HC Deb 12 July 1832 vol 14 cc260-346
Lord Althorp

rose, pursuant to notice, to call the attention of the House to the Treaty with the Emperor of Russia, which had been lately laid upon the Table, and he considered that he should best suit the convenience of the House by first stating the grounds on which he should found the Motion with which he was about to conclude. He thought that, by pursuing this course, he should best consult the convenience of the House, as well as place the subject distinctly before it. He had first to endeavour to show the grounds on which Government felt itself justified in entering into the treaty; and secondly, to set forth the grounds on which he hoped the House would see, that the Government would be justified in so doing. He believed the House was generally aware of the circumstances of this case. The House was aware, that in 1815 a treaty had been entered into between the king of the Netherlands, England, and Russia, and that, previously, a treaty had been concluded between Great Britain and the king of the Netherlands, to take upon themselves the payment of a certain portion of a loan due from the emperor of Russia. It was not now necessary to enter into that question—to inquire whether this arrangement was right or wrong; it was sufficient to consider if the treaty was binding in equity and honour upon this country. The agreement concluded was, that the Netherlands and Great Britain should undertake to pay the interest of a loan due from the emperor of Russia, at five per cent, together with a Sinking Fund of one per cent, until the whole loan was extinguished. In case of the separation between Belgium and Holland, it was provided that the obligation of the king of the Netherlands and Great Britain ceased. This was the letter of the treaty. The separation had taken place. The question was, if it were such as was contemplated by the treaty, and if this country was absolved, in justice and honour, from paying its portion of the debt. He thought not. The separation was not such a separation as was contemplated by the Treaty, which was exclusively one effected by foreign force. This, he maintained, was quite clear; and knowing the object of the parties at the time, and knowing that the apprehension was of an invasion from France—he was sure that nothing was in the contemplation of the contracting parties but an invasion from a foreign Power. This was his interpretation of the treaty, and this was confirmed by the secret articles, one of which went so far as to suppose an enemy actually in the country for one year, and to provide that, after this period, the arrangements for the loan should go on as before. What was then the state of the case as to the separation between Belgium and Holland? The object of the arrangements respecting this loan was, to give Russia an interest opposed to the separation. Russia, however, had now concurred in the separation; but she had done so in consequence of the expressed wishes of this country, and not in opposition to her wishes. Would it then, he asked, be consistent with equity or honour, that this country should urge the having complied with her own wishes as a reason why she should not perform the contract to which she had been pledged. Would it now be just or honourable for Great Britain to stand upon the letter of the contract, and deprive Russia of the fair advantages of the contract, because it had complied with the wishes she had urged? This was so contrary to the honour, and so disgraceful to the character of the country, that he could not believe any Member of Parliament would be disposed to look upon this matter, affecting as it did the affairs of a great country, in a different light from that in which he himself regarded it. He said. Great Britain was bound to make this payment to Russia. Circumstances had occurred which rendered it desirable to make an alteration in the literal wording of the treaty; but there was no alteration in the substance of the engagement, and none in the honourable obligation by which we were bound. With the views which he had already stated, the present treaty had been entered into. It bore date immediately after it was signed in London—that was to say, immediately after the separation between Belgium and Holland; but he need not tell the House it did not come into operation until after the ratifications had been entered into and exchanged; and of course it could not be ratified until after Russia had acknowledged the separation between Belgium and Holland; that was, until the separation had been finally acknowledged by the five great Powers. Until this period, the separation could not be considered as valid, and the ratifications could not be exchanged; but, as soon as they were exchanged, Government laid them on the Table, and now Government came to the House of Commons to enable it to perform the engagements it had undertaken in this treaty. He wished, remembering the remarks of the hon. member for Honiton at the last discussion, to impress upon the House, that the separation was not concluded nor complete until Russia had given her consent. He had now stated the circumstances in which the country was placed, and he really did not know how anybody who wished the national faith to be maintained could object to the course pursued by Government. The Government wished to act upon the Treaty. He did not apprehend that any Gentleman would take advantage of the literal wording of the Treaty, and wish not to act according to its spirit and true intention. It was, therefore, very difficult for him to argue the question, not knowing the opposition which would be offered to it. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite might take a more legal view of the question than himself, but they were to look at it in a Statesman-like manner, and consider it according to the honour and character of the country. He thought no man could argue, that in equity we should not be guilty of a breach of faith to Russia if we should refuse this payment. These were the grounds on which he hoped the House would authorise the Government to complete the contract which the House had long before sanctioned. He observed, that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Herries) had given notice of a motion which was in substance the same with that he had brought forward before. But he apprehended that the best mode for him to pursue would be, not to enter into that question until after the motion had been made; when he would be ready to go into it. He wished only to remark, that the case of agreeing to the treaty, and making the payment last Christmas, stood upon very different grounds. He was extremely anxious that the House of Commons should not decide that the engagement with Russia should not be kept; he was more anxious upon this point than he was respecting their decision regarding the threatened vote of censure on the Administration; both, it was said, equally involved the existence of the Ministry, but the latter likewise affected the honour of the country, and the good faith of England. In moving, accordingly, that the House resolve itself into Committee on this subject, he would not enter upon any other question till he had heard the statement of the hon. Gentleman opposite. The noble Lord concluded by moving for a Committee of the whole House to take into consideration the Convention with Russia, regarding the Russian-Dutch Loan, made on the 16th November, 1831, and laid on the Table, June 27, 1832.

Mr. Herries

agreed with the noble Lord in the distinction which he had properly made between the two branches of this important subject, and he should so far follow the example of the noble Lord as to keep the two views of it entirely distinct. Upon this point, the observations; of the noble Lord were but an anticipation of what he himself had intended to say. Following, then, the example of the noble Lord, he should at once address himself to that part of the question which stood first in order for consideration. He wished however, before he adduced his reasons for proposing his Resolutions, and before he stated the grounds upon which he called for the concurrence of the House, to express his very great surprise that the noble Lord did not feel it incumbent upon him to offer spontaneously to the House those explanations to which the House was entitled, and which he knew were expected by the House and by the country. The publication of treaties and other documents involved the Government in such inconsistencies as required even more than explanations. The discrepancies were so great between the treaties and the declarations of Ministers, that he did not see how they could be reconciled. With this impression upon his mind, he could not but express his surprise that the noble Lord should come down to that House, and introduce this most important question, without a word of explanation as to the Convention, or of the discrepancies which were so manifest between the terms of the Convention and the arguments which had been made use of by Ministers. This question had been already discussed in that House, but then it was discussed in the absence of very material evidence, and the subsequent publication of that evidence showed how erroneously the House had acted. True it was, that the House so decided, but it was by a very small majority; and, now that the inconsistencies were discovered, it was the more astonishing that the noble Lord should call upon the House to agree to his Motion, without thinking it worth while to offer a word of apology or explanation on the part of Government. It was not his desire to interfere with any by-gone decision of the House. Indeed he must say, that, after what had passed upon another occasion, he had no desire to try the question upon which a decision had been pronounced. At the same time, however, he must declare, that that decision had left upon his mind a most painful impression. He did not wish to revive the discussion which preceded that decision, but so fully did he feel the justice of the position he had taken—so entirely convinced was he of the accuracy of the statement he had made—so conclusive and unanswerable did the arguments appear to his mind with which he had supported that statement and those facts—and so weak and futile were the arguments with which his motion had been opposed, in fact so perfect a nullity were they, that—and he said it with all respect—the decision which the majority then present had come to excited in his mind the deepest disap- pointment and regret for the reputation of this House. But the course he was now pursuing was not to revive a question which had been already settled. New facts had been made known, and of such importance were those facts, so strong did they bear upon the case, that he verily believed, had they been before the House at the period of the last discussion, it would have been utterly impossible for a majority to come to the decision then adopted. He would not complain of the noble Lord having only lightly touched upon a point which he conceived to be of the utmost importance, but he would supply the deficiency left by the noble Lord. The noble Lord had touched very lightly upon the question of the application of the public money of the country by the Treasury, without the authority of the Legislature, but he (Mr. Herries) regarded that as a question of the greatest consequence. Whether it was regarded in a constitutional point of view, or as interfering with the rights or duties of that House as the guardians and protectors of the public purse, it was equally important. It was also important as it concerned the character of the Government and of those who composed the Government. From these considerations, then, that branch of the subject ought not to be passed lightly over, but it ought to be inquired into narrowly and fully. It was, therefore, upon these grounds, the magnitude of the transaction itself, and the constitutional questions involved, that he felt it his duty to lay before the House the grounds upon which he should propose the Resolutions with which he should conclude. In doing this, he felt it would be necessary for him to intrude somewhat upon the patience of the House, but he entreated its indulgence. He must recal to the memory of the House the history of the transaction. He would do so as distinctly and as perspicuously, and, at the same time, as briefly as he could, but still, from the nature of the case, he feared he must occupy a considerable time. On the 26th of January, the House would recollect, a solemn discussion on this subject took place. The question then mooted was this—whether or not the Treasury was legally authorised by the Convention then known to the House to exist, to continue the payment of certain monies to Russia on account of the Russian-Dutch Loan. Upon a division it appeared that there were 229 Members present who were of opinion that the Government had no such authority, and there were 249 Members who held that it had. It must be remembered, however, that that 249 included those whose conduct was on trial and he really believed that it was felt in that House, and throughout the country, that had such not been the case, a very different result would have been arrived at. Such was the opinion of that House, and of the country, upon the statements then before them; but he repeated, that he was convinced that had the facts been known which had since been published, and to which he should presently advert, that even in appearance the conduct of the Government must have been condemned. The noble Lord had referred to only one treaty, but it was essential to a full understanding of the case to look at that treaty out of which the one referred to by the noble Lord had sprung. The first treaty preceded that referred to by the noble Lord, and it was signed on the 13th day of August, 1814, between England and Holland, no other Power being a party to it. That treaty was, in fact, in substance, and in reality, a settlement of accounts between Holland and England. Holland agreed to concede to England certain possessions (the Cape of Good nope, Essequibo, Demarara, and Surinam) for a certain sum of money, to be paid by England, upon three specific accounts. By the first stipulation, England was to pay to Sweden, on account of Holland, the sum of 1,000,000l.; by the second stipulation, England was to pay certain sums, pari passu with Holland, for the erection of fortifications in Belgium for the protection of Holland; and by the third stipulation, England agreed to bear, equally with Holland, such further charges as might be necessary for the further protection of Holland, the part of such charges to be borne by England not exceeding 3,000,000l. Such was the substance of the first treaty. Some eight months after that treaty was agreed to, which bound this country to the payment of specific sums, for specific purposes, an arrangement was made between Holland and Russia, and Holland called upon England to fulfil her Treaty of the 13th of August, 1814. England agreed to do so, and accordingly undertook to pay to Russia certain sums. But England did not do that without expressly referring to the stipulations of the original treaty, out of which the second treaty sprung. And the framers of the treaties, keeping consistency in view, and acting with consistency, were not content merely to limit the purposes to which the money might be applied, but they expressly pointed out the cases in which its payment should cease. They did not merely say the money might be paid in such and such cases, but they went further, and said, that it should be payable for this particular purpose, and, when it could not be paid for that object, the payment should cease. Such was the article in the treaty, and it was made still more distinct by the introduction of two other articles. At the period when the treaty was formed, these two articles were held secret. They were now so no longer. The noble Lord relied upon them as justifying his view of the case; and this he did by taking an interpretation of them in which the terms could never bear him out. The first article provided, that in the event of the Belgian provinces passing from the dominion of the king of Holland, the charge on Great Britain should cease; and the second supposed the occupation of an enemy for a time, and provided that, after his departure the old arrangements should take effect. Now, certainly, he thought the noble Lord called for too much when he asked the House to interpret these articles contrary to the distinct and obvious meaning. In proof of this he would quote a canon from the "Law of Nations," which adverted to such interpretations as the noble Lord would fain affix to such simple passages. Vattel, in speaking of the interpretations of treaties, commences with this great and fundamental maxim:—"The first general maxim of interpretation is, that it is not permitted to interpret what has no need of interpretation. When an act is conceived in clear and precise terms—when the sense is manifest, and leads to nothing absurd—there can be no reason to refuse the sense which this treaty naturally presents. To go elsewhere in search of conjectures, in order to restrain or extinguish it, is to endeavour to elude it. If this dangerous method be once admitted, there will be no act which it will not render useless. Let the brightest light shine on all the parts of a piece, let it be expressed in terms the most clear and determinate; all this shall be of no use, if it be allowed to search for foreign reasons in order to maintain what cannot be formed in the sense it naturally pre- sents." But Vattel was not content with reasoning upon the question himself, but he referred to another authority which fully sustained his own view. [The right hon. Gentleman here quoted a passage from Grotius to the same effect.] Now, if there were any ambiguity in the article, then indeed the noble Lord's suggestion might be admitted; but there was none. It was impossible to read the article, and, having done so, to say that two opinions could be formed respecting the meaning of its words. The House would bear in mind, that he was arguing as to the plain and palpable meaning of the article as it appeared before the world. He was not arguing the other question, as to whether or not there were any other grounds upon which this country was bound in good faith to continue the payment. What he contended for was, that neither the Treasury nor the Government had a legal power under the treaty to make the payment it had made to Russia. When this question was last discussed, the lapse of the treaty, the separation of Belgium from Holland, the House would bear in mind, had actually occurred. The Government not only acknowledged that to be the fact, but it appeared that it had taken the opinion of the law officers of the Crown upon the point. Those hon. and learned Gentlemen had contended, that the Government was just as much authorised to continue the payment as if no separation had occurred. To that argument, however, the new Convention made no reference. "It is, indeed, unnecessary (continued the right hon. Gentleman) that I should remind the House, that the Ministers, throughout the late debate on this subject, maintained their position on this district admission—that the separation between the two countries had taken place. It is true that there was one tendency to a difference of opinion on that occasion; but it seemed only to be thrown out as a sort of makeweight, and was accompanied with a distinct statement, that it was not thereby intended to dissent from the general proposition which I have just mentioned. The order in which the occurrences took place, upon which I found the Motion I am about to make, is this:—in July, 1813, the law officers of the Crown were called on to state their first opinion, whether, the separation between Belgium and Holland being completed, the Treasury was armed with power to issue a sum of money on account of the Russian Dutch Loan? And the law officers gave it as their opinion, that the Treasury did possess such power. We have, however, recently learned, by a document which has been laid on the Table of the House, that for months after the expression of that opinion, and when the period for another payment was not far distant, a new Convention was signed between Great Britain and Russia. I beg particularly to call the attention of the House to the preamble of that Convention. It states—' Their Majesties the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the emperor of all the Russias, considering that the events which have occurred in the united kingdom of the Netherlands, since the year 1830, have rendered it necessary that the Courts of Great Britain and Russia should examine the stipulations of their Convention of the 19th of May, 1815, as well as of the additional article annexed thereto;—considering that such examination has led the two high contracting parties to the conclusion, that complete agreement does not exist between the letter and the spirit of that Convention, when regarded in connexion with the circumstances which have attended the separation that has taken place between the two principal divisions of the united kingdom of the Netherlands.' The document then proceeds to recite the object of the convention; but I shall avoid that part of the subject now, because on that rests the chief merit of the Convention; and I mean boldly and at once to assert, that the document does not contain a true averment of that merit. The first article of the Convention then goes on to state, 'In virtue of the considerations above specified, his Britannic Majesty engages to recommend to his Parliament to enable him to undertake to continue, on his part, the payments stipulated in the Convention of the 19th May, 1815, ac-cording to the mode, and until the completion of the sum fixed for Great Britain in the said Convention.' The noble Lord, in his speech this evening, laid some emphasis on the argument, that the Convention was nothing till it was ratified by both parties. Though not so learned in these things as the noble Lord, I am quite aware that the stipulations of a Convention are not effective till the convention is ratified; but I also know, that the truths on which a treaty in its preamble affects to set out ought to be unchangeable. I for one am quite ready to believe that truth is eternal; and, if the British Government declares that such and such facts have taken place, no appeal to the non-ratification of Russia can alter those facts. Besides, let me here observe, that when this treaty went to Russia to be ratified, it was ratified; and, therefore, it would hardly now do to rely on the previous non-ratification. We are now at stage the second of the proceedings: it is now solemnly recorded, that on the 16th of November, 1831, the great contracting Powers came to the conclusion that a separation had taken place between Holland and Belgium, and that an agreement did not exist between the letter and the spirit of the former Convention. But there are some other facts to which I must call the attention of the House. In the latter end of December, in order to perfect it by the beginning of January, the Commissioners of the Treasury directed another payment to be made, their declaration of the letter and spirit of the treaty being different, non obstante. And here, let me observe, a new feature presents itself in the transaction, of the greatest importance. The Lords of the Treasury felt themselves enabled to make this payment, no doubt, on the opinion given by the law officers of the Crown, although the Ministers themselves had expressed an exactly contrary opinion in the Convention which I have just read to the House. But another process was necessary besides the mere direction of the Lords of the Treasury. It was necessary to draw on the Exchequer for the money to be disbursed. On this the principal officer of the Exchequer (Lord Grenville)—than whom, I will venture to say, none knows better how to discharge his duty, or is more deeply conversant with the law on the subject—tells the Treasury, 'I cannot pay this money, the Act of Parliament making the treaty subject to a condition. That condition has occurred—it is notorious to all the world. It was announced in the Speech from the Throne, that there was an independent sovereign of Belgium, and that consequently that country had passed from under the dominion of Holland; for which reason this money cannot be payable.' The way in which the Auditor of the Exchequer was at length prevailed on to pay this money, is a matter of no little consequence in our consideration of the question. He submitted that he could not pay the money, unless others, in a higher situation than himself, would take the responsibility, and likewise obtain the opinion of the law officers of the Crown. It appears, from what has subsequently taken place in this House, that the Ministers, under this difficulty, once more applied to the law officers of the Crown, and on the 24th of January obtained their opinion on the admission that the separation between the two countries had taken place; that opinion was, that under the law as it then stood, the Auditor of the Exchequer was authorised (and, if authorised, of course bound) to pay the money required. The Auditor in consequence wrote a letter, which, in my opinion, was highly becoming his character and station, in which he submitted himself under those circumstances, to the direction of the Lords of the Treasury; but, at the same time, took care to make it understood, that the payment was not in accordance with his own opinion. On this occurs the question—is it possible that the law officers of the Crown, when giving this last opinion, could have seen this new Convention, and read its preamble, which I have already stated to the House? I do not hesitate at once to ask the hon. and learned Gentleman, whether, in giving this opinion, he was aware that his Majesty's Ministers had solemnly declared, that an agreement did not exist between the letter and the spirit of the former Convention? There is also another part of the question which has been kept entirely in the dark. I should like to know whether the negotiators on the part of Russia were put in possession of the other part of the story? I should like to know whether, when they agreed that the Government should submit this question to the reconsideration of the Parliament, they were aware that the Ministers were already in possession of the highest legal authorities that such reconsideration was altogether unnecessary? I am sure that, if the Russian negotiators had been aware of this, they would at once have said—" No; by those legal opinions you are bound to pay us; and, therefore, we will not consent to any parliamentary proceeding on the subject." But I proceed with the further facts of the case. Two days after this occurrence followed the debate in this House. In the whole course of that debate, the Government took one broad, plain, standard course of argument, They admitted the whole of the facts. They at once said, 'The separation has taken place; but we, nevertheless, contend, that we were right in issuing the money;" and the principal ground relied on for this argument was the expressed opinion of the law officers of the Crown. But the House cannot help recollecting, that in the whole of that discussion, not one word was said about a new Convention; there was not a syllable of a hint of such a thing. It has, however, been talked of abundantly since; but then we have been carefully reminded that, at such and such a time, it was not ratified. It was not, however, until after that debate that we were told, that a new Convention would be necessary: if Ministers wished to deal ingenuously with the House, why did they not tell us so at once? And, if they had told us so, does any man doubt that the House would have called for a suspension of the proceedings until the new Convention was laid on the Table, I confidently ask the House, whether the impression made on their minds by the line of argument adopted during that debate, was not such as I have described? If it were necessary to adduce any further proof of this, the observations which fell from the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, would be quite sufficient for the purpose. The noble Lord said on that occasion, 'Even on the separation argument, on which the right hon. Gentleman had rung the changes that evening, he contended, that Russia was entitled to a continuation of the payments. Had this separation been proved? Was it a matter of indisputable fact? * * It was not clear to him that the king of Holland had, even as yet, admitted that any separation had taken place. He did not put that 'forward as a part of his case, but merely to show the haste with which hon. Gentlemen came to their conclusions.'* On this statement of the noble Lord, I mean to contend—"

Viscount Palmerston

observed, that the right hon. Gentleman was reading the observations which had fallen from him on a former occasion, from reports which might be more or less accurate. At all events, the right hon. Gentleman was not correctly stating what he (Lord Palmerston) had said. He was sure, that all who heard him would recollect that his argument *Hansard (third series) vol, ix. p. 966. was this; that, quoad Russia, the separation had not taken place, because Russia had not ratified the treaty, by which only the separation could be legally admitted by her. Therefore, in arguing for Russia, he (Lord Palmerston) admitted, that although, in point of fact, a separation had taken place—yet that, as far as Russia was concerned, we had no right to assume her cognizant of it. He certainly asked further, whether the right hon. Gentleman could say, that the king of the Netherlands had recognized the separation.

