HC Deb 24 June 1844 vol 75 cc1264-305
Mr. T. Duncombe

rose to present a Petition from Mr. Charles Stolzman, a Pole, complaining that letters addressed to him are secretly detained and opened at the General Post Office, and that this system of espionage is carried on to so great an extent that he cannot any longer with confidence and security avail himself of the sacred privileges hitherto supposed to belong to Her Majesty's General Post Office, and praying for inquiry. The hon. Member said he thought he should be able not only to satisfy the House that it was of the highest importance to the happiness and comfort of the community that the correspondence between man and man in a free country should be held sacred, but also to satisfy them that the personal wrongs of which this petitioner complained were of such a nature and of such a character, that the House would not refuse to afford him immediate redress. On a former occasion, when he called the attention of the House to this subject, it appeared that the grievance of which the then petitioners complained was supposed to be removed by the withdrawal of the warrant which had been issued by the Secretary of State for the Home Department for opening the letters of one of them. The Secretary for the Home Department did not then inform the House which of the four gentlemen who had addressed the House it was for the examination of whose letters at the General Post Office he had issued a warrant, but only said that it was with reference to one of the four that he had issued the warrant. When he asked the right hon. Gentleman to state which of the parties it was for the examination of whose letters the warrant had been issued, the right hon. Gentleman positively declined. He then stated that he believed he could, and accordingly he did, supply the omission of the right hon. Gentleman, by stating that it was the correspondence of Mr. Mazzini, a highly respectable gentleman, resident in this country, but having the misfortune to be an Italian refugee. He should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman, if he had presented a petition singly and solely from Mr. Mazzini, what his answer would have been; and he again put the same question to the right hon. Baronet which he had put before—whether he were aware that Mr. Mazzini's correspondence had been opened at the General Post Office, and whether that proceeding had his sanction? because he conceived it must have been the same sort of answer as the right hon. Baronet had given when he said that a warrant had been issued. The right hon. Gentleman sheltered himself under a sort of mystery and silence, merely saying a warrant was signed, but you must find out for which of the four." Now, then, here was the case of one petitioner, Mr. Charles Stolzman, an officer of artillery in the Polish service, who complained that his letters were opened without any reason whatever, as he had never interfered with the politics of this country, or been engaged in any treasonable correspondence whatever. Whether the right hon. Baronet would screen himself behind the same sort of official solemn silence he knew not, but he trusted that the House would ascertain whether the great and enormous power which he admitted to be vested in one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State was abused or not. When his hon. Friend, the Member for Kinsale, asked what was the construction put by the Government upon the existing state of the law—whether they considered it only necessary that there should be one general warrant for opening all the letters of individuals; or whether they put this interpretation upon the Act of Parliament, which he believed to be the strict and correct interpretation of the Act, that there ought to be a separate warrant for the opening of each letter?—the answer of the right hon. Baronet was, that he must firmly but respectfully decline to answer any question on the subject. If a Secretary of State, or the Government, were justified in screening and sheltering themselves behind this official secrecy, he wanted to know what became of that responsibility of which we heard so much when any measure was submitted giving more extensive powers to the Secretary of State or the Government? He had heard the right hon. Baronet talk of that responsibility when the Poor Law Bill was under discussion; and, last year, when the Chelsea Pensioners Bill was proposed, the answer was, as it had invariably been, and always would be, that the Secretary of State in his place in that House, was responsible to Parliament, and could always be called upon for an explanation of his conduct, if it was thought that he had abused his power. Well, then, he now called upon the right hon. Baronet to explain the manner in which this grave and important power with reference to the Post Office had been exercised, and he maintained and was ready to prove, that the power which was entrusted to the Secretary of State was intended merely to be a security against disorder and treason; and he maintained that there was no pretence for violating the correspondence of Mr. Stolzman or of Mr. Mazzini, or the other Gentlemen, according to the acknowledgment of the Secretary of State. He (Mr. Duncombe) had before stated that he believed not one out of every 10 or 20,000 people in this country was aware of this power being vested in the Government, but he believed if he had said that not twenty people in the whole country were aware of such a power being possessed by them, it would have been more correct. In another place great judicial authorities were ignorant that such a power existed, and they put the same construction upon the Act of Parliament as his hon. Friend the Member for Kinsale. According to the strict letter of the law, it required, a separate and distinct warrant for opening any particular letter of any particular individual. This grievance now presented itself to the House and the country in two points of view. First, had the Government adhered to the strict letter of the law in ordering, if they had ordered, the letters of Mr. Stolzman, Mr. Mazzini, or the other individuals, to be opened? Had they violated or transgressed the strict letter of the law in issuing the warrant, or if they had not transgressed the letter of the law, had they or had they not abused the power vested in them, by opening these letters at all? He maintained that they had done both. He said that the Government had transgressed the law. He charged the Government with having done that—with having transgressed the law, and abused the power vested in them, and the Government ought not to shrink from it. It would not satisfy the public for the right hon. Baronet to stand up in his place again and say, "Respectfully, but firmly, I decline to answer the question." It must be observed that Captain Stolzman was a friend of Mr. Mazzini, and the opening of the letters of these two Gentlemen was part of the same system. He might admit that the Government should have the power of opening the letters of suspected persons in cases of internal sedition, or the letters of persons who had absconded from justice. But when the people looked to these cases they would think that the advantages and benefits of that power were not counterbalanced by the abuses of it, and would say with him that it ought to be abolished. In the case of Mr. Mazzini there was no ground for interference. This country had nothing to do with foreign powers, or their squabbles with their subjects, as long as those subjects conducted themselves peaceably and properly while residing in this country. The following letter had been received by him from Mr. Mazzini:— The warrant had been in operation against me at least since the beginning of March, sixty or seventy letters addressed to me have been opened, coming from perhaps twenty-five or thirty different persons, every care taken to avert suspicion, impressions of the seals taken, the cut sometimes so delicate that it almost required a magnifying glass to follow its trace, a double stamp invariably applied to alter or make illegible the mark of the hour at which the letter reached the General Post Office, and to conceal the delay. The first month or the first week of the system must have proved to the Home Office that neither England nor English safety was concerned in the correspondence. The suspicion must, therefore, have been continued for the sake of only a foreign power. The coincidence of these facts with the beginning of the agitation prevailing in southern and central Italy, affords another proof. There appeared in the Milan Gazette of the 20th of April last, and a few days before in the Suabian Mercury, an article saying that 'the English Cabinet had addressed to that of Vienna promises extremely satisfactory concerning the agitation prevailing in Italy, and especially in the territory of the Pope; that besides formally protesting against all suspicion of sympathy with Young Italy and its political tendencies, the Government of Great Britain, going still further, was anxious to put an end to the agitation; and in order to afford a direct co-operation towards that object, the English Government would put a stop to all agitating proceedings from the exterior, beginning with Malta; that as to the Italian exiles in London, hospitality would be confined to the mere limits of duty; that Mazzini would cease to be a person unknown to the London police.' A short time after that the Augsburgh Gazette said, that ' to escape the strict watch of the London police, Mazzini had fled to Portsmouth,'—false of course. I have, Sir, tried, and will try, to fulfil my duty towards my country, as an Englishman would do towards his own country; but I challenge any Secretary of State, past, present. and future, to bring forward, not a proof, but a single slight indication, of my being, or ever having been, connected with English affairs, or any of the English political parties in existence. JOSEPH MAZZINI. To T. S. Duncombe, Esq., M. P. If that were true, and he believed every word of it, he wanted to know what pretence or right they had to open the letters of Mr. Mazzini and Captain Stolzman? Not only had the Government opened these gentlemen's letters, but he would undertake to prove that other person's letters had been most unscrupulously opened, not only in London, but in different parts of the country, within the last two years, under the orders of the present Government. Did the Government think that the public would be satisfied under such circumstances with flimsy pretexts. Did they, when the Duke of Bordeaux was over here the other day, open his letters? He wanted to know did they open his letters? No doubt it would be agreeable to Louis Philippe to know what was in those letters. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman did open them. In all probability they sought to curry favour with Austria. But what had they to do with the Pope? They had no diplomatic relations with the Pope. And yet they were told by Mr. Mazzini that they opened his letters to gratify the Pope; he wanted to know, if they would not dare to open the letters of the Duke of Bordeaux, why should they so presume to open the letters of an individual, comparatively humble, though Mr. Mazzini was a man of eminent qualifications, who conducted himself peaceably. He meant, then, to ask for inquiry into this subject. He was satisfied that the Secretary for the Home Department was the very last person who ought to, or would, refuse it; for it was due to his own character—it was due to the character of the Government not to refuse inquiry, nor on such an occasion to rely upon the majority that sometimes supported it. It could not be said that any man was safe, unless they knew how this power was exercised. It had, in a former debate, been said, that which was morally wrong could not be politically right. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home Department, had rather disputed that position of the noble Lord. Who was to be the judge, he asked, of that which was morally wrong? He thought the right hon. Gentleman had some reason in his argument, then, on the factory labour. Here, however, there could be no question as to what was morally wrong. He would defy any man to have a doubt about it. What had been done? Both fraud and forgery had been committed, and unless fraud and forgery were morally right, he would claim the support of hon. Gentlemen opposite on this occasion. What had they done? They took men's letters, read and examined them, kept copies of them, then re-sealed and re-enclosed the originals in such a manner, that the unfortunate individual was not aware that the Government was in possession of his family secrets. He believed that much odium might have been removed if individuals had been apprised of what had been done—if the letters had been stamped on the outside "opened by authority." He would ask the hon. Baronet if he dare use information thus obtained in a court of justice in a trial for any political offence, as sedition or conspiracy. If the right hon. Baronet attempted to do so, he believed judge and jury, and every individual in the court, would unite in taking the right hon. Baronet by the head and shoulders, and turning him out of that court. The question was, had not the Government exceeded and transgressed the letter of the law, and abused the power which the law has invested in it? He contended that they had done both these things; he contended that they had abused that power—the almost sacred power vested in it by Parliament, of opening letters of individuals. If they had not done so, they need not shrink from inquiry before a Committee. In 1735 a Committee was appointed to inquire into some abuses which had occurred in franking letters, and certain abuses of the Post Office department. The appointment led to the same sort of discussion which was now taking place. Several Members complained of their letters having been opened, the intention being to discover whether any treasonable correspondence was being carried on against the Government; and it appeared that the practice of opening letters was so well known, that no man would ever attempt to carry on such a correspondence in that manner. Sir Robert Walpole at first opposed the appointment of the Committee, but afterwards granted it, on condition that they should not inquire into any thing that would tend to discover the secrets of the Government. Now he did not want to know the secrets of the Government—he doubted if they were worth knowing—but what he wished to inquire into was, whether the Government had abused the powers intrusted to it. He should therefore move that, The petition of Charles Stolzman be referred to a Select Committee, for the purpose of inquiring into the circumstances under which letters have been secretly opened, delayed, or detained at the General Post Office, since the 1st of January last; also into the forms in which warrants for that purpose have been issued, and the mode in which they have been executed and obeyed: the said Committee to report thereupon to the House; together with their opinion as to the expediency of making any alterations in the law under which the secret opening, delaying, or detaining of post letters is conducted.

