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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT.

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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. In the House of Lords on Thursday, the Royal asseat was, given by commission to several hi la. Lord Redesdale moved that all the Standing Orders of the House relating to private bills should be dispensed witn lor the remainder of the Session. The motion was agreed to. Several bills were advanced a stage, and their lordships 'SHouse of Commons having resolved itself into a com- mittee iinon t^e E&sfc Xndisi Sevenue Acoonnts. Sir C? Wood gave his statement Of the Indian fiances, showing that the net revenue of the year 1863-64 showed a surplus of E78,000, the surplus of the preceding year being ll,827,000, a falling off of £ 1,749,000. He then showed the prospects, according to estimate, of the. years 1864-65 and 1865-66, explaining the circumstances which would influence the amounts of income and expenditure, favourably or un- favourably, especially the Budget estimate of the former year, which had promised a surplus of £ 823,090, likely to prove illusive. At the conclusion of his financial statement he moved a serie s of resolutions containing a statement of revenue and expenditure for the year ending April, 1S64. Mr H Seymour, in a House of less than twenty members, entered upon a rather extensive criticism upon the Indian accounts and various branches of expenditure, which were, he observed, constantly increasing, especially in. the estobKsbment. ^olonel gyjceSi ur_ Kinnaird, and Mr. "W. Ewart continued the discussion in a House varying from six to eight members, including themselves. Sir C. Wood replied, and the resolutions were then agreed t0The Admiralty, &c., Acts Repeal Bill, the Dockyard Ports Regulation Bill, and the Admiralty Powers, &c., Bill, passed the committee. The remaining business having been disposed of, the House adjourned at nine o'clock. In the House of Lords, on Friday, the Colonial Governors Retiring Pension Bill was read a second time. Several other bills passed through committee, and a number were read a third time and passed, amongst them the Prisons Bill and the Government Hospital Bill.. Lord Chelmsford called attention to the claims of captains on the reserved half-pay of the Royal navy under the Order in Council of June, 1851, and January, 1856. The Duke of Somerset urged that the operation oi tne orders had in reality caused no injustice to the officers III question. The House then adjourned. In the House of Commons, on the motion for adjourn- ment to Monday, Sir H. Cairns called attention to the imprisonment of Consul Cameron and other British sub- jects in Abyssinia for a period of eighteen or nineteen months, that is, since February, 1864; they had been put in chains, and some of them had been put to a kind of ^Mr^ayard, having stated the antecedent history of the King of Abyssinia, proceeded to say that her Majesty's Government had declined to receive a mission from the King, on the ground that it might be misconstrued by the Viceroy of Egypt, to whom the King of Abyssinia was entirely hostile; but communications had been entered into with him in reference to making him some acknowledg- ment for his conduct with regard to the death of a British consuls, Mr. Plowden; and Mr. Cameron was ap- pointed to take letters and presents to the king, after which he was to return to his consulate at Massowlah, on the Red Sea, in the terri-tory of the Sultan. He was well received at first, but in a short time he received hints to leave the capital; but he opened negotiations with the King, in which he intimated that assistance might be given by England to the King in his contest with the Turks, and he proposed that an embassy should be sent to this country—all which was directly contrary to his instructions. Upon this the King wrote the letter to her Majeftv which had been alluded to. The King directed Mr. Cameron to leave his capital, but he remained and in- terfered in the affairs of Abyssinia. After all that had oc- curredpreviously between the Foreign-office and the Kingthe letter in question was clearly one which required no answer. It was a mistake to say that this was the cause of Mr. Cameron's imprisonment, for it arose out of a quarrel between the King and some missionaries, who were first imprisoned, which ended in the incarceration of all the Europeans in the capital. Her Majesty's Government, having advised with Sir W. Coghlan, thought it the best course to entrust the affair to Mr. Rassam, a British agent, who had done excellent service at Aden, where he "Wn«j lieutenant-governor. Ke had been sent to Massowab. With a letter from the Qneen to King Theodore, but owing ffT+liP disturbed state oi the country he had not been able Jz. ph the capital. Everything which with prudence could hZ done would be done by her Majesty s Government. Mr. H. Seymour said that his friend Mr. Cameron had long been in the consular Eervice, and. was experienced in dealing with semi-civilised nations. He protested against the manner in which Mr. Layard had spoken of the conduct of that gentleman, whose proceedings he defended. The adjournment was agreed to. r)- /) The orders were disposed of, and the House adjourned. In the House of Lords, on Monday, Lord Ebury moved a resolution to the effect that, In the opinion of this House, the evils arising from the compulsory and indiscriminate use of the burial service of the Church of England demand the early attention cf the legislature." His lordship sup- ported his motion in a speech of considerable length, and was followed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Earl Gran- ville, the Bishop of London, and Earl Grey. The House then divided, and the numbers were:—Con- tents, 20; non-oontents, 43—23. Earl