20 JANUARY 1855, Page 2

(54t rouinits. I. conformity with the previous announcement, Mr. Cobden

appeared among his constituents at Leeds on Wednesday. The meeting first as- sembled in the Music Hall ; but the multitude excluded was so great, that, at their solicitation, an adjournment to the Cloth Hall Yard took place. Many of the most conspicuous of Mr. Cobden's supporters were present. Mr. Carbutt, the' chairman stated the circumstances which led to the meeting. Mr. Cobden had first communicated to him his desire to address a meeting at Leeds on the aspect of the war. Mr. Carbutt called together Mr. Cobden's supporters, and they unanimously agreed that it was not desirable to commence an agitation, which might lead to conse- quences all might deplore. Mr. Baines added to this explanation, the fact, that as Mr. Cobden had determined to come, it was felt that if he were listened to in. silence his opinions would go forth, not only with the weight of his name, but also with the weight of the authority of the West Riding of Yorkshire. They looked upon the war as a just one, dictated by sound policy ; and resolved to take such steps as would prevent the public from supposing that they agree with Mr. Cobden's opinions. Before calling on Mr. Cobden, Mr. Carbutt said the meeting must ad- mire his honesty and manliness in coming before them ; and he trusted they would listen to him patiently and respectfully. Mr. Cobden, loudly cheered on rising, Bald he had not the least doubt that he should have a fair hearing. He was there because he differed with the majority had they agreed with him, where would have been the necessity of conferring with them ? If he bad come on former occa- sions when all were unanimous, it was his duty, as their representative, now to come and listen to them, or their respected chiefs, who might wish to controvert his opinions. With this preface Mr. Cobden turned to the war. He bad not come there to talk about the origin of the war. We cannot now prevent the war. But as a Member of Parliament, he was called upon to vote supplies, and the most important business of the next session will be how to carry on the war. England cannot have a little war : a great deal of money will be required ; and he wished to say a word on that subject. The Government, and even Mr. Gladstone, whom be greatly respected, have lent themselves to the delusion that we can indulge in a cheap war. Now, if Russia were about to invade us, we should raise the population, and vote a war supply of fifty millions. But a war in Russian territory will be more costly than this; and how is the money to be raised? By a loan, or by

taxation?. He should recommend that, instead of throwing the burden of the war upon our children, by a renewal of the system of funded debt, the supplies should be raised by direct taxation, because it is desirable that every Government should find it difficult to raise money for the prosecution of war. (" Weil make Russia pay.") By direct taxation, because that is raised with the least injury to trade and commerce. The range of the Income-tax must be extended to include smaller incomes, and the incidence of the tax divided between direct and indirect sources. But in every case he will vote for ffirect rather than for indirect taxes.

The chairman seemed to think he was about to champion peace at any price. Now it is unfair that a man should be made responsible for opinions he never "avowed, or uttered, or professed, or entertained." That able body of Christians who believe war is contrary to Christianity urged him again and again to disavow their opinions, "because they thought I should lose all influence with practical minds by the advocacy of Peace principles." Let the question be discussed as a question of policy only. His first and greatest objection to the war has been the delusive and almost fraudulent pretenses by which it has been made popular,—namely, that its object was to give freedom to struggling communities on the Conti- nent, and to check Russia for the invasion of Hungary and the eontiuest of encomia. ("No, no ! ") Does any one deny that the prevalent opinion was that we were going to raise as an inscription on our banners—"the recon- struction of Polish nationality " ? (Loud cries of ",Ni, no !") That Was Lord Dudley Stuart's opinion of the war ; but Mr. Cobden never looked upon it in that light, and never believed it would have that consequence. It is a political war, a war of diplomatists and statesmen. "It is, in the fewest words I can use, a war in which we have a despot for an enemy, a despot for an ally, and a despot for a client; and we have been for twelve months endeavoining to make an ally of another despot, and have not yet suc- eeeded." It is a war in opposition to Russian encroachment on Turkey. We have been a little too precipitate in going to war for that object ; for had we waited until Austria and Prussia thought it necessary to do so, we should have got all we could hope for without shedding a drop of blood. (" Oh, oh !") If they had seen need for it, these countries, quite as much inte- rested as we are, would have been the first to stir. He had again and again admitted that the war was a just war as between Russia and Turkey ; but in attacking Terkcy Russia has not made an attack upon us; and surely we are not called upon to go to war whenever injustice is done to another coun- try. But there is another difficulty with reaped to Turkey, namely, the fact that the Government of Turkey does not represent the majority of the people of Turkey,—that there are eight millions of Christians and four mil- lions of Mahaniedans i that the majority of the people are against us in this war. ("No, no !") 'Why, the constant complaint is that the Greet Chris- tians are opposed to the English. This is a great difficulty; a question that will be before us for years to come ; for when Russia has been dealt with, then the internal divisions of Turkey will come up. The Government pro- poses to settle them by establishing the Five Powers as the protectors of the Clristians. Would not that be an adoption of the principle of Russian in- terference, and would it not go far to justify Russian policy ? He expressed a dislike of. the position we occupy, always dealing with governments and never with the people. It may be policy, but it ;tends to withdraw this question from the category of justice.