Dr. Bowring

, in seconding the Motion said, that a very grave responsibility would rest on the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he resisted this Motion, and a little consideration would point out to him that the credit of the Government itself would be damaged by that resistance. He hoped that it would be withdrawn, if the right hon. Baronet did not desire to be considered as an Italian sbirro, or if the Government were not indifferent to the imputation of being a Cabinet Noir. Let the Government bear in mind how much its reputation would be damaged by refusing protection to those exiles who came over here in search of an asylum. What must be the feelings of such men, who came here in admiration of our institutions, to find those institutions turned against them, and they themselves placed in peril of their lives by one who, once at the head of a rebellion in his own state, was now the irreconcilable foe to all who sought to improve the political condition of his kingdom? He (Dr. Bowring) was one of those who believed that the greatness of this country depended, in a considerable degree, on the confidence which foreigners believed they might repose in its people when once thrown on their protection. Public opinion in the present case would not, he believed, be satisfied by the explanation here given, or by the assurance that the objectionable warrants were no longer in existence. The grievance complained of should not only be removed, but means taken to prevent its recurrence. The right hon. Baronet in being instrumental, if such were the fact, to copies of correspondence stopped in this country becoming known abroad, was not perhaps aware of the extent of the misery to which he might be a party. He did not perhaps estimate how much the reputation of this country and its Government would suffer in the eyes of Europe by its becoming the willing tool of those Governments which were everywhere resisting the tide of human improvement.