Mr. Herries

Notwithstanding what has just fallen from the noble Lord, I must say, that my recollection coincides with that which I have just read to the House, as a report of the noble Lord's speech; and I remember that my reply turned on the points that are here attributed to the noble Lord. I am, therefore, content to refer to the recollection of the House upon the subject. But, after all, let the matter be which way it will, it comes to this—that the noble Lord laid great stress on the fact, that the consent of the king of the Netherlands was necessary to the completion of the bargain. It has, I know, been argued, that the separation, though completed by an act of Great Britain, was not completed by an act of Russia; and that, therefore, though we were bound to the separation, Russia was not. But surely this argument places the Ministers in a state of no little inconsistency. They had before urged that the Convention was founded on this doctrine—that the emperor of Russia was bound, by the spirit of his engagement, to follow the policy and wishes of the King of Great Britain; and where, therefore, would they lead us by this other doctrine? On the one hand they say, that the emperor of Russia is bound to accede to the separation; and on the other they tell us, that because he has not acceded to the separation, he is entitled to the payment of this money. I do trust, however, that the House will never consent to put the payment of public money on such a frivolous and unsound pretence. If this argument is to do as a justification, we may as well in future have no argument at all; for I really think that this is worse than none. If I may use a vulgar phrase, it is something like "Heads, I win; tails, you lose!" It was, however, shortly after this that the truth began to ooze out. The noble Lord, in answer to a question from the hon. member for Worcester, stated to the House, that a new Convention, in point of form, would be required. In point of form!—I beg the House to mark—that was the phrase of the noble Lord. In answer to that statement, ray hon. and learned friend, who now sits near me, rose for the purpose of pointing out the inconsistency of the Government, and observed—" Then you will want a new Act of Parliament. You have been doing that which is illegal, and you will want an Act of Indemnity!" "Oh, no!" said the noble Lord; and he seemed quite surprised at my hon. and learned friend venturing to make such a supposition. And, when further pressed on the subject, the noble Lord remarked—" I said nothing about the necessity of an Act of Parliament. I only said, that the actual separation of Belgium from Holland had so altered the relative position of the contracting parties, that a new Convention, in point of form, was necessary." Here, then, again the noble Lord led the House to believe that an Act of Parliament would be unnecessary, and at the very time, too, when he had a treaty, signed for three months, in his pocket, which bound him to come to Parliament for an Act, and which recognized the fact, that the King of Great Britain could not proceed without so coming to Parliament. After this intimation had been again conveyed to us, that no Act of Parliament would be necessary, the subject remained in abeyance from the beginning of February till the beginning of June; and then, at length, the secret was fully divulged to the House. Then, at length, we were told that a new Convention was in progress; and this important fact was added—that till the Convention was laid before the House, and Parliament had sanctioned it, the further payments on account of the Russian-Dutch loan would be suspended. In the propriety of that suspension I most entirely concur; but why the Ministers did not pursue the same course in January, is a matter which they still have to explain to the House. They still have to show why the principle which applies to the payments in July, did not also apply to the payment in January. It is fitting that I should state that we have other documents, connected with this subject, lying on the Table of the House. The agents for the Russian loan called on the Government, in May last, to make good the payment due from them in regular course on the 1st of July. To this the proper officer replied, "I am commanded by the Lords of the Treasury to acquaint you, that a new Convention has been entered into with the emperor of Russia, consequent on the change in the circumstances of the case, relative to the payment, on the part of Great Britain, of her portion of the loan. Should the Parliament consider that this Convention ought to be acted on, and its ratification duly arrive from Russia, the payment will be made as usual; but, until the sanction of the Parliament has been obtained, the Government has no authority to make the payment." In the terms of this letter I quite agree; but what I wish to do is, to contrast this very proper letter with their former acquiescence to pay; nay, not only with their acquiescence, but with the actual compulsion on the Auditor of the Exchequer to make him pay. Let us recollect, also, that this convention was actually two months old when the fulminatory decree was issued to the Auditor of the Exchequer; and, although it may be said that, though signed, it was not ratified, neither was it ratified in this other instance; so that, as far as that goes, the facts of the case are precisely the same. In the course of this Debate, we must never lose sight of the fact, that it is the conduct of the Ministers in January last that is really under our consideration; and I therefore entreat the House to read these documents, and then decide whether the doctrine they have now propounded is not a complete condemnation of what they did in January last. I do not know by what subtlety of argument these facts can be stated differently. I most sincerely believe that I have laid them before the House in a plain and straight-forward manner; and I do not see how the Government is to avoid that conclusion to which every unprejudiced mind must come. With these facts before us, and with this new evidence proceeding from the Government itself, I call on the House to reconsider that judgment which it formerly gave in the absence of these facts, though at that very moment they were all in the pockets of the Ministers. The effect of the resolutions which I shall take the liberty of putting in your hand. Sir, will be, to repeat in substance what I asserted, on the former occasion, respecting the facts which render the first Convention null and void, and, in addition thereto, to refer the House to that knowledge of facts which have since been revealed to Parliament, and, once more, to call on the House to pronounce its judgment on the payment that was made in January last. I can assure the House, that I should not again have come forward on this subject, but for the deep sense which I have of the obligation which rests on me, of obtaining the solemn judgment of the House on the facts of the case, as they now appear to the public. It is this sense of obligation which makes me ask the Parliament, whether we are entirely to sink this, which I can call by no other name than a flagrant transgression of duty on the part of the Government? It is this sense of obligation which makes me ask the House, whether they think that our honour, as the guardians of the public purse—that our character, as regards the due protection of the interests of the nation, are of less importance than the question of any issue of money, whatever may be its amount? If, indeed, they do think so, all I can say is, that I feel bound by my duty—humbly, but roost decidedly—to differ entirely from them. If there are any grounds to justify the conduct of the Government in this infraction of the law, I shall be glad to hear them; if policy has required them to abstain from suspending the payment of this interest,- let them make out that case of policy, and ask for an indemnity for what they have done; but, if the indemnity be warranted upon a consideration of all the particulars of this transaction, I must confess that it seems to me that such an indemnity is wanted. I feel confident that those who voted with me on the former occasion, which, I beg leave to observe, was not a division of a party, so many hon. Members, quite independent of any party, joining with me in the division—I say, that I feel confident, that those who voted with me on that occasion, must, a fortiori, vote with me now, strengthened as the circumstances have been by what has since come to our knowledge. I have now discharged my duty, in stating this question fairly for the consideration of the House. I call now on hon. Members opposite, to support me in the Motion I shall submit, and in that manner to vindicate the principles they have so often professed. I ask them whether they will sanction the application of public money by the Government, not only unjustified by law, but contrary to all law; and not only contrary to law, but, as it seems to me, opposed to all sound considerations of policy? The Resolution which I shall move, is an amendment on that proposed by the noble Lord, and is to the following effect:—" That it appears to this House, that the payment made by the Commissioners of the Treasury, on account of the interest due by Russia on the loan made by Holland in January last, when the obligation and authority to make any such payment, had, according to the terms of the Convention of 1815, and the Act of Parliament founded thereon, closed and determined; and also when a new Convention, not then communicated to this House, had been entered into, recognizing the necessity of recurring to Parliament for the power of continuing such payment under the circumstances attending the separation that had taken it out of the case of the Convention, was an application of money not warranted by law."

Dr. Lushington

said, though I have listened to the right hon. Gentleman with great attention, I have experienced no small degree of astonishment at the length at which he has found himself enabled to address the House, on a question that has been before so completely exhausted. In doing so, he has exhibited no little industry in the digest he has made of arguments previously delivered—a digest, which only the interest he takes in the subject, and the ability he possesses, would have enabled him to frame. But I am of opinion that this question has been once before substantially decided, and that, if the circumstances which have occurred since could have been the subject of our previous deliberation, those circumstances would rather confirm the opinion we formerly expressed, than produce any alteration in our recorded sentiments. I think the question resolves itself into two points. The first is, whether or not, according to the faith of treaties which Great Britain has entered into with Russia, we are bound to pay the sums stipulated in the Treaty of 1815, and whether we are compelled to do so according to the true construction of that treaty? or, on the other hand, whether such a change has taken place in the relations of the great Powers of Europe, such an alteration in the state of nations as being contemplated by the parties, was, according to the true intent and purpose of those parties, such a change that the payments should cease when those occurrences took place? That is an important question; but there is another, which has chiefly occupied the attention of the right hon. Gentleman; namely, whether, according to the letter of the treaty, and the Act of Parliament founded thereon, the Government could make this payment without acting contrary to law? I am prepared to contend, that according to the true construction of that treaty, the payment was fully warranted. Previously, however, to going into the argument, I beg to take the opportunity of stating, that I have no disposition whatever to construe a treaty more favourably for Russia than the strictest rules of construction would warrant. I am no admirer of the policy of that nation. On the contrary, when I look to the course of her policy since 1815, and to the conduct she has pursued and the violation of Treaties of which she has been guilty, especially with regard to Poland, I entertain anything but a feeling of favour towards her, and if there were any power in Europe which I would hold to the letter of the law, Russia should be that power. But whatever I think of the policy of Russia, however I deprecate the tyranny with which she has exercised the power that she possessed, I never will condescend, to gratify the detestation I feel of her political conduct, to violate the Treaties which Great Britain has made with her, and thus to put a stain upon the honour of the British name. Under any temptation, however strong, under any provocation, however great, if the Government of this country, either from dislike to the policy of their predecessors, or from indignation at the conduct of any European state, should ever, from the honourable wish to lead that state into a better system for the peace of Europe and the happiness of mankind; if ever, I say, even under these circumstances, the Government should be for a moment led to violate the sacred faith of treaties, there is no man, be his foresight what it may, who can tell the evils that may ensue, for they are buried in the womb of time, and, when you least expect them, will rise up to afflict you with their worst persecution. You are sure to suffer the consequences of your violation of faith, and the powers of the world, remembering your disregard of former obligations, will shun entering into treaties with you; and, whatever may be the necessity that may oppress you, they will refuse to coalesce with you for any purposes of common advantage. The treaty, the construction of which we are now discussing, was entered into some years ago; it is not for me to go now into the policy of that measure, to canvass its wisdom, or to cast a stain on the memory of the Marquess of Londonderry. I will go further, and say, that if, with their view of the interests of England, and the necessities of Europe, the Ministers of that day entered into a contract, whatever may be my opinion of that contract, I consider that the faith of Great Britain is pledged by it. My sentiments upon this subject must be very strong, in holding that such a contract is binding upon this Government, when I recollect, that at the time they expressed the same sentiments with myself, as to the policy then pursued. I know, too, Sir, that at this time they are interested in diminishing as much as possible, the burthens of the people; they wish to do so—a wish which ought to be the first consideration of all Ministers, both with respect to their own feelings, and with regard to their popularity with the nation at large; but at the same time they feel, and I have no doubt that after a full discussion of the matter this House will agree with them, that this is an obligation which Russia has a right to enforce, and which Great Britain is bound to fulfil. What are the circumstances under which this obligation was contracted? Russia had at that time rendered important services to this country. At a period when the contest with Bonaparte was still doubtful, Russia had at our desire, engaged in it; and we considered ourselves obliged to Russia for the part she had then taken, and we undertook to pay a portion of the interest of a debt she had then contracted. We made that interest part of the burthen we then took upon ourselves, in consideration of what Russia had previously done; for it was a mistake to say that we were to pay for what Russia was about to do—it was for what she had done; we had received the consideration, and we undertook to pay the interest of Russia's debt to Holland, as a compensation for past services. At the same time, we imposed upon Russia the conditions for our own benefit, which remain to be considered. I may refer to that treaty to show, that under the hands of the Ministers of that day, the obligations we owed to Russia were acknow- ledged, and that the stipulations they made were made in consequence of those obligations. What are the words of that treaty? 'His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, being desirous, upon the final re-union of the Belgic Provinces with Holland to render to the Allied Powers who were parties to the Treaty concluded at Chaumont, on the 1st of March, 1814, a suitable return for the heavy expense incurred by them in delivering the said territories from the power of the enemy. No man can doubt what was the meaning of those words, "the power of the enemy," or who was the enemy alluded to. The whole Treaty was framed with regard to France, which was then deemed the enemy against whose encroachments it was proper to guard. 'And the said Powers having in consideration of arrangements made with each other mutually agreed to waive their several pretensions under this head in favour of his Majesty the emperor of all the Russias,'*, the king of the Netherlands proceeded to execute the Convention. Russia had before that time borrowed a sum of money which she had raised in Holland, and by the stipulations of this treaty, the consideration for which was recognised in the manner I have above stated, it was agreed that one-half of that sum of money should be borne by the kingdom of the Netherlands, and the other half by the King of Great Britain. The most important article of that treaty is the fifth, which is in the following words;—'It is hereby understood and agreed, that the said payments on the part of their Majesties the king of the Netherlands, and the King of Great Britain as aforesaid, shall cease and determine, should the possession and sovereignty of the Belgic Provinces at any time pass or be severed from the dominions of his Majesty the King of the Netherlands previous to the complete liquidation of the same'.† In the first place, I ask what is the nature of that stipulation? Is it not a stipulation in favour of Russia? Was it not then thought the most desirable object of the policy of Great Britain to secure the intervention of Russia against the separation of Holland, which, in the policy of that day, was considered the great bul- *Hansard, vol xxxi. p. 714. † I bid. p. 716. wark against the power of France? It is a matter for consideration whether this stipulation was for the advantage of Russia, or in compliance with the policy on which Great Britain then acted. It was then considered a matter of impossibility that Great Britain could ever consent to a separation of Belgium from Holland. Circumstances have now changed; Great Britain has assisted in separating the two countries; and that brings us to the second point. Can any man contend that, if I make a stipulation upon the existence and the supposed continuance of a given set of circumstances, and I myself afterwards assist in altering those circumstances that I am no longer bound by that stipulation? Put the question in another way. If Great Britain had excited the revolution in Belgium, would it not have been utter folly in us to say to Russia, "You have entered into a condition for our benefit—we have prevented you from fulfilling that condition, and we have thus freed ourselves from performing the stipulations into which we entered with you?" It is true that this has not been done by Great Britain; then how did that revolution take place? By the resistance of the Belgians proceeding sua sponte against the rule of Holland—by their resistance to the power and the control of that kingdom—by their own energy and resolution; and by these alone have they achieved their own independence. How, then, does the obligation stand as between Russia and Great Britain? Under these circumstances what is Great Britain to do? Is she to act upon her former policy, and to call upon Russia to resist, by force, the separation of the two countries? Is she to say to Russia, "You are bound, by the terms of this treaty, to march an army for the purpose of effecting the reduction of Belgium under Holland, and I call upon you to do so?" Or has she not already said, "I will not call on you to fulfil the condition which was made on my behalf, and in the furtherance of my then policy; for my policy is now changed, the circumstances of the world are changed, the situation of Europe is different, and that which I once believed was for the peace and happiness of Europe, I now believe, if again put into operation, would deluge the world with blood; and it must be for the advantage of Europe that Belgium should remain an independent power, notwithstanding the fear we once enter- tained that she would under such circumstances, become the dependant of France. I beg you, therefore, to hold your hand; I am about to make a treaty guaranteeing the separation of Belgium and Holland, and I trust that you will become a contracting party in this treaty." Has not Great Britain held this language to Russia and has not Russia acted on it? With what sense of honour then—with what sense of the sacredness of obligations, can it be argued that it is consistent with the dignity of Great Britain to refuse the payment of this loan? Can we tell Russia that she has acquiesced in our wishes—that she has consented to our earnest request—and that, for that acquiescence and that consent, we shall mulct her in the sum of 1,800,000l Had we done so, we should have incurred eternal disgrace, eternal dishonour, and I should have been prepared to hear the right hon. Gentleman get up in his place, with arguments which no sophistry could evade, and with a strength which truth would give him, to upbraid the Ministers, not only for not treading in the footsteps of their predecessors, but for being politicians of so faithless a cast that the most sacred obligations were by them treated with contempt. The right hon. Gentleman has quoted Vattel; but I must take the liberty of telling him, that if he has read that great writer with no better profit than he seems to have done on this occasion, he has read to very little purpose; for the first and cardinal rule which Vattel lays down for the construction of treaties, is the intention of the parties who made them; and that, where it is necessary to apply rules for the interpretation of a treaty—as it is impossible that a treaty, like another contract may not require interpretation—that you must look to the circumstances under which it was made, and the relationship which the different contracting parties bore to each other at that period. That is the true authority. If another rule of construction were adopted, the result would be, that, by the adherence to the letter, the spirit of the engagement would be violated; and, instead of relying on the fair, liberal, and upright mode of construction being applied to a treaty, all diplomatic men would be wasting their time in attempting to provide for future contingencies—an attempt which would baffle the ability of the most foreseeing statesman that ever lived. But, says the right hon. Gentleman, "look at the additional treaty which is now on the Table of the House, and you will find that the true meaning of the former Treaty was a separation de facto." I happen to hold that additional article in my hand, and the perusal of it satisfies me, that the true intent and meaning of the parties was what I have stated; to prevent any mistake or any misunderstanding, it is stipulated on the part of Russia, that no temporary occupation, no invasion for a short period, should affect the payment of the loan; nothing but an entire conquest, and a possession not likely to be defeated, should deprive Russia of her right. That article speaks distinctly of "invasion by an enemy," and it was supposed that there might be an invasion by France, so suddenly effected, that Belgium would fall before it was possible for any State in Europe to come to her assistance. In that case, to provide against the supposition that the payment of the loan should cease, the article I have read was added. The construction of all these articles I maintain to be that which I have stated. Then we come to the Act of Parliament. I maintain that no construction has been put on that Act of Parliament which is not fully warranted by the words of the Act, and the terms of the treaty on which it is founded; and that the law officers of the Crown were bound to advise his Majesty's Ministers, that, under that Act, the payment of the money ought to be continued. But it is said here, that there is a subsequent treaty, and that the law officers of the Crown acted as if that treaty was not under their consideration. The right hon. Gentleman has little conception of the manner in which the law officers of the Crown have to perform their duty, when he makes such an observation. If any of these law officers of the Crown had been asked for his construction of the Act of Parliament, he would not do his duty if he allowed his opinion to be changed by anything that the Government had done since that Act was passed. But I must inform the right hon. Gentleman of a fact of which he Seems to be ignorant, namely, that the opinions of the law officers of the Crown were not only those of the Attorney and Solicitor General, but of his Majesty's Advocate General, whose ability to decide on such questions no one will doubt, and of whose perfect independence all must be thoroughly convinced. There is no consideration whatever of the particular policy of a Government, on one side or the other, that could shake or in the least degree alter the opinion which that learned gentleman would form; and, in saying this, I beg it to be remembered that I am speaking of an individual whose political opinions are certainly not in favour of the existing Government. It is then said that the Government had repudiated the Treaty of 1815 by that of 1831. What are the words of this latter treaty? 'Their Majesties the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and 'the emperor of all the Russias, considering that the events which have occurred in the united kingdom of the Nether-lands since the year 1830, have rendered it necessary that the Courts of Great Britain and Russia should examine the stipulations of their Convention of the 19th of May, 1815, as well as of the additional article annexed thereto; considering that such examination has led the two high contracting parties to the conclusion, that complete agreement does not exist between the letter and the spirit of that Convention, when regarded in connexion with the circumstances which have attended the separation that has taken place between the two principal divisions of the united kingdom of the Netherlands; but that, on referring to the object of the above-mentioned Convention of the 19th of May, 1815, it appears that that object was to afford to Great Britain a guarantee that Russia would, on all questions concerning Belgium, identify her policy with that which the Court of London had deemed the best adapted for the maintenance of a just balance of power in Europe; and, on the other hand, to secure to Russia the payment of a portion of her old Dutch debt, in consideration of the general arrangements of the Congress of Vienna, to which she had given her adhesion—arrangements which remain in full force. Does not this paper show that the objects of Great Britain are the same, though those objects are to be accomplished by different means? I consider the treaty now laid upon the Table as in fact providing, by a different method, for the attainment of the same end—namely, the preservation of the peace of Europe—which it was formerly thought could only be obtained by uniting Belgium and Hol- land as a barrier to the power of France, and which it is now seen is best to be accomplished by allowing one of these countries to be independent of the other. But then, says the right hon. Gentleman—" You have not made the payment in June, as you made it in January, and that shows that you do not think yourselves bound to continue the payment." The difference is occasioned by this circumstance:—A new Treaty has since been ratified between these two parties, and all future payments will be made under that treaty, and must, consequently, be made after the sanction of the House. But then the right hon. Gentleman may say—why enter into such a treaty if you thought yourselves justified under the terms of the former? Why, for this reason; that circumstances have changed, and that the Ministry, foreseeing they might have to deal with the mind of a statesman of such extraordinary discrimination as that of the right hon. Gentleman, might think proper to prepare for such an event; and then to call on the House to give, by their sanction to this treaty, their approval of the construction of that which had preceded it. The right hon. Gentleman says, that his Majesty's Ministers were not authorised by the Act to make those payments; but if he will consult the Act again, he will find that a true interpretation of its terms does justify them. The people of England are too good a people, too honourable and well-principled a people, to desire that his Majesty's Government should relieve them from a payment which prior stipulations had unfortunately fixed upon them, and from which they could only be relieved at the expense of the dignity of the Crown and of the national honour. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Herries), in the course of his speech, endeavoured to raise prejudice in the opinion of their constituents, at the next election, against those Members who support the proposition of the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and, with consummate address, he called upon Gentlemen around him to resist that proposition, under the pretence of guarding the money of the people. But, Sir, the people will see through this flimsy, vain pretence. They will look rather to the persevering exertions in which the public lives of those Gentlemen, and their friends, have been passed, to diminish extravagance, than to the vain professions of their op- ponents of a desire to lessen expense. The right hon. Gentleman has appealed to those Members, who, although generally supporting the measures of his Majesty's Government, voted against the payment of this loan, when the question was last before the House; and he has called upon them to maintain their constituency by now voting upon this Amendment. But, Sir, those hon. Members will, I trust consider the altered circumstances under which the question now comes before us. They will look to the additional treaty which has since been entered into, and to the secret articles, and they will find that these confirm the views which I have taken, and that they would be almost traitors to their constituents if they voted with the right hon. member for Harwich. I have now. Sir, gone over, according to my feeble powers as an advocate, the leading circumstances of this case, by which I conceive his Majesty's Ministers to be justified in the course which they have adopted; and I trust that they have demonstrated to every candid mind, that they could be interpreted so as to warrant the cessation of this payment, only by a wilful misconstruction [order]. If hon. Gentlemen will allow me to finish my sentence without interruption, they will find that I am not out of order, and that I cast imputations upon no one.

