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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT.

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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. In the HOUSE OF LORDS, May 7, Lord Carnarvon stated, in eply to the Earl of Kimberley, that the Government had no reason to doubt the truth of the statement that the Transvaal territory had passed under British protection Lord Waver: Cy mo^ed an address praying that her Majesty would he pleased to invite the co-operation of the !}overriliie"¡ of the Maritime States, her allies, in maintain- ing the security of commerce in the Mediterranean and in the seaways leading thereto. The Earl of Derby intimated that practictl proceedings such as took place under the old Greek war of independence were not to be apprehended, and that with the introduction of steam all the old conditions had changed. No complaint had reached the Government in regard to a renewed out- break of piracy in the Mediterranean. The motion after this explanation was withdrawn, and thMf lordships adjourned. In the HOUSE OF COMMONS unusual interest was mani tested to hear Mr. Gladstone move his resolutions with re gard to the Eastern Question. As early as four o'clock the front galleries were crowded with peers, foreign representa- tives, and strangers of all ranks. The side galleries, too, were filled with honourable members aud noble lords, and so full a House is seldom witnessed. Mr. Gladstone entered from behind the Speaker's chair soon after the business had commenced, and was received with a party cheer When the Chancellor of the Exchequer had moved to sus- pend the Orders of the day, Mr. Trevelyan invited the right Honourable gentleman the member for Greenwich to accept an amendment modifying the second paragraph of his resolu- tion as follows "That this House is of opinion that the Porte, by its conduct towards its subject populations, and by its refusal to give guarantees for their better government, has forfeited all claim to receive either the material or the moral support of the British Crown." Mr-. Gladstone accepte i the amendment, and a lengthy fend animated discussion ensued upon the course to be adopted and the effect of the new proposal upon the motion as it stood on the paper of the House "Sir John Lubbock, too, expressed his intention of not moving the "previous question," and Mr. Glad- stone was challenged to say whether, in this ohange of circumstances, he would press the third and fourth paragraphs, to which such serious objection was enter- tained The right honourable gentleman explained the posi- tion in which he was placed and the reasons which induced him not to take a vote from the chair on the paragraphs ob- jected to. The House, however, was evidently desirous of hearing a speech, aud, the orders of the day b ring postponed, Mr. Gladstone rose, loudly cheered from the Opposition Benches, to move the first of his five Resolutions. After referring to the meetings of the past week, he proceeded to show that his Motion was rendered necessary by the conduct of the Government, which for the last 18 months, he said, had been more deploraule than the conduct of any Govern- ment since the Peace of Vienna, and also on aCC"6nnt of its ambiguous position. This he illustrated by a review of the conflicting declarations of the members of the Government and of the language of the Ministerially-inspired Press, of which last he said that it was deliberately intended to pre- pare the public mind for war. Commenting on Lord Derby's answer to the Gortcliakotf Circular, he said it was redolent with the old odious doctrine of "moral support." Against the policy of remonstrance and expostulation Mr. Gladstone protested with much force and earnestness, declaring that if he went no further than this the work must pass into the hands of others. In support of his first and second Resolu- tions, he reviewed the history of the atrocities, Lord Derby's) Despatch, and the present deplorable condition of the country, insisting that the guilt must be fixed, not on the minor instruments, but on the Turkish Government, which had caused and encouraged the massacres. The Government by its policy had led the Christian subjects of the Porte to look upon Russia as their only friend, and had forced upon Russia the task of redeeming them from oppression He contrasted with their conduct the vigour with which a Liberal Government acted in the caee of the Syrian massa- cres and, reverting once more to the true interpretation of the Treaty of Kainardji, he contended that the Crimean War deprived the Christians of a safeguard which we were bound to make good to them. Repeating that he did not intend to take a division on the third and fourth Resolutions, he declared, amid loud cheers from the benches below the gangway, that he adhered to all the Resolutions. Although he could not understand why Lord Hartington would not go the whole length with him, he did not wish to obtain from him a sanction to anything but that for which he voted. He deplored as much as any one the irregular methods to which the Opposition had been obliged to resort for influencing the foreign policy of the country but the necessity of the case was their justifica- tion.