HC Deb 09 April 1840 vol 53 cc844-950

Adjourned debate resumed.

Mr. Hogg

trusted that that indulgence would be extended to him which had been given through the debate to other Members. It was his intention to make his address as brief as possible, by confining himself as nearly as he could to the terms of the motion before the House. There must have been something very inconvenient in the form of the motion to Gentlemen on the other side of the House, for they had every one of them complained of its terms. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh had expressed his surprise that the motion had been limited to the past conduct of the Government, and he congratulated himself and his colleagues that no censure was expressed or implied on their present conduct and policy. The right hon. Gentleman added triumphantly, that the charges were confined to matters of omission. And how did he answer the charges of omission? He did not attempt to reply to the allegations of the right hon. Baronet, or to those of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter. The right hon. Gentleman at once and almost exultingly admitted the omissions, and attempted to withdraw attention by passing an eloquent panegyric on that omission, although it had led to the most disastrous consequences. The right hon. Gentleman denied the consequences, but acknowledged the omission, and devoted the greater part of that eloquent and powerful speech, which was heard with so much admiration and delight to describe the advantages of withholding instructions from a public servant at a distance. To illustrate the folly of giving him those instructions, the right hon. Gentleman said,— You are justified in giving instructions to a public servant in Paris, or at the Hague; but you are guilty of absurdity in giving instructions to an officer who is at a distance—who is placed in circumstances new and trying, and, above all, if he anxiously implores to you o give him instructions, and adds his opinion that the best interests of the country are at peril if those instructions are withheld. With respect to the motion not embracing the present policy of the Government, his hon. Friend the Member for Wiltshire offered a suggestion which was received by the other side with taunts. His hon. Friend said, that the right hon. Baronet had avoided the question of war lest it should embarrass the Government. Although hon. Gentleman opposite could scarcely be expected to give credit for such motives. For his part he would not have adverted to the question of war, as it was not placed in the resolution, but for the concluding part of the speech of the right hon. Member for Edinburgh. He should be sorry to give any vote or express any opinion that would tend to impair the energies of the Government, or to embarrass the measures which they might think the interests of the country required. But he had formed an opinion as to the question of war and of the warlike policy of Ministers; he did not wish to conceal that opinion. The opposition had been taunted with questions, as to the course they would pursue. He would freely state his opinion as to that course, and it was that under existing circumstances he did not think her Majesty's Government could treat with the Chinese authorities effectually or with honour, except with the support of an armament. He freely admitted that, and he did not arraign the conduct of her Majesty's Government on that score—he arraigned their conduct, because their imprudence and neglect bad led to the exigency. He hoped, for his part, the opinions expressed by his hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard, and by the hon. Member for Lambeth, would be attended to with respect to our armament, and our power would be exercised with humanity. But whatever the struggle might be in which this country was engaged, he never would express any doubts as to the result. He knew there could be but one result. We had, however, some experience of the countries and the confines of China; we knew something of Nepaul. The Nepaulese were undoubtedly the most formidable force we had encountered in India, and they were a power from whom we had still much danger to apprehend. He remembered that when Mr. Auchterlonic had expressed his astonishment that a people so brave as the Nepaulese should have been worsted by the soldiers of China, the answer made to him was, that he did not know the people of China or their warlike character. We had, also, some experience of the Burmese, and they were a nation strongly resembling the Chinese in character and religion. He, therefore, thought that the seven millions spent already in a fruitless war should now enjoin caution. He had said, however, that he apprehended nothing as to the results of a struggle with China, and that there could be but one result to any war in which this great country might be engaged. But he looked with horror even to success. He knew that the forces we might send to China must be irresistible, but he feared that the confidence of the population being once shaken in the government of that country, they had reason to apprehend the most disastrous consequences from a civil conflict among a population of 300,000,000. He knew we might blockade the coast of China, and we might stop the conveyance of rice and other necessaries of life, to that country. We might add to the horrors of war the afflictions of famine, but what, he would ask, would be the result to ourselves? Putting the expenses of the war out of the question, what, he would ask, would become of a mart for upwards of 2,000,000l. of our manufactures, which might be closed for many years to come—what would become of our trade in an article which was no longer a commodity or a luxury, but almost one of the necessaries of life? We might cut up the trade, and we might perhaps be thus debarred from even commerce with China for many years. He would not, however, pursue that subject any further than to express a hope, that whatever demands might be made on China, every peaceful expedient would be exhausted before we proceeded to extremities with that country. He was certainly alarmed at the tone and temper of the conclusion of the speech of the right hon. Member for Edinburgh, and he hoped that right hon. Member was the only person attached to the Government who entertained such opinions as he had expressed. He wished to believe that that right hon. Gentleman had been betrayed by the intemperance of de- bate into the expressions he had used, and he hoped the tone of the Cabinet would be more pacific than that of the right hon. Gentleman. He spoke of wrong inflicted on our flag. The House should bear in mind his illustrations. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of Plessy and of Cromwell. The House had cheered the expression quoted, but not the illustration; for what were the circumstances? A conflict took place between some English sailors and natives on the coast of Malaga, and the priests interfered, and Blake said, unless the priests were delivered up to him within a few hours, he should burn and sack the city. He hoped the illustrations of the noble Lord, the Foreign Secretary, would be of a different character. His hon. Friend, the Member for Portsmouth, had complained bitterly of the terms of the motion, that they had not introduced into it the real source of the war—the trade or cultivation of opium. He wished them to put into it something which, though it might not induce him to support them by his vote, would induce him to support them in opinion. The hon. Members on the other side made the old and hacknied charges of its being a party question, brought forward for party purposes; the hon. Baronet complained no calamity could happen to our flag or armies, but the Ministers were charged with it. He was sorry to say, since they had been at the head of affairs such calamities had been frequent; and they should never occur through the misconduct of Ministers without their hearing of it from that side of the House. It was said, that the right hon. Baronet had framed his motion to catch votes—that he had not met the question boldly. Now, that was a most extraordinary imputation, and if the motion were framed to catch votes, it would have been framed to catch the anti-war men. It would have denounced the war instead of avoiding it. It was well known that there were many hon. Members in that House who were so opposed to war that they would vote for any motion which included its denunciation. His right hon. Friend might have included the opium question, upon which it was well known that a strong feeling existed in that House, and had he only reprobated it, he might have caught at least twenty votes. The right hon. Baronet, however, applied himself exclusively to the censure of her Majesty's Government. It had been urged by the hon. Members for Lambeth and Liskeard, that the Members of the former Administration had shaped their measures so clumsily and awkwardly, that to them was to be attributed the whole of the present difficulties. If that were so, why did they not support the present motion? If they admitted that the conduct of the Government in 1833 was wrong, how could they now get rid of the charge? [Lord J. Russell: That is not the motion.] He understood that it was. He would read the terms of the motion, which attributed the outbreak with China to the want of foresight on the part of her Majesty's advisers. [Mr. Hawes: You omitted a word. "Her Majesty's present advisers."] He was really at a loss to understand the interruption, unless it was that the right hon. Baronet was the top and soul of the Government, although neither he nor the noble Lord, who might be termed almost exclusively the Administration, no longer sat upon that side of the House. He hoped, however, the right hon. Gentlemen, the Secretary-at-War, and the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, would admit the identity of the present Government. The hon. Member for Liskeard had stated, the House had not adequate information before it, and that it knew nothing at all about the matter. He would show that the House knew everything relating to China, that every single individual competent to afford information was examined before both Houses of Parliament, that every paper was laid before them, and that all the information they were in possession of then, they were in possession of at the present moment. It was clearly shown that the Chinese jealousy excluded strangers from the interior, that they admitted no diplomatic relations with foreign states, that they admitted no resident political public officer, that foreign ships were admitted into no ports but Canton, that at Canton foreigners were admitted not to trade with merchants generally, but only with a select few, constituting a monopoly called the Hong, and that the Chinese required strangers, when communicating with them, to adopt the form of a petition or humble request. It was also shown, that the trade was managed by supercargoes, and that they were not a political body. The attention of Ministers was called to the subject in both Houses of Parliament, espe- cially by the hon. Member for Portsmouth. The hon. Member for the University of Oxford also pointed out the inefficiency of the new authority proposed to be substituted for the supercargoes. Lord Ellenborough also called the attention of Ministers to the subject in the House of Lords, and said, although they appointed the superintendents to succeed to the duties, yet they would not succeed to the influence of the supercargoes. The hon. Member for Liskeard should have read the papers more fully before he said that the East India Company had authorised appeals to the natives, whereas the Company had distinctly disapproved of it. He did not disapprove of a public officer like the Canton Superintendent being left with discretion, but he objected to discretion being accompanied with no powers. It would be said, perhaps, that the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Pembroke, was equally accountable for this, but that would not exculpate the present Government. He considered the specific instructions which had been sent by the noble Lord, to have led as much as anything to the present cessation of our friendly intercourse with China. Lord Napier went to China as a political officer; and what happened during his residence there, and what was the conduct he pursued? He extremely regretted to be obliged to speak on this subject, as no one was more anxious than himself to avoid hurling the feelings of any surviving relative of that nobleman; but the result of his conduct was of the utmost importance to this nation; therefore he was under the necessity of calling the attention of the House to it, as he thought the right hon. Baronet had not treated it with the attention it deserved. Lord Napier landed at Macao on the 25th of July, and proceeded at once to Canton without asking leave; he arrived in Canton in the middle of the night, and thereby enabled the Chinese authorities to state that he arrived clandestinely. He demanded direct communication with the viceroy—he rejected the usual channels of communication, and paraded most injudiciously his authority, in consequence of which the Chinese authorities refused to recognise him as a political officer, which occasioned the rupture. He wanted to prove that her Majesty's Government, within one year after Lord Napier left England, had full information of these events. He thought the good sense in these papers was all on the side of the Chinese. They said to Lord Napier— Who are you; if you come to perform the same duties as your predecessors you must perform them in the same way; they conformed to our usage, and you must do the same. It is an old saying, when you come in to a country inquire into its customs; there is no necessity for a political officer, he would only embarrass us. Nothing could be more moderate or appropriate, but he was sorry he could not say the same of the proceedings of his Lordship; his conduct was calculated to excite the greatest possible apprehension. He gave a narrative of his proceedings, which, if they did not alarm the viceroy, he (Mr. Hogg) knew not what could. His Lordship said— I will communicate with the viceroy directly in a manner befitting her Majesty's Commission, and the honour of the British nation. He said—"I will compel the viceroy to receive my letter," and informs the noble Lord, that although they had forty thousand men garrisoned at Canton they had issued four edicts against him, and asked the noble Lord, What he would do if a Chinese landed at Whitehall? He said— The Emperor should accede to the treaty he would propose to him, or take the consequences. He did not like to read much of those papers, but if these letters and proceedings of Lord Napier did not excite alarm in her Majesty's Ministers, he was at a loss to know what could. But, although within twelve months after Lord Napier's departure, the noble Lord must have known all this, it was not until sixteen months afterwards that the noble Lord wrote a single line, and the House would be astonished to hear, that in his first letter, the noble Lord did not advert to the proceedings of Lord Napier, nor impugn his conduct. He knew what was passing in the minds of Gentlemen opposite. The Duke of Wellington was then in office, and there was, a fact in connection with the letter of the Duke of Wellington, to which attention had not been called:—"Never did an individual get such credit for a few lines, and after all, there is not much in them," said the ton. Member for Liskeard; but he begged the attention of the House to this fact. The despatches of Lord Napier arrived at the Foreign-office on the 31st of January, but one day passed, and the Duke of Wellington wrote a letter, desiring his attention to the instructions which had been given him, to conform to Chinese views, and pay attention to their prejudices. And this was not all: the Duke considered this matter of sufficient moment to be brought before the attention of the Cabinet, and the memorandum which had been so often alluded to was framed within six weeks after, in which he mentioned his views on the subject to be submitted to the Government. Let the House contrast the conduct of the Duke of Wellington, who wrote this letter one day after the receipt of the despatch, and that of the noble Lord who wrote sixteen months afterwards. Frequent allusions had been made to the documents relating to the period when Mr. Davis and Sir George Robinson were in office. Matters of form were treated in two ways by Gentlemen opposite as best suited their purpose. If he said the noble Lord gave undue attention to matters of form, and neglected matters of substance, hon. Gentlemen immediately said, that matters of form in China were matters of substance; that he did not deny, but he wished to call attention to the fact, that they had not observed Chinese usages. Mr. Davis and Sir George Robinson were in China as superintendents together for two years, and during the whole of that time, her Majesty's Commission was not acknowledged by the Chinese, nor did any communication exist, directly or otherwise. They stated to the noble Lord there was no hope of communication without abandoning the attempt to communicate directly; Sir George Robinson staled the success of the quiescent policy. The noble Lord received this on the 6th, and on the next day the noble Lord wrote a letter superseding him. Captain Elliot saw the expediency of following the course adopted by Mr. Davis and Sir George Robinson, and did not attempt to press the point, and by remaining at Macao, conforming to their usages, and applying for a pass, he obtained the advantage of direct communication, and was going on well with the Chinese authorities, but what was the result? In his first despatch he said, that he would not insist upon direct communication, and that he had obtained leave to go to Canton. On the 2lst of November, 1837, Captain Elliot received a despatch from the noble Lord, dated the 12th of June, in which he was ordered to communicate directly, and forbidden to use the word "Pin." On the 23rd, Captain Elliot communicated to the Chinese authorities the despatches he had received, and the consequence was, he was obliged to leave Macao, and all communications ceased. He had trespassed long on the House, but he wished to call attention to one more point. It was said, "what instructions would you have given?" But he said, if he could show that a public officer, whose duty it was to give instructions, had neglected his duty, and given none, that of itself was a substantial charge. Suppose, as suggested by the hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Gladstone), the noble Lord had not opened the letters. It was said, "What did it signify to show that if he had done so, some good would have come of it?" They might push that argument as far as they liked; it was enough for him to say, that there had been negligence on the part of the noble Lord, and that blame attached to him for it. If the noble Lord had told Captain Elliot to go to China without instructions at all, that he knew so little about it he was unable to instruct him, he could have understood that course. But that was not the case. The noble Lord sent a commissioner, proposing to instruct him, and giving him authority; and in point of fact, the instructions the noble Lord did give him were specifically wrong, and the others were not such as the occasion required. The right hon. Member for Edinburgh, asked what was the use of the noble Lord's writing, and the hon. Member for Liskeard said, he was a bad correspondent; but this was a jocose way of meeting the question. If he showed those letters excited alarm and apprehension, and that the noble Lord had not paid the slightest attention to this despatch he thought he should fully justify the charge brought against the noble Lord. He would read a few extracts which he thought must have given alarm to the noble Lord, and have shown him that our interests in China were at stake. Mr. Davis and Sir George Robinson in every letter they wrote, more or less earnestly required instructions. On the 19th of November, 1835, one of those gentlemen wrote— I feel assured I shall have the honour of receiving instructions by the earliest opportunity, and that I have fully impressed your Lordship with the importance of the subject. On the 27th July, 1837, Captain Elliot wrote— It is a confusion of terms to call the opium trade a smuggling trade;" and added, "the Chinese will probably commit some cruel violence, which will make any choice but that of armed interference impossible. On the 3d of February, 1837, Captain Elliot sent home the discussions as to legalising the opium trade, which were received at the Foreign-office in July. In that letter he said, The opium in future will be conveyed in British boats, and conflicts between the Chinese and British subjects is certain. As to the King's ships, your Lordship, I hope, will consider I am justified in assuming the authority to do what can be done safely, and without inconveniently committing his Majesty's Government towards the relief of a most important branch of the trade. He read the extract, not to impute blame to Captain Elliot, but to show it was well calculated to excite alarm in the mind of the noble Lord. The right hon. Member for Edinburgh assigned this legalization of the trade as a reason for not writing, because it was expected the thing would be settled. It was easy to say that. It was necessary to refer to papers, otherwise Gentlemen opposite complained they dealt in bare assertions. On February 7th, 1837, Captain Elliot sent home edicts, the strongest that bad ever issued against British subjects and British trade, commanding their immediate departure, and, as a great favour, extending the departure for half a month more. On the 19th of November, 1837, Captain Elliot wrote to say, that the Chinese authorities were so vigilant that they threatened to burn the vessels, and that the whole British trade with China was in danger. On the 2nd of January, 1839, he complained that no reply had been sent to him, and said, that the security of the trade depended on fresh and more complete instructions being forwarded to him. These complaints were repeated on the 30th of January, 1839. He had, he thought, now stated enough to show that there existed the strongest necessity for some reply to the urgent applications of the superintendent. The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard said last night, that if hon. Gentlemen would look into the blue-book which contained all the papers upon this subject they would find that the noble Lord had given a prompt reply ten months after the receipt of every letter he had received. But where were those replies, if such even was the case? He affirmed that the noble Lord had never, except in one despatch, alluded at all to the subject of those urgent letters. He could only say, in conclusion, that he was well aware that the whole matter was a delicate and difficult one, but he must maintain that that was only an additional reason why the noble Lord should not have delayed to have replied to those letters, and to have sent out further instructions for the guidance of the superintendent.