Sir J. Graham

I can assure the House that I am by no means disposed to underrate the importance of the question now brought under its notice. I must say that, although on a former occasion I returned my thanks to the hon. Member for Fins-bury for the fairness of the course which he had then taken—I cannot on the present occasion return my thanks to him for the adoption of a similar proceeding. I received from the hon. Member a notification, which I hold in my hand, to the effect that at the meeting of the House to-day it was his intention to present another Petition complaining of letters being opened at the General Post Office, and that he would do so as soon after half-past four o'clock as he should find a convenient opportunity. But he gave no notification whatever with respect to the nature of the complaint, no specification of the name of the party complaining, and no information as to the course which he meant to pursue. Until, therefore, the hon. Gentleman rose to address the House I had no knowledge whatever of the contents of the Petition which he has presented: and much less was I prepared for his making a motion, not with reference to a particular complaint only, or to the individual whose Petition he was presenting, but with reference to the general power vested in the Secretary of State to issue warrants for the detention of letters at the General Post Office. The hon. Gentleman assumes the fact, he assumes it boldly, that in this case a warrant has been issued; and the Motion rests upon that assumption. Now I beg the House to draw no inference from the course which, in conformity with my sense of public duty, I intend to take upon this occasion. From the notice given to me on a former evening I have gravely reflected on my duty with respect to complaints of this nature. No public servant has greater respect for public opinion than I have; but at the same time although it is my sincere and ardent wish to stand well in the opinion of my fellow-countrymen, yet holding a high and responsible office by the favour of my Sovereign, and being maintained up to the present time in the execution of the duties of that office by the confidence of this House, not for the sake of my private character, not for the indulgence of my private feelings, do I hold that I should be justified in making any abatement whatever from the uncompromising discharge of a duty, which I deem to be, not only conducive to the public good, but necessary for the maintenance of the public security. After reflecting upon this matter I have come to the conclusion, that while the law vests in the Secretary of State the power of issuing warrants of this description, it is not consistent with the public interest that he should answer in his place, in the House of Commons, interrogatories such as those which the hon. Gentleman has thought fit to put. On a former occasion I firmly refused—although not, I hope, in a manner of which the House could complain—I firmly refused to state in what cases warrants had been issued. There were four complaints; and I said that I might have given an evasive answer which would have left the inference that in none of the four cases had a warrant been issued. But I spurned any such evasion, and I thought it was my duty not to blink the fact that in one case out of the four I had issued a warrant. I refused, however, to go any further; and I say that the House and the country must not draw any inference in this case if I persevere in the same silence and reserve. The assumption of the hon. Member for Finsbury in the case of Captain Stolzberg is, that a warrant has been issued. To that assumption I do not hold it to be consistent with my duty to say "aye" or "no;" but I beg the House not to draw any inference from my silence that I have issued any such warrant. I stand upon the ground that the authority is vested in the Secretary of State by Act of Parliament. The assertion of the hon. Gentleman who has made the Motion is, that I have transgressed the law—that I have violated either the letter or the spirit of the Act of Parliament. The hon. Gentleman said he believed this was the fact; he had said more—he said that he could prove it. Now if the hon. Gentle- man can prove that letters have been improperly detained or opened at the General Post Office, the Act of Parliament expressly declares that any person so opening or detaining letters is guilty of a misdemeanor, and that person may be indicted. If I have violated the law, or exceeded my duty, let the hon. Gentleman take the legal course, and let him put me to the legal proof that I have not transgressed the law or exceeded the power vested in me. If any individual has been guilty of a misdemeanor let that individual be prosecuted. The tribunals of the country will do justice between the parties, and the individuals so convicted will be liable to punishment. [Mr. T. Duncombe:A penalty of 20l.]—I beg the hon. Member's pardon. The party so convicted is guilty of a misdemeanor—as great a misdemeanor as the law recognises, and is liable to fine and imprisonment, The Secretary of State, too, if he transgresses the law, will also be amenable to the civil tribunals. Sir, I absolutely demur to entering into any explanation on the subject. I demur even to a Committee of this House as a tribunal before which to prosecute such an inquiry. I say the hon. Gentleman may institute legal proceedings against the individual who detained the letters without the authority of the Secretary of State, and if the Secretary of State have violated or exceeded the law, he also is responsible to the injured laws of his country. The hon. Gentleman, I think, intimated that party jealousy had nothing to do with this question. I am quite confident that such is the case, and I appeal to both sides of the House whether it is not so regarded? The question is—has the law been violated or not? I can state this—and I state it boldly —that the power exercised by me has existed ever since the Revolution; that it has been in constant use since that time and from a long antecedent date; and whenever I have exercised it, I have exercised it in the accustomed form. I have in no degree departed from the usage sanctioned by the highest constitutional authorities who have been my predecessors in office. In the most solemn manner I give my denial to any exercise of authority on my part contrary to the Act of Parliament. I acted on the best advice. I say that to the best of my judgment, under difficult circumstances, I have acted in conformity with the law, as I understand it. My conscience is pure in this matter, and in the discharge of my public duty I consider it a solemn and imperative obligation to demur to a pub- lic inquiry of this kind on the part of the House. It will therefore be my duty to resist the Motion of the hon. Member.