—Mr Gladstone thus concluded his speech, "It is a great crisis in which we stand. Legislative bodies are always engaged in the making of history, and it is a very grave pas- sage 111 hiBtory which we are now engaged in making. Sir, there is before us not one controversy, but two. There is the controversy between Russia and Turkey; there is the controversy between Turkey and her revolted subjects. I think the Government and their supporters out of doors in the Press are making a great error in this—that it is the first of these two controversies—that between Russia and Turkey, which after all is only symptomatic—to which they address their minds. In my opinion the other is the deeper and more important. (Cheers.) The other is a controversy which can have no issue but one, and I do not hesitate to say that the cause of the revolted subjects of Turkey against their op- pressors is as holy a cause as ever animated the breast or as ever stirred the hand of man. (Cheers,) Sir, what par.t are we to play ? Looking at this latter controversy—the contro- versy between Turkey and her subjects—the horrible massa- cres of last year, the proofs which have been afforded that they are only parts and indications of a system, that their recurrence is to be expected, and is a matter of moral certainty if they are now allowed to pass with impunity looking at the total want of result from Lord Derby's efforts at that mockery which has-been cast in our teeth in return for what I quite admit was'upon ordinary principles an in- sulting despatch, can we, Sir, say with regard to this great battle of freedom against oppression which is now going on, which has been renewed from time to time, and for which one- thiid of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina are at this moment not only suffering exile, but, terrible to say, absolute starvation, upon which depends the fate of millions of the sub- ject races that inhibit the Turkish Kmpire—can we with all this before us, be content with what I will rail a vigorous array of remonstrances, well intended I grant, but without result, as the policy of this great country ? Can we, I say ooking upon that battle, lay our hands upon our hearts, alild in the face of God and man, say with respect to it, 'We have well and sufficiently performed our part?" (Cheers.) Sir, there were other days when EnglaHd was the hope of freedom. Wherever in the world a high aspiration was entertained or a noble blow was struck, it was to England that the eyes of tlie oppressed were always turned—to this favourite, this darling home of so much privilege and so much happiness, where the people tlmt liad hiiilt np a noble edifice for themselves would, it was well known be ready to do what in them lay to secure the benefit of the same inestimable boon for others. (Cheers). You talk to me of the established tradition in re- gard to Turkey. I appeal to the established tradition, older, wider, nobler far—a tradition not which disregards "British interests, but which teaches you to seek the promo- ho of those interests in obeying the dictates of honour and of justice. And, Sir, what is to be the end of this ? Are we to identify the fantastic ideas some people entertain about this policy and that policy with British interests and then fall down and worship them ? Or are we to look not at the Sentiment, but at the hard facts of the case, which Lord j?erby told us 15 years ago—namely, that it is the popula- tions of those countries that will ultimately possess them—that will ultimately determine their future con- dition ? It is to this that we should look, and there is now before the world a glorious prize. A portion of those people are making an effort to retrieve what they have lost-I mean those in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Another portion a band of heroes such as the world has rarely seenstand on the rock of Montenegro, are ready now, as they have ever been during the 400 years of their exile from their fertile piani, to meet the Turk at any odds for the re-establishment of justice and peace in those countries. Another portion still, the five millions of Bulgarians cowed and beaten down to the ground, hardly venturing to look upwards, even to their Father in heaven, have extended their hands to you, they have sent you their petition, they have prayed for your help and protection. They have told you that they do not want alliance with Russia or with any foreign Power, but that they want to be delivered from an intolerable burden of woe and shame. That burden of woe and shame — the ifreateat that exists on God's earth — is one that we thought united Europe was about to remove, that in the Protocal united Europe was pledged to remove, but which for the present you seem to have no efficacious means of contributing to the removal of. But, Sir, the removal of that load of woe and shame is a great and noble prize. It is a prize well worth competing for. It is not yet too late to try to win it. I believe there are men in the Cabinet who would try to win it. (Cheers). It is not yet too làte I say, to become competitors for that prize; but be assured that whether you mean to claim for yourselves a part of the immortal crown of fame which will be the reward of true labour in that cause, or whether you turn your backs upon that cause and your own duty, I believe, for one, that the knell of Turkish tyranny in those Provinces has sounded. It is about to be destroyed, perhaps not in the way or by the means that we should choose but come the boon from what hands it may, I believe it will be gladly accepted by Christendom and by the world." (Loud and prolonged cheering.) The right hon. gentleman moved the first of the Resolutions, which was as follows :— That this House finds just cause of dissatisfaction and complaint in the conduct of the Ottoman Porte with regard to the despatch written by the Earl of Derby on the 21st day of September, 1876, and relating to the massacres in Bulgaria." The Speaker having put Mr. Gladstone's first resolution, Sir. H. Wolf moved as an amendment a counter-resolution declaring that the House declines to entertain any resolution which may embarrass the Government in maintaining peace and protecting British interests, without indicating any alternative policy. He objected to Mr. Gladstone s resolutions that they preached that subservience to Russia which had been Mr. Gladstone's object throughout, and his speech, if it meant anything meant war against Turkey. It was chiefly owing to the collusion of former Governments in the misgovernment of Turkey that the present Government ad been unable to take a more decided course. Mr. Chamberlain said he should have