Sir S. Lushington

held it to be matter of the deepest importance, not only to the interest, but to the honour of this country, that the question now before the House should be carefully and dispassionately considered. There could not be a shadow of doubt that China had a perfect right, he would not say by the law of nations, but by every principle of justice and equity, to prohibit the opium trade, if she so thought fit. She had a right to do more—she had a right to say, "If you persist in your endeavours to carry on the trade which we have prohibited, we will exclude you from all other trade;" and after due warning of her intentions with respect to that trade, she had a right to seize and punish according to her own laws, every British subject whom she detected in the act of carrying on the trade. He must be allowed to say one word before proceeding further, as to the principles which ought to govern our relations with China. He admitted that the code of law called the law of nations, could not be rigidly applied to a country so singular and so strange as China—a country half-civilised, half-barbarous—a country that formed an anomaly in the history of nations. But although he discarded the rule of the law of nations as governing our relations with China, he must observe, that if we were to carry on any intercourse at all with that country, it was imperatively necessary that our relations should be governed by the great principles of ordinary sense. Now, with respect to the trade in opium—that trade had been a monopoly, or a quasi monopoly, in the hands of the East-India Company. It had grown up to such an extent, that he believed it might with truth be said, that not a thousandth part of the quantity of opium exported from India, and intro- duced into China, was used for medical purposes. It was a trade that had been fostered for the love of gain, and by the misery of hundreds of thousands of human beings, a large acquisition of lucre had been purchased. He must say, that he more than doubted whether it were consistent with a due regard to the most sacred obligations that subsisted between nation and nation, and between man and man, that we should have thus fostered and encouraged, for our own pecuniary advantage, a trade that tended to the destruction of the constitution and faculties of hundreds of thousands of people. Generally speaking, no nation took any notice of the violations that might be committed by its own subjects upon the fiscal laws of another country. Every nation was supposed to be capable of maintaining and enforcing its own laws and regulations; and, indeed, there would be an endless scene of confusion and dispute, if one nation were to undertake to judge of the laws and fiscal regulations of another. For the sake of the argument, however, he would hold that China was not bound by this principle; and he would suppose that China said to Great Britain, "We have no power to enforce our law to prevent the importation of opium—we have done our best to prevent it—now we call upon you to do that which, between nation and nation practising the code of the civilised world, you could not do—but now we call upon you to interfere for the purpose of extinguishing this trade." In such a case, he did not say that he should turn a deaf ear to the prayer of China. But he would now come to facts. Let the House look at the actual state of things, and see whether China had, upon any principle, he would not say of national law, but of equitable dealing between nation and nation, any right to prefer such a claim upon the British Government? Why, the opium trade was prohibited by edict upon edict from 1796 up to 1836; but those edicts were mere waste paper, and were no more regarded than the proclamations that were stuck upon the Admiralty walls. They were literally useless to all effectual purposes. Whether the Emperor had the power to enforce them or not he (Dr. Lushington) pretended not to say, but what he did say was, that he who undertook to delegate powers of government to others, was bound to appoint just and honourable men—men who were compe- tent to fulfil his will, and enforce his claims; and that if those men did, on the contrary, deviate from their duty, and were guilty of contravening their own laws, and if the trade in opium was flourishing, not, as it had been said, up to 1836 only, but as he knew, up to 1839—then he would say, that it was a mockery to suppose that the Emperor of China, who had not been able to restrain his own subjects, had even a semblance of right to call upon England to suppress that trade. With great deference to his hon. Friend, the Member for Newark, he must be permitted to say, that his hon. Friend did not grapple with the argument which he had humbly endeavoured to state. But his hon. and learned Friend did say, that there was a period when things became totally changed, and when it did become the duty of the British Government to interfere, prohibit, and put down the trade. He admitted that his hon. and learned Friend made a most able speech last night. It was indeed a most memorable speech. It was a speech he should never forget, nor, he believed, would the people of this country forget. It contained doctrines and principles which he would not describe in the terms of horror that struck him at the time it was delivered. In that memorable speech his hon. and learned Friend said, that a time had come when the government of this country, having been apprised that the Chinese authorities had failed in their exertions to suppress the opium trade, ought to have felt it their duty to interfere and put it down. Now, he wanted to ask this question.—If there was such a time, when did it occur? Was it in 1836, when we received the first intimation of the attempt, on the part of the Chinese, to enforce the laws against the opium trade? Why, the first edict was not carried into effect. Was the trade in opium stopped? When he looked at the statement that was made by the hon. Gentleman who represented England in that country, he found that it was stated as far down as the despatches received in December, 1838, that there had been no effectual prevention of that trade. How was the Government at home to form its opinion as to whether those edicts were fairly intended to be carried into effect or not? It would be granted that, before they could assume that an edict for suppressing the opium trade would be carried into effect, they must look to something more than the mere terms of the edict itself. Now, what had the government at home to oppose to the edict of the emperor? They had the practice of forty years. They had edict upon edict, repudiating the trade, drawn up in all the bombast of Chinese magniloquence, empty of meaning as air, and as ineffectual as blank paper. This was their experience. What was the opinion of him, whose opinions were worth having upon this subject, that of their own superintendent? True it was, he said he was convinced that these edicts were in order to put down the opium trade. But was this opinion known till long after December, 1838, when it was too late to interfere? But was his the only opinion? No. In the despatch received in December, 1838, it was stated that the trade was going on as usual, both the regular trade and the opium trade. Further, what was the opinion of those two hundred persons who had resided in China for a considerable period, more or less, and who were best acquainted with the court of China, and with the proceedings in China? Were they not one and ail of opinion, that in reality and in truth the opium trade was not about to be put down? Was it not their opinion, and the opinion of every one almost to the last moment, that the final edict was but mere chicanery and sham, for the purpose of doing what? What had often been done before—for the purpose of extorting fines and money from the traders. He would, however, at once declare, that with regard to the timely interference of this country for the suppression of the opium trade, no such period had yet arrived. It had been truly said, that this country was well acquainted with the nature of this trade in 1833. That was perfectly correct, and the hon. Gentleman who made that statement had given a most accurate representation of the evidence adduced in support of the proposition to suppress the trade. But what did Parliament do? It resolved to maintain and keep up the trade. Now, mark, the Duke of Wellington succeeded his noble Friend (Lord Palmerston) as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in November, 1834. The despatch announced the two edicts against the opium trade, was dated the 2nd of November, 1834. That reached the Duke of Wellington when in office. Now, did the noble Duke—and, mark, he was not speaking in the slightest degree in depre- ciation of what the noble Duke did, because he thought that the noble Duke acted wisely, prudently, and like a Statesman—but did he, in his letter, though told of the edict, take the slightest notice of the opium trade, or give the least intimation to the superintendent to suppress it? It might be said that that communication to the British Government was not warning enough. What, then, should have been a warning? Another edict? The hon. Member for Newark said, that he knew the superintendent could not put down the trade without authority. What power would the hon. Gentleman have given to the superintendent to put it down? He would, for the sake of argument, grant that the Government of England should send out to their superintendent a despatch in such terms as these:— We, the Government, upon our responsibility, invest you with power to drive the opium trade from Canton, from Lintin, and from every part of the coast of China. We order you to do it. Let them look a little at the nature of these instructions, and of the consequences that might flow from them independently of the outcry that would have been made by the commercial world, independently of their seeing the Sheriffs and the Lord Mayor of London again at the bar of the House with petitions from all quarters, asserting the independence of trade, and alleging the great losses to which those engaged in that branch of commerce would be subjected, and dwelling with great earnestness upon all those topics which were enlarged upon with infinitely greater ability than he could command by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Pembroke. But, independently of all this, let them suppose that Captain Elliot was invested with these powers; he would further suppose that Captain Elliot succeeded, and that the British traders agreed to submit, and to go away from Canton and from Lintin. Would that slop the opium trade? Would not then, the consequence be, so long as man was man, and so long as the love of money could overcome every principle that ought to govern the human breast, that the scene only of the traffic would be changed? Canton and Lintin might indeed be freed from this dreadful drug, but it would be imported along the whole coast of China. What would be the con-sequence then? It would be this—that having given these powers to the superintendent, and he having succeeded in removing the trade from Canton and from Lintin, it would be holding out to the Chinese government, that he had the power to stop the trade. It would be saying to the Chinese government—contrary to the whole policy that had been hitherto pursued; contrary to the whole policy observed during the time of the East India Company, when the legal trade was held to be separate and distinct from the opium trade, and with which the company declared they had no concern; contrary to all that had been done by Captain Elliot and his predecessors; contrary to all these, it would be saying to the Chinese Government— We have authorized and empowered our superintendent to put down the trade, and he has succeeded thus far. What would then be said by the Emperor of China to the British Government? Why, what had already been said by him, with less prudence and justice— If you have this power and authority, don't tell me of driving the trade from one port, and from one place only; extinguish altogether British commerce in that article which is so destructive to my subjects, which is so ruinous and deleterious, whether it is imported at Canton, or shipped at Maaao, or whether it is scattered over the eastern coast of China. How this country would ever have got out of that difficulty, he confessed it was beyond his power to conceive. In his opinion, most wise and most prudent was the conduct of those who abstained from giving such instructions, and he thought that the conduct pursued by the superintendent, generally speaking, was wise and prudent, in abstaining from having any concern with the trade. Ministers had wisely washed their hands from all the responsibility of a course of policy which no power on the part of this country would have been able satisfactorily to have maintained. He, therefore, was prepared to defend the absence of specific instructions. The hon. Member for Beverly referred to the instructions of 1833, and insisted that the culpable neglect of Ministers must blot their names out of the list of statesmen. The hon. Member also referred to the power of the supercargoes in being able to withdraw the licenses; but it should be remembered that the power was taken away by Act of Par- liament. With respect to the superintendents, they could not be vested with greater power than that which had been given to them, and one of the reasons was, that the Chinese authorities refused to receive or acknowledge them in a diplomatic character. What further powers did the British superintendent in Canton require? There was already an Admiralty court and a court of justice established there, The new powers could only be required for the transaction of civil affairs, and for the settlement of accounts and debts between British merchants and foreigners, or for the purpose of enabling the superintendent to exercise a control over the British trade, and to drive it out of the port of Canton, if he thought fit. Now he came back to the question again, and asked, would any man have dared to have conferred such a power upon the superintendent? Would any man have dared to violate the resolution of the Committee, and the confirmation of it by that House? Would any man have presumed to take upon himself the responsibility of investing any single individual fifteen thousand miles from England with that power which was not given by Parliament even to the Government itself. He would say that they could not, they durst not, and they ought not to have conferred such powers—that no case had been made out that could have rendered any such policy wise, prudent, or salutary, or had shown that, if adopted, it would have been calculated to prevent the evils which had since occurred. He would now address himself to another point, and he regretted that his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Exeter (Sir W. Follet) was not present while he drew the attention of the House to the complaint that no sufficient instructions had been given to the superintendent. "You would give us no instructions," exclaimed his hon. and learned Friend, who, with that ingenuity and power which universally characterised his great talents, though, perhaps, not with all that candour which generally accompanied his speeches, dwelt upon this part of the case with great earnestness. Now he (Dr. Lushington) would trouble the House with scarcely more than a single reference to one of those very despatches to which his hon. and learned Friend had adverted in such glowing terms. The charge of his hon. and learned Friend against the Govern- ment was, "You have neglected your duty; you were warned by Sir George Robinson, in his despatch of the 1st July, 1835; again and again instructions were demanded, and you have neglected to fulfil your duty by meeting that demand. You ought to have invested the superintendent with ample powers with respect to the opium trade, and the proceedings of, and negotiations with, the Chinese government; but you were negligent of your duty; forgetful of your great responsibility, you have omitted to do alt this, and the sin lies at your own door." After having stated this with all the ability and earnestness that was natural to him, his hon. and learned Friend immediately referred to this despatch of Sir George Robinson; but what was his astonishment, when, on reading that despatch, he found that it related to nothing whatever but the settling of certain accounts between a firm of British merchants and one of their debtors, and to the want of power to bring civil actions, or enforce payment between man and man, and was as foreign to the opium trade as if it had been a despatch from North America or New Zealand. His hon. and learned Friend was in such a hurry to come to his accusation, that he overlooked the first paragraph of the answer, which would have explained the difficulty and dilemma into which he was plunging himself. The answer to that despatch was to be found in page 128, and run thus:— VISCOUNT PALMERSTON TO CAPTAIN ELLIOT. Foreign Office, Nov. 8, 1836. Sir—With reference to my despatches of this date, containing the opinion of his Majesty's Government upon the cases of Mr. Innes and Mr. Keating, I think it right to state to you that his Majesty's Government are fully aware of the inconvenience arising both from the undefined state of the jurisdiction of the superintendents in China, and from their want of power to enforce decisions to which they may come, on matters submitted to them by members of the commercial body in China. The general question as to the nature, extent, and powers of the future establishment in China, is now under the consideration of his Majesty's Government; and I am in hopes that at no distant period, some effectual remedy may be provided for the inconvenience to which I have more particularly adverted. In the meantime I have to recommend to you to confine your interference, when called for, as much as possible to friendly suggestion and advice to the parties concerned. The assumption of powers which you have no means of enforcing, and the issuing of injunctions which are set at naught with impunity, can only tend to impair the authority and lower the dignity of his Majesty's commission in the eyes of those by whom it is of importance that it should be looked up to with respect. I am, &c. (Signed) "PALMERSTON. This was the answer; and yet his hon. and learned Friend contended that this was a demand for instructions for regulating the intercourse with the government of China, and for enforcing prohibitions against the trade in opium. He begged to ask, whether this charge was sustained. Why, if the superintendent was to protect British merchants, and endeavour to accommodate their differences—why, he asked, was the bill which was framed for the express purpose of answering that very despatch opposed. It might be true that England had no right to found any court of justice, either civil, or criminal, or admiralty; but if so, then they had no remedy to give for the evils complained of, and they could not therefore charge upon his noble Friend that he had not performed his duty. The hon. Member had said, "we charge you with being guilty of omissions," and replied, when asked to point them out, "what have I to do with pointing out what those omissions are, or what we would have done in similar circumstances." What was an omission? It was the neglect of doing something that was proper to be done; but before any one could be charged with neglect, it must be shown what it was that was proper and fitting to be done. There was no such thing as culpable omission per se. There was nothing inconsistent with duty in not doing what nobody had yet been told was necessary, fit, or proper to be done. Then it was alleged that there were no detailed instructions. Did the Duke of Wellington think there was anything wrong in the suppression of details? There was more wisdom in what the noble Duke did not do than in what he did do. Observe what he did. Before he wrote the only despatch he ever sent out, he knew of all the proceedings with respect to the China government. Lord Napier wrote to the Duke of Wellington upon a vast variety of questions and of circumstances that might possibly occur. But the Duke thought that he had done enough, when, instead of entering into the particulars of transactions which must have been of a bye-gone date before his despatch could have reached China, he referred to those general principles which had been laid down by Lord Palmerston for the conduct of the superintendent, it being impossible to lay down any specific rules respecting transactions and circumstances which must, by the necessary operation of things, and still more so from the capricious disposition of the Chinese, and from their constant vacillations, have been as much at variance with any instructions he might have sent out, as if they had not reached that country for seven years afterwards. There was only one other point he would dwell upon, namely, the course of policy which the British Government was now pursuing. He thought that course found perfect justification in the existing circumstances, and that they were fully warranted in proceeding by means of an hostile armament to obtain reparation at the hands of the Chinese. Greatly, indeed, should he deplore if this motion were founded in truth; and if it could be shown, with any semblance of probability, that any neglect on the part of the Government of this country could have led to the lamentable results which had already taken place in China, or could have tended to the interruption of the valuable trade carried on between England and that country. He had taxed his ingenuity to endeavour to discover what were those measures within the competency and power of any government—he had almost said of Parliament itself, which would have averted those consequences which had most calamitously ensued. But even if it were true that the British Government were dilatory in issuing instructions to the superintendent in China, and if they had neglected the opportunity of doing what they ought to have done, still nothing, according to every principle of justice and eternal truth, could justify China in those measures to which they had had recourse. He would discard the law of nations—-he would look alone to the law of God and to the law of man, to those eternal principles which must exist so long as man and man had the power of conversation and intercourse with one another. The hon. Member for Newark, he was distressed to say, had gone the whole length. He trusted that those who followed him in this debate, might not tread in the steps of the hon. Member for Newark. He respected that hon. Member—he admired his talents—he knew the hon. Gentleman to be a powerful champion in every cause he thought to be right, but he owned he should never cease to reprobate the argument which the hon. Gentleman used last night, or to avow his abhorrence of the doctrines the hon. Gentleman endeavoured to maintain. Upon what principle could the seizure of men, who were living in Canton under the protection of that country's usages, be justified? Upon what principle could those men be made responsible for the offences of others? Not only were those 200 persons without any proof of trial maligned, but they were seized; and then, under the greatest durance, and under the threat of their being suffered to die by starvation, they had not only their own property extorted from them, but in order to enrich the Chinese government the feelings of their countrymen were likewise practised upon to compel them to surrender property, in order to save the lives of those long enduring and most innocent persons. That was an act of atrocity that no usage, no custom, no respect to popular prejudices in China, ever would, or ought to allow England to endure, much less to sanction. It was a grievous sin—a wicked offence—an atrocious violation of justice, for which England had the right, a strict and undeniable right to demand reparation by force if refused peaceable applications. What followed? Expulsion. Was it expulsion alone from Canton? No: it was expulsion to Macao, which was in possession of the Portuguese. To this place they sent unoffending men, women, and children. What next? Why that very practice, which from all history from the earliest days in which it ever was attempted, from the days when it was practised in Egypt, now probably 2,500 years ago—even during the time of open war, and even at periods when it might be said almost to be done in self defence, had met with the unequivocal reprobation of all the world—the practice, not of cutting off the supply, but of poisoning that source of life by which not the enemy alone, but innocent women and helpless children, were indiscriminately exterminated, and yet, to his everlasting wonder and astonishment, there fell from the hon. Member for Newark another ever memorable expression. The hon. Member said, that the English were ordered to quit; they did not obey; they were deprived of provisions; and, "of course," continued the hon. Member, "the water was poisoned." Those were the very words; he had heard them at the time; they were so reported; and they were true. He might go on if, indeed, more were wanted; he might tell of the attempt to set fire to the English dwellings, to drive them away; but of what use was it to go on?—there was already ample justification for the course that the Government had taken; and he said, when he considered all the causes which had led to the rupture, that the position was quite clear that England was, by every principle of right and of justice, entitled, and that she had authority, by the law of God and of man, to demand redress; but, be it understood, not for a war of blood and of reprisals. He hoped that there would be a satisfactory issue, whether from fear or from a love of justice; and the time would be when the Chinese government should see that Great Britain was in earnest—not to go to war, as it was falsely alleged by some, for the purpose of forcing upon the Chinese the opium trade, for that had been wickedly and falsely alleged for base and mean party purposes, for it was alleged by those who ought to have known, and who he believed did know, the contrary—not in earnest, for the purpose of forcing the opium trade or any other trade upon the Chinese, because that we had no right to do—but in earnest, in requiring and demanding a just reparation to be made for the outrages that had been committed; to place the trade on a footing of mutual advantage for both countries, and yet with the full consent of the Chinese government; and to establish an amicable, and, as he trusted, a lasting traffic. He had now done, and, in giving his vote against the motion of the right hon. Baronet, he had stated his opinion fully on the opium trade, and on the charges against her Majesty's Ministers, which he did not believe to be substantiated; and he was satisfied that, when the country became acquainted with the subject, and that when the merits of the case were sifted, they would agree with him in opinion that no precaution, and that no foresight, on the part of the Government, could have anticipated or could have prevented the present calamities; and that no instructions which could have been given would, according to the terms of the motion, have had any effect in preventing the rupture, whether those instructions had related to the opium trade or not; for, to say that any such effect would have been produced if they had referred to a trade which had been so long permitted, which was so closely connected with the feelings of the Chinese, which never could have been broken off without producing a rupture, and which it was in evidence that the Chinese were determined to continue, even at the risk of their lives, did appear to him to be absurd.

Viscount Sandon

felt himself called on, by the deep interest which he took in questions of this nature, to trouble the House with a few remarks. He should be satisfied though the present motion were lost, if he thought that the eloquent denunciation of his right hon. Friend would have the effect of at length bringing the minds of her Majesty's Ministers to a deep and serious consideration of this iniquitous traffic in opium. Although the Chinese government might have winked at that trade as long as it was confined mainly to the port of Canton, he thought that the language of Captain Elliot himself, in allusion to the fresh edicts of the Chinese government against the opium trade, ought to have convinced a wise and provident Ministry of the necessity of looking to the subject, with the view of adopting some remedial measures. Down to so late a period as May, 1838, some doubt seemed still to hang over the mind of the authorities in China as to what course the Chinese government should take upon this great and important question. But he thought that the despatches received at that moment called for a serious consideration of the question by the Home Government. In a despatch, dated November 18, 1837, and received May 5, 1838, enclosing a series of four edicts upon the subject of the opium trade, Captain Elliot said:— So long as there was room for the supposition that these repealed approaches were merely formal, I considered that it would be most convenient entirely to disregard them; but, with the Government manifestly in greater earnest than it ever had been upon the subject, it was to be borne in mind that my continued silence was susceptible of mischievous misconstruction for the vindication of the menaced interruption of the whole commerce. Captain Elliot here referred to the language he himself had held with the Go- vernor of Canton, and the Government, by neglecting to take any notice of it, had laid themselves open, in his (Lord Sandon's) mind, to the charge of deeply compromising the character of the British nation. And what was the language of Captain Elliot in reply to the Governor of Canton, when applied to by the Governor to exercise his authority and prevent the opium trade? Captain Elliot observed:— Your Excellency has now been pleased to direct that his Majesty, the King of England, should be informed of the gracious will of the Emperor, requiring the adoption of measures to prevent these alleged irregular visits of British ships to the coasts of China. And Captain Elliot proceeded to say:— The undersigned will conclude this address by observing, that his gracious Sovereign has never yet been approached with representations setting forth the existence of irregularities by the subjects of his kingdom on these coasts; and that his Majesty, therefore, can know nothing of any such allegations, or of the pleasure of the Emperor in respect to them, He thereby excused his own non-interference by the want of a recognized position in China which would entitle him to bear communications from the Chinese authorities to the Sovereign of this country. The consequence of this remonstrance of Captain Elliot was, that the Governor of Canton, altering the mode of official communication, did, through the medium of that altered mode of communication, what Captain Elliot desired, and preferred a request to the Sovereign of this country to interpose and put down the opium trade. The language was this:— The said superintendent is also to convey it to his King, that hereafter such receiving vessels are to be prohibited ever again coming hither; and that only the merchant vessels trading in legally dutyable articles may come, while all contraband articles, such as the filthy opium, are not to be conveyed over the wide seas. Thus, the source of the evil may be closed, and the laws be held up to honour; thus, the universally beneficial, and boundless favours of the great Emperor may, on the one hand, be conferred, and, on the other hand, the path of commercial intercourse may for ever be kept open to all good foreigners. We, the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, hold a great power in our hands, and do that which we determine to do. What difficulty should we have in driving these vessels away with the utmost rigour? Yet we refuse not to repeat our admonitions again and again, fearing lest there should be any want of perfect faithful- ness, and any consequent obstruction to the display of universally impartial benevolence. If, after this time of issuing our commands, the receiving vessels again collect, as though we were not heard, and continue to remain looking around them, it will be manifest that amendment finds no place in the hearts of those concerned in them; and not only will they be no longer borne with by the great Emperor, but by their own King also they will certainly be subjected to trial. Here was full confidence expressed by the Governor of Canton that when once the matter should be properly brought to the knowledge of the Sovereign of this country, that Sovereign would not permit his subjects to carry on a trade which was reprobated by the government of China. Captain Elliot thus replied to the Governor of Canton:— He (the undersigned) has already signified to your Excellency with truth and plainness that his commission extends only to the regular trade with this empire; and further, that the existence of any other than this trade has never yet been submitted to the knowledge of his own gracious Sovereign. How could the Government of this country, with any degree of honour or honesty, allow this language to be held, knowing that this contraband trade was authorized and sanctioned by them, and by our representative in China? His right hon. Friend opposite had said, that this trade had been considered, recognized, and authorized by the British Parliament, and that we had likewise admitted and asserted the responsibility of the Governor of India in connexion with it. How, then, could it be asserted that the British Government was ignorant upon the subject? It was, in fact, formally known to the Sovereign of this country. Captain Elliot went on to say.— He will only permit himself to add, on this occasion, that circumstances of the kind described by your Excellency cannot be heard of without feelings of concern and apprehension; and he desires humbly to express an earnest hope that sure and safe means of remedying a hazardous state of things may be speedily devised. Were they speedily devised? Were the engagements entered into by Captain Elliot to communicate with his Sovereign adhered to? No, for two years the subject had been entirely overlooked and neglected. The next despatch, dated the 19th of November, 1837, and received in England the same day as the former one, afforded an additional instance of warn- ing to her Majesty's Government to take the question up with a view to its settlement in some shape. Captain Elliot in that despatch said:— Till within the last few months, that branch of the trade never afforded employment to more than two or three small vessels; but at the date of this despatch, and for some months past, there have not been less than twenty sail of vessels on the east coast; and I am sorry to add, that there is every reason to believe blood has been spilt in the interchange of shot which has ever and anon taken place between them and the mandarin boats. The most grave result of the vigilance upon the spot remains to be described. The native boats have been burnt, and the native smugglers scattered; and the consequence is, as it was foreseen it would be, that a complete and very hazardous change has been worked in the whole manner of conducting the Canton portion of the trade. Captain Elliot thus went on to describe in a subsequent part of the despatch the alteration which had taken place in the manner of conducting the trade:— I am disposed to believe that the higher officers of the provincial government are perfectly sensible of the extensive smuggling of opium carried on in the European passage-boats, and from some motive, either of interest or policy, or probably of both, they oppose no immediate obstacle to such a condition of things. But the continuance of their inertness is not to be depended upon. Disputes among themselves for the shares of the emoluments, private reports against each other to the court, and lastly, their ordinary practice of permitting abuse to grow to ripeness, and to rest in false security, are all considerations which forbid the hope that these things can endure. This showed pretty clearly that in May, 1838, when these despatches arrived, her Majesty's Government were, by the warnings of their own officer, forbidden to hope that this state of things could endure. Captain Elliot in the despatch last quoted thus proceeded:— In fact, my Lord, looking around me, and weighing the whole body of the circumstances as carefully as I can, it seems to me that the moment has arrived for such active interposition upon the part of her Majesty's Government as can be properly afforded; and that it cannot be deferred without great hazard to the safety of the whole trade, and of the persons engaged in its pursuit. Here, surely, was warning enough.

