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-----------------IMPERIAL…

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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. At the morning sitting of the Honse of Commons, on June 14, Mr. 0. Stanley addressed an inquiry to the Home Secretary, connected with the recent march of the City of w London Militia through the northern districts of the metro- polis, when the absence of a sufficient police force on the route gaveamob of thieves an opportunity to commit several acts of violence and robbery. The hon. member parti- cularly wished to know whether it was not the duty of the; officer in command, under such circumstances, to come to the aid of the civil power. Mr. Secretary Hardy replied that, in the instance alluded to, no notice of the intended march had been given to the police authorities; hence the want of protection to the pub- lic which had been complained of. He was not acquainted1 with the military law on the subject, but looking to what had occurred with respect to the volunteer force he did not think the soldier so far put off the obligation of citizenship as to be exempt from the duty to assist civilians when felo- nies were being committed in his presence. The report of supply on the navy estimates was brought up and agreed to. On the order for going into committee on the Vaccination Bill a preliminary discussion arose, in the course of which Lord R. Montagu explained that the object of the measure was to make vaccination compulsory in England in the same manner as was now the case in Scotland and Ireland, where the system had been productive of the best results. The House then went into committee on the bill, and was occupied in the consideration of its clauses until a few minutes to seven o'clock, when the Chairman reported pro- gress. On the House re-assembling at nine o'clock, Major Anson drew attention to the petition presented by Mr. Bright on the 3rd of May, from Professor Beesley, Mr. Harrison, and others, in favour of a lenient treatment of the Fenian con- Yicts, and which he complained of as containing unjust re- flections upon the conduct of the British army in Ireland and in India, couched in language that ought to have ensured its rejection. Under these circumstances he moved, as an amendment to the motion for going into committee of supply, that the order of the House directing that the petition should lie upon the table be discharged, and that so much of the appendix to the report of public petitions as comprised a printed copy of this petition be cancelled. Mr. Cochrane seconded the motion, and a somewhat long debate ensued, in the course of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer recommended Major Anson to withdraw his motion. Some members, however, called for a division, which was accordingly taken, and resulted in 11 votes being given for and 43 against the motion. Mr. P. Taylor asked what had been done by the GoTem. ment to carry out Her Majesty's answer to the Address ra- lating to Mr. Churchward and other magistrates convicted Of electoral corruption, to which Mr. Hardy replied that great difficulty had arisen from the amendment to Mr. Taylor's motion, which had been carried at the same time. The Lord Chancellor had directed his principal secretary to search all the reports from 1852, in which year the system of commissions began, but he found that some of these commissions had gone much further back, and, as the House had laid down no rule, the difficulty had become incapable of solution. The guilt, too, was very different in different cases, and, though the report of a com- mittee had always been held sufficient for the House to act upon, it had not been usual to visit a man with penal conse- quences except after the verdict of a jury. The Lord Chan- cellor had done all he could, and could do no more, unless the House choose to give him more precise and definite in- structions. Mr. Labouchere called attention to the recent treaty re- lative to the Duchy of Luxembourg, and asked for some in- formation as to the nature of the obligations we had under- taken. He contended that a guarantee given as this was said to have been, to avoid a war, was intervention in the worst form, discussed at length the transactions of 1839, With the view of showing that Lord Stanley was mistaken in supposing that we then undertook any engagement in regard to Luxembourg, and expressed a strong belief that the guaran- tee we had now given in the event of a war between France and Germany would invole us in it. Mr. B. Cochrane, on the other hand, maintained that the guarantee now given was merely carrying out the treaty of 1839, and gave Lord Stanley the credit of having preserved the peace of Europe. Mr. D. Griffith made some remark on the inconvenience of the arrangement under which treaties were made without the House knowing of them. Mr. Aytoun, condemning Lord Stanley's conduct, asked whether we were absolutely bound to interfere by force of arms if the neutrality of Luxembourg were attacked; and, if so. what became of the power of the House of Commons to segulate the Supplies ? Lord Stanley replied that undoubtedly the House of Com- mons had power to stop the Supplies, and therefore, in the last resort, to decide whether we shoud go to war. As to Mr. Grif- fith's complaint, he answered that theConstitution cast on the Executive the responsibility of making treaties, and, although the exigency would not always await the conveniences of Parliamentary discussion, there were few Foreign Secretaries who would not wish to have the assistance of the support and sanction of Parliament beforehand if they could get it. Mr. Labouchere's criticism on the recent transactions was founded on a delusion, though he sympathized with the motives which prompted it, as no one had a stronger objection to increasing our diplomatic liabilities, and that more searching questions had not been asked he attributed to the fact that the country, having all the circumstances before it, had recognized the gravity of the emergency, and the comparatively slight difference in our position towards Luxembourg. As to the