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"¿:7 HOUSE OF LORDS. MONDAY. The Duke of WELLINGTON, in presenting the papers re- specting our military operations in Affghanistan, postponed his motion for thanks to the troops employed there from Thursday until Monday next. The noble Duke also, in reply to Lord Monteagle, stated, that it was not the intention of Government to introduce any measure for the alteration of the Bank charter, or on the subject of banking, during the present session. Lord CAMPBELL then, according to notice, moved that a select committee be appointed to consider the law of defa- mation and libel. He explained the extreme deficiency of the present law, its exemption from improvement, while both the commercial and the criminal code had been rendered more simple and humane, and the anomaly it presented as to tha punishment adjudged to written in comparison with spoken libels. This he illustrated by several examples; and, after speaking in high commendation of the leading journals of the public press, lamented that the law was as powerles to protect them from the attacks of those whose crimes they exposed as it was to repress publications which existed only by pandering to a vitiated taste for scandal. As instances of the inadequacy of the present law, he adduced a case in which, in despite of the most conclusive evidence as to the truth of the statement, a verdict had been given against a journal which had denounced an escaped convict, and also that in which his Lordship had, while Sir John Campbell, so ably conducted the defence of the limes in an action for alleged libel upon a person accused of having been implica- ted in a conspiracy to defraud the principal continental bankers "of Europe. With respect to a most important point-proof of publication—the decisions were most con- tradictory, while in punishing the offender the law took no account of his comparative culpability, but awarded the same sentence whether the libel was the result of false information or wilfully and corruptly committed. He proposed the ap- pointment of a committee only from diffidence of his own opinions, but was convinced that private character would be best protected, the liberty of the press secured, and itslicen- tiousness restrained, by rendering the law more humane, more certain, and more in accordance with prevailing opinion. The LORD CHAWCKLLOR 2180' regretted that thefreforms and amendments intemled tobeeWected had not been em- bodied in a specific measure, but neither he nor Lotd Den- man opposed the appointment of a. committee, and the motion was accordingly agreed to. TUESDAY. The Duke of WELLINGTON, after directing that the paragraphs in the Royal Speech which related to our victories in China should be read by the Clerk, proposed that their Lordships should express their approbation of the services of her Majesty's fleet and army in the course of the operations by which such important success had been at- tained. He narrated with extreme particularity, but with- out adverting to any subject of dispute, the places at which the forces had been engaged, and the circumstances of then- achievements from the first commencement of hostilities, comparing, as he proceeded, the relative difficulties which the troops had respectively to overcome, and especially specifying the series of operations by the united services from the attack of the heights of Canton to the conclusion of the war, as unprecedented in the naval and military history of this country, and attended by wonderful suc- ceBS." The excellent arrangements by which ships and soldiers had been in each instance so combined as to co- operate most effectually, and the good understanding which subsisted between the Commanders of the naval and land forces, deserved particular commendation, as it was to this that their uniform, rapid, and almost bloodless victories were to be attributed. Lord AUCKLAND had the more satisfaction in expressing his perfect accordance with the high praise which had been bestowed upon the forces, as he had selected Sif H, Gougli and Sir W. Parker for the service. Lord Brougham Lord Haddington, and Lord Minto, shortly expressed their entire concurrence in the vote; and after a few words of high eulogiuin upon Sir H. Pottinger from Lord ABERDEEN, the resolutions were carried unani- mously and their lordships adjourned.


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