Mr. Macaulay

could assure the right hon. Gentleman that it was his intention to look at the Motion then before the House as any thing but a party question, and to discuss it without the admixture of any thing like party views; but he must at the same time observe, that the topics here presented were such as he could wish might be avoided; for, he must say, that the language and the manner of the right hon. Gentleman were not those of a man who was conscious of the very peculiar position in which he was placed. Even if the right hon. Baronet had the power, and said that the power was necessary, and that in these cases it had been properly used, still it was a power that it was most odious to use, and for which strong reasons ought to be given; for, even if the power were necessary, still it might be obvious that it was one singularly abhorrent to the genius of the English people. The power here exercised was one which the House had, in cases of necessity, entrusted to the Government; but then it was a power that the House was bound to watch how it was exercised, and in which they ought to know precisely what had been done; the nature of the warrant; how often such warrants had been issued, in which, too, they ought to be told the course of proceedings that had been adopted. This was a case, beyond all others, in which the Minister ought not to think he had done enough to satisfy a House of Commons, by merely saying that he had the power; he had exercised it; he was responsible for the exercise of such power; but he would give them no account of the manner in which he had exercised it. That was to encourage the suspicion that the power had been abused, because he could not see, and this he said without casting the slightest imputation on the right hon. Baronet, he could not see how so considerable a power as this entrusted to a Minister and exercised by him, could be used, without the Minister deeming it to be proper to do something more than this, or only thinking that it would be sufficient for him to say, that " he was responsible." Now, he thought, that where there was such a power exercised, the question was not to be so treated. They had then the fact as to such a power existing, and then came a very serious question upon this most important Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Finsbury, calling upon them, amongst other things, to appoint a Committee to inquire into the present law giving that power. Now, he begged to say, that for the present state of the law neither party of that House was answerable. Both parties had received it from their ancestors—both parties, when in power, had used it—and he did not impute to either the having used it dishonestly or oppressively; but now, he said, since their attention had been called to this power, it could not, without very great modifications, be permitted to last. He began by saying that he defied any person to show him the difference between a letter of his being taken from him when in the Post Office, and a letter taken from him out of his desk. He defied them to show how the public safety could justify any more a letter of his being taken out of the post-bag than it could justify its being taken out of his desk. Why was the letter put into the post-bag, except for the purpose of being transmitted to the person to whom it was destined? It was given to the Post Office, and for the purposes of revenue a monopoly was given to the Post Office. The sole purpose was the safe transmission of the letter: but the turning the Post Office into an engine of the police, was, he said, utterly abhorrent to the public feeling. Let them only consider, if there was a single reason for examining letters to or from him in the Post Office, which was not good and valid for examining letters that he had in his desk; let them take it that there was a treasonable plot—the most treasonable ever thought of: the letters might contain treason. Then the treason could be as well discovered in the letter in his pocket, as the letter when transmitted. As to the inconvenience, it was the same to him in both cases, and the plea for both was the public necessity. It was the same whether a person's correspondence was examined before it reached him, as after it had reached him. There was no difference as to the injury done to him. If the public danger was the same, the inconvenience to the individual was the same. Then, why make the distinction? He knew that in cases of suspected crime the letters could be examined and produced in a court of justice, whether taken in transit or in the person's pocket. But then, if a letter were delivered and they took it wrongfully, they would be liable to an action for damages; and if they used violence, they would be severely punished. Thus, in the case of Mr. Wilkes, when his letters had been seized, and carried to Lord Halifax and the Under Secretary of State, he brought an action for those letters being wrongfully seized and without probable cause, and the result was, that he gained his action, and they were obliged to pay, by the verdict of a jury, 1,000l. damages. That was what he called Ministerial responsibility. He wanted to know, when a letter got to Mr. Mazzini, if it was so sacred that it could not be touched, and yet before it came to him that it could be examined—that, upon the most vague suspicion, fifty or a hundred letters could be thus stopped, and yet Mr. Mazzini never know whether they were examined or not. If it were possible to show him that the examination of a letter before it arrived was less injurious to the individual than the examination of it in the desk after it arrived, then he would give up the argument. It was idle to tell him that this was necessary; for worse things than this might be done, and sustained on the same plea. The fact was, the whole of the arguments in favour of the practice belonged to a class which the sense of the country had repudiated long ago. The question was not whether there were advantages in the spy system; for that had been decided by their ancestors long ago. They were not now to determine whether they were to adopt the practice of employing spies, as was done by foreign governments. And what difference was there between their having spies upon words spoken, or words written? In common fairness, he said it was no difference to him between a government breaking the seal of his letter in the Post Office, and the government employing a spy to poke his ear to the keyhole, and listen to the conversations he carried on. They might regard it necessary to the public safety to do this—to say that such a person was suspected, and that they had one of his servants feed to betray him. They might allege the same excuse for the police reading letters, as for listening to conversations; and there might be some advantage in this. There could be no doubt there might be an advantage in breaking open letters. No one denied it; but then was it fitting that it should be done? In the same way, did any one doubt that there was an advantage in having police spies? But then the country did not approve of them. The French had an advantage in having police spies. No one doubted that the spy system enabled them to bring to justice many who must otherwise have escaped. It was the same thing as to torture. There could be no doubt that as long as the English law sanctioned the use of the torture a great many crimes were detected by it. It had, too, its advantages. —[Cries of "Oh, oh."]—Yes; for the instant that Guy Fawkes was shown the rack, out came at once the entire story of the gunpowder plot. Even this torture, as well as the spy system, had these advantages, but then this country had determined long ago that such were pernicious, debasing, and dangerous modes of maintaining its institutions. Their ancestors declared that they would rather take the risk of great crimes being committed, than owe their security to that system or those means, which would destroy the manly spirit of the people, on which far more reliance could be placed than all the schemes and decrees that could be invented for maintaining their greatness and independence as a nation. He did not, he again repeated it, mean to affirm that there had not been a fair intention in the power that had been exercised, but then he could not but see that the use of the power must have pernicious consequences. Suppose a Minister were to say, "Since I have been in office two letters have been opened at the Post Office. One was opened in reference to questions of great importance regarding the public peace; another as it was supposed to be of a nature to throw great light upon the Exchequer Bill Case." Information of this kind, given by a Minister of the Crown, would have a great effect in quieting the minds of the public. But the right hon. Gentleman having refused to give any information of the sort, forced on the conviction that this practice had been carried on to a very great extent by him, and under peculiar circumstances of concealment. He could never believe, that if the right hon. Baronet could have denied the charge that seals had been counterfeited and stamps replaced, in order to conceal the opening of the letter, he would not have been glad to have done so. The right hon. Baronet must know that unless protected in particular cases, the power exercised by the Government, and the practice of counterfeiting seals and replacing stamps was a malum in se, as well as an infraction of the Common Law of the land. The right hon. Baronet admitted that being empowered by this Act of Parliament to do acts which were illegal at Common Law, he had authorised the opening letters at the Post Office, detaining some, and sending on others, taking care, however, to disguise the fact that they had been opened; yet he would not satisfy the House and the country by telling them how often he had done this; nor the circumstances under which he had done it. The right hon. Baronet would state neither the grounds upon which he acted; nor would he allow them to see the warrant which he had issued for the purpose. When he saw this, he (Mr. Macaulay) asked whether the House of Commons was not entitled in a case like this, to take steps for a further inquiry? He had put the case hypothetically; he could do nothing else; he was enforced to to do so, for the right hon. Gentleman would tell them nothing of the facts of the case. Two years ago the manufacturing districts were in a very excited state, there was a great deal of violence used, and attempts made to keep people from going to work. He could not forget that whilst these things were going on, an assertion was very generally put about that these troubles were got up in an underhand manner by certain Gentlemen belonging to the Anti-Corn Law League. Now, this suspicion existing, what evidence was there to be obtained in support of it; what proof so easy for a Government to obtain as by opening the letters of the Gentlemen, many of them Members of this House, known to be most prominently connected with the affairs of this society. He was not a member of the Anti-Corn Law League, he was not one of its representatives in this House. But, as a Member of Parliament, he wished to learn whether the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State might not, on some occasion like this, think it his duty as a principle to open all the letters of some thirty or forty most hon. Gentlemen, representatives of the people in this House, some having reference to important public affairs, others filled with the secrets of their respective families. Now, as far as regarded Englishmen, the hardship of the case only went so far as this, that his secrets were read by public officials; but the case was a very different one in regard to the unhappy foreigner. They could not hang an Englishman, whatever his letters might contain, without the ordeal of a Judge and Jury; but with respect to foreigners, he really did wonder that men who assumed to be so humane as hon. Gentlemen opposite, should think so lightly of the consequences of this sort of procedure. Some unhappy foreigner came to our free land, and relying upon the supposed good faith of the English Post Office, he writes to his friends with greater freedom than he would otherwise have done, or than he would ever do abroad. Then came the Secretary of some Foreign Embassy to the Secretary for the Home Department, applies for information as to the contents of the letters' of certain parties, information which receiving, he sends over to the native Government of the unhappy foreigner, who carefully lays it by. No evil consequences result to the unfortunate writer whilst he remains in this country; but at length, unconscious of what awaits him, he goes back to his native land—he actually walks into the lion's mouth, in a land where there is no jury to protect him, and upon evidence got up in this manner he would be consigned, perhaps, to the inside of a dungeon, for life. He believed that the House would admit that he had never been one to indulge in this House in reflections upon the institutions or internal affairs of any foreign country whatever. On the contrary, he thought that as a rule the tone and manner of the House, as of the Government, ought to be marked with something of the respect and decorum of diplomatic procedure. But whilst they did not set themselves up as judges upon neighbouring governments, at least let them not set themselves up as their spies. This he must say, that if the continuance of this power in the hands of our Government would lead to such applications from foreign powers, for the revelation of the contents of letters passing through our Post Office, he thought the only course would be to repeal this law altogether. For he thought it might sometimes be putting a Ministry into a very awkward position, if they should have to refuse to the Minister of a foreign friendly power information of this kind, which he said he required for the interests of his Government. He thought if this practice were found to exist, that it would be better to enable a Minister to say at once, " Parliament has not given us power to do what you ask us to do," than to run the risk of giving offence by saying, "We have the power, but we do not choose to exercise it in your case; all that can be done in the matter must be done with such publicity as will give an injured, helpless man, an equal chance of redress and justice being done him." His feeling upon this subject was so strong, that even if the Motion of the hon. Gentleman had gone much further than it did, if it had been for leave to bring in a Bill to take this power from the Secretary of State, he would have cordially voted for it; but, as it was, he would cordially give his vote for the Motion for a Committee to inquire whether this power had been properly exercised or not.

Captain Bernal

was not aware whether any hon. Gentleman on his side of the House was satisfied with the ghost of an explanation which the right hon. Gentleman had given on this subject; he, for one, could not pretend to be; nor could he bring himself to give his vote upon this occasion without notifying to the public his extreme dissatisfaction at the monstrous doctrines propounded by the right hon. Gentleman in the course of that explanation. He had always understood that it was the proud distinction of this country, that no one should be liable in it to the petty espionage which went on in Foreign States. He was truly disappointed to find that the contrary doctrine was now maintained. He certainly was not surprised at the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman opposite; recollecting, as he did, an observation which had fallen some time back from a noble Colleague of his, the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonial Department, that "a Government to be loved must first be feared"— knowing the influence which the noble Lord possessed over the right hon. Gentleman, he certainly was not surprised to find that he now acted upon that doctrine. But there was one point of view in which he thought it was very proper that this matter should be considered. If the public gave the monopoly of the conveyance of letters to the Post Office, it was under the consideration that they would enjoy equal security as if they were conveyed by other means. Now, he thought that after the way in which this power of opening letters appeared to be exercised, it might be very proper to consider whether the monopoly of the Post Office ought not to be withdrawn. From what he heard, he believed that not only had this power been applied to the letters of some foreigners, but that the letters of some Irishmen had also been opened. It was all very well for the right hon. Gentleman, covering himself up in the tattered garment of his public virtue, to refuse explanation upon these charges, and content himself with saying, "sic volo, sic jubeo," but would the House or the country be satisfied with such a manner of meeting a question of so much interest and importance? There was another fact bearing upon this subject to which he would refer before he sat down. In the course of the debate the other evening, in reference to the case of Count Ostrowski, it was alleged that some of the papers of that gentleman had not been returned to him; to which Her Majesty's Government replied that every paper had been returned. Now there were grounds for the belief that the case was not so; and, indeed, that one very important paper had not only been withheld from Count Ostrowski, but had been given up to the Russian authorities.

