HOUSE OF COMMONS.—MONDAY.|1864-05-13|The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser - Welsh Newspapers Online
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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT.<

HOUSE OF COMMONS.—MONDAY.

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HOUSE OF COMMONS.âMONDAY. The House met at four o'clock. Mr Mitford asked when the minutes of the Council for Education of May 19th, 1863, and March 11th, 1864, would be withdrawn. Mr Bruce said that Mr Walter had moved for certain Teturns, showing the endowments of the schools, which -would shortly be laid on the table. He trusted that Mr Adderley would postpone his motion until that informa- tion was made known, inasmuch as the minutes would not come into operation until the 30th of June. In the m- ,mtime the minutes would be withdrawn. Mr Adderley said that his objection was to the whole principle of the minutes, and could not be affecie 1 by any return. He would of course postpone his motion if the Government would, in return, place him in an equally good position to bring it forward at a future time. In reply to Mr Hassard, Mr <i ffagan said that after Whitsuntide he hoped to introduce a bill with respect to oharitable donations and b quests in j.re'and. Mr Ward Hunt asked if the attention jf th-- Home {secretary had been directed to the commU* of a widow and whole family of children at Hall, Cornwall by the Rev Uriah Tonkin, for the offence ,f sleeping under a tent. H trusted the right hon. gentleman, would advise her Majeaty to remit the sentence, or allow him to move for the depositions. Sir G. Grey -aid he had received no information or complaint on this matter probably they were committed -under the Vagrant Act, but ho would order an enquiry to be instituted. Mr Hopwood asked if the Government would state â what course they intended to take with respect to the Danish jueetion before the Whitsuntide reees3. Sir G, Grey said that the Conference was now sitting, and the object of the Government was, that one of its first results would be the establishment of an armistice. lIe could only say that in concert with be otter Powers the Government would take measures to obtain the object for which that Conference had assembled, and be nad the satisfaction of being able to announce that the Conference bad that day agreed to an armisticc fo, a month. In reply to Mr D. Griffith. Sir G. Grey said he could not, at present, state the terms of the armistice. At the request of Sir G. Grey, Mr Henaessy again postponed his motion on account of Lord Piiaierston not Ik ing able to attend the House. Mr Bernal Osborne asked if the Government hr.d received any information of a collision having occurred in the North Sea between the Austrian and Danish squadrons, in which the former had got the worst of it. Sir G. Grey said that the Secretary of State for the Colonies had received a telegram from the Governor of Heligoland that a naval engagement was going on >0- i Z, tween two Austrian frigates, three gunboats, two Danish frigates, and a corvette. Since tie House had met a further telegram had been received from the Government, of Heligoland, reporting that the Danes had defeated the Austnans, and that one of the frig ates of the latter was in flames, and that the rest of the iiustrians were making for Heligolard. This announcement was received with loud chetrj from all parts of the House, in which the strangers m the galleries enthusiastically joined. .Mr Disraeli complained that the Government was treating the House with a great want of respect. The terras of the armistice had just been communicated to the other House of Parliament, although Sir G. Grey wad unable to give them any information on the subject. Sir G. Grey said that be had stated to the House all the information he had received. On the motion for going into Committee of Supply on the army estimates, trj < olonel North moved an address to the Crown onying ths the officers of Chelsea Hospital should bu relieved frc i the payment cf the rates and taxes with wbxh they ha been recently charged, for the houses occupied bv th n in the performance of their duties. The motion was opposed by Mr F. Peel and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, on a division was uegativod by a majority of 184 to ;)2. 