Mr. Herries

would not have interrupted the hon. and learned Gentleman, but that he had, in the earlier part of his speech, used very unparliamentary language in reference to him.

Dr. Lushington

would give any reasonable satisfaction to any hon. Member who might suppose that he had intended to offend him. He did not think that the language which he had used, in reference to the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman, was unparliamentary or offensive. For his part, he only meant to say, that the arguments were sophistical and ingenious.

Mr. Herries

Wilful misconstruction.

Dr. Lushington

would still say, that, in his opinion, nothing short of the words misconstruction and perverted ingenuity could be applied to the arguments upon which the opposition to the present Motion was supported. He had a right to say, that the arguments of the right hon. member for Harwich were the offspring of perverted ingenuity; if he had not a right to say so, then there was an end to freedom of debate in that House. He would not occupy the time of the House further, and would only repeat, that the construction which his Majesty's Ministers had put upon the Treaty of 1815 was the only sound one, and the only one consistent with the honour and the dignity of the country.

Mr. Baring

felt himself compelled to say, that a more complete misrepresentation of a case had never come from any Gentleman who in his presence had ever addressed the House. In putting the question, the object of his right hon. friend had been, to separate two questions perfectly distinct in their nature, whilst the object of the hon. and learned Gentleman was, either to confound those questions, or to keep the most essential of them entirely out of sight. The point to consider was, whether the Government had or had not transgressed the law of the country, and not whether the new Treaty were a justifiable treaty or not. He thought it quite sufficient if the House would attend to the more important question, whether the Ministers of the Crown had or had not transgressed the law in making the last payment to the emperor of Russia. The real question the hon. and learned Gentleman had scarcely touched upon, and the case remained still to be answered from the other side of the House. They had heard a most eloquent, fluent, and pleasing speech concerning the general subject, a very pleasing declamation, but all the essential points of the case it had left untouched. The question before the House was, whether what the Lords of the Treasury had declared in their letter of their Secretary, that until the treaty had received the sanction of Parliament, the Government had no authority whatever to make the payment, was not as true in last January as it was now. The question was, did or did not the treaty exist, in precisely the same state, when the payment was made in January, as it was in now that Ministers had refused to make the payment? If the payment was not justified when Mr. Pemberton wrote his letter, the payment which had been made was obviously unjustifiable. The case was so strong—the violation of the law was so obvious—and, in his opinion, so unquestionable—that he was surprised that a man of the noble Lord's (Lord Althorp's) character for manliness and candour, did not come down at once, straightly and honestly, to ask for a Bill of Indemnity. He was surprised that, in a case of so much importance, the noble Lord did not come down to the House to say, that although the Ministers were compelled to pay the money, yet they thought the precedent so dangerous, that they would call upon the House to give them a Bill of Indemnity. That was the course which, in his judgment, would have become the noble Lord's character; and he was therefore, surprised to see the noble Lord, instead of adopting such a course, come down and say to his friends in that House, that if they did not support him in his proposition that night, he must go out of office. The noble Lord must have felt himself pushed hard for arguments to convince his friends of the justice of his case, when he thought it necessary to address them in that way. The hon. and learned Gentleman, who showed himself—not, as he said, a feeble advocate, but, in fact, a very zealous and ingenious advocate of the Ministers—did as all professional gentlemen do in advocating a week cause, suppressed all the facts which were adverse to his clients. But the hon. and learned Gentleman did not lose the opportunity of addressing part of his speech to the Tower Hamlets. Yet he did not think that any Gentleman in that House would be deterred from doing his duty by an apprehension of the attacks which might hereafter be made upon him at the hustings. Nothing could be more base in any Member of that House, if he thought the honour of the country pledged to the payment of the money, than to resist the payment out of fear of anything that might be said on the hustings. Even if the case were doubtful, it was the duty of the country to make the payment, whatever might be its amount. At the distance of eighteen years, the House must content itself in looking at the plain obvious words of the treaty, and not to regard private letters and private understandings between persons not now in that House to give any explanation. He would not depend on the vague insinuations thrown out, of something that might have passed, and he considered all such insinuations as mere attempts to veil the giving away of the money. Those who called on the House to sanction the payment told them, that they could not be put into possession of materials to enable them to judge of the propriety of that payment. It was the duty of every individual to be able to state to his constituents why he had voted away the public money; but at present, in this case, all that a Member could say to his constituents would be, that he had voted away the money because some justification had been insinuated, and which the House had been obliged to take upon trust. Not a word was there in the treaties which could justify what the hon. and learned Gentleman had said respecting the invasion of Belgium by France. It was impossible to have made a more complete misrepresentation of the facts of the case than the learned Gentleman had made. He had likewise been completely mistaken with respect to the origin of the loans. The loans were contracted as far back as the reign of the Empress Catherine, for the purpose of subjugating Poland. If the money had been applied even against this country itself, it could have been no reason for its not fulfilling its engagement. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Dr. Lushington) had misrepresented the treaty. It contained no mention of France. It arose out of circumstances in which only the three Powers—England, Russia, and Holland—were concerned. England was indebted to Holland, and the latter was indebted to Russia. At the close of the war, the Government of England, wishing to retain the Dutch colonies, the Cape of Good Hope, Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice, of which we had obtained possession during the war, induced Holland to cede those colonies to her, upon the payment of certain sums of money, which were afterwards to be determined by Commissioners of the respective Governments. Now, Holland being indebted to the emperor of Russia 50,000,000 of florins, which was the proportion of the expenses of the war assessed upon the former state, as one of the lesser Powers, it was agreed that England should pay to Russia the money that was due to Holland by this country, as the purchase of the colonies; this condition being annexed, that the payments should cease if Belgium should be separated from Holland. The reason of the condition was obvious—it was only because Holland possessed the large territory including the Dutch and Belgian provinces, that she was subjected, by the assessment, to so heavy a tax; and it would be unjust that, when she ceased to possess the means of paying the impost, it should continue to be exacted from her. The words of the treaty were simply, that the payment shall cease and determine, should the possession and sovereignty of the Belgic provinces at any time pass away, or be severed, from the dominions of the king of the Netherlands, previous to the complete liquidation of the same.' If it were really the sole purpose of the contracting parties, to guard against the aggression of France, the treaty would have said so; but the most comprehensive terms had been used to express their meaning, that the payments should only be made whilst the king of Holland possessed the extended territory, and should cease and determine when that territory became diminished by the sovereignty and possession of Belgium passing away in any manner from his dominion. Those provinces had passed away from his dominion, and he had, accordingly, ceased to make the payments. Why, then, had we continued them? We really owed nothing to Russia: we had been paying a debt for Holland to Russia, and we were under no liability from which Holland was exempt. If there was any justice in the world, it must be acknowledged that, if the money be now due to any party by us, it was to Holland we owed it. The plainest common sense would point out that the king of Holland, being the party who gave to England the equivalent for the money which we undertook to pay for him to Russia, had a double right to be made a party to the continued payment, and to be consulted as to what was to be done with the money, now that Russia's claim to it, under the treaty, had clearly terminated. He did not mean to say, that the claim of Holland upon this country was not terminated at the same time. It could not now be said to us that we must not have the colonies and the money too; for we bought the colonies from a party who sold them upon a political contingency, which had turned against him; and, by the very conditions of the sale, his right to demand a further payment no longer existed. All he meant to say was, that if the money was still due, to whom, then, in honour and feeling, was it due, but to Holland? He (Mr. Baring) had been this morning very much struck by a passage which was pointed out to him in a report of the speech delivered at a dinner yesterday by the noble Lord at the head of his Majesty's Government. He knew that the accuracy of newspaper reports was not to be relied on; but as the paper from which he was about to quote was known to be favourable to his Majesty's present Government, it would not be supposed that the reporter had intentionally misrepresented Lord Grey. He (Mr. Baring) knew, from what he had heard from the gentleman who pointed out the speech to his notice, that the expressions of the noble Earl had given rise to very great alarm. The noble Earl was reported to have said, after some common-places, that "he hoped that all the united blessings of peace and liberty would fall upon the city of London. Still he would not hide from the meeting, that there never was a time in which it was more important, that the people of England should assume a firm and imposing attitude. There were many questions of foreign policy, of first-rate importance, still undecided." Now, if such expressions had fallen from any young man, in the heat of debate, or in the excitement of a public meeting, he should not have been surprised; but when a person of the high character and known discretion of Lord Grey spoke in that way, he looked upon the words as conveying a very important meaning. When he coupled that with the fact that the Lord Privy Seal had lately been sent to Petersburgh—nobody knew for what—he could not imagine, that the people were called upon to assume an imposing attitude to overawe the opponents of the Ministers. He was quite sure that Earl Grey would not use language so offensive. It seemed to him, therefore, that those expressions could only refer to the Belgian question. It was too much that the House should be called on to sanction a new treaty with Russia, for the payment of the debt which had now ceased to be owing, at the moment when the head of the Government thought it necessary to call upon the people of England to assume a firm and imposing attitude, respecting "questions of foreign policy of first-rate importance, and still undecided." At least, under such circumstances, the House should first be informed of the actual state of our relations with, the two Powers—Holland and Russia—who were parties to the former treaty. By the stipulations of that treaty, our obligations to continue the payment had terminated, and the Ministers had made out no case to show that it ought to be renewed.

Colonel Davies

said, although he was determined to oppose every improper expenditure of the public money, he could not give his support to the Resolutions which had been moved by the right hon. member for Harwich, as an Amendment to the proposition of the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The treaty into which the Ministers had found it necessary to enter, since they made the first payment to Russia, after the separation of Belgium from Holland, showed that they did not feel themselves justified in having made that payment. He must protest against that doctrine laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by which he affirmed, that if a vote of censure were pronounced against the Government, or any impediment thrown in the way of any liquidation of that debt, that then the inevitable consequence must be the resignation of that Government. He really conceived it impossible to broach any doctrine more incapable of being rationally maintained; and he must say, that he did not think that the noble Lord was fairly dealing with the House, in using such means for procuring their consent to the positions for-which the noble Lord and his friends were contending. He was sure that his noble friend would be the last man to think of bullying the House; but, though without any such intention, the maintenance of doctrines of that kind certainly was marked by such a tendency—nothing could look more like it. It by no means followed, in these times, as a matter of necessity that Ministers were to go out because they occasionally found themselves in a minority. He had no doubt that, in a reformed Parliament, they would often find themselves in a minority. There had been much ingenious debating in the course of that evening, and considerable efforts had been made, to embarrass and mystify the question before them; but, divested of its legal subtilties, it was a question which a child might answer, and no one could answer it otherwise than by declaring that the payments must cease and determine so soon as the two countries became separated. But there was another question—was it right, or prudent, or just, in the present condition of the revenue, to think of continuing such a payment? and was it consistent in a Government composed of men who, out of office, were constantly declaiming against extravagance, to set an example themselves of such wanton and gratuitous waste of public money? And, last of all, was there any consistency to be found in the conduct of a Government so acting, when the most eloquent speech delivered against these payments, at the time the question was first mooted, was the speech delivered by Lord Grey himself?

Mr. Macaulay

said, that as he could hope to add nothing to the unanswerable and admirable speech of his noble friend, he should only occupy the attention of the House for a few minutes, for such, he was sure, was the effect or that persuasive and convincing statement, that it was almost unnecessary for any one else to make the slightest attempt to augment the force of his arguments, or to add to their number. He could have wished that the conduct to be pursued by the gallant Officer, who had last addressed the House, were to be the direct reverse to that he had announced himself it would be, and that, on the vote of censure upon the Government, he should vote against them; and in that respecting the violation of national faith, he should be with them. It was of little importance by whom the affairs of the country were administered, but it was of the deepest moment that the national honour should be preserved inviolate. Considering, that upon this subject hung the national faith and honour of England, he confessed it did in the highest degree astonish him, that hon. Members should think of introducing topics which had not the slightest relation to such a subject. If we were bound by the solemn obligations of a mutual compact, of what importance to us was the general conduct of the Monarch with whom that compact might have been contracted? Were we at full liberty to enter into as many treaties as we please with all the Monarchs of the world, and yet keep faith only with those who proved to be merciful, liberal, and constitutional rulers? We entered into treaties with the Burmese and Siamese governments, and were we to require of them that they should conform their respective principles of government to that which we conceived might be suitable and becoming as between them and their subjects?

Colonel Davies

No, no.