voted for the third and fourth resolutions, believing that the slight risk of war with Turkey was worth incurring to secure the righteous object in view. Ir. Cross (the Home Secretary), who was very warmly cheered from both sides of the House when he rose to reply for the Government, hought that, after the agitation of the last week, the eountry woultl be surprised to learn that Mr. Gladstone had totally changed his front. Although he sym- pathised with the autumnal agitation, he denied that the meetings of last week furnished any guide to the opinions of the country. Mr. Cross said—" Now, as to those which were neld in the autumn, I can only say that I, for one, should nave been ashamed of my countrymen if public expression had not been given from one end of the land to the other to their utter detestation of the horrors which had been com- mitted in Turkey. (Cheers and counter cheers.) Do you think that because we, happening to be Ministers of the Crown, pursue a line of policy which you do not like, we have not the feelings of Englishmen ? (Cheers.) Da you sUPPose that we twelve men are the only persons in the country who have not been alive to the horrors Which have been going on in Turkey? (Cheers.) If you think that, or if you have let the country tliink that, you are grievously mistaken. And I am bound to say that you have misled the country, and led it to think that because we have pursued the policy that we considered right and just, we are more callous than you to the horrors of war. The right hon. gentleman says no,' but it is true. (Cheers.) I think these allegations against the Government are perfectly wise. (Continued cheering.) But when you come to the meetings that have been held during the last Week they are not the spontaneous feeling of the country. (Cheers.) It is a matter of notoriety that they Me meetings held for the express purpose of backing up those Resolutions which the right hon. gentleman disdains to put before the House. (Cheers,"and cries of Yes, and if the opiniflhs of those meetings are to be gathered as the opinion of this House is gathered, and if all the horrors Perpetrated in Turkey are to be paraded before the country, and if they are to be spoken of by the most eloquent man who can be found, and if you propose Resolutions con- taining some policy to stop these horrors, and if at tlie game time you strike out the j>ith of those Resolu- tions, I do not wonder at your getting any ex- pression of opinion at such meetings." (Cheers.)—After some observations as to the Conference at Constantinople, and -the meeting at St. James's Ilall, Mr. Cross proceeded :— The right hon. gentleman says we had determined that the Conference should fail, and that it must fail because we told Turkey that we were not going to enforce the decision of the Conference by arms, Now, I want to ask the right hon. gentleman if any gentleman who has taken any part in these meetings has ever put to the people of this country this question straight out—' Will you go to war?' (Cheers.) And that is the question which you shirk to-night. (Cheers.) ■inat is the one thing that you do not dare to put to the country and to this House. Are you prepared to go ™ war against Turkey as an ally of Russia ? (Cheers.) The !ight hon. gentleman will have all opportunity of answer- lng me. Let him answer that question if he can—not n a dozen or even a hundred sentences—but by a simple »es' or 'So.' (Cheers.) It is a simple question It is j* vital question. It is a question that admits of no deviation. It can only be answered in a monosyllable one Way or the other. (Cheers.) Are you prepared to engage tne country in a war with Russia as an ally against Turkey ? We did not get at the answer to that question in the long wrangle of an hour and a half, when we heard that the third and fourth Resolutions were to be withdrawn."—Mr. Cross then proceeded to reply in detail to Mr. Gladstone s criticisms on the Ministerial policy, and insisted that the two landmarks of that policy had been— not to sanction the invasion of Turkey by foreign armies, and not to acquiesce in misgovernment or oppression.in Turkey. He vindicated Lord Derby's Despatch, and main- tained that it was Russia which had scattered the European concert to the winds. Now that war had broken out, absolute neutrality was the rule of the Government, and neither side would have either moral or material support from us.—With respect to the course Russia had adopted, Mr. Cross said— Her Majesty's Government would willingly have refrained from making any observation on the subject, but as Prince Gortdfchakoff seems to assume, in a Declaration addressed to all the Powers of Europe, that Russia is acting in the interest of Great Britain and other Powers, they felt round to state, and I feel bound to state openly here, in a manner equally firm and public, that the Russian Government is not acting in concert with the other Powers. (Cheers.) If any Power has more than another prevented united European action, that Power is Russia. (Cheers.) Russia and Turkey are at war—war in a part of Europe which is the most inflammable you can conceive—in that part of Europe where every Power has an interest, and I am srory to say an almost antagonistic interest. Of that war we feel the effects in this our own country at the present moment in the rise in the price of bread. (Hear.) War having broken out, the landmarks of the policy of the British Government are as clear as they were before. They have nothing to do with the war. Great Britain has declared absolute and strict neutrality. What the result of the war may be God only knows, but all the efforts of the British Government must clearly be as far as possible to localize the war-to reduce its area to a minimum. The hon. member for Birmingham and the right hon. gentleman the member for Greenwich have talked about British interests, and the hon. member for Birmingham has challenged Her Majesty's Government to point out what are