1 I i h- The House then went into Committee. A vote for Z750,780 for works and buildings was agreed to. On the tttte of £ 173,554 for military education. Mr Maguire complained that in the Royal Hibernian Schc 'though the. great majority of the people were Catholics, a very small propoftion of the children f!Uittc;d wcre of that faith. All the officials but two re Protestants, and the books used Were of a sectarian char- ..cr, such as those now allowed in the national schools. He also complained of the conduct of the governors to Roman Catholics who had been condemned by the Lord Lieuteuant. After some remarks from Mr i Vaoce aid Colonel North) TLe Marquis of Hartington said that inquiries had been instituted, and the governors had satisfactorily ex- onerated themselves, bet he thought that in a school in which there were so many Catholic children, there ought to be more xvozaan Catholic persons employed. Aftet Aome remarks from Mr Vance, Mr CardWoll, Sir E. Grogan, Mr Brady, and Mr O'Reilly) the vote was agreed to. SeTeral bills were read « eewobd time. The Partnership Law amendment Bill was considered in committee. A proposal of Mr T. Baring to require all partnershlpa, availing themselves of the privileges of this Act, to add the words registered' to their title, Was agreed to on a division by a majority of 5S to 43 Mr F. Peel brought in several bills to explain the Drainage and Improvement Acts for the Promotion of Public Works in Ireland, and the Railways (Ireland) Acts of 1851 and 1860. The House adjourned at fifty-five minutes past twelve o'clock* TUESDAY. The House met at four o'clock. Mr Caird postponed his modioli in reference to agricultural statistics until this day month. Sir J. Hay asked if it was true that war had been commenced with Ashantee, whether precautions had been tajkec to meet the drain of life which must ensue in so deadly a campaign, and whether a largely increasing 'expenditure may be looked for in consequence in the gold coast colony ? Mr Cardwell said that war commenced in the course of last year between the King of Ashftbleo and some friendly tribes near our settlements on the gold coast. The operations now goifig on *e<rc merely a continuance of the hostilities of last year. Reinforcements bad been sent out to the ttoiony, And every precaution had been taken to preserve the health of the troops. â asked if Government had received any information that a resolution had been carried in the State of York declaring that in future the interest due to foreign bondholders of that State was to be paid in paper instead of bullion ? Mr Layard said that no official intithalion had been received on the subject. Mr White moved that a select committee be appointed to inquire into tfrs operation and incidence of our present fiscal system, and to consider and report if any and what measures could be devised to secure a more equitable adjustment of the burden of imperial taxation The hon. member pointed out the irregularities of the present system of taxation, and thought that the appoint- r^°f^C°mmutr J0uld, be of Public service. Great good would be done if some permanent tax could be substituted for the income the inequality of Vâ¢.8*? elaborate injustice. No one had more stigmatised the income-tax tbbn the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had asserted that no tax tendered more to demoralise the people He thought that the duties on ardent spirits, heavy as they were, need not be l u i! u r ^V r,^010 °f the tea and sugar duty should be abolished. The interests of the working man were intimately bound up with the rise of thoae articles. Mr UrquhaTt seconded the motion. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated the objections which he entertained to the proposal, observing that the main difficulties and inconveniences experienced by the taxl r, were connected with direct taxation, and that recent legislation had been generally favourable to the Tayer of indirect taxes, which wera still the most pro- ductive source of public revenue. He declined to accede to the motion, because he wished to avoid the risk of holding out any expectation that any great change would be effected, and he thought it would be wise for the House not to pledge itself to any plan or proposal for carrying out fundamental alterations in out system of taxation. First, because such fundamental changes were not required by justice, and secondly, because they would Jh«t ? â¢p*actlcable in consequence of the obstacles which they would have to encounter. He did not mean to apply the doctrine of finality to our fiscal systein, but if a committee were appointed to indaire into the suoject, it ought to be with the general desire and concurrence of the House', and under the auspices of of the executive Governmeht. Its very first steps, how- ever, would involve a most formidable labour, which it was impossible to undertake at this period of the session. Mr O'Reilly supported the motion. Mr W. Ewart was in favour of a wider application of the system of direct taxation. The motion was then withdrawn. Sir G. Bowyer obtained leave to bring in a bill to enable the Benches of the Inns of Court to appoint Judicial Committees in certain cases, and to give the necessary powers to such committees. Sir J. Jervoise rose to move an address to hei- Majesty, praying her to give full information to the House on the subject of Treasure Trove, when the House was counted out at half-past seven o'clock, there being only twenty- two members