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FRIDAY.

MONDAY.

TUESDAY.

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TUESDAY. Their lordships met at five o'clock. On the motion that the House go into committee on the Coinage Bill, The Duke of RICHMOND asked how it was that silver, which was included in the Bill when it was brought into the other House, had since been omitted, and whether or not, under a memorandum signed by C. W. Freemantle, and C. Rivers Wilson, the salaryof the Master of the Mint, 21,500, was not to be added to the salary of the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer, who under the Bill was to fill for the time being the post of Master of the Mint. The Marquis of LANSDOWNE stated that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had already stated in the House of Commons that no salary was to attach to the office of Master of the Mint, and with regard to the omission of silver from the Bill, the reason was that it had been found that the profit would be large if silver were not brought in the same as gold. Lord KINNAIRD moved that the Bill be referred to a select committee. His Lordship went through the greater portion of the Bill with the view of showing that some of the provisions were innovations upon established custom in connection with the coinage of the country, that the Bill had been hastily prepared, and that it ought to be considered by a committee before it was allowed to pass their lordships' House. If the committee asked for were refused, he should at a later period move for a committee to enquire into the management of the mint. The Marquis of LANSDOWNE replied to the objections urged by Lord Kinnaird, and hoped they would not, by acceding to the motion for a select committee, sanction the delay that would thereby be occasioned. Lord Kinnaird withdrew his motion, and. the Bill passed through committee. The Income Tax Assessment and Inland Revenue Amendment Bill was read a third time and passed. The Consolidated Fund (29,564,191 7s. 2d.) Bill was read a second time. The House adjourned at 6-10. The Speaker took the chair at four o'clock. In reply to Mr Watkin Williams, Mr GOSCHEN said that attention had been called to a report in the papers that the Ellesmere Board of Guardians had refused to supply maps for the use of the pauper chil- dren, on the ground that it was not necessary for them to learn geography. On enquiry he learned that the facts were these —that the schoolmaster had applied for books, slates, and maps; the books and slates were ordered, but not the maps, on the ground that the children were too few in number and too young to justify the cost. There were twelve children in the school, of whom six were above and six below ten years of age. A neighbouring Board of Guardians, however, had displayed anti-geographical opinions, and the Poor-law Board had been obliged to threaten to stop the money grants for the schoolmaster, being of opinion that when the number and age of the boys justified it the schools ought to be properly supplied. In reply to Mr James Lowther, Mi C. FORTESCUE said that the Dublin Freemen Com- mittee were not responsible to him, and he could not say why they did not meet until December—although ap- pointed in August—unless they were very eminent persons in their profession, it was difficult for them to do so earlier. He had been informed that this report, which was delayed for the printing of the evidence, would be ready directly after Easter. Sir GEO. JENKINSON asked the reason for the com- mutation of the sentences of death upon William Cun- ningham at Glasgow, Susannah Hyde at Tetsworth, and Jacob Spinas for the Finsbury murder. Mr BRUCE-I have been eighteen years in this House, and except in the case last session of the hon. baronet, I never recollect any member calling upon the Home Secretary to explain in the way of question and answer why he has thought fit to exercise the prerogative of the Crown. (Hear, hear.) Of course it is open to the House to question any discretion, and I recollect motions for this purpose in the cases of Wright, Townley, and Jessie M'Laughlan. Similar motions were made in the case of James Scott when my right hon. friend opposite was in office, and more recently with respect to my decision in the case of Michael Atkins. In all those cases notice was given, and the Minister had an opportunity of explaining and justifying the reasons upon which he had acted. However, I do not shrink from answering the question of the right hon. baronet. (Cries of "No, no.") I gather that it is the opinion of the House that I should not. (Cheers.) I am deeply grateful to the House for its confidence. (Cheers.) Sir G. JENKINSON wished to call attention to a telegram in to-day's Times from Madrid, in which it is stated that Mr Bright promises to restore Gibraltar to Spain. (Laughter.) Of course he did not believe it, but thought that it ought to be contradicted. Mr GLADSTONE-I think that I may take upon myself, without communicating with my right hon. friend, to say that it is an entire fabrication. (Cheers and laughter.) Mr BIRLEY put off his motion for a select committee to enquire into the operation of the commercial treaty with France until after Easter. Sir G. JENKINSON moved