Mr. Macaulay resumed

The only argument on that side of the House was the necessity of keeping faith; and how had the hon. and gallant Member met that argument? Why, the hon. and gallant Member talked as if we paid tribute to Russia, at the moment it was attacking Poland. On what ground else did he speak of economy? To exercise economy in a case of this description, the payment must be optional, for he had not yet heard anybody rise in the House and say, that economy was to be preserved at the expense of national honour. If the common-sense interpretation of the treaty called upon this country for its execution, the hon. and gallant Member might as well call upon them to economize by a reduction of the Three per Cents, or a nonpayment of Exchequer Bills. The question which they were then engaged in debating, naturally divided itself into two parts. The first was, whether or not the country was bound, by the most obvious principles of public faith, to continue these payments; secondly, did Government act illegally in continuing them without obtaining a new Act of Parliament for the purpose? All the hon. Members who spoke upon the other side, professed to pursue the object of keeping these questions perfectly distinct; and yet it strangely enough happened, that there was not one amongst them who did not mix both these topics; and that confusion of those questions was strikingly conspicuous where Vattel was referred to. Referring to the Treaty of 1815, he must admit, that if they examined the letter of that treaty, they would find, that the proviso had arisen, and that we were absolved from the payment of the debt. Yes, according to the letter of the treaty we were absolved. According to the letter we might be absolved; but were they now to be told for the first time, that the foreign policy of this great and renowned country was to be governed by such pettifogging rules of construction as were enunciated from the other side? Principles such as those were never meant in any age, or country, to be applied to the construction of compacts affecting the peace or the fate of nations. Reference, for the purposes of present argument, had been made to the opinions of jurists; but he knew enough of jurists to know, that they were the most convenient authorities that could in any case be referred to for the purposes of such a debate as the present. In the early ages of the Church the Fathers were frequently quoted, and many of them so frequently to serve opposite ends, that it became a proverb, that you might apply to the Fathers and obtain their authority in support of either side of almost any question. If they adopted the rule of literal construction, there must be an end of all that had heretofore been considered the faith of treaties. Hon. Members on the other side had spoken much and emphatically of the authorities which they had quoted in support of their respective opinions; but he would call their attention to one authority which few amongst them would be disposed to dispute—he meant the authority of the Duke of Wellington. One of the great conventions to which he was a party bore date in the same year with that which they were then discussing. It related to the entrance of the Allied Armies into Paris in the year 1815. By that Convention it was strictly stipulated, that all public property, other than military stores, should be respected; and it was further agreed, that if any doubt should arise respecting the construction of any part of that Convention, it should be construed favourably to the city of Paris, yet all the pictures of the Louvre were removed. The people of France held up the letter of the treaty, and insisted that the works of art, of which Napoleon had despoiled the nations of Europe, should still remain within the French capital; but they were restored to their original possessors, and the British nation and all Europe approved the act, for it was understood at the time of signing the Convention, that the pictures at the Louvre were to be restored. There was an understanding that an exception had been made in respect of them particularly. He was aware it might be alleged that the rules of construction required, that when any exception whatever was specified, none other could be introduced or added; but let the House only look to the circumstances of 1815—look to that very Convention in which the Duke of Wellington himself was concerned. The treaties entered into at the period when what was called the Settlement of Europe had been effected, were directed to objects which could not from their very nature, be long maintained; but was the pecuniary part of those treaties to be therefore set at nought by a people calling themselves free, liberal, and enlightened? The treaties of that period could certainly accomplish no object of a permanent kind, for these Governments thought but of other Governments, and nothing of the nations. In all their partitions they looked to making up compact states—they looked to nothing beyond the convenient frontiers which an acquaintance with the state supplied—they attended not to the national characters, habits, feelings, religion, morals of the several nations whose fates they presumed to decide; and what better proof could be supplied of that than that very plausible but hollow union of Holland and Belgium? But though, in those various points of policy, England had failed, that failure, so far from furnishing an argument in support of breach of pecuniary faith, had quite an opposite tendency. He said nothing of the policy of that union, but it was a great and primary object of the then Ministry of this country to form it, and it would be an eternal disgrace to the present Ministers, who differed as to that measure if they refused to fulfil the stipulations of their predecessors. It was well known, that Russia was averse from the union between Holland and Belgium; and as a means of reconciling the Court of St. Petersburg, the payment of the Russian debt due in Holland was guaranteed by England [cries of "no "]. He certainly understood, and believed he could show from good authority, that Russia was opposed to that union—it was stated at the time—he could show it had been recorded—it had been stated in that House, that, in 1815, Russia was averse from the union; the Treaty was concluded under that view, and with the express object and intention of inducing Russia to accede to it; and, in order to prevent Russia having an interest in disturbing that union, the payments were made to depend upon its continuance. The period fixed for the determination of those payments was the dissolution of the union, not because there was any natural connexion between the two, but because it was from Russia that danger was chiefly apprehended. If looked at in that view, the treaty was intelligible: in any other it had no meaning. The hon. member for Thetford said, that these payments were due, not to Russia but to Holland, and that England could only contemplate paying them as long as Holland had the ability to pay her share to Russia. But, if that were the contingency of our payments, it might have been as well made to depend on the fall of the next meteoric stone, or the drying up of the Mediterranean. If the principle were that Russia should not receive the money in consequence of a separation which she could not prevent, or that England should be exonerated from the payment in consequence of a separation which she had promoted, the treaty in which such a principle was embodied would be the most extraordinary that ever was made. If he understood the spirit of those treaties rightly, it was, that if there were the slightest reason to believe that Russia, by direct or indirect means, had produced a separation between Holland and Belgium—if she had been inclined to lag behind, and to make no exertion to prevent it—if she had favoured that separation—if she had thrown any obstruction in the way of any efforts we might have been inclined to make for the purpose of preventing that separation—then the circumstances contemplated by the proviso had arisen, and we were relieved from the payment of the money. But was that the present state of affairs? Was it not notorious, that since 1815 the two countries had, so to speak, interchanged their parts with reference to this question. In 1815 we were for the union and Russia was against it; in 1831 Russia was decidedly opposed to the separation. He would not say that England either caused, or was desirous of, that separation. He did not mean to say, that England desired that the people of Belgium should be discontented with the government of Holland, nor that the Belgians should have risen against the king of Holland. He did say, however, that while the king of Holland continued to be, virtually, the king of that country, hostilities took place; the resistance of the Belgians was successful; and Belgium was separated, to be again united, in all probability, by the European Powers only. England was desirous that the separation should be recognized, and it became necessary that the new independent state of Belgium should be invited to enter into the great European family. In the mean time, the circumstances of Russia had changed in a directly opposite direction. In the first place, as every Gentleman knew, a matrimonial alliance had, since 1815, very closely united the Courts of Petersburg and the House of Orange; but, above all, they could not help feeling, that the circumstances under which the Belgian revolution took place, were such as could not be contemplated with pleasure by a government, distinguished by its jealousy of all popular institutions arising out of the people. The forcible expulsion of the troops of the government and the Sovereign, and a democratic council being called to the government of the country, the question between a republic and a hereditary monarchy put to the vote, and a Sovereign invited and elected by the people themselves, on certain constitutional terms—these were the characteristics of the Belgian revolution; and these were things which it could not be supposed the Russian government would contemplate with pleasure. It appeared to him, therefore, that the two countries had entirely-changed their former parts; that this recognition was now effected by the great Powers of Europe, and that the independence of the state of Belgium had not been effected in that way which would absolve us from our obligations. It had been effected, not by the interference of Russia, but in conformity with the wishes of England, and in spite of a strong reluctance on the part of Russia. He could not but think, then, that we were still bound to fulfil our obligations. There was a case he would mention to the House, which appeared nearly parallel to the present. He remembered to have read, long ago, in one of the old jurists—he could not recollect where, but it was not necessary to mention the authority, for its great similarity to the present case would carry its own argument along with it—the writer, according to a common practice, as many hon. Gentlemen knew, with the jurists, put a supposed case. There were two States before the invention of firearms. Certain circumstances induced one State to agree to pay the other an annual subsidy of 1000 ducats; the other state stipulating in return, that whenever the state paying this money was invaded, they would send to their assistance 1,000 pikemen; and the treaty contained a stipulation that, if this number and the force were not sent within three days after such an invasion, then the payment of the annual subsidy should cease and be discontinued. Fire-arms were subsequently invented, and came into general use; an invasion took place, the party invaded sent to the other state, not for pikemen, but for musqueteers—" For the love of heaven send us some musqueteers; pikemen are of no use now." A battalion of musqueteers immediately marched to the assistance of the distressed state, and the invasion was repelled. Afterwards, when the subsidy was demanded, the answer was,—" Look to the terms of the treaty; it declares that you shall send 1,000 pikemen, and that, if you do not send such a force, in number and arms, as herein stipulated, payment of our annual subsidy shall thereupon cease." Why, what would be the language of the Power cheated in this way?—Would it not say, "You are taking advantage of your own wrong; circumstances have changed; military tactics have altered; we have conformed to that alteration; by doing so we have saved you, and this is the return you give us for what we have done?. "These cases were analogous. In 1815 we were desirous of the union; in 1832 we were desirous to promote a separation; and with what face could the British Ministers stand up and say to the Russians, "You did not frustrate my wishes with respect to Belgium, you did not plunge all Europe in war to support your own views, and I will now take advantage of the separation which I promoted, and which you might have prevented, but did not, in order to evade payments which literally, though not according to the spirit of the treaty, were made to depend upon the continuance of the union." He had no difficulty, then, upon grounds such as these, broadly and roundly to assert, that his Majesty's Government had deserved well of the country, and, therefore, he paid but little attention to the taunts, coming from the other side, about the difficulty that Members might have in facing their constituents, after voting in favour of a continuance of those payments. For his part, he should have no difficulty in defending such a vote before any constituent body in the empire; for the people of England had long shown that they knew and felt there was a fixed identity in the state—that public and private morals were the same—that honesty was the best policy—and they believed that to pay what they owed was the truest economy—that the state could not be guilty of a breach of faith in one instance without bringing suspicion on all its engagements, and thus reducing itself to a situation at once disgraceful and perilous, putting to hazard that peace throughout Europe now happily so long preserved—a peace, in the continuance of which every artisan, every ploughman, every shopkeeper, in the land knew that he was deeply interested; and he need not say, that to preserve peace, public faith must be maintained inviolably. Upon these principles. Members of Parliament might go before the people of England—upon these principles. Members of Parliament might be willing to act, and content to suffer.

Sir Charles Wetherell

said, his hon. and learned friend who spoke last endeavoured to make it appear that those who opposed him and the hon. Gentlemen opposite on this question were so many pikemen, that they were pettifogging critics, who endeavoured to pick holes in the treaty for the purpose of defeating a just claim. He must, for himself and for those who sat round him, reject that character. His hon. and learned friend complained of the diffuse manner in which the question was discussed on that side of the House. He must, however, retort the charge upon his hon. and learned friend, for he was diffuse where he should be concise, and concise where he ought to have gone more at large into the subject. They were not now discussing the Treaty of 1831. The only point they had to consider was, whether the last payment made to Russia was or was not made conformably to law. To this point the debate was hitherto confined by Gentlemen on his side of the House, and his hon. and learned friend was the victim of his own censure when he complained that they went into the general question. For his part he should confine himself strictly to the point, was it or was it not a payment made according to law? He was decidedly and firmly of opinion that it was not. The debt was not one originally contracted by this country. Holland, at the time of the peace, having ceded the Cape of Good Hope, Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice, the equivalent given by this country was the constituting of Holland and Belgium into one kingdom, to continue united under the king of the Netherlands, and the payment in money of a certain sum. Russia owed in Holland 10,000,000l., the payment of a part of which, or the interest of it, was guaranteed by this country. The language of the treaty giving this guarantee was, that the payment should cease so soon as the possession and sovereignty of Belgium should cease to be in the king of the Netherlands—so soon as Belgium and Holland should be separated. It was contended on the opposite side that this meant a separation by external war, by the aggression of foreign states. There was nothing in the treaty to bear out such a construction. It was said again that, if literally interpreted, it might be taken to mean every separation, whether the consequence of internal war or otherwise. It was at all events clear that Lord Grenville did not put the same interpretation upon the treaty that Ministers did, for he, as Teller of the Exchequer, refused to make the payment when called upon. The Crown lawyers were therefore consulted, and in a most extraordinary way. While he was one of the law advisers of the Crown no Minister ever attempted to treat him as the Attorney General was treated upon this occasion; for while the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary had the Treaty of 1831 in his pocket, the object and end of which was to make the payment a valid one, he referred it to the law officers of the Crown to determine whether the payment was legal under the Treaty of 1815, never once saying, that he had another treaty in his possession. Had he been treated in this manner he would have told the Foreign Secretary that it was unfair, that it was wrong—he did not mean morally, but politically—to call upon him to give an opinion under the Treaty of 1816, while he kept another concealed in his pocket which entirely altered the complexion of the case. His hon. and learned friend said, he should be ready to defend before his constituents, before the people of England, the vote he should give upon this occasion. He would like to see it; and, if his hon. and learned friend offered himself a candidate for Marylebone, or any other metropolitan district, he would get as near as possible to the hustings to hear him, for if he spoke of Ministers in the language which their conduct merited, he must charge them with the grossest duplicity—he did not say moral, but political duplicity—in thus concealing from the law officers of the Crown a part, and that a most important part, of the case upon which they were consulted. It was a disgrace alike to the Ministers and to the Crown lawyers to be so treated. His hon. and learned friend was not the only person who would have to explain to his constituents his vote upon this question. The Attorney General also must have a vis-a-vis with the people of Nottingham about the matter. It might be said, that when the law officers were consulted, the treaty was not ratified, and could not, therefore, be submitted to them. That was no excuse at all, it made no difference in the case, and he did not hesitate to say, that the noble Lord, the Foreign Secretary, did not act with candour and fairness—he did not mean morally, but politically—either towards the emperor of all the Russias in proposing a new treaty, when no new treaty according to himself was necessary, or to wards Lord Grenville, who should have been made acquainted with it, or towards the House of Commons, which was kept in the dark. The law officers had still greater reason to complain, for at the time they were consulted Ministers were fully two months in possession of this new treaty. All parties had been the victims of the deception; for why had the noble Lord so studiously forborne all mention of the supplemental treaty, which at last only accidentally found its way from Downing-street to the Table? The noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who he expected would have gone at large into the question, had treated the whole matter as briefly and as slightly as if the question were only on the fitness of imposing a duty of a farthing or halfpenny per gallon upon cyder, perry, or mum. His hon. and learned friend dealt very liberally in expressions of censure. He applied to the Gentlemen on his side of the House the words spoliators, and pettifoggers and pikemen. Now he would try his hand, too, at an expression; and if there were any hon. Gentleman opposite who did not understand it, his hon. and learned friend (Mr. Macaulay), being a professional man, would be able to give them an explanation. The expression he should use was this, "obtaining money under false pretences." It was said, that they attempted by cunning, and trick, and pettifogging to evade the payment of a just demand, to the liquidation of which they were bound by honour and by the faith of treaties, and that they endeavoured to get out of it by picking holes in the treaty. He believed he had shown to the satisfaction of the House, at least to the satisfaction of every candid mind, that the tricks and cunning and concealment were all on the other side, and thus gave his hon. and learned friend meal for his malt. His hon. and learned friend came out with an old domestic adage, that honesty was the best policy. Did he mean it in reference to the concealment of this important document from the House of Commons, from Lord Grenville, from the Crown lawyers? In place of this kind of shuffling and tricky management, and unworthy and dishonest concealment—he did not mean the word morally—why did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer come down to the House openly and fairly, and say, "I think we have done wrong under the letter of the treaty, but not in the spirit of it, and we wish to correct that wrong by another treaty." This would have been fair dealing. His hon. and learned friend, and the hon. Gentleman opposite, set themselves up as preachers of honesty, as moral instructors; but, on this question did they practise what they preached? Had they dealt honestly by the people? No. Had they dealt honestly by the emperor of Russia? No. Had they dealt honestly by Holland? No. Had they dealt honestly by the House? No. Had they dealt honestly even by their own Attorney and Solicitor General? No. Where then was their vaunted virtue; or rather did not everything show that what they called honesty was, in truth, disgraceful diplomatic duplicity? But why introduce into this debate so many topics with which it had nothing to do? The only question was, was the money due by the treaty or was it not? His firm conviction was, that the payment was illegal. Ministers said, that though, on the mere words of the treaty, a doubt might arise, there could be no doubt as to the spirit of it, and that in good faith they were bound to the payment. He was as willing and as zealous to support the honour and good faith of the country as those field-preachers, those promulgators of pure morals, on the opposite side. They boasted of their honesty. He did not mean to deny, that individually and in their private capacity they were honest, but politically, in this matter, their whole conduct was oblique and crooked. No Ministers, not even Buckingham, or any of the jure divino Ministers of James, would have dared to pay away money upon the ground of a treaty which, so far as it stipulated the payment of money, was, without the sanction of Parliament, no better than a bit of waste paper. He charged Ministers with a breach both of a treaty and of an Act of Parliament, and should prove that they drew money from the Exchequer under false pretences. Their own Treaty of 1831 was quite sufficient to convict them of duplicity and breach of faith. What said this treaty? He should read it. It was the confession of Ministers, and not a long one. [The hon. and learned Gentleman read a portion of the treaty, in which he said, there was a direct admission that the former treaty did not embrace the case.] He expressed a desire to hear from the noble Lord and his hon. and learned friend, both adepts in diplomacy, whether there was any way to explain the deviation from the letter of the treaty? He knew not what answer the noble Lord and the Attorney General could give to the voters at the next election. They would be told that Government had sanctioned the payment of an instalment of 10,000l. to Russia when the letter of a treaty was opposed to that payment. The only defence the Government could make would be, that it was apettifogg-ing practice to be governed by the letter of a treaty. It was not his intention, like the two hon. and learned Members, to travel out of the case. The hon. member for Hehester (Dr. Lushington) had been complimented by the hon. member for Calne (Mr. Ma-caulay), on his unanswerable speech. Unanswerable it certainly was in one sense, since it contained nothing to be answered, and was to his mind the very reverse of convincing, at least on the side it was intended to advocate. The hon. and learned Gentleman had blinked the whole question, which was whether, extrinsic of the treaty, there was a stringent claim for this money upon the honour of Great Britain? But the members for Ilchester and Calne had omitted to advert to those articles of the treaty, which alone were important to the decision, while they had read every other part of it; no part they had read having the smallest bearing upon the true point at issue. The eloquence of those learned Gentlemen might be very amusing—their rhetoric might be very gratifying (and to none more gratifying than to themselves)—their sarcasms might be very keen, and their wit and humour very pointed and pleasant; but it was a mere mockery of argument when they omitted to notice the only important document. He begged to ask whether, under the new reformed system of government, it was part of the duty of Ministers to guard the public purse? Some of the present servants of the Crown were to be candidates for districts of the Tower—an ominous vicinity, where people were sometimes called upon to mount higher than Ministers might like to ascend. What would they say to any demand why they had neglected their duty as guardians of the public purse, and why they had been parties to expulsion from Parliament of the unfortunate boroughmongers, who would fain have saved so much of the public money at a time when it could ill be spared? Ministers might contend that this guardianship of the public purse was an old-fashioned doctrine, not fit for these reformed and enlightened days, but would they succeed in persuading the people that they were right in the course they had pursued? With a view to approaching elections. Ministers had made many popular harangues; they had scattered the largess of language, and of their own sweet-meats abroad; and he (Sir Charles Wetherell) would scatter his bitters as an antidote. The Secretary for Ireland was on the point of starting for Lancashire—the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) was thought certain of winning in his county—the Secretary at War was sure of coming in again for Westminster—and the two law officers of the Crown for Nottingham and Marylebone; so that it was not wonderful that they should endeavour to stand as well as possible with their constituents. They would, however, find it very awkward to reply to the question, why they had been guilty of such a gross dereliction of duty, that even an unreformed and rotten House of Commons had complained of the unnecessary and illegal payment of public money. Whatever merit Ministers might have for reforming the House of Commons, they had the demerit of destroying its usages and its privileges. All the Ministers who had ever held office since the Revolution—all the Tory Ministers—even Mr. Pitt, stiff-backed though he was—had come down to the House when they had trespassed on the law, and demanded a Bill of Indemnity. In this case, the reasons for following the same course were very strong, for the motives of the Ministers, he admitted, were very good; and indemnity would, therefore, have been granted them, and they ought to have applied for it. He approved of the note which had been written by Earl Grey, in which, he said, he could not answer that Parliament would sanction the payment of any instalments; but, that note was a condemnation of the arguments and conduct of the Gentlemen opposite. He declared that he had never known a more flagrant breach of the Statutes than had been committed in this case by the Ministers, and he had never voted with a greater conviction of the correctness of his vote than he should give in his support to the Motion of his right hon. friend.