present. WEDNESDAY. The House met at four o'clock. Mr Baines moved the second reading of the Borough Franchise Bill, and explained that its object was to reduce the qualification to £6. He stated that his object was to bring the representative system down so as to include a large portion of that class. As the only formal opposi- tion to the bill consisted in moving I the previous ques- tion, he assumed that the principle of the bill was conceded, and that ho objection would be made to the timS at which it was brought forward. His own opinion Was that the approaching termination of the present Parliament was a favourable opportunity for dealing with the question of the franchise. He denied that there had been any change of opinion on the question out of doors, and argued that it would be better to concede reform in the present calm constitution of the public mind than to wait until it was demanded by popular irritation; The hon gentleman referred to the rapid advance which had been made in mechanics' and general literary institutions during the last few yeara as a proof of the necessity of the extension of the franchise, and also to the increased circulation of the newspaper press. In 1831 the cir- culation of the newspapers was 38,000,000, whereas in 1861 the total was 576,000,000. All sorts of useful literary magazines had also greatly increased, while the free-thinking publications had decreased. It had been argued that the abolition of the taxes on knowledge would flood the country with immoral literature, but the contrary had been the result. So it would be, he believed, with a further extension of the franchise. Instead of evil results flowing from it, it would be pro- ductive of the greatest profitable advantage to the work- ing classes. He believed that the more Parliament trusted the people the more it would deserved to be trusted It was said that if the franchi8e was extended, the working classes would be dependent upon the> masters, but he believed that there was no ground for such an apprehension. A more independent set of miii than the working classes never existed, and st master who endeavoured to coerce his workmen in this way would become the scorn of his fellow men. The bill Wf/iild create 728,300 additional borough voters, and the result would be that, whereas at present only one in five of the adult males in boroughs was represented, hereafter one in three would be added to the electoral body. tinn *ttV6' 1?0Te^ as an amendment, the previous ques- that bad no hostility to the general principle iop" TV""0 â¢TATE"L convenient time for the 8 P^Cat ^a3 Dot a He contended that all pr0Tiotr«°ni,01 -8Uch a â¢easure- tion had failed, and there ha<T°1?itCl!! °n- ques- meeting to protest against the reaction, i?di8na.tion reform bills. He thought that in the nrl previous things the balance ofpower was carefully andlLdf^0 i°' preserved E ig'aid should remember thj1pitaph°o!?^ country tombstoneâ' I was well, I wanted to be better4 ind here I am.' lie admitted that there might be anomalies in the representation, but they were not all on ane side. On the contrary, if a first-class Oxford man, ur a senior wrangler at Cambridge took his name off the books, became a barrister, or took charge of a cure of souls and choose to live in furnished lodgings, he had no more right to a vote than a pauper. With the Channel Fleei; in the Downs, her fires banked up, and ready to be sent to any part of the world at twentv-four hours' notice, with European complications all around us, would it be wise to plunge the country into the midst of a domestic revolution. He was much afraid that vebattbe hnn member for Leeds called a moderate reform, might turn out to be a dangerous revolution. Mr Marsh seconded the amendment, The Chancellor of tho Exchequer admitted that the present was not a period when it was advisabi- or iusti liable tor the Government to submit a measure on this' subject to Parliament, but he should vote against the previous question, on the ground that ic encouraged a st..tu of opinion against which he had frequently "con- tended, namely, that Parliament had not been as fully alive to the importance of the question as it ou^ht to have been. The question *?us not now a party question and it ought tu be discussed without exclusive reference to party associations. His own opinion was, that a sensible addition ought to h: made to the constituency su..a an addition as would have been introduced by the Government, in 18";0. At the present moment we have a conatitucuey of which a proportion certainly less than one-' nth consisted of the working classes, and that one- tenth was less than ore-fiftieth of the whoh- body ot working class throughout the kingdom. Was that a state of things which justified the hon member for Shor^hom in describing a proposition t > extend the franchise as a domestic revolution ? It was f"r those who mid it wis necessary to exclude forty -nine out of fifty of the working ek-.sses from the franchise, to show their inc¡,¡.