15 AUGUST 1846, Page 11



Mr. WAKLEy urged Ministers to add Mr. Duncombe's name to the Com- mission of Inquiry into the abuses alleged to exist in Milbank Prison. Sir GEORGE GREY declined, to comply; regarding Mr. Duncombe's position as that of an accuser, while it was the duty of a Commissioner to act as a juror or ajudge. The Commissioners are the Earl of Chichester, Lord Sey- mour, and Mr. B. Escott.

Mr. Maw, with a particular reference to the case of Van Diemen's Land, enforced the necessity of introducing representative government into the Colonies. Mr. Hawas expressed his approval of the principle; and mentioned that the matter was undergoing the serious consideration of the Government. The extent of the convict population in Van Diemen's Land, however, was a difficulty peculiar to that .colony. Lord JOHN RUSSELL observed, that had his scheme of transportation been carried out by the late Government, instead of 4,000, there would not have been more than 500 convicts sent within the last four years to Van Diemen's Land. He intended very much to carry out the views of Archbishop Virhately, substituting other punishments for transportation in many cases- in,the case of larceny for instance.

The opening of the British Museum, the National Gallery, and similar exhibitions, on Sunday, as a corrective to drunkenness and a means of intellectual improvement for the population was advocated by Mr. HUME; who made a motion in very general terms. Lord JOHN RUSSELL agreed in the main with the views expressed by Mr. Hume; but advised the House not to interfere in the way recommended, but to leave the matter to the persons intrusted with the manageident of the institutions in question. In the, case of the British Museum, a hardship would exist in depriving the numerous officers of their Sabbath-day's rest. Mr. WAHLEY remarked, that that difficulty might be got over by employing on the Sabbath per- sons of the Jewish persuasion. Motion withdrawn.

The House having resolved itself into a Committee of Supply, the motion for granting 20,0001. for enlarging and improving Buckingham Palace gave rise to some discussion; no one grudging the money, but opinion differing as to the best way of promoting the Queen's comfort. The CHANCELLOR of the FWREQUER stated some of the defects of the present building—

That palace was originally built for George the Fourth, and was therefore plan- ned as for a sovereign who had no family. The domestic offices, in particular, were on a scale totally inadequate to the wants. In Mr. Bloer's report, which had been recently published, the inconveniences of the 'resent building had been enumerated. Of these he would specify a few. In the first place, so limited was the room, that the space immediately under her Majesty's own apartments was necessarily appropriated to the workshops of upholsterers and cabinetmakers- who carried on their business there accompanied by an inconvenient noise, and with

much risk to health, and even there, danger from the inflammable nature of some of the materials employed by them. In the next place, there was no accommo- dation for her Majesty's family. Even at present there was not enough room; but the difficulty would be still further increased when the younger members of the Reyal Famil v grew up; and it wortH be necessary that those who were charged with their education should be resident close to them, and when also they would require a greater number of servants. A further inconvenience was occasioned by the Lord Chamberlain's apartments not being within the palace; and there was also a total want of due accommodation for Foreign Sovereigns who might come to visit her Majesty. The cost was estimated at 150,0001.; but it was proposed to take 20,0001. only this year. In part to meet the expenditure it was proposed to dispose of the Pavilion at Brighton. Mr. PROTHEROE and Mr. BERNAL doubted whether any amount of out- lay would render Buckingham Palace comfortable and suitable for the residence of the Sovereign. Mr. HUME believed that the site was un- healthy: it would be much better to build on another site a commodious anlii Comfortable and becoming residence for her Majesty. He suggested the present Kensington Palace as a good situation. He moved, as an amendment, that the vote be reduced to 5,0004 the sum necessary to repair the damage done to the palace by the recent storm. Supported by the Earl of Liwootae, Lord JOHN RUSSELL, and Mr. Gourasons, the larger vote was carried by 55 to 6. The blunder in the new Corn-law was brought under notice by Mr. VILLIERS, with the view of rectifying it: he moved that the House resolve itself into a Committee on the case. [The mistake is explained in the representation made on the subject to the Lord Mayor, which will be found under the head of "Metropolis."] Lord GEORGE BENTINCR would not yield the point without a struggle. He admitted that a blunder had been committed; and tatuated the en. Ministers, who deemed themselves the only practical men in the country, with having committed it. But he would retain even that casual bit of protection. The duty at present was 4s.; the ex. Government intended that it should be only 2s. The House by this time was exceedingly thin, and the prevalent feeling was that Mr. Vil- liers should not press his motion: so it was withdrawn on that account; the blunder being universally admitted. Mr. HAWES obtained leave to introduce a bill to make better provision for the government of New Zealand. The bill proposed to establish.muni- eipal institutions in New Zealand, on which was to be raised a representa- tive system, to centre in a House of Assembly, empowered to make uniform laws for the whole island.

Mr. Mottoes Joint O'CoarstELL obtained leave to bring in seven bills for the better regulation of lauded property in Ireland. They were read a first time.

In the House of Lords, Earl GREY moved the second reading of the Waste Lands Australia Bill. He explained its object—

It was thought both by his predecessors in office, and himself, that it would he expedient to allow the squatters of Australia some more permanent interest in the laud than they at present enjoyed under their annual licences; leases, in fact, for such a period as would induce them to build houses, form tanks, and dig wells; water being of the first importance in a country like Australia. The bill would en- able the Government to grant leases for less periods than fourteen years. The late Governor of the colony recommended eight years; and that would probably be the average length of lease. If the holders of lands under those leases wished to pur- chase the hinds which they had in their possession, a right of preemption was to be given them, subject to arbitration respecting value. On the other hand, if they refused to purchase them, the lands were to be sold by auction. He proposed also that those who had already gone to the expense and trouble of discovering what were called "good runs" should enjoy rights of preemption. The present rate of payment would be retained. Means would be taken to insure the good con- duct of the holders. Power would be given to the Queen in Council to make the necessary regulations copies of which to be laid before Parliament. The bill was read a second time.

Lord BROUGHAM exonerated the Poor-law Commissioners from a charge he had alleged against them of wilfully delaying to supply some returns ordered by the House of Lords; and in doing so he took occasion to utter a panegyric on the Commissioners themselves— The duties the Commissioners had to perform were difficult, arduous, and as every one must admit, delicate in their nature. The Commissioners had proved themselves able, humane, and excellent men; but from the very first they had been assailed in the press, at public meetings, and in anonymous communications. This he knew from personal experience. -Many such communications had been addressed to himself, containing not less thou a threat of corporal vengeance; and they were generally ornamented with very remarkable and significant little pic- tures, from which, as conveying the meaning of the correspondent, he should have derived great advantage had his education in the point of reading been neglected. Some difficulty was found at the outset in getting properly-qualified persons to ac- cept the office of Poor-law Commissioner, for fear of the odium sure to be attached to the duties. He believed that the Commissioners are men of extremely hu- mane and compassionate dispositions; and yet they were never called less than hard-hearted tyrants and Somerset House despots.

The " Sugar-duties:(No. 3) Bill" passed through Committee. Ordered to be read a third time on Monday.

The House of Commons met today at noon, and sat for three hours; for- warding several measures a stage. Among them was the British Possessions Bill; the third reading of which was opposed by Lord GEORGE BENTINCEi but it was carried by 47 to 8, and the bill passed. Lord &um RUSSELL gave notice that on Monday next he should state what steps the Government had already taken in consequence of the failure of the potato crop in Ireland, and also what measures it was intended here- after to adopt on the subject.