16 MAY 1840, Page 1


THE Lord Chancellor has performed the easy task of demonstrating the need of reform in the court over which he so ably presides. If satisfaction were possible under the present system, Lord COT- TENIIAM might be expected to give it ; but, as be states, "the ab- sence of power in the Court to exercise its jurisdiction" prevents

any cause of importance being decided in a shorter term than six

tears. Six years is the minimum, not the maximum of endurance ; as many worn-out and ruined suitors in Chancery bear witness. To

remove part of this great and intolerable evil, is the design of a bill which the Lords have read a second time. It is proposed to create two new Vice-Chancellors, and another Master in Chancery ; to transfer the Equity jurisdiction of the Exchequer to the Court of Chancery ; and to appoint the Master of the Rolls, nominally Vice- President, really the presiding judge in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. With this additional strength, Lord COTTEN- HAM hopes to overcome and keep down arrears ; but he admits that a more extensive measure may be advisable, and that he only deals with a branch of the subject. It is doubtful whether this partial attempt at a remedy will

succeed. Lord LYNDHURST seconded the motion ; but he and Lord AMMER intimated a missing to oppose essential provi- shaa the bill. Lord LYNDITURST, who paid some skilful corn- lams to Lord BROUGHAM, thought one additional Vice-Chan- cellor only would be required; and was averse to the abolition of Equity jurisdiction in Exchequer. Lord ABINGER had no wish to he relieved from that portion of his duties. His Lordship's alacrity to perform it may be sharpened, people say, by the reflection that with the Equity jurisdiction of his court Mr. SCARLETT'S recently-acquired Mastership would be abolished ; and Lord Jolts RUSSELL has hinted that a clause of compensation for the loss of that office would form no part of a Chancery Reform Act. Lord LANGDALE supports the bill on its merits ; but has no great relish for the Vice-Presidency of the Privy Council Committee, where, instead of being absolute as in his own court, he may reckon upon an encounter with at least one troublesome coadjutor and equal. No increased charge would fall upon the Treasury—the enormous funds in the Lord Chancellor's custody would supply the salaries of the new officers.

AFain has the Duke of WELLINGTON stood forth to protect the Ministry from an attack commenced on his own side of the House. Earl STANHOPE moved an address to the Queen against the Opium War; and argued in support of his motion, that the illicit traffic carried on by the British was the cause of the impend- ing hostilities with China. He blamed the Government, and blamed Captain ELLIOT, whilst he eulogized the Chinese. It ap- peared from the debate which ensued, that several Lords were well-disposed towards Earl STANHOPE'S motion ; but their great commander opposed it with characteristic decision. He advised the House to withhold any opinion on the one side or the other until they had more information. So far Ministers have no right to claim, as their noisy mouthpieces of the press arc claiming for them, the Duke's alliance and unmodified approval; but, whilst distinctly denying that the canna Belli was opium-smuggling, with the. feelings a an old employe be declaimed on the indignities which poor Captain EemoT had suffered, in such terms as to leave little doubt that in his Grace's opinion there were other causes which rendered a war just awl necessary. lie declared that he had never heard of a gentleman pretending to represent another Government treated as Captain ELLIOT had been treated by the Chinese authorities : (lid the Duke ever before hear of a Superin- tendent of Trade putting himself in a similar situation to Captain ELLIOT'S—encouraging resistance to the laws of the country in which he resided, bearding the authorities, blockading the ports,

and firing into the ships of a nation, whilst professina. a desire to • ri obey the laws and carry on a peaceful commerce with it ? Truly might he describe the conduct of the Chinese as without prece- dent : would any other people or government on the face of the globe have satisfied themselves with the hard words—and mild mea-

sures—which the Chinese adopted towards Captain ELLIOT and the handful of Englishmen at Canton ? The Duke seems to imagine

that there is a British Government in China—he talked about Dir. Dem•r being under the "protection of the British Government" there where, Own, and how was it established or recognized It is very natural in the gallant Duke to sympathize strongly with a brother officer and a " servant of the Government doing his duty on his station ": but the esprit de corps of the hearty old soldier, and the high " Government " notions of the Tory politician, have not always been accounted the safest guides for Whig statesmen, in settling a policy Of peace or war. Their ready acceptance now, argued "a foregone conclusion": the fatal first step had been taken, and in the misgivings that attend a doubtful course to an undefined object, the countenance of the first name in the Opposition was a godsend.

Right or wrong, the Duke of WELLINGTON always does his busi-

ness effectually. There is an end to party motions on this question. i‘lr. GEORGE Pai.mtat, who on Tuesday was eager to move his resolution against the Opium War on the first opportunity, had dis- covered on Thursday that he was " too late" to accomplish any good. The House laughed at this palpable result of the Duke's dictatorship.

