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T,T FAHLIAMENTARY JOTTINGS,

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T, T FAHLIAMENTARY JOTTINGS, THE House of Lords during the past week has presented a, contrast to the Commons in the paucity of members attending it. Very frequently the business of the afternoon has been gone through with less than a dozen noble lords pre- sent, and the absence of the lawn sleeves on the Episcopal Bench has been singularly remarkable. The old Marquis of Westmeath had a series of notices on the paper, relative to innovations in the Church of England services, and to the many changes of vestments which have become customary in churches within the dioceses of the right rev. prelates. The venerable peer I have alluded to has nearly completed his 81st year, and is in the estimation of the House of Lords what Mr. Whalley is in the Commons, that is to say, he exaggerates grievances which, on inquiry, are found to be based upon trifles. It was, however, considered rather pusillanimous on the part of the bishops to absent themselves at a time when explanations were really desirable. The only two who faced the inquiries upon this occasion were the Bishops of j Carlisle and Cashel, the former refused to state what were his impressions upon innovations said to exist, because such matters may be brought before him in his official capacity to adjudicate upon, and the Bishop of Caehel merely stated that he had heard of no innovations in his district. The noble marquis has, however, declared his inten- j tion to persevere in his inquiries until he gets some direct answer from the great dignitaries of the Church. One event of the past week should be noticed, namely, the familiar face of Lord Brougham, who has again taken his seat amongst his peers. This venerable nobleman is now in his 88th year, his fine massive head is still covered with a profusion of white hair, his features are more strongly marked and more characteristic than ever, and his deeply bronzed complexion J testifies to much out-door exercise in a sea wind I and hot sun. He walks slowly, and with evident feebleness, and his frame is much bowed and bent with the weight of years. As he shuffles, rather} than walks, from one peer to the other, each one seems to shake him by the hand as a fond, familiar friend whom they are delighted to see once more amongst them. If not some of the fire of youth, at least a, specimen of the 11 old man eloquent" appeared when the subject of corrupt practices at elections was brought before their lordships. He took an ooportunity of inveighing against this unconstitutional system, and called for more stringent measures against both briber and bribed. To turn. to the business as transacted in the Rouse of Commons, it has been rather peculiar on account of the determined opposition to the Re- form Bill, and the many manoeuvres to postpone it. First, there was the "talk out" policy. Now, to a, looker-on the House of Commons presents a very odd spectacle when a determined "talk out" sets j in. This was done by the Ministerial side on a Wednesday morning sitting, when a motion was on against the Government, and the Opposition w-as found to be strong. I heard a member say on retiring that evening, "We will be quits with them before the session is over:" and they have done it successfully upon two occasions latterly. Many people have wrong ideas about the manner in which talking against time is dome. Some think it is more conspicuously artificial than it is. Others think the fact is less obvious than it really is, and that there may be some doubn about whether the measure is being talked out or not. Both suppositions are erroneous. When a bill or resolution is being talked out every one knows it. A speaker who has, perhaps, never received a cheer before, is greeted by his party with thundering •" Hear, hears," and the side against which the manouvre is being practised receive with "Oh, ohs," every member who rises; the spectator from above will see whole rows of the op- j posing side stooping forward and laughing simultaneously at the member's determined efforts to be heard, just as rows of per- sons in the pit of a, theatre lurch forward and laugh at the jokes of a favourite comedian. The speakers themselves take care not to show the least sign of want ef seriousness, if they did it ■would be too much for the House to bear. Thus, on the llth inst., Mr. Mnglake, on the Ministerial side of the House, asked for some explanations as to the course pursued by the Government in Continental affairs. Mr. Gladstone replied; and here the matter would have ended upon ordinary occasions, but the Opposition commenced talking against time they did not want the Reform Bill to come on. So, one after another, Mr. B. Coch- rane, Mr. Sandforo, Sir G. Bowyer, Lord Cran- borne, Lord J. Manners, Lord C. Hamilton, Mr. Whiteside, and a, host of small fry, kept up a debate for five hours. The Ministerial members were at last determined not to hear, and amid continued cries of "Divide, divide," "Agreed, agreed," the last speech came to an end, at half- past ten o'clock. The House then got into com- mittee upon the Eeform Bill. The Opposition would not permit a single mause of this to pass without fighting it, and Mr. Walter Eunti rose to propose a, rating franchise for counties instead of a, rental one, as in the bill brought forward by the Government. A long dis- cussion followed, and of course the old arguments were raised, the Opposition accusing the Govern- ment of favouring the manufacturing interest over the agricultural community, whilst the Govern- ment stuck to statistics, and endeavoured to show that the new bill had been carefully prepared, in order to represent numbers as well as classes, j Half-past twelve came, and the Government pa,rty tried to force a division, -Wbich the Tories resisted. Mr. Gladstone in vain reminded them of the late- cess of the session, and the extent of business to be transacted. They would scarcely hear him, however, and, ia the midst of great confusion, Colonel Gilpin moved that the Chairman report nrocress," which, in other words, means the ad- fourkment for that night. The Government were determined to try their strength, and resisted, and when the numbers were announced-254 in favour liT ti,. adioarnmee,, and 303 against it-the Government cheers were astounding. on <T0 on," was cried, but immediately Colonel trior moved that the Chairman leave the chair." The Chancellor of the Exchequer again pleaded the indulgence of the committee, and asked them not to waste valuable time m these unnecessary divisions; but it was all to no purpose, again they divided, when the numbers were 212 for the adjournment, and 2f).4 against it. Scarcely had the tellers announced, the division, when the voice of Mr. Bagge was heard from the gallery, moving "that the Chair- man report progress, and ask leave to sit again." To this Mr. Gladstone felt obliged to submit, as, according to the rules of the House, the Opposition oould have kept dividing all night on the mere question