With regard to the conduct of the war, he presumed there would be no difference of opinion. "All parties will agree that a more wretched expo- sure of our system of naval and military administration, a more o/ear mani- festation of the total break-dovrn of aristocratic routine in matters of ad- rainistration when that is brought to any strain or stress, could not have been elicited than has been done in the conduct of this war. We have the ad- mission of the representative of the Government in the House of Commons that a greet mistake was made in sending the army to Sebastopol. I beard a Minister of the Crown jantily declare that all parties had been mistaken— that the Generals had been mistaken—that the Government had been mis- taken in sending the army to Sebastopol. A mistake to be made by Govern- ment on an affair of that magnitude ! Why, I heard it treated with as much nonchalance as if it had been a speculation of hazard involving a couple of shillings in its consequences. We have had a mistake involving the welfare of thousands and tens of thousands of our men. A mistake ! Why was there any mistake ? Why had we not all the information that was necessary as to the actual position and strength of Sebastopol? I will undertake that a mere shrewd Leeds man, armed with ten thousand pounds and sent to Constanti- nople, would have found means to get information of every kind relative to Sebastopol: the number of men, the muster-roll if you had liked, a list of their guns, and a drawing of the whole place—everything, indeed, would have been got if proper precautions had been taken. But the idea of send- ing the army, making a leap in the dark, and then coming down and telling us it was a mistake ! Now, I am of opinion that the mistake was not merely in wrongly estimating the strength of Sebastopol ; I think it was a mistake to go to Sebastopol at all in any circumstances." ("No, no !".)

If it was a mistake, heir are we to get out of it ? If we are to fight it out in the Crimea, we must raise enormous armies, find an immense amount of treasure, and carry on the war on a different scale. ("Good sense in that! ") But there is another way to get out of it. The army may return home with as much honour as if Sebastopol were taken, if peace can be restored. There is no reason to suppose that peace is not possible ; that the Governments of Rurope have not approximated by negotiation to a safe and honourable peace ; and might not the resolution to be proposed to the meet- ing tend to frustrate objects the Government may now have in view in order to effect a peace ? (Loud and general cries of "No, no !") He appealed to them not to do a single thing to impede the 131CifiC negotiations now in progress. Our brave soldiers, the picked men of the country, carted aud shot on shore in an unknown land, with no more provision for their comfort or subsistence than if they had been criminals, are euffering unheard-of mi- series. The Forty-sixth Regiment dwindled from 800 to 300 men in a few weeks. The soldiers have rotted and starved in the trenches, and have sometimes been a fortnight together without a dry rag upon them. And ought not we who, comfortable at home, are calling for a vigorous .prose- cution of the war, when there is a possibility of peace, to take their case into consideration ? Lord John Russell has said that it is not intended to take any part of the territory of Russia. If we destroy Sebastopol, it will be built up again in ten years with English capital ; and if 64, is the sacri- fice of life worth the object sought? What have we to gain by war, if the territorial power of Russia is not to be lessened ? As a set-off for the aggressive conquests of !tussle, Mr. Cobden enumerated those of England and France. For every square mile of territory that Russia has taken during the last hundred and hfty years, England has taken fire. Look to the French conquest of Algiers from Turkey—not even now confirmed by any treaty ; to our Indian conquests; to what "we have done with the Dutch at the Cape, and everybody else somewhere or other." "We are just another Russia—nothing better, nothing worse," The con- sequence is, that neither Russia, nor the United States, nor the rest of the world, admits our assumed position in this case of a judge administering justice on agreat criminal. No, our position is that of a judge descending to fight a criminal arraigned before him, who might not only dust the judge's 'Wag but bid fair to gain a mastery over him. The world does not recognize our high-flown pretensions. What says Belgium, the United States, Switzer- land, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Attstria, Prussia ? Why, all of theas, that they are bound to maintain a strict neutrality. Face the facts and say whether we are in the position of an immaculate judge dealing with a guilty criminal. Again he repeated, that the condition of our brave troops— the reading of whose sufferings prevents him from sleeping at night—deserves consideration ; and he urged, that if the Government could now obtain a peace, bow great the responsibility the meeting would incur by the vote they were about to give. lie reminded the meeting, how he had been abused in former times for resisting the cry about the predicted French invasion, and for voting against the Government in Don Pacifico's case ; and he asked Mr. Babes and his friends not to put themselves in a position to which they could not look back with perfect satisfaction two years hence. They might even hear that night, by electric telegraph, that "something had been arranged" ; and then would it not be a pity to find industrious Leeds advocating a more war- like policy than the diplomatists of Vienna or London?