Then followed the memorandum which suggested the mode of approaching the Chinese government, in which Captain Elliot stated— The necessity for such interposition, it may be said, is not immediately obvious. That may be the case in England, and it would be an ungrateful task to throw it into a stronger light. But, at all events, I shall simply say, that it seems to me the actual state of things cannot continue to be left to the turn of events without seriously risking vast public and private interests, or without such deeply-rooted injury to the national character in the estimation of this huge portion of mankind, as it is painful indeed to reflect upon. He would have thought, if the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Edinburgh, had been recently looking over these papers, he would have come to a different conclusion from what he had expressed on the first night of the debate, and would not have asserted that there was nothing in these despatches, which when received, called for the immediate consideration of her Majesty's Government. In the same enclosure Captain Elliot wound up his memorandum with this reflection:— Upon the whole, it seems to me, that the time has fully arrived when her Majesty's Government should justly explain its own position with respect to the prevention or regulation of this trade, give its own counsels, or take its own alternative course. Now, had the Government since then taken into consideration this vast and important question? There was no trace whatever in the whole of the subsequent correspondence of their having entered seriously into the consideration of it, although it was a question upon which their representative in China were deeply convinced they ought to take some course or the other, with the view to the prevention or regulation of that trade, which, according to the warning they had received, was likely to risk vast public and private interests, and inflict a deep-rooted injury upon the character of this nation. Gentlemen on the other side thought to get rid of their responsibility by throwing it on the Members upon his (the Opposition) side of the House, who had only information doled out to them in fragments, in the degree and proportion which suited the objects of her Majesty's Government, which was in possession of full information. It was surely not enough to say to his side, "What would you do?" They had no information, and therefore were not to be answered by such an appeal. But was there no indication in the papers of anything that could have been done by them? He thought that any man who had toiled through the book of corresrespondence, who had wandered darkly through the confused and misty details of the events recorded there, must have lighted upon one passage that would lead to the belief that, had another Administration been in power, other measures would have been resorted to. He would ask whether the Duke of Wellington's memorandum did not exhibit marks of a different hand from those which distinguished other parts of the correspondence. It had been said that the noble Duke only referred Lord Napier to the original instructions given him; but that was not a fair statement of the Duke of Wellington's short despatch, consisting of a few lines, for which, it had been said, he had received more praise than he deserved. The noble Duke said— Your despatch of the 9th of August, and your letters, marked 'private,' addressed to Lord Palmerslon, were received at this office on Saturday, the 31st ultimo, two days before the date of this letter—'I learn that a vessel will sail for Canton from the river Thames this afternoon, and I avail myself of that opportunity earnestly to recommend to your Lordship's attention the instructions of Lord Palmerston of the 25th of January, 1834, and most particularly the 18th and 19th articles of the general instructions which you have received under the Royal sign manual. It is not by force and violence that his Majesty intends to establish a commercial intercourse between his subjects and China, but by the other conciliatory measures so strongly inculcated in all the instructions which you have received. Now, the Duke of Wellington could not have given fuller instructions at this time, only one day having elapsed, during which there was no opportunity for calling a Cabinet Council, and the question of the opium trade was not in issue at this time. What, then, could the noble Duke have done better than to call Lord Napier's attention to the general pacific character of the instructions under which he acted? But was this all the Duke of Wellington did? No: in the course of the same month (a month in which the Government was not reposing on a bed of roses, but a month of struggles under expected extinction), in that short interval, the Duke of Wellington, with that precision and sagacity for which he was so eminent, drew up a paper of advice to Lord Napier as to how he should proceed. The House had been told by the hon. Member for Liskeard, that this memoran- dum was exceedingly meagre, but, in point of fact, it touched upon the whole question of intercourse between the organ of the British Government and the Chinese authorities, not supporting the views of the noble Lord. He did not approve of the British agent presenting himself at Canton without previous permission, and communicating with the Chinese authorities. This was almost the only point on which the noble Lord had expressed a distinct opinion, and on that point he was directly at variance with the Duke of Wellington, and the British agent had been obliged almost always to disobey the noble Lord's directions. The Duke of Wellington had also given his opinion with respect to the establishment of a criminal jurisdiction, on which the noble Lord, for years after, had never given any instructions whatever. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir S. Lushington), though he had denounced the trade in opium in language almost as magniloquent as that of the Chinese, had stated, in his subsequent observations, that there were such difficulties in the question, that he did not hold out even a hope or an encouragement that the evil could be put down. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman were really anxious that this blot should be wiped off the British name, he should have expected that he would not have stated the difficulties that were in the way without helping them to a conclusion. He did not believe the difficulties were so great as the right hon. and learned Gentleman represented. The right hon. Gentleman talked of a preventive service and ships of war being stationed along the coast of China, but he believed that the trade might, to a very great extent, be most materially checked, if not prevented, by investing the British superintendent in the conntry, under some modifications, with powers not very different from those of the company's supercargoes. It had been said, that the company did not meddle with the trade; but the company did meddle with it, and in 1821 and 1822 they took the subject into consideration, when the Chinese government, who had been represented to be so supine, refused to allow the company's trade to be carried on whilst the opium ships were lying in the waters of Canton. An extract of a letter from the supercargoes at Canton to the Court of Directors, dated July 27, 1823, stated— We have the honour to enclose to your hon. Court three edicts, received from the different officers of the Canton government, on the subject of the ships remaining on the coast laden with opium, and our reply thereto. We were desirous to avoid the slightest implicacation on the part of the hon. Company, and at the same time not to oppose unnecessary impediments to the trade. The arguments we have taken up, although specious, cannot be maintained, should the viceroy place any obstacles to our commercial transactions dependent upon the departure of the vessels in question. In the margin we have noted the number and names of the British vessels, and we are in hopes the government will continue for some time silent and inoffensive. In April last, however, the viceroy resorted to the usual measure of exacting the responsibility of the trade by preventing the departure of the Pascoa (the only British vessel then at Whampoa), until the opium vessels departed from their places of resort on the roast; and should he in the present season adopt a similar line of conduct in regard to the hon. Company's ships, and our remonstrances prove of no effect, in obedience to the orders of your hon. Court to that purport, we must require the departure of those vessels, so long as they afford any impediment to the commercial proceedings of the hon. Company. So that the Company had the power of doing this. But had the superintendent that power? He had not; and yet the Government had tried to deceive the House and the public into a belief that the superintendent had been invested with all the powers of the supercargoes. Another letter from the select committee at Canton, to the Court of Directors, dated the 6th of February, 1824, contained a paragraph to this effect:— We considered it a proper precautionary measure to address the Bengal government with all the information we could collect upon the subject, and at the same time to inform them of the injunctions of your hon. Court, that we should on no account permit the opium trade to interfere with the regular process of our commercial transactions; but that in the event of such a circumstance arising, we should be necessitated to exert our influence and power, to demand the departure of the ships thus employed, should such an object be made necessary, previous to the removal of any obstacles the Chinese government might oppose to the commerce of the hon. Company. Surely her Majesty's Government was bound to invest the superintendent with the power of exercising the same control as the supercargoes had the power of exercising, by means of licenses, or some other expedient, in order to put an end to such a trade. He did not deny that some parts of the trade might be beyond the reach of our interference; but if they were, they were separated from the responsibility of our Government, or that of India, and the Chinese government would be left to the exercise of their own authority in such cases. We might tell the Chinese, "The opium trade is a smuggling trade in our eyes as well as yours; it is a trade we no longer recognize even as a source of revenue." But it had been objected on the other side, that unless we could prevent a single opium ship going up the coast, the effects would be the same as now, and that it was not just to say, therefore, that the neglect of her Majesty's Government in not giving precise instructions, had brought affairs to their present condition. But it was the British residents at Canton who were engaged in the trade, not those who resorted to the north-east coast of China, against whom the complaints of the Chinese were directed—the British smugglers in the Canton waters, who continued the trade in spite of constant warnings—the receiving ships that frequented the waters of China, so recognised by us (for the noble Lord had extended the jurisdiction of Captain Elliot so as to include the outer waters.) The Chinese government, after having exhausted every effort of persuasion, had resorted to a measure which he (Lord Sandon) could not entirely justify, though it admitted of palliation—the arrest of the British merchants at Canton, and on the principles of abstract justice, or according to the rules recognised by the Chinese government, it was not to blame. It had been said, they had punished the innocent with the guilty. How many innocent were there? There were about two individuals who could fairly be said not to have been connected with the traffic which the Chinese government had prohibited. But supposing there had been a larger inclusion of the innocent with the guilty, was it unusual for the innocent to suffer with the guilty? Was this unknown to our law? What was the ancient system of frank pledge? What was suing the hundreds for damage, when there were burnings around Bristol or Nottingham? What was this but making the innocent suffer for the guilty? What were we going to do ourselves? Were we not going to punish the innocent along with the guilty, when we were about to commence hosti- lities with China? When our vessels intercepted the trade in rice, would the Chinese government alone suffer? It was very well for Gentlemen to talk of distributive justice, when in other questions of national importance, we were not able to separate the innocent from the guilty. What were they doing? Much compassion had been exhibited in that House for the 200 British opium merchants, and a deplorable picture had been drawn of their condition, while shut up in the factory, and compelled, as it was said, to live on bread and water. In that picture there was, however, much exaggeration, for the lives of those persons had never been in the least danger, and it was but a mockery to say that the Chinese ever contemplated any serious injury towards them. Such a course would have been utterly at variance with the character of the Chinese, who had ever shown themselves, even under the most exciting circumstances, peculiarly tender of the lives of the subjects of other nations. But while they showed so much compassion for those opium merchants, were they to have no feelings of the same kind for the 400 or 500 Chinese who, without provocation, had been killed in their own waters? Those persons, so far as it appeared, had given no cause of provocation, yet her Majesty's vessel had attacked the boats in which they were, poured in her broadsides, and destroyed between 400 and 500 of those unoffending people. Was this no injury? Had the Chinese no cause of complaint in that attack having been made? When they complained of the conduct of the Chinese towards the opium merchants, ought they not also to take into consideration their own proceedings, and weigh each party in the equal scales of justice? Much unfair advantage had been taken in the debate of an expression which had been used by his hon. Friend, the Member for Newark, and he thought the comments which had been made on that expression by hon. Gentlemen opposite, showed, an extreme poverty of argument on their side, and in the defence of the Government which they had attempted. The remarks which had been made on the expression of his hon. Friend were most unfounded and unjust, for no man could be actuated by more humane feelings than his hon. Friend. He could not recollect the exact words which had been used by his hon. Friend, but he was sure that those words never meant to justify the poisoning of the wells by the Chinese, or the carrying on of war by such unjustifiable means. But even that was a step to which some civilized nations of Europe had had recourse, and he belived that the wells had been poisoned by the French and Spaniards during the Peninsular war. When strong feelings had been excited between hostile nations, such proceedings had been adopted, although they could not be justified, or even palliated, by any humane roan. But the Chinese did not poison the wells. The particular atrocity of such a proceeding consisted in its treachery. Its treachery constituted the offence, but the Chinese had not been guilty of that offence, for they had only issued an edict, in which they had openly proclaimed that the wells would be poisoned. That was a fact which he thought made the case materially different from what it had been represented. [Sir J. Hobhouse.—The edict was addressed only to the Chinese.] The edict was generally proclaimed, and Captain Elliot had a perfect knowledge that it had been issued. Captain Elliot had at first laboured under the impression that the wells were to be poisoned, but he had afterwards acknowledged that that impression was erroneous, and that at least they would not have been poisoned under the sanction on with the knowledge of the functionaries of the Chinese government. What, however, was the language of the edict itself? The words of the edict were— Even when they land to take water, stop their progress and do not let them drink. But did that mean that the wells should be poisoned? He thought no such construction could fairly be put upon the terms which were employed. [Sir J. Hobhouse: There was another edict.] The passage he had quoted was the only one which had reference to the poisoning of the wells, and he believed that there was no other edict upon the subject. Was, then, he would ask, that single passage a justification of a war with China? Were they to complain of the poisoning of the wells, and were they to have no compassion for the Chinese people, whom they were poisoning by the opium which they smuggled into their country? While they were complaining of the Chinese, was there no ground of complaint against themselves in forcing that accursed drug into China, and cramming it, as it were, down the throats of the people? He knew it had been the fashion with hon. Members opposite, with the exception of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for the Tower Hamlets, to treat the anxiety which had been manifested by the Emperor of China to prevent the introduction of opium into his dominions as a mere mockery, and it was said, that they ought not to prevent the Chinese from enjoying a wholesome drug, or deprive so large a population of such a valuable article. But that was not the opinion of the East India Company. When it was the policy of the company to limit the growth of opium, and to obtain a large profit on a small quantity of that article, and when they were called upon to increase the traffic in opium, they treated it as a most pernicious drug, and said, that if they had the power they would destroy the growth of it altogether. It was true, that the denunciations of the company diminished and faded away when it was found that they could not maintain their monopoly of the opium trade. When they found rivals in the opium growers of Malwa, and when they could only obtain a large profit by the growth and export of a large quantity of opium, less strong opinions were expressed on the subject of that drug. But the value of their former denunciations was not destroyed by the change which was to be observed in their subsequent conduct. It was not fair, therefore, to treat with so much ridicule the apprehensions of the Emperor of China as to the effects of opium upon his subjects. He hoped the House would forgive him for reading an extract from a work which had been lately published, which showed the effects of opium upon another people. That work was not the work of any visionary philanthropist, but was the result of the observations of an honest and enlightened man. The pamphlet to which he alluded was written by Mr. Bruce, the able superintendent of the tea plantations in Assam, and it had been got up, not for the purpose of discouraging the growth of opium—not with a view to the encouragement of the growth of Assam tea, but from motives of the purest and most disinterested humanity. That gentleman said— I might here observe, that the British Government would confer a lasting blessing on the Assamese and the new settlers, if im- mediate and active measures were taken to put down the cultivation of opium in Assam, and afterwards to stop its importation by levying high duties on opium land. If something of this kind is not done, and done quickly too, the thousands that are about to emigrate from the plains into Assam will soon be infected with the opium mania—that dreadful plague, which has depopulated this beautiful country, turned it into a land of wild beasts, with which it is overrun, and has degenerated the Assamese from a fine race of people to the most abject, servile, crafty, and demoralized race in India. This vile drug has kept, and does now keep, down the population; the women have fewer children, compared with those of other countries, and the children seldom live to become old men, but in general die at manhood, very few old men being seen in this unfortunate country in comparison with others. Few but those who have resided long in this unhappy country know the dreadful and immoral effects which the use of opium produces on the native. He will steal, sell his property, his children, the mother of his children, and, finally, even commit murder for it. Would it not be the highest of blessings if our humane and enlightened Government would stop these evils by a single clash of the pen, and save Assam, and all those who are about to emigrate into it, as tea cultivators, from the dreadful results attendant on the habitual use of opium? We should, in the end be richly rewarded, by having a fine healthy race of men growing up for our plantations, to fell our forests, to clear the land from jungle and wild beasts, and to plant and cultivate the luxury of the world. This can never be effected by the enfeebled opium eaters of Assam, who are more effeminate than women. I have dwelt thus long upon the subject, thinking it one of great importance, as it will affect our future prospects with regard to tea; also from a wish to benefit his people, and save those who are coming here from catching the plague, by our using timely means of prevention. That document contained the very same charges against opium which were urged by the Emperor of China, and he thought, when the House had such facts before it as to the destructive effects of that pernicious drug, they would pause before they condemned the apprehensions which the Chinese people entertained on the subject. He hoped the House would excuse him for having read so long an extract, but the statements it contained had made so strong an impression upon his mind, that he could not but feel that this pernicious traffic ought to be put an end to. He thought that extract was a sufficient answer to the allegations of those who said that they had seen opium-smokers, and visited opium shops, and who contended that its effects were not so destructive as those which resulted from the gin-shops of this country. It was impossible that any man could with truth apply such language to the effects of gin as that which was applied to the effects of opium in the extract he had just read. He thought he had now said enough to show that there had been neglect on the part of the Government, and a want of that foresight and judgment which ought to have been exercised in relation to these most important affairs. The affairs of China were of the utmost importance. The warnings which the Government had received on the subject were frequent and most distinct, and they came from their own officer, whom they still trusted, and still continued at his post. But all those warnings had been neglected. Nothing had been done, and the guilt of such neglect was not to be rubbed off by specious declamation. What could have been more irrelevant to the subject under consideration, than the declamation of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Edinburgh, and could that declamation be considered as any justification of the conduct of the Government with which he was connected? The right hon. Gentleman had told them, that their vast Indian empires had grown up without the interference of the Government at home, and without specific instructions having been furnished at every step of its progress. But would that empire have grown as it had done without instructions having been sent at all—would it have grown as it had done without any instructions? It was not the want of instructions in the case of China which they so much complained of, and what they did complain of was, that no great and general principles had been laid down by the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, for the guidance of his officers. They did not complain that instructions had not been forced on the superintendent—that they had not been volunteered; but what they did complain of was, that no great principle had been laid down to guide him in an emergency, and that instructions had been refused when they were pressed for repeatedly, while those which he did receive were of such a character, that he was obliged, in the exercise of a sound discretion, to disobey them. He thought these papers contained a most interesting and disastrous drama. From the first page it was easy to perceive that they were on the threshold of some great calamity. They saw, as they perused the volume, the instructions which were given by the Government, meagre, vain, and general, and they were conducted, step by step, to the disastrous consequences which the last pages of the volume unfolded. They saw the officer of the Government complaining, and in vain, of the helplessness of his position, and hampered even by the instructions, few as they were, which he received. They found him opposed by the dissensions among the British merchants, who disregarded his wishes, as they found him left by his Government without authority, and they saw him commanded to keep order amongst a numerous body of seamen, while his Government refused him a criminal jurisdiction over them. Such was the charge against the Government, and such were the complaints against which the noble Lord had to defend himself. From the whole documents, they saw a cloud was overhanging these affairs, and it was impossible to read the volume which had been laid on the table, without the most painful feelings. The book reminded him of a Greek drama, where, from the very first, they felt that disaster and calamity must arise, whatever intervals of sunshine they might perceive as they advanced. Would such have been the case if the vigorous policy of the Duke of Wellington had been followed? Could any person suppose that the noble Duke would have allowed this great question to drag on as it had dragged? He did not mean to say that the case was free from difficulty, but the Government ought to have done something, and they ought to have adopted one alternative or another, and not to have allowed affairs to go on, without any guidance or direction. He confessed that the House knew little of the real intentions of the Government as to the present state of affairs, but he hoped they would now be informed what was to be done. What were the terms which the Government meant to insist on, and what were they to do with the opium trade? He hoped those questions would now be answered. One Cabinet Minister had told them, they were to dictate to the Chinese in an imperious tone, but let them know what the actual policy of the Government was to be, and then the House would be able to say whether they would approve of it or not. He had now at- tempted to show that they were justified in calling for a vote of censure upon the Government, as the Government had been the cause of the calamities which they had witessed; and he did not think that" hon. Gentlemen opposite had succeeded in removing the grounds which had been laid for that charge, and for that vote, by vague declamation about leaving a distant officer without instructions, however much they might have been prayed for. He had to thank the House for the attention which they had given him, and he trusted that they would fairly consider the motion upon which they were about to give a vote.

