that opinion was, but from what has just now fallen from the noble Lord this evening, it may be assumed that that opinion was not very different even from the reported opinion which I am supposed to have expressed. Was that all ? On the Friday, and in the noble Lores,own house, I have been informed that the French Ambassador met the noble Lord the President of the Council and the Chancellor of the Exchequer ; the noble Lord again expressed, an opinion and the President of the Council and the Chancellor of the Exchequer also expressed an opinion. And be it re- membered that the charge was not the nature of the opinion, for the noble Lord distinctly told me, ' You mistake the question between us—it is not whether the President was justified or not, but whether yuu were justified in expres es-
sing an opinion on the matter at all.' I believe that the noble Lord e Secretary of State for the Colonies did also in those few days express an opin- ion on those events ; and I have been iuformed also that the then Vice- President of the Board of Trade, and now the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, also expressed his opinion. (Continued cheers and laughter.) Then it follows that every member of the Cabinet, whatever his political avoca- tions may have been—however much his attention may have been devoted to other matters—is at liberty to express an opinion on passing events abroad, but the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whose peculiar duty it is to watch those events, who is unfit for his office if he has not an opinion on them, is the only man not permitted to express an opinion ; and when a Foreign Minister comes and tells him that he has news, he is to remain si- lent, like a speechless dolt, or the mute of some Eastern Pacha ?" (Cheers and laughter.) Then what was the despatch of Lord Normanby. The despatch complains of the conversation with M. Walewski, as inconsistent with the instructions not to interfere in the internal affairs of France : but the despatch itself announces that Lord Normanby told M. Turgot that if the Government had known of the events in Paris of the 4th and 5th, they would have joined their congratulations to his! That was a greater apparent interference in the internal affairs than any conversation of Lord Palmerston's with M. Walewski. But in fact, neither the Secretary of State nor the Am- bassador was entitled to pronounce judgment ; the Secretary of State only pronounced his private opinion. Therefore the charge founded by Lord John Russell on that despatch has no foundation in justice or fact. "As for the letter of the noble Lord, giving reasons for advising the Queen to appoint a successor to me, that was a step which it was perfectly competent for the noble Lord to take without assigning any reason to me. Ruthe chose to assign a reason, and that reason was, that I did, in conversation with M. Walewski, that which he and other divers members of the Cabinet appear also to have done in conversation with the same person."
Lord Palmerston rapidly summed up the results of his policy ; going in terms of gratulation4succeesively over the relations of this country with all foreign countries—from Russia and Turkey to the United States and the Brazils. His reference to Brazil enabled him to indulge the House with the hope, that if his policy and measures in reference to the slave-trade be " well and systematically carried out," we may " in a short time have the satisfaction of accomplishing the noble object which for so great a length of time has been the aim to which the people of this country have generously directed their efforts." Upon the general merits of his foreign management he declared—" I have left the country in a state of most friendly relations with respect to every part of Europe, and there is no question—no political question of any importance, creating a difference between this and any country. It is not always that that could have been said. There have been periods when unfortunately differences have existed ; but at all events, that`firebrand,' as I have been called— that individual who embroiled the relations of England with all other coun- tries, as it has also been said of me—after having found the country involved in difficulties, has left office with no question of difference between this and other nations, but with amity subsisting between this and all other cormtries. Having conducted the affairs of this country through periods of considerable difficulty, it was my good fortune to be the instrument of peace, and to com- bine therewith the not unsuccessful assertion of the interests of England. And I think I may say, that in quitting office I have handed over the foreign relations of the county to my successor with the honour and dignity of Eng_ land unsullied, and leaving her character and reputation standing high among the nations of the world." (Loud cheering.) At first no one seemed inclined, to follow Lord Palmerston ; and the SPEAKER had already partly read the Address, when Mr. Mtnerz von, gized for interrupting him, briefly to assure Sir Richard Bulkeley that the manufacturers of Birmingham had not, as he supposed, warmly re, ceived Kossuth as a Republican, but had so received him as the antago. that of a treacherous oppressor of his country.
The ice being broken, many speeches followed, but none of any marked interest.