The Earl of Shelburne

said, that the right hon. Gentleman opposite had said in the course of his speech, that if any person thought himself aggrieved by the opening of his letters at the Post Office, it was competent to him to proceed at law against the authorities, and compel them to produce the warrant under which they had acted. Now, if there was no difficulty in the production of the warrant by the Post Office, he could see no reason why letters which were opened, under due authority at the Post Office, should not be forwarded to their destination opened, or at least with an intimation written or stamped upon them, that they had been opened. The contrary was the practice at present, great care being taken to conceal the fact of the letters having been opened. But he thought that the course he suggested would be the most manly one, and most satisfactory to the public.

Sir R. Peel

said, there is one remark that has been introduced by the hon. and gallant Member who has just sat down upon which I wish to say a word. The hon. Member has attempted to introduce a case which has no immediate bearing on the one before the House, and he has introduced it in a manner calculated to create an undue prejudice; but, as it appears to me, without any foundation whatever. He referred to the case of the Polish nobleman, Ostrowski, and he says he has every reason to believe that the papers belonging to the gentleman have been detained by the police, and not returned to him. Sir, I can state, upon the authority of my right hon. Friend, that no authority was given by him for the detention of any paper—that he instituted a most rigid inquiry among the police, and the result of that inquiry was that he had every reason to believe that every paper found in the possession of that gentleman was subsequently delivered up to him— that every paper, without exception, was restored to him—that there was no obstruction or no detention of, nor no communication of any paper found upon that gentleman to any foreign diplomatic agent, or any other person whatever. So far as my right hon. Friend's authority is concerned he can speak upon it conclusively, and so far as his information goes, founded upon the inquiries instituted, I believe what I have stated to the House is perfectly correct. In the course of the debate hon. Gentlemen have dealt very largely with assumptions as regards the powers of the Secretary of State. Hon. Gentlemen have assumed that my right hon. Friend has spoken of that power as if it were of a trivial nature and to be exercised without a serious and deep feeling of the responsibility to be attached to it. Sir, there was not one word that fell from him that could justify such an assumption. My right hon. Friend said that he as Secretary of State was invested with a power by law, which not only authorised him, but called upon him to exercise it from considerations of public duty, and which led him to think that it was necessary for the public interests that he should exercise it; but he never said a word which would countenance the impression that he did not attach the utmost importance to the exercise of that delicate power, and which was invested with the greatest importance and responsibility. The right hon. Gentleman says he assumes that the power has been very generally and universally exercised, and on what ground does he found that? What are the facts before the House? We had a petition the other day, and a petition to-day, and my right hon. Friend comes down to the House to-day without knowing even the name of the party from whom the petition emanated. The hon. Gentleman gave notice that he should put a question as to the opening of letters, but he did not give notice that he would present a petition, nor the name of the party from whom it emanated, and the hon. Gentleman concluded his speech with a Motion of which he had never given the slightest notice. What are the facts? A petition was presented the other day from four individuals, each asserting that his letters were opened at the Post Office. Another petition is presented to-day from an individual whose name is not mentioned to my right hon. Friend. Now, it is quite clear that three out of the four whose petitions were presented the other day entertained impressions that were utterly unfounded, my right hon. Friend having distinctly stated that with respect to three out of the four individuals he had issued no warrant authorising the opening of their letters. My right hon. Friend was afraid —and there perhaps he erred—that if he stated that which he might literally and with perfect truth—that the allegations in the petitions were unfounded—he was afraid that it might be inferred that he had denied the statements contained in all of them; and therefore, in admitting that the allegations of three out of the four were unfounded, he thought there might be some unfairness in not admitting the fact with regard to one, and allowing the House to draw an inference from his general denial, he frankly admitted that with regard to one there had been a detention. My right hon. Friend declines to make any admission as to the facts upon which he proceeded, but he asks the House to draw no inference from his silence. Only a few days since three individuals made the same statement, and he states that these individuals, so far as he is concerned or knows, were under a completely erroneous impression. He says there was one warrant issued for the examination of these letters, and therefore my right hon. Friend is warranted in stating, "although from consideration of public duty I cannot make any admissions, I ask the House not to draw any inference from my refusal to answer the question." Such are the facts—what is the law of the case? The power of ordering the opening of letters in the Post-office was conferred upon the Secretary of State by an Act passed in the reign of Queen Anne; and seven years ago, when certain alterations were made in the arrangements of the Post Office, not by the present Government, but by a Government of whom the noble Lord the Member for London was the representative in this House, this power was retained in the consolidated Act then passed. In my opinion that Government was justified in retaining the power they did. They amended those laws, and the late President of the Board of Trade introduced the New Post Office Act as it now stands, retaining the pro- vision nearly in the same words as it was in the Act of Anne. I think, Sir, my right hon. Friend was perfectly justified in respect of the exercise of such a power to decline entering into explanations. If the House thinks that the power ought to be extinguished, let it be done by a motion, of which notice is given, or by a Bill for the repeal of that part of the Act introduced by the late President of the Board of Trade. The speech made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Macaulay) was such as well might have prefaced a motion for the repeal of the Act introduced by the late President of the Board of Trade, but scarcely applies to the present question. My right hon. Friend stated, and I think he was perfectly justified in so doing, that he should not enter into any details, and upon that it is assumed by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, that Gentlemen, on account of the political part they had taken in that House, were liable to have their letters opened. [Cheers.] Oh! doubtless this assumption is very convenient, because you think it likely you can extract a denial in this case; and you assume that if you can get a denial in one case you will have established a president by which it can be asked for in every other, so that every gentleman who finds his letters detained may present a petition to this House and ask the Secretary of State if they have been detained by his cognizance, or whether he has issued a warrant to sanction them being opened. It is clear that on this occasion my right hon. Friend is labouring under difficulties, not on account of what he has done, but from the position in which he is placed, and from the duties assigned to that position. That which it is important to state has been slated by my right hon. Friend, viz., that he has not introduced any new practice with respect to the opening of letters, and that he has not carried the practice beyond that which was pursued by Mr. Fox and Lord Grenville, when they preceded him in the functions of his office. He has acted in conformity with the law, and he has not carried the powers of the law beyond the usage up to the present time. If the House choose, in consequence of the inability which my right hon. Friend's public duties impose upon him, of entering into the details sought for, to accede to the Motion for a Committee of Inquiry—if they think it right to take that course, of course they can do so; but I think it would be a course highly inconsistent with justice to individuals, and most pernicious to the public interests.