He took the Government, and especially Lord John Russell and Lord Cla- rondo; to task, foruttming (in despatches to be found in the blue-book) a ful- some panegyric on the Czar ; praising him for his moderation, his generous confidence, the wisdom and disinterestedness of his policy, at a time when they knew his designs on Turkey. Mr. Cobden was especially revolted at the conduct of Lord John Russell, who used Buck fulsome language in 1853, but who has since made speeches calculated to rouse the war spirit of this country, and has made it a personal question against the Emperor of Russia. "I do not stand here for the Czar, because there can hardly be conceived two men on the face of the earth who can so little sympathize with each other. I regard him as a man of towering intellectual capacity, but the very incarnation of physical force. ("Keep him back.") Keep bias back ! That brings me again to the question, how will you keep back a power like that ? I am afraid the very course you have taken in going to Sebastopol will have the effect, which I will deeply regret, of raising the prestige of the power of Russia in the eyes of all barbarous countries. ("No, no ! ") It will be said, notwithstanding the Alma and Inkerman, that Ragland and France came to invade Russia, but that she was more than a match for them both. This arises from the mistake of having gone there at all." "I cer- tainly do not like to continue this horrid war, to avert dangers that are not greater than the war itself. ("Oh, oh !") We have got the war now : it has carried desolation into your homes, from the palace to the cottage ; and could you have had much worse if all that my friend may state could pos- sibly happen? Seeing,. then, that there is a prospect of peace, all I ask you to do is not to commit yourselves to the passing of any resolutions whatever." (" No, no I") Mr. J. G. Marshall moved, and Mr. Baines seconded, the following re- solution— " That, in the opinion of this meeting, the war in which England and France are now engaged with Russia is a great contest forced upon them by the outrageous aggression of the latter Power upon the Turkish empire, and is intended to create a spirit of aggrandizement on the part of the Czar, which threatens the independence of other nations ; and this meeting is of opinion that the war ought to be prosecuted with the utmost vigour until safe and honourable terms of peace can be obtained."* Mr. Baines mainly confined himself to the correction of errors in Mr. Cobden's speech, and explanations of his own views ; showing that the war is not one of policy only but of right and justice. Ministers had hitherto been accused of slowness in going to war—proclaimed nine months after the crossing of the Pruth—yet Mr. Cobden accused them of precipitation ! It is not correct to say that the protectorate of the Five Powers will be as objectionable as the Russian protectorate ; for five Powers cannot lead away the subjects of a sovereign from their alle- giance as one can; and then their interference is to be by advice not con- troL England, as an European state, has not acquired any territory, ex- cept Malta and the Ionian Islands, during the last century and a half. He also pointed out that the expressions of Ministers described by Mr. Cobden as fulsome panegyric applied to the policy of the Emperor previous to the secret correspondence. Russia has made great encroach- ments in all directions, on the Baltic as well as on the Black Sea ; and her policy in that respect ought to be repressed.

Mr. Jewett moved, and Mr. Priestman seconded, the following amend- ment—

" That this meeting, without giving any opinion on the origin or conduct of the war, earnestly desires that the present negotiations for peace may be carried to a successful issue, and the further evils of a protracted contest spared to this country, to Europe, and to the world."

Mr. Monekton Mikes, regretting the occasion for the meeting, lest it should lead to a belief abroad that there is a difference of opinion in Eng- land on the propriety of the war, supported the original motion. Major_ GeneralThompson took the Peace side, and urged the meeting to adopt the amendment.

When the question was put to the meeting, the amendment was negatived by an overwhelming majority, and the original resolution carried with few dissentients.

The proceedings lasted about four hours and a half; the actors and spectators remaining all that time in the open air, notwithstanding the cold and occasional falls of snow.