The Attorney General

would request the indulgence of the House but for a short time, as he thought that all that could be said on the subject had been already said by his hon. and learned friends. [hear]. If that was an admission of which some Gentlemen opposite could take advantage; and if any of them claimed so much superiority of understanding as to find fault with the arguments of his hon. and learned friends, he could but envy them the very good opinion they entertained of themselves. A great part of his hon. and learned friend's speech had referred to his conduct as Attorney General, and that part of his speech which had been most cheered, and was looked upon as most triumphant, was an attack upon him, founded upon a complete ignorance of facts, as he formerly stated. He did not much wonder at this, in a debate crapulous in a double sense—an attempt to countervail by clamour among his own friends the genuine festivities of yesterday, and to serve up a second time the censure prepared on the 26th of January. His learned friend supposed that he had given his opinion after the second treaty was signed; that was a mistake; the opinion he was required to give was upon the Treaty of 1815. That treaty, and the documents connected with it were laid before him. He was not asked anything about that treaty which was in the pocket, or, as his hon. and learned friend said, in loculo; for his opinion was asked in June, 1831. What had induced him to form that opinion he had before stated, and that opinion he had before, he hoped, successfully defended. His learned friend had thrown out insinuations of his opinion being formed because it was agreeable to the political views of the Government. If his hon. and learned friend meant to insinuate that he, because he held the office of Attorney General, would be ready to crouch to the Government, and sacrifice his real opinion to their wishes, he would repel the insinuation with disdain, He would tell his hon. and learned friend, that he placed as high a value on his professional and personal character as his hon. and learned friend, and in that respect would shrink from competition with no man living. At the same lime, he thought it was the duty of the Attorney General to be on fair and liberal terms with the Government with which he-was connected; not like the Attorney General of 1829, to continue in the service of a Government which he declared was subverting the Constitution of the country. The views of the Government were not laid before him, but the treaty was, and according to the large and liberal spirit in which treaties ought to be construed that were to regulate the peace of the world, his opinion had been given. In November following another treaty was signed, and he had no doubt that his noble friend would explain the altered circumstances under which it was necessary to negociate that new treaty. He remembered that it was said on the other side, that they should not go out of the four corners of the treaty to interpret it; but that was not the spirit in which it ought to be construed. Vattel, and other writers on public law, laid down such large and liberal rules for construing treaties, that he was not surprised to hear their authority undervalued by Gentlemen opposite; yet which would the House regard as the most impartial judges—philosophic Jurists, who dispassionately considered by what rules the interests of society would be best maintained, or heated advocates who rushed into the field with the personal feelings of partizans? He would take the liberty of asserting, that he had come to a decision on the meaning of this treaty altogether in the former spirit, and that his decision was exclusively attacked in the latter. Whatever his opinion had been, the adversary would have gladly found it wrong; when he formed it, he could have no motive but that of making it conformable to the truth. It was something to support his opinion, that it coincided with the opinion of the King's Advocate, Sir Herbert Jenner, who properly took the lead in the consultation on a subject much less fit for common lawyers, or (pace dicam quâ) for equity lawyers, than for publicists. When Lord Grenville, looking to the Act of Parliament, submitted his doubt to the Lords of the Treasury, he never questioned that, as the Act euthorised the fulfilment of the treaty, the Act enabled him to pay, if the treaty bound the Government to do so. He would now add, that if the treaty of November had been laid before the law-officers when called upon, it could not have varied their opinion as to the duty of this country to pay the instalment then due, and to that alone was their attention called. When it was said that the fact of a new treaty being concluded proved the opinion to be erroneous, he thought the lapse of time and circumstances might account for the new treaty. Might not Russia feel some uneasiness as to what Parliament would determine respecting the future payments, and might not that create a necessity for the new Convention? His hon. and learned friend said, the conduct of the Minister was condemned by that Convention, and that their defence was at variance with their own conduct. But what said the Convention? Why thus:—'Their Majesties, the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the emperor of all the Russias, considering that the events which have occurred in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands since the year 1830, have rendered it necessary that the Courts of Great Britain and Russia should examine the stipulations of their Convention of the 19th of May, 1815, as well as of the additional Article annexed thereto; considering that such examination has led the two high contracting parties to the conclusion, that a complete agreement does not exist between the letter and the spirit of that Convention, when regarded in connexion with the circumstances which have attended the separation which has taken place between the two principal divisions of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, but that, on referring to the object of the above-mentioned Convention of the 19th 'of May, 1815, it appears that that object was, to afford to Great Britain a guarantee that Russia would, on all questions concerning Belgium, identify her policy with that which the Court of London had 'deemed the best adapted for the maintenance of a just balance of power in 'Europe; and, on the other hand, to secure to Russia the payment of an old Dutch debt, in consideration of the general arrangements of the Congress of Vienna, to which she had given her adhesion—arrangements which remain in full force.' Between that article and the opinion he had given to the Government there was no inconsistency whatever. There was, he admitted, a difference between the letter and the spirit, and, when that was the case, which was to prevail? He had distinctly stated, that, looking at the letter alone, he thought the treaty had ceased to be binding when those occurrences took place in the Netherlands which were alluded to by the Convention; but the question was, whether the letter was the all in all. He considered that the treaty was to be carried into effect according; to its spirit, and the intention of the parties. Was there any man that would maintain the contrary? It was necessary for every one who maintained that the treaty was not binding, to enter into the question, whether or not the rule of construction which gave weight to the spirit and intention, rather than to the letter of the treaty, was the proper rule. Assuming that the intention was clearly made out, and that the letter did not go along with the spirit of the treaty, he maintained that the spirit of the treaty ought to be the guide of every statesman's conduct. He protested against the mean—and he would use the expression of his hon. and learned friend, the member for Calne, for it could not be better designated,—the pettifogging idea, that the spirit and intention of a solemn obligation were to be sacrificed, because, by adhering to the letter, we might, with a short-sighted economy, save to the country some few thousands of pounds at a period of admitted distress. His hon. and learned friend, the member for Ilchester, had read a portion of the additional article, which had been laid before the House since the former discussion on this subject, which article, together with the conferences and negotiations which took place at that time, were all legitimate grounds for considering upon what terms, and in what manner, the treaty was to be construed. He knew it was said that treaties were meant to put an end to all doubts upon the subject of them. It was extremely convenient to lay down such rules, and certainly it would be most desirable, in matters of this high import, to employ no language in treaties that could leave them open to any doubt upon their construction: but language so perfect, as to elude the subtlety of parties interested, was still a desideratum both in national and domestic law. In the commonest occurrences of life, plausible objections were perpetually arising from the wording of instruments, and the state of circumstances at the period of contracting, with other contemporary documents, could alone throw clear light on the meaning. Many things, at the time of preparing a treaty, might appear sufficiently intelligible, which subsequent events might render doubtful, and make it become the subject of considerable controversy. The personal interests of the contracting parties, too, might, in the lapse of time, become so changed, that they might be influenced by their new situation in putting a construction on treaties. There might be many reasons in six months why new stipulations became necessary. His hon. and learned friend (Sir Charles Wetherell) had censured his hon. and learned friend, the member for Ilchester, for not quoting the whole of the additional article. He would do that. The hon. and learned Gentleman then read the two sections of the additional article, as follows:—'In order to prevent any doubts that might hereafter arise with respect to the meaning and operation of the Fifth Article of the Convention this day signed, it is understood and agreed between the three high contracting parties, that, in the event of a part of the Belgic Provinces being at any time hereafter severed from the dominions of his Belgic Majesty, a proportionate reduction only of the charge agreed to be borne by their Majesties the king of the Netherlands and the King of 'Great Britain, to be calculated according to the population of the districts so severed, shall thereupon take place; the residue of the respective payments continuing to be regularly defrayed, as provided for in the said Convention. It is further understood and agreed, that the invasion or temporary occupation of the said Provinces by an enemy, shall not be considered as determining any part of the said payments, unless continued beyond the period of a year; in which case it shall be competent for their said Majesties, the king of the Netherlands, and the King of Great Britain, to suspend their respective payments, subject to account with the Government of his Imperial Majesty, upon the expulsion or evacuation of the said Provinces by the enemy, for the whole or such proportion of the said arrears as may correspond with the State of possession in which his Majesty the king of the Netherlands may at such period find himself established.' He contended, that these stipulations looked to an enemy, and not to separation from an internal cause, and had not provided for such a separation. It was clear that the severance contemplated was a severance by an enemy. [The hon. and learned Gentleman was here reminded by Sir Robert Peel, that the words in the original were, "passed away from the dominion of Holland."] He had not denied that the words of severance were general, but he contended, that all the legitimate grounds for interpretation proved that the severance, which in fact took place, had never been contemplated. He must repeat his opinion, formerly built on the new feelings of respect for the constituent body which some hon. Members then evinced, that the debate was got up with a view to the approaching elections; and he wished to meet the practical point fairly. The hon. member for Worcester had not flinched from declaring, that it was merely a question of economy. If he (the Attorney General) agreed in that opinion, he would cheerfully support the Motion; but he regarded it as a question of national faith, and the clear obligation of an intelligible treaty. And he would ask the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Robert Peel) which of the two was right. He would ask him distinctly, and he thought the country had a right to his answer, "Would he pay the money, aye or no? The negative opinion he would ever be ready to contradict and confute; but if, after all the hours consumed in ingenious reasonings, the right hon. Gentleman must be compelled to say that he would pay the money to Rusia, then all the world must plainly see that the right hon. Gentleman admitted that construction which the law officers and the Government had given to the treaty, and dissented from the conclusions of his own friends and allies.

Mr. Pollock

expressed his regret at the personal turn which the question had taken. He avowed that he was the person who had used, in the last debate upon the question, an expression to which the hon. and learned Gentleman had applied the term "pettifogging." He avowed that he was the person who had used the expression, and he was prepared to vindicate it. The Judges were unanimous on such subjects; and, if to decide according to the letter of the law was pettifogging, he trusted they would continue pettifogging to the end of time. The question, as he understood it, was simply this;—Were the Government justified in making the payment of January, 1832? In order to understand that, he would call their attention a little to dates. On the 10th of November, 1830, Belgium was, de facto, separated from Holland, because the States General on that day declared themselves independent. In June, 1831, an opinion was called for from the law officers of the Grown; and they declared that there could not be a doubt as to the liability of this country to continue the payments by the terms of the treaty. If this was the opinion of the law officers, and if there were no misgivings, from whence, then, came the doubts that led to the negotiations for the subsequent Treaty of the 16th of November? If that Convention was of importance enough to be thought necessary for making perfect the former treaty, surely it was also of importance enough to be communicated to the House. The hon. member for Ilchester (Dr. Lushington) had dealt largely on those topics, which were always calculated to draw cheers from the House. He had talked a great deal of the national faith and the national honour, but he (Mr. Pollock) contended that the national faith and honour had nothing to do with the question now before the House; and it was only by mixing them up with that question that the advocates of the Government found a kind of apology for the course that had been pursued. On the 26th of January, after the payment, and after the Auditor of the Exchequer had expressed doubts of its propriety, a debate took place in that House, and he would now take leave to ask the noble Lord (Lord Althorp), why it was, that no mention was made during that debate, of the Convention then in progress? If one word had been uttered respecting that Convention, the Motion would not have been pressed by any Member of that House. But what was the answer of the noble Lord at that time? Why, the noble Lord said, he had no doubt at all with respect to the propriety of the payment; and that the other side had not proved their case. This was the answer then; but, whether the opponents of the Government had or had not proved their case, it was the duty of the Government to have informed the House that a treaty was pending. The Government, however, took any defence that offered trusting, no doubt, that something would turn up in the mean time which might save them from the reckoning which the House had a right to demand from them. He did not mean to say they acted from a bad intention; but there was an indifference to consequences, to the opinions of Parliament, and to the responsibility of their situation, which was highly objectionable. He would ask them, if they found it necessary to have a new Convention to fulfil the treaty, why it was, they acted under the old one; and, if the old one was good, and required no amendment, why it was they required a new one? These were the questions ably put by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Herries), and to them no answer had been given. The noble Lord had doubted at one moment, and not doubted at another—paid at one time, and abstained from paying at another; and why did the noble Lord now require an Act of Parliament, except that he had made payments after these doubts existed? No man prized the national faith more highly than he did; but still he thought the conduct of Ministers, on such occasions as this, required a vigilant eye; and he would ask, why it was that, having avowedly committed a great error, they did not require an Act of Indemnity, which would at once mark the departure from propriety, and the necessity of compensating for it, rather than demand an Act of Parliament to confirm the error they had committed? That would have been the course anticipated from the candour of the noble Lord. For his (Mr. Pollock's) part, careless of censure, he should vote for the Resolutions, because he considered them to be moved in support of that course which was most consistent with the principles of the Constitution and the practice of Parliament.

Lord Althorp

, in reply to the questions of the hon. Member, observed, that he was asked why it was, the Government had not applied for a Bill of Indemnity, rather than an Act of Parliament? His answer was, that they had not come down to ask Parliament for indemnity, because they were not confident that they had committed any breach of the law in the course they pursued. It was asked, why they had made the payment of last December, and asked authority for payment now? His answer was, that the treaty which ratified the separation of Holland and Belgium, had not then received the sanction of the five Powers who were parties to their union. Strong criticisms had been made on his opening speech. He had been criticised by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Herries), for not answering the arguments that right hon. Gentleman intended to use; and an hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Davies) had complained of his saying, that a vote of censure on Ministers on this occasion must be followed by their resignation. In the first place, he did not know how he could answer arguments he had not heard; and, in the second, he believed, if he had said that a vote of censure on Ministers with respect to a treaty could be followed by anything but resignation, he should have stated that which would be inconsistent with the practice of office, and the usual course of conduct adopted in Parliament. The hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last (Mr. Pollock) had treated the question too much like a lawyer, and confined himself too closely to the letter without looking at the spirit of the treaty. That hon. Member had asked, why the Government did not mention the Convention which was in progress during the last debate? His answer was, that the Convention was then an instrument which had no force, and could not be urged as an argument in the questions which were then under consideration. With respect to the treaty itself, there never had been any opinion but one—that this country was, under the circumstances, bound to continue the payments.

Sir Edward Sugden

said, the noble Lord asked whether this money ought not to be paid; but the Opposition had as yet no materials on which to come to a decision with respect to it. The question, however, at present before the House was, whether or not there had been an infraction of the law. In considering a question of this sort, it was a great mistake to suppose that the words of a treaty were not binding. It was certainly right to look to the intentions of parties making the Treaty, and to find out their intentions, but still those intentions ought to be applied to the words of the Treaty. It might be right to give them a liberal construction, but not to make a construction contrary to the words of the treaty. He agreed with the noble Lord, that the Act of Parliament should be construed by the treaty, but the treaty and the Act must be looked on as a whole; for the Act of Parliament introduced every contingency provided for in the treaty. The treaty embodied in the Act, and the treaty from which it was copied, could not bear different constructions. It ought always to be recollected that we were under no obligations to Russia, even according to the treaties themselves. Holland had claims upon England, which, by a separate convention, she transferred to Russia. In consequence of this separate convention, we undertook to make three payments for the benefit of Holland, the last of which was the payment of this money to Russia to secure the final union of the Belgic provinces with Holland. That such was the origin of these payments to Russia, as far as England was concerned, might be gathered from the preamble of the treaty in which it was declared that Great Britain became a party to it in virtue of her Convention with the king of the Netherlands in 1814. This was the treaty with Russia that imposed the obligation upon us; but this was, also, the treaty which declared that the payments should cease if the Belgic provinces should "pass away, or be severed "from Holland. Hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to think that a severance by invasion only was contemplated here; but nothing of the sort was stated, any more than anything was said pointing exclusively to France. No man could doubt that France was looked to in this treaty, and her becoming possessed of these provinces, or having been exclusively concerned in their severance from Holland, would have brought about the contingency provided for, just as effectually as it had now been brought about, but not a bit more effectually. With respect to the additional articles, he had never heard anything said upon them more entitled to respect, than what was said by his hon. and learned friend, the member for Borough-bridge, notwithstanding that the Attorney General spoke of his having "presumed" to argue upon the word "severance." The first additional article provided that if a part of the Belgic provinces shall "be severed, or pass away "from Holland, our liability shall be pro tanto diminished. The conclusion drawn by his hon. and learned friend as to the meaning which this article gave to the word "severance" had been unanswered, because it was unanswerable. There was one most important part of the case to which hon. Gentlemen opposite had not adverted, and to which, therefore, he must recall the attention of the House. Hon. Gentlemen opposite forgot that Holland was a party to [this treaty with Russia—that we entered into it subsidiary to Holland—and that we had new duties to perform towards Holland. He would ask the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, how he could defend his conduct towards Holland in signing the treaty he recently had signed? The great object of the original treaty—the object for the attainment of which Holland consented to pay this consideration—was the final union of the Low Countries to her. The noble Lord, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, could not defend the conduct of the Government on the ground of national faith, if he observed not the good faith due to Holland in this matter. How was England to excuse herself from the charge of a breach of national faith, in having taken these colonies from Holland on certain conditions, and neglecting to fulfil those conditions? How was it possible to talk of national faith after our treatment of Holland? We undertook to pay a certain sum to Holland for her colonies—Holland transferred the debt to Russia, on condition that the latter Power guaranteed the preservation of the union between Holland and Belgium—a separation took place, and now it was insisted on to pay Russia for consenting to that disunion. Holland now said "Give me the money which you promised to pay for my colonies. The object for which the money was transferred to Russia has not been fulfilled, and we again claim the payment from you." It should be recollected that the sole object of this Convention was to secure the Belgic provinces to Holland; but Government had exercised the power of the country exclusively, for the benefit of Russia, and to the injury of Holland. It was perfectly absurd to attempt to support their conduct by an appeal to any thing like good faith. The noble Lord said, that the only separation contemplated by the framers of the treaty was that occasioned by foreign aggression. He stated that a separation from internal commotion was never contemplated. He then went to the high contracting powers and said, "Here certainly is a separation, tantamount to a separation by a hostile force; but as it was not one, if you let matters remain as they are, we will guarantee those payments which were promised on condition that a separation was prevented." Such were the arguments used: the provisions of the treaty—the provisions of the Act of Parliament—were not regarded. He would challenge any lawyer to take up the Act of Parliament and pledge his professional character to any words in it which would bear the construction put on this treaty. It had been stated in the House that Russia applied to Holland for the payment of her portion of the loan, and that that comparatively weak Power refused, and had continued to refuse payment. On that occasion, he should like to know how Russia addressed this free country. Russia might have said—" You, England, shall continue to pay me, because, although there is an actual severance, yet, as you have, in point of fact, been a party to that severance which you gave me this money to prevent, you shall not escape." England admitted that she had lost the inducement to continue the payments, but yet she would not object to their continuance. He trusted the people of England would bear in mind the circumstances under which these payments were continued. England consented to pay this money with a view to ensure the possession of the Low Countries to Holland, and specially agreed that in case of the severance of Belgium from Holland the payments should cease—England had lost the object she had in view, but still the money was to be paid. It was certainly a most important object to preserve the peace of Europe, but it was by no means clear that we should succeed in that object by the payment of this loan, and, therefore, it was a matter of shame to the country to continue to subsidize Russia, when the object specifically stated in the treaty, for which that subsidy was granted, was no longer attainable—on the contrary, that we should continue to pay that Power to act diametrically opposite to the course we bound her to by treaties. If there were any other conventions or engagements in existence on this subject, they ought to be laid before the House, or, at least, Ministers ought to state that they were of such a nature that they could not be published without detriment to the public service; but it was an insult to Parliament to be called upon to legislate in this way, in utter ignorance—and to be desired to put an entirely new construction upon an old treaty, and a construction, which the framers of the treaty never could have intended. It might be well for the hon. and learned members for Ilchester and Calne, to argue that if Ministers were not acting in direct conformity to the letter of the treaty, they were at least acting in accordance with its spirit, and that if the old treaty were read attentively, with the additional articles, there could be little doubt that no other severance was contemplated than that effected by the power of France. The noble Lord and his friends were entirely wrong in the view they took of this subject, and before long the noble Lord would find himself greatly mistaken with respect to Russia. It could be clearly demonstrated, that the case now occurring was not provided for by the old treaty, but that the object of that treaty was to secure the union of Belgium and Holland, and to take the most secure means to prevent a disunion of any sort. He would appeal to any candid man who had read the provisions of the Convention of 1815, without reference to party considerations, whether he considered that the term "passing away," which was used in conjunction with severance, could be interpreted as a hostile separation. He was at a loss to imagine how hon. Gentlemen would explain and justify their conduct to their constituents, when they would have to vote large sums of the public money for the purposes of the new Convention. He had been a Member latterly for a nomination borough, and he had felt, as a Member for such a borough, a greater responsibility than if he had the largest constituency, as not being answerable to only a class of persons, but to the country at large. He had not local interests to consider, but the public good only. He should like, however, to know how any Member of that House would explain and justify to his constituents his putting this new construction on this treaty, and voting away large sums of the public money for any other object than that for which we were bound. The treaty was this—that England and Holland equally and originally take upon themselves to pay certain sums to Russia, on condition that this Power guarantees that no part of the Belgian provinces shall be severed from the dominions of the House of Orange: it was also stipulated that war between the contracting Powers shall not affect the payments under this treaty, and that even the military occupations of Belgium for one year shall not interfere with the pay- ments. The particular case of severance that occurred was this. A rebellion broke out in these provinces, in consequence of the then recent occurrences in France and this country interfered to prevent Holland from invading Belgium. When the object for which we paid the money was no longer attainable, one should imagine, of course, that the payments would cease: but no such thing'—his Majesty's Ministers determined that they should go on. He would defy any hon. Gentleman to point out in the former treaty anything that could bind us to the payment after the separation. Indeed, in what way was Russia bound by the payment of this loan? There was nothing binding on this country. If hon. Gentlemen were to put the Treaty of 1815 and the Convention of 1831 in juxta-position, it would be impossible to come to the conclusion that the latter truly construed the meaning of the former. The construction, it would seem, of the Convention was, that the money should be paid by Great Britain to Russia without qualification, and whether there was a severance or no severance. There might be new grounds for paying this money, and the Convention might have been desirable on that account; but it was being guilty of imposition to say, that it was the legitimate interpretation of the Treaty of 1815, instead of a most obvious departure from it. The Convention under the hand of the noble Lord was in direct contravention of the Treaty of 1815. He was quite sure, that the noble Lord and his colleagues had many moments of compunction before they could make up their minds to agree to these payments. The noble Lord said, that he had done all in his power—that he had referred the case to the law officers of the Crown, and that he had acted in conformity with their advice. Now, was he justified, as a member of the Cabinet—filling a high and responsible situation—and when according to himself, the spirit, if not the letter, of the treaty obviously sanctioned this convention, to take refuge under this advice? Looking at his conduct, and, at the same time, speaking of him with all the respect that his general conduct entitled him to—he (Sir E. Sugden) considered him guilty of a great inconsistency in these proceedings. There was one other point to which he would refer, which had not hitherto been mooted in the House. It would be recollected that the payments were made in December, 1831, and they were refused in June, 1832, on the ground that the new Convention had not been ratified. There, certainly was some strange inconsistency in this, for the Convention was signed in November, 1831, and the objection to the payment was equally strong in December, 1831, as in June, 1832. The noble Lord said that this Convention could not be ratified till the treaty of separation had been signed by the five great Powers. This made the case worse than it was before, and showed a greater impropriety in paying the money in the former instance. As a matter of common decency, the Government should have applied for a Bill of Indemnity in this case. Indeed, the conduct of the Government throughout the whole of these proceedings had been most singular. The noble Lord and his colleagues, with a view to induce the House to sanction their conduct before the papers were laid on the Table, rested their defence on particular grounds—the House supported them in their views by a small majority; but, immediately after this, the new Convention was produced, and their defence was rested not only on a different ground, but on one in direct opposition to that on which they induced the House to support them. When the noble Lord made the defence which he did, in January last, he had the Convention with Russia in his pocket, and he knew that that Power had been subsidized to the views of England. The noble Lord had talked of a breach of national faith if this money were not paid, but he (Sir Edward Sugden) denied that, by the national honour, we were bound to pay a single shilling. The present Ministry stood convicted of as gross a breach of national faith as ever was committed. Considering, therefore, this House as the guardian of the national honour and of the public peace, he never supported a motion with greater satisfaction than the present.