Mr. IL EMILIE avei..ed his belief that Lord Palmerston had been of. fered up as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole Administration : it would have been more chivalrous, generous, andjust, had the Premier himself stood beside the victim on the altar. Mr. Mosrearoar ItIrriesel thought it would hardly be credited that on the mere etiquette of Ministerial die_ cipline, a great Minister had been dismissed from office. Mr. MORBuex., looking to the critical position of affairs at home and abroad, everywhere demanding energy, firmness, and capacity in the Government, asked the House, now that Lord Palmerston has quitted the Cabinet, what remains in it to conciliate the confidence of the House ?
He lamented the disgraceful state of our administrative departments,—the Admiralty unable to send a troop steamer securely beyond Plymouth on its way to the Cape; the War department unable to suppress in a year, or much more, a petty bush-war in the Cape colony ; the whole field of the Law in a state worse than positively bad, namely, in a most mischievous state of con. stant change ; the Foreign department under the imputation, not cleared off by present explanations, of having approved of the acts of a Frenchman who has forgotten and violated all that should be most sacred and binding on men • and the Colonial department confusion worse confounded throughout. Mr. DISRAELI passed over the varied topics of the Address—fifteen, one a-piece for each Member of the Cabinet, and all conglomerated with un- geographical miscellaneousness. He declared his opinion that Lord Palmerston has been a faithful British Minister, who has had the honour and interest of England at heart, but baa often pursued his objects in the worst of, ways. He marked with astonish- ment Lord John Russell's avowal that he had not consulted his Cabinet on the dismissal of Lord Palmerston from fear of suspected cabal ;---a Cabinet could not give a collective opinion without being open to the imputation of cabal ! He gravely reprobated the frequent and unnecessary introduction of the name of the Sovereign into Lord John Russell's speech. On the refer- ence to the constitution of New Zealand he called the House to mark that the suspended constitution is not to be allowed to come into effect by the simple expiry of the suspending act, but "the form of the institutions" to be enjoyed by the colonists is to come afresh " under the consideration" of the House. Upon the agricultural distress and Parliamentary Reform topics Mr. Disraeli's language was similar to that held by the Earl of Derby in the House of Peers.
The other speakers were Mr. GEACH and Lord DUDLEY STUART, in de- fence of the popular sympathy with Kossuth in Birmingham and ondon; Mr. Ousonno, Mr. Nemo, Mr. E. B. ROCHE, and Mr. Gnewer?, on the Irish references of the Speech. Lord JOHN RUSSELL stated, in reply,. to Irish Members, his opinion that the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill is s 4fi lent for preventing the offence it sought to prevent. That offence is the assumption of certain titles by cer- tain Roman Catholic dignitaries ; not their ascription by other people. Lord John was glad to find that many of the Irish laity will not, as was thought, obey their priests in all things, but will still send their children to the Queen's Colleges.
The Address passed without dissent.
SIR HARRY SMITH'S MTLITARY MERITS.
