16 FEBRUARY 1850, Page 1


ALREADY the Session appears to have given token that it will be more fertile in disputation than in acts. "Busy" as it is to be, it is getting rank in the growth of wordy weeds ; the measures shrinking to nothing, like stunted plants in an ill-kept garden. The Ecclesiastical Commission Bill, object of so much expectation and so much wrangling, turns out to • be a compromise between Bishops and Anti-Bishops, between advocates of a paid commission and opponents. Mr. Norman's quarrel with Ministers, which had so ugly a look at the close of last week, has been hushed up at the beginning of this : Mr. Norman has been induced to aban- don his charge of " fraud," and to charge Lord John Russell with nothing more than irritation at being importuned by Mr. Hors- man's reforms, and a disposition to annoy in retaliation. Mr. -Horsman has been soothed, Lord John saved; and Sir George Grey's virtuous indignation cedes to a courteous magnanimity. Local taxation, not mooted by Mr: Disraeli, has been among the -subjects almost vainly discussed. Mr. Cornwall Lewis has rein- troduced his Highways Bill ; a measure much pared down since it was before the House last session, in order to slip through objec- tions. It proposes to establish small districts ; the road manage- -ment to vest in the Boards of -Guardians. On the same evening, Mr. Milner Gibson introduced a bill into which the Highways Bill ought to merge : it was a bill for establishing District Councils to adminis- ter the county-rate ; the half of each Council to consist of Magis- trates chosen by the whole body of Magistrates, the other half of ratepayers not Magistrates, elected the Boards of Guardians, and thus, through that second-hand process, by the ratepayers. The measure is not a .perfect one, but it tends to good. It not only introduces the principle of representation in county-rate affairs, heretofore unaccountably left without that check, but it takes the first step towards relieving Parliament from its local and private business. Mr. Gibson's bill, however, is pit off, to give time for consideration of its details,—that is, to enable Ministers to " rub on" till after Easter, without rejecting what they dare not con- slemn—till after Easter, till next session. _14ir John Romilly's frish Chancery reform has been threatened ,*tli similar delays. Mr. Turner, who was expected to aid a re- foim of which he knows the necessity, discovers that the bill is not 'well composed in style, and therefore suggests to hinder it! The ." count-out" on Tuesday helped the obstruction, though only for a night. Mr. Turner ventures to obstruct a Government measure, -which efight be completed this session, and promises one.of his own. When ? After Easter, of course ; which means next year— or` some year after that.

Another Irish subject is put forward by Mr. Sadleir—the strik- ing-off of jurymen from the list on account of their being Roman Catholics, and for no other ground, since the station and personal character of the individuals struck off forbade the idea that they would give false verdicts. Mr. Kerami ,s the Crown Solicitor who struck off the names, denied that he did so for that reason : a denial which can scarcely mean anything except that he is so pre- judiced as to recognize in the Roman Catholic every other vice be- sides his Anti-Protestant tenets. Whatever lie intended, a Liberal Ministry ought not to be represented in the Irish law courts by a man to whom such things happen. Lord Stanley has a motion in petto for next week, to reite- rate the story of Dolly's Brae, and probably to extract recri- minatory explanations from Lord Roden and Lord Clarendon : Lord Londonderry has tried to make Lord Stanley reconsider the wisdom of raking up that old quarrel, and exasperating the fend that still survives in the county of Down. Lord Stanley's reply creates a very disagreeable impression. Lord Londonderry had spoken of an Anti-Rent agitation : Lord Stanley affected to think that the Marquis was alarmed for his own rents ; promised not to name him, his tenants, or his rents ; and said that if he wanted to know the object of the motion, he might come down to hear it on

Monday ! Is Lord Stanley net open to the feelings of regard for neighbours, that moved Lord Londenderry-P Does -he hold that taunts about self-interest and cowardice are the fit weapons for one of station and refined education, in reply to such an appeal as Lord Londenderry made to him, sensible in its purport and earnest in its manner P

Some of the postponements that have ()conned are commendable, —such as the delay of all sanatory and cognate measures till after Easter, in order that the Board of Health may have time to report upon them. This is not delay; the intermediate time is needed for practical buSiness.