Viscount Palmerston

rose amidst loud cries of Question. He hoped, considering the length to which the Debate had gone, and considering that the subject under discussion would come before the House in many future stages, that hon. Gentlemen would suffer the House to come to a decision on this question to-night. He could assure the House, that he would compress what he had to say within very narrow limits. It would be unnecessary for him to notice many of the arguments urged in the course of the Debate, which, though conducted with great ability on both sides, and very unequal success, had produced little which hail any bearing on the real question before the House. Hon. Gentlemen had been asked, whether they were of opinion that this country was not bound to continue these payments to Russia? This question had been more than once put to the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and, although they had avoided giving it any definite or specific answer, it was not difficult to draw from their conduct the conclusion, that they thought the country was bound to continue the payments. It was true, that Gentlemen opposite had not given an answer to the question in direct terms; they had not expressed it in words, but from their conduct it was impossible to arrive at any other conclusion. But what had been the course pursued by hon. Gentlemen opposite? Had his noble friend been met fairly in the proposition which he submitted to the House? Instead of going into the question before the House, all the arguments used had reference only to questions fully discussed and settled several months ago. Gentlemen forgot, or they did not choose to recollect, that something had occurred since then, which had completely altered the face of the matter. Ministers were now able to produce documents which they were then obliged to keep back, and to enter into explanations which they could not then give. They were then acting under the most disagreeable restraint. It was impossible for them to enter into an explanation of negotiations which were unsettled, and lay before Parliament a convention which was incomplete. They were then not at liberty to produce the additional articles of the Treaty of 1815, which elucidated the subject. It was, on a former occasion, stated by two hon. and learned Gentlemen, that if a convention like that now produced had been made, they would not have supported the motion then proposed. [no! no!]. The hon. and learned member for Boroughbridge, and another hon. and learned Gentleman, stated, that they would not have joined in a vote of censure, if they had known that such a document had been in existence. The restraint under which the Government then laboured being removed, he would as briefly as possible, explain why he thought that the country was bound in honour, justice, and good faith, to continue the payments to Russia. When the Convention of 1815 was submitted to Parliament, both Lord Liverpool and Lord Castlereagh stated, that in consequence of the great exertions of Russia in the war, that Power was entitled to some remuneration; and also, that the object of the treaty was, to influence Russia to support a policy, with regard to the Low-Countries, best adapted for the interests of England, and for the preservation of the' peace of Europe. It was then stated, that when Russia had expelled the enemy from her own frontiers, and had continued to wage war, at immense sacrifices, for the benefit of Europe at large, it was considered by the Allies that she was entitled to some remuneration for all her exertions in the common cause. On these grounds, England, Russia, and Holland, entered into this arrangement; Holland, in the first place, undertook to pay for Russia one-half of the Russian-Dutch Loan, of 100,000,000 florins, and this country undertook to pay one-half of that half, or 25,000,000 of florins. We undertook this payment in consequence of a treaty between England and Holland, by which the latter agreed that England should retain some of the most valuable of the Dutch colonies captured during the war. Some hon. Gentleman had denied that Russia was unwilling, in 1815, to acquiesce in the union of Belgium and Holland, and to recognize the prince of Orange as king of the Netherlands; but he had more knowledge of the subject than the hon. Member, and could assert that it was so. It was settled by this treaty, that the payments should cease if Belgium was severed from Holland; and the motive of that stipulation was, to obtain for us a most important guarantee, in giving Russia a strong interest to prevent the separation of Belgium from Holland. But what was the separation contemplated? Was it a separation occasioned by the revolt of Belgium, or by rebellion of a single province or town; or was it a separation to be occasioned by the attack of a hostile Power? Whatever might be the strict letter of the treaty, those who made it, he had no hesitation in saying, had in contemplation only a separation occasioned by a foreign army. That was proved by the additional articles. There could be no doubt whatever as to the true construction of the treaty on which the question turned, and in order to prevent the possibility of doubt as to the con struction of the fifth article, this secret article provided for two possible cases. The original treaty said, if Belgium is separated from Holland the payment shall at once cease. The secret article said, that the severance might be of two kinds. It declared, that if Belgium should be occupied by an invading enemy, unless that occupation should have lasted for more than a year, the payment should not cease, although the whole of Belgium may have been invaded, and virtually severed from Holland. It also said, that if a portion only of Belgium was permanently severed from Holland, a proportionate reduction should be made from the annual payment. The additional article was most important, for it set out by declaring, that it was intended for the purpose of preventing all possibility of doubt as to the true meaning of the fifth article of the Convention of 1815. Well, then, what were the doubts which it resolved? Why, the doubts as to what might be the true meaning of the fifth article, if Belgium was severed entirely, but temporarily, or partially, but permanently; and, in each case, the severance contemplated was one by force of arms, and by the invasion of a foreign enemy; and he said, then, that this additional article rendered it impossible to doubt the fair construction of the original treaty, for it showed, as clearly as words could show, what was the impression on the minds of the party who framed it. It was quite clear, from what Lord Castlereagh said on that occasion, that the severance contemplated by those who made the treaty was a severance by force of arms, and he might almost say, a severance by France, with whom the Allied Powers had just concluded a long and arduous war. It was said, however, that this was not the strict and literal interpretation of the words of the treaty, which would extend to a severance by internal rebellion, and by a successful revolution. Supposing that was the case, should they be entitled to apply the spirit of the additional article to the present circumstances, and say, that until that severance had lasted a year, the payment could not be suspended? But the severance was not complete, de facto, till the election of Prince Leopold to be King, in June, 1831; and, therefore, even upon that construction of the treaty, which he did not admit, the payment in December, 1831, could not have been resisted. It was perfectly clear, however, that whether the severance was to be by force from without, or by rebellion from within, the true meaning of the provision for the forfeiture of the payment, in case severance took place, was to bind Russia to co-operate with Great Britain in preventing a separation; because the whole regulation was made in the interest of Great Britain, and it was her interest and policy at that time to preserve and maintain the union. Belgium was not given to Holland on account of any peculiar merit in the Dutch nation, or in the sovereign of the Netherlands. He was not underrating the gallantry with which the Dutch emancipated themselves from the yoke of France, nor casting any reflection upon the sovereign; but neither the Dutch nor their sovereign had been able to render such services to the other Powers as to entitle either of them to any peculiar benefit. The union, then, was merely an arrangement for the general advantage of the Powers of Europe. Many persons thought, that the arrangement was not calculated to attain the object proposed; he thought it was wise and prudent. He was persuaded, that if the government had administered the affairs of the Netherlands with moderation and judgment, the union would have been consolidated by time, instead of becoming weaker and weaker during every year it had continued. The object of this country was, that the union should be maintained, for the interests of England intimately connected with it, and for the general interest of Europe; and the assistance of Russia to maintain that union was secured by giving her a direct pecuniary interest in the preservation of it. Now, however, the separation had taken place; there was no doubt of that—and supposing, for the sake of argument, it was such a separation as to carry with it the forfeiture of the payment—the question then was, by whom was it brought about? Not by England certainly, for it was the result of the internal circumstances of the united kingdom of the Netherlands. But what was the course which the English Government took on the occurrence of the circumstances which led to the separation? By the terms of the alliance, the contracting parties to the treaty which made the union had an undoubted right to march into Belgium, and, by force of arms, to reestablish there the authority of the king of the Netherlands—he said an undoubted right, as contradistinguished from an obligation to re-establish that authority. In the beginning of October, 1830, the king of the Netherlands applied to his allies, telling them his authority had been overthrown in Belgium, and he asked for military assistance to enable him to reestablish it. Such an application was made to Great Britain, to Austria, to Russia, and Prussia. What was the answer—not of the present, but of the late Administration? Why, they declined to afford the military assistance required of them. He blamed them not; however important it was to maintain that union, if consistent with the preservation of peace, and the contentment of the two nations, under the existing circumstances the last Government acted wisely in declining to run the risk of incurring a general war in Europe—a war, moreover, of conflicting principles—for the purpose of re-establishing a union which could never be real or permanent. The Government of Great Britain, by so doing, however, gave its sanction to the separation which had taken place. What, however, was the answer of the emperor of Russia? He signified to his allies that he had 60,000 men on his frontiers, ready to march for the purpose of re-establishing the authority of the king of the Netherlands, if the other contracting parties to the treaty were of opinion that such a proceeding would be consistent with the general interest. The emperor of Russia was ready to do all he could to re-establish the authority of his ally, and to maintain the union of 1815; but, although that union was originally promoted by England, she had changed her view of the policy and expediency of it, and, by her influence, prevented that recourse to arms which might possibly, though at the risk of a general war, have re-established the authority of the king of the Netherlands, and have prevented the severance of Belgium from Holland. With what face, then, could this country have said to the emperor of Russia, "Because we have persuaded you to arrest the march of your legions, therefore we will fine you—we will break the obligation of our bond—because you, having been ready to fulfil yours, have listened to our prudent and moderate counsels?" In the negotiations which then took place, what was the first act of the former Government? Why, having, in the first instance, declined to give to the king of Holland military aid, for the purpose of re-establishing by force his authority, it said, that the separation having taken place de facto, it could not permit the two parties to continue a contest which had ceased to have an object; and the Conference compelled them both to agree to an indefinite armistice. As soon as military aid was refused to the king of Holland, and he was not permitted to employ his own military means, a virtual severance of the two countries had been decided upon. It was found, in the course of the negotiations, that it was impossible, by any persuasion, to induce the Belgians again to become the subjects of the king of the Netherlands. What was the only alternative left to the allies, consistent with the peace of Europe, and the interests of surrounding nations? The union having been broken, what was left for them to do? How was the object for which Belgium had been united to Holland to be achieved? Why, by declaring Belgium an independent and a neutral state. Perhaps that arrangement might turn out better calculated for the purpose than that which was established in 1815; although the Government of this country urged that arrangement upon its allies, and specially endeavoured to persuade Russia to agree to it. A change had taken place since 1815, in the relations between Russia and the Netherlands. In 1815, Russia was adverse to the union of the two countries, but since that period family connexions had been formed, private and personal interests had been added to political relations, and Russia had become indisposed to any arrangement that should render less valuable the inheritance of a prince connected by the ties of marriage with the Imperial House of Russia. It was England which, for European considerations, wished to sanction, by treaty, that separation which de facto had begun to exist. On the 15th of November, a treaty was signed between all the Allied Powers, assembled in Conference, on the one hand, and the king of Belgium on the other, by which that separation which had de facto existed since the commencement of the reign of Leopold, in June, was formally recognized by the five Powers. With regard to the Russian loan, the Ministers had the opinion of the law officers that that Convention made no difference in our honourable obligation. Entertaining no doubt of the liability of England to pay the money to Russia, the Convention was signed the day after the treaty of separation; and it was signed at that time, because the government of Russia would not enter into an engagement to recognize the separation of Belgium from Holland, unless it was accompanied by a security for the continuance of the payment of the money. It could not, however, be considered a binding agreement between the two governments, till it was ratified: the treaty of separation was not ratified by Russia till May, nor the Convention till the following month of June. But, as the Government considered itself pledged in honour and good faith to continue the payments, it was its bounden duty to sign this subsequent Convention, for the security of the interests of Russia, and for the purpose of preventing that country from the possibility of being injured, in consequence of the separation. It was said, however, "Why, if you found in December that you could not suspend the payments, did you not come down to this House, and state that such a Convention had been signed?" In the first place, he apprehended that, in honour and good faith, the country was bound to continue the payments, and, at all events, could not suspend them at that time, because a treaty was not valid till it had been ratified by the sovereigns whose plenipotentiaries had affixed their signatures to it. Russia had not then ratified the treaty of separation; and could not, therefore, have been made, with any propriety, to suffer legally the forfeiture, even if it had been just or honourable to impose it. Here one of the additional articles certainly had a most direct application, because it was therein stated, that if a separation took place by force of arras, the payments should not be suspended till after the lapse of twelve months. No one, he apprehended, could contend that this provision would not be equally applicable to a separation by internal violence; and if the payments could not be suspended until a year had elapsed, in case of severance by force of arms, no one could justly contend that the Government would have been warranted in suspending the payments before the year had elapsed, under the peculiar circumstances by which the separation was effected. The separation did not actually take place until the election of the sovereign of Belgium, which happened early in the month of June. Up to the end of December, therefore, the Government could not possibly withhold the payments. It was asked, why did not the Ministers state, that the new Convention had been signed? For this plain reason, that the very same circumstance which rendered the treaty of separation invalid until it had been ratified by the contracting parties, applied to this Convention. Every one must admit that, if the Government had come down to this House, and rested on an incomplete and unratified convention, it would not only have been acting in a manner unbecoming its dignity, but treating the House improperly and disrespectfully. Ministers were unable, at that time, to state that this second convention was complete; but, as soon as it was ratified, they announced the fact to the House, and stated their intention of applying to Parliament for its sanction to the convention. They had been told that they were too lax in their interpretation of the Convention of 1815. But all who were conversant with public law and public engagements must feel, that nations ought to be much more liberal in their constructions of their own obligations of this kind, than individuals in the engagements between each other in the ordinary transactions of life. If one individual was injured by another, the party aggrieved could appeal for redress to the laws, or to some impartial tribunal, whereas between nations the only appeal was to the sword; and it was the bounden duty of every (Government to avoid such an appeal as long as possible. With respect, then, to the original engagement, in the spirit that still subsisted, Russia had done nothing to forfeit her right to claim the execution of our part of that engagement, which, accordingly, we were bound in honour and in duty to fulfil. Under these circumstances, the House would be regardless of the dignity of the country, if it were to withhold its assent from the motion of his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last, called upon him to explain how it happened that the second convention was different in its wording and provisions from the first. He said, in the original it was provided that the payments should cease if Belgium be separated from Holland, but that there was no such condition in the present arrangement; though it required, as the hon. and learned Gentleman admitted, that, with respect to Belgium, Russia should conform to the views and policy of England. They could not insert in this convention that the payment should cease when Belgium should be separated from Holland, because it would be actually absurd. The fact of that separation having taken place was the basis of the Convention itself; but it was said that Russia should make her policy, with regard to Belgium, conformable to the views and interests of England, which, in spirit and substance, was equivalent to the former condition. The hon. member for Thetford remarked, that his noble friend at the head of the Government had recently made use of expressions which filled him with alarm—that his noble friend said, that the country should place itself in a firm and imposing attitude, and he begged to know what was the meaning of those expressions, and the events to which they referred. It was unnecessary to do more than look to the various countries of Europe to see that circumstances might require, for the dignity, and honour, and interests of this country, that she should take the attitude which his noble friend described; though there was one attitude which he hoped she would never take. An imposing attitude, he trusted, she would take, but he trusted she would never assume an attitude of imposition; and it would be to practise an imposition on the government of Russia, if she sought, by a mean and paltry quibble, to relieve herself from obligations which she was bound to fulfil, not only by considerations of honour and good faith, but also by a regard for her true political interests. He remembered a distinguished Member of that House, Mr. Wilberforce, once said, that England was too honest to have any connexion with the Continent. He trusted the time would never come when England should, in the opinion of the Continent, be too dishonest for mutual intercourse; but his opinion was, that if the House refused its consent to the act necessary to the continuance of these payments, the honour and the good name of the country would be so tarnished, that he should despair of any useful or beneficial intercourse ever again taking place between her and the other states of Europe. He would only add, that the payment was fully, completely, and entirely warranted by the treaty, by the additional articles, as they were called, and by the nature of the transactions out of which the Treaty of 1815 arose; and he was persuaded that hon. Gentlemen opposite would find themselves, if they expected to obtain, on the present occasion, a larger division against the Government than they had when the subject was last discussed, as mistaken in their predictions as they were erroneous in their arguments.

