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LONDON CORRESPONDENCE.

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FOREIGN AND COLONIAL.

jTHE SOUTH AFRICAN ABORIGINES.

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SUPPRESSION OF THE SLAYE TRADE…

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WILLS AND BEQUESTS.

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THE EASTERN QUESTION.

ANOTHER COLLIERY EXPLOSION.

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PARLIAMENTARY INTELUGENCE.

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PARLIAMENTARY INTELUGENCE. MUNICIPAL FRANCHISE (IRELAND) BILL.—In the House of Commons, Major O'Gorman moved the second read- ing of his bill for assimilating the municipal franchise of Ireland to utht of England; his aim, he explained, being to confer on the Irish people the benefit of English institutions. The bill was opposed by Mr. Kavanagh, on the ground that a committee were sit- ting who would inquire into the subject, and that the immediate effect of passing such a measure would be to swamp and practically disfranchise the existing municipal constituencies. Sir John Leslie maintained that, in the absence of a numerous middle Glass, it was impossible to apply toe Englsh system to Ireland with any advantage. Mr. D. Plunket admitted that some change was desirable, but pointed out the inconvenience of expresSÏ1ag an opinion on an abstract qnestion forming part of a very complex problem, and urged the propriety of waiting for the report of the Select Com- mittee who had the subject under consideration before proceeding further. In the course of the debate the bill was also opposed by Mr. Macartney, and supported by Mr. Meldon, Mr. Gray. Mr. M. Brooks. Sir J. M Kenna, and Mr. Sullivan. Mr. J. Lowther. Chief Secretary for Ireland, declined to pass an opinion on the merits or demerits uf the measure, but was content to ground his opposition to it on the fact that the whole matter had been referred to a committee. The House then divided, and they threw out the bill by a majority of five only, the numbers being 165 to 160. The result gave rise to loud cheering from the minority. THE TREATIES OF 1856.—The Duke of Argyll called at- tention to the Treaties of 1856 and to our present position in respect to them, and stated that a condition was imposed on Turkey that she should treat her own subjects, and especially the Christians, with equity and justice and he maintained that in consequence a duty was imposed on us to see that the promises of Turkey to act in conformity with that condition were fulfilled. Referring to the interposition on several occasions by the Powers of Europe in the concerns of Turkey to show that the general opinion was that Turkey could not be trusted with the management of her own affairs, he at the same time main- tained that we are under no obligation in consequence of the Treaties of 1856 to defend Turkey against the conse- quences of the misgovernment of her own subjects, adding that Lord Derby's despatch written after the Bul- ganan massacres amounted to a declaration that we were absolved from the obligation of defending Turkey. In his opinion there had been no violation of the Trebles of 1856 by Sussia, though he admitted that we had a nght to resist any. proposal injurious to our in- terests and he hoped that instructions would be given to onr representative at the Conference to endeavour to provide for the independence of the Turkish Provinces which had been desolated by the reoent war.. After a few remarks froti Lord Stanley of Alderley, Lord Hammond, and Lord Carnarvon, the Duke of Somerset expressed his regret to hear the attacks of Somerset expressed his regret to hear the attacks made on a fallen and defeated Power like Turkey, and the Duke of Rutin nd sai i that he hoped in the Conference no attempt would any more be made to bo ster up Turkey, I while Lord Faversham stated that he was in favour of the policy of conditional neutra, ity Lord Derby maintained that England had violated no engagement. in declining to go to war in defence of Turkey; but it was the fact that the Government had done everything in their power short of enterine into actoal hostilities to prevent war breaking out. Though the state of things which existed in 1856 and 1871 had ceased to exist, yet it might be' taken as a point of departure; but if taken as a point of departure, it would only be so ■ aken with the intention of departing from it. When peace should be established, it was to be hoped that it would have the elements of dura- bility, and that care would ba taken to preserve the balance between the different subject race. After some remarks from Lord Stratheden and Campbell, the subject dropped. CocNTY GOVERNMENT BILL.—On the motion for going into committee on this bill, Mr. Bylands moved its rejec- tion, justifying this unusual course after the large majority which had affirmed the second reading, by the almost unani- mous condemnation passed on it in the House and the evident dislike of it out of doors. Personally he regarded the bill as a fatal blow at local self-government, and thedestructien of a valuable barrier against bureau- cracy. Lord R. Churchill seconded the amendment in an animated spcech, denouncing the measure as a mixture of Radical principle with Conservative caution, a supreme vi lation of political honesty, and another attempt to con- ciliate the masses by seeming to concede principles which were minimized in the details of legislation. He made, too, some acrimonious remarks on Mr. Sclater-Booth's personal responsibility for the bill, and, defending the antiquity and utility of Quarter Sessions, he derided the idea. of replacing it by another anomaly which was certain to be swept away by the Liberal party when it came into office. After some discussion, Mr. O'Donnell spoke for some time against the bill, and Mr. Henry moved the adjournment of the debate. This having been defeated by 244 to 44, another motion was made, to which, fter a protracted wrangle, the Government, acting on the advice of Lord Hartington, gave way, and thf1 debate was adjourned for II. week. THE EASTERN QUESTION—The Earl of Derby, replying to Lord DeLi Warr, said he was afraid he was unable to lay a copy of the