Lord J. Russell

agreed in much that had fallen from the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down, in objecting to the manner in which this subject had been brought under discussion on the present occasion; but at the same time, judging from all that had taken place, he did not think that any difference in the mode in which it had been brought forward, or that any more formal notice of the Motion intended to be made would have led to any more satisfactory result. The right hon. Gentleman (the Secretary for the Home Department) acted upon the resolution which he had adopted on a former occasion, of refusing to give any information in the matter. As to the law and practice of opening letters at the Post Office, for both were now called in question, the right hon. Gentleman said, that the whole question was, whether he had exceeded his legal authority in what he had done. Now he did not understand that this was the question which the House had now before it. So far as the legal power went, he certainly understood, having held the office now held by the right hon. Gentleman, that the Secretary of State had the power to issue a warrant for opening the letters of certain individuals where occasion of public requirements seemed to call for it. He might have been mistaken in the interpretation of their law; but such had been the interpretation of it before the right hon. Gentleman came into office, and the right hon. Gentleman had gone upon the same interpretation of it since. With regard to the reasons which should lead to the exercise of this power, he certainly thought that the power ought to be given as it now was exercised, at the discretion, and under the responsibility of the Executive Government, or that it ought to be withheld altogether. With respect to the suggestion of a noble Lord who had recently spoken, that a mark should be placed upon every letter that had been opened, intimating that fact he thought that it could not properly be adopted: because, if the practice was to be of any use, it must be in this,— namely, the discovery and defeating of conspiracy. Now, supposing that a person had written a letter to another, intimating that a rising was determined upon in any part of the country, and that he could next week give information when it was to take place; of what use would the information obtained by the Government be if the first letter was sent to the correspondent with an intimation that it had been opened? The parties would thus be put upon their guard, and the object of the Government to defeat the conspiracy would not be attained. It was obvious that this power could not be made use of in times of danger if it were saddled with these restrictions. Now, with respect to the law itself, it was stated by Sir Robert Walpole that the power given by it was to be used in times of public danger, and he at the same time stated fairly the grounds upon which it ought to be used. Sir R. Walpole gave as an instance the case of the Bishop of Rochester, Bishop of Atterbury, whose plot were mainly carried on by means of correspondence through the Post Office, and copies of which were afterwards produced against him. Now, he thought, that the right hon. Gentleman opposite should also on the present occasion, have taken a similar course to that adopted by Sir Robert Walpole, and that without stating what had been his conduct on particular cases, he should have stated the principle upon which he considered this power ought to be exercised, namely, for the prevention of public danger, whether at home or abroad, and whether for the discovering and defeating of conspiracies at home in regard to this country, or in regard to foreign states. In such a course he thought the right hon. Gentleman would be perfectly justified in acting; and in the situation which the right hon. Gentleman occupied, it was for him to judge whether the public danger, under the apprehension of which he acted, was imminent or not. But the right hon. Gentleman took no such ground, and had not given the House an opportunity of judging whether this power had not been used in the way alleged—namely, to enable foreign governments to persecute individuals of their subjects. He thought that this would have been a most unjustifiable exercise of the power reposed in the right hon. Gentleman, and if the right hon. Gentleman had said that he had not acted upon such a principle and with such an object, he should not have thought it necessary to have voted for a Committee on this subject. But if the right hon. Gentleman did not think he could make this declaration, it would not have been beneath him or unworthy of him, to have consented to this enquiry. He recollected an instance, when Lord Melbourne was in the Home Office, when an inquiry was instituted into the conduct of a person of the name of Popay, who being a policeman, was charged with having joined seditious meetings, taking part in them, and exciting the people to use inflammatory language, in order afterwards to give evidence against them. Mr. Cobbett, upon this subject, at first moved a general inquiry, which was not agreed to; he afterwards renewed his application, and moved an inquiry into the particular case of Popay. Upon this occasion, Lord Althorp stated that private espionage was never the purpose of the police establishment, and that he was sure that the two gentlemen at the head of it would never lend themselves to such a proceeding; that such a proceeding would be quite contrary to the institutions of the country, and that there could be no objection to the Committee of inquiry which the hon. Member asked for. A Committee was consequently appointed, who made a Report upon the conduct of this person, and afterwards a Motion was made upon the subject in this House. Now did the Government of that day consider that this was a Motion against themselves? Did they use any of their authority to quash or impede this proceeding? They did no such thing. Why they felt there would be an end of the principle of the responsibility of a Government if there could be no inquiry. A government might always content itself with saying, "We will neither affirm nor deny certain allegations—we will not explain anything, because we know we have such a majority in this House that we can quash and defeat all inquiry." This would be to keep the House and the country in ignorance of facts, and thus to escape responsibility. For his part he did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman was at all to blame on this occasion, perhaps he was no more so than Lord Melbourne was in the case of Popay. But when Government set itself up upon the principle of refusing all inquiry, they put an end to all the grounds upon which they should enjoy the confidence of that House. With respect to the Motion for a Committee on this subject, he thought it one much too important to be discussed in this incidental manner. In 1837, when this Act was introduced, he thought it a power which the Government should have; but that was not the question at present. The question was, whether Her Majesty's Ministers having refused to give any explanation of their conduct in the exercise of this power, the House should not interpose its authority to insist upon inquiry.

Mr. Milnes

was sorry that the right hon. Gentleman had not thought it consistent with his duty to state to the House that he had not communicated to the Governments of any foreign powers any facts which might have come to his knowledge in this somewhat uncommon manner. If the right hon. Gentleman had done so, he would have satisfactorily met the objections of hon. Gentlemen opposite; but, though the right hon. Gentleman had not thought fit to do so, he could not vote for the Motion of the hon. Gentleman opposite for he thought it important that all matters of this kind should remain in the full secrecy of the Executive, and that all information obtained in this manner should be for their own use and conduct, and should not be communicated to any other parties. He was strongly against a public Committee, which would bring to light many private matters which at present were confined to the knowledge of the constituted authorities. He objected to the course proposed, because it might have the effect of depriving the Government of a power which they ought to be possessed of, to be used in cases of great emergency and difficulty. He, therefore, if his right hon. Friend would give them to understand that the power had not been exercised in this instance for the purpose of affording information to foreign powers, should think the question would at once be decided satisfactorily to all parties.