Sir Robert Peel

said, the noble Lord had followed the line of argument which almost every speaker on that side who preceded him had taken, and had studiously confounded two questions, which were entirely distinct—the one, whether this country was under an obligation, of honour and good faith, to continue these payments to Russia; the other, whether his Majesty's Government were warranted, by law, in advancing the money in January last? No two questions could be more distinct than these. The noble Lord who commenced the discussion, was the first to admit that they were distinct, and ought to be kept separate. Why, then, after that admission from the noble Lord, had these questions been confounded? Why, but because the pressure of argument against the conduct of Government was so strong, that it became necessary to divert attention from it, by introducing a multitude of topics, with which that conduct had nothing to do. The first invitation to us to declare our opinion on the political question, came, not from a political character, but from the Attorney General, who, of all persons, was peculiarly bound to confine himself to the legal part of the question. He it was who said, "Before you come to the question of law, tell us what you think of the policy of continuing these payments to Russia." That question was no doubt an important one, and many hon. Gentlemen complained that no distinct answer had been given to it. He, for one, had no wish to evade it. He certainly thought that his Majesty's Government ought to have explained to the House, what were the circumstances that imposed upon the House of Commons an obligation of good faith to support his Majesty's Ministers in the view they took of this question. He had never held equivocal language on this subject; he had said from the first, establish that claim of good faith, and take the money, but, he repeated, that he thought it was too much, merely on the speech of a Minister to call upon the House of Commons in spite of the letter of the treaty, in spite of the Act of Parlia- ment, in spite of every document to which the House had yet had access, to admit that an obligation, in point of honour, to make these payments still existed. The noble Lord, the Paymaster of the Forces, on a former occasion, complained of this side of the House for pressing precipitately a vote of censure, without calling for the papers which existed, and to the production of which he intimated there would be no objection. Again, to-night, the hon. and learned Gentleman, the member for Ilchester, intimated that the law officers, before they gave their opinion, were aware of certain negotiations that preceded the Convention, and which materially bore upon the character and spirit of that Convention. Then he said at once, that it was incumbent upon the Ministers, if there were documents which fortified their construction of the treaty—if there were documents existing in the Foreign Office, on which the law-officers grounded their opinion, to produce them. In 1815, though not a member of the Cabinet, he was connected with the Government, and was not aware of the existence of such documents. Still he could not deny the possibility of their existence, but if they did exist could there be a doubt that it was the duty of the Government to take one of two courses—either to produce the documents, or to say at once, "On our responsibility, as Ministers, we consider that their production would be prejudicial to the public interests, but we pledge our honour, as to the fact of their existence." It was not fair to refer obscurity to negotiations and drafts of treaties which were neither explained nor produced; and, to insinuate that the House was not qualified to Judge, because it was not in possession of the whole case. The obligation on the part of this country was founded either upon the Convention of 1815, or upon the new Convention. If upon the latter, it was greatly to be lamented that his Majesty's Government had not postponed this question; because, if it rested upon the new Convention, we were pledging ourselves by ratifying that Convention, to an approval of the public policy of the Government in reference to foreign affairs. It would thus become necessary to enter at once into a general discussion of the political transactions of this country. Whether that was advisable, with reference to the preservation of peace, the noble Lord was the best judge. The transac- tions were not yet closed, and he should not enter into them without great reluctance, but if the noble Lord said, "I call upon you to vote this money, because, Russia has pledged herself to adhere to the policy of England, with regard to the establishment of the independent state of Belgium," then he asked, was it possible to discuss the merits of the Convention, without discussing at the same time the general policy of placing Prince Leopold upon the throne of that state; and, above all, the conduct which, throughout these transactions, the Government of this country, and the other members of the Conference, had pursued towards Holland? He should deplore the necessity of being called upon to enter into these questions, because he could not think, that in the state in which they then were, the full and unreserved discussion of them at that time, could contribute to their satisfactory settlement. It was unjust, therefore, for the Government to force the House, under these circumstances, into the expression either of acquiescence or dissent in respect to the foreign policy of the Government. On the other question, namely, whether the conduct of the Government, in continuing the payments to Russia was in conformity with law, he had only to repeat that he considered it entirely distinct—so that it would in his opinion be quite consistent to move a vote of censure on the Government, for violating an express law, and yet enable the Government by a new authority to maintain the obligations of good faith and honour. A similar course had been pursued in many instances. With reference to the Peace of 1763, to the Peace of 1783, and to the Peace of Amiens, votes of censure were moved upon his Majesty's Government for making those treaties, and yet the House resolved to keep the treaties inviolate. A similar course of proceeding might with equal justice and propriety be adopted on the present occasion. The real question now before the House was, the dry bare legal question, whether his Majesty's Government were warranted bylaw in paying this money. He was surprised to hear the subject treated by Gentlemen on the other side of the House as if it were a matter of indifference whether or not the money was issued under the sanction of an Act of Parliament. To argue that that question was subordinate to another, namely, whether the country was obliged in good faith to pay the money, was to treat it as a matter of indifference. The country might be obliged, in good faith, to pay the money, but would any man contend, that it ought to be paid without the authority of Parliament? The noble Lord considered that a vote of censure was treating Ministers with too great severity, but the resolution moved by his right hon. friend was the mildest mode in which the House could express its own opinion on the facts which had transpired. The noble Lord must judge for himself whether such a resolution was tantamount to a vote of censure or not; but, if the facts were as they had been stated to be, it was the duty of the House of Commons to declare its sentiments on those facts in the language, not of severity but of truth. The noble Lord (Althorp) said, "If you pass that Resolution, I shall resign my office." In the present awful state of the country—in the present state of our foreign affairs—in the present state of Ireland—in the present state of the West-India colonies—in the present state of our finances, he was much not surprised at the readiness with which the noble Lord made that declaration. Still, if, as was his conviction, the issue of money which took place in January was not warranted by law, it became the duty of the House of Commons to take steps for the purpose of guarding against that issue being drawn into precedent; and, whatever might be the determination of the noble Lord as to resigning his office, he would not shrink from giving his sanction to a formal proceeding, by which the example of the noble Lord might not be drawn into precedent. The question was, was the issue in January warranted by law? He admitted at once, that treaties ought not only to be observed; but that the intentions of the parties, rather than the letter of the official instrument, should be faithfully executed. All that the learned member for Calne had said—nine-tenths of the speech of the learned member for Ilchester—and all that the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) had urged, were quite beside the present question. Granted that the construction of the treaty ought to be liberal, but it was the duty of Ministers to apply to Parliament, to enable them to put that construction upon it. If there had been a case not foreseen by the Act, but coming within the spirit of the treaty, Parliament would never refuse to supply the defect. This was the very point under consideration. It was said by Ministers, that the severance of the Belgian provinces from Holland by a revolution, was a casus omissus not provided for, by the treaty, and that, that case occurring, and Russia being in no way responsible for its occurrence, a moral obligation upon this country remained to continue the payment. Supposing he admitted the full force of that argument—as he had admitted that the Government ought to construe this treaty liberally—yet, what was the just conclusion from those premises? Why, the Government ought to apply to Parliament for a new authority, and not require the Auditor of the Exchequer to place a construction upon an Act of Parliament manifestly at variance with its express terms. Treaties which depended for their enforcement upon the sanction of an Act of Parliament, differed in principle from those upon which the Crown was competent to act without applying to Parliament to sanction them. On such treaties it became the Government to put a liberal construction; and, in such a case as that quoted by the hon. and learned member for Calne, in which one nation engaged to furnish pikemen to another, and being unable to fulfil that special engagement felt itself bound to furnish musketeers—there could be no question that the spirit of the contract was justly fulfilled. But in treaties which related to the issue of money, where the Crown was obliged to resort to Parliament to get that money, the Crown relinquished its right to construe such treaties, and was bound by the strict letter of the law. Where an Act of Parliament imposed obligations upon a Minister of the Crown, in respect to the issue of public money, there was no more latitude given to that Minister in the construction of such an Act of Parliament, than there was given to any other individual with regard to an ordinary statute. The necessity of applying to Parliament for its sanction, implied that it was the duty of the Crown to observe the will of the Legislature expressed in a law, and therefore any act on the part of the Crown that dispensed with the law, was inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution. There would be no security in legislation if such a dispensing power were allowed to exist. He should like to take a man of plain common sense, who knew nothing of the techni- calities of law, and leave this question to his decision. He should like to place before him the terms of the treaty as follows. The material terms of the treaty were these—" It is understood and agreed that the payment on the part of his Majesty the King of Great Britain shall cease and determine, should the possession and sovereignty (which God forbid) of the Belgic provinces pass away or be severed from the kingdom of the Netherlands." Here—be it observed by the way—we implored Providence to avert, as an evil, the separation of Belgium from Holland, and now, consistently with our present policy, we must implore the same Providence to effect the very object which we before implored it to prevent, and we must now say, God forbid that the Belgic provinces should ever be incorporated with Holland-The Act went on to declare, that these payments were authorized to be made by Great Britain, according to the spirit of the treaty, as specified in the engagement. What was the engagement, the spirit, as well as the letter of this engagement? Why surely that our liability should cease whenever the possession of Belgium should pass from Holland. Then the question was, had the possession or sovereignty of the Belgic provinces passed away when the money was issued? Gould any man doubt that fact? The money was paid in January, but the dominion had previously passed away; true, it was by a revolution, and not by invasion, but still the fact could not be disputed, that the dominion of the Belgic provinces had passed from the kingdom of the Netherlands, and yet, in spite of that specific enactment to which he had referred, the Government issued the money. He would next refer to the objects of the treaties. The second Treaty of 1815 referred to a former Treaty of 1814, between Holland and this country. The object contemplated by that treaty was, to provide for the defence of the Belgian provinces, and their incorporation with Holland: England was to contribute a portion of such further charge as should be agreed upon by the contracting parties, as necessary for the final and satisfactory settlement of the Low Countries under the dominion of the House of Orange. The communication made by the Crown to Parliament on that occasion was to this effect:—" I have a great object in view—I wish to incorporate the Belgian provinces with Holland—I have received from Holland her colonies—I have entered into a convention with that country to pay 3,000,000l. of money for the express purpose of ensuring the incorporation of the Belgic provinces with Holland—I wish you to authorize me to pay this money, and I will consent that you shall prohibit me (for the act is not permissive merely) from issuing that money, provided the possession and sovereignty of those provinces shall ever pass away from Holland." They had passed away, and yet that money was still paid. Could any man assert that it was paid by authority of Parliament? What answer had been given to this? To say that the spirit of the treaty required that the payment should be made, in spite of the express provisions of the law, was trifling with the subject. In fact a new Convention had been made with Russia, as if to prove that the former Convention had ceased to be valid. That new Convention placed the obligation on the part of England, upon a totally new ground. This new Convention stated, that it was the object of the Convention of 1815 to afford to Great Britain a guarantee that Russia would, on all questions concerning Belgium, identify her policy with that which the Court of London deemed the best adapted for the maintenance of a just balance of power in Europe. Where could he find that such was the object of the first Convention? It was very useful to insert these words, in order to provide a defence for the policy which Government had pursued. It was very useful to state to the public that Russia would adhere to our policy, and consent to the separation of the Belgian provinces from Holland, if necessary. But how did it appear? By what public document was it shown that that was the real object of the Convention of 1815? If the real object of that Convention was to procure a guarantee from Russia, that, in all cases, she would adhere to the policy of England in respect to Belgium, why was an article inserted in the Convention, which, supposing a case of war, between the parties, still enjoined that the payment of the money should continue on the part of England. In the Convention of 1815 there was an express article to that effect. Supposing that the Netherlands being an ally of England, should Russia declare war upon that country, and actually occupy the Belgian provinces, was it possible to state that her policy would be identified with the policy of England? And yet, according to the Convention of 1815, even under those circumstances the money must have continued to be paid. It might be very desirable that such should be the guarantee to be given for the future, by Russia to England; but to say it was a guarantee given by the Convention of 1815 was an assertion without any foundation. That Convention was utterly at variance with the Convention of the 16th of November, 1831, which recited, that the object of the former treaty was to identify the policy of Russia at all times with that of England towards the Netherlands. But if the second Convention arose out of the same circumstances, and was a mere continuation of the obligation of the first, why had the Government in framing the second, departed from the terms of the first Convention? He wished to ask, whether or not, supposing a war should break out between Russia and England, would the obligation to pay the money continue under the second Convention? It was provided distinctly by the first that war should not release us from the payment. Was the country, by this latter Convention, now released from the obligation in case of war? Surely the omission of such an article as that contained in the original Convention must throw considerable doubt upon the nature and extent of our obligation. To have so important an article inserted in the first Convention, and omitted in the second, was quite inexplicable. To return, however, to the main question, the only question of to-night's discussion. In case the House should be of opinion that there was no sufficient authority to issue this money under the Act of Parliament, there could be only one course which, consistently with its own honour, and in regard to its own privileges, it could pursue. It was not necessary to address the Crown for the removal of its Ministers; it was not necessary to pass a vote of censure on Ministers; but it was necessary to claim for the House of Commons the privilege of doing this—of saying to those Ministers—" You have made a mistake; the issue of money has been contrary to law, and we will repair the error, and maintain the respect due to this House and to the law, by bringing in an Act of Indemnity." The noble Lord said, he would not accept it; but it was the duty of the House to enforce it. The ground upon which the violation of the law was apparent was contained in the documents supplied by his Majesty's Government. It was not his intention to enter into the details of the case, nor to trouble the House with any legal argument upon the subject. He took what he conceived to be a stronger ground. On the 1st of January, the Ministers issued payment of the yearly interest of this loan upon the old convention, and under the authority of the opinion of the law officers of the Crown. On the 5th of June following they declined to make that issue, and placed upon record, by the authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, that they did not consider it possible at present to remit the sum required for the instalment which had then become due. Here, then, was a distinct admission, that the Treasury had no legal authority to pay the money; and yet, in January, 1832, that same Treasury had made the payment, which they declined in June as illegal. What had occurred in the meanwhile to make the payment illegal? There was no difference in the circumstances of the two periods. There was a Convention signed on the 16th of November, but not ratified,—it was signed, but not ratified in January—it was signed, but not ratified in June. In January they made the payment; a debate in this House took place as to its legality; in June the Ministers declined to make the same payment, and gave as their reason that a new Convention had been made in November, which had not yet received the sanction of Parliament, not having been ratified. He wished to ask, why a Convention signed on the 16th of November, was not yet ratified? By the third article it was declared, that it should be ratified within six weeks, or sooner if possible; and yet, on the 5th of June—that is, after the lapse, not of six weeks, but six months—there was an admission on the part of the Treasury, that the Convention was not ratified. What were the reasons for that? Was Russia adhering to the policy of this country in respect to Belgium? If she was, why did she not ratify the Convention? If not, how could the Government have been satisfied in making the issue in January when, on their own showing, Russia was bound by the first Convention to identify her policy with that of England, or forfeit her claim to the payment? But what new fact had arisen constituting so material a difference between the two periods of January and June 1 It had been stated, that Russia had in the interim ratified the general treaty of the five Powers, and, by that ratification, had at length agreed to the separation of Belgium from Holland. But the fact of Russia having recognized that separation made no difference in the case. Look at the terms of the King's Speech; it was announced from the Throne to the Parliament of 1831, that Belgium was separated from Holland, and that the Belgians had made choice of an independent sovereign; nay, we had even recognized that sovereign, and received a Minister from his Court. He asked, then, whether the mere fact of Russia having recognized the Belgian sovereignty, and acknowledged King Leopold, made such a difference with regard to these payments, that that which was legal in January should be illegal in June? It was impossible to find anything in the treaty or in the Act of Parliament which countenanced such a construction. He said, then, that the House of Commons ought to take up this question; and, if the obligation be valid in honour and good faith, let Parliament authorise the payment. Was it right, in a matter of this kind, that, after the power which the House of Commons had conferred on the Crown, had, by the change of circumstances, ceased to exist, the Crown should take upon itself still to exercise that power, and that, too, in the issuing of the public money, over which that House had a chief and special control? The least that Parliament could do for the vindication of its own authority was to pass an Act of Indemnity. And was that an unusual proceeding, or different from the course pursued in former times? Did not the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir James Graham) recollect, when the Crown remitted the four and-a-half per cent duty upon foreign sugars, that nothing would satisfy him or the noble Lord but an Act to legalize the remission, and indemnify the Government for having acted without due authority. Could any man say, that the bringing in an Act of Parliament, with a view to vindicate the privileges of this House, and to correct an error on the part of a Minister of the Crown, was such a reflection upon the conduct of that Minister as to justify his resignation of office? What was done in the case of Boyd and Benfield, in the year 1804? In the year 1795, Mr. Pitt advanced the sum of 40,000l. out of the public Treasury to Boyd and Benfield, to enable them to make good an instalment of a loan for which they had contracted. He took good security for its repayment, and every single farthing was ultimately repaid. The country was then at war. Peace at length took place, and, in consequence of an inquiry instituted before certain Commissioners, this transaction was discovered, and it was at the same time also discovered, that not one single shilling of the public money had been lost; but yet it was considered that the issue of that money was not authorised by law. The question was some years afterwards brought forward by Mr. Fox and Mr. Whitbread, who insisted that the transaction should be covered by a Bill of Indemnity. They brought forward a resolution, not involving the censure of the Government, but declaring the fact, that the issue of the money was not warranted by law. The resolution admitted, that the advance of 40,000l. to Boyd and Benfield, upon unquestionable security, which sum was adopted for the purpose of averting very serious injury to the commercial world—still it was deemed essential to declare it to be unwarranted by law, and Mr. Lascelles afterwards obtained leave to bring in a Bill of Indemnity. If, then, Parliament on that occasion declared that that issue was not according to law, if no opposition to a Bill of Indemnity, was offered by the Minister who made that issue, although the transaction had taken place nine years before, why should the Parliament of this day relax in its vigilance over the conduct of Ministers with regard to the disposal of the public money? It certainly ought not to do so. He knew the Constitution of this country was about to undergo a material change. He knew that that change was mainly defended on the ground that the House of Commons had not exercised that control over the public purse which it ought to exercise, and had not been sufficiently vigilant in guarding the public finances. Let the present House, then, have the satisfaction, before it expired, of doing its duty, and of showing to the public, that, this last impeachment of its character was not a just one. His own conviction was, that the issue of money in January last was not according to law. If he had to give a verdict as a juryman, he would declare, that there was nothing, either in the Act of Parliament, or in the Convention, which warranted that issue. He did not deny that treaties ought to be construed liberally, and that the obligations of good faith ought to be religiously maintained; but he also contended, that it was consistent with the liberal construction of treaties, and with the perfect preservation of the national faith, that Parliament should perform its duty to the country; that, in all cases of proved illegality, or even of rational doubt, it should vindicate its own authority; and, should take care that no Ministry, though backed by a triumphant majority, should usurp the privileges of the House of Commons, with regard to the issue and control of public money.

