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PARLIAMENTARY PERFORMANCES. [From JTerrOid's Weekly News.'] [The following article was unavoidably omitted in our last L H-nnber.J The first of a series of performances commenced on Mon- day evening, which for practical importance promise to throw into the shade many of the more theoretical proposals which have been submitted for acceptance. The exterior of the House bore evidence of the interest which the .proceedings had excited amongst hon. members. The space allotted for carriages was unusually crowded; the ranks were preserved with the greatest care. The initiated, too, observed that the reporters who emerged from the door- way pursued their way towards the Strand with an activity which indicated that they bore along with them a weight of raw material which would require perhaps a good many hours of assiduous labour to fashion into a report. As these gentlemen pursued their way, others might be seen approach- ing the scene of labour, and as they met, a few hurried words would be exchanged perhaps to this effect: Gentleman going to the House Who's up Gentleman leaving the House "Slasher." Gentleman going to the House (anxiously): Is it heavy?" (meaning is there much to be reported). Gentleman leaving the House (moving on) De-vil.isb.- Good night;" The interior possessed all the features of an engrossing de- bate. The benches on both sides were well filled, the side galleries were in request, the distinguished strangers" de- Z, partment bore a fair compliment of listeners, and the gal- leries allotted to the more common run were thoroughly packed. If individual members were looked for, they would be found for the most part in their accustomed places. Mr. Cobden, who led the attack, stood between Mr. Hume and Mr. Milner Gihson. Colonel Thompson, Mr. W. J. Fox, and Mr. Brothe.rton were immediately behind. Mr. Bright sat a good way off. Ministers mustered strongly. The front opposi- tion bench was closely packed; Mr. Disraeli was supported on one side by Mr. Herries, and on the other by Mr. Stafford. Sir R. Reel was sustained by Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Goul- burn Sir James Graham sat at a respectful distance like a man who bides his time." Mr. Cobden rose about half-past live o'clock, and spoke for an hour and ton minutes. His motion was essentially an appeal to the conscience of the House against indulging in spendthrift practices, coupled with an earnest injunction to gradually retrace its steps towards the limits of 1835, by which means a saving of ten millions a year would, in time, be effected. Mr. Cobden's speech possessed the usual characteristics of his addresses in the House it was terse, clear, equable, dogmatic, to the point. It was listened to with close attention-an unmis- takeable proof of the,power of the speaker over an audience, the larger portion of which make no disguise of their personal dislike towards him. The spell was broken the moment the Chancellor of the Exchequer rose to reply. Everybody seemed to anticipate the nature of the ministerial ttnswer. At first a few members began to leave their seats, and make for the door. At the lapse of a quarter of an hour the rising became more general, and ere the ceasing of the hour and a half the front opposition bench was almost deserted, and numerous blanks appeared all over the House. Whilst members were moving dinnerward, I thought I saw Mr. Disraeli sitting among the distinguished strangers," in close conversation 9 with a person occupying the the same seat. I looked again, anlrsatisiiGd myself that my first impression was correct. I observed also that Mr. Herries was taking part in the con- versation from a seat immediately in front. Who could the person be with whom these two men were holding council? It looks like Lord Stanley! Yes, it is his lordship. He has heard Mr. Cobden's speech, and does not feel inclined to listen to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Perhaps the noble lord and his representatives in the Commons are deciding upon the course to be adopted. Well, let us suppose that such is the case. The decision has been come to, for Lord Stanley leaves the .House, Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Herries re- turn to their seats, but only as a matter of form, for in a few minutes they leave too. Mr. Herries subsequently returned he had a pop-gun to let off. Ministers stuck well by their col- league if Sir Charles did not enjoy their countenance, he was sure, at all events,, that they were at his back. I never could join in the cry which is so generally raised against Sir C. Wood as a minister and speaker. In the former capacity he lias made mistakes, but this seems inseparable from the office. "Mie Chancellor of the Exchequer is the prophet of the minis- try. All Chancellors of the Exchequer have failed more or less in their calculations—Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Goulburn, Sir Thomas Baring. As for Mr. Henies, he is more of an ama- teur than a professional Chancellor: he only held the office for four months, and the extraordinary deference which is paid to him by the Protectionists shows the miserable plight into which they have fallen as regards presentable men. As a speaker, Sir Charles Wood is frequently indistinct and confused, but not to the extent which some people allege. His matter is better than his manner, and there is about him an unfailing courtesy, a good nature which nothing can ruffle, a boldness in the enunciation of sound principles, which should cover a multitude of subsidiary drawbacks. He was frequently the butt of Lord George Bentinck, but, offensive as that man was, I can call to mind no instance in which Sir Charles Wood lost his temper. Well, by the time that Mn John O'Connell had succeeded the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a speech of a quarter of all hour, the House presented much of the appearance it assumes during the dinner hours; and the initiated began to conclude that all the interest had evaporated, and that it would not be restored. This proved to be the case; the leaders held aloof; and about midnight the economical dis- positions of the House, as tested by Mr. Cobden's motion, were evinced in the rejection of the pledge by 275 to 78. So much for the debate in its totality. As to incidents, I may mention that it was amusing to witness the pantomimic force with which Mr. Hume rejected the assertion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer-that England was the most hghtly taxed country in Europe. Sir Charles addressed the remark to that veteran reformer; Mr. Hume had the vote- paper in his hand, and had a pestilential vapour been making its way towards his breathing organs, he could not have dashed it aside with greater impetuosity than he did the unorthodox assertion of the Chancellor. Those who are in possession of my sketch of the floor of the House of Com- mons, will see that the bench occupied by ministers ranges in front oi the one occupied by Mr. Hume and his more- fievoted adherents. When Sir Charles Wood or Lord John Russell is speaking, and has a good hit to make at that cele- brated group, he gives it all due effect by turning from the twole and looking towards the persons he is addressing. This n is a disadvantage to the reader of newspaper reports, because the act of turning round is too often fatal to the distinct bearing in the reporter's gathering of the remark which may be made hence the frequency with which such statements 51 this appear in the reports: "The hon. gentleman here Addressed, himself to the hon. member for Blarney, and the purport of his observations did not reach the gallery." One Inult in the Chancellor's speech told well in the House, it was when he referred to the disparaging remarks which had s'i made by the financial reformers in regard to the army, C:?|!trusting them with their anxiety to get troops concen- {J'ated round Liverpool during the Chartist excitement. Sir paries turned at that point to the group I am adverting to. «hey all shared in the laugh, Mr. Hume, Mr. Cobden (he his hand across his chin), and Mr. Milner Gibson was tfie merriest of all. Sir De Lacy Evans's speech was evi- dently g°t Up for the purpose of having a special hit at Mr. ( l«: den. f I have had the curiosity to compare the voters (78) in ";our of Mr. Cobden's economical amendment with the 'n.tnority (84) which supported Mr. Hume's suffrage-exten- ,lé'n motion of July last year; and the result is, that 49 out 484 voted with Mr. Cobden but with the exception of 'èn', viz., Mr. W. Marshall, Mr. E. B. Roche, Mr. G. j^vthe, and Mr. J. H. Talbot, not one who supported Mr. -nje's motion appear in opposition to Mr. Cobden's amend- ment. Absence, or retirement from the House, account for ,ie thirty suffrage-extensionists whose names are wanting.— ''fJ 11.&.

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