Sir J. Hobhouse

said, he should be spared, or rather the House would be spared, from much which he might other-wise have thought it his duty to say, because many of his hon. Friends behind him had, he thought, satisfactorily answered much that had been addressed to the House by hon. Gentlemen opposite. And he hope that the noble Lord would not think that he in any way underrated the importance of that which had formed the main part of his charge against the Government, if he delayed to the latter part of his address those observations which he would think it his duty to make upon the opium question. It was that opium question which had given rise to many of the difficulties with which they had now to contend, and he agreed with the noble Lord that it was to that question that Government ought to direct their attention. And although he did not agree with the noble Lord that they deserved any censure now for having neglected that question, still he admitted that it became any persons to whom the administration of the affairs of this great empire was intrusted, to turn their immediate and serious attention to it. For he had attended, as it was his duty to do, with the utmost seriousness and anxiety to the speech of the right hon. Mover—his right hon. Enemy. He wished he could call him his right hon. Friend, for it would be far more agreeable to him to do so—indeed, he called to mind his old days of subaltern service under the right hon. Baronet, when the right hon. Baronet was Minister, and he was Secretary at War, with a pleasure which no subsequent circumstances had yet been able to efface. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman had overrated the importance of this question—it was one which involved not only the honour and the interests, but also the character of this country—indeed, not only national character, but even personal character, was concerned; for if, for our petty squabble, for what might be prevented if we would concede a mere point of form, we were engaged in a contest with 350 millions of human creatures, then, indeed, the attack of the right hon. Baronet was not only perfectly justifiable, but he would have been justified had he gone a great deal further. If we were now engaged in a struggle of which it was impossible to increase the magnitude by any declamation—of which it was impossible to overrate the probable consequences—and if this had occurred in consequence of the neglect of the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, then the Government deserved not merely the censure conveyed by this vote alone, but they deserved more—they deserved impeachment, and to be visited with the utmost censure which the Commons, and not only the Commons but the united Parliament of England, could inflict on a misguided Administration; and instead of the right hon. Gentleman concluding his address with, his motion, he agreed with his hon. Friend, the Member for Portsmouth, that there should have been a distinct proposition by the right hon. Gentleman, to the effect that something should be done to avert at once this great calamity from the British people, to rescue the country from the misfortune which had been caused by the neglect of the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and that the House should at once have been called upon to pronounce this contest with China unjustifiable, and one which ought not to have been, undertaken. The motion of the right hon. Baronet went to nothing prejudicial, except indeed as regarded one object of it, to which he would presently advert. Did it propose anything as regarded those whose property had been seized in the river of Canton? To be sure the right hon. Baronet said that he had not touched that subject, because a committee was now sitting upon it; but surely if the honour, peace, interests, and character of a great empire were at stake, it was not right to wait for the decision of a committee; if Ministers had so basely and outrageously mismanaged the trust which had been confided to them as to be engaged, in a contest with a great empire, because they had been (as it had been charged against them) asleep, surely, it was not right to wait for a committee which might go to sleep also; and a committee, too, the names of which, as the Gentlemen opposite taunted that side of the House, had not been given in till ten or twelve days after its appointment had been agreed to by the House. If the question of the conduct of the Government on this most important question were to be settled at all, it ought to have been decided, not by reference to a committee of those who wished to charge the Government with misconduct, but by a decided vote of the House of Commons at once. The motion did not call on the House to settle any such question, nor indeed to settle what should be done with regard to China. Did it ask the House for a vote whether or not we should go to war with China—whether they should take any course to prevent it—whether they should send out to the Governor-general of India to suspend any of these operations which his noble Friend and himself had, on the responsibility of their office, desired him to undertake? It did no such thing. Hon. Gentlemen opposite said, that mischief had occurred. They tried to get a vote against their opponents for having been the cause of that which they, as well as the supporters of this motion, agreed to have been a calamity, but they did no more than attempt to get that vote—he would not say for party purposes, because he did not object to their acting for party purposes. With their views of the conduct of Government, they were quite right to act in any way whatever which they might think likely to lead to the displacing of the present Administration. Having said this, he trusted that he might not be supposed to be actuated by a desire of disparaging the right hon. Gentleman, if he said that he recognised in his proposal nothing but a mere party attempt—nothing else in the world. Owning, as he did, the perfect and entire right of the right hon. Gentleman to make this effort, he should nevertheless expect to be laughed at in the face of day, if he did not declare that the House and the country, from one end to the other, were perfectly well aware that the supporters of this motion cared no more about the Chinese in this matter, than they had on a former occasion cared about Canada, or than they had cared about many other questions on which they had agitated the country—to use an expression of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, when he said they had transferred agitation from England to Canton. At the same time he could not help recommending hon. Gentlemen opposite to take the advice given them by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter in his learned and powerful speech (learned and powerful as the hon. and learned Member's speeches must from habit and necessity always be), when he said to them "do not trifle with a question of war or peace." He begged to offer to them the same advice not to trifle with a question of war or peace. If they wanted to catch party votes let them squabble about registration bills, about Maynooth college, or any other points of domestic policy on which, as the hon. and learned Member for Exeter said, had diverted the attention of Government from the consideration of foreign affairs. He would not only take the recommendation of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, but he would also quote the example of the right hon. Gentleman himself on the occasion of the contemplation of a war with a power at almost as great a distance as China. It did happen that the right hon. Baronet assuming that, of course primâ facie, it was impossible for her Majesty's present Government ever to be in the right, gave notice of a motion to take into consideration the expedition which was then about to be undertaken to the westward of the Indus, and, with his naturally scanty information on the subject—knowing nothing at all in fact of it, except the character of those by whom it was originated, which led him as a matter of course to suppose that the result should not be favourable to this country, he determined to try the question before the House. What occurred? He did not mention what happened for the purpose of casting reproach on the right hon. Baronet—it would be ungenerous in him so to do—but his better genius on the occasion, or the hints he might have received from some quartets to which they had heard allusion made in the course of the debate—hints from persons who knew something of India, and, at any rate, who told him that when this country was about to enter upon a struggle where soldiers and perhaps sailors might be engaged in a most dif- ficult enterprise, it was as well, unless there was positive evidence to the contrary, not to embarrass those proceedings—not to discourage those who were to bear the peril and front of the enterprise—the right hon. Baronet having received these hints with a wisdom, discretion, and moderation which did him honour, and also the accomplished pleader, who sat near him, forbore to say anything that could damp and discourage the efforts of our gallant troops in that great enterprise. He could not but wish that the right hon. Baronet had observed the same discretion now. The right hon. Baronet laughed. He did not know what made him laugh, but if the right hon. Baronet thought from what he had just said, that the Government were at all afraid of the result of this motion, he could assure him that he was quite mistaken. But he was entitled to ask, what would be the result to the nation if the motion of the right hon. Baronet was carried? It was but fair that he should be allowed to ask the right hon. Gentleman what he anticipated as the result of this motion. He did not mean to say that they were entitled to ask in what practical way this contest would be continued if hon. Gentlemen opposite succeeded to office; but he was entitled to ask whether, in that event, there would be any war at all—whether, if hon. Gentlemen opposite were to assume the conduct of affairs to-morrow, they would conduct this struggle as a national struggle, in which we were fairly engaged? This, at least, he had a right to ask. The right hon. Gentleman during the course of his speech had said nothing whatever to lead them to suppose that if the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, and himself, were to succeed the present Administration tomorrow, they did not intend to carry on this war with China. But the speeches of the hon. Gentlemen who followed the right hon. Baronet, were in an entirely different spirit. The hon. and learned Member for Exeter, for instance, had held an entirely different language. That hon. and learned Member had declared that if victory were attained, it would be an inglorious victory: a victory from which nothing would be reaped, even with success, except disgrace; and he so far palliated the conduct of the Chinese, that it was impossible to say what he would do if the Administration resolved to continue the war. The hon. Member for South Wilt- shire, who followed, talked in much the same strain—every aggression of the Chinese was entirely forgotten: not a word was said of what our countrymen had suffered, or whether or not we were engaged in a contest that had been honourably and nationally undertaken. And then came the newly-elected Member for Woodstock, who went a great deal farther still—who denounced all our transactions with the Chinese; and made use of language most unmeasured as to all dealings with them of late years; so that he could only collect from the hon. and learned Gentleman, that if we went to war, that war would originate injustice, and we could only conduct that war with disgrace. After the hon. Member for Woodstock came the hon. Member for Newark. He was very happy that he had not had to rise to answer the speech of that hon. Member, for he must own, with all his high respect for him, that it embraced one or two propositions which he would not say slipped from him, for they had all the appearance of being the result of deliberation, but which rendered it quite impossible for the hon. Gentleman and those who thought as he did to support any Administration which was prepared to carry on the war with China. He begged to remind hon. Gentlemen opposite, that if they were about to consent to this motion they ought to make up their minds whether or not they were prepared to prosecute the contest with China. The right hon. Gentleman had most undoubtedly left this as an open question for the forthcoming Cabinet. The hon. and learned Member for Exeter also left the question somewhat open, for he said that retraction was now impossible. This was as much as to say that the course they were now pursuing must be pursued by their successors. He had, he confessed, heard with great surprise his hon. Friend (he ought perhaps, rather to take the liberty of calling him his excellent and innocent Friend the Member for Portsmouth)—ask why the hon. Gentleman opposite had not proposed a decisive vote, "peace or war." His hon. Friend had been so long in China that he seemed to have forgotten the practice of the House of Commons. He ought to have known what was stated by the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, that although this question had very little to do with peace or war, it had very much to do with the management of a debate in the House of Commons, and he ought to have known that those who would not like to vote anything against the national honour, or anything against the opium trade in India, would nevertheless be very glad to give a vote against the Gentlemen who happened to sit on the Ministerial side of the House. His hon. Friend did not seem to know it, but the real truth was that, as far as this motion went, it would decide nothing, except who was to have the management of whatever might be done in the affairs of China that day six months. But, at the same time, while, if the Government were really guilty of neglect and laziness in this matter, they ought to be visited with the severest punishment, he thought that some blame ought to attach to those who, on such pretences, withheld their assistance from the State, and endeavoured, as far as in them lay, to paralyze the exertions of the country, in an important and doubtful contest. Nothing but the most urgent necessity could, as it appeared to him, justify such conduct on the part of the opposition; they were amenable to the country for the course they were pursuing. The only real charge made by the right hon. Gentleman against the Government was that they had not had sufficient foresight to know what the Emperor of China was going to do. Hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to think that this was the first contest that had taken place between the English residents at Canton and the Chinese authorities, but these collisions had taken place over and over again. In fact, the whole history of our transactions with China had been one of difficulties to those who wished to establish a trade on terms to which the Chinese would not agree. But why was it that this was the first occasion on which any complaint had been made by the hon. Gentleman opposite? There could not have been a greater failure than that of Lord Napier, according to the right hon. Baronet's notions of failure; yet there had been no application to that House for a vote of censure on the subject. The right hon. Baronet himself was a party to that transaction, as far as instructions went, for he was a Member of the Government by which Lord Napier was sent out. It was true that Lord Napier himself complained of his instructions, saying that it was almost impossible for him to act upon them, The right hon. Baronet had made no such complaints of Lord Napier's expedition as he now made with regard to Captain Elliot's—no assertions that our honour had been sacrificed, or that the glory of our flag had been tarnished. If hon. Gentlemen opposite would take the trouble to refer to the circumstances which took place on the occasion of Lord Napier's arrival at Canton, they would find hardly a single point on which we had not some ground of complaint againt the Chinese and they against us. It had been said that there were two grand errors in the instructions which were given when the superintendent was first sent to China; but he thought it had been sufficiently shown that there were no errors at all. He thought the right hon. Secretary-at-War had pretty well disposed of the question as regarded these two cardinal points, namely, as to whether or not our superintendent was to reside at Canton, and whether the superintendent was to hold communication with the political authorities, rather than through the Hong merchants. The hon. and learned Member for Wood-stock had said that the right hon. Secretary-at-War was wrong in stating that any such concessions had ever been made, but the fact was well known that Captain Elliot did go to reside at Canton, and it had been fully admitted by two hon. Gentlemen that night, one of them the hon. Member for Beverley, a director of the East India Company, that the point as to the mode of communicating with the Chinese government had been conceded. The opinion of that great man the Duke of Wellington, had been cited as being decidedly against the insisting upon the concession of these points; but there was the decided authority of Mr. Davis and Sir George Robinson on the other side. Sir George Robinson distinctly declared that the mode of intercourse through the Hong merchants was altogether inefficacious. It was true that Sir George Robinson differed from Mr. Davis respecting the residence at Canton, but then where did he go? Why, he went to Lintin to reside, in the very centre of the opium smuggling trade, and by so doing gave his authority to that trade. There was, too, the united opinion of the British merchants at Canton, that the residence of the superintendent at Canton was necessary, and that by truckling and yielding to the Chinese authorities, we should gain nothing but disgrace. The right hon. Baronet had dwelt much on the want of greater powers for Captain Elliot; but it did not appear that Captain Elliot thought there was any deficiency in his powers. Sir George Robinson stated, in one of his despatches, that he thought himself quite able, if he received directions to that effect, to remove the trade complained of. Reference had been made to the right hon. Baronet, refusing the noble Lord the powers which he asked for in the China Courts' Bill; and the right hon. Baronet, in opening the discussion, intimated his anticipation that he might be taunted with the part he had taken on that bill; but certain it was, that when that bill was re-introduced into the House of Commons, after it had once passed there without discussion, and been lost in the House of Lords, certain it was, that the right hon. Baronet disapproved of the powers given to the superintendent, and expressed his opinion, even that much of the present power of the superintendent should be taken away. He should like to know, then, after this discouragement given by the right hon. Baronet, what chance the noble Lord had of inducing Parliament to give the necessary powers? The bill was, therefore, withdrawn, on the condition that application should, in the meantime, be made to the Chinese government on the subject. He would now come to the great charge against Government respecting the opium trade. They were charged with a want of foresight, a want of precaution with respect to this trade. But were not all the circumstances of this trade known long ago to the right hon. Baronet? Were they not known long ago to the Duke of Wellington? This was not a question of yesterday. A committee sat in 1810 to discuss the renewal of the East India Company's charter, and, at the same time, examined the case of the opium trade. Did that committee make a report? Yes, it did. Did that report say anything against the smuggling of opium? No, it did not. There was another committee which inquired into the same subject in 1832. Did that committee make any report as to the smuggling trade in opium? It did. Various witnesses were examined; the atrocities, as they had most properly been called, of the trade were inquired into; a report was drawn up, and the evidence given, more particularly that of Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Majoribanks, and the whole bearings of the trade were thoroughly sifted. Yet some Gentlemen spoke of this matter as if it now came before the House for the first time. What was the opinion of the committee of 1832? Why, that as the opium trade of Bengal produced 981,283l., it was not desirable, in the existing state of the revenue of India, to put an end to it; the more so, as the duty fell chiefly on the foreign consumer. The right hon. Baronet was very loud now in his indignation against this traffic. In 1833, when Mr. Grant, now Lord Glenelg, in his place in the House, entered into a long and eloquent detail of the iniquitous process by which this trade was carried on, the right hon. Baronet, who then sat by the side of Mr. Grant as a colleague, was perfectly mute—he said not one single word on the subject. The right hon. Baronet, on that occasion, expressed no disapproval of the trade. No, the right hon. Baronet reserved all his indignation at the traffic for ibis particular occasion. On that occasion, in fact, there was no Member of the House who said anything about it, except, indeed, one solitary individual, Mr. Buckingham, who got up and exposed the whole traffic, and made a direct charge against the East India Company, taking the occasion to mention, that the trade in opium was so productive as to bring in a profit of 1,000 per cent., and that it was held of such importance by the Company, that their superintendent of the growth of opium at Patna received a larger salary than the chief justice of the Court of King's Bench; adding, that while the Company claimed to themselves the privilege of being the guardians of the law in India, and the conservators of the morals of the people of that country, and while they punished with the utmost severity any infraction of their own laws, they openly cultivated this drug for the purpose of smuggling it into China. That charge was made by Mr. Buckingham in the face of the House of Commons; and did the right hon. Gentleman opposite, who was sitting near Mr. Grant say anything against it? Mr. Buckingham told them that the East India Company had the monopoly of the cultivation of the poppy, and he charged the iniquities of the traffic on the Company. Did any one rise to second Mr. Buckingham, or say a word in his favour? No one said a word, neither his right hon. Friend, the Member for Pembroke, nor the hon. Member for Newark, who, he believed, was then a Member; nor the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool. The noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, was then a Member of the House, nay, more, he was a Member of that very committee of 1832. He heard all the evidence with respect to the smuggling of opium; all the iniquities flowing from it." He was told of its demoralising effects on the people of China, and, at the same time, of its bad effects on our whole commercial transactions. Yes, Lord Sandon, whose name appeared on the committee containing forty-two Members, heard that evidence, and was, of course, a party to the report of the committee, but never made an objection to the opium traffic. This was the new morality. The expression of the noble Lord's disinclination to the opium trade was reserved, like that of his right hon. Friend, for a suitable and more convenient occasion. Far be it from him to wish to say less than was deserved of the unfortunate results of that traffic, or to palliate them. He could not but deprecate it as a vice, for a great vice it was. But, let it be known at the same time, that the present Government were not the guilty parties. No, let the right hon. Gentleman alter his motion, and not confine it to her Majesty's present advisers. The hon. Member for Newark last night said, that the rupture with China had been produced by a long series of misconduct on the part of the British. Was that so? He did not think so; but then how could those who thought so, vote a censure upon her Majesty's present advisers? If a long series of misconduct on the part of the British were the cause, let it be told. Let it be said that we did not know how to conduct ourselves in our intercourse with a barbarous and semi-civilised people; that neither the supercargoes nor superintendents knew how to conduct themselves; and that it was time for the British Parliament to interfere. But he had shown that the present Government were not to be charged, because the opium trade had been long encouraged, both in India and in China. It was an old sin, if it was a sin at all. He was surprised to hear the hon. and learned Member for Exeter in his speech, able as it was, deny that Captain Elliot had any right to expect that the opium trade would be legalised. The right hon. Gentleman read two extracts from the despatches of Captain Elliot stating his reasons for expecting that the trade would be legalised, and his conviction that the Chinese government was in doubt upon the subject. The statement—that the Chinese government had no fixed purpose on the subject—was made in December, 1837, and he quoted it to show that his noble Friend was perfectly justified in taking no steps with regard to this traffic until he was informed what the determination of the Chinese government was likely to be. The first despatch with regard to the opium trade, was received on the 15th of May, 1838, and was answered on the 13th of June following. That answer had been much cavilled at; but he contended that it contained all that his noble Friend had a right to say, namely, that they who chose to smuggle opium must incur the loss, if there were any, themselves. What more could be said? Were they to punish those persons for smuggling in a foreign country? It would be the first time that such a power was claimed by any country. Ought we to punish those who attempted smuggling into France or Spain? It would be quite as monstrous to punish those who smuggled into China. Certainly there was no instance in legislation of one country making a law with respect to the fiscal government of another. This was the whole gist of the case. He begged leave to ask the House if they meant to say that a law should be made rendering it penal for a subject of England to try to smuggle opium, or anything else, into any part of the empire of China. That was what they were called on to do—to make a law in aid of the fiscal regulations of the empire of China. The hon. Member for Newark, in what he might call simplicity, said that if a good understanding had existed between the superintendent and the Chinese government, that the smuggling trade might be put down. He denied the policy or the possibility of so doing, whatever cry might be got up for purposes which he would not describe; no government, no matter by whom composed, could accomplish it. All that could be done was done by his noble Friend. Within a month after he received the despatch—that was to say, on the first mail day, he answered it, and told the superintendent that those who chose to smuggle opium must do so at their own risk—that they would receive no countenance from the British flag. He should like to know what more could be done. With respect to the edicts, and the attempt of the Chinese government to put down the opium trade, so far was Captain Elliot from threatening them in earnest, that as late as the 2nd January, 1839, he wrote to Lord Palmerston, to the effect that he did not believe the Emperor of China would suppress the opium trade, but probably he would materially check it. That letter did not reach his noble Friend till the end of 1839, and how was it possible for him to foresee that in March 1839, Commissioner Lin would come down with his edicts? What did Sir George Staunton, an unexceptionable witness, say? He said, so far from any person, acquainted with the laws and usages of China, having the least conception that Commissioner Lin would have recourse to any such measures as he subsequently adopted—that it would be impossible for any man knowing the laws of China to suppose it possible that Commissioner Lin should have recourse to such atrocities. But the hon. and learned Member for Exeter said, that whether the Chinese intended to legalise the trade or not, we had a paramount duty, and that was to put it down ourselves. That opinion showed very little knowledge, he would not say of this particular trade, but of illicit traffic in general. What was the effect of Commissioner Lin's own measures? He had received a letter from the Governor-general of India, and another letter, both of which showed the little effect to be expected from repressive measures. Lord Auckland, in his letter dated the 13th of February said:— In the meantime our opium trade is rising in price, and some of our merchants are making fortunes by sales on the eastern coast of China. He begged to call the particular attention of the House to the next statement in the letter, which was so startling, that without such high authority he could not believe it. Lord Auckland said:— One small cruiser came in last week with 70,000 pounds in Sycee silver. This was brought in by one cruiser as the first of our small adventure, and this showed that the effect of the repressive measures was merely to drive the trade to the eastern coast of China. It was another evidence of the effects of those repressive measures which Gentlemen seemed to think ought to have been adopted so much sooner. The next letter was to the secret committee, and referred to the Chinese expedition. It said— As to the armament of light vessels, the best adapted to this service are the fast-sailing brigs or barques known here under the denomination of opium clippers. At present, however, the trade in opium is so lucrative that it is quite impossible to obtain any one of them, all of them being actually employed on that coast. As it is probable, however, that the course of operations in China may interfere with the traffic, it is possible that some of them may feel inclined to accept charters from us. Thus, such was the activity of the trade, that one small cruizer brought home 70,000l in Sycee silver; and such was the demand for opium clippers, that not one of them was to be procured for sending out on the expedition. Nothing could show more clearly the hopelessness of any attempt to put down opium smuggling. He had documents which would show the impossibility of succeeding in any such attempt. It appeared that 42,000 chests of opium was the amount of the produce of all the countries in which the poppy was cultivated. Of this amount 20,000 chests came from British India. The remainder came from, territories which were not totally independent, but in which we could not exercise any influence sufficient to put down that cultivation. This portion was chiefly the produce of that part of India called Malwa. Treaties in reference to the subject, and called opium treaties, had been made with the native princes, but were annulled because they were found totally inapplicable to the circumstances. They did not enable the Government to control the cultivation of the poppy in those territories, or the export of it. In 1830 those treaties were changed for the present system of a stamp duty; that system yielded 200,000l. a-year. Suppose the trade to be let loose, and the Government to take no duty. Would that prevent the cultivation of the poppy in Malwa? It would do no such thing. It would only increase the cultivation of it. His hon. Friend, the Member for Beverly (Mr. Hogg), whom he was surprised to find supporting this motion, who knew India well, admitted that we could not extirpate the cultivation of the poppy. If his hon. Friend had said that it could be done, he (Sir J. C. Hob- house) would have hesitated; but when he said that it could not, no sensible man would doubt that it was impossible. If the present system was to be abandoned, and the ryots left to cultivate it themselves—if it was the deliberate opinion of Parliament, that the cultivation of the poppy should be withdrawn from the East India Company, let it be so ordained. Let a decided opinion be pronounced, but let not that be a charge against the East India Company, or against the present Government, which had been sanctioned by Parliament, and by repeated committees If they endeavoured to alter the system he doubted much whether they would not increase the cultivation: so far from preventing vice by fiscal regulations in aid of the fiscal regulations of China, he told them beforehand that they would completely fail. The taste for opium was not confined to China. They were mistaken, if they supposed the trade had not increased elsewhere. It had increased along the eastern coast of India, and in Java, as much as in China. In Java he believed that, man for man, the people consumed as much opium as the Chinese. Before he sat down, he should be ashamed of himself, as a Member of the Government, if he did not express his opinion with respect to the conduct of the gallant officer, Captain Elliot, whose connection with these transactions had been so frequently referred to in the course of the debate. He thought that objections had been made to the conduct of that gallant officer, which a perusal of the correspondence contained in these returns would show to be unmerited. Captain Elliot had been placed in very difficult circumstances. ["Hear."] He knew what that cheer meant, but he did not hesitate to reply to it; to declare that those difficulties had not been attributable to any dereliction of duty on the part of her Majesty's Government. There were other causes of difficulty on the spot itself, and to them he particularly alluded. Captain Elliot, in one of his despatches, complained that party spirit ran so high at Canton, that it was almost impossible for any one to contend against it. Captain Elliot had to contend against many untoward circumstances, which had been totally unforeseen; and he did not, as had been said by an hon. Member last night, hoist his flag for the protection of a set of contraband traders. He might read passage after passage from these papers to show that Captain Elliot had given clue notice that he would not give protection to any smuggling transactions whatever, and had warned the British captains, over and over again, against attempting anything of the kind. He must add, that during the whole of these transactions, Captain Elliot appeared to have displayed singular humanity, combined with great courage, great presence of mind, great caution, and an anxious desire to avoid the spilling of blood; with, at the same time, a due sense of the responsibility which Government had placed upon him; and, therefore, he hoped that when the report of this debate reached China, that gallant officer would not find himself deprived of that support which he had a right to expect from the suffrages of this House. Now, with respect to the allegation, that the presence of a man of war would have prevented the difficulties which had since occurred. He would ask, had the presence of a British man-of-war prevented the calamitous termination of Lord Napier's negotiation? No. The Andromache and the Imogene were at Canton at the time, and yet they had availed nothing. But he had another, and that a very high authority against the propriety of the display of such an armament before Canton. He held, in his hand, a despatch from the court of directors to the supercargoes at Canton, in answer to an application for the presence of an armed vessel, which the directors refused, and stated, as their reason, that It appeared that the presence of a King's ship in the Chinese waters had, from the commencement of the trade to the time in question frequently occasioned great embarrassment, in many instances to a suspension of the loading of the ships, which had unfairly caused great pecuniary loss. Let the House bear in mind that this declaration was made by the court of directors, whose conduct had been so highly lauded, and who, so far from agreeing with the project of the Duke of Wellington as to the constant presence of a stout frigate at Canton, had asserted that it frequently led to very great embarrassment. A great deal had been said with reference to the character of the Chinese, and as to the propriety of our entering into a contest with a people with whose nationality and resources we were not sufficiently acquainted, and as to the provocation which they had given us for such a contest. He did not think it would be right to enter into contests with the Chinese with any notion of disparaging them as a people, or impairing their nationality; far would it be from his inclination to enter into any contest with them unless from the conviction that he did so with just grounds on his side, and he only trusted that if we did enter upon this expedition, with honour and justice on our side, we should be able to carry it out not only to the profit of our own nation, but that of every other civilized power in the world; that we should do so in a way to vindicate our own honour, and to improve the relations of this great empire with all others in the universe, and at the same time, in doing good to ourselves, do good also to the general interests of humanity.