Lord John Russell

agreed with his noble friend, in saying that this vote of censure was brought forward prematurely, without asking for inquiry, and without having consulted the papers which had been laid upon the Table. He did not, however, complain of the motion of the right hon. Gentleman, although he had made it at rather a singular moment, when the Ministers of the Crown had come down to ask for the authority of Parliament, to enable them to carry into effect the treaty which had been already signed and ratified. To propose, on such an occasion, a vote of censure, was certainly an unusual proceeding: upon that subject, however, he should say no more. He wished only to address a few words to the House with respect to some points upon which the right hon. Gentleman, who had just spoken, had either misunderstood his noble friend, or had made a statement which he was not justified in making. The right hon. Gentleman asked why, if the payment in January was legal, should it be necessary to come for an Act of Parliament to authorize the payment in June? But he had answered his own argument, by saying, that the treaty of separation had been ratified in June and not in January. But, then, how came it that the Convention, which was signed on the 16th of November, was not ratified till June? The reason was, that the delay in the ratification of the treaty of separation very properly delayed, the ratification of the Convention of the 16th of November, which was founded solely on the former treaty. It was, therefore, quite impossible that the Ministers could lay it before Parliament or the emperor of Russia. But as soon as the treaty of separation was ratified, and the Convention arrived, ratified by the emperor of Russia, the Ministers of the Crown performed their duty, by laying the Convention before Parliament and asking the authority of Parliament for carrying it into effect. He did not understand why, if a vote of censure was to be passed upon Ministers, that censure should be confined in particular to the month of January. The right hon. Gentleman had not given any reason why he had fixed upon that period, as being the time when the independence of Belgium was established. Ministers considered independence to be established now, because there was a treaty between the five Powers which was ratified, and which acknowledged that independence. Why did not the right hon. Gentleman at once say, that Ministers were not justified in paying the money even in the January previous? Certainly, Prince Leopold was elected King in the month of June; but in transactions of this kind, going over a length of time, there was not any reason whatever for saying that, in that particular month of January, a severance had taken place, more than at any other time, for at various periods the people had shown symptoms of insurrection, so that the right hon. Gentleman might as well have fixed upon any of those periods as upon the month of January. It was well known that, in the month of August, the king of Holland entered Belgium, whilst this severance, upon which so much argument had been founded, had not yet attracted the intervention of the Allied Sovereigns. Therefore, the proper course for the Ministers of the Crown to pursue was, until these transactions had been completed, and a regular agreement come to between the great States of Europe, that the new sovereignty of Belgium should be recognized, to consider that the severance had not taken place, and that the provisions of the former Convention were still in force. The right hon. Gentleman then complained of this question being brought forward at the present time. If this had not been done, it would have been necessary to continue those payments to which the right hon. Gentleman and his friends so much objected. Ministers were now endeavouring to obtain from Parliament its sanction to a treaty which was perfect in the letter, as well as in the spirit, in order to pay this loan to Russia. It was, therefore, a complaint quite inconsistent with all the other parts of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. With regard to the general question of the Treaty of 1815, his noble friend, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had fully explained that transaction. There was nothing in the papers of which he had not given a complete and fair account, and, therefore, it was quite unnecessary to move for any more documents relating to that subject. But, when the right hon. Gentleman complained of the conduct of his Majesty's Ministers, and charged them with duplicity, and applied other harsh terms to their proceedings, he must needs say, without being disposed to retort those terms, that after the appeal which had been made by his noble friend near him, he was surprised that no Gentleman on the opposite side of the House had declared whether he thought this country was bound, in honour and good faith, to make these payments to Russia. The right hon. Gentleman had, indeed, said that, if bound in honour, we ought to make them; but he had cautiously abstained from saying whether he thought that Ministers were, in honour, bound to make them or not. This was certainly a very handsome declaration; but it pledged him to nothing. It was extraordinary that, after all the explanations which Ministers had made upon this subject, and after those treaties had been laid on the Table of the House, up to the present moment, no hon. Gentleman, on the other side, had expressed an opinion as to whether this country was or was not bound, in honour and good faith, to continue this payment to Russia. He knew of no reason why they should have been thus abstinent upon this point, unless it was that they were anxious to avail themselves of the opportunity which the occasion afforded, of making speeches respecting the necessity for economy, and watchfulness over the public money. If, as he believed, the hon. Members opposite really thought that this country was bound in honour to make these payments, there was an end of the most material question. It only remained, then, to be considered, whether the payments were made at precisely the right time? Although this was a point of some importance, as regarded the conduct of Ministers, it had really no more to do with the question of public economy, than any other matter which had no imaginable connexion whatever with the public money. Under these circumstances, hon. Gentlemen opposite had, in rather an un candid manner, availed themselves of the pretext of saving the public money, in order to attack Ministers; although they themselves would not venture to declare that this country was not bound, if she desired to retain her honour unsullied, to pay Russia the money to which she was entitled, by the spirit of the Treaty of 1815.

Mr. Croker

was desirous of noticing only two points which had occurred in the course of this discussion; and, at this protracted period of the debate, he should do so very briefly. The noble Lord had taunted his right hon. friend with not having given an answer to a question which ought not, in fairness, to have been addressed to him. The time had not arrived for asking that question. Every one of his hon. friends had endeavoured to separate that question from the one now under discussion: they had said, "The first question for us to consider is, the legality of the proceedings of the Ministry; but what our opinion is with respect to the Russian-Dutch Convention, for the payment of the money, it will be time enough to declare when that subject comes before the House." The House had received from the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs, during the speech of his (Mr. Croker's) right hon. friend, one of the most important admissions towards determining this question that it was possible to imagine. His right hon. friend asked the noble Lord, whether he was to understand him to contend that, even in the event of this country being at war with Russia, we were to continue to subsidize that Power by the payment of this money?—to which question the noble Lord nodded assent. The noble Lord who last addressed the House, complained that we, on this side, would give no opinion upon the question whether or no we were bound in honour to pay the money to Russia, He could speak only for himself, and not for other Gentlemen, but he would certainly vote against so absurd a proposition as that we should bind ourselves to subsidize an enemy. There was only another passage in the speech of his noble friend, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, to which he would refer. His noble friend said, that the reason why he had not stated, on a former occasion, that the new Convention was in existence, was, that he could not even so much as allude to it in Parliament, because it was not ratified. This Convention was signed on the 16th of November, and on the preceding day the treaty of separation had been signed by the Ministers of the five Powers. But neither was this latter treaty ratified; and yet his Majesty, in his Speech at the opening of the Session, was made to say, 'The arrangement which 'I announced to you at the close of the last Session, for the separation of the States of Holland and Belgium, has been followed by a treaty between the five Powers and the king of the Belgians, which I have directed to be laid before you as soon as the ratifications shall have been exchanged.'* Why, then, did not Ministers advise his Majesty to go on to say, "I have likewise to acquaint you, that a treaty of subsidy between Great Britain and Russia has been entered into, which shall also be laid upon the Table as soon as the ratifications shall be exchanged, and your sanction shall be asked for its execution?" If the noble Lord had informed the House that such a convention was in progress, and had begged the House to suspend their judgment until it was laid before them, nobody would have made any objection to his proposition; but, when the noble Lord told the House he would not even allude to the Convention, because the ratification was not at the time received, why was another treaty, under similar circumstances, announced in the King's Speech? The only reason which his noble friend assigned for his extraordinary silence had failed him, because, if the one treaty could be mentioned, his noble friend was equally at liberty to mention the other.

Viscount Palmerston

said, his right hon. friend stated, that he had made up his mind not to vote for so preposterous a proposition as that of subsidizing an enemy. He would beg to refresh his right hon. friend's memory with this passage in the Treaty of 1815—" And the subsidy agreed to be paid on the part of his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, shall not be interrupted in the event, which God forbid, of a war breaking out between any of the three contracting parties to this Treaty." Perhaps his right hon. *Hansard (third series) vol. ix. p. 1. friend would be good enough to answer the question, whether he gave his vote upon the occasion of taking into consideration that treaty, for so preposterous a proposition as the subsidizing an enemy?

Mr. Croker

could give a most satisfactory answer to the question of his noble friend. That treaty was a bargain and sale for the annexation of Belgium to Holland. As long as the condition of the bargain was observed, it mattered not whether we were at war with Russia or not: we were bound to pay the money, because we had the equivalent for it. That equivalent might, even in the event of a war, become more than an equivalent; it might be an advantage—for instance, it might prevent a junction of Russia and France against Holland, which, if not prevented by the treaty of subsidy, must be met by the expense of an auxiliary army in Holland ten times more expensive than the subsidy. He would pay a debt justly due to any enemy; but not as it would be in this case a naked subsidy, the sole pretence for which had vanished! He hoped the House would also permit him to observe, that the object of this new Convention was stated to be, to unite the policy of England and of Russia; and, if the policy of Russia should differ so far from our's as to induce her to go to war, it would be utterly preposterous to subsidize her, even under the provisions of the Convention itself; for how could countries be united in policy when they were actually at war?

The House then divided on the Amendment: Ayes 197; Noes 243—Majority 46.

List of the NOES.
ENGLAND. Bulkeley, Sir R. W.
Althorp, Visct. Bulwer, E. L.
Anson, Sir G. Bunbury, Sir H. E.
Anson, Hon. G. Burrell, Sir C.
Atherley, A. Buxton, T. F.
Barham, C. Byng, Sir J.
Baring, Sir T. Byng, G.
Baring, F. T. Byng, G. S.
Barnett, C. J. Calcraft, Granby H.
Benett, John Calvert, N.
Bentinck, Lord G. Campbell, J.
Bernal, Ralph Carter, J. B.
Biddulph, R. M. Cavendish, Lord
Blake, Sir F. Cavendish, Hon. C.
Blamire, W. Cavendish, Hon. H.
Blount, E. Chichester, J. P. B.
Blunt, Sir C. Clive, E. B.
Bouverie, Hon. P. P. Colborne, N. W. R.
Briscoe, John I. Cradock, Col. S.
Brougham, J. Crampton, P. C.
Brougham, W. Creevey, T.
Clayton Colonel Maberly, Col. Wm.
Currie, John Macaulay, Thomas B.
Curteis, H. B. Maddock, J. F.
Davies, Col. T. H. H. Mangles, James
Denison, W. J. Marjoribanks, Stewart
Denman, Sir T. Marshall, William
Duncombe, T. S. Milbank, Mark
Dundas, Sir R. L. Mildmay, Paulet St. J.
Dundas, Hon. J. C. Mills, John
Dundas, Hon. T. Moreton, Hon. H.
Easthope, J. Morpeth, Viscount
Ebrington, Viscount Mostyn, E. M. L.
Ellice, Edward Nugent, Lord
Ellis, Wynn Ord, William
Evans, Col. De Lacy Paget, Sir Charles
Evans, William Paget, Thomas
Evans, William B. Palmer, Gen. Charles
Ewart, William Palmerston, Viscount
Ferguson, Gen. Sir R. Pelham, Hon. C. A.
Fitzroy, Lord J. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Fitzroy, Lieut.-col. C. Penleaze, John S.
Foley, Hon. H. Penrhyn, Edward
Folkes, Sir William Pepys, C. C.
Fordwich, Lord Petit, Louis H.
Foster, James Petre, Hon. E.
Fox, Lieut.-col. Phillips, Sir R. B.
Frankland, Sir Robert Phillips, Geo. R.
Gisborne, Thomas Portman, Edw. B.
Gordon, Robert Poyntz, William S.
Graham, Rt. Hn. Sir J. Price, Sir Robert
Grant, Rt. Hon. R. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Robarts, Abraham W.
Grey, Colonel Rooper, John B.
Harvey, D. W. Rumbold, C. E.
Hawkins, J. H. Russell, Lord John
Heneage, G. F. Russell, Sir Robert G.
Heywood, Benjamin Russell, Lieut.-col.
Hobhouse, Sir J. C. Sandon, Viscount
Hodges, T. L. Sanford, Edward A.
Horne, Sir W. Schonswar, George
Hoskins, Kedgwin Scott, Sir Edw. D.
Howard, Hon. W. Sebright, Sir J.
Howard, P. H. Skipwith, Sir G.
Howick, Viscount Smith, Hon. R.
Hudson, Thomas Smith, Geo. R.
Hughes, Colonel Smith, John
Hughes, Hughes Smith, John A.
Hume, Joseph Smith, Martin T.
Jerningham, Hon. H. Smith, Robt. Vernon
Johnstone, Sir J. B. Spencer, Hon. Capt.
King, Edward B. Stanhope, Capt. R. H.
Knight, Henry G. Stanley, Rt. Hn E. G.
Knight, Robert Stanley, J.
Labouchere, Henry Stewart, Patrick M.
Langston, James H. Strickland, George
Lawley, Francis Strutt, Edward
Lefevre, Charles S. Stuart, Lord Dudley
Leigh, Thomas C. Stuart, Lord P. James
Lemon, Sir Chas. Talbot, C. R. M.
Lennard, Thomas B. Tennyson, Chas.
Lennox, Lord Arthur Thomson, Rt. Hn. C.
Lennox, Lord William Torrens, Col. Robert
Lester, Benjamin L. Townshend, Lord
Littleton, Edward J. Townley, R. G.
Loch, John Tracy, Charles H.
Lumley, Lord Tyrell, Charles
Lushington, Dr. S. Venables, Alderman
Vernon, Hon. George Brabazon, Viscount
Villiers, Fred. Browne, John
Villiers, Thomas H. Browne, Dominick
Walrond, Bethel Burke, Sir J.
Warburton, Henry Callaghan, D.
Warre, John A. Carew, R. S.
Waterpark, Lord Chapman, M. L.
Watson, Hon. Rich. Chichester, Sir A.
Wellesley, Hon. W. L. Clifford, Sir A.
Wilbraham, George Doyle, Sir J. M.
Wilde, Thomas French, A.
Williams, Sir J. Grattan, H.
Williams, W. A. Grattan, J.
Williamson, Sir H. Hill, Lord G. A.
Willoughby, Sir H. Hort, Sir W.
Wood, Charles Howard, R.
Wood, John Jephson, C. D. O.
Wood, Ald. Matthew Killeen, Lord
Wrottesley, Sir J. King, Hon. R.
SCOTLAND. Lamb, Hon. G.
Adam, Admiral Lambert, H.
Dixon, Joseph Leader, N. P.
Ferguson, Robert Macnamara, W.
Fergusson, R. C. Mullins, F.
Grant, Rt. Hon. C. O'Connor, Don
Haliburton, Hn. D. G. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Jeffrey, Rt. Hon. F. O'Grady, Hon. Col.
Johnstone, Andrew Ponsonby, Hon. C.
Johnstone, James Power, R.
Kennedy, Thomas F. Russell, J.
Mackenzie, Stewart Sheil, R. L.
M'Leod, R. Wallace, T.
Morison, John Westenra, Hon. H.
Stewart, Sir M. S. White, S.
Belfast, Earl of TELLERS.
Bellew, Sir P. Duncannon, Visc.
Boyle, Hon. John Rice, Rt. Hon. T. S.
List of the AYES.
ENGLAND. Burton, H.
A'Court, Capt. E. H. Buxton, John J.
Alexander, James Capel, John
Alexander, J. du Pre Cecil, Lord Thomas
Antrobus, Gibbs C. Chandos, Marq. of
Ashley, Lord Cholmondeley, Ld. S.
Ashley, Hon. H. Churchill, Lord C.
Ashley, Hon. John Clive, Hon. R. H. H.
Astell, Wm. Clive, Henry
Astley, Sir J. Cockburn, Sir G.
Apsley, Lord Constable, Sir T. A.
Attwood, Matthias Cooper, Hon. A. A.
Baldwin, Charles B. Courtenay, T. P.
Bankes, George Curzon, Hon. R.
Bankes, Wm. J. Cust, Hon. Col. Ed.
Baring, Alexander Cust, Hon. Capt. P.
Baring, Henry B. Cripps, J.
Bayntun, S. A. Dawkins, James
Beckett, Rt. Hn. Sir J. Dawson, Rt. Hn. G.
Beresford, Col. M. Denison, J. E.
Best, Hon. Wm. S. Dick, Quintin
Boldero, F. G. Domville, Sir C.
Brogden, James Drake, Thomas T.
Buck, L. W. Drake, Col. Wm. T.
Burge, William Dugdale, Wm. S.
Burrard, George East, James B.
Eastnor, Viscount Pemberton, Thos.
Eliot, Lord Penruddocke, John H.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Perceval, Spencer
Fane, Hon. Henry Phipps, Hon. Gen. E.
Farrand, Robert Pigott, G. G. W.
Fitzroy, Hon. H. Pollington, Visc.
Foley, Edw. T. Pollock, Fred.
Forbes, Sir C. Porchester, Lord
Forester, Hon. G. Powell, Col. W. E.
Fox, Sackville Lane Praed, Winthrop M.
Fremantle, Sir T. Price, Richard
Freshfield, James W. Pringle, Sir W. H.
Goulburn, Rt. Hn. H. Rickford, W.
Gordon, Col. John Roberts, Wilson A.
Graham, Marquess Robinson, G. W.
Grant, Gen. Sir C. Rose, Rt. Hn. Sir G.
Grimston, Viscount Rose, Capt. Pitt
Godson, R. Ross, Chas.
Green, T. Russell, C.
Halse, J. Ryder, Hon. G.
Hardinge, Sir H. Sadler, Michael T.
Herbert, Hon. E. C. H. Scarlett, Sir James
Hill, Sir R. Scott, Sir Samuel
Hodgson, Fred. Seymour, Horace B.
Holdsworth, A. H. Sibthorp, Col. C. D. W.
Holmes, William Smith, Abel
Hope, Henry T. Smith, Samuel
Hope, John T. Somerset, Lord Gran.
Hotham, Lord Stewart, Chas.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Stormont, Viscount
Irving, John St. Paul, Sir H. D.
Jenkins, Richard Sugden, Sir Edw. B.
Jollitfe, Sir W. G. H. Thompson, Alderman
Jones, T. Thyne, Lord Edw.
Kearsley, John H. Thynne, Lord H. E.
Kenyon, Hon. Lloyd Thynne, Lord John
Kilderbee, Spencer H. Trench, Sir F.
Knight, J. L. Trevor, Hon. Arthur
Lascelles, Hon. W. Tunno, Edward R.
Lee, L. Ure, Masterton
Loughborough, Lord Villiers, Viscount
Lowther, Lord Vyvyan, Sir Richard
Lowther, Hon. Col. H. Wall, Charles B.
Lowther, John H. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Luttrell, John F. Welby, Glynne E.
Lyon, David West, F. H.
Lyon, Wm. Wetherell, Sir C.
Mackillop, James Wood, Col. T.
Mackinnon, Wm. A. Wortley, Hon. J. S.
Mahon, Viscount Wrangham, Digby C.
Mandeville, Viscount Wyndham, Wadham
Martin, Sir Byam Wynn, C. W. G.
Mayhew, W.
Mexborough, Earl of SCOTLAND.
Miles, Philip J. Blair, William
Miles, William Dalrymple, Sir A.
Miller, W. H. Douglas, W. B. K.
Mount, W. Dundas, Robert A.
Neeld, Jos. Gordon, Hn. Capt. W.
Nugent, Sir G. Graham, Lord M. W.
Palmer, R. Murray, Rt. Hn. G.
Pearse, John Pringle, Alexander
Peel, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Scott, H. F.
Peel, Col. Jonathan IRELAND.
Peel, Edm. Bateson, Sir R.
Peel, Wm. Y. Brydges, Sir John
Pelham, J. C. Blaney, Hon. Capt. C.
Castlereagh, Visc. Lefroy, Anthony
Clements, Col. J. M. Lefroy, Dr. Thomas
Cole, Lord Meynell, Capt. H.
Cole, Hon. A. Parnell, Sir H.
Cooper, Edward J. Perceval, Colonel
Corry, Hon. H. L. Rae, Sir W.
Ferrard, Walter Tullamore, Lord
Fitzgerald, Sir Aug. Wynne, John
Handcock, Richard Young, John
Hayes, Sir E. Ingestre, Viscount
Ingestre, Viscount TELLERS.
Jones, Capt. T. Croker, Rt. Hon J. W.
Herries, Rt. Hon. J. C'
For the Amendment. Against the Amendment.
Yorke, Capt. Beaumont, T. W.
Gordon, Hon. Capt. Robinson, Sir G.
Williams, T. P. Lennox, Lord G.
Wynn, Rt. Hon. C. Whitbread, W.
Valletort, Lord Phillips, C. M.
Rogers, E. Noel, Sir E.
Polhill, Capt. Palmer, C. F.
Conolly, Col. Stanley, Lord
Estcourt, T. H. S. B. Slaney, R. A.
Bruce, C. C. Heron, Sir R.
Cooke, Sir H. Vincent, Sir F.
Atkins, Alderman Morison, J.
Wynn, Sir Watkin Rider, T.
Kerrison, Sir E. Uxbridge, Lord
Vaughan, J. C. Milton, Lord
Warrender, Sir G. Burdett, Sir F.
Wigram, Wm. Ramsbottom, J.
Peach, A. W. Gurney, R.
Gordon, Captain Tavistock, Marquess
Worcester, Marquess Gurney, Hudson
Nichol, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Coke, T. W.

The House then went into Committee, pro formâ. The House resumed—Committee to sit again on Monday.