for leave to bring in a Bill to alter and amend the law relating to the present system of the revision and commutation of capital sentences. He protested against the tone of the Home Secretary in reply to his question if he had been told that it was prejudicial to the administration of justice he would not have put it, but he considered that he was only doing his duty as a member of the house, and that the public had a right to know why and wherefore these sentences had been commuted. Mr BRUCE said the Government had no objection to the introduction of the Bill, and he hoped the hon. baronet would succeed in legislating upon a subject which had hitherto baffled so many statesmen. The motion was then agreed to. The adjourned debate on the second reading of the Peace Preservation (Ireland) Bill was resumed by Mr DOWNING, who objected to the Bill, and contrasted the state of crime in Ireland with that in England con- tending that murder and other serious crimes in the latter country were in excess of similar offences in Ireland. Lord JOHN MANNERS criticised the right hon. gentle- man's speech, and pointed out that there was this differ- erence between crime in Ireland and crime in England, that whereas it was found put and punished in our own country, it remained an impenetrable mystery in Ireland, and became of so exceptional a character as to re- quire exceptional legislation. He would give the Bill his most hearty support, but at the same time he reserved to himself the right of commenting upon the action of the Government, which had rendered the intro- duction of such a Bill necessary. The noble lord censured the speeches of Mr Gladstone and other members of the church upon the Irish question, and urged that they had excited false hopes which could never be realized. He dwelt in particular upon a speech delivered during the recess at an agricultural meeting by Lord Clarendon, in which the noble lord characterized the conduct of certain Irish landlords towards their tenants as felonious. He complained that the Government had exhibited a great want of energy in the past, but he supported the present Bill because it contemplated four objects-the prevention of crime, the detection of crime, the punishment of crime, and the repression and suppression of incendiaries. Upon the last point, which involved the suppression of the sedi- tious newspapers, he thought the provisions of the Bill would not be too severe, and he sincerely trusted that the increased powers which the Bill placed in the hands of the cxecutive Government would result in the putting down of agrarian outrage and in tranquilizing the country. Mr C. FORTESCUE, at some length, replied to the objections and criticism which had been made against the Bill. He defended the conduct of the Govern- ment for not having brought it in at an earlier date on the ground that the amount of violence and crime which had latterly sprung up was far beyond that of the whole of 1869. He denied indignantly that the Government had for some time abdicated its functions in Ireland, asserting that they had done their best with the means at their disposal. He would appeal to any Irish magistrate whether the Irish executive and police authorities had been indifferent in the slightest degree, showing what steps they had taken and what the police and military were doing in the disturbed districts. He contended that they had only failed from the causes which he had explained in introducing the Bill, and ex- Eressed a strong hope that the powers which were now eing conferred upon the Irish authorities would enable them to prosecute their efforts with success. He dis- tinguished between Fenianism and agrarian crimes. Their objects were different but the results were the same, and when they assumed so readily the inefficiency of the Irish police, they must recollect that Fenianism was kept alive by agencies outside of Ireland, and that no crime was so difficult to detect as threatening letters and secret assassination, favoured if not connived at by general sympathy; so it was on this account, and this account solely, and not on account of the inefficiency of the police or the weakness, of the executive, that these additional powers were necessary to meet the difficulty with which they were surrounded, and to supplement the untiring and indefatigable efforts of the police, to which he bore a strong testimony. The charges against the Government and the Irish police were very easy to make. No one acquainted with real facts would make them. The Government had acted all along under a due sense of responsibility, and the result proved that they had acted wisely in not bringing in the Bill until it was absolutely necessary, and thus weakening not only its moral effect, but defeating the objects which they hoped to attain by their other legislation for the removal of all just or rea- sonable complaints, and establishing on a permanent basis a better state of things in Ireland. Some further discussion ensued; when the House di- vided. The numbers being, for the second reading, 425; against, 13; majority for, 413. House adjourned at 12'55.

WEDNESDAY.

[ THURSDAY.

PORTMADOC.

TOWYN.

DOLGELLEY.

HUNTING APPOINTMENTS.

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