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General News. .




HOUSE OF COMMONS.—THURSDAY, APRIL 22. The Speaker took the chair at four o'clock. Sir F. Keily took the oaths au4 his seat for Harwich. Petitions against the Taxes on Knowledge" were presented by Mr Sehoienet.) and Mr Muntz, from Birmingham. 11 Mr Milner Gibsoit brought under the notice of the House, the impolicy of deiiving revenue from Taxes on Knowledge, and moved resolutions to the effec: that such financial arrangements should be made as would enable parliament to dispense with duty on paper-,hat the newspaper stamp ought to be abolished —and that the tax on advertisements ought to be repealed. The hon. gentleman argued the whole case at great length and in a lucid manner, and fortified h:s position, by quoting the opinions of persons largely interested in the trades affected by the taxes in question. Mr Ewart seconded the resolutions, and especially urged the repeal of the advertisement duty. The Chancetiorof the Exchequer, viewing the question in a purely financial light, regretted his inability to support the resolutioos, which would moreover interfere with his budget, which he intended to submit to the Houseon Friday week. He did not deny the evil of the paper and advertisement duties, but did not think the repeal of the stamp would greatly benefit the newspaper press. Besides, the Customs' duties had been re- duced, the excise duties were being assailed, and a committee was now sitting on the subject of direct taxation. In this state of fioancial affairs he did not feel justified in altering the paper duties, and moreover he asked that his first budget might be brought on without the burden of a resolution like that proposed to the House that evening. On the motion of Mr Wakley, seconded by Mr Cobden, both of whom thought the request of the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer reasonable, the debate was adjourned to Wednesday week. The other orJc-rs of the day were then disposed of, and the House was adjourned at a quarter past eigtit o'clock. FRIDAY. The Speaker took tiie chair at four o'clock. v Mr Spooner fixed positively the 11th of as- the-day fo^ bringing forward his motion on the subjecMBkMaypooth, but added Uiat it would be confined {h& system of education afforded in that institutionjjn^^il^oot^JnAk&l fmt instance, have any reference-i«^mEjHgM(|KMflMjB On the motion for the second Sir Da Lacy Evans moved that it, be read that day three months. Mr F. Peel declared himself opposed to any militia whatever, and wouid therefore support the amendment. Mr Nawdesate remarked upon the in onsistencies of Mr PaeJ, cited the authority of the Duke of Wellington, as to the ne- cessity for some additional national. defence, and pointed to the present state of France, nod the principles of its ruler, as an ar- gumeni in favcurol the bill. The hon. gentle-nan concluded by expressing a hope that Lord John Resell would not follow the example set him by those who were jlately his supporters, but that he ivould bs actuated by the spirit of a statesman and aa Eagiish minister, and lend his support- to the proposition of her Majesty's government. S,r Robeft Peel would prefer an increase in the regular army, to a militia. The hon. barontt then took occasion to expiess his political sentiments, declared that he bad full eonfideocein the Ear) of Derby, and avowed himself a L beral Conservative Free trader. Colonel Chatterton supported the bill and Mr P. Howard, having voted for the Militia Bill of the late government, (ell bound to vote for this also. Sir J. S. Pakington rapidly reviewed the various arguments of the opponents of the measure, and taunted the members of the late government with suddenly changing their opinions. He then alluded to the exampie Stt by the United States on the militia question, and concluded by affirming the necessity of the proposed force. Lord Jjhn Russell said it was because he felt that the country required more detences, and that those defences should be better organized than they no,v are, that he felt himself unable to consent to the second reading of the bill. Ha believed, as a measure of defence, it would be utterly mischievous. It sought to combine two separate »_v»tesis of enrolment-one of which was insufficient, and the other oppressive. He then proceeded to contrast the present plan with that which he had proposed, showing the great hardships and mercenary character of the former, and vindicated his consiitency in now opposing propo. sitions with which he always said he could not agree. Viscount Palmerston said he had hoped that ihia measure, the necessity of which had been adurted on all sides of the hsuse, would have been discussed wiinout any party feeling, and he was greatly surprised at the line of policy which had been taken by tlte noble lord and members of his government, who had spoken upon this ques!ion. The noble lord then proceeded at some length to argue in proof of the superiority of the present to the late tneasuie. Upon the motioa of Mr Moffjlt, the debate was then ad- journed. The other business on the paper was then disposed of, and the House adjourned at ten minutes past one o'clock. MONDAY. A large number of petitions were presented against the Militia Bill; the Mayn^-oth Grant; and in favour of retaining the Crystal Palace; and Sir Hajry Inglis presented a petition from lie Church of England Lay Association, praying that no minister be appointed to a church in Wales, who is unac- quainted with the Welsh language. Sir Benjamin Hall also presented petitions against the Militia Bill, from Marylebone and Monmouth (query, Newport). Ihe Manchester and Salford Education Bill was read a Ee-. cond time, on the motion of Mr. Brotherton. Mr. Drummond wished to know whether any compensation had been made in the case of the loss of the Birkenhead steamer, as her Majesty had power of granting compensation to the amount of jESO. To illustrate his meaning the hon. mem- ber stated that an officer on the