Sir R. Peel

said, considering that the House had been occupied for the last six or seven nights with continued debates, first upon the Corn-laws and then upon the Chinese question, it could hardly be a matter of surprise that occasional indications of impatience had been manifested this evening. But he entreated the House to bear in mind the magnitude and importance of the subject which was now under their consideration. He begged them to remember, that although no communication had been made from the Crown, although no message had been sent down to the House, it appeared, from the distinct and intelligible declarations of two Ministers of the Crown, that we were on the eve of hostilities with a country the description of which he would borrow from the hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth—a country which, in point of population, exceeded all that of the continental countries of Europe; nay, at this moment, we might actually have entered into hostilities with a nation comprising a population of 350,000,000 inhabitants, very little short, in fact, of one third of the whole of the human race. It was certainly not surprising that, with these indications of hostilities, which none could mistake, although the Crown had sent down no communication, and had invited no opinion from the House of Commons—it was certainly, he repeated, not surprising that the House of Commons should inquire what were the causes of, and who were the parties who were responsible, for this great and acknowledged calamity. "Oh!" said the right hon. Gen- tleman, the President of the Board of Control, and one of the parties mainly responsible for this great evil, "for God's sake do not discuss anything about China! Have a debate, if you please, on the Registration Bill, or take a division upon Maynooth." Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would advise the House to occupy its time upon the Peel club at Glasgow. "But the greatest question of China, the greatest question of who was responsible for, and by what means these hostilities had been brought about, do not touch that (said the right hon. Gentleman), for questions of peace and war are involved in it." Five-and-forty minutes of the right hon. Gentleman's speech were occupied with comments upon the form of the motion under discussion, and the remainder was a defence of her Majesty's Government. Five-and-forty minutes it was necessary to say to those who had not the satisfaction of hearing the speech of the right hon. Gentleman—five-and-forty minutes had been occupied in comments upon the motion of his right hon. Friend; and the right hon. Gentleman had said, that the motion contained no distinct declaration of opinion upon the policy of the Government, that it declared no opinion about the opium trade, nay, that it did not distinctly explain whether or no the right hon. Mover thought the merchants whose opium had been taken for the use of the Government ought to have compensation or not. "The motion," said the right hon. Gentleman, "is a mere party motion." That was the Minister's defence. What was the use of this constant and unmeaning clamour about party motions? Was it not incident to free discussion and to a popular assembly that even in smaller matters than this, the conduct, the motives, and the character of the Government should be subjected to examination and criticism? Did not the Queen's Government resort to precisely the same means for defence against the motions which were brought forward by its opponents? Was it perfectly novel in the history of this country, and of Oppositions, to find motions brought forward by them—nay, to find retrospective motions brought forward—to find that those whose past misconduct or whose past neglect was called in question were absolutely subjected to the ordeal, not of prospective, but retrospective crimination? What event during the war was not the sub- ject of enquiry by the Opposition? Did the expedition to the Scheldt escape? Did the convention of Cintra escape? Did the battle of Talavera escape? Was there any instance in which, upon the questionable policy of the Government (those who watched that Government having considered themselves perfectly entitled to bring forward a motion upon the subject of the misconduct of that Government), motions had not been made? What was the motion made by one of the present ministers in the year 1810—Lord Lansdowne—a great military critic, who questioned the policy of the Government by a retrospective censure of the convention of Cintra, and who, not content with his proceedings in 1809, appeared again in another field, having succeeded to the Peerage in 1810, and brought forward this resolution, which appeared to him, if deserving of censure at all, not more or less than the present motion. Lord Lansdowne proposed to the House of Lords to resolve— 1. That it appears to this House, after the most attentive examination of the papers laid before them relative to the late campaign in Spain, that the safety of the army was improvidently and uselessly risked, and every loss and calamity suffered, without ground on which to expect any good result, and that the whole did end in the retreat of the army. 2. That, previous to entering on this campaign, Ministers did not procure the necessary information of the state of Spain, or of its military resources—of the supplies that could be afforded, &c, as the most obvious policy required; and that the result of this rashness and ignorance was a result the most calamitous. That was retrospective; it indicated no particular policy, and he thought that Lord Lansdowne and his confederates would have been surprised if, on bringing forward this motion censuring the operations of the Duke of Wellington and the Government of that day, had he been replied to in the same manner that the present motion was answered—namely, "You ought to tell us what are the despatches which, under similar circumstances, you would have written. You ought, if you question the operations of the Duke of Wellington in Parliament, to indicate to the House the precise communications which, under similar circumstances, you would have had with your British confederate on the one hand, and the Spanish authority on the other hand, and you have no business to bring forward a motion censuring the policy of the Government, unless, at the same time, you distinctly declare not only what you intend to do, but precisely what you would have done." He apprehended, when Lord John Cavendish brought forward his motion to this effect, that the thirteen colonies of America had been lost to England, and that England was engaged in a war with France, Spain, the United States, and Holland, without a single ally, and that all this was owing to the negligence and want of foresight of the Government, that then a good Whig precedent was furnished for the form of the present motion, and, perhaps, it might have been difficult to find a greater coincidence than it furnished. The right hon. Gentleman had deprecated as injurious the practice of the House of Commons entertaining questions of peace and war like this; so that, whatever was the misconduct of the Government, the indifference of the House was to be the indemnity. The present motion was a distinct declaration, that the unfortunate state of affairs which had arisen between this country and China, was attributable to the want of foresight and precaution in the Government, and their neglect to give certain powers and instructions to their representatives. It did not give any opinion about the opium trade, nor as to the policy and justice of the war, but he would remind the right hon. Gentleman, that those questions might be perfectly distinct, and yet the war might be just. The war itself might be politic, and yet the necessity of the war might have arisen from impolitic proceedings. It might be that from a long series of contests, misunderstandings, and collisions, continued for years by a country unaccustomed to European laws and usages, an act of violence and outrage might have been committed, which left no alternative but a resort to war—it might be, that the course of policy pursued by their representative might leave them no alternative on the grounds of policy but to go to war. It might be, for instance, that in the first conflict that took place between the Chinese and British empires, the conflict was so unwarrantable that it would be utterly impossible to retrieve the character of the British arms without some manifestation of resentment. A shot might have been fired unintentionally in a moment of irritation against an inferior force, and the result of that first unfortunate conflict might have been to exhibit the British naval force retreating from the action in consequence of a failure of ammunition. It might be, that notices of blockade were issued on one day, and recalled in three days, and those events might really leave that impression on the minds of the Chinese which would be prejudicial to the warlike character of England, so as to make it wise and just to correct that erroneous impression. But consistently with those circumstances it might be proved, that although the war was not unjust—although in point of policy it could be sustained—although it ought to be supported—still the necessity for the war might have arisen from gross negligence and misconduct of the Ministers. Now, he asked, supposing that state of things to exist, was it fit that those Ministers should escape not only without notice, but, as the right hon. Gentleman supposed, even without the formality of a debate? The right hon. Gentleman had said, that no one had more lamented the breaking out of the war with France than the late Mr. Fox. There was no one who more deeply felt that that war was a great calamity; there was no man who, at an early period of the war, was a warmer advocate of its termination: but he would remind the right hon. Gentleman, that at the commencement of that war, while, at the same time, he supported the armament by which it was to be carried on, the very same night he did so, he brought forward a motion of censure upon the Government who brought it on. On the 4th of February, 1793, he said— We were now actually engaged in war, and, being so engaged, there could be no difference of opinion on the necessity of supporting it with vigour. No want of disposition to support it could be imputed to him; for in the debate on his Majesty's Message, announcing that we were at war, he had moved an amendment to the Address, as much pledging the House to a vigorous support of it as the Address proposed by his Majesty's Ministers, and better calculated to insure unanimity. But the more he felt himself bound to support the war, the more he felt himself bound to object to the measures which, as far as yet appeared, had unnecessarily led to it. And, on that night, Mr. Fox moved this resolution— That it appears to this House, that in the late negotiation between his Majesty's Ministers and the agents of the French government, the said Ministers did not take such measures as were likely to produce redress, without u rupture, for the grievances of which they complained. Therefore, he thought, he showed them, upon high authority—at least upon such authority as would be admitted by hon. Gentlemen opposite—that the same man might admit the necessity of a war who at the same time might feel an imperative obligation to censure those by whom the war was originated. His firm belief was, that the necessity for this war did exist mainly in consequence of the misconduct of the Government. He believed in the possibility of its being averted, not by some foresight inconceivable in the limited faculties of human nature, but by the most ordinary attention to the position of our affairs at the termination of the East India Company's charier, and by taking the fair warning afforded by previous experience, as well as by listening to the earnest declarations of our own superintendents, and above all by fortifying them with the power which they demanded, which Ministers might have intrusted to them, given them instructions as to the views and intentions of Government, but which, however, her Majesty's Ministers had studiously withheld. Here he would clear up a misapprehension of the right hon. Gentleman as to the nature of the charge against the Government. It was not, as the right hon. Gentleman supposed, that the Government had not sufficient foresight to know what the Emperor of China was going to do, but that after the termination of the relation between China and the East India Company, which had continued for 200 years, and after an immense change, therefore, in the position of this country with respect to China, that her Majesty's Government sent a gentleman to China to represent the Crown of this country, without the powers which they might have given him, which it was their duty to have given him, without instructions which he was competent to receive, and without the moral influence of a naval force, the advantage of which was demonstrated by the papers before the House. The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Edinburgh admitted that the instructions were meagre and scanty, and if under similar circumstances they had been given to our diplomatic agent at Brussels, or at Paris, the Government would have been without ex- cuse. That was an important admission. But the right hon. Gentleman proceeded to say that India was best governed in India, as if a regularly constituted Government, with superior and subordinate officers of the greatest experience, with a people accustomed to look up to that Government with reverence and respect, with a powerful fleet at command, with an immense military establishment, and with recognized laws and responsibility, as was the case with the government of India, could bear the least analogy to the case of Captain Elliot conducting the affairs of our trade at Canton. The Government ought to have supplied Captain Elliot with proper powers. It should have said what regulations were to be established, what offences were to be breaches of those regulations, and then have constituted a Court of Admiralty and criminal jurisdiction, as they might have done. If, then, they had indicated to their representative the general views and policy of the Government, and said, "Here are the powers which the law enables us to invest you with; here are our general views and intentions with respect to our relations with China, the trade in opium, the place of your residence, the mode of your communication; we tie you down by no specific instructions; we leave you, on account of the distance, full latitude and complete discretion, confiding in your prudence and judgment,"—then, indeed, the Government might have some case to rely on in the absence of detail and defined instructions; but their course had been exactly the reverse. They had given their representative what was worse than no power—the semblance without the reality. They not merely withheld instructions, they gave him contradictory instructions; and then they pretend that, on account of the distance, it was difficult to explain the course which he was to pursue. Did the East India Company find that difficulty? Read the despatch of the East India Company, addressed to their supercargoes in the year 1832, enjoining caution in dealing with the Chinese, and placing before them the general views of the company, but not binding them down, in that case at least, to minute instructions; and, after having read that despatch, let him ask whether the vindication now set up by the Government, that they were 15,000 miles from their officers in India, could be deemed a sufficient excuse for the gross and intoler- able negligence which it appeared they had committed? There were three charges which this resolution conveyed; the want of instructions, the absence of a naval force, but, above all, the want of that authority and power, the means of giving which they had within their own control. He would not go through the whole of these several points. It might be demonstrated, that there were periods when a naval force, which might have been present for the maintenance of authority, was absent; and yet a noble Lord opposite talked of relying on the moral authority of the naval force over and over again. The superintendent had asked for such a force, but could not obtain it. Gentlemen on the other side had argued as if the Duke of Wellington's authority supported their views, when, in fact, he had not recommended any thing from which they could derive the smallest support. The opinion of the Duke of Wellington was, that a naval force was only necessary till the trade should be established. He would have adopted the policy of Mr. Davis and of Sir George Robinson: it was their opinion, that a naval force was necessary until the trade should be established; but that was the full extent to which it could be carried. These were facts most clearly made out by the papers before the House, and he declared ins deliberate conviction, that no man could read those documents and not arrive at the same conclusion, under the influence of which the motion of his right hon. Friend had been prepared. The House could not fail to have noticed the wide range which the present debate had taken, and the variety of topics to which hon. Members had addressed themselves; and it therefore appeared to him most important that, at the present stage of the debate, the attention of the House should be confined—at least, so far as his observations were concerned—to the main point at issue between her Majesty's Government and the supporters of the motion brought forward by his right hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke. Governed by that consideration, he should keep to one point, and not wander over the mass of desultory reasoning which, during the course of the present debate, had been laid before the House. It was now for the representatives of the people to consider and decide upon this question, whether or not her Majesty's Government were chargeable with reprehensible neglect in the policy which they had pursued towards China; and whether or not they had given to the British superintendent at Canton the power and authority which his position required, and which the honour and the commercial interests of this country rendered absolutely necessary? One word, however, about the instructions. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir J.C Hobhouse) said, it was impossible for the Government to suppress the opium trade. That might be; it might be impossible. A committee of the House of Commons might too, some tight or ten years since, have delivered an opinion about the opium trade; but he asked this question:—after the despatches which arrived in this country on the subject of the trade in opium up to the 13th June, 1839—after the important change which took place in that year, placing the trade on a perfectly different footing, and giving it a ten times more formidable character than it had in the preceding periods—when their superintendent informed them It had been clear to me, my Lord, from the origin of this peculiar branch of the opium traffic, that it must grow to be more and more mischievous to every branch of the trade, and certainly to none more than to that of opium itself. As the danger and shame of its pursuit increased, it was obvious that it would fall, by rapid degrees, into the hands of more and more desperate men; that it would stain the foreign character with constantly aggravating disgrace in the sight of the whole of the better portion of this people; and, lastly, that it would connect itself more and more intimately with our lawful commercial intercourse, to the great peril of vast public and private interests. Till the other day, my Lord, I believe there was no part of the world where the foreigner felt his life and property more secure than in Canton; but the grave events of the 12th ult. have left behind a different impression. For a space of near two hours, the foreign factories were within the power of an immense and infuriated mob; the gate of one of them was absolutely battered in, and a pistol was fired out, probably without ball or over the heads of the people, for at least it is certain that nobody fell. If the case had been otherwise, her Majesty's Government and the British public would have had to learn, that the trade and peaceful intercourse with this empire was indefinitely interrupted by a terrible scene of bloodshed and ruin. And all these desperate hazards have been incurred, my Lord, for the scrambling, and, comparatively considered, insignificant gains of a few individuals, unquestionably founding their conduct upon the belief that they were exempt from the operation of all law, British or Chinese"— When thus, in characters net to be mis- taken, their officers showed that a crisis was at hand—when he told them that the time had come, when the British Government must indicate some intention on the subject—when they had a series of despatches received up to the 13th January, 1839—he asked whether, on a subject of such immense and complicated interest, this was a proper reply to the communications received by the British Government? Foreign-office, June 13th, 1839, Sir—Your despatches to the 31st December of last year, and to the 30th of January of this year, have been received and laid before her Majesty's Government. With reference to these despatches as detail the circumstances which led to an interruption of the trade for a short period in December last, and the steps which you took, in consequence, with a view to the re-opening of the trade, and to the re-establishment of your official communication with the Chinese authorities, I have to signify to you the entire approbation of her Majesty's Government of your conduct on those matters. But I have at the same time to instruct you not to omit to avail yourself of any proper opportunity to press for the substitution of a less objectionable character than the character 'Pin' on the superscription of the communications which you may have occasion to address to the viceroy.—I am, &c., (Signed) "PALMERSTON. He was not turning into ridicule the adherence to forms; nor underrating its importance; but to answer such communications on a growing difficulty, by saying we approve of the course of practical conduct you have pursued, but be good enough to claim the right of using a less objectionable character than that of "Pin" on the superscription of your letters; for the right hon. Gentleman (Sir J. Hobhouse) to get up and say that such an answer was worthy of the occasion, would, if he had not heard him, have exceeded the bounds of his credibility. But he came to the point which he had selected; and as he took one point only, he trusted he should meet with the attention of the House. He meant to support the charge that her Majesty's Government did not give to their superintendent the powers which they might have given—powers which were essential to the performance of his functions—powers with which by the act of Parliament, they were fully entitled to invest him—and powers with which, if he were supplied, might have materially contributed to avert the calamity which had befallen us. The House would bear in mind that an act of Parliament, passed in 1833, called the China Trade Act, which substituted for the existing relations with China, another form of official communication. The 6th clause of that act gave the Government almost unlimited discretionary powers—as full and complete as any act of Parliament ever conferred. The 6th clause enacted that:— It shall and may be lawful for his Majesty, by any such order or orders, commission or commissions, as to his Majesty in Council shall appear expedient and salutary, to give to the said superintendents, or any of them, powers and authorities over and in respect of the trade and commerce of his Majesty's subjects within any part of the said dominions, and to make and issue directions and regulations touching the said trade and commerce, and for the government of his Majesty's subjects within the said dominions, and to impose penalties, forfeitures, or imprisonments for the breach of any such directions or regulations, to be enforced in such manner as in the said order or orders shall be specified, and to create a court of justice with criminal and admiralty jurisdiction, for the trial of offences committed by his Majesty's subjects within the said dominions, and the ports and havens thereof, and on the high seas within 100 miles of the coast of China, and to appoint one of the superintendents herein before mentioned to be the officer to hold such court, and other officers for executing the process thereof, and to grant such salaries to such officers as to his Majesty in Council shall appear reasonable. It also enabled them to constitute courts of admiralty and of criminal jurisdiction for the trial of offences. An order in council, professing to be founded on the authority of this act, was issued. But that order in council gave to the superintendent such powers and authorities as certain officers of the East India Company, called supercargoes, had theretofore exercised; and whatever regulations were in force in April, 1834, were continued in force by this new constitution of our official relations. Now, in point of fact, the supercargo had then no authority, and there were no regulations in force. There was the East India Company at hand, for the purpose of ascertaining what their regulations and authority were; but the first order in council issued under the act, gave no legal authority whatever to the superintendent. But the answer to that was, "There are other Gentlemen at his side of the House parties to that order." Be it so, solamen miseris socios habuisse. That was an error of omission, but why were not steps taken to correct it? For that neglect, at least, his Friends were not responsible; but the right hon. Gentleman must show that the Ministers had timely notice of the defect, that they might have repaired it, and that they had not done so; and, up to this hour, had left their superintendent without adequate authority. He asserted, moreover, that a great part of the mischief and embarrassment which had arisen arose from the want of such powers. Now, in the first place, he maintained that the forcing of the passage of Bocca Tigris by the Jardine, as described by Captain Elliot, arose from the want of such powers; that when Captain Elliot attempted to make regulations for the ships at Whampoa, he found himself equally helpless—that when negotiations were going on in an amicable spirit, and were interrupted by the conduct of the commander of the Thomas Coutts, that the want of such powers were the cause of the embarrassment; and he would establish, he thought, by conclusive proof, the assertions which he had made. He would first of all take the case of the Jardine. Captain Elliot says in his despatch of Dec. 27th, 1835:— I hear it is very generally reported to-day that the steam-boat Jardine, now at Lintin, is to proceed to Canton on Tuesday or Wednesday next. The disquietude of the provincial government upon the subject of this vessel, has already been manifested in an edict, desiring that she should leave the country; and I am informed a request to let her ply in the river as a passage-boat has just been negatived. In the present state of circumstances I feel it my duty to advise that a public letter should be forthwith addressed to the commander of the steam-boat, enjoining him, under the King's authority, by no means to proceed up the river at present We have been specially warned, and the Chinese officers who know the advantage that particular circumstances will afford them for the vindication of any measures which our scornful disregard of their authority may lead them to pursue. If this steam-vessel goes up the river at this moment, I feel a persuasion that some grave public inconvenience will ensue. In this case it is my strong opinion that the Chinese will resort to some general measure in assertion of their powers and independence as a government, involving the interruption of this trade, till some required concession shall be made. No government can afford, if I may so express it, to be reduced to utter contempt in the sight of its own people by a handful of heedless foreigners; the sacrifice in point of public estimation is far too considerable. What was the answer to that? In the first place the whole of the despatch was not given, and, therefore, what might have been the representations contained in that despatch he knew not, for there was only a minute of it. The answer, however, was a recommendation to the superintendent to use caution in his interference—that in the present state of our relations with China it was incumbent to avoid all causes of offence, and not exercise a greater degree of authority than he actually possessed. Good advice, no doubt, as he possessed no authority; but why did not the Government give him authority, when it was said, at last, that the Chinese government had resorted to violent and outrageous action. True, they had done so, and, abstractedly speaking, perhaps there was no justification for their having done so. But they must not look to the mere abstract act—at the last word that preceded the first blow.—but they must look to the whole tenour of the collision to form a just view of its character. Let the House bear in mind what had been stated by Captain Elliot, that the interests at stake were of immense importance, and that no Government could afford, to bear the sacrifice of them; and let it also bear in mind the growing causes of exasperation, before it decided on the real character of the transaction. What was Captain Elliot to infer from the instructions sent him not to interfere with the enterprises of British merchants? Take the case of the regulations made by Captain Elliot with respect to vessels at Whampoa. In that case, and in consequence of the conflicts which had taken place between the crews of British vessels and the Chinese, Captain Elliot found it necessary, as he thought, acting under the the powers given him by the Order in Council, to establish certain police regulations for the conduct of those vessels and their crews. In April, 1838, three years after the last despatches he had referred to, Captain Elliot wrote thus:— Most serious disturbances, however, had been frequent on this point, and, therefore, on my return to Canton I drew up the accompanying memorandum, furnishing it to the commanders of ships as they arrived, in order that it might be read in the event of need. Captain Elliot stated, that The immediate circumstance which led to this measure was a dangerous disturbance on board the ship, Abercromby, Robinson, at Whampoa; And he added, that Every season since the opening of the trade had been marked by constant scenes of disgraceful and dangerous riot at Whampoa, and my own personal attention could not at all times be given without public inconvenience. What was the answer given to that letter? It was, that the Order in Council gave him no authority to establish police regulations. The reply of the noble Lord opposite was to the following effect:— The law officers of the Crown think that the regulations in question are not in any way at variance with the laws of England, provided they be duly made and issued by her Majesty, according to the Act of the 3rd and 4th of William 4th, c. 93, s. 6, but that you have no power of your own authority to make any such regulations. With respect to the territorial rights of China, the law officers are of opinion, that the regulations, amounting, in fact, to the establishment of a system of police at Whampoa, within the dominions of the emperor of China, would be an interference with the absolute right of sovereignty enjoyed by independent states, which can only be justified by positive treaty, or implied permission from usage: Under these circumstances, I have to instruct you to endeavour to obtain the written approval of the governor of Canton for these regulations, and as soon as the approval is received in this country, the proper steps shall be taken for giving force to those regulations, according to the provisions of the Act of Parliament. Now, he wanted to know what had presented the Government two years ago from giving to the superintendent at Canton the powers necessary to prevent a vessel, like the Jardine, from ascending the river—to establish regulations for the preservation of peace on board the British shipping at Whampoa, and to avoid that rupture which took place at a later period, in consequence of the ship, Thomas Coutts, going up the river to Canton? He would prove, that at an early period, the Government had distinct notice of the deficiency of the powers possessed by the superintendent under the Order in Council. On the 1st of July, 1835, Sir G. Robinson informed the noble Lord, that the superintendents did not possess the powers which the Order in Council professed to give them. He would read an extract from Sir G. Robinson's despatch. Now, my Lord, it is respectfully submitted that there were no regulations in existence of the nature contemplated in that Order in Council. This despatch was received on the 28th of January, 1836, and therefore the Government was then aware that the superintendents had no legal authority to act; and yet, on the 28th of May, 1836, four months afterwards, the noble Lord told Sir G. Robinson, that" it would be desirable to extend the limits of the powers of the superintendents." Was such an answer consistent with the supposition that the noble Lord had read the despatches? The Government knew that the superintendents had no legal authority—that the Order in Council was a dead letter, that the superintendents had neither the powers of the supercargoes, nor any other power; and yet on the 28th of May, 1836, the noble Lord wrote to say, That his Majesty's Government thought it desirable to extend the powers of the superintendents of British trade in China. The noble Lord went on to say, I have therefore to instruct you publicly to notify that the jurisdiction of the commission is to be extended, so as to include Lintin and Macao, and that from the date of the promulgation of such notification, the authority of the superintendents over British subjects and ships is to be considered as extending to Macao as well as Canton, and as being of equal force and validity within this extended jurisdiction, as it has hitherto been within the limits of the port of Canton. These were the wise general powers which should be given to the superintendents, of which the House had heard so much? The officer of the Government informed the Ministers that the Order in Council did not give him the powers which were necessary. They knew that fact in 1836. Four years had passed, and yet they had not supplied the defect. Indeed, four months afterwards, when they knew that the Order in Council was illegal, and that no jurisdiction existed, their answer was, that the jurisdiction of the superintendent was to be extended from Canton to Macao. The Government could not deny that they were aware of the non-existence of jurisdiction, for, on the 8th of November, 1836, the noble Lord opposite wrote, that the Government was aware of the inconve- nience arising from the undefined nature of the jurisdiction of the superintendents, and the want of power to enforce their measures. Now, it might be difficult to say, what might have been the effect, if the chief superintendent at Canton had possessed the powers for which he so earnestly pressed; it might be difficult to say, if he could have restrained the Chinese from ill-using English sailors, or murdering Lascars—if he could have prevented the outrages at Canton—if, when the Chinese were inclined to negotiate, and had actually entered upon negotiation, he could have prevented the rupture of that negotiation by the single act of a British captain—all this it might be difficult to show; but he now proceeded to establish, that with respect to the trade in opium, which her Majesty's Government said was uncontrollable by the British Government, that if the superintendent had had proper powers, which her Majesty's Ministers knew that he had not, but which they neglected to supply him, some, at least, of the great evils which the opium trade involved in it might have been avoided. He said, that the evil was not merely in carrying on the illicit traffic, he admitted that it might have been most difficult to have prevented that traffic, he admitted that the cupidity which had risen up in consequence of long indulgence might have made it most difficult to suppress such a traffic, but the question was, whether proper powers, if vested in the superintendent, would not have robbed that traffic of much that had given offence to the Chinese government. He took the language of Captain Elliot. On the 30th of January, 1839, Captain Elliot wrote— There seems, my Lords, no longer any room to doubt that the court has firmly determined to suppress, or more probably, most extensively to check the opium trade. The immense, and it must be said, the most unfortunate increase of the supply during the last four years, the rapid growth of the east coast trade, and the continued drain of the silver, have, no doubt, greatly alarmed the Government. Now let the House listen to this passage— But the manner of the rash course of traffic within the river has probably contributed most of all to impress the urgent necessity of arresting the growing audacity of the foreign smugglers, and preventing their associating themselves with the desperate and lawless of their own large cities. And observe that the opposition of the Chinese government was to the opium trade within the Canton waters; it was not merely the existence of the trade, but the manner of carrying it on which exasperated that government. Captain Elliot said, in the same despatch,— Whilst such a traffic existed, indeed, in the heart of our regular commerce, I had all along felt that the Chinese government had a just ground for harsh measures towards the lawful trade, upon the plea, that there was no distinguishing between the right and the wrong. But I told Howqua, that should never happen so long as the governor enabled me to perform my duty; and it could not have happened at all but for his Excellency's countenance. On the 2nd of January, 1839, he quoted this with reference to the illicit trade in opium alone, Captain Elliot said— Carefully considering the critical posture of the momentous interests confided to me, and resolved, as a preliminary measure, upon an appeal to the whole community; not only with some hope that such a proceeding might have the effect of clearing the river of these boats, but, because (if the case were otherwise), I felt it became me distinctly to forewarn her Majesty's subjects concerned in these practices, of the course which it was my determination to pursue. Captain Elliot proceeded— There is certainly a spirit in active force amongst British subjects in this country which makes it necessary for the safety of momentous concernments, that the officer on the spot should be known to stand without blame in the estimation of her Majesty's Government; and it is not less needful that he should be forthwith vested with defined and adequate powers for the reasonable control of men whose rash conduct cannot be left to the operation of Chinese laws without the utmost inconvenience and risk, and whose impunity is alike injurious to British character and dangerous to British interests. That complaint could not have been made if the powers which her Majesty's Government must have known were wanted, had been given. But above all, let the House read and well consider the private conversation which Captain Elliot had with Howqua on the consequences which must follow from the absence of these powers. On the 2nd of January, 1839, Captain Elliot wrote— I hope it will not be thought intrusive if I mention that I have recently had a conversa- tion with Howqua upon this point, on which occasion I explained, as carefully as I could, your Lordship's reasoning in the debate in the House of Commons on the China Courts Bill. He concurred in every word that was said, and particularly on the inexpediency of drawing the subject under the attention of this Government, till all things were ready to go into operation. He referred me with earnestness to the requests which had been made before the Company's monopoly was abolished, to make provision for the Government of her Majesty's subjects, and he desired to know what more was wanted, and how it was possible the peace if all the English people who came to his country were to be left without control. That was the opinion of one of the most eminent and most intelligent of the Chinese merchants, the opinion of one who had had the most intercourse with Englishmen, who was best acquainted among the Chinese with the English character, who was best able to see the consequences which must flow from the absence of control over the English resorting to Canton. Captain Elliot also said— Howqua further entreated me to remind 'my nation's great Ministers,' that this government never interposed except in cases of extreme urgency, upon the principle that they were ignorant of our laws and customs, and that it was unjust to subject us to rules made for people of totally different habits, and brought up under a trtally different discipline." "I must confess my Lord," said Captain Elliot, "that this reasoning appears to me to be marked by wisdom and great moderation; and, at all events, convinced, as I am, that the necessity of control, either by British or Chinese law, is urgent, I would most respectfully submit these views to the attentive consideration of her Majesty's Government. "In fact, my Lord," he went on to say, "if her Majesty's officer is to be of any use for the purposes of just protection, if the well-founded hope of improving things honourable and established is not to be sacrificed to the chances which may be cast up by goading this Government into some sudden and violent assertion of its own authority, there is certainly no time to be lost in providing for the denned and reasonable control of her Majesty's subjects in China. Why, what was the answer to this? Her Majesty's Government had power by the China Trade Act of 1833, they knew that in January, 1836, the powers which the superintendent had were inefficient, that no other means could effect the required object but increased power was repeatedly shown since 1836, The Government were cognizant of this, they had it here, from a most intelligent native merchant, that, by Chinese law, the subjects of the British crown could not be punished, and he asked, how it could be expected that the peace could be preserved without some powers of control were given to her Majesty's officer. Captain Elliot said, that he found this reasoning to be marked with wisdom and moderation; but, above all, the Government had that prophetic warning of Captain Elliot's, that, if proper powers were withheld, he could not answer that some sudden and violent exercise of its authority might not be manifested on the part of the Chinese government, goaded as it was by the continual outrages of British subjects, stung as it was, to the quick, by repeated contempts of its authority, irritated almost to desperation by what neither they nor the British superintendent could prevent, her Majesty's Government had in truth no alternative but to give the superintendent the means of definite control over all British subjects trading to China. Had he not gone far to show on this single isolated point—first, that the grave charge upon her Majesty's Government of not giving the superintendent the powers which they must have known that he wanted, and which were indispensible, was well founded; secondly, that there was reason to suppose that a great part of our present embarrassments arose from the want of control over the British at Canton, and the neglect of her Majesty's Government to supply the requisite powers? What answer would be given to this by the noble Lord? It would be said that application had been made to Parliament to give the powers requisite, and that Parliament did not meet the views of the Government. He (Sir Robert Peel) would give a narrative of that application. In January, 1836, the Government knew that the powers were defective, the order in council was a mockery. The Session of 1836 commenced. No step was taken. In 1837 a bill was brought forward, but not till June28. It passed the House of Commons without debate. It was withdrawn from the Lords also without debate, on account, it was said, of the lateness of the Session. This was on the 10th of July. Parliament was prorogued on the 17th; that was to say, the Government knew in January, 1836, that the superintendent had not adequate powers, yet Parliament was not moved to give the powers by legislation until 1837, when the bill was withdrawn without remonstrance, and without a word, good, bad, or indifferent, being said upon it. 1838 arrived, and they applied again to Parliament for increased powers. They brought in the bill on the 30th of April, 1838, and there were, he belieived, twenty-two postponements from day to day. It was read a second time in July. [Lord Palmerston: The 21st of May.] It passed the House of Commons in July. This bill, which had been unopposed in the House of Commons, and had been withdrawn from the Lords on the 10th of July, 1837, did not appear in committee in the House of Commons till the 28th of July, some twenty days after it had been withdrawn from the Lords in the previous Session, on account of the lateness of the period. Papers were presented to the House on that occasion calculated, if ever papers were, to mislead them. The House would be led to infer, from this correspondence, that everything was in a satisfactory state with respect to our position in China. An opposition was made to that bill, and it was withdrawn. But what did that bill effect? It merely added a civil jurisdiction to the jurisdiction which existed before. But when they lost that bill in 1838, what had prevented them from exercising, by the authority of the executive Government, the full power which they had under the act of 1833, and convey to their superintendent at least criminal and admiralty jurisdiction? He did not underrate the importance of civil jurisdiction, but if, through the neglect or indifference of Parliament or any other cause, the Government had not succeeded in gaining the civil jurisdiction, they were perfectly independent of Parliament, so far as the criminal and admiralty jurisdiction were concerned, which by order in council might have been established. They might say, indeed, that the consent of the Chinese authorities was necessary before they confirmed their own order in council, in which it was stated that the Chinese government not only consented to this control, but they requested it to be conferred; and surely, they would not now fall back on the excuse, that they could not confer the powers because they had not the consent of the Chinese authorities. They despaired, perhaps, of procuring the assent of the Chinese government. What said, at a later period, their own superintendent? On the 26th of September, 1837, he said distinctly— I would in this place, my Lord, express a respectful but earnest hope, that no time may be lost in the promotion of adequate judicial institutions for the protection of the King's subjects; and I have no hesitation in assuring your Lordship that it is in my power to secure from the provincial authorities the most formal sanction of it. Now, here he closed his case. He felt that he had established what he undertook to establish—namely, that her Majesty's Ministers were in possession of the means to confer the necessary powers—that they were cognizant of the fact, that these powers did not exist—that they were sensible of the importance of them—that they received continual remonstrances on account of their absence from the superintendent and representative, and from January, 1836, up to this hour, the evil had continued to exist—had become aggravated by the lapse of time, but no attempt whatever had been made to supply it, although the law had provided them with ample power of furnishing it. As strong a case might be made out in the absence of moral influence which naval power gave under the peculiar circumstances in which the superintendent was placed. As strong a case might be made out with respect to the neglect of giving instructions. On these points he would not touch. He again repeated his deliberate conviction that this great calamity with which we were threatened was mainly attributable to the neglect and misconduct of her Majesty's Government. At the same time there was another and perfectly distinct question, what under these circumstances of extreme difficulty might be fitting to be done? The right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Hobhouse), had acquitted those who were opposed to the Government of taking every opportunity of embarrassing the Government by motions relating to their foreign policy; for the right hon. Baronet had said, that during the struggle in the north west frontier of India, at a time when the issue was doubtful, so little disposition was there to embarrass the Government, or to take advantage of any defeat or calamity which, in spite of the best precautions, and the utmost gallantry of our soldiers might possibly arise, that the opposition forbore from saying a single word upon the subject. The noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) smiled; but this was the testimony of his own colleague. This was the panegyric passed upon the conduct of the opposition by at least an impartial witness, being no other than the right hon. Baronet, peculiarly charged with the affairs of India. And what was it that that right hon. Baronet, who, from his position in the Government, was best calculated to form a correct judgment as to the conduct of the opposition—what was it that that right hon. Baronet said? Why, that pending the struggle on the south-west frontier of India the opposition had acted with a wisdom, moderation, and discretion, which entitled them to the highest praise. He thanked the right hon. Baronet for the conclusive reply which he gave upon that point to the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Hawes), who had not been quite so charitable in the construction which he put upon the conduct of the opposition. He (Sir R. Peel) had not the slightest doubt that if, in the present instance, the object of the opposition had been to devise the most merciful mode of attacking the policy of the ministry in reference to China, the mode by which they could have done so most effectually would have been by bringing forward a motion denouncing the opium trade, and deprecating altogether the war into which we were about to be plunged. If for party purposes they had made such a motion, he greatly doubted whether a considerable majority of the House of Commons might not possibly have voted with them. But he certainly could not consent to conciliate support to the motion now before the House by any positive declaration that he denied the necessity of a hostile demonstration with respect to China. He might think, as he had said before, that a violent outrage had been committed, for which the Government were responsible [cheers from the opposition] having failed to adopt the means that were in their power of preventing it, but which having been committed, none perhaps but the melancholy alternative of war might remain. It might be that after what had passed British honour and the British name would be disgraced, unless some measure were taken to procure reparation for the injuries and insults which had been committed on us. The noble Lord had told them what were the motives for entering into this war. They were threefold; they were, "to obtain reparation for the insults and injuries offered to her Majesty's superintendent and sub- jects; an indemnity for the loss of their property incurred by threats of violence, and lastly that the trade and commerce of this country should be maintained upon a proper footing." The exact meaning of this he did not know. [Lord J. Russell.—It is not what I said.] He thought it probable that the Morning Chronicle was correct in attributing those words to the noble Lord. "Proper footing" were exceedingly indefinite words.