the British irterests which can possibly be drawn into this war. The policy of Her Majesty's Government is one of strict neutrality between the parties. We warned them as long ago as May, 1876, that they had nothing to expect from us. We. warned them at the Conference, and since there has been no loss of time in the issue of our declara- tion of neutrality. In the war between Russia and Turkey we are absolutely impartial. Whether that war will produce the results which it is supposed will be produced is another matter. Although our efforts will be directed to prevent that war from spreading, it is impossible for any one to say where it will stop. There are English interests, there are European interests, there are Indian interests, there are world-wide interests which may be concerned. We do not want additional territory—we want nothing. We wish this war had not broken out. Batoum and other places have beeu spoken of, but there is the Suez Canal in which not only England, but the world, is seriously con- cerned. Why the Suez Canal should be attacked by Russia in any shape I cannot imagine. (Hear.) Whether attacked by Russia or by Turkey, that is a question of not only English, but European interest. It is the road from the West to the East of the world. Take another place in which not simply England, but the world is interested. I mean Egypt. Well, what am I to say about the Treaties as to the Straits of the Dardanelles and the possession of Constantinope ? Is it necessary for carrying on the war between Russia and Turkey and for the protection of the Christians in Turkey that Constantinople should be either at- tacked, approached, or occupied? I say 'No.' These are questions which no country in Europe could regard with indifference and when I mention them I hope they are so remote that they will not practically arise. But they are questions which must be considered by any British Government and which any Ministry, even if the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) himself .were at its head, w6uld not dare to neglect, or if it did, the country would very soon send it an answer which It could not mistake. (Cheers.) However, I hope, as I have said, these things are in so remote a future that we need not contemplate them. Let me quote the words which the Emperor Alexander used on the 2nd of November last to our Ambassador. His Majesty said, 'He had on several occasions given the most solemn assurances that he desired no conquest, that he aimed at no aggrandizement, and that he had not the smallest wish or intention to be possessed of Constantinople.' Let us see that his Majesty keeps to his words. (Cheers.) He continued :— f "All that had been said or written about the will of Peter the Great and the aims of Catherine II. were illusions and phantoms. They never existed in reality; and he con- sidered that the acquisition of Constantinople would be a misfortune for Russia. (Hear, hear.) There was no ques- tion of it, nor had it ever been entertained by his late father, who gave proof of it in 1828, when his victorious army was within four days' march of Constantinople." Our Ambassador further wrote that His Majesty pledged his sacred word of honour in the most earnest and solemn manner that he had no intention of acquiring Constanti- nople, and that if necessity should oblige him to occupy a portion of Bulgaria it would only be provisionally, and until peace and the safety of the Christian populations were secured. If the Bmperor keeps his word, thus, solemnly pledged, British interests will not be concerned. (Hear, hear.) But a victorious army is a difficult thing to deal with, and a country once aroused is not always so easily quieted. (Hear, hear.) All I can say is, that, as far as Her Majesty's Government are concerned, they sincerely trust that no action of Russia WIll ever require them to protect those interests which lie outside of this war but that if those interests should be affected, of course it can- not be expected that either Europe or England will not interfere to protect them." (Cheers.)—With respect to the Resolutions, Mr. Cross asserted that they either meant war or else the more undignified course of barking without biting. He concluded his speech by saying "As the right hon. gentleman seems to think the policy of the Government ambiguous, let me before I sit down state clearly what it has been and what it is. It has been not in any way to sanction oppression or tyranny in any part of the world. It has been to' preserve in- violate our treaty engagements, and to set an example which, if followed by other nations, would materially add to the happiness of the world. It is, deeply as they regret the war, to remain the strictest neutrality between the contend- ing nations. It is, outside the necessities of this actual war, to maintain, as they ought to maintain, and as any British Government would maintain, those interests of England which ought to be maintained. They have no thought of fear; they have no thought of gain. Before the face of this House, of England, of Europe, of the world, they are con- scious of the honesty of their own purpose. They are conscious of their own earnest desire for peace; they are conscious, if need be, of their strength. They have, I hope, the wisdum not to use their strength improperly, anù wher- ever the opportunity may offer to stop this war, to heal these wretched divisions, to improve the condition of these Christian populations in a way which will really improve them—and that way, in my opinion, is not by war,—to local- ize, to mimi!Í1ize, or to wipe away the effect of this war, there the Government will give their services." (Loud cheers.) After some discussion upon the date o which the debate should be adjourned, it was eventually adjourned to Tuesday. The Customs and Inland Revenue Bill was considered in Committee, and, some other business having been disposed of. thA 11m" £ 1

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