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HOUSE OF COMMONS, WEDNESDAY,…

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HOUSE OF COMMONS, WEDNESDAY, JULY 30. I SCIN'DE. Mr. Hume wished to ask whether any decision had been come to on the subject of the plunder taken at fcjeinde, and whether any copy of the minutes of council would be laid before the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the question was still under discussion between the Exchequer and the Board of Control. Mr. Hume wished to know whether the order would go out with the next mail. The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought it would. INCOME-TAX ABUSES. I On the motion for going into committee of supply, Mr. Fielden called attention to the treatment which he and others had regeived under the Property Tax Act, and moved for certain returns connected therewith. It appeared that the hon. member's establishment at Oldham had been assessed to the property-tax at 1:24,000 per annum. Upon appeal the commissioners, when he was not present, had reduced it to £ 12,000, which was far greater than it ought to be. He had sought every means of redress, but in rain, and novv brought the subject before the House. He had offered to produce his books, showing his dividends of profits with his partners; hut without availing themselves of this means of ascertaining the real facts, the com- missioners, in his absence, decided against his appeal, and his goods were levied upon for the assessment on a profit of £12,000. Mr. Williams expressed his belief that this. only one of a thousand similar cases. The Chancellor of .the Exchequer regretted the incon- venience to which the hon. gentleman had been sub- jected, but that inconvenience was chiefly to be attri- buted to that boasted British viitue of resistance to oppression upon which the hon. gentleman had acted to an extent which others might think scarcely prudent, and which at all events had led to the annoyances of which he complained. He did not see how the House could relieve birii-all the proceedings were regular and legal, and even though the commissioners might have come to an unjust decision, yet Government were bound hand and foot by the provisions of the act, and however they might regret they could not assist the hon. gentle- man. Mr. Hawes said the result of all this injustice would be, that such a feeling would be created throughout the country that Parliament would be compelled to repeal the tax. Mr. Hume said the income-tax was, he assumed, an experiment on the part of the right hon. baronet with a view to ascertain how far direct might be substituted for indirect taxation; but in order to try the experiment fairly, it should not be clogged with impediments which created injustice and oppression, as in the case of the hqn. member for Oldham. I After some further conversation, Mr. Fielden withdrew I his motion. I RAILWAY ACCIDENTS. Mr. Bcrnal called attention to the recent accidents on railwavs, and contended that where parties were deriv- ing large profits from them the public had a right to ex- pect that every attention should be devoted to the safety of those who travelled by them. Sir R. Peel, amidst repeated cheers, said that the railway directors were bound to protect the public. It was no answer, when accidents occurred, to say that in coach travelling accidents were more frequent-they should seek to have no accidents at all. If railway pro- prietors failed in making proper provision for the safety of the public, he was satisfied that Parliament would not hesitate to diminish their profits, with a view to provide more efifcaciolisly for the security of the lives of those whom they conveyed. NATIONAL DEFENCES. Lord Palmerston stated some circumstances of mis- management on the Dover line which had come under his own observation after which he called attention to the state of our national defences. It was true, he said, that we were on the best terms with France, but it was to be recollected, nevertheless, that France had an army of 350,000 menâa large naval force, particularly in war steamers-that a steam bridge might be thrown across the Channel without any difficulty should the present good understanding unhappily be broken, which it might any month in the year, and that in such an event we were powerless for resistance. The noble lord argued at some length for the necessity of calling out our militia as usual for the full period of twenty-eight days, by which course we might reckon upon a force of .50,000 men, if requisite, in case of an invasion, at an expense of only £ 40,000; and he also contended for the necessity of taking a larger vote than the one already agreed to for the construction of harbours of refuge. Sir R. Peel said that this was a subject which from a sense of public duty he would not discuss in that House. There was no advantage in displaying to the world the extent of our resources but he would say this-that if a just war were to call forth the energies of the British nation, there never was a period in which she could make a more powerful demonstration than at the present mo- ment. With respect to the harbours of refuge, he was of opinion that they should proceed, as they were pro- ceeding, cautiously. With resp/ct to the calling out of the militia, he hoped the House would not press him to state the intentions of the Government. He would only say that he thought, in the present state of society in this country, that the present militia laws were not in any way adapted to it. He did not think that we should be running a race of rivalry, not of commerce and civili- zation, but of military display, with France, or any other power, though he admitted that it was a nice point to judge where the necessity of preparation for self-defence terminated. Lord Palmerston said he had suggested no rivalry of military power with other nations. He had only referred to the great military power of France, and its means of descent by steam bridges. Sir R. Peel said it was to be recollected that steam bridges were available to both parties, and that we had steam bridges also. Lord Palmerston.