of adjournment. On Thursday the debate came on again. You could see that both parties had assembled in large forces; that Mr. Brand and Mr. Hugessen, the Ministerial whips," and Colonel Taylor and Mr. Whitmore, the Opposition, were working hard, i It was known that the division would occur before the dinner hour, and wagers were made as to numbers. The Tories thought they would be in a minority of ten, the Ministers expected twenty. At length the electric bells were set ringing, the sand-glass turned to run three minutes, the lobbies, refreshment and smoking-rooms were scoured for stray members, and the Baron Rothschild was wheeled along in an invalid's chair. Strangers were ordered to withdraw, the ayes were told to go to the aig'tti, the .to the left, and away raahed mast iof the members like schoolboys at a sham elec- tion. In the midst of the uproar the loud voice of Mr. Hunt, the stalwart giant who represents tion. In the midst of the uproar the loud voice of Mr. Hunt, the stalwart giant who represents Northamptonshire, was heard complaining that the question had been improperly put from the ehair. Hats on" was shouted on all sides, it being one of the Parliamentary rules that after a question has been put and on speaking to a point of order the head should be covered. Mr. Bou- verie, who spoke seated, and with his hat on, told Mr. Hunt that he did not seem to know how questions should be put in committee, I and then rushed over to convince him privately that the chairman was right. Mr. Dodson justified the way in which he had put the question. Order, order, was called; and once again members proceeded to the different lobbies. But then there was heard an extraordinary cry for the Sergeant-at-arms. A stranger in the lobby! was shouted. Mr. Hunt looking around him, said, I see no one. Where looking around him, said, I see no one. Where is he ? Presently the Sergeant-at-arms, with his sword by his side, came to the bar of the House with a criminal, in the form of a gentleman. The unhappy person had been sitting under the gallery, and, half sleepily, wandered into the division lobby, instead of going out of the House at the words, Strangers must withdraw." Of course, there was much merriment at the intruder's expense. All he had to suffer, however, was that of being detained in solemn custody until the division was taken. At length members returned to the House. Every seat was filled, and a crowd assembled at each gangway, who defied the tellers to pass through and record the numbers. Bar, bar," was shouted on all sides, and rushing and scram- bling through the mass of human beings came the tellers. The Government cheered immensely when they found the division was given to Mr. Brand, as it was a, certain sign of victory. But when he gave out" Ayes to the right, 273; Noes to the left, 280/' the cheer was taken up by the Opposition and a roar of applause followed. Another division took place the same night, but unimportant as far as party strength was con- cerned, Mr. Gladstone having accepted some amendment on a clause as suggested by Mr. Banks Stanhope, to the effect that land qualification should be admitted into the franchise without the necessity of house occupancy. Mr. Bright, Mr. White, and others of what are termed the progres- sive party, were indignant at this, and absolutely walked out of the House in an apparent fit of disgust. But no night in the Session has the excitement been so great as it was on Monday. The fifth clause of the Reform Bill was then brought before the committee; this was to extend the franchise to householders who pay a rental of £ 7 in boroughs. Lord Dankellin had an amendment to the effect that, instead of being a rental, it should be a rate- able qualification. Mr. Gladstone contended that if this was carried it would be fatal to the bill. The debate went on, the Government were not over- anxious in the first instance; dinner-time arrived, and members talked to empty benches; then, as ten o'clock arrived, there was a rush—every one knew something was coming', but from what source I was unable to discover. It was dinned into my ears, Ministers will be beaten." I losked and wondered, because the county franchise clause, on which their fate was to be decided, had passed, and this borough qualification was thought on all sides to be less objectionable. Presently, Sir Robert Peel rose, and railed against the Government, and attacked individually several members of it, stating that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had told him that the Government was Lord Palmerston's without Lord Paimerstom to guide them; and concluded a long speech, in which he hit right and left, by expressing his intention to vote for the amendment, stating that he preferred this to giving an insincere vote for the purpose of bolstering up a scheme which he believed that House and the country had sufficiently proved to the Government was not one which could be creditable to the nation, or which would in any degree promote the interests of the people. After this in vain did Mr. Bright and Mr. Yilliers defend the Government; the Opposition knew they were strong, and were desirous for a division. It came at last, after both Lord Dunkellin aud Mr. Gladstone had wound up, and when the numbers were given to the Opposition tellers the cheering was enormous; but when silence was I restored, and they gave out ayes to the right, 304, noes to the left, 315, the Opposition knew no bounds. They waved hats, they clapped hands, they shouted, and the cries of Order" from the chairman could not for some minutes be heard. It was a victory on the part of the Opposition not expected twelve hours previously. Sir Robert Peel carried the day, and well may the Chancellor of the Exchequer say, Save me from my friends." But in both Lords and Commons Tuesday was the eventful day. The Lords met at five o'clock, and long before that hour the ladies (God bless them), gifted with natural curiosity, filled the galleries, the lobbies, and the ambassadors' seats around the Peers' House. There was not much cere- mony to be witnessed, however; there were merely a few words from Earl Russell to the eiieet that, consequent upon the division upon a previous I night in the House of Commons, a Cabinet Council had been called that afternoon, and their delibera- tions would be submitted to the Queen, and await her Majesty's reply, and as this would naturally cause some delay, he moved that the House adjourn until Monday. | A similar crowd met in. the House of Commons to hear Gladstone's announce- ment. Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, and many of the leading nobility were in the Peers' Gallery. Just such an announcement as that in the Lords was made to the Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, I may add, was vociferously cheered, both on his entrance and during his short speech. The right hon. gentleman, how- ever, looked haggard and careworn, whilst his colleagues seemed quite to enjoy the fun of going through a new ceremony.

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