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PARLIAMENTARY JOTTINGS. WELL, the new Parliament has at length been assembled, but no business of any importance has yet been transacted. The ceremony of the 1st of February had little in it to interest the general public, and the several days up to the 6th instant only give opportunity to the members of the House of Commons, returned at the last general election, of taking the preparatory oaths necessary before occupying their seats. It is curious, however, that, previous to taking their oaths and seats, members are permitted to elect their Speaker. The Houses of Parliament were thrown open on the 1st instant. The first persons to take their seats in the Commons were the clerks, who ap- peared in their barristers' robes and wigs. The members strolled about the lobby and occasionally walked into the House, but without taking their seats. Presently the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod called for the faithful Commons, and the clerks and a few stray members marched to the House of Lords, where was the Lord Chan- cellor as the Queen's representative. Gentlemen of the House of Commons," he said, your first duty will be to elect your Speaker and record your election." Then the clerks returned to their seats. A few members showed themselves at the entrance of the House of Commons, and strolled along the floor. Sir Denis le Marchant, as chief clerk, then called upon the members present to elect a Speaker, whereupon Mr. Denison was proposed, seconded, and declared unanimously re-elected. Then the right hon. gentleman, in his Speaker's robes, was led to the chair by his prdposer and seconder, and took formal possession of his seat. On his way thereto his hand was shaken by the various members present. The usual oaths of allegiance were then administered to several members, and the dull ceremony was over. I should remark that the oaths are administered in alphabetical order. Thus, A is called first; then B. In English counties, however, Bedfordshire came first. After the county members, then the borough members were called; after which came Berks, &e. English counties having all been called, then the Scotch and Irish followed. It is rather a wearisome ceremony. As far as political matters are concerned, there are strong running commentaries upon men and things in the various clubs. In the Reform, to wit, the members are expecting much from Mr. Gladstone's leadership in the House of Commons; and in the same way as people discussed, in Lord Palmerston's lifetime, the respective chances of those who might succeed him, are mooted the chances of Earl Russell's state of health, and the probability of his physical power not enabling him long to retain the reins of government. It seems to be universally agreed, then, that no man canfill the high position of Prime Minister better than the present Chancellor of the Exchequer; but it is dually agreed that the Ministry want to be Materially strengthened, and many new names have been introduced to notice, who may eventually be shining lights in our legislative assembly. It is also stated that both Mr. Lowe and Mr. Stansfeld have had interviews with Earl Russell, preparatory, it is assumed, to their being asked to join the Ministry. It may be wondered by some persons how these circumstances ooze out. For many years this was a mystery to me, but a week or two ago, during a heavy fall of snow, I met with a respected contributor to an evening paper. I asked after his health, and he replied he was cold and miserable; and, in answer to further inquiries, he said he had been employed the whole day in front of Chesham-place, to notice who visited Earl Russell, his purpose being to find out who were to fill the vacant places in the Cabinet. I've been waiting there," he said, for the last three hours, and no one has called, there- fore I venture to predict that no new appointments will be made at present, as, don't you see, Earl Russell is going out of town for a week, conse- quently 1 must be right." It is in this way that some of the Cabinet secrets are discovered before the plans of the Ministers are absolutely matured. Speaking, however, of clubs, let me tell you that at the Carlton and Conservative some new features are to be noticed. It is there stated that Earl Derby has given his supporters to understand that he does not again desire to take high office in the Government, that his health and love of literary pursuits would make the turmoil of public business Unendurable, but that were his son, Lord Stanley, to take office, although the politics he professes are more liberal than his own, he would support him. The old Conservatives repudiate the idea, however, of serving any other leader than Earl Derby, but a great number appear to give a will- ing support to Lord Stanley. I heard a very strong argument upon this subject the other day, when the whole rank and file of the Opposition were gone over to find any one whom they could place as Premier, supposing both Earl Derby and Lord Stanley re- fused the honour. H Mr. Disraeli," it was said, might do as Chancellor of the Exchequer, but they ad not faith sufficient in him to place him at the helmof affairs; General Peel was ablunt, outspoken, honest man, but the restraints of office would be an irksome duty to him; Sir Hugh Cairns, how- ever high his ability, was not in sufficient health to take the arduous duty of Prime Minister, but was better fitted for the woolsack," &c. Such were the opinions I heard entertained, and I give them asrecelved, andgatherfrom them that whenever the next sfcruggie shall take place for the Premiership, it will be between Mr.. Gladstone and Lord Stanley. I should remark, however, that the latter nobleman, with all his great ability, lacks a certain physical capacity which orators ought to possess. His articulation is very imperfect, con- sequent upon some physical defects; thus his voice has a kind ot squeaking, ehildish Bound that is anything but agreeable. His speeches do far better to read than to hear. Nevertheless, he is greatly respected by members on both aides the House, and is believed to be a.n honest and sincere politician. The dun-coloured horses, used to convey royalty upon special occasions, have had a long holiday; I think they have not been used Or four years, but are now put in active exercise to onvey the Queen to Westminster on the 6th instant, when the Par- liament will be opened; instead, however, Qf the old-fashioned State carriage being Private closed one has been selected for the p P e. The principal reason given for this is, that t .glass carriage is said to be cold and comfortless in wet weather, whilst the private carriage will give uer tue opportunity of shutting out snow or rain, sa happen to fall upon the occasion, as tne p verbial Queen's weather does not now appear be depended upon. The Lord Chamberlain has had thousands oi applications for seats to view the opening, yet he has not power to grant fifty, for peeresses have a first claim, and then there are ambassadors who expect to be accommodated. On the occasion of an opening by Royalty the members of the press admitted are very limited-probably not more than ten, and these are composed of one from each important daily paper; the other portion of the reporters' gallery is filled up by ladies for whom the Lord Chamberlain is triable to find seats in the peeresses' gallery. It is a great and imposing sight, and one not easily forgotten. I have once seen it, and hope this year to view it again, and give my readers a foil description of ts grandeur.







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