• The passage of the resolution which we have printed in Italics is grammatically unintelligible; probably through a clerical blunder.

Mr. W. S. Lindsay, the eminent shipowner, now Member for Tyne- mouth, dined last week with the Equitable Freight and Insurance Associa- tion, at the Albion Assembly Booms; and made a long speech on the topics of leading interest at Tynemouth, and especially on the war and its man- agement. "Although holding the same principles as the Ministry, yet he must say that when they first resolved to take up arms against Russia, they should have done so with more hearty good-will than they had evinced : if we had been better prepared for war, there would have been fewer losses and sacrifices, and the object would have been more easily secured." He hated war ; but having been driven into it, he for one would not be satisfied with "the four points" as conditions of peace, and he thought they would not satisfy the people of this country. "One of the conditions should be that Russia should pay the expenses of the war to which she has driven us." On the naval administration of the war Mr. Lindsay spoke with more decision, because with greater know- ledge, than on the military. Here we quote the full report supplied by the Newcastle Guardian- ' "He had read with deep interest the accounts in the public, press ; he had admired the bravery and indomitable courage of our troops ; and al- though he had also seen with much regret painful statements of their priva- tions and sufferings, yet he scarcely_ thought things were quite So bad as re- ported. In the sister service, the Navy, however, there was great need of better organization This he knew with regard to the management of mat •

tars connected with the transport service, France was greatly in advance of us. We had men of the first ability at the Admiralty—we could hardly find a more able man than Sir JamesGraham ; but when he told them that the same system was now in operation which was pursued a hundred years ago, they would not be surprised at the difficulty and confusion which prevailed. The form of the charter-party was verbatim the same as in the days of the Dutch war and Lord Camperdown ; whereas the French adopted a similar form like that used in the merchant service,—being in this respect, therefore, a great step in advance of us. These were facts the recital of which might give offence to some, but he thought it his duty to the country to state them thus publicly. Then again, France had a responsible head to whom all might appeal. If a merchant had occasion to send a message by telegraph to the Minister of War, requesting to know, for instance, what goods were to be shipped in a certain vessel, there was an answer by the same rapid medium by four o'clock in the afternoon. But if you wrote to the Admi- ralty—much nearer—the probability was, you would not get an answer in a week, and sometimes five weeks elapsed before an answer was returned. This was not the fault of the men, but the system. There was no responsible head—responsible to the House of Commons, and through it to the country. Messages were sent from the Admiralty to the War Office, from the Ministry of War to the Ordnance, from the Ordnance to Deptford, and then came back to the source from which they had originally proceeded. A change, therefore, must be made in this respect before they could reason- ably hope matters would improve. He should wish it to be clearly under- stood that his complaint was solely against the customs and oldfashioned systems to which they still rigidly adhered at the Admiralty. While that system was persisted in, it was impossible for the business to be conducted with promptitude and economy. There are too many heads—irresponsible heads—and far too great a machinery of useless forms. With such men as Captain Milne, (of whose unwearied exertions and of whose practical know- ledge he could not speak in terms too high,) and a simple system—a system similar to that which is adopted in great mercantile establishments—we would not have heard of the fearful sufferings to which our troops had been subjected, through want of covering, food, and clothing. They had excel- lent men as subordinates, but the staff must be increased. At Deptford they had the same staff as during peace, which rendered it impossible for the men to get through the work ; and he ventured to say that if 10,0001. had been disbursed in clerks at the commencement of the war, some hundreds of thou- sands would have been saved to the country."

At the annual meeting of the Manchester Commercial Association, on Monday, Mr. Aspinall Turner, the Chairman, made some remarks on the war, as a protest against the views of Mr. Bright, who misrepresented Manchester. Mr. Turner fully justified the war; declaring that now, if ever, it behoves this country to maintain the cause of civilization and progress, assailed by the power which grasped Poland and assisted to crush Hungary. Commenting on the hardships endured by our soldiers, he attributed them chiefly to the system upon which appointments to subordinate posts are made. If in largo commercial concerns it were the practice to fill up all the posts of subordinate officers by appointing re- latives of directors and shareholders without reference to merit or com- petency, how could these great enterprises ever succeed? He wished the expression of the Chamber to go forth most unreservedly against this sys- tem. Mr. Malcolm Ross, Vice-President, regretted the necessity of war, but he considered that the minority had a right to have some say in the transactions which were going on in the world, although on which side the minority has shown itself in Manchester is not now a matter of opinion.

