17 FEBRUARY 1855, Page 8



The practical business before the House of Commons, last night, was to vote the Naval Estimates—in amount 10,716,3381.; but before going into Committee there was a preliminary debate on the Ministry and Mr. Roebuck's motion. Early in the evening, Mr. ROEBUCn struck the key-note of the discussion by announcing that he would on Thursday next nominate his Committee of inquiry. In moving that the House should go into Committee of Supply, Lord PaLmensTme took up the Theme, and met Mr. Roebuck's announcement in a characteristic manner. As Richard the Second, who, after the death of Wat Tyler, said to the mob—" You have lost your leader, my friends ; I will be your leader,"— so he would say to the House of Commons, if they would agree not to appoint this Committee—" The Government will be your Committee." He followed up this by describing the steps which Ministers have taken to amend the present state of things ; and he asked them to see the results before they appoint a Committee. But while providing for the vigorous conduct of the war' Ministers are making an effort, by sending Lord John Russell to Vienna, to ascertain whether peace can now be obtained on safe and honourable terms; if not, there is no alternative but a vigorous pro- secution of the war. In the earlier part of his speech, Lord Palmerston stated briefly what had led him to the post of Prime Minister : in doing so, he referred to Lord Derby's negotiations with himself, and then fell to lauding the ability of his principal colleagues. Mr. DISRAELI exhibited great soreness at Lord Palmerston's refusal to join Lord Derby, and took him to task for want of candour. With respect to the laudations of his colleagues—those unparalleled blunderers of a fortnight ago who have now become expert and sagacious statesmen—surely solemn silence would have been more becoming than eulogy. Lord Palmerston had strangely compared the House of Commons to Wat Tyler : but the Commons, after succeeding in their sedition, are now asked to return to their allegiance to those old Ministers who resisted inquiry and improvement ! He, for one, was for inquiry—for Parliamentary inquiry ; and if Lord Palmerston was about to commence his career by attempting to control Parliament, Mr. Disraeli is ready to face his constituents and vindicate his conduct. But he promised to the new Government, so long as it does its duty, the identicalsupport which their predecessors received. Mr. Romsucx persisted in his demand for inquiry—an inquiry which the Go- vernment cannot efficiently carry out. There is a new Ministry, but not new Ministers. From this point a great number of Members on both sides of the House kept up the debate with more or less spirit for a long while' Mr. Thomas Dreseosinz expressing a very prevalent feeling, when, push- ing for inquiry, he said that they had come back to "the status quo ante Roebuck.'

At last the Speaker left the chair, and Sir JAMES GRAHAM got pos- session in Committee of Supply. He not only went into the details of the excess of expenditure in the Naval Estimates-2,017,1041.—but said something of the future. New ships, floating batteries, and gun-boats have been built : in the ensuing campaign there will be a fleet of twenty sail of the line in the Baltic,—none but steam-ships; and in men the naval force will be increased to 70,000. The estimates, partially voted be- fore, were agreed to; and also a vote of 5,181,0001. for the new trans- port service, to be under the control of a Transport Board. In the House of Peers, Lord Parr/sum, with regard to the War De- partment, made a detailed statement similar to that of Lord Palmerston.

Army Improvements.—Lord PALMERSTON has not recommended her Ma- j'esty to appoint a Secretary at War, as an amalgamation of the two offices of Secretary at War and Secretary for War will benefit the public service. Per- haps the discipline of the Artillery and Engineers may be transferred from. the Ordnance to the Commander-in-chief, and the Civil department of the Ordnance placed under the control of the Secretary for War. Three civilians connected with the sanitary operations of the Metropolis will be sent mit to the theatre of war, with ample power to examine the condition• of the hospitals, the camp, the ships; and Lord Raglan is instructed to hire at Constantinople a corps of labourers, whose sole duty ' it will be to cleanse the camp and Balaklava9 as a precaution against pestilence on the return of warm weather. Ahospital, entirely under the control of civil medical men, will be established at Smyrna ; and civilians will be entitled to offer their services wherever they may be required. Lord Raglan is instructed to send home regiments reduced to a certain amount. An officer of some standing will be sent out to see and report upon the actuaL state of the army in the Crimea. Sir John Macneill, once our Minister at the Court of Persia, will be sent out at the head of a commission charged with the examination of the Commissariat department., and empowered to set all to rights, and to organize the department on a more efficient basis. Major-General Simpson has been selected to act as Chief of the Staff to Lord Raglan, to relieve him of the details of the Quartermaster-General and Ad- jutant-General's departments; "and with power to recommend to Lord Rag- lan any change which he might think ought to be made in the different per- sons belonging to those departments : and Lord Raglan will no doubt think it his duty to adopt any recommendations which Major-General Simpson may make to him as to those matters." A land transport corps, which will correspond to the waggon-train, only on a larger scale, has been established, and no doubt it will provide sufficient means of transport.

Iteeruiting.—Ort the motion of Lord PANDIUB.E, in the House of Peers, a bill was read a first time, to enable her Majesty in Council to declare that she would accept the services of any man willing to enlist in her Majesty's service for any period under ten years, taking those men at an age not under twenty-four nor above thirty-two. The object of the bill is to provide men more capable of enduring the hardships of war than the ordinary and younget class of recruits.

Naval Arrangements.—The number of men voted last night, on the mo- tion of Sir James GRAHAM, was 70,000; including 16,000 marines and 10,000 boys. The number added to that of last year is 6000 seamen and 500- marines. The number voted last year-51,000—is afloat and available for the service of the country solely by voluntary enlistment. Sir James strongly urged the House to make the 16,000 marines a permanent force. Insteadof 100 sail of the line in commission, as in the French war, we shall not require above 46 or 50, because science has made a smaller force snore- efficacious than the larger ones of former times. There will be twenty. screw line-of-battle ships in the Baltic, besides 10 floating batteries, 40 gun- boats, and 20 mortar-vessels. Six steam line-of-battle ships have been sub- stituted in the Black Sea for ten sailing-ships of the line. In explanation of the cause of the excess, Sir James Graham said that it had been expended in- wages, victuals, and allowances, to seamen and marines, and in stores, ma- chinery, and gun-boats,land had been partly caused by the rise in prices. The new Transport Board will consist of a chief member who shall be a Cap- tain in the Navy, a second who shall be a merchant conversant with all the details of commerce, and a third who shall be a gentleman well acquainted, with all the details of the Army.

The .11fansionhouse Speech. —In reply to Mr. A. Duireosom, Sir JAMES GRAHAM said, he should not enter into a complete analysis ot Sir Charles Napier's charges, because it would involve the production of documents im- mediately interwoven with operations about to be resumed. It is not the in- , tention of the Admiralty to allow Sir Charles to rehoist his flag—he is now on half-pay ; but it is not the intention of Sir James Graham to allow Sir- Charles " to dub himself a martyr as well as a hero."

The folloviing are the names which Mr. Roebuck has put upon Oleo Notice-paper for his Committee on the "Army before Sebastopol"—Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Drummond, Mr. Layard, Sir Joseph Paxton, Lord Stanley, Mr. Ellice, Mr. Whiteside, Mr. Disraeli, Mr. George Butt, Mr. Lowe, Mr. Miles.