So we were right in treating Sir JAMES GRAHANI'S motion as a make-believe. The Conservative chief would not have permitted areal attack upon the policy of the Government, patronized by the " war interests." Very creditable to the Opposition, and the sure way to win public confidence, is their now common practice of getting up sham combats ! A notice on the paper of a formal attack upon the Ministry, is merely an advertisement that Parlia- mentary pugilists are going to tight another "cross."

The greater part of the sittings of Monday, Tuesday, and

Thursday, was devoted by me Commons to a brawl about the Ludlow election. On Mouldy, Lord DARLINGTON moved that a new writ be issued for Ludlow ; and it would seem that as the Committee had not reported that the writ ought to be suspended, according to the usual practice of Parliament it should have been issued forthwith : a strong minority, however, were for suspension and further inquiry ; and they insisted that at any rate nothing should be done till Lord JOHN RUSSELL resumed his place on Thursday. It was alleged that the Ministerial Leader had something important to offer to the consideration of the House. Repeated divi- sions took place and considerable excitement prevailed : charges or corruption were bandied from one side to the other. The mino- rity, consisting of Liberals, adhered to their determination to keep. back the writ. Sir ROBERT PEEL, leading a majority composed of Conservatives and some Whigs, declared that no other public busi- ness should come on till this were disposed of So it was agreed to postpone all debateable matters till Lord JOHN RUSSELL'S reap- pearance. Well, on Thursday the Leader was in his place ; when, behold, it turned out that he intended no opposition to the issue of the writ, and that his presence or absence was immaterial.

Although assenting to new elections for Ludlow and Cambridge,

Lord JOHN RUSSELL, however, opines that the corrupt practices in those places, and in others where bribery and treating are equally notorious, ought to be checked by new laws : and he announced his intention to introduce a bill to make treating any time before, and for a month after the election, illegal; to extend the penalties of bribery to those who before or after an election give money or snake gifts of any kind for votes ; to indemnify witnesses whose testimony before Election Committees might criminate themselves ; and to empower Committees to investigate charges of bribery and treating although not directly affecting the scat in dispute. Sir ROBERT PEEL avowed his willingness to aid Lord Joint; but he foresaw much difficulty in framing a bill of the description pro- posed, and, wise in his generation, evidently had no faith in such appliances as preventives of corruption. The rude system of re- medics of a century agone, proper comates of Old Sarum and Gatton, was spent and worn-out before the East Retford of our own day. No modern practitioner, of decent education and fair intellect, dreams of dealing with such cases otherwise than by ex- tended constituencies and ballot-protected votes. The new-horn attention of the Ministerial Leader to the minor machinery of the representative system, the tendency of his efforts, and.the manner of their reception by the great body of his supporters, indicate that both leader and followers look to the Reform Act of 1832, in all its essentials, as a " final measure." Men will not lay out money in repairing a crazy edifice, which they.intund 4hortly to pull down. Our political builders, however,,, b 'trouble to prop, plaster, and whitewash the Reform Aerie:, Loa Jonx Rug.; SELL is consistent—he has always declared his tr# lutionto oppose further organic changes : but some of his fol haNe held a different language, and proclaimed doctrine$3,,ait Niariapee with " finality." Opportunities for reasserting the!khielides of "fur-- , timer reform" have been offered, but not improviki. It would wow that Lord JOHN has " finally" gained them 'weft: ??-; The best news from France is the near approach of the com- pletion of the commercial treaty between that country and Eng- land. According to the Presse, the English duty on all articles of Parisian manufitcture is to be reduced from 30 to 15 per cent.; on wines, from Ss. 6d. to 2s. a gallon ; on brandy, from 22s. to 14s. a gallon. On the other hand, the prohibition of English fine iron- mongery, stone pottery, certain articles of woollen manufacture, and various others of ordinary consumption, is to be removed by France.

The French Ministers have made a capital hit, a sort of coup de illicitly, by a proposition to send the Prince DE JOINVILLE in a frigate to St. Helena to bring thence the ashes of the Emperor NAPOLEON, that they may find their last resting-place in France. On making this announcement to the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of the Interior, M. DE Rimmusar, alluded to the ready compliance of England- " Our magnanimous ally in this circumstance has wished to efface the last trace of past animosity : if any still exists it ought to be buried in the tomb of Napoleon. The frigate charged with this precious deposit will arrive at the mouth of the Seine, and another vessel will living the ashes to Paris ; where they will be placed in the Invades, and a solemn ceremony worthy of the country and of the occasion will take place. Napoleon was legitimate sovereign of this country, and at his return he must reign and command still. His sword will be placed on the monument to be erected in this glorious and silent asylum of his &niter comrades in arms. For an important monument must be erected, surrounded by shade and by silence. The project of law we pro- pose is to ask a million of francs for the removal of the ashes, the ceremony, and the erection of the tomb."

The Deputies, transported with delight, would have voted the money on the instant ; but the President said the rules of the Chamber required a delay of twenty-four hours.

The Sugar-duties Bill has been voted by the large majority of 230 to 67. This measure imposes a duty on foreign sugar of twenty francs per kilogramme more than the duty on the produce of the French colonies.