Lord J. Russell

.—If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, my words were—" that lives and properties of British subjects trading in China should be secure."

Sir R. Peel.

—But even if it should be demonstrated that hostilities were inevitable, he must say he should deprecate the conduct of them in the spirit in which they had been spoken of by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War. When the right hon. Gentleman referred to the vengeance which had been taken at the battle of Plessey, of having humbled in the dust the Dey of Algiers, he was speaking in a tone and a spirit not essentially necessary to the vigorous prosecution of hostilities, and which might aggravate the calamities of war. He might deprecate, also, the details which had been entered into of outrages committed by the Chinese, without some clear and more decisive proof with respect to some of those points. He knew how easy it was from the past experience of this country in similar circumstances to arouse the public indignation by the detail of individual outrages; but they ought to be perfectly satisfied of the evidence on which the allegations rested. An advantage had been taken of an expression used by an hon. Member in the heat of debate, with a joyfulness which proved to him how happy hon. Gentlemen opposite were to have any adventitious aid, even from the casual expression of a man whose character and uniform manner must have taught them they were putting a construction upon his expressions which he never meant. What was the evidence that the Chinese had resorted to an act which all must admit to be contrary to the usages of war—the poisoning of the wells? It was alluded to in a despatch of Captain Elliot, who said he had heard of a placard declaring that the wells were poisoned, and that he did not believe that it had been done with the consent of the Chinese authorities. There was not the slightest evidence of the fact that there had been any poisoning of the wells, and he deprecated any allusion being made to such a fact for the purpose of exciting public clamour against a great people, but a people of unwarlike habits, and with whom it was of the utmost importance that, after the hostilities we might be forced to enter into, amicable relations and a friendly spirit might again be renewed. The poisoning the wells would be bad enough, but let them not on that account poison the people of this country by allegations such as those he had referred to, while unsupported by sufficient proof. There had been outrages committed by the people of China, and he regretted it; but he might set against these outrages the testimonies which had been borne to the character of the people of that country; and though an individual act might have been committed which would admit of no defence, they should also recollect the provocations the Chinese had received. They should recollect the acts of Lord Napier—they should recollect the publication of a printed placard in the streets of Canton, which roused the people of that country against us, and they should recollect the effects that might be produced on a nation ignorant of our usages by such appeals. They should recollect all the collisions which had taken place, and he believed they would then be surprised at the forbearance of the Chinese under great irritation and exasperation which they had received, and recollecting that, they would not try to aggravate the necessary horrors of war by laying the foundation of permanent lasting hostilities. Honourable testimony had been borne in the despatches before the House to the character of the people of China; and he wished to refer to their conduct when they delivered up to the British authorities fifteen British seamen who had been wrecked on their coast. Captain Elliot says:— The fifteen people belonging to the late brig Fairy were despatched to Canton by the Government of Fuhkeen on the day after the arrival of the Raleigh at the mouth of the Min river, and they were all safely delivered over into my hands by the authorities of this province, on the 2d inst. Their generous treatment by the Chinese authorities has been in the highest degree honourable to the humanity of this Government, and I have not failed to convey my respectful sense of such conduct to his Excellency the Governor. Captain Elliott also said:— Before I dismiss this subject I would respectively suggest and request that your Lordship should address a letter to the Governor of Canton, expressive of thanks for the very generous treatment of these fifteen persons. They were well fed, lodged, and clad, and upon their final departure from Foo-chow-foo each individual received a present in silver to the amount of about 50s. The one-half of their journey to Canton was performed in chairs. There would be no difficulty in transmitting your Lordship's letter to the Governor through an officer, as was done in the case of the Governor-General of India's communication brought on in the year 1829, by Captain Freemantle. Now, he wished to ask the noble Lord if he had acted on that suggestion—and if he had attempted to mitigate the hostile spirit of the Chinese authorities by returning some civil acknowledgment for such an act? Another favourable testimony had been borne to the character of the Chinese. When Captain Maitland was leaving China, he said it was a duty he owed to the commander of the war junks at Canton to state, that their conduct had been marked by the strictest propriety. Captain Elliot, speaking of the general position of the English in China, said that there were many proofs of the sense of justice entertained by that people before the late outrages took place. He said that in no part of the world was life and property so secure as in Canton. He added, speaking of the act of humanity towards seamen, that he believed that in many important respects the Chinese were the most moderate and reasonable people on the face of the earth. After all those collisions and animosities, they had it from their own officer, the superintendent at Canton—that he believed the Chinese to be in many respects the most moderate and reasonable people on the face of earth. He only asked them at the moment when they were meditating this blow not to direct it in a revengeful spirit. War, if engaged in, must be conducted with vigour, but for God's sake, if they were going to enter into hostilities with an unwarlike people, amounting to 350,000,000, let it not be in a vindictive spirit. Was there any man at the other side of the House who repudiated this sentiment? Did they not wish that justice should be executed, and that the foundation of permanent tranquillity should be laid? The Chinese had an extensive demand for our commodities, and we might depend on it that every blow we struck in this contest, would recoil on ourselves. We should ravage no place in China without in some degree injuring some manufacture at home. He did not underrate our powers in any conflict; it was evident we must have the superiority. They could not read the history of the action of the English frigates with the war junks, which had passed up their line, sinking one after the other, whilst the only shot which struck the English was one in the mainmast, without feeling that our superiority was great indeed. But let us not be deceived as to the perilous nature of the conflict, and its necessary consequences. A new power might arise amongst millions of people, and new weapons which national honour might furnish—nay, even in the majesty of our power, in the certainty of our success, might consist our ruin. We had taken vengeance at Plessey for the horrors of the black hole at Calcutta, and how little was it apprehended that such immense results would follow. He was struck by the remarks of the historian on those events. Mr. Clive marched in 1757, at the head of 700 Europeans and 1,500 natives, obtained a great victory, and a great revolution was the consequence. In the space of fourteen days, one sovereign was deposed, and another placed in his stead. In fourteen days a great revolution was effected, and a government superior in wealth, territory, and population, to most European states, was transferred from one sovereign to another, under the command of a man wholly unacquainted with the arts of war. He (Sir R. Peel) did not know what might be the result of the war with China. He did not know to what revolution it might give rise. There might be universal anarchy, and we might have no alternative but to take the course which they had taken before, and they would then find themselves the necessary masters of that mighty people. Let them remember, too, that there were other powers concerned; and in the course of a conflict with a commercial people having relations with so many powerful countries, they ought to be prepared for the possible contingency of collisions with the nations which traded with China. It had been thought, that other nations would make common cause with us for the purpose of extorting general advantage. Do not act (said the right hon. Baronet) on that opinion. You instituted a blockade on the 11th of September. You withdraw it on the 16th. You instituted it on the supposition that a boat was missing, and you withdraw it because the supposition was a mistake and the boat was recovered. But do not forget that the result of your blockade was a protest from the Americans, who told Captain Smith, that the blockade was unlawful, and that he must be responsible for any loss they might suffer from it. But I cannot help thinking that the protest was more effectual in putting an end to the blockade than the recovery of the men. That protest must have dissipated the illusion that common cause would be made with us by the other Christian nations. Have you read the recent debates in Congress? Have you referred to the despatches of Admiral Owen, who was stationed on the coast of China; who says— Whilst, during war, our naval superiority had driven away every flag from Canton but our own, the threat of stopping trade was an effectual restriction on the Chinese authorities. But since the Dutch, the Danish, French, American, and even the Russian flags have, I believe, now found their way to China, there are not wanting those who will instruct the Chinese governors and others, that an export under such flags may be made with as much benefit to China, and the vessels will be more under the control, and better subjected to their regulations. Again and again, I say, do not enter into this war without a becoming spirit—a spirit becoming the name and character of England. Do not forget the peculiar character of the people with whom you have to deal, and so temper your measures that as little evil as possible may remain. Remember that the character of the people has lasted for many generations, that it is the same now that was given to them by Pliny and many subsequent writers. It is your duty to vindicate the honour of England where vindication is necessary, and to demand reparation wherever reparation is due. But God grant that all this may lead to the restoration of amicable relations with China, with little disturbance of our relations with other nations. In the absence of every confidence in her Majesty's Ministers, I will express a wish, in which the party of the right hon. Member for Edinburgh would join—I pray the Almighty Disposer, from whom all just counsel and good works proceed—I pray to God that he will dispose the minds of this people, and defend them from the evils which they may deserve. I pray to God that he will avert from them the calamities, and turn from us the evils, which, I must say, the neglect and incapacity of our rulers have most righteously deserved.

Viscount Palmerston

would at that late hour, and after a three nights' debate on a question involving matters of so much importance, endeavour as much as possible to compress into the narrrowest limits which were consistent with a clear and plain statement, the observations which he was about to address to the House. If the resolution of the right hon. Baronet who had opened the debate were not so pointedly directed at the department which he had the honour to fulfil, he should not—and he wished to say it without meaning the slightest offence—think it necessary to address himself to a motion so feebly conceived and so feebly enforced as the one then under discussion; more especially after the able manner in which the Friends around him had refuted the arguments of those on the opposite side. He repeated, the resolution was feeble in conception, and feebly supported, excepting a distinction made by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, and which distinction he was ready to admit. He admitted that one might approve of the vigorous manner in which hostile measures might be carried on, and at the same time disapprove of that course of policy which led to those hostilities. He would not, however, admit the applicability of the instances which the right hon. Gentleman had quoted as precedent for the present course. The case before the House would require a more definite resolution, inasmuch as the instances to which the right hon. Baronet referred related to great and important events, and not to a question as to whether certain answers to certain letters should have been more or less precise. It would appear as if the right hon. Baronet the Member for Pembroke had made his motion to meet opinions and circumstances as they might present themselves. If he were asked whether the present motion was the one which originally suggested itself to the right hon. Baronet, he should say that he did not believe it was. If it were desired to obtain support from the enemies of the opium trade or from the enemies of war, in his opinion the resolution should have been more direct. It was shaped for a peculiar end, and that end was the transference of political power from one side of the House to the other. If his instructions were indefinite, what was the resolution of the right hon. Baronet? The resolution said— That the entire interruption of our commercial and friendly intercourse with that, country, and the hostilities which have since taken place, are mainly attributable," &c. Now, the papers which had been laid on the table of the House showed to what the interruption of friendly and commercial intercourse and the temporary hostility which ensued were attributable. They also showed, that up to the latest period there had occurred no permanent interruption, and the conclusion of the transactions in the year which had elapsed showed that our relations with China were more friendly, and our intercourse more prosperous and successful, than they had hitherto been. He spoke, of course, of the relations as to our legalized trade. But the right hon. Baronet's resolution went on to say, that the state of things in China was Especially owing to the neglect in furnishing the superintendent at Canton with powers and instructions calculated to provide against the growing evils connected with the contraband trade in opium, and adapted to the novel and difficult situation in which the superintendent was placed. Now, it was to be expected, when such a charge was made—and the omission was one of which he had to complain with respect to all the Gentlemen who took part in the debate, not even excepting the right hon. Baronet who last addressed the House, though he came somewhat more near the mark—it was to be expected, when the charge was one of omission, that either the resolution, or some of those who supported it, should state distinctly and definitely what should have been done. There was one circumstance to which he would advert in justice to the right hon. Baronet who had framed the resolution, namely—that there was not in it any censure, either implied or expressed, upon the officer who had been employed in the execution of these difficult matters. All the Gentlemen who had spoken on the opposite side, with a few trifling exceptions, had, he was gratified to say, dwelt upon the conduct of Captain Elliot in terms more of approval than of criticism. He was happy to say this, for it was a principle which ought always to be kept in view in party contests, that whilst they struggled for power, which was an object of honourable ambition, and whilst they attacked each other with all the skill which they could command, the servants of the Crown performing important duties On foreign stations, in which duties they had no personal interest, should be unaffected by the proceedings of parties in that House. He was happy to say, that on that score he had no fault to find with the resolution, nor, save a few exceptions, with the speeches by which it was supported. He felt it due to Captain Elliot, whose zeal, courage, and patience, had been signally exhibited in these transactions, to clear up two points upon which his conduct had been subjected to criticism. It had been said, that he encouraged the contraband traffic in opium. Now, those who held that opinion could not have read the papers which had been laid upon the table. Had they done so, they would have seen, that from the first to the last he endeavoured to discountenance the traffic to the utmost of his power. It would be seen by the papers, that he himself stated he lost much social enjoyment by his persevering opposition to the traffic. In support of this assertion, it was said, that he made preparation to protect the opium vessels from attack, but this was a mistake. His preparations were made for the protection of the cargo ships. But even if it had been otherwise—if he had made preparations for the protection of the opium ships, did the House forget the statement made by the hon. Baronet, the Member for Portsmouth, in a speech so eminently deserving its attention, that there was no law in China authorizing the authorities of that country to seize upon any vessels stationed outside the harbour? With regard to Captain Elliot, he would not enter into the other points which had been touched upon by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and which really were not deserving of an answer. Among these was the charge of having begun actions without provocation, when in one instance he saved the crew of a ship from starvation, and in the other, with the Volage, it was to protect a fleet from attacks, which had been announced by the Chinese authori- ties. So that in both cases Captain Elliot had been justified in the course he had taken, inasmuch as he was acting, in point of fact, in self-defence. Now, there was another public servant who had been alluded to in the course of this discussion—he alluded to Lord Napier, whose career was short and unfortunate. Differing in opinion with Lord Napier, he did not mean to say, that he thought Lord Napier had throughout displayed good judgment and discretion, but at the same time it must be considered, that the noble Lord's life was the sacrifice of that which he thought the performance of his public duty, and it would be unfair to assume, that if his life had been spared, and he had continued in the performance of those duties, that he might not, by his subsequent administration, have shown, that he was fully qualified for the difficult task imposed upon him. He would not enter into the general details which had been gone into by hon. Members opposite, and which in his judgment had been so fully answered by hon. Members on his side of the House. But there were one or two points which had been specifically touched upon by hon. Members opposite, and which he thought it necessary to allude to. In the first place he could not but express, in common with others, the deep regret and sincere pain with which he had heard the speech of the hon. Member for Newark. The right hon. Baronet who had just sat down, had certainly made a most ingenious speech for his hon. Friend as to whether or not the Chinese had actually had recourse to poison. That, however, was not the point upon which his opinion turned, it was not the only one on which the hon. Member for Newark had made a great mistake. The hon. Member had assumed the fact, and had said, "of course they poisoned the wells."

Mr. Gladstone

begged to say, that he had corrected himself at the time, and in the hearing of the noble Lord. He (Mr. Gladstone) at the time said, he stated the circumstance, but had no evidence of the fact.