âYes, but we have not an army. Sir C. Napier said that we were not so defenceless as the noble lord supposed, if it were really true, as he understood it to be, that in addition to 30,000 regular troops in England, we could at any moment call out 50,000 serviceable pensioners, who had fought our battles in the Peninsula and elsewhere. In reply to a question from Mr. J. A. Smith, Sir R. Peel said he had read the accounts, received that morning, of the calamity by fire at Quebecâa calamity which involved four-fifths of the town in destruction and he thought the House should show its sympathy for the unfortunate sufferers. He would, before the final close of the committee of supply, propose a vote for their relief. NEW ZEALAND. A debate ensued on the estimates for this colony, from which it appeared that negotiations between the New Zealand Company and the Colonial-office are again in progress. On a vote for the repairs of St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, a general feeling was expressed that it ought to be removed. STATUE TO OLIVER CROMWELL. The next vote was E20,000 for statues in the new houses of Parliament. Mr. Williams hoped that amongst the illustrious rulers of this country to whom statues were to be erected, Cromwell would not be forgotten. (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) Cromwell was as worthy of remembrance by the people of this country as Napoleon was by the people of France. Less crime and less cruelty could be brought home to him than to any one who had attained such renown as a warrior and statesman. Mr. Hutt could assure his hon. friend who had pronoun- ced so eloquent an eulogium on Cromwell, that it was currently reported that a statue to his hen. friend's favourite ruler was not excluded from the list of those about to be erected. Mr. Williams I am very glad to hear it. (A laugh.) Amongst other votes, that necessary to carry out the new navy arrangements passed: after which the House adjourned. THURSDAY, JULY 31. I On the bringing up of the report on the Brazilian Slave Trade Bill. Mr. Milner Gibson reiterated his objections to the measure, and asked if it were not a fact that the Bra- zilian Minister in this country had protested against it ? Sir R. Peel, after defending the bill, admitted that the Brazilian Minister had protested against the measure, though he did not think that a sufficient reason for delay- ing it. When an answer had been given to the protest, both documents would be laid on the table of the House. The only other measure on which a noticeable dis- cussion arose was on the Waste Lands Australian Bill, which, having come down from the Lords as applicable to the different Australian colonies, has been now reduced to a single clause, relating to Van Diemen's Land ex- clusively. Mr. Hawes considered that they could take other measures to provide for the prosperity of Van Diemen's Land, and supply employment for the population. The admission of the corn of the colony duty free into this country, as recommended by Sir E. Wilmot, would benefit both. He moved the committal of the bill that day three months. After a short debate the amendment was rejected by 35 to 7. In committee, Mr. Hawes again urged his objections. At this moment the price of wheat in this country was rising, while we refused to admit duty free the produce of a colony admirably adapted for agriculture, and for the relief of which we were contriving the present expedient. Sir J. Graham urged the importance of providing employment on the waste lands of the colony for the convict population. Mr. Villiers thought that all opposition to the bill would be withdrawn if the Government would give them the assurance that next session the corn of the colony would be admitted duty free. He called on the agri- cultural members to express their opinion on the subject. No answer was made to this appeal, and the bill went through committee. The Chancellor of the "Exchequer having briefly stated the details of the two great fires which have de- solated Quebec, and given utterance to the feelings of sympathy which the calamity excited, proposed, in a committee of the whole House, an address to the Crown, that a sum of F,20,000 be applied to the relief of the inhabitants, assuring her Majesty, in the usual form, that this House will make good the same." After a few remarks from Mr. Hawes, Sir R. H. Ihglis, and Sir H. Douglas, the address was unani- mously agreed to. The remaining routine business was then disposed of. FlUJUAi, AUG. 1. I Mr. Ward moved that the London and York Railway Bill be re-committed, on the ground that the promoters of the Biggleswade line, the Midland Extension, and the York and North Midland Extension lines had not been allowed to bring their cases fully before the committee. Lord Courtenav maintained that the committee had exercised a proper discretion, and that their decision ought to be supported. Mr. Baring Walt reminded the House that there was one individual who had 600 miles of railway under his own control, and that became an element in the question for their consideration. He (Mr. B. Wall) wished to see carried out another great line of communication between London and York, as distinguished from the line passing through the country known as Hudsonia. (Hear, hear," and laughter.) On a division the amendment was rejected by a majority of 60, and the report was received. On the second reading of the Exchequer Bills Bill, Lord Palmerston adverted to the present condition of Greece, in the prosperity of which