board the Birkenhead, was a son of a very poor clergyman, who had totally lost ever/thing he possessed, to the amount of £300 and it was quite impossi- ble for him and his friends to make the same good. (Hear.) The question he wished to ask the Secretary at War was, whe- ther there was any ground for hope that the Queen's Ministers would recommend to her Majesty to grant any compensation, by promotion or otherwise, to the officers who survived in the Bir- kenhead, for their heroic conduct and total loss of their property ia that miserable shipwreck 1 Major Beresford was happy to have this opportunity of giving his approbation, and that of those who acted with him, to the conduct displayed by the men and officers who were present at the loss of this unfortunate vessel, more especially as the troops on board were not old soldiers, but recent and raw levies, who were going to join their regiments; and it showed that that discipline, so effective on the field, could be acquired without a long period of drill.(Hear, hear.)As to compensation, although, in the majority of instances, the maximum\sum was restricted to E809 yet in special cases like this, the Board had power to go beyond that sum, if circumstances required it. (Hear,-hear). He could only say that any funds placed at his disposal for the purpose should be most cheerfully distributed. With regard to the question of promotion, it did not rest with the War- office, but was invested in the hands of the Commander-in- Chief. The adjourned debate on the Militia Bill was then to be brought on but Mr. Hodge said he first wished to make some explanation as to a statement which he made on Friday, and which appeared to excite some merriment. The statement waS that five hundred men deserted from a militia regiment to which he belonged and he certainly fell into a considerable error, for he had received this morning, a letter from the adjutant of the regiment, from which he learnt that the number amounted to 881. (Laughter.) After considerable debate, in which Lord Palmerston lent his aid to the government upon the measure, A division took place, and the numbers were— For the second reading 315 For the amendment IG5 I Majohtyforthesecondreading. 1-50 The announcement was received with loud cheers. The Secretary of Bankrupts' Office Abolition Bill passed through committee. The Loan Societies Bill was read a third time and passed. The Highway Rates Bill was read a second time. REFRESHMENT TO VOLERS. Sir E. Buxton moved for leave to bring in Bill to allow can- didates to give refreshment to voters at county elections, to a limited amount. Mr. Thornely opposed the motion, on the ground that such a permission would not be legitimately exercised. Sir J. Tyrell said, to his own certain knowledge, there were two lawyers canvassing in Essex, upon the strength of this bill. (Laughter.) He thought it would have been much better for the hon gentleman to have postponed this measure until they had the experience of the approaching election. Mr. Adderley supported the motion for leave to biing in this bill, because he thought it was a measure most necessary to have passed before the approaching election, with the view of drawing a legal distinction between reasonable refreshment and bribery. Mr. Aglionby said he was determined to give every stage of this measure the utmost opposition, for he believed, if carried, it would have a most demoralising effect upon the constituencies. ^Mr. Christopher said that it was most desirable for hon. members to wait until they saw the bit],before they discussed it. It was not fair that they should place the electors in a worse positionwhen they came to vote, than they were in when they were at home. The measure was one, he believed, that merely proposed to give the electors at county elections, simple refresh', ment when they travelled soma distance to the poll. Sir E. Buxton said that- the bill merely proposed that the voters at county elections should receive refreshment within the value of 2s. 6d. The Master of the Rolls declared his decided opposition to the measure, which he tbouglft was calculated to encourage a system of bribery, under the disguise of what was called reasonable refreshment. Lord Galway was understood to say that the measure, if passed at all, ought not to be confined to counties. Sir Benjamin -Hall opposed proceeding with such a discussion at that advanced hour of the night, and moved an adjournment of the debate. Mr. Anstey was opposed to the principle of the measure, which would encourage the worst practices at elections. Sir J. Pakington hoped the motion for adjournment wouLl not h be pressed to a division, seeing that when the debate came on again, they would only have a repetition of speeches upon the provision of a bill which hon. gentlemen had not seen. It was the opinion of many hon. members, whom he had consulted upon the subject, that some such measure as this would be most effective in supptessing corruption at elections. Mr. S. Wortley said that in the West Riding, refreshment tickets had been issued to voters at the elections, by the consent of both parties. He trusted the debate would not be adjourned, but that ieave would be given to bring in the bill, so that hon. members might shortly have a copy ot it in their hands, and be better enabled to forpa an opinion of its details. Mr. Mullings contended that the issue of refreshment tickets would be a saving j)f expense, and a great preventive of treating and corruption at elections. He should vote for the introduction of the bill. Mr.BeU: If treating was to be permitted at elections at all, it had better be done openly than sneakingly. So far from increasillg, he believed the bill would check, coiruption at elections. THemotion for the adjournment of the debate was then with. drawn, and the House divided on the question that leave be given to biing in the bill, when there appeared- For the motion 58 Against it 19 39 The bill was subsequently brought in. 4-



Kossuth at St. Louis, America.