Viscount Palmerston

thought he had guarded himself against being misunderstood. What he objected to on the part of the hon. Member was (and he did not do so in the spirit of offence), that the hon. Member, without having ascertained whether the charge was true or not, had assumed it in his own mind as a fact, treated it as a matter of course, and said they were justified in doing it for the purpose of expelling from their territory persons whom they wished to drive from their shores. From all he knew of the character of the hon. Member for Newark, he was willing to give him credit, that he would be the last man in the House deliberately and on reflection, to stand up and defend doctrines so monstrous, and he could not but regret the hon. Member had not at this moment made the explanation he had just given, and that he had not fairly stated the expression was hastily used, and that he was far from meaning to hold any such doctrines as his assumption of the facts would have led the world to suppose. He was sure, that in saying thus much he was only stating that which the hon. Member would state for himself. For the honour of the House, and for the honour of the country, he did not wish it to go forth, that any Member of that House would deliberately and advisedly uphold doctrines which that casual expression might have led the country to suppose. There was another observation to which he must also allude, and which had been made by the hon. and learned Member for Woodstock (Mr. Thesiger) who had recently been returned to that House. That hon. and learned Member began a very able speech, and certainly not a very short one, by stating, that the only recommendation in which he stood before the House was his diffidence and his industry. On the first ground he (Viscount Palmerston) could not say how far the hon. and learned Member had entitled himself to the extraordinary indulgence of the House, but the other point—that of his industry—was open to very considerable observation. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed as though the blue book had been given to him, and that he was told to read it, and give the House a speech. The hon. and learned Gentleman appeared to have looked at it as he would at a brief, and had not troubled himself, or thought it necessary to attend to what had passed in the political world in former times, and naturally concluded, that the statements he found at the beginning of the blue book must be the statements of the beginning of the evils to which the resolution of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Pembroke, was intended to advert, and certainly the hon. and learned Gentleman who had charged him with having given a back-handed blow to China, had certainly dealt as severe a back-handed blow upon the right hon. Baronet the Member for Pembroke, and the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down, as ever an unskilled sparrer gave to any of his friends. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said, that the origin of all these evils was the instructions sent to the superintendents, and the orders in council in 1833. Now, first of all, he thought the kind feelings of his right hon. Friend who had brought forward the present motion would induce him not to lay much stress on those matters, for he agreed with the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, that colleagues in office naturally felt confidence in each other—left to one another the management of the details of their respective offices, and therefore, that nothing could be more unfair and ungenerous than to turn round upon a colleague and say, "You must take the entire share of the blame for your act, because I trusted you at the time." These, however, were measures of importance, they had been fully considered. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Pembroke was party to the general arrangement, and had felt himself bound to it as a Member of the then Cabinet. But not only had the hon. and learned Member for Woodstock dealt his back-handed blow right and left on his own friends, but said, "look at the letter written by the Duke of Wellington to Lord Napier on the receipt of the first account;" and what then had he said of the Duke of Wellington? Surely it was not necessary to praise the noble Duke for his known promptitude in performing the duties imposed upon him—surely it was unnecessary to raise the noble Duke's reputation for business habits, by remarking that he answered a letter the day after he received it. But what was the substance of the letter of the noble Duke, upon which so much stress had been laid? Why it amounted to this—"I refer you to the instructions given, and the orders in council issued by the preceding Government: I have nothing better to tell you than that you should strictly observe the instructions they gave you." Therefore, these very instructions which in the opinion of the hon. and learned Member for Woodstock, were the origin of the evils of which the resolution before the House took notice, were sanctioned in the first place by the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Pembroke, and afterwards confirmed and enforced by the noble Duke during the Administration of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth. He had been much condemned for not answering the representations he received with sufficient promptitude. Now, if so much credit was to be claimed as due to the Duke of Wellington for answering one letter the day after it was received, surely some credit was due to him for having answered two letters precisely in the same way, the day after they were received. He had got here a list of a great number of despatches which he had written, and any person who would take the trouble to go through them in detail, and see the dates when despatches were received and answered, would find that the statement made last night by the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard was true, and that the despatches desiring his (Lord Palmerston's) opinion were answered immediately. But then it was said, there were instructions which ought to have been given, and which had not been given. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, had narrowed his attack in a way which was much more convenient to meet than by wandering through the mazes of the Blue Book. The right hon. Baronet had said, the superintendents were not furnished with those instructions and powers which it would have been the straight course to have pursued. Again, he asked what were the instructions and powers which ought to have been sent? Hon. Members opposite said it was not for them to tell—they made the charge, and it was for him to defend himself against it. Now, if a man was charged with an offence of commission, it was not necessary to tell him what he had not done, but, when the charge was of a reverse character, where the offence was omission, and a man was blamed because he had not done something, he certainly had a right to ask what that something was which it was expected he would have done. Invariably had hon. Members shrouded themselves in the mysterious terms of "precise instructions and sufficient powers." They did not choose to say more particularly what those precise instructions and sufficient powers ought to have been. Not one of these hon. Members, not even the right hon. Baronet himself, who went nearest the mark, had ventured to say, "the powers you ought to have given were, to expel from China, by your authority, every man who was engaged in the opium trade, and to drive away every ship by which that trade was carried on." They did not choose to say so, but they implied it. That, however, was a monstrous and arbitrary power, a power open to great abuse, and one which he asserted it was never meant or intended to have been given by the Legislature, and never asked for by the Government. Hon. Members said, that the instructions of 1833, given by an order in council, proved such intention. He denied it. He affirmed, that the instructions given upon that occasion were those invariably given to every consul or officer who was sent to any foreign station—instructions to collect statistical information, to afford protection to all British interests and British subjects—to mediate between British subjects and the Government of the country, and to report any matters which he might deem worthy of forwarding as information to the home Government, but he defied the right hon. Baronet to show him any part of those instructions which directed our agent in this case to expel from China any ships or merchants who he might think, or who the Chinese authorities might think, were engaged in the contraband trade of opium, or in any other contraband trade whatsoever. The Government, it was said, had established courts, and hon. Members who supported this motion, one and all, had argued upon the assumption that the Government had not established those courts which the law enabled them by an order in council to establish. Those who made that assertion, could not really have read with common attention the papers upon this subject, for if they had cast their eyes to the second order in council, he meant that of 1833, they would see that that order in council did establish in China that court of criminal and admiralty jurisdiction which the Government were accused of neglecting to establish. Not only was that court established by the order in council, but it had, the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-general well knew, been called into action—that a trial bad taken place in it, the proceedings of which he had felt it his duty to place before the law officers of the Crown. All the long arguments upon this subject, which were founded upon the assumption that the Government had not given those powers which the act enabled them to give, fell at once to the ground upon the simple statement, that that court had been constituted, and continued to exist down to the present time. Then he might be asked, if that be so, why bring in the China bill of 1837 and 1838, and what did that bill intend to do? That bill intended to provide for the inconvenience reported to him in 1836, the representations on which had been so often quoted, but which, by accident, had been perverted as if it applied to another matter, it having been said, that the demand was for powers of a different kind, that bill intended to provide for the inconvenience arising out of a transaction between two merchants, and which inconvenience was stated to be this—that though there was a court of criminal and admiralty jurisdiction, there was no court of civil jurisdiction capable of enforcing a debt due by one British subject to another. It was mainly to correct that defect in the original bill that he introduced the bill of 1837, called the China Courts Bill. That bill contained another provision which he would state to the House, The China trade act conferred a power upon the King to establish courts—not, as some hon. Gentlemen supposed, through the agency of the superintendent, but conferred a power upon the King himself to make regulations for British subjects in China, and attached to a breach of those regulations such penalties, forfeitures, and, he believed, imprisonment, as might be advised. Well, in the China Courts Bill, which he brought in in 1837, he proposed, besides those powers which he had enumerated, to enable the criminal court to sentence any British subject for a breach of those regulations, to expulsion from the limits of the jurisdiction of that court. Such was the alteration which had been made in that bill. The right hon. Baronet who last addressed the House, said, that the extensive nature of the powers which he contended ought to have been given to the superintendent, would be excused by an assertion, that the China Courts Bill did not pass. He would make no such excuse. The first year, that bill failed in the House of Lords, not from the lateness of the season, as the right hon. Baronet supposed, but in consequence of its having been in- timated by Lord Ellenborough, that he would oppose it—that he entertained towards it great objections, which he would argue upon, and enforce at great length, and also in some degree from the anticipation of the unfortunate event which happened soon after the bill was dropped. He brought it forward a second time in the following year in the House of Commons. It had been said, that there was no great earnestness about it—that although it had been brought forward in April, it was not committed until July. He could only assure the House, that night after night he had attended in his place and endeavoured to persuade the House to proceed with that bill, but was obliged, at the request of hon. Members, from time to time, to postpone it. It at last came on, and, without meaning to say anything invidious of the right hon. Baronet opposite, he must be permitted to observe, that the account given of the short debate which took place upon the occasion, as given in the Mirror of Parliament, perfectly tallied with his (Lord Palmerston's) recollection of what had passed. The right hon. Baronet was reported in that debate to have taken two objections to the bill. First of all the right hon. Baronet objected, and indeed so did many of his hon. Friends behind him, object to the principle of establishing any court in the territory of an independent sovereign, without having had the previous consent of that sovereign. That objection was stated by the hon. Member for Portsmouth, and enforced by the hon. Member for Lambeth. Then the right hon. Baronet said:— I do not see how writs and processes are to be served, and I much disapprove of the absolute power which is given for the deportation of British subjects. To an absolute power of deportation he should object as much as the right hon. Baronet, but if the right hon. Baronet objected to that power, which was a power given to the court upon trial and judicial sentence to condemn a person to be sent from out the jurisdiction of that court—if he objected to that power so guarded, and placed in such hands, he should like to be told by the right hon. Baronet upon what possible grounds, if he positively did think it would be expedient the power could be given to the superintendent of expelling by his authority British subjects from out the jurisdiction of that court. In order to show the opinion which the right hon. Baronet entertained on the general powers and authorities to be given under the bill, he would quote another passage from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman stated, That so far from being favourable to the extension of the powers of those courts, I think they ought to be withdrawn altogether. Here, then, they found the right hon. Baronet stating that the powers which the courts already possessed ought to be withdrawn altogether, instead of being extended, and they had at the same time heard the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Tamworth, bring a charge against him for not having constituted the courts which his right hon. Friend thought ought not to exist at all. It was difficult for any government to exculpate itself to the satisfaction of parties who entertained such differences of opinion. After all, the real question was, what ought to have been done? He must say, that he had given such powers and instructions as he had considered necessary; but it was said that if the Government of 1835 had continued in power, they would have settled things differently, and as a proof that such would have been the case, hon. Gentlemen opposite referred them to the memorandum of the Duke of Wellington. He wished that hon. Gentlemen opposite had read that document with more attention, for they would then have seen that the recommendations of the noble Duke had been carried into execution. The document was a very clear one, and, considering the short time which the noble Duke had to consider the subject to which it related, more than a general outline of the policy to be pursued could not have been expected. He must say, however, that the memorandum appeared to him to fall into the same error as hon. Gentlemen opposite, in supposing that courts had not been established in China, and that some further Order in Council was necessary for the attainment of that object. If that was a correct view of the meaning of the document, then, he must say, that it was a misapprehension of the case, for those courts had actually been established. The memorandum, however, recommended that some rules of practice should be framed for regulating the proceedings of the courts. Now he had fully considered that subject, but he felt that there was great difficulty in framing such rules, and as the courts were ordered to conform, their practice to that of the English courts, he did not consider that the want of those rules was very important. The memorandum said, that if provision really was made for forming a court, it would be necessary to frame—what? Penalties for the violations of the regulations of trade? No; but some simple rules of practice, which might be carried into execution without the assistance of gentlemen of the legal profession, who would not be found upon the Canton river. Very proper; but the noble Duke did not mean to imply that larger powers were necessary, or that more specific instructions were wanted. The noble Duke also recommended that some alterations should be made in the instructions to the superintendents. The superintendents were then instructed to go to Canton and reside there, and the memorandum set forth that Canton was within the Bocca Tigris, to which point it was stated that her Majesty's ships are not to go. On these points the noble Duke observed, that the superintendents were required to go and reside at a place to which the Chinese authorities would not allow them to go, and at which they would not allow them to reside. "This," continued the noble Duke, "and other matters," and those matters were not specified, "require alteration." The memorandum then went on to say, It will be in the power of the Government hereafter to decide whether any efforts shall be made at Pekin, or elsewhere, to improve our relations with China, commercial as well as political. That was a wise observation, for it was plain that the great question to consider was, whether they ought to attempt to improve their relations with China by means of an embassy or mission to Pekin. The memorandum then only recommended a change in the instructions as to the residence of the superintendent at Canton, and that powers should be given to that officer similar to those which had been conferred on the supercargoes. The memorandum, in the last place, recommended that till the trade returned to its usual arid peaceable channel, a stout frigate and a smaller vessel of war should always be within the reach of the superintendent. Now, he must say, that that was a recommendation at variance with the principle acted on by the East India Company, and at variance also with the principle upon which the instructions to Lord Napier were founded. The East India Company had always insisted on not allowing any ship of war to go to the station at all, for fear of exciting jealousy in the minds of the Chinese. It was upon that principle which he had acted, for he had told Captain Elliot not to allow the frigate which took him out to remain at Canton; and he had also given instructions to the admiral on the station not to send unnecessarily any ships of war to that place. But the Duke of Wellington had only said that a stout frigate and a smaller vessel of war should be within the reach of the superintendent, and he would ask if he had not acted in accordance with the opinion of the noble Duke? He had written to the Admiralty to send out a ship of war to China for the protection of British subjects, and further, the admiral on the station had been directed to go himself to China, in order that by personal communication with the superintendent, arrangements might be made whereby naval protection might always be afforded in case of necessity. When, then, it was stated that he had not taken sufficient precautions for the protection of British subjects, and when it was contended that he had not given the necessary instructions to the superintendent, and the necessary powers, he must say, that those allegations were disproved by the papers which had been produced, and by the actual facts of the case. Nor could it with justice be said, that it was his duty to direct the Admiralty to be always sending ships of war to the China station, for if hon. Members would look at two letters from Captain Elliot, contained in the volume of despatches, they would find that that gentleman disapproved of such a course, and stated, that to have ships of war always in the Canton waters, was not likely to bring about the legalizing of the opium trade. There was, therefore, nothing, he contended, in the memorandum of the Duke of Wellington, except with regard to the rules of practice for the courts, which had not been carried into effect by the present Government. Naval protection had been afforded, and the House would recollect, that having ships of war in China had not always prevented violence. Two frigates had accompanied Lord Napier to that country, but they had not been found sufficient to restrain the violence of the Chinese. Did the violence against Lord Napier bear upon the instructions which had been given? There were two points on which Lord Napier had insisted. The first was a personal communication with the Chinese authorities, and the other was, on sending a letter direct, instead of a petition, as formerly, to the Hong merchants. What had Mr. Davis said, in reference to these points? Mr. Davis said, in August, 1834,— Lord Napier was clear as to his instructions always to decline any but direct communication with the officers of the Government, and in the policy of this I have no hesitation in concurring, for communication through the Hong merchants is of no avail, and unless we can have direct access to the Government officers, we can do nothing whatever. Yet he was now accused of preventing these officers from being able to do anything, while he was at the same time blamed for attempting to procure for them that direct communication which they themselves pronounced to be absolutely and indispensably necessary. Lord Napier's letter was refused because it was not forwarded in the shape of a petition, and because it did not proceed through the Hong merchants; Mr. Davis said:— Lord Napier's letter has been rejected on the most frivolous and inadmissible pretexts; And Sir George Robinson said the same thing, his words being,— I most fully and entirely concur in Mr. Davis's observations in all respects. Here were, then, two excellent authorities, both concurring in the decided opinion that the superintendent should have direct communication with the viceroy, and that it was absurd that they should present a humble petition to irresponsible merchants. Captain Elliot obtained permission that his communications should go direct to the viceroy, in the shape in which he might think it right to forward them. As far, then, as regarded the constitution of the court, and the protection by ships of war, he had done everything which others proposed to do, and had accomplished more than they had expected ever to accomplish. He had given to the superintendent instructions as to the trade, and he was blamed because they were not long enough. Gentlemen who made long speeches thought that he ought to write long letters. They imagined that precise instructions contained in few but significant words were not proportioned to the length which they had to travel; they imagined that when you write to China, your letter should be as long as the voyage. On the contrary, he held it to be the duty of a Minister to give his written instructions, distinctly, decisively, and without circumlocution, to write so as not to be misunderstood, at sufficient length but with not one word redundant. As to the loss of property incurred by the individuals engaged in the contraband trade, what more could he have done, unless it were said (what none of the hon. Gentlemen had dared to say), that to put down the opium trade by acts of arbitary authority against British merchants—a course totally at variance with British law, totally at variance with international law, a course of the most arbitrary kind, and liable to every possible objection—was a fitting course for the British Government to pursue? It would have been a forced interpretation of the act to have done so. Any Government would have been greatly to blame which, without taking the sense of Parliament, would upon its own responsibility, have invested a consulate officer, at 15,000 miles distance, with powers so arbitrary. If the Government had intended to give such a power, they should have first come down to Parliament for its precise and positive sanction. If any other man had proposed to confer such a power, he would have opposed its concession. He was perfectly sure that, if he had made such a proposal, it would not have been agreed to, and that the first person to object to the proposition would have been the right hon. Baronet. He would make the supposition that they had proposed it, and that Parliament had given them the power, and that they had given to the superintendent the right of issuing an order for prohibiting our subjects from engaging in that trade. Would that order have been obeyed? He must enforce it by inflicting punishment for its violation. It would have been violated by two-thirds of the community there. The value of the British commodities sent from England to China annually was about 5,000,000l.,—2,000,000l. worth of opium, and 3,000,000l. of other commodities. The superintendent's order would have been disobeyed. He would have had to execute it by force, and for that purpose must have some physical force at his command. The idea of placing a number of armed men under his orders would not have been very palatable to the Chinese. With a British fleet on their coast and British troops on their shore, they would have remembered some of those Indian stories which were rife over the Asiatic continent; and probably they would have told the English residents that they would like their total absence much better than the presence of their army and navy, But suppose that Captain Elliot had succeeded in expelling the opium trade from the Canton river, what would have been the consequence? The trade expelled from Canton would have taken refuge in other places, as already they were informed was the case by the papers which had been just laid upon their table. It would have gone along the coast of China, studded with islands, indented with harbours, lined with cities and towns, all thirsting for trade, of whatever description, but most eagerly for trade in this especial article; and instead of being concentrated as now, it would be diffused over all that immense extent of district. They were told that the Chinese government were anxious to put down this trade, out of regard for the morality of their subjects. He would be the last to defend a trade which involved the violation of the municipal laws of the Chinese, and which furnished an enormously large population with the means of demoralization, which tended to the production of habits inconsistent with good order and correct conduct. But he put it to any man opposite, whether he could with a grave face say, that he honestly believed the motive of the Chinese government to have been the promotion of the growth of moral habits? The answer to such a supposition was, why did they not prohibit the growth of the poppy in their own country? The fact was, that this was an exportation of bullion question, an agricultural interest-protection question. It was the poppy interest in China, and the practical economists who wished to prevent the exportation of the precious metals that led the Chinese government to seek to put down this contraband trade in opium. But it was said, that it was our duty to co-operate with the Chinese government in putting down this contraband trade. He Wondered what the House would have said to her Majesty's Ministers, if they had come down to it with a large naval estimate for a number of revenue cruisers to be employed in the preventive service from the river at Canton to the Yellow Sea for the purpose of preserving the morals of the Chinese people, who were disposed to buy what other people were disposed to sell to them? Why, the House Would have turned a deaf ear to their supplications, and would have refused to grant them a single farthing. Nay, he verily believed, that if they had endeavoured to execute the laws of China for the Chinese government, and had attempted to establish a vigilant police to do that in China which they were unable to do in their own country—namely, to put down smuggling—the House would not have treated their proposals with serious levity, but would absolutely have laughed them out of court. And yet without such a police, and without such a preventive force, the instructions which Ministers Were ridiculed for not sending, would have been nothing more than waste paper. But if Parliament was so good natured as to attempt it, what was the likelihood of their succeeding? Suppose such extraordinary powers as were asserted to be necessary vested in the superintendent, a community such as the English formed in China was likely to have its factions. It had, no doubt, all the great principles of the constitution, one of which was party spirit. Suppose a superintendent exercised honestly his power of expulsion, on the ground of some transaction in which party feelings Were interested, what torrents of abuse would be poured out against him? How the newspapers of Canton, of England, and of India would echo with abuse of such abominable tyranny! What, if he exerted the power against a man connected with some great house at Canton, with great interest, representing the great interests of some commercial establishment, what compensation would be deemed sufficient for what was deemed an unjust, capricious, arbitrary expulsion from China, just at the moment when his presence might be necessary for the interests confided to his care? Our merchants, too, would carry on the trade under the American flag; under that flag they would snap their fingers at our cruisers; and thus the trade in opium would not be put down. Instead, therefore, of thinking himself liable to the censure of the House, he absolutely claimed merit for not having given to the superintendent at Canton such powers and instructions as the right hon. Member for Pembroke recommended. But it had been said, that we ought to send an embassy to China. That was a point not undeserving of consideration. But considering what had passed when other embassies had been sent, knowing the disinclination of the Chinese to enter into diplomatic relations with foreign states, reflecting that we had not any practical measure to propose to their government for consolidating friendship or alliance, he thought that it would have been an un wise policy to send an ambassador to China, when the only practical measure which we could have proposed to the Chinese government was to join with them in putting down the trade in opium. Another objection to this plan was, that when our mission, and cruisers, and coastguard had arrived in China, we might have found the trade in opium legalized by the Chinese government. Was that suspicion of his unfounded? Certainly not. Even after the seizure of the opium, Captain Elliot, in a despatch dated April, 1839, confessed that he had a suspicion that these confiscatory measures would end in a legalization of the trade by establishing a monopoly of the drug in the hands of the Chinese government. To send an embassy, then, or a mission to China, to propose that we should concur with them in putting down the trade in opium, was a measure that never could have been reasonably expected to proceed from her Majesty's Government. He thought that he had now made out all the points on which he rested his defence. He had answered all the points of charge against him, which had been dwelt on so much by the hon. Members opposite, and particularly by the right hon. Member for Pembroke. He had shewn that he had given instructions on all points where instructions ought to be given; that he had made arrangements for protecting the legitimate trade; that fee had instructed the superintendent not to protect the illicit trade; and that he had gained for the superintendent the power of direct communication with the authorities at Canton, which was said to be so indispensably necessary for the welfare and prosperity of the British residents. One thing in this debate had gratified him. He was glad to hear the right hon. Baronet declare, that it was necessary that measures should be taken to vindicate the honour of the British flag and the dignity of the British Crown. He thought that was the general opinion of the House, and of those parties in the country who were most interested in the question. Some stress had been laid on the circumstance that the operations now to be undertaken were uncertain in their result. Every operation was uncertain in its result, and no one could think that the hopes he might venture to entertain might not be defeated by unforeseen contingencies. The right hon. Baronet had expressed a hope in which he was glad to say that every Member of her Majesty's Government had participated—that the measures rendered necessary by the acts of the Chinese authorities might not partake of a vindictive character, and be conducted on a system of ravage and destruction unnecessary to the accomplishment of our purpose. He could assure the House that her Majesty's Government fully concurred in that sentiment, and he trusted that when the pending transactions should be brought to a close, and Ministers should have to render to the House and the country an account of their proceedings, it would be found that our demands had not exceeded the measure of justice, and that the means resorted to to obtain the concession of them had not been more severe than the necessity of the case required. It was quite foreign to the subject to discuss whether the Chinese were a cruel or a mild and kind-hearted people. He believed that both cruel men and benevolent men were to be found among them, as among all other nations. They had done some acts of great barbarity, as the burning of the Spanish vessel, which was mistaken for an English ship, and the atrocious attack on the packet-boat, in which our unoffending countryman was so cruelly mutilated. On the other hand, there were many circumstances, such as those mentioned by the right hon. Baronet, in which great kindness and benevolence had been displayed by them. On the whole, he should say, that the Chinese were not a cruel people, and there was one feature in their character which was very commendable—their aversion to capital punishments. But that was not the question now to be determined. If a government had a quarrel with the authorities of another country, and they were obliged to demand redress, it never entered into their consideration to make their measures stronger if they thought the people were of a ferocious and uncultivated disposition, nor to make them less decided because they thought the inhabitants of a milder character. The character of the people was a matter of no concern, except in so far as a demand for redress was more likely to succeed with people of a humane temper. It was said, that we might, embroil ourselves with other countries if we embarked in this pursuit of our just rights in China. If that misfortune should arise, we must meet it as we could. We ought not to be deterred, nor should any country be deterred, from enforcing just demands by such considerations. He applied the maxim to every other country as well as this. That possibly might be an element for prudential consideration, but that was for the country itself to judge. What, he would ask, was the opinion with reference to our present proceedings of those Americans who had been represented as interfering with our blockade of the Canton river, and endeavouring to excite the jealousy of their friends at home against us? No copy of the remonstrance alleged to have been made by some of their number against the blockade had been transmitted, either by Captain Elliot or Captain Smith; but he held in his hand a copy of a memorial addressed by these American merchants to their own Government, which might be taken as a cool and deliberate expression of their opinion of the conduct of Captain Elliott, and of the British government generally, in these affairs. He would read a portion of that document to the House. It was dated Washington, 24th January, 1840:— Several of our merchants at Canton, interested in the China trade, have memorialized Congress, setting forth the recent proceedings at Canton, and soliciting a co-operation by the Government of the United States with that of Great Britain, in establishing commercial relations with China on a safe and honourable footing, and especially in obtaining the following concessions:— Permission for foreign envoys to reside near the Court of Canton on the terms, and with all the privileges, accorded at other courts, through whom appeal may be made to the Imperial Government in cases of difficulty with the local authorities in the prosecution of our commercial pursuits. Second—The promulgation of a fixed tariff of duties on articles both of import and export, from which no deviation shall be allowed on any pretence whatever. Third—A system of bonding warehouses, or some regulations permitting the transhipment of such goods as may be desirable to re-export for the market in China. Fourth—The liberty of trading to other port or ports in China than that of Canton. Fifth—Compensation for the losses caused by the stoppage of the whole legal trade of the port, and the subsequent detention of vessels and property, with a guarantee against the recurrence of similar arbitrary acts, and security for the free egress from Canton and other ports of all parties not guilty of crime or civil offences, at any and at all times. Sixth—That until the Chinese laws are distinctly made known and recognised, the punishment of wrongs committed by foreigners upon the Chinese and others shall not be greater than is applicable to the like offence by the laws of the United States or England; nor shall any punishment be inflicted by the Chinese authorities upon any foreigner until the guilt of the party shall have been fairly and clearly proved. The memorialists (Americans) avow their opinion that the course pursued by the Chinese commissioner was unjust, and no better than robbery; that if satisfaction is not yielded to the demand of the British government, blockade of the chief ports and rivers of China ought to be resorted to, and that the appearance of a naval force from England, the United States, and France on the coast of China, would, without bloodshed, obtain from the Chinese government such acknowledgments and treaties as would place the foreign commerce upon a safe and advantageous footing. The memorialists further ask, that should the government of the United States determine not to interpose in the affairs of American and British citizens in Canton, then they ask for the appointment of an agent or commissioner to reside at Canton, with a sufficient naval force to protect American commerce, and the persons of American citizens from being held responsible for the acts of lawless traders and for the hostile operations of a foreign fleet, or at least to prevent any paper blockade from interfering with their commerce, and also to secure a participation in such privileges as may be granted by the Chinese to other powers. Again, what was the opinion of British merchants on the same subject? He held in his hand a letter from thirty respectable firms in London engaged in the China trade, and which he would beg leave to read to the House. The noble Lord then read the following letter:— London, April 9, 1840. TO THE VISCOUNT PALMERSTON. My Lord—We, the undersigned British merchants connected with China, cannot but view with the greatest alarm and apprehension the probable effect of the expression of any public opinions with respect to the justice and policy of the measures understood to be taken by her Majesty's Government to obtain redress for the insults and injuries inflicted on British subjects by the Chinese government, and for the future protection of the legal trade with that country. We disclaim all pretensions of dictating to the Chinese the mode in which the British trade with China shall be carried on; but we cannot refrain from expressing our deliberate opinion, that unless the measures of the Government are followed up with firmness and energy, the trade with China can no longer be conducted with security to life and property, or with credit or advantage to the British nation. We have the honour to be your Lordship's most obedient humble servants, (Signed) G. G. DE LARPENT, chairman of the East India and China Association.