this country was largely interested. The expectations that Greece, as an independent kingdom, would advance in civilisation, had, unfortunately, not been realised. A political intrigue had set aside the minister to whom had been delegated the task of carrying out the provisions of the constitution, and M. Coletti was now pursuing a totally different policy. The liberty of the press was trampled oil revolting tyranny was practised; the country was disorganised; and it, revenues being recklessly squan- dered, the interest of the debt remained unpaid. The excesses committed by the banditti on the frontiers would in all probability lead to political complications which this country might find it difficult to assuage. He called on the Government to interfere, by strong representations, so as to restore order and peace, and thus secure to Greece the full beneiits of that constitu- tional freedom which had been guaranteed to it. Sir R. Peel admitted the peculiar interest of this country in the prosperity of Grtece, both as one of the powers which created its independence, and also as a national creditor. But it was also necessary to recollect that we had guaranteed self-government to Greece, with which we should be cautious of interfering. We had the abstract right of seizing portions of the Greek territory, in order to secure and provide for the payment of the debt due to us but the exercise of such a right might bring on a crisis fatal to the independence of the country, and the existence of that popular power which we have been instrumental in creating. Pronouncing an eulogium on General Church, he denied that the just influence of England could ever be permanently impaired in any country, so long as we pursued the strict line of international justice; if any country had been successful in producing the present condition of Greece, he wished it joy of that species of influence. We certainly did not enjoy any foreign influence founded on mischievous interference; but if the noble lord I affirmed that our just influence was never lower than it was now, he met that asseveration by a denial, though, considering the period of the session, and the state of the House, he would follow the noble lord's example, and furnish no proof of his affirmation. The formal business having been all gone through, the House rose at an early hour. I SATURDAY, AUGUST 2. I The house met at 2 o'clock, when The Lords' Amendments to the Duddleston and Nechels improvement (No. 2) Bill were read and agreed to. The Exchequer-bills ( £ 9,024,900) Bill, and the Silk Weavers Bill, went through committee, the reports to be received on Monday. The House went into committee on the Consolidated Fund Bill, when Mr. Cardwell brought up the usual appropriation clauses, which were agreed to, and inserted in the bill. The report was ordered to be received on Monday. The Waste Lands (Australia) Bill, and the Fees (Cri- minal Proceedings) Bill, were read a third time and passed. I MONDAY, AUG. 4. The House met shortly before Four o'clock. Mr. Hawes presented a petition from the Chairman of the Cambridge and Lincoln Railway Company against the London and York Railway Bill, representing that many of the names on the subscription list were those of paupers and many of them were forgeries. He moved that the petition be printed. The motion, which was opposed by Mr. B. Dennison, Mr. Ward, Mr. Bernal, and Mr. Darby, and supported by Mr. Roebuck, was agreed to. Mr. B. Dennison then moved the third reading of the Bill. Mr. Roebuck moved that it be read a third time that day three months. The amendment, which was supported by Mr. Hawes and opposed by Mr. W. Patten, Mr. B. Dennison and Mr. Ward, was negatived, and the Bill was read a third time and passed. Mr. Escott gave notice of a motion for next session, for the admission of Indian corn duty free. Sir R. Peel gave notice that, to-morrow, he should move the adjournment of the House till Friday. Mr. Smythe postponed, till next session, his motion on Portendic. In answer to Sir R. Inglis, it was stated by Sir R. Peel, that the subject of the propriety of rebuilding Westminster-bridge was under the consideration of Go- vernment. In answer to Mr. Christie, Sir J. Graham said that the Brazilian pirates condemned at Exeter were respited, in order to give time to have the legality of the convic- tion argued. Mr. G. W.Hope, in answer to Mr. P. Howard, said negotiations were still going on between the Govern- ment and the New Zealand Company. After a few words from Lord Palmerston on the sub- ject of the causes of the recent accident on the Dover Railway, and from Mr. Tufnell and Sir J. Graham on the case of John Mayes, supposed to hav&e been impro- perly convicted of felony, Mr. Moffatt asked whether the new Houses of Parlia- ment would be ready by 1847 ? Lord Lincoln said the Committee-rooms would be,but not the Hall. Sir James Graham, in answer to Lord Ebrington, said that measures had been taken to prevent the recurrence of such revolting scenes as had occurred at the Spa- fields burying-ground. On the motion for going into a Committee of Supply, Mr. M. Gibson rose for the purpose of drawing the attention of the House to the state of our relations with Brazil, and also to the question of encouraging the immigration of labourers into the West Indies. A brief discussion ensued, but Sir R. Peel declining to enter into the matter at any length, the subject dropped. Mr. Hawes then brought forward his motion respect- ing the conduct of Mr. Wray, which led to a long dis- cussion, in the course of which the House was addressed l -NV. Pttten, Lord John by Sir J. Graham, Ir. Sheil, Ir, W. Patten, Lord John Russell, and Sir R. Peel, but ultimately the motion was rejected, and the House adjourned at a quarter-past 11 o'clock.

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