The Marquis of WESTMINSTER having reported to the House of Lords, on Thursday, her Majesty's gracious reply to the loyal and dutiful address presented to her in answer to the Royal Speech, the Duke of WELLING- Tort took as opportunity, which he missed in the debate, to testify his sense of the services of General Sir Harry Smith, now in command of the troops in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope. " My firm belief is, that everything has been done by the commanding General, by the forces, and by his officers, in order to carry into execution the instructions of her Majesty's Government. I have had the honour of holding the command of her Majesty's armies in India, and of superintend- ing the conduct of different military operations in the same part of the world under three separate Governors-General. I am proud to say that I have observed no serious error in the conduct of these late operations. Cer- tainly, my gallant friend Sir Harry Smith has committed some errors, as others have done before him. These operations by the Caffres are carried on by the occupation of extensive regions, which in some places are called jungle, in others bush, but which in reality are thickset wood—the thickest that can be found anywhere. These Caffres having established themselves in these fastnesses, with the plunder on which they exist, their assailants suffer great losses. The Caffres move away more or less with great activity and celerity, sometimes saving, sometimes losing their plunder ; but they always evacuate their fastnesses. Our troops do not, cannot, occupy those fastnesses. They would be useless to them, and in point of fact the troops could not live in them. Well, the enemy moves off, and is attacked again ; and the same opera- tion is renewed time after time. The consequence of this, to my certain know- ledge, is, that under the three last Governors some of these fastnesses have been attacked no less than three or four times over. On every occasion this is accom- panied with great loss to the assailants. There is, however, a remedy for this state of evil. When a fastness is stormed, it should be totally destroyed after its capture. I have had some experience in this kind of warfare, and I know that the only mode of subduing an enemy of this description is by opening roads into his fastnesses for the movement of regular troops with the utmost rapidity. I have recommended to the noble Earl opposite that that course should be adopted, and I believe that he has ordered it to be adopted. The only fault that I find with Sir Harry Smith is, that he has not adopted it. I gave instructions to him to adopt it in future. That course will occasion great labour, the employment of much time, and great expenditure. The Secretary-at-War has, I believe, also ordered that these regions should be laid open. The truth is, that the war at the Gape has come to this point, that unless such a measure is adopted there can be no peace in that part el the world—certainly no enjoyment of the social comforts of civilized life. The whole of the native population has revolted, and we cannot expect that their depredations will not be carried on. If the chiefsof the Caffres, some of them at the head of ten or twenty thousand men, establish themselves in fast- nesses which are not accessible to the smallest body of her Majesty's troops, then I say this measure must be adopted, cost what time, labour, and expense it may ; for that expense will give you peace, and enable you to enjoy the com- forts of civilized life. That expense -will not be one-tenth part of the expense of one campaign : and, if this work is not done effectually, there will be 130 Peace, no cessation of the hostilities of armed bodies, in that part of the world. I thought it but fair to state this my opinion of Sir Harry Smith ; „na also to declare in what point, in my opinion, all has not been done which ought to have been done to secure to the population the only justifiable object of all war—peace." RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ECONOMY Comm-rem In reply to questions by Mr. HUME, the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHE- QUER. stated, that of the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Army and Navy Estimates, all those which relate to the Navy have been carried into effect, and those relating to the Army have been so far acted on that the expenditure in that department is greatly reduced.
SESSIONAL ORDERS MONEY TOTES AT LATE HOURS.
On the proposal of the Sessional Orders relative to Committees of Sup- ply and Ways and Means, Mr. HUME renewed his past efforts to stop the voting away of public money after midnight, when the House is often so thin that even the number requisite for a quorum is not present. He wished to make the practice of passing money votes in a thin House impossible, by an express order of the House; and then conscientious Mem- bers would be saved the ungracious and somewhat invidious task of refusing acquiescence when the Governnient importunes them to "let this one vote mm, as it is of importance." For twelve or fourteen years he never let the Tory Government get a farthing vote after twelve o'clock ; and he felt that his character for impartiality is injured by his being less scrupulous with the present Ministry. Colonel Sr ernovie heartily seconded the motion ; and concurred in everything that had fallen from Mr. Hume. He has often seen enor- mous sums of money voted by a House of fifteen, of whom seven were fast asleep.
Mr. CORNEWALL Lewis opposed the motion. An inexorable rule would be most inconvenient : the ordinary practice is what Mr. Hume desires it to be : if forty Members are not present at a vote, it is easy to move a count-out.
Motion negatived, by 146 to 64,
The Lord CHANCELLOR laid on the table, on Thursday, a bill founded on the report of the Common-Law Commissioners, to regulate all the ordinary proceedings of suits at law—to dispense with or simplify all the steps used at present, to shorten proceedings, and prevent delays arising from technicalities • also to annihilate all fees, and have them paid by stamps, and to pay the Judges by salaries out of the Consolidated Fund. He presented also a bill "to annihilate the office of Secretary of Bankruptcy, and also to annihilate the salary attached to the Registrar of the Court of Bankruptcy." Oa the same evening, in reply to questions by Lord LYND- HURST and Lord BROUGHAM, the Lord CHANCELLOR announced for next day, and fir Monday week, bills for the improvement of the Court of Chancery ; one of them to carry out the recommendations of the Commis- sioners who have inquired on the subject. Lord CAMPBELL stated, that the Master of the Rolls will introduce in the House of Commons, on an early day, the Registration of Assurances Bill, which Lord Campbell was unable to get passed last session.