Cowper moved for a list of those lords who have served on private bill committees during the present session of Parliament, and the number of times that each lord has served, and called the attention of the House to the question whether it was not desirable tt at it should be compulsory unon etch meinber of the House, with certain exceptions, to serve, if required, on a private bill committee during each 86Tdiscussfon'rasued, in the course of which Lord Redes- dale suggested that the number of days which each peer served should be given The motion as amended was agreed to, and, after some further business, their lordships adjourned at four o'clock. In the House of Commons the Lords' amendments to certain bills were considered. The Naval Discipline Act Amendment Bill was read a second-time and committed. The Foreign Jurisdiction Act Amendment Bill and the Rochdale Vicarage Bill passed the committee. Mr. Hunt moved the following resolution:- That the evidence taken before the committee of this House on the Leeds Bankruptcy Court discloses that a great facility exists for obtaining public appointments by Is corrupt means that such evidence, and also that taken before a committee of the House of Lords in the case of Leonard Edmunds, and laid before this House, shows a laxity of practice and want of caution on the part of the Lord Chancellor, in sanctioning the grant of retiring pen- sions to public officers over whose beads grave charges are impending, and in filling up the vacancies made by the re- tirement of such officers, whereby great encouragement has been given to corrupt practices; and that such laxity and want of caution, even in the absence of any improper mo- tive, are in the opinion of this House, highly reprehensible, and calculated to throw discredit on the administration of the high offics of State." He proceeded to establish the propositions upon which his resolution was founded, by reading the evidence relating to tHe transactions between Mr. Welch and the Hon. R. Bethell and the case of Mr. Wilde. He then examined the evidence as to the Lord Chancellor's "laxity of prac- tice and want of caution," observing that he ought to have known that Mr. Miller was in his son's interest, and that his knowledge should have "roused his suspicions. The Lord Advocate moved an amendment to the effect that the House, having considered the report of the Select Committee on the Leeds Bankruptcy Court, and the evidence up~ch it was founded, agree with the committee in acqStting the Lord Chancellor of all charge, except haste and want of cauti on in and is of opinion that f^^her ste^^ould bo taken by law Mr^Hennessy* observed that only one of the cases; it said V it appearcd case, which was by far the w ^tee that other mem- evidence taken by the Lords Con m chancellor were bers of the Government besides were cognisant of certain matters relaangt vitoce through, Mr. Denman said, that having xead the un_ he was of opinion that the heads of estim0nials pro- Just and untrue He contended that the tesu duced by Mr. Welch were sufficient to jusUfy h PP Blent; and as to Mr. Wilde's case, he thought the strongest Evidence was contained in the candid statement ot tn Chancellor himself, that he did not read the certificate. Nvllich, if a grave offence, was one committed by Judges every day. The suggestion that there had been a plot to Place Mr. Richard Bethell. in the Leeds Court was utterly groundless as far as the Lord Chancellor was concerned. Mr. Bouverie avowed a want of confidence in the Lord Chancellor in the administration of his office. He concurred ,With the committee in putting aside all questions of cor- ruption on his part; but there were corrupt practices going On in offices connected with him, though he was not cog- Iliftnt of them, which the House was bound to notice and condemn There had been gross malpractices on the part of officers in the Court of Bankruptcy, and he considered that the Lord Chancellor had been guilty of a dereliction of duty In granting retiring pensions without inquiry Mr. Hunt offered to allow his resolution to be negatived in order to let in a resolution of which Mr- BoUverie had given notice, more distinctly exculpating the Lord Chan- cellor from any charge of corruption.. After a few remarks by Mr. Howes and Mr Vivian, The Attorney-General contended that there was no ground for a vote of want of confidence m the Lord Chan- cellor to drive him from his office, and reminded the House ot the abuses which had been ferretted out by the vigilance of the Lord Chancellor, of the odium he had incurred by these services rendered to the country, and of the manner which he had exercised his high J«d'^l P^^ge. ?hese considerations should weigh with the House,^ which, »»looking at the slight offences charged against tne Lord Chancellor, would refuse to concur in this unworthy motion. After a few words from Mr. E. Egerton, Mr. Henley, and Colonel Pennant, the original resolution was negatived. The amendment of the Lord Advocate beiag put aa a sub- stantive motion, Lord Palmers ton, observing tisat. the House had negatived any charge of corruption against the Lord Chancellor, re- commended and moved that the debate be adjourned till to- morrow. Mr. Disraeli opposed this motion,, which was negatived, upon a division, by 177 to 162, The Lord Advocated motion having been negatived, Mr. Bouverie's resolution, to the following effect,— "That this House, having considered the report of the Com- mittee on the Leeds Bankruptcy Court, and the evidence taken before them, are of opinion that, while the evidence discloses the existence of corrupt practices with reference to the appointment of Patrick Robert Welch to the office of Registrar of the Leeds Brankruptcy Court, they are satisfied that no imputation can be fairly made against the Lord Chancellor with regard to that