Colonial affairs have not been so prominent in the early part of the week as they promised to be. Lord John Russell's debate on Friday last anticipated.Sir William lifolesworth's notified debate of Tuesday-; although Colonial Reform was necessarily discussed in a very imperfect manner on the hastily-opened ground of the Min- isterial policy. But as Sir William says, Lord John's legislation does not answer to sample—his Australian Colonies Bill does not correspond with his speech ; and the discrepancies are of too much practical importance to be passed over. • Ilaere are other Inches and errors in Lord John's programme which will have to be cor- rected : the agitation of Colonial Reform, therefore, is only de- ferred; not dropped. Meanwhile it is ascertained that the order in Council to make-the Cape a penal Colony. is not to be renewed. The Ceylon Committee has been reappointed, but still without essential witnesses. Mr: Roebuck—who emulated Mr. Hawes in the defence of -the Colonial.Office - position !—openly avows that LOrd John Russell is laughing at the inquiry. But laughter does not alWays imply superiority either of intelligence or feeling. Mr. Roebuck-says that 't the world." agrees with Lord John, and that he hiniself agrees with the world; - Mr. Adderley moved to introduce a bill to prevent the Crown— that is the Colonial Office—from creating penal whelks at pleasure, by a mere order in Council. Ministers could not aceept the idea : they still wish to keep up transportation, only diminish ; they still hanker after effecting some kind of dispersion of convicts ; they still desire to retain for-the Office a power of legislation by edict called " order in Council" Sir William Moloiiworth declared for the complete abolition of transportation, and he cited the report of 1837 on the wickedness that it occasioned in New South Wales : that report was signed, among others, by Lord John Russell, Sir George Grey, Mr. Hawes, and Lord Howick. Now the Colonies will not stand the disgrace ; they will rather rebel ; and Ministers teach them that if they do rebel they shall obtain what, they want. Only, in the mean time, the officials wish to continue " trying it on." So Mr. Adderley's motion was negatived, by 110 to 32. For Ministers can muster enough votes to put down the reforms of a private Member, though, as it appeared on Tuesday, they cannot keep a muster to back their own reforins. The Grecian affair seems to be settled : France has extended her " good offices," and the quarrel will be lmehed: up, But the expli- nations have given rise to sallies of a most unexpected and mime countable kind. Lord Aberdeen seems to feel a jealousy of any mediation or intervention on the part of France to settle questieni of territorial claim on our part ; a jealousy which is intelligible, though, it would seem, not relevant, since the territories in quesa tion were not included in the peremptory demands which are the subject o good offices. Then it seems that there is a diplo- matic scale of " good offices," " meeliation,".and " arbitration" ; the first two implying .no more than a morel intervention to extricate false pride from a false position : and in this case the substantial matter in--question is so trifling, that one might almost suspect Lord Palmerston of having got up the dispute with Greece hi oruet to give France an opportunity of showing her olose alliance with this country,—a demonstration perhaps not inconvenient to England, and certainly not inconvenient to a Prince President about to under- go the ordeal of the Revolution anniversaiy. But the official jealousy goes beyond even these grave matters. Lord Aberdeen burst forth -into warnings, heated and reiterated, against a "familiar from the Foreign Office " at Lord Lansdowne's- elbow,—meaning Lord Eddisbury ; and he specially warned the Marquis against that " familiar " in person ! What does this mean ? why. has Lord Aberdeen conceived so Mephistophelian an idea of LinqEddisbury ? A still more singular feud finds its most distinct indications out of doors. The Morning Post has recently become the special chain- pion of our Foreign Office. The Times has long been the mani- fest ally of our Colonial Office; and it is remarkable that these two journals are diligent in attaeking each-other's client respectively— the Post assailing the Colonial Office, the Times the Foreign. Her Majesty's Opposition, it seems, extinct in "the House,', is to be sought somewhere in the Cabinet itself !