In reply to MT. Frrzirox, Sir GEORGE GREY stated, that on the 29th of Januray, a few days before the expiration of the six months given to the Corporation of London to determine whether-- or not they would under- take the management of the new market in lien of Smithfield, the Go- vernment received notice from the Corporation that they will undertake the management of the market, and will defray the whole of the expense out of their own funds. This announcement was received with .cheers.
In reply to Mr. STAFFORD, it was observed by Sir GEORGE GREY, that there would be no occasion for a new bill merely to transfer the manage- ment to the Corporation ; but a bill will be required for acquiring the new site, as the present act does not provide for that.
VENTILATION • or THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
On the motion to bring up the report on the Address, on Wednesday, Mr. HUME stated that the heat was so oppressive on Tuesday night that be was compelled to leave the House at eleven o'clock ; and when he got into the open air The difference in the atmosphere was injuriously great. The ballot for Members to attend her Majesty in the House of Lords had answered but badly : such a race as there was yesterday was bad for the dignity of the House, and might be serious to life and limb—a slip on that polished marble, or on those slippery encaustic tiles, might send some one tumbling on his head. Mr. OSBOR.NE stated that the quarrel between Mr. Barry and Dr. Reid is still carried on, after five years' duration. The ventilation is bad, but the lighting seems as ill-managed.
Gentlemen were not perhaps aware, that.about iii hour before the meeting of the House cm Tuesday, one of the new candelabra suspended over the fell down, and broke through the floor; and at that moment the day rable Member for Cavan was sitting under another that was constantly leaking, to the no small inconvenience of all who sat beneath it.
On Thursday, however, Lord SEYMOUR read a statement of the clerk of the works, the contractor, foremen, and workmen, concerned in hang- ing the lampet, which denied the story of the fall of the candelabrum : it was "a piece of iron" which fell through the floor.
THE 110-use's XrrenEw.
On the motion for nominating the Committee to control the arrange- ment of the litelren and Refreshment-rooms, Mr. F. FRENCH complained of the viands—of the bad wines at fis. a bottle, which would be dear at 38., and of the few changes of tablecloths. Gentlemen are driven away to their clubs, who -would prefer to stay in the House. If they could get better viands at less exorbitant charges, and a eonstant supply of clean cloths—(Great laughter)—there would be fewer oounting,s-out than there had been. Mr. ANSTEY complained, with a seriousness which was met by roars of laughter, that there is no Catholic on the Committee. It was no laughing matter, he could assure them, for a Catholic on a Fri- day, or a fast-day, to find all the dinners arranged by a Protestant Commit- tee. He would move the introduction of a rrentleman who is at once a good Catholic and the best of good companions, Mr. Sergeant Murphy. Lord MARCUS HILL entered the House with two enormous bills of fare framed and glazed, and proceeded with amusing gravity to defend the charges seriatim.
AU of them are on the most " moderate terms." As to the wines, though the honourable Member for Roscommon might pay 6s. a bottle for sherry, be ought to know that there was sherry in the kitchen which he could have at 4s. a bottle. Mr. FRENCEI—" Much obliged, but I had rather not." (Laughter.) Lord MARCUS HILL—" There is no establishment in London where tea and coffee can be had so cheap." (Laughter.)
It was understood that Mr. Sergeant Murphy would be placed on the Committee.
New writs were issued on Tuesday—for East Retford, in room of Mr. Arthur Duncombe, elected Member for the East Riding ; Perth, in room of Mr. Fox Maule, appointed President of the Board of Control ; the borough of Northampton, in room of Mr. Vernon Smith, appointed Secre- tary at War ; Mamie, in room of Mr. Benjamin Hawes, resigned, on ap- pointment as Under-Secretary at War; Greenwich, in room of Admiral Dundas, resigned, on appointment to the command of the Mediterranean fleet; East Sent, in room of Mr. Plumptre, resigned.