7 JULY 1855, Page 10



The event in Parliament last night was Lord John Russell's being put on his defence by Mr. Gibson, with reference to the recent conferences at Vienna. Mr. Gissorr wished Lord John to explain how it was that, after having agreed to the Austrian proposals for peace, as stated by Count Buol, he retained his place in a Government pledged to cripple Russia, when those proposals were rejected ? Lord Julia RUSSELL described his own course in the negotiations at Vienna, and his exertions to discover the views of Austria ; and recapi- tulated the Austrian propositions, in which he concurred, and which he thought would give, not a certainty, but a very fair prospect of the dura- tion of peace. No doubt, the statement of Count Buol is in the main an accurate state- ment. Lord John had told Count Buol that his instructions from London would lead him to suppose that the Austrian proposals would not be accepted, but that his own opinion was that they ought to be, and might be, accepted ; and he promised Count Buol that he would do his best to put these proposi- tions in such a light that the Austrian Government might hope for their adoption. On his return from Vienna, those propositions were deliberately considered by the Cabinet. Everything Lord John stated had due weight, and was fairly placed in opposition to the disadvantages of such a peace. "The Government came to the conclusion that the peace proposed would not be a safe peace, and that they could not recommend its adoption." It was not correct to say that the Emperor of the French was disposed to accept the terms. "Before be knew the decision of the English Government, the Em- peror had determined to change his Minister and to reject the Austrian proposal, as not affording a sufficient foundation for peace." Mr. Gibson had asked why Lord John continued in the Government which rejected his counsel: but as a plenipotentiary, it was for him to submit to the decision of his Government ; as a member of the Cabinet, it was his duty to consider the circumstances of the time—the failures of himself, and of Lord Derby to form a Government that promised stability—the attacks to which Lord Palmerston himself was exposed, for no other reason than that he held a place of authority. Now though, out of office, he might have given every snipped to his noble friend, he felt that his resignation would have increased the instability of administration, and would have been considered the symp- tom and precursor of other changes. Within the Cabinet, it is the duty of the minority to yield to the majority, if there be a majority and a minority ; for an individual to defer to the sentiments of the Cabinet in general, and to leave it to the House of Commons to decide whether or not they are to be trusted with the conduct of public affairs. Mr. COBDEN, in a powerful speech, exposing the effect of Lord John Russell's conduct by a simple recapitulation of the facts, lashed him for not having followed the example of M. Drouyn de Lhuys, and for having, by showing that he had surrendered his judgment, struck at the basis of confidence in public men. He accused the Government of not dealing honestly with the country—pretending to humble Russia with 30,000 men He emphatically pointed out that the war is odious in France, citing as a proof that the Emperor had not dared to propose an extraordinary levy of troops ; and he urged the hopelessness of the siege of Sebastopol. In the course of his speech, Mr. Cobden declared that he would infinitely rather see a Government formed of Members from the other side, and take the hazard of the " change "— " I look back with regret on the vote which I gave on the motion which changed Lord Derby's Government. I regret the result of that motion ; for it has cost the country 100 millions of treasure, and between 20,000 and 30,000 good lives." Lord Paranursrea defended his colleague from the attacks of Mr. Cob- den, and vindicated his conduct. With regard to the object of the war, which Mr. Gibson said he should be at a loss to explain, Lord Palmerston could tell him that there is not a peasant in England who does not com-

prehend the objects of the war. Denying that he had ever talked of go- ing on a crusade to sever Hungary from Austria and expel the Russians from Poland, be declared that all the speeches of the Members for the West Riding and for Manchester would not break the manly and determined spirit of the people, whose determinations the Go- vernment had only fulfilled in rejecting the Austrian propositions.