Mr. Sheil

There is an obvious distinction between the course pursued by the last and the present Government. My noble Friend the Member for London admits that when he was Secretary for the Home Department, warrants were granted for opening letters, but did he ever refuse an inquiry into the circumstances under which these warrants were issued? Had a case been brought before the notice of the House like that which has been presented to it by the Member for Finsbury, the noble Lord would not have shrunk from investigation. The Prime Minister has stated, that his right hon. Friend was conscious of his responsibility—but to whom is he to be held responsible? He is, it seems, to account to himself, and to be amenable to no other tribunal than that which is erected in his own breast. It is to the House of Commons that every Minister is responsible. I know of but one exception—the Horse Guards are not, it is held, within the jurisdiction of the House of Commons, the military branch of the Executive has been considered to be beyond the cognizance, for special reasons, of this House. The Duke of Wellington may indeed play the part of Achilles, "sic volo, sic jubeo, stat pro ratione voluntas," may be more appropriately adopted by the great warrior as the maxim by which his proceedings should be regulated. But to the Secretary of the Home Department, the same lofty impunity is not to be conceded. Suppose that it is right that this prerogative should be vested in the right hon. Gentleman, it by no means follows, that this House should not inquire into the manner that prerogative has been employed. Make a Minister irresponsible, and you may be sure that he will become arbitrary, capricious, and regardless of public opinion—but let him be answerable to the House of Commons, for the employment of the power with which he is entrusted, and that power will be cautiously used, and only in cases where its use is justified by the peculiar circumstances to which it is applied. How has this power been employed by the right hon. Gentleman? If my hon. Friend, the Member for Finsbury, had merely alleged that letters had been opened at the Post Office under a warrant from the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and had stated nothing more, if he had not relied upon any circumstance which should induce the House to believe that an important privilege had been abused, it might be reasonably contended that there was no sufficient ground to conjecture that any departure from propriety had taken place. No case for an inquiry would have been made out—but when the Secretary for the Home Department is charged with having perverted a prerogative committed to him for the suppression of treasonable conspiracies against the State, and with having abused a most questionable privilege, for purposes wholly unconnected with the original object of the law, and when the Minister refuses explanation of every kind, it becomes a matter of most serious consideration for the House of Commons, whose rights and duties are fully as important as the functions and the prerogatives of the Home Department, whether they are not entitled and were bound to inquire whether a Minister appointed by the Crown, but responsible to the country, has been guilty of a gross violation of his duty. The accusation preferred against the Secretary for the Home Department, is not vague or indefinite. He is charged with having clandestinely opened the letters of an Italian gentleman, at the instance of a foreign Government. The letters of Italians, living under an Austrian despotism, and addressed to their political asciate who has found a refuge here, have been opened and read, and their contents have been communicated to those for whose sake this breach of trust has been committed. In the Milan newspaper reference is made to this fact, and it is stated that Mr. Mazzini is under a peculiar surveillance. If this be true, it is not at inquiry that this House should stop; nothing can be more discreditable. In the efforts of Italy to throw off the ignominious yoke under which she groans, we ought not to interfere—a British army need not be sent to Ancona —but I do not hesitate to say, without hazarding a contradiction from any man whose contradiction is of value, that Englishmen ought to look with a feeling of sympathetic solicitude in the glorious endeavours of the men who, animated by the same passion for liberty as yourselves, have perilled everything dear to men in a cause which disaster may befal, but to which disgrace cannot attach. To that disaster we ought not, at all events, to become contributary, by means utterly at variance with the finest characteristics for which Englishmen are renowned. So utterly repugnant are the instincts of Englishmen to the practice imputed to the right hon. Baronet, that when it was alleged that these misdeeds had been committed at the Post Office, that report was at first incredulously heard—the people of this country could not believe that anything had been done in England which was so unworthy of England, and which appertained to the mouchard system of continental surveillance—but indignation has succeeded to incredulity, and that that indignation is well-founded, there is too much reason to believe. It is not to the North of Italy that this surreptitious scrutiny is in all likelihood confined—the patrimony of St. Peter, the dominions of his Holiness the Pope, are in all probability under the care of the Home Department. Better have a nuncio at once, than that this clandestine intercourse with the Vatican should be carried on. But the compliances of the Home Office are not limited to the Austrian Ambassador; to the complaisance of the right hon. Baronet Russia has an equal claim. Letters addressed to unfortunate Poles, who have found a refuge in this country, have been broken open. Poland has been abandoned: she is bound hand and foot, and the boot of the Tartar is on her neck, but let us not accumulate the shame that belongs to the violated Treaty of Vienna, by betraying the kindred of many a wretched exile to the resentment of the most inexorable of mankind. But these, it may be said, are the mere fictions of a malevolent and factious fancy. Say so—if in all this there be not the word of truth, say so— plead "not guilty," instead of demurring to the jurisdiction of the House of Commons, and relying upon that sort of confidence which results, not from your personal merits, but from a Clause in an Act of Parliament, behind which you are entrenched. I would not trust any Minister of the Crown with the power of opening the letters of foreigners to oblige a foreign Minister; and if the letters of Englishmen are opened in times of internal peril, the exercise of the right ought to be open and avowed. I very much doubt whether that right is at all required. England does not stand in need of such expedients for her safety; not upon such expedients as these—not upon practices which are abhorrent from our habits, and which reduce an Englishmen in his self-esteem— not upon Fouché espionage—not upon the opening, the re-sealing, and the perfidious transmission of letters with a falsehood stamped upon them—not upon such expedients as these, but upon the rational loyalty of Englishmen to the Throne— upon the personal attachment to the Sovereign—upon the value which Englishmen set upon their institutions—upon the love of freedom associated with the love of order, England may depend for her preservation; the miserable privilege, so discreditable to those in whom it is vested, and which is so liable to abuse, ought to be abolished. That which is deemed utterly scandalous in private life, ought not to be tolerated in any department of the State; and from the statute-book which it dishonours, this ignominious prerogative ought to be effaced for ever.

Mr. S. Worthy ,

as the question was to be brought to a division, was anxious to explain the reason why he should without any hesitation give his vote in favour of the Government. Were he to do otherwise, he should think he was giving his countenance to those unwarrantable assumptions which had formed the staple of the accusations which had been brought forward against the Government. It had been admitted by all the hon. Gentlemen opposite who had spoken, that on the present occasion they were not called upon to decide as to the policy or necessity of the law under which the Government had acted. Whether the power which the law gave had been in this instance properly exercised he did not consider himself sufficiently in possession of the merits of the case to say. He conceived he was making no discreditable admission in saying that. This power was one which was seldom called in question, although on serious and important considerations it had been admitted by successive Governments, and he would not at present undertake to say that it might not be a necessary part of the power of the Executive. That, however, was not the question at issue. The question was, whether the House should support the hon. Member for Finsbury in his demand for a Committee to inquire into the exercise of this power in the specific case which had been made the subject of accusation against his right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary. Now, in considering that question he had a right to ask himself whether such a fair and legitimate presumption had been raised as to the conduct of his right hon. Friend as would justify him in supporting the Motion; and he was bound to say, that in his view, no such case had been made out. He felt convinced that his right hon. Friend desired to execute the power of his high office in such a manner as would enable him to stand with perfect justification before the House and the country, and he could not for a moment suppose that he had, in the exercise of those powers, transgressed those recognised and acknowledged rules alluded to by the noble Lord, the Member for London, which all the right hon. Gentleman's predecessors had acted up to the present time. But he maintained, supposing there was anything in the charge which the hon. Member for Finsbury had brought forward, though he did not admit there was, the proper course had not been taken in coming to the House in the first instance. His right hon. Friend had pointed out that, if the parties complaining felt aggrieved, the courts of law were open to them to remedy the injury. If the House were to accede to this demand, and consent to the appointment of a Committee, then no one act could be performed by a Minister of his own responsibility, and in pursuance of the great and necessary powers vested in him by Parliament which might not form the ground of a similar appeal. The power entrusted to the Government of dispensing the secret service-money was in many respects analogous to the power now in question, and if the present demand were admitted, how could they resist any application for inquiry into the application of any part of that fund.