appointment; and that such evidence, and also that taken before a Committee of the Lords, to inquire into the circumstances connected with the resignation of Mr. Edmunds of the offices held by him and laid before this House, shows a laxity of practice and a want of caution with regard to the public interests on the part of the Lord Chancellor, in sanctioning the grant of retiring pensions to public officers against wl om grave charges were pending which, in the opinion of this House, are calculated to discredit the administration of his great office,was carried without a division, when the cheering I was again renewed. The house adjourned at a quarter past twelve o'clock. In the House of Lords, on Tuesday, Lord Redesdale sat as Speaker, Earl Granville stated that m consequence of the resolu- tion which had been passed by the House of Commons on ) the previous night, the Lord Chancellor had tendered his resignation. It would be satisfactory to the House to know that for the last five months the Lord Chancellor had placed his resignation at the disposal of Lord Palmerston in consequence of the charges which had been made against him • but he had consented to withhold it until after a Parliamentary investigation had taken place. Although the resolution of the other House did not impute unworthy the resolution of the other House did not impute unworthy or corrupt motives to the Lord Chancellor, the Prime Minister had thought it right to advise her Majesty to accept his resignation, but, in order not to interfere with public business, he would retain the Great Seal until after the prorogation. Earl Russell laid on the table dispatches from the Ame- rican Government, announcing the cessation of the civil I war, and expressing gratification at the withdrawal of belli- gerent rights from the South by this country. The Harwich Harbour Bill and the Colonial Governors' Pension Bill were read a third time and passed; and after some further business the House adjourned. I In the House of Commons, Lord Palmerston informed the House that the Lord Chancellor, in deference to the I vote which had been come to, had tendered his resignation. As early as the beginning of the session, and often since, the noble and learned lord had pressed on him (Lord Pal- merston) his resignation; but, on public grounds, he had urged on the noble and learned lord to withhold his pur- pose; knowing that his motives had been pure and incor- rupt, he was certain that any inquiry which might be made would result, as it had resulted, in his complete ac- quittal. The Lord Chancellor would continue to hold the Great Seal until after the prorogation. Sir L. Paik called attention to the verdict of a jury at an inquest on the bodies of Thomas Sweter, George Kent, and William Anderton, who had been killed by a railway accident on the Great Western, and which pointed out the necessity of a communication between guard and driver; and pressed the subject generally of the improvement of railway signals as a duty of the Board of Trade. Mr. M. Gibson said that he had never laid it down that Parliament ought not to interfere with the management of railways for the safety of the public, but he had only pointed out the difficulty of legitimate interference. The powers of inspection and examination given by law to the Board of Trade were scrupulously and regularly exercised. The Naval Discipline Act Amendment Bill, the Foreign Jurisdiction Act Amendment Bill, and the Rochdale Vicarage Bill, were read a third time and passed. The House then adjourned. In the House of Lords, on Wednesday, the Lord Chan- cellor said that out of the deep respect he owed to the House he felt it his duty personally to announce the resig- nation of his office, a step which he should have taken many months ago had be followed the dictates of his own judg- ment. He had not felt at liberty to do so, as a member of the Government, without the sanction of his colleagues. He felt that he was safe if he followed the. opinion of the Prime Minister rather than his own; but he also felt that the holder of the Great Seal ought never to be in the position of an accused person; and that, he being unfortunately in that position, it was due to his great office that he should retire from it, and meet any ac- cusation in his private capacity. His noble friend the Prime Minister objected to that course, and said, with great justice, that it was not right to admit as a principle of political con- dacfcthat whenever an accusation was made against a member of the Government he was at once to be driven from office. With regard to the opinion expressed by the House of Commons he would not presume to say a word; he bowed to the decision; but, at the same time, he hoped he might be allowed to express a hope that, after an interval, calmer thought would prevail, and a feeling more favourable to- wards him be entertained. He had but to thank their lord- ships for the kindness he had uniformly received, and if by possibility, by some word or some inadvertence, he might have given pain or exposed himself to unfavourable com- ment, he begged their lordships to accept his expression of regret, and he trusted that they would allow it to be erased from their memories. t The Consolidated Fund Appropriation Bill was read a third time and passed. The Commons' amendments to certain bills were con- sidered and agreed to, and the House adjourned. In the House of Commons, in answer to Mr. Hennessy, Sir G. Grey said that he had had no formal communication with aaiy Roman catholic prelates on the subject of the incor- poration of the Roman Catholic University with the; Queen's University in Ireland, although he had been in communication with the Lord Lieutenant; and the Govern- ment was prepared to carry out that object. The House then adjourned.

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