treaty of peace between Russia and Turkey before their lordships. In answer to Lord Granville, the Foreign Secretary stated that when he had last answered a question on the aspect of the proposed Congress or Con- ference, he had stated that Baden-Baden had been selected as the plnce of meeting, but since that time negotiations had passed. between some of the Powers, the re- sult of which was that it had been decided to meet at Berlin — a change which, as far as the Government was concerned, would make no difference. The time of meeting he was not enabled to state with any certainty. The bases upon which the Con- gress or Conference WII8 to proceed were most important, and UI on that question the Government were in communi- cation with the other Powers, and principally with Austria, that Government being the one which took the initiative in the matter. The Government had already expressed the opinion in the despatch laid beiø& Parlii*- ment that they .were nOT; prepared to recognise as valid any change that might; be made in Euro- pean treaties until those changes bad" been as-r sented to by the Powers, and the Government had further stated that it would be desirable that not merely a. part but the whole of the treaty lately concluded between Russia and Turkey should be submitted to the Con- gress. In answer to the Earl of Dunraven, his lordship- said he had recently heard a rumour of a se :ret understand- ing between Russia and Persia for the cession of a district on tJ1e Caspian coast, but on telegraphing to ascertain the accuracy of the report the Persian Government absolutely denied the truth of the statement that any understanding had been come to or was being come to for a cession of any partofBayazid. MR. LAYARD AND MR. GLADSTONE.—The Negroponte Correspondence" was brought before the House by Mr. Ashley, who moved a resolution expressing its regret for the part taken in the matter by Mr. Layard. Disclaiming all party and personal motives, he declared his object to be to protest against the doctrine that a public servant was jus ified in using all the power of his position to crush any man who was an obstacle to his policy. The substance of his accusation was that Mr. Layard had done a gross act of injustice to Mr. Gladstone in communicating the contents of his letter to Mr. Negroponte to the corre- spondent o' the Daily Telegraph at Constantinople, and thereby rendering- himself responsible for the-telegram pub- lished in that paper charging Mr. Gladstone with inciting the Greeks to rise against the Porte, and he supported. this charge by an elaborate review of papers. With regard to the last despatch just laid On the table of the House, in which Mr. Layard expressed his regret if he had done any injustice to Mr. Gladstone, he asserted that it was no apology at all and only made matters worse. Mr. Bourke pointed out that the motion involved a vote of censure on our Ambassador, which the House ought not to sanction, except after the deepest consideration. The expression of regret in Mr. Layard'slast despatch, in Mr, ttourke's opinion, was an ample amende. Mr. O'Reilly supported the motion, and censured Mr. Layard for his communication with the newspaper correspondent; while Lord Elcho was of opinion that Mr. Layard's amende cut the ground from under Mr. Ashley's feet, and strongly depre- cated not only passing a vote of censure on our Ambassador at' the critical moment, but the habit which had grown up of making partisan attacks on the Govt rnment through our Ministers and Con- suls. Mr. Anderson regarded Mr. Layard's apology as entirely inadequate, and Mr. Marten showed from the dates that no responsibility could be attributed to him for the int erpretation which had been put on Mr. Gladstone's letters. The motion was supported by Mr. Hopwood and opposed by Mr. WheeVhouse. Mr. SUHIVIUI warmly denounced the Ambassador and cor- re8ppndent as engaged in a conspiracy to ruin Mr. Gladstone; to which Dr. O'Leary replied in an animated speech, denouncing Mr. Gladstone's urn. patriotic conduct and repudiating for the Irish Party all sympathy with Mr. Sullivan's Whig tactics. Sir H. James went at length into the papers, contending that the Ambassador, if he believed Mr. Gladstone to be engaged in stirring up the Greeks to insurrection, ought to have re- ported it to his Government. Mr. Layard might not be answerable for. the ezact words of the telegram, but he was responsible for the fact that it was sent. He put the correspondence into motion, and when he knew that the charge had been made in this country ho ought to have come forward to declare that it was a misrepresentation of the letter to Mr. Negro- ponte. As to the apology it had never been for- warded to Mr. Gladstone, and it was quite insufficient. The Solicitor-General maintained that there was no evidence whatever for the charge, and that Mr. Layard was not responsible for the action of the corre- spondent. The Marquis of Harting'on acquitted Mr. Layard of anything like a deliberate conspiracy to injure Mr. Gladstone, but complained that he had not shown him- self sufficiently ready to correct the consequences of the indiscretion into which he had been led. That he had something to do with the correspondent and the telegram he did not deny, and when he found that so serious a charge had been made against Mr. Gladstone he should have immediately contradicted it, and he should have done all in his power to make reparation. As the Govern- ment had not expressed the smallest dissatisfaction with Mr. Layard, he felt bound to vote for the motion. The Chan- cellor of the Exchequer remarked on the difficulty of ascer- taining exactly what was the charge against Mr. Layard, for though Lord Hartington spoke only of indiscretion, Mr. Ashley had charged him with a deliberate attempt to ruin Mr. Gladstone. The consequence of endorsing such a charge by a vote of the House of Commons must be most serious, and he contended that there was not the smallest evidellce iu the papers to support it. Indiscretion and pru- dence they might show, but they fell far short of the impu- tation conveyed in the motion, and did not call for so serious a censure. On a division the motion was negatived by 206 to 132.

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