gravity of the case when the Conference was first proposed few persons concerned hoped that it would be successful. Prussia had positively refused the demand of France that she should evacuate Luxembourg. Feelings of jealousy and irritation in the two countries were daily increasing, and wheu Prussia yielded she made the neutralization of Luxembourg under a collective guarattee a sine qud nen. From the idea of a new guaran- tee Lord Stanley said he was so averse that for two days he hesitated, and when he yielded it was with more doubt and anxiety than he had ever felt before. But the alternative of an immediate rupture was absolutely certain, and if he had refused the armies of France and Prussia would have been at this moment in the field. Austria and Italy would speedily have been dragged in, what would have hap- pened in the East might easily be imagined, and we should not only have suffered severely in our commerce, but all the world would have said that by refusing to give this collective guarantee we were the real authors of the war. To the allegation that Luxembourg was but a pretext, and that the mutual jealousy of the two nations must ultimately lead to a war, Lord Stanley replied that he knew of nothing, and did not believe that anything was likely to arise, to disturb the increasing relations between the two countries, which ow both desired peace. He next explained the nature of the obligation into which we had entered, showing that it was merely an extension of the guarantee we gave in 1839 for the possession of Luxembourg to Holland to its neutralisa- tion It was a collective guarantee of all the Powers of Europe—a kind of limited liability affecting all the Powers collectively, but binding none of them to interfere singly if the .neutrality were violated; the risk was little, and the danger it averted was great, and the balance of advantages was decidedly in favour of the course we had taken. Mr. Goschen acknowledged that the contingent liability Lord Stanley had undertaken was much less than the risk of an European war which it had undoubtedly averted Mr. H. Seymour, Mr. Kinnaird, and Mr. Sandford joined in eulogizing Lord Stanley's wise and impartial conduct. Several orders were forwarded a stage, and the House adjourned. In the House of Lords, on June 17, the Marquis of Clan- ricarde withdrew a motion of which he had given notice respecting disaffection and alleged disloyal drills in the southern counties of Ireland. The Earl of Shaftesbury said that on Friday next he should move for a committee to inquire whether public business might not be greatly facilitated if their Lordships met at four p.m. instead of five. He thought it would give a great stimulus to young men to come forward and take a part in the debates of the House. The House having gone into committee on the County Court Act Amendment Bill, it was allowed to pass through committee. „ Earl .Russell gave notice that on Thursday next he should call attention to the Luxembourg Treaty; and their Lordships adjourned.. In the House of Commons, the House having gone into committee on the Representation of the People Bill, Mr. Bright wished to present a petition, but was ruled to be out of order. Mr. Laing, who had given notice of the following amend- ment, clause 10, line 30, after "the," insert "cities or boroughs named in the third schedule to this Act annexed, shall return three members instead of two; and each of the boroughs named in the fourth schedule to this Act shall return two members instead of one to serve in future Parliaments; and each of the," said he would only move the first part at pre- sent, dealing with the following boroughs:—Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Mar Chester, and Sheffield. He did not wish to prejudge the twenty-five seats proposed to be given to counties, for it had been part of his scheme; but the manner in which he would prefer that the represen- tation of the counties should be increased was by grouping some of the smaller boroughs. There were two anomalies which went very much together—viz., the over-represen- tation of extremely small places and the under-represen- tation of very large places. The six cities of which he pro- posed to increase the representation contained an aggregate population of 1,681,000, and an income on which assess- ment was made to income tax of 35,000,000. While this was the case, there were six small boroughs returning mem- bers the total population of which was little more than 20,000. Birmingham, and the other large cities which he had named, had as much right to increased representation as the metropolis and the counties. He did not grudge the counties increased representation. On the contrary, he wished they should get it, but he did not wish they should get it in a way that would not be permanent. If counties, some of which did not contain 120,000 of population, were to get an increase, and large cities containing nearly two millions of population were to get none, he did not think the settlement would be satisfactory. He trusted to both sides of the House for support to a proposal which had such strong reasons in its favour and looking forward at possible results which would arise from a large extension of the franchise such as that now granted, he trusted they would not stop short at the last moment, and neglect to reduce the smaller boroughs to their due and proper limits. Mr. Baines, in supporting the amendment, said if the six large boroughs had the same proportion of members as the small boroughs they would each have not three members but thirty-four. That was a state of things which required to be remedied. The boundaries of the large cities were also being considerably enlarged, and this ought: to be taken into account. His firm belief was that unless this motion was carried the reform question would not be settled. Sir. Bright wished to explain the views of the people of Birmingham. They wished him to say that in the year 1832 the population of the borough was 143,000, and that since then it had much more than doubled. The property on which the local rates were assessed amounted to more than a million, and therefore he thought it desirable in readjusting in any degree the representation of the people that the borough of Birmingham should have more members than at present. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had thrown out some hints which might be effectual in some quarters, but he hoped that the House would carry out the amendment of the hon. member, which could not be opposed on any just grounds. He trusted at the same time that no division of the borough would take place. This would necessitate two hustings and double all the machinery of election, whereas, in his opinion, the period had arrived when hustings and public nominations should be abolished, and considered s relic of barbarous times. The Chancellor of the Exchequer contended that the ar- rangement under the bill as it stood was, on the whole, a fair adjustment, giving as it did 258 members to boroughs and 237 to counties whilst, if the plan of Mr. Laing were carried, it would have the effect of depriving the county population of 34 members whe indirectly represented them under the existing system. If the committee were in favour of cumulative voting, and the representation of minorities to which it pointed, they would accede to the amendment, but the Government were entirely opposed to all such fan- tastic schemes; and if Parliament were determined to change the principle on which the opinions of the people of England had been accurately ascertained, they ought to be warned of the gravity of the consequences. Mr. Gladstone, in voting for the amendment, did so with- out committing himself to cumulative voting, or any other of the ulterior schemes -at which the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer had glanced. In his opinion the claim of the large towns was irrefutable alike in policy and in principle. Lord Cranbome said if this motion were rejected it would preclude them from adopting the amendment for cumulative voting. He was in favour of giving votes to minorities. If he could not have that he should like to have Mr. Cobden's scheme for dividing the constituencies and giving one mem- ber to each. He supported the motion because experience showed that, where there were three members, there were generally two on one side and one on the other. On a division the motion was rejected by 247 to 239. Mr. Laing intimated that after the decision just come to by the committee, he should not persist with his next amend- ment, for giving an additional member to each of the boroughs of Birkenhead, Merthyr Tydvil, Salford, and Swansea. An amendment of Mr. A. MiteheU, to divide every borough returning two or more members into the same number of districts as the number of members returned, was debated at some length but ultimately withdrawn. The Chancellor of the Exchequer next moved to amend the clause by enacting that the parishes of Chelsea, Kensington, and Hammersmith should form a borough, to be called the borough of Chelsea, and to return two members. At the instance of Mr. Ayrton, the right hon. gentleman consented to include also the parish of Fulham within the boundaries of the new borough. The committee then proceeded with the subsequent clauses, and agreed among others to the proposal for dividing the Tower Hamlets, and creating a. borough of Hackney, returning two members. On clause 15, which gives a member to the University of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer moved an amend- ment, that the University of London and the University of Durham be one constituency. Mr. Cardwell and Mr. GoMsmid objected to this junction of the two universities. Mr. Mowbray defended the amendment, on the ground that the London University was connected with colleges all over the world, and with every description of belief and non- belief.. Mr. Lowe said the University of London was not endowed. It did not educate at all; but it matriculated and examined students, and its degrees had a very high reputation, and it had nearly 3,000 graduates, many of them of the medical profession. The University of Durham was endowed by the dean and chapter of Durham, and it was entirely a church of England institution. He was one of a commission to examine it a few years ago, and nothing could be more pain- ful than its state. Itwas insolvent; it had only about thirty students. No institutions could be more different in every respect. Mr. Liddell, Mr. Headlam, and Mr. Ingham advocated the cause of Durham and Mr. G. Duff opposed its being joined to the University of London. A division was then taken on the question that the word "university" stand part of the clause, which was negatived by 183 to 169, which was tantamount to carrying the amend- ment. Mr. Lowe then, saying that the question was an important one to the University of London, and that the division had not been expected" to come on so soon, moved that the Chair- man report progress, but the motion was negatived by 196 to 114. The discussion on adjournment was continued for some time longer, an.* in the course of it Mr. Denman strongly protested against so great an institution as the University of London being joined to so miserable an institution as the University of Durham. Eventually it was agreed to report progress, and further preceeding was accordingly adjourned until June 18. The other orders were then disposed of, and the House adjourned. In the House of Lords on June 18, the Duke of Manchester presented a petition from the Cape of Good Hope against the withdrawal of the regular troops from the colony, a course which the petitioners alleged would have a bad effect upon the natives who were at war with the tribes on the frontier. The Earl of Carnarvon said he did not shrink from the responsibility of having advised the crown to take the step which the petitioners complained of. There were at this mo- ment in Cape colony alone about 4,000 British troops, the charge for which exceeded 300,0001, a year, and towards that sum the colonists contributed only 10,0001. Canada, Australia, and other colonies contributed towards their own defence, and he saw no reason why the Cape of Good Hope should not have a similar burden imposed upon it. Earl Grey