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THE WAR. ---+--




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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. ——♦ CORN-TAX DEBATE. In the House of Commons on Tuesday, in reply to a question by Mr. Dillon with reference to the relief of the sufferers in Martinique and St. Vincent, Mr. Balfour said the Government were considering what assistance could be given, but at present he could make no statement on the subject. The debate on the motion for the second reading of the Finance Bill was resumed by Mr. Sydney Buxton, who criticised adversely the financial proposals in the Budget Bill, and insisted that the Chan- cellor should have imposed more taxation and added less to the National Debt.—Mr. Austen Chamberlain denied that the corn tax was protective, and pointed out that the expenditure sanctioned by the country must be borne by all classes comprised within it. illr J. Redmond said that as the Irish party believed that the tax would be injurious to Ireland they would support the amendment. Mr. T. W. Russell also opposed. Several other members supported the amendment. Mr. Holland urged that many indus- tries in which flour was used would be prejudicially affected by the tax. Mr. Leas Knowles supported the duty, which he maintained would be paid by the foreigner. Mr -Chaplin contended that the rise in the price of bread was not permanent. On a division, Sir William Harcourt's amendment was rejected by 200 to 188. SHIPPING QUESTIONS. LORD C. BERESFORD'S LETTER. BUDGET BILL. TRADES UNIONS AND PICKETING. In the House of Commons, on Wednesday, questions were asked about the shipping combine, and in regard to one which dealt with freights Mr. Balfour said he v.ould take the earliest opportunity of moving the re-appointment of the Select Com- mittee on Shipping subsidies. In regard to the inquiry about British ships being British terri- I tory, Mr. Balfour remarked that it would be a new departure in legislation to prevent private owners from disposing of their ships when Govern- ment had no lien upon thcni.Air. MacNeill de- sired to raise a broach of privilege in connection with the publication of Lord Charles Beresford's letter in reference to tho Mediterranean Fleet, but the Speaker rided it out of order.—Mr. Arnold- Forster asked leave to make a personal explana- tion, and after referring to the correspondence which had passed, lie said that he had done no; injustice consciously to Mr. Arnold White or any other person.—Lori Charles Beresford also made an explanation, in the course of which he said that the only thing he regretted was that the Secretary to the Admiralty should by his action have been placed in the position in which ha found himself. —Mr. J. Wa'iton resumed the debate on the second reading of the Finance Bill, and, the Chan- cellor having replied to the criticisms of several members, the House divided, and the Bill was read a second time by 224 to 134.-The second reading of the Loan Bill was next submitted by tho Chancellor, whereupon Mr. Dillon submitted an amendment disapproving of the loan in the ab- sence of further information as to tho manner in which the money was to be expended.—The Chan- cellor, in reply, said the Government did not know any more than hon. members as to the course the consultations between the Boers had taken, and he advised the public to bo cautious about accept- ing the statements published.—The amendment was defeated by 232 to 109, and the second reading was carried by 224 to 102.—Mr. Beaumont moved that legislation is necessary to prevent workmen being placed by judge-made law in a position in ferior to that- intended by Parliament in 1875.— Mr. R. Bell seconded the motion, and said in the present state of the law workmen were not on an equality with employers.— Mr. Renshaw moved an amendment declining to commit. the House to fresh on until it was shewn that the existing law did not. sufficiently protect workmen in the exer- cise of their legal rights.—Mr. Wolff seconded.— The Attorney-General suppoited the amendment. Both employers and workmen had tll,) right to coin- bine, but neither had the right- to coerce, and he trusted the House would not consent to proposals which would tend to diminish the liberty at present enjoyed.—Various appeals having been made to the Government, Mi\ Ritchie urged that before Governments should be called upon to appoint a Committee, a decision should be obtained from the House of Lords as to the state of the law.— Sir H. Campboll-Bannerman regretted the non- possumus attitude of that Government.—The amendment was carried by 203 to 174, end the de- bate was then adjourned, on the motion of Mr. Caldwell. WEST INDIES DISASTER. In the House of Commons, on Thursday after- noon, Mr. Dillon asked what measures had been adopted by the Government for the relief of the people of Martinique and St. Vincent.—Mr. Bal- four said that with regard to St. Vincent the Lord Mayor of London had consented to open a relief fund. Grenada, Jamaica, West Indian Islands and Mauritius had already promised help in money or kind, and he had no doubt other colonies would be equally generous. The Government had authorised the expenditure of whatever sum might be necessary, and would be prepared to supple- ment it by an addition to the West Indies grant annually voted by the House. Ho acknowledged the sympathetic offer of the United States Government to share in the work of aid and rcs- C„Q and said the Governor of the Wmdward Islands was being consulted in reference to how the offer sliot-ld be accented. With regard to Martinique, Lord Lansdowne on May 12 telegraphed to our Ambassador at Paris to say that it would give H M Government pleasure to afford assistance in "ending provisions and medical comforts to the sufferers, and they were prepared to act at once. rn)" French Government had accepted with grati- • tUÙb who Dillon cd whether the Governor of tho Windward Islands had been authorised to spend public money to any extent he might think necessary, and whether that ex- penditure would apply both to Martinique and St. Vincent without distinction.—Mr. Balfour replied Of oourse there must be a distinction, but the Government were prepared to give assistance by the loan of medical officors and the Joan of medicai L comforts to Martinique. The hon. member had correctly interpreted his reply in reference to the authority given to the Governor of the Windward Islands.—Mr. Dillon as,r,d 'cave to move the nd jourmnent of the House in order to call attention to the refusal of the Government to take adequate steps to relieve the surviving inhabitants of Mar- I tinique. Only 37 members rose in support cf the hon. member, who d0n<andod a division. Ihe House divided, and the motion for adjournment was negatived by 124 to 54. Leavo was conse- quently refused.


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