10 AUGUST 1850, Page 10



The Parliamentary business of last night is less interesting than volu- minous. The House of Commons resumed the "counted-out" debate on the motion by Mr. Hume for a Royal Commission of inquiry into the mar- tial-law proceedings of Sir Henry Ward in the Ionian Islands, and into the general grievances of those dependencies. Mr. HUME having recapi- tulated his case, Mr. HAWES offered a defence, to the best of his power, on behalf of an honourable friend for months exposed to unjust censure.

Deprecating any appearance of indifference to the fearful character of roaring law, Mr. Hawes traversed the circumstances of the insurrection as narrated by Sir Henry Ward himself; quoting largely from published despatches, with the object of showing how extensive and serious was the insurrectionary movement in Cephalonia at its first outbreak. A system of terrorism was adopted by the insurgents, which drove the peaceably-disposed populace to wander for days and nights, with their wives and children, in the woods. If this universal alarm had not been allayed by the most prompt decision, within a week the island would have been a desert. With regard to the punishments, deploring their necessary severity, Sir Henry Ward stated that not one person was condemned to execution for any offence that could be construed into "simple political hostility" to the Government. Every one of those executed had been convicted of crimes of the most heinous character—murders, rapes, robberies, house-burnings, threats to rip up women big with child, and to kill children, if their husbands and fathers refused to join the banditti.

The House would make every allowance for a British Governor, who, surrounded by peculiar and painful circumstances, and by persons hostile to the British rule, had only acted in conformity with the feelings of all the legislative bodies and of the great mass of the people of the islands; and whose conduct had met with opposition from none of the authorities on the spot, but had received the general approbation of all, including the learned Judges of the Ionian Islands. He called on the House to agree with him in saying, that Sir Henry Ward was fully justified in availing himself of martial law, as the only means of restoring peace and tranquillity in the Ionian Islands.

Mr. BRIGHT remarked that he had heard from Mr. Hawes a very simi- lar but still more energetic defence of Lord Torrington : he was glad to see that the experience of the Under Secretary for the Colonies in that case had moderated his tone in this.

The defence had been founded almost entirely on Sir Henry Ward's own despatches; which might certainly be read in two or three different ways, for they seemed to be a frank exposition of the extreme panic under which he was acting, and to impress you with the conclusion that he was blundering on in the dark under exceeding fear. It is a notable point that Sir Henry's despatch of the 10th September was not answered till the 6th October—a period of twenty-six days. A friendly hint by Lord Grey, that the informa- tion furnished seemed scarcely to warrant the overturning of the constitution, would have led him to review his course, and consider very carefully whether or not the continued suspension of the civil law in the Ionian Islands had really become unavoidable.

Lord Jona). RUSSELL turned Mr. Bright's accusation of panic into an imputation of personal cowardice against Sir Henry Ward; and then met the latter charge by pointing to the alacrity with which Sir Henry Ward exposed himself to personal danger in Cephalonia, instead of safely remaining as he might at Corfu. Lord John had the strongest im- pression that Sir Henry Ward's decision prevented much bloodshed and saved many lives : he therefore opposed a motion imputing that he was blameworthy.

Colonel DUNNE, who had seen many years' service in the Islands, Mr. ItiRDLEY, who has conversed with residents, Lord CLAUDE HAMILTON, from circumstances which have come to his own knowledge, and Sir DE LACY Evans, defended Sir Henry Ward, or warned the House against re- lying on the statements made to his prejudice. Lord DUDLEY STUART, Colonel THOMPSON, and Mr. ANSTEY, supported Mr. flume's motion.

On a division, the -motion was negatived, by 84 to 13.

The progress of the "Crime and Outrage Act (Ireland) Continuance (iro. 2) Bill" met a skirmishing opposition from Mr. REYNOLDS and some other Irish Members ; who perhaps embrace this means of purging them- selves from the imputation of any share in the " compromise " under which Ministers are said to have withdrawn their sympathies from the Landlord Bill with a fatal effect to that measure. Divisions were taken on the motion for going into Committee, and in Committee on an amend- ment to limit the operation of the bill to one year ; in which divisions Ministers and their opponents polled 82 to 34, and 75 to 34, respectively.

Mr. Mammalian. informed the House of Commons, that five of its offi- cers have been seriously indisposed by complaints such as usually arise from exhalations from drains or grave-yards. Is a stop to be put to the es- cape of effluvium from the drains opened in the vicinity of the House ?— Parliament Gardens. Lord Erounorosr said it was unfortunately true that eight of the officers of the House have been seized with diarrhcea; but that ailment is general in the Metropolis, and ho believed the drain had nothing to do with it, any more than with the abominable smell which so mmoyed the House the other day. He hinted that St. Margaret's Church- yard contains the corpora delicti.

In the House of Peers, Lord Boom:man made a statement and uttered a criticism on matters little related to each other..

He commenced with calling the attention of the House to the Criminal Law Commission and Digest The Commission completed their labours last year, and have now digested the criminal law into two statutes—each in some eight hundred or nine hundred articles—on the criminal law itself, and on the criminal forms of procedure. lie proposes that this digest be submitted to yet one more Commission, well and carefully selected, to be finally revised.

Having dismissed this subject, Lord Brougham, according to the report in the Times. "'wandered far away into almost every- conceivable subject." His speech," says the reporter, "as far as we could hear it—it was very imperfectly indeed—was of the most discursive and erratic description ; and the topics, when heard, were so unconnected with each other as to render anything like either an accurate or a consistent report of them quite im- possible." It consisted of an attack, in the most unmeasured language, on file report recently made by a Select Committee of the House of Commons on official salaries. There were imperfections in every line of it. The Savings Which it recommended wete utterly insignificant in a financial point of view. It trampled upon all considerations of justice at home, and de-

stroyed all our diplomatic relations abroad. What information the Committee had got, where they had got it, to what witnesses they had resorted to en- lighten the darkness of their understandings, he could not by any possibility conceive.

The reduction of judicial salaries seemed the especial mark of his ire, and formed the subject of the concluding sarcasm in his philippic. "He hoped that he should never see the administration of justice poisoned at its source by measures which would render a seat on the bench unworthy the acceptance of the best and ablest and most experienced advocates at the bar, nor the diplomatic appointments of the country stripped of their due in- fluence by being filled either by men of great qualifications without fortune, or of men of meat fortune without any qualifications for the posts to which they were appointed."