¡;ity and unfitness for the .suffrage. It was said that there was no ag "alion for the ex.cnsion of tho franchise on the part of the working classes, but was it desirable that they should wait for agitation by the working classes on any political subject? Was uay thing ta be waited for and desired, and tmap a condition previous to Parliamentary move- ment, out was to be deprecated, anil, if possible, by wiSto ami conciliatory measures, prevented An notation on the part of the working men involved a sacrifice of labour. The danger signal must be turned on before they made that sacrifice, and it was only strong necessity and distrust in their rulers which drovo them to that. The absence of agitation therefore was one reason why Parliament should not be indisposed to entertain the question of the franchise. He believed that strikes were losing the character for violence which they formerly possessed, and that they were simply assuming the naturo of an arrangement for the defence and protection of labour against capital. No doubt strikes were objectionable, but however strongly they might assert the doctrine that it was the right of a labouring man to sell his labour at as high a rate or as cheaply as he thought fit, it was not difficult to understand the feeling by whieh the working men were actuated when they had reason to believe that they were being undersold in the labour market. His (Mr Gladstone s) opinion was, that every man who was not^ incapacitated by physical or moral unfitness was enntled to come within the pale of the constitution. Of course he meant by that that sudden changes were to be course he meant by that that sudden changes were to be avoided, but it was not wise to meet the question with the allegation that things are well as they are. It was all very well to have armies, fieets, and fortifications sustained by finance, and not wasted by the prodigality of the Government, but it was more important that hearts should be bound together. A reasonable proposal for the extension of the franchise would tend to the binding and clasping of hearts together binding them to one another binding them to the laws and institutions of the country, and infusing new and indestructible vigour into the con- stitution. The right hon gentleman resumed his seat amid great cheering trom the ministerial side of the Houle. Mr Whiteside deplored the absence of Lord Palmerston whose advice and sage counsel were of so much value with regard to foreign and domestic matters. He bad no doubt that if the noble lord had been present, he would have been able to give an unanswerable reply to the refractory Chancellor of the Exchequer, who wa, under- stood to advocate universal suffrage. It was evident that the Chancellor of the Exchequer's was merely an electioneering speech, anticipatory of an early dissolution; but the working classes were not likely to be caught with stich chaff. What had her Majesty's Government done since they had been in office? They had alienated France, bombarded Japan, insulted Brazil, distracted China, inflamed and then deserted Poland, and nearly finished Denmark. He contended that the working classes had no substantial grievance to complain of, and although the Chancellor of the Exchequer had insinuated that agitations might bring political concessions, he believed that the people themselves were too sensible to fullow advice which, if adopted, would Americanise the Constitution. Mr W. E. PorBter reminded the House that there was hardly a measure which had promoted the prosperity, or elevated the condition of the working classes which had not been opposed by the party to which Mr Whiteside belonged. Those classes knew too well what was due to their own self-respect to get up riots in favour of reform, and they were resolved by all legitimate means to obtain their fair share of political power. Mr Newdcgate supported the amendment. Mr Bass and Lord Fermoy supported the second reading of the bill. Mr S. Beaumont had heard the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with great surprise. He did not think the present moment opportune for legislat- ing upon the subject, and he should therefore vote for the previous question. Lord H. Scott also opposed the bill, but denied that the Conservative party were opposed to all measures of reform. Mr Watkin, although a new member, met with a very noisy reception. Not a word be uttered was heard in the gallery, owing to the loud cries for a division. Sir J. Elphinstone met with a similar fate. The House divided, when the numbers wereâ j or the previous question 272 Against 216 m. Majority ~7? i 66- AL ne amenciraent was received with great chnering from Conservahve benches. Other business *as then disposed of. he Hoilso adjourned at ten minutes to six o'clock.

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