agreed that the colonies ought to contribute largely towards their own defence, but there were excep- tional circumstances in the case of the Cape of Good Hope which gave the colony strong claims upon the assistance of the mother country. The petition was ordered to lie on the table; and their Lordships adjourned. In the House of Commons, at the morning sitting, the Pier and Harbour Order Confirmation (No. 3) Bill was read a third time, and passed. The House then went into committee on the Representa- tion of the People Bill, resuming the discussion on clause 15, which refers to the representation of the University of London. The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved that the blank in the clause be filled up by inserting the word "univer- sities," in order to follow that up by adding after "London," the words and Durham." Mr. Lowe again urged on the government the propriety of postponing this matter. The University of Durham was an ecclesiastical body intended for the purpose of giving reli- gious instruction; the University of London claimed to be the tester of the acquirements of persons in any branch of learning, and was eminent in things that were secular. The one was local, the other cosmopolitan; and if they united the two bodies the man who was a fit representative of the one must be an unfit representative of the other. Sir M. W. Ridley advocated the claims of the University of Durham to representation. Mr. Bright said he was not in favour of the representation of universities at alL At the same time, seeing that the other universities had representatives that was a strong argument for the University of London being represented. But nothing could be more preposterous than the proposition which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had offered. They might as well unite the-University of Edinburgh, with its high protestant feeling, to the College of Maynooth. Mr. B. Osborne said it was quite plain that these two universities would never agree, and he suggested that the seat should be given to Liverpool. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he was in favour of the representation of universities, because he thought it well that learned and enlightened men, and not mere material interests, should be represented. If the two universities had a distinctive character, they had a common aim. The arguments against the union were animated by prejudice, and he advised the University of London not to be critical in its conditions, for there were many other claimants for the seat. The Local Government Supplemental No. 4 Bill passed through committee, as did also the Drainage and Improve- ment of Lands (Ireland) Supplemental Bill. On a division, the motion was carried by 226 to 225 Sir G. Bowyer said he was informed that only members of the convocation who were exclusively members of the church of England would have the vote, and he suggested that the franchise should be extended to all graduates. Mr. Trevelyan moved to insert after "universities," "of Oxford and Durham, which, united, shall return two mem- bers to parliament." Mr. Mowbray, in reply to Sir G. Bowyer, said the govern- ment would be prepared to give electoral privileges to every graduate of the University of Durham; and he could go further, and state that if representation were granted to the University of Durham, the authorities would remove the restriction now requiring members of convocation to be members of the church of England. Mr. Gladstone asked what authority Mr. Mowbray had for making that announcement. Mr. Mowbray said it was impossible for him to pledge con- vocation, but that was in contemplation. Mr Gladstone said that did not relieve the right hon. gen- tleman from his dilemma. It appeared to him that, acting under the pressure of the recent division, the government were prepared to concede a certain basis for university fran- chise, and he asked if it were intended. to establish one basis for one university and another for another. Mr. Powell complained that, having along with other mem- bers of the conservative party fought on the side of govern- ment against the admission of dissenters to the governing body of universities, government had now betrayed them. Mr. Mowbray said it was not contemplated by the govern- ment that they should alter the constitution of the univer- sities. Mr. Trevelyan having withdrawn his amendment, The Chancellor of the Exchequer then moved to insert after "London" the words "and Durham," which he said would again raise the whole ^question, and he would take the divi- sion upon it as decisive. After some discussion the committee divided on the ques- tion that the words "and Durham be added, and the motion was lost by 234 to 226. The clause was then agreed to, -.iiid the committee pro- ceeded with the consideration of the following clauses' relating to joint occupation, registration of voters, and other incidents of the franchise, and agreed to clauses 16 to 23 inclusive, after which the Chairman was ordered to report progress. The Bridges (Ireland) Bill was read a third time and passed. The sitting was then, at a quarter to seven o'clock, sus- pended. On the House re-assembling at nine o'clock Mr. Fawcett moved a resolution to the effect that it was undesirable that the Fellows and Foundation Scholarships of Trinity College, Dublin, should be exclusively appropriated to those who are members of the Established Church, which having been seconded by Mr. Bagwell, Mr. Monsell proposed as an amend- ment that the constitution of the Dublin University should be so altered as to enable and fit it to include colleges con- nected with other forms of religion (of course, the Roman Catholic especially) than that of the Established Church, and that members of such colleges should be entitled to share in all the benefits now enjoyed by the members of Trinity College. A short discussion arose both on the motion and the amendment. Ultimately, Mr. Bruce moved the adjournment of the debate, which, after some discussion, was agreed to. The other business was then disposed of, and the House adjourned.

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