  • 946
  • SMALL, COLQUHON, and Co.
  • JOHN S. RIGGE, of the firm of SANDERSON, FRYS, FOX, and Co.
  • H. H. LINDSAY.
  • GREGSON and Co.
  • LARKINS and Co.
  • LYALL, BROTHERS, and Co.
  • WALKINSHAW and Co.
  • W. J. HALL and Co.
  • MAGNIAC, SMITHS, and Co.
  • HUNTER, GOUGER, and Co.
  • C. S. GOVER.
  • SCOTT, BELL, and Co.
  • C. R. READ and Co."
The parties whose signatures he had read were these. These are the parties whose interests are at stake—these are the parties most interested, yet although I believe the majority of them are hostile to the Government generally, yet they come forward voluntarily, spontaneously, to say, that if the objects of the Government are not carried out, British commerce in China would be at an end. It was impossible, it was indeed preposterous to suppose, that if the same indignities which had been heaped upon British subjects in China, from the time of Lord Napier's expedition down to the present period, were to be persevered in, unresisted and unredressed, it would be impossible to suppose that, under such circumstances, any British merchant could, with any regard to his safety or his self-respect, continue his commercial operations in these parts. But the right hon. Baronet, in the motion which he had submitted to the House, evaded all the real and substantial merits of the question. His motion said not whether any measure should be taken by the Government to diminish the trade in opium—though he thought it doubtful whether the usual effect would not be produced upon the destruction of any monopoly, and the produce be increased. It was not likely that, supposing we were to diminish the supply in India, it would not immediately be transferred to Turkey, Persia, or some neighbouring country. The motion of the right hon. Baronet, however, steering clear of all the difficul- ties of the case, evading all the real circumstances, attempted by a side wind, bearing upon an incidental part of these transactions, either to cripple the measures which her Majesty's Government had adopted for the accomplishment of the objects which they had in view, or else to take the matter out of their hands in order that the right hon. Baronet and his colleagues might themselves reap the harvest of which her Majesty's Ministers had sown the seed. (Hear). Then, perhaps, it was only out of kindness and compassion that the right hon. Baronet came forward nobly, volunteering in his own person to bear the consequences of the impending and inevitable defeat. Thus, like generous enemies, who could sometimes show mercy, and give succour to a fallen foe, even on the field of battle, the fray being over, the right hon. Baronet and his colleagues wished now to rescue her Majesty's Ministers from the perils which awaited them, and placing themselves in the breach to face the ruin and disaster which were to be expected from the impolitic orders which they had given. But feeling, as he did, that the object of this expedition would probably be accomplished without resorting to warlike operations, and that the demonstration of the British forces acting on the mind of the Emperor of China, and on the minds of his friends and counsellors, who were different persons from Mr. Commissioner Lin, might bring him to a sense of that justice which was said generally to inspire him, he could not help hoping that these disputes might yet be brought to an amicable and happy termination, and the right hon. Baronet would be spared the exhibition of his generosity. The right hon. Baronet had received a lesson last year of the inconvenience of delay which did not appear to have been thrown away upon him. Last year the right hon. Baronet moved for papers relating to the affairs of the East, which were produced; and this year he had almost killed the clerks of the Foreign-office, in preparing these papers relating to China, the right hon. Baronet thinking that no time at all could be required for their production; and he had actually broken through, (he spoke the literal fact,) broken through one of the floors of the Foreign-office, with the weight of types accumulated in the printing of these papers. Last year the right hon. Baronet exhibited equal impatience for the India papers as that which he had manifested for these relating to China, but when they came, the right hon. Baronet found that he could not, con- sistently with the natural candour for which he was distinguished, in spite of the little party feeling which the right hon. Baronet could not always suppress, bring himself to make any motion on the basis of such papers. The right hon. Baronet therefore, then gave up the subject in despair, and the result of the events of this year was such, that the right hon. Baronet himself, and his party, instead of the vote of censure he meant to move, had been compelled to concur, which they did most cordially, in a vote of thanks to the brave and gallant officers who had so ably executed what her Majesty's Ministers had so wisely planned. This year, however, the right, hon. Baronet was determined not to fall into the same moat, and suspecting as he does, that these transactions will lead to results, if not accompanied by such brilliant deeds, characterized by equal success—the generous feeling which actuates the right hon. Gentlemen opposite so gladly to concur in marks of approbation to our gallant soldiers—impels them with chivalrous impatience, to endeavour, though even by a side wind, to place themselves in a situation to meet the victorious accounts they anticipate, and that they may have the honour of proposing, instead of concurring in votes of thanks to our gallant forces. He believed hon. Gentlemen opposite would be deceived in their anticipations as far as the result of this debate was concerned. He believed that all the little solicitations which have been employed to one Member—"Don't you disapprove of the opium trade?" and to another, "Can you approve, even by implication, of a war with heavy expenses and increased taxation?"—he believed all these little attempts to undermine the Ministers would be of no avail. He was convinced that those who supported the Ministers on the want of confidence vote, would not desert them now, and that they would support them in resisting this motion of censure which they did not deserve, and this palpable endeavour to substitute another Ministry in their place.

Sir J. Graham

could assure the House, that at that hour he would endeavour to imitate the brevity of the noble Lord's despatches, rather than the length of his speech. He would begin with the latter portion of the noble Lord's address, but he must say, he paid the Opposition a compliment when he thought that any suggestion the Opposition could offer would have any chance of prevailing against those who had the blandishments of office at their com- mand. He was disposed at all times to attach the greatest importance to the representations offered by the merchants of the city of London, but he must observe, in reference to this subject of the Chinese trade, that he had noticed in them, at all times, a strong disposition to resort to the use of force, and their representations he looked on, at the present moment, with peculiar jealousy, when he knew that there were bills in London connected with the opium trade, under protest to no less an amount than 2,000,000l. He concurred most heartily in the desire which had been expressed, that this demonstration of force, without further bloodshed, might produce the desired result of renewing our commercial relations, and he must say, right hon. Gentlemen who had commented with so much severity on any unguarded expression of his hon. Friend, the Member for Newark, had not themselves been remarkable for their measured language. The hon. Secretary of War had indulged in language and illustrations which he had listened to with the greatest astonishment. He had spoken of the boast of Cromwell, that he would make the name of an Englishman as dreaded throughout the East as that of a Roman citizen; and from the circumstances under which that boast was uttered, he could only infer that the purpose of the right hon. Gentleman was to intimate that he was desirous of inflicting upon the Chinese vindictive punishment. He was anxious to go into detail on the different subjects introduced by the noble Lord in the course of his speech, but at that late hour, he would confine himself to one or two points. The noble Lord had assumed a confident and even arrogant tone in regard to this question, and stated it as if it were a clear and simple one, while the right hon. Gentleman near him admitted, that it was one of great doubt and difficulty. Now, to refer to the resolution he had submitted—it had met with various comments; some hon. Gentlemen opposite had passed a high encomium on it, and others had as warmly condemned it. It was the most hopeless operation in the world—nothing was so hopeless as throwing out baits for fish that would riot bite. He would never so waste his time. What he wished to convey by it was, the impression upon his own mind, that the present state of affairs was produced by mismanagement arid want of foresight on the part of her Majesty's Ministers. He had been educated in a school, and initiated into taking part in an opposition under expert masters; it was his misfortune td have been educated in a school in which the noble Lord was acting on the defensive. He could assure the noble Lord, to the best of his recollection, that this resolution was framed on the most approved principles—the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, knew what they were. The resolution was drawn up according to the principles of the late Mr. Tierney, who was well practised in the art of attack, and whose rule was always to stick to the past, and never to speculate as to the future; He admitted that this was in some measure A party resolution, and that it was meant to exhibit the feeling of party. He should, however, be ashamed to think there was anything in his motion inconsistent with facts or truth. The noble Lord had said he had gratified him by presenting all the papers he had asked for; and there was certainly enough of them, however little they might prove. If the clerks in the Foreign-office had been, as the noble Lord said, half killed in preparing them, they had their revenge, for he had been half killed by perusing them. If the House would permit him, he should like to follow the noble Lord through the various parts of his speech. The hon. Baronet was interrupted by loud cries of "Divide, divide," "Question, question," from all sides of the House, but the Speaker called "Order." The right hon. Baronet again attempted to address the House, but his voice was completely drowned in the shouts of "Divide, divide, divide," and he at length gave way, and resumed his seat.

The House divided on the resolution:—Ayes 262; Noes 271: Majority 9.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bentinck, Lord G.
Acland, T. D. Blackburne, I.
A'Court, Captain Blackstone, W. S.
Adare, Viscount Blair, J.
Alford, Viscount Blakemore, R.
Alsager, Captain Blennerhassett, A.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Boldero, H. G.
Ashley, Lord Bolling, W.
Attwood, W. Bradshaw, J.
Attwood, M. Bramston, T. W.
Bagge, W. Broadley, H.
Bagot, hon. W. Brownrigg, S.
Bailey, J. Bruce, Lord E.
Baillie, Colonel Bruges, W. H. L.
Baillie, H. J. Buck,L. W.
Baker, E. Buller, Sir J. Y.
Baring, hon. F. Burrell, Sir C.
Baring, hon. W. B. Calcraft, J. H.
Barneby, J. Cantalupe, Viscount
Barrington, Visc, Castlereagh, Viscount
Bell, M. Chapman, A.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Harcourt, G. S.
Christopher, R. A. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Chute, W. L. W. Hawkes, T.
Clerk, Sir G. Heathcote, Sir W.
Clive, hon. R. H. Heneage, G. W.
Cochrane, Sir T. J. Henniker, Lord
Colquhoun, J. C. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Compton, H. C. Herbert, hon. S.
Coote, Sir C. H. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Copeland, Alderman Hill, Sir R.
Corry, hon. H. Hillsborough, Earl of
Courtenay, P. Hodgson, F.
Cripps, J. Hodgson, R.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Hogg, J. W.
Damer, hon. D. Holmes, hon. W. A.
Darby, G. Holmes, W.
Darlington, Earl of Hope, hon. C.
De Horsey, S. H. Hope, H. T.
Dick, Q. Hope, G. W.
D'Israeli, B. Hotham, Lord
Douglas, Sir C. E. Houldsworth, T.
Douro, Marquess of Houston, G.
Dowdeswell, W. Hughes, W. B.
Duffield, T. Hurt, F.
Dugdale, W. S. Ingestrie, Viscount
Dunbar, G. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Duncombe, hn. W. Irton, S.
Du Pre, G. Irving, J.
East, J. B. James, Sir W.
Eastnor, Viscount Jenkins, Sir H.
Eaton, R. J. Jermyn, Earl
Egerton, W. T. Johnstone, H.
Egerton, Sir P. Jones, J.
Elliot, Lord Jones, Captain
Ellis, J. Kemble, H.
Estcourt, T. Kerrison, Sir E.
Farnham, E. B. Kelburne, Lord
Farrand, R. Knatchbull, Sir E.
Feilden, W. Knight, H. G.
Feilden, J. Knightley, Sir C.
Fector, J. M. Knox, hon. T.
Fellowes, E. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Filmer, Sir E. Law, hon. C. E.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Lennox, Lord A.
Fleming, J. Lincoln, Earl of
Foley, E. T. Lockhart, A. M.
Forester, hon. G. Long, W.
Fox, S. L. Lowther, hon. Colonel
Freshfield, J. W. Lowther, Viscount
Gaskell, J. M. Lowther, J. H.
Gladstone, W. E. Lucas, E.
Glynne, Sir S, R. Lygon, hon. General
Goddard, A. Mackenzie, T.
Gordon, hon. Captain Mackenzie, W. F.
Gore, O. J. R. Mackinnon, W. A.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Maclean, D.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Mahon, Viscount
Granby, Marquess of Maidstone, Viscount
Greene, T. Manners, Lord C. S.
Grimsditch, T, Marsland, T.
Grimston, Viscount Marton, G.
Grimston, hon. E. H. Mathew, G. B.
Hale, R. B. Maunsell, T. P.
Halford, H. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Hamilton, C. J. B. Meynell, Captain
Hamilton, Lord C. Miles, P. W, S.
Harcourt, G. G. Miles, W.
Miller, W. H. Sanderson, R.
Milnes, R. M. Sandon, Viscount
Monypenny, T. G. Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Morgan, C. M. R. Sheppard, T.
Neeld, J. Shirley, E. J.
Neeld, J. Sibthorp, Colonel
Nicholl, J. Smith, A.
Norreys, Lord Smyth, Sir G. H.
Ossulston, Lord Spry, Sir S. T.
Owen, Sir J. Stanley, E.
Packe, C. W. Stanley, Lord
Pakington, J. S. Sturt, H. C.
Palmer, R. Sutton, hon. J.H.T.M.
Palmer, G. Teignmouth, Lord
Parker, M. Tennent, J. E.
Parker, R. T. Thesiger, F.
Patten, J. W. Thompson, Alderman
Peel, right hon. Sir R. Thornhill, G.
Peel, J. Trench, Sir F.
Pemberton, T. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Perceval, Colonel Vere, Sir C. B.
Perceval, hon. G. J. Vernon, Colonel
Pigot, R. Vernon, G. H.
Planta, right hon. J. Villiers, Viscount
Plumptre, J. P. Vivian, J. R.
Polhill, F. Waddington, H. S.
Pollen, Sir J. Walsh, Sir J.
Pollock, Sir F. Welby, G. E.
Powell, Colonel Whitmore, T. C.
Powerscourt, Visc. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Praed, W. T. Williams, R.
Price, R. Williams, T. P.
Pringle, A. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Pusey, P. Wodehouse, E.
Rae, rt. hon. Sir W. Wood, Colonel
Reid, Sir J. R. Wood, Colonel T.
Richards, R. Wyndham, W.
Rickford, W. Wynn, rt. hon. C.
Rose, rt. hn. Sir G. Young, J.
Round, C. G. Young, Sir W.
Round, J.
Rushbrooke, Colonel TELLERS.
Rushout, G. Baring, H.
St. Paul, H. Fremantle, Sir T.
List of the NOES.
Abercromby, hn. G.R. Berkeley, hon. C.
Acheson, Viscount Bernal, R.
Adam, Admiral Bewes, T.
Aglionby, H. A. Blackett, C.
Ainsworth, P. Blake, W. J.
Alston, R. Blewitt, R. J.
Andover, Lord Bowes, J.
Anson, hon. Colonel Brabazon, Lord
Anson, Sir G. Bridgman, H,
Archbold, R. Briscoe, J. I.
Bainbridge, E. T. Brocklehurst, J.
Baines, E. Brodie, W. B.
Baring, rt. hn. F. T. Brotherton, J.
Barnard, E. G. Browne, R. D.
Barron, H. W. Buller, C.
Barry, G. S. Buller, E.
Bassett, J. Bulwer, Sir L.
Bellew, R. M. Busfeild, W.
Berkeley, hon. H. Byng, G.
Berkeley, hon. G. Byng, rt. hon. G. S.
Callaghan, D. Hallyburton, Lord D.
Campbell, Sir J. Handley, H.
Campbell, W. F. Hastie, A.
Cavendish, hon. C. Hawes, B.
Cavendish, hn. G. H. Hawkins, J. H.
Chapman, Sir M. L. C. Hayter, W. G.
Chetwynd, Major Heathcote, G. J.
Chichester, J. P. B. Heathcoat, J.
Clay, W. Hector, C. J.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Heron, Sir R.
Clive, E. B. Hill, Lord A. M. C.
Collier, J. Hindley, C.
Collins, W. Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.
Conyngham, Lord A. Hobhouse, T. B.
Corbally, M. E. Hodges, T. L.
Cowper, hon. W.F. Horsman, E.
Craig, W. G. Hoskins, K.
Cormpton, Sir S. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Curry, Serjeant Howard, F. J.
Dalmeny, Lord Howard, P. H.
Dashwood, G. H. Howick, Viscount
Davies, Colonel Hume, J.
Dennistoun, J. Humphery, J.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. Hurst, R. H.
Divett, E. Hutchins, E. J.
Duff, J. Hutt, W.
Duke, Sir J. Hutton, R.
Duncombe, T. James, W.
Dundas, C. W. D. Johnson, Gen.
Dundas, F. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Lambton, H.
Easthope, J. Langdale, hon. C.
Edwards, Sir J. Lemon, Sir C.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Lennox, Lord G.
Ellice, Captain A. Loch, J.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Lushington, C.
Ellice, E. Lushington, rt. hon. S.
Ellis, W. Lynch, A. H.
Etwall, R. Macaulay, rt. hon. T.B.
Euston, Earl of Macnamara, Major
Evans, Sir De L. M'Taggart, J.
Evans, G. Marshall, W.
Evans, W. Marsland, H.
Ewart, W. Martin, J.
Fenton, J. Maule, hon. F.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Melgund, Viscount
Ferguson, R. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Finch, F. Molesworth, Sir W.
Fitzalan, Lord Moreton,hon. A.
Fitzpatrick, J. W. Morpeth, Viscount
Fitzroy, Lord C. Morris, D.
Fitzsimon, N. Morrison, J.
Fleetwood, Sir P. H. Muntz, G. F.
Fort, J. Murray, A.
French, F. Muskett, G. A.
Gillon, W. D. Noel, hon. C. G.
Gisborne, T. O'Brien, W. S.
Gordon, R. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Grattan, J. O'Connell, D.
Grattan, H. O'Connell, J.
Greg, R. H. O'Connell, M. J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. O'Connell, M.
Grey, right hon. Sir G. O'Conor Don
Grosvenor, Lord O'Ferrall, R.
Grote, G. Ord, W.
Guest, Sir J. Oswald, J.
Hall, Sir B. Paget, Lord A.
Paget, F. Stock, Dr.
Palmerston, Viscount Strangways, hon. J,
Parker, J. Strickland, Sir G.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Strutt, E.
Pattison, J. Style, Sir C.
Pease, J. Surrey, Earl of
Pechell, Captain Talbot, J. H.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Tancred, H. W.
Philipps, Sir R. Tavistock, Marq. of
Philips, M. Thornely, T.
Philips, G. R. Townley, R. G.
Phillpotts, J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Pigot, D. R. Tufnell, H.
Pinney, W. Turner, F.
Ponsonby, C. F. A. C. Turner, W.
Ponsonby, hon. J. Verney, Sir H.
Power, J. Vigors, N. A.
Price, Sir R. Villiers, C. P.
Protheroe, E. Vivian, Major C.
Ramsbottom, J. Vivian, J. H.
Redington, T. N. Vivian, rt. hon. Sir R. H.
Rice, E. R. Wakley, T.
Rich, H. Walker, R.
Rippon, C. Wall, C. B.
Roche, W. Wallace, R.
Rundle, J. Warburton, H.
Russell, Lord J. Ward, H. G.
Russell, Lord C. Wemyss, Captain
Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Salwey, Colonel Westenra, hon. J. C.
Sanford, E. A. White, A.
Scholefield, J. White, L.
Scrope, G. P. Wilbraham, G.
Seale, Sir J. Wilde, Sergeant
Seymour, Lord Williams, W.
Sheil, rt. hon. R. L. Williams, W. A.
Shelburne, Earl of Wilshere, W.
Slaney, R. A. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Smith, J. A. Winnington, H. J.
Smith, B. Wood, C.
Smith, G. R. Wood, Sir M.
Smith, R. V. Wood, G. W.
Somers, J. P. Wood, B.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Worsley, Lord
Standish, C. Wrightson, W. B.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Wyse, T.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Yates, J. A.
Staunton, Sir G. T. TELLERS.
Stewart, J. Stanley, E. J.
Stuart, Lord J. Steuart, R.
Paired off.
Archdall, M. Bodkin, J. J.
Ashley, hon. H. Cayley, E. S.
Bailey, J., jun. Currie, R.
Bateson, Sir R. Roche, Sir D.
Bethell, R. Denison, E. J.
Broadwood, H. Jervis, J.
Burr, D. H. Maher, T.
Burroughes, H. N. Pryme, G.
Burdett, Sir F. Cave, hon. R. O.
Campbell, Sir H. Walker, C. A.
Cartwright, W. R. Beamish, F. B.
Cooper, G. J. Clements, Lord
Cole, hon. A. White, S.
Creswell, W. C. Erle, W.
Conolly, Colonel Roche, E. B.
Davenport, J. Crawley, S.
Dottin, A. R. Donkin, Sir R.
Drummond, H. H. Harland, W. C.
Duncombe, hon. A. Lister, E. C
Dungannon, Lord Power, J.
Egerton, Lord F. Fazakerly, J. N.
Follett, Sir W. Talbot, C. R. M.
Gore, W. O. Norreys, Sir D.
Godson, R. Talfourd, Serjeant
Grant, hon. Colonel Greenaway, C.
Hayes, Sir E. Martin, T.
Hinde, J. H. Milton, Lord
Jackson, Serjeant Stewart, W. V.
Jones, W. Ferguson, Sir R.
Kelly, F. Chalmers, P.
Kirk, P. O'Brien, C.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Dundas, hon. Sir R.
Litton, E. Nagle, Sir R.
Master, T, Stanley, W. M.
O'Neill, hon. General Bryan, Major
Parker, T. W. A. Chester, H.
Rolleston, Colonel Heneage, H.
Sinclair, Sir G. Rumbold, C. E.
Somerset, Lord G. Crawford, W.
Stewart, J. White, T.
Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E. Spiers, A.
Thomas, Colonel Blake, M. J.
Tollemache, hon. F. Sharpe, General
Trevor, hon. G. R. Colquhoun, Sir J.
Yorke, hon. E. T. Childers, J. W.
Canning, rt. hon. Sir S. Ker, D.
Codrington, C.W. Lefroy, rt. hn. T.
Crewe, Sir G. Sotheron, T. E.
Ingham, R.
Aglionby, Major Hollond, R.
Bannerman, A. Howard, Sir R.
Benett, J. Heathcote, Sir G.
Brabason, Sir W. Jervis, S.
Butler, hon. P. Langton, G.
De Winton, W. Leader, J. T.
Duncan, Lord Palmer, C. F.
Fitzgibbon, hon. F. Pryse, P.
Goring, H. D. Spencer, hon. Capt.
Greig, D.
Ludlow Fermanagh
Totness Sutherland.