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HOUSE OF COMMON S.-TiiURSDAY,…

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HOUSE OF COMMON S.-TiiURSDAY, FEB. 22. Lord LEWISHAM and .MR. BECKETT DENISON took the oaths and their seats, for South Staffordshire and the West Riding, re- spectively. Mr. Denison was cheered on the occasion. THE AGRICULTURAL INTEREST. Mr. DISRAELI I give notice, that this day fortnight I shall call the. attention of the House to the present condition of the agricul- tural interest, with a view to the more equitable apportionment of the taxation to which it is subject (loud cheers from the Protec- tionist benches). K THE LAW OF MARRIAGE. Mr. STUART WORTLEY moved for leave to bring in a bill to amend and alter the Act 5 and 6 William IV., c. 54, so far as re- lates to marriage within certain degrees of affinity. The question had somewhat changed in its aspect since he had last brought it under the consideration of the House. By a recent decisou of the Court of Queen's Bench, a marriage in this country between a man and his deceased wife's sister was declared to be, under Lord Lyndhurst's Act, absolutely null and void. But doubt still rested on the validity of such marriages when solemnised abroad. The hon. member said he would not enter into this subject as con- nected with the law of God, as he wished to avoid controversy on the present occasion. The inefficacy of Lord Lyndhurst's Act was demonstrated when they considered that there was every reason to believe that from thirty to fifty thousand marriages had, since its passing, taken place in contravention of its provisions. It was not his intention that the bill, if passed, should be confined to England. Mr. HOPE, Mr. R. PALMFtt, Mr. HENLEY, Mr. NAPIER,and Mr. PLUMPTRE all expressed themselves opposed to the principle of the contemplated measure, though they would not object to the mo- tion for leave to bring in the bill. Sir G. GREY would not enter into the discussion, as the motion was not to be opposed. He would, on the second reading of the bill, state the reasons which would induce him, in his individual capacity, to give a cordial assent to the bill. The motion was then agreed to. TOLERATION ACT, Mr. BOUVJERIE moved that the House resolve itself into a com- mittee of the whole House, to consider what relief could be granted to persons in holy orders in connexion with the Church of England, declaring their dissent therefrom. By a recent decision of the Cuurt of Queen's Bench, it appeared that clergymen of the Church of England becoming Dissenters, and taking the steps necessary to come under the exemptions of the Toleration Act, although they are exempt from statutory penalties, are still liable to be pro- ceeded against in the Ecclesiastical Court for breach of discipline. Clergymen, who had entered into holy orders, were bound hand and foot to the discipline of the Church. It certainly was not the intention of those who framed the Toleration Act, that such a re- striction should exist. He rested the case upon its plain and simple justice. Mr. GLADSTONE ooncurred in the general object which Mr. Bou- vwrie had in view. There was no reason why a clergyman, who hud deliberately changed his mind as to the vows which he took at his ordination, should be bound to those vows by the law. The motion was agreed to without a division, and the House went into committee, and a resolution was adopted authorising the introduction of a bill upon the subject. Mr. S. CRAWFORD moved that the laws relating to landed pro- perty in Ireland, as affecting the rights and powers both of land- loi-di arid tenants, require the immediate consideration of the House. The hon. gentleman recommended a series of measures, the adoption of which, he thought, would go far to put the land question of Ireland on its proper footing. These were a measure for settling intermediate right, a bill for the extension of tenant right, a measure in relation to waste lands, and such an amend- ment of the Encumbered Estates Act as wauld render its provi- sions more easy of application. Sir W. SOMERTILLK oppobed the motion, as merely presenting an abstract resolution. A short discussion ensued, and Mr. Crawford withdrew his mo- tion. DUCHIES OF CORNWALL AND LANCASHIRE. Mr. TRELAWNY moved for a select committee to inquire to what extent the public are entitled to claim an interest in the manage- ment of the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, and whether there is not reason to hope that an improvement in the management of those estates, by the suppression of antiquated and superfluous offices, and the diminution of the salaries of officials, would greatly increase the joint net income of the two duchies. Under proper management, the proceeds of the duchies might be greatly aug- mented (hear). Lord J. RUSSELL opposed the motion, on the ground that a compact existed in reference to these duchies between the country and the Crown which would be disturbed and departed from if the objects contemplated by the hon. gentleman were accomplished. Mr. HUME did not think the noble lord had taken a fair view of the matter when he referred to what was done by the Duke of Bedford while speaking of public property, which he (Mr. Hume) contended this was. It was monstrous that while the revenue of the duchy of Lancaster was X33,000, not more than X12,000 should go into her Majesty's privy purse (hear). As regarded the duchy of Cornwall, George IV., when Prince of Wales, ought to have received Z50,000 a-year, but it was eaten up entirely with pensions and allowances. On all hands there was abuse. The country gentlemen of Cornwall had induced the Ministers of the Crown to relieve them of the Royalty dues payable on tin, amount- ing to £ 15,000, and that sum was now paid annually out of the consolidated fund, solely for the relief of those country gentlemen (hearl. There was a long lilit of persons filling appointments of various descriptions, and he was anxious to know what duties they had to perform. Lord Campbell was Chancellor, and he received £ 2,000 a-year; but what did he do beyond holding the seal of the duchy of Lancaster? Why should Ministers refuse inquiry P What had they to fear ? Would it affect the honour of the Crown ? Oil the contrary, it was for the interest of the Crown that these estates should be well managed. He suspected that the true rea- son was that it was apprehended it would affect the patronage con- nected with the duchies (hear, hear). Mr. CAKEW, Mr. HUME, Mr. UICAUDO, and Mr. M. GIBSON severally supported the motion. Sir G. GREY offered a few words in opposition to it. Lord LINCOLN observed that there was a great difference be- tween the property administered by the Woods and Forests and the Crown property now alluded to. The proceeds of the former went into the publ.c Exchequer, which gave the public a direct interest iu it. The two duchies, however, stood in a very different position. In them the public had but a remote interest, if any in- terest at all. He trusted that the House would not consent to the motion. After a few words from Mr. BASS and Mr. liBywonTii, and from Mr. TRELAW.NY in reply, the House divided— For the motion 27 Agitiribt it 74-47 laóillOllUWlng members voted as tollows :—.tor tHe motion—it. Blewitt, How el Gwyn, and David Morris. Against it—David Pugh. The House adjourned at half-past twelve.

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