He supposed it is meant he should infer that when next a vote is pro- posed which shall have a tendency to remove the Government from their places, it will have Mr. Cobden's support. Thus he will be voting to place in power a set of gentlemen who, to judge by the language they have held in that House, are as determined to carry on the war with vigour and energy as the present Government. Mr. ROEBUCK joined in the censure showered upon Lord John Russell, but turned upon Mr. Gibson for questioning the necessity and objects of the war. Lord CLAUDE HAMILTON remarked, that during his speech Lord John had failed to elicit a single cheer. Mr. DISRAELI commented on the "extraordinary revelations" of the Minister, and revived the charges of "ambiguous language and uncertain conduct,"—which events, he said, have established. Sir GEORGE GREY replied to Mr. Disraeli ; and, with a few words from Lord GODEIIICE, the subject dropped.

Earlier in the evening, Sir Josar SHELLEY inquired whether, after the allegations made in petitions respecting the conduct of the Police, the Government would grant an inquiry ? Sir GEORGE GREY was not prepared to say that the petitions afford sufficient ground for inquiry. " With regard to the general allegations which have been made, provided it does not imply any condemnation or preconceived judgment against the Police—which, I am bound to say, information I have received leads me to believe would be most unmerited—I have not the slightest objection to have those allegations submitted to a searching investigation." The topic was further prosecuted at different times, on motion of form. Mr. DUNCOMBE urged an inquiry, not by Commissioners of Police, but by a Government Commission. Mr. Brerriocx objected to the exciting remarks of Mr. Duncombe respecting what may happen on Sunday. Other Members took part. Mr. Du/Jr:v.8 defended the Police, as an eye- witness : be described the people in Hyde Park as "canaille," and hinted that nothing will "frighten a mob more than the crash upon the pave- ment of the trail of a six-pounder." Subsequently Mr. ROEBUCK called Mr. Dundee to account for this suggestion, as unfit for the House of Com- mons and unworthy of an English gentleman : and at a later period Mr. DUNDAS apologized. Sir GEORGE GREY renewed an assurance that the inquiry he contemplated should be satisfactory both to the House and to the public.

Mr. STAFFORD read extracts from a letter that appeared in the Times, written by a medical officer in the camp, and giving a lamentable de- scription of the deficiency, not only of comforts for the wounded on the 18th, but necessaries, such as water and surgical appliances : he wished to know whether the Government would fully and fearlessly investigate this painful subject. Mr. PEEL read extracts from a report by Dr. Hall, to show that preparations had been made ; and stated that a copy of the letter referred to had been sent to Dr. Hall, and an explanation called for.

On the motion of Mr. HATTER, new writs were ordered for Chelten- ham, in the room of Mr. Craven Berkeley, deceased ; and for Evesham, in the room of Mr. Grenville Berkeley, who has accepted the Steward- ship of the Chiltern Hundreds.

In the House of Lords, nearly the whole of the evening was occupied by a discussion arising out of the Religious Worship Bill designated as No. 2. The Earl of DERBY moved the second reading of the bill ; and explained that he did so by direction of the Select Committee to whom Lord Shaftesbury's bill had been referred. Upon that bill the Committee had framed a new measure, relaxing the existing law and removing doubts. It provides that DO penalties shall be imposed upon any acts of religious worship performed by any incumbent, licensed curate, or clerk

in holy orders, acting on their behalf; that no penalties should be imposed for commencing meetings for charitable or religious pur- poses with prayer ; and it relaxes the law with regard to meetings in private houses. The Earl of Snarrossuar moved that the bill be read a second time that day three months ; its effect would really be to make the existing law more stringent. The Archbishop of

CANTERBURY recommended that both bills should be withdrawn. P" Let the law stand as it has hitherto stood : it has never done much harm."

Lord BROUGHAM warned the House on the danger of keeping on the sta-

tute-book these so-called dead letters ; .not really dead, but torpid, and capable of being warmed into venomous life in a moment by the malig-

nant passions of one man. The Bishop of LONDON opposed the bill. Finding that it met with general opposition, the Earl of DERBY withdrew the bill, in order that the subject might be further considered.