Sir Robert Peel presided and delivered an address at a soiree for the working classes, last week, in the Tamworth Library and Reading Room. Commenting on the slight advantages that result from desultory reading, Sir Robert advised his hearers to read first such works as are connected with their daily employments ; and next to read all they could bearing on passing events, so that they might the better understand them. As in the time of the Crusades every one talked about them, and as at the Re- formation everybody canvassed the conduct of Luther, Melancthon, and the Pope, so now all attention is directed to war, its calamities and its advantages. Sir Robert farther advised them not to confine their read- ing to passing events, but to consult history, the geography of the East, the origin of the Mahomedan power, and read the history of the Empress Catherine, the originator of the policy of Russia.

The members of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Commer- cial Association met in the Town-hall on Thursday, to hear from Lieute- nant-Colonel Cotton an explanation of his plans for developing the resources of India by rendering the river Godavcry navigable into the interior, so that the cotton of Berar may readily find an outlet to the great markets of this country. The Godavery runs through the heart of the country, and terminates in a harbour safer than that of Bombay itself. Colonel Cotton said.that the navigation of the river would be a profitable investment of capital, and would show by its results that 4:noney might be safely invested in Indian undertakings. Mr. Bright said that Sir Charles Wood had promised all the assistance in the power of the Government to forward any definite scheme not involving Govern- ment guarantees ; and that he believed Sir Charles Wood was honestly anxious to make his administration advantageous to India." A resolu- tion was passed, appointing a committee to collect further facts, with power to call another meeting to consider the propriety of taking steps for im- proving the navigation of the Godavery.

There are now nearly 10,000 paupers in Norwich,—double the num- ber receiving relief at the corresponding period of last year.

At the Salford Quarter-Sessions, last week, seven men pleaded guilty to a charge of holding an unlawful lottery. They had carried on money lot- teries for months, and to a large amount, though each ticket was issued at the low price of one shilling : .the lottery stopped by the Police there were 12,492 tickets, equivalent to 6241. 12s., while the prizes were 5931. 98. The defendants were merely held to bail to appear when called upon ; the object of the Magistrates having been to prove that these lotteries are un- lawful.

Lady Boughton has been fined 208. by the Brighton Magistrates for assault- ing her lady's-maid. Lady Boughton's solicitor stated that the woman was insolent, and refused to leave the room when ordered : the lady "had not the least conception, or the remotest idea, of lifting her hand against her maid." The Magistrates, however, believed that Lady Boughton had really "touched"

ushed her; but they considered the affair very trivial.

are reported at Edgbaston, near Birmingham. ale, returned from London in the afternoon, and hich she placed on the bed and on the dressing-

tables. In the evening, robbers came to a lane in the rear of the house, turned outs gas-light, forced open a gate, carried a ladder into the garden, and reared it against the window of Mrs. Louis's bedroom; one ascended, entered the room, collected valuables and plate worth 2001., and was getting off unobserved, when the plate rattled, and a boy ran out of the house ; but he only saw the thieves escape. A large stone and a life-preserver were left in the bedroom. Four men have been arrested on suspicion. Mrs. Marriott, lodge-keeper at Edgbaston Hall, was surprised one evening by a man entering the lodge ; the ruffian struck her, tied her hand and foot to a table, and blindfolded her with a handkerchief: two other men then en- tered, and the three robbers collected some booty, which they carried off. Mrs. Marriott was found in a pitiable state by her husband.

The Bishop of Lincoln recently laid the foundation-stone of a church at Mansfield:; the usual current coins were enclosed in it ; during the follow- ing night thieves removed the surrounding masonry and carried off the coins.

The invest at Thetford on the two persons killed by a collision on the Eastern Counties Railway terminated with this verdict—" That the deaths of John Burton and Robert Meagher were caused by the inefficiency of the Eastern Counties Company's rules, in allowing a heavily-laden cattle-train to follow after the 'nail-train at unlimited speed, without telegraphic com- munication from the succeeding station,"—that is, a notification from the station in advance that the first train had passed it.

Mr. W. Maclean, "Secretary," on behalf of the Customhouse authorities at Southampton, denies that any of the baggage of the sick and wounded re- cently landed from the Himalaya was examined ; and declares that the bag- gage of other persons who came home in the ship was scarcely opened or examined at all. So that the Customhouse-officers had no share in the dis- grace of that memorable scene.

A petition against the New Beer Act has received upwards of 4000 iigna. tures in Norwich.

The Eastern Counties have been visited with a heavy fall of snow ; but at present travelling communication remains uninterrupted.