Mr. Wakley

said, the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had commenced by saying that he would explain the reasons why he intended to vote against the Motion, and then with unusual candour he acknowledged in the next sentence that he did not know anything of the merits of the case. The hon. Member persevered in his course, and resolved not to know the merits of the case. The hon. Member was consistent in giving his vote, for he refused to acquaint himself with the case, or to permit the House to become acquainted with the facts. The hon. Member for Pomfret (Mr. Milnes), the only other hon. Gentleman who had spoken unconnected with the Government, had lamented that the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) had not assured the House that he had not communicated to the Foreign States interested in the matter the information he had obtained by the exercise of the power in question, [Mr. Milnes: That was not what I said.] The hon. Gentleman said he should be glad to know what the right hon. Gentleman had discovered, and if he had communicated it to the Foreign State? He had stated the entire argument of the two hon. Gentlemen who had stood forward as the supporters of the Government. There had been but four speakers against the Motion, and this was the whole of the argument advanced by the only two who were unconnected with the Government. Then came the two right hon. Baronets—the Secretary for the Home Department, who was the party accused, and the Prime Minister—on that occasion not a very happy pair. Since he (Mr. Wakley) had been in Parliament, he had never been so much surprised as by the arguments of the right hon. Baronet, the Home Secretary, and the right hon. Baronet, the First Lord of the Treasury. The First Lord of the Treasury might consider it to be his duty on all occasions to defend his Colleague—if so, he must say that the First Minister of the Crown, had not always the most pleasant occupation, and that occupation could seldom be more disagreeable. The manner of the right hon. Gentleman, from the beginning to the end of his speech, showed that the right hon. Gentleman did not like his case; and the manner in which he treated it, considering his great ability in debate, and his undoubted powers of argument, clearly proved that it was a bad case he had to defend. The right hon. Baronet, in the course of his argument, insisted upon one thing, which had previously been referred to by his right hon. Colleague of the Home Office; and it is necessary that the attention of the House should be drawn to it, as it gave a graver character to the subject than when it was first introduced. The right hon. Baronet denied that his right hon. Colleague had notice of the name of the party in the second case. His hon. Friend however, had on this as on the former occasion, informed the right hon. Baronet that he had another Petition to present on the same subject, which he should present that evening. But, said the right hon. Baronet, here you treat me unfairly, here I am taken by surprise; for I have not had the name of the party communicated to me, and, therefore, in pursuance of the course I have previously adopted, I will give no further information in this case. Two Petitions have been presented to the House complaining of those proceedings, one of them containing four names, the other only one. There had been five complaints since the 1st of January, and the right hon. Baronet had given an answer as to four of them; but he complained, because he had not received previous notice of the name of the fifth. Now, he should like to know how many names had the right hon. Baronet in hand? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon had said, that public opinion was against the practice. Why, public feeling, which might be called public indignation, was against it. He heard it denounced in every quarter and in every house. The people asked what was the House of Commons going to do next; is it about to justify the Minister in opening all our letters. A gentleman—a politician—had said to him, only last Saturday, that he had always considered a Government that employed spies was the most odious that could exist, but he had at length discovered a worse—that was a Government that became spies themselves, and the present Government was clearly becoming a spy Government. Surely nothing could be more contemptible, or odious, or reflect more injuriously on the character of the Government and the country, if such an odious practice was to be tolerated. The question proposed by his hon. Colleague (Mr. T. Duncombe) would apply a test to the House, as to the question of Ministerial responsibility. Ministerial responsibility was a thing he had heard of often since he came into Parliament, but had never found it. He had never seen it, he could not catch hold of it. He begged the hon. Member for Pomfret to apply his mind to the subject of Ministerial responsibility, as it was purely poetical and imaginative—it might be in the clouds, but it was not in the House. On the former evening, when this subject had been under discussion, the right hon. Baronet had admitted that what had been done had been done on his own responsibility. Very well. Next, they had certain persons coining there and saying that in the intricacies of the Post Office their letters had been opened, and presenting a petition complaining of the practice, and the right hon. Gentleman said it was true he had done it; but I shall say no more about it; you may talk about it as much as you like, but we will give you no further information; what has been done has been done on my own responsibility. In ordinary parlance, we understand responsibility to mean that the person responsible is amenable, and amenable to some other authority for any particular act committed in the exercise of that responsibility; but how far was the right hon. Gentleman amenable or answerable to that House? Answers he will give none. The parties who had had their letters opened had all the facts and the reasons for that interference, concealed from them; consequently they could not tell how to make the right hon. Gentleman responsible or amenable for his conduct but by such a Motion as this. But the right hon. Baronet did not like this mode of proceeding, and his Colleagues at the head of the Government was resolved to vote against it, and to carry all his weight against inquiry. Then where was the responsibility? Now, observe: there were two parties concerned in this case—besides the right hon. Baronet, the House, and the public; the parties who employed the right hon. Baronet, whose agent he had been, and the unhappy individuals whose secrecy had been violated. Did they want to avoid inquiry? No, they came and demanded it. These treasonable men, of dishonest, violent, and illegal conduct—they said, "We have done no wrong, we do not fear investigation; we want to expose those who employed your own secretary." Now, he said that the right hon. Baronet had a duty to discharge to these parties, whether criminal or not, and it was due to them to ascertain whether they were innocent or guilty; in the one case, he ought to protect them by proclaiming their innocence, and, in the other, to condemn them by proclaiming their guilt. He wished to know how the right hon. Baronet would get out of this cleft stick? He said it was the bounden duty of the House to insist on this inquiry. The right hon. Baronet had said that he demurred to the tribunal. He remembered that the hon. Member for Knaresborough had also demurred to the House as a tribunal, and he believed the loudest ironical cheer on that occasion had come from the right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary. Now, however, they were both in the same boat, and he would advise the hon. Member for Knaresborough to look out, for it was in a sinking state. He hoped the House would not put itself in the same position; but that it would resolve to maintain the Government in the observance of those securities, and confine them to that practice which had been proved to exist in the Home Office; or they would find In the lowest depth, a deeper still.

Viscount Howick

was astonished at the argument advanced by the hon. Member for Yorkshire. The hon. Gentleman had asked why had not these parties applied to a Court of Law? his answer was they did not dispute the legality of the Act. It was admitted that the Act of Parliament gave to the Secretary of State the power of issuing warrants of this kind, but what he denied was, the propriety with which in this particular instance that very dangerous power had been exercised. His right hon. Friend, the Member for Dungarvon (Mr. Sheil) had made an appeal to the House, the force of which every hon. Member must have felt. "Were we," asked his right hon. and learned Friend, "to become the spies and agents of foreign powers?" Was a system of that kind to receive the sanction of a British House of Commons. He would call upon them to recollect what they were sanctioning, if they refused inquiry. They not only passed over a case, which in the primâ facie view of it, was fraught with suspicion, but they sanctioned the principle laid down and the doctrine contended for by the right hon. Baronet, which, if they passed over in silence, would, he thought, inflict a great blow on the free communication of ideas which had so long been the boast and pride of this country. For what said the right hon. Baronet? A power was given by law, and I will exercise it: but I refuse to tell you in what cases I have exercised it, and on what grounds. Whether in many cases or few, whether on grounds trifling or grave, I will give you, the House of Commons, no explanation or satisfaction. If they once admitted this doctrine, every gentleman who received a letter through the Post Office, would be placed at the mercy of the Government. He did not suspect the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) of issuing a warrant to examine all the letters of his political opponents, as had been suggested. But if the principle contended for were recognized, and if the Minister was to be supported in refusing all explanation, future Secretaries of State might, if they chose, with perfect impunity, examine the letters of their political opponents. The right hon. Baronet refused all explanation, and at the same time he said, that what he had done, he had done upon his responsibility. Why, was it not, as the hon. Member for Finsbury had said, a mockery of words. Responsibility implied, that the parties exercising power should be liable to be called to account for the due exercise of that power. But he went further, and concurred in what had been stated by his right hon. Friend, the Member for Edinburgh. Although he had hitherto been disposed to concur in the continuance of a power which had existed in previous Governments, and had, he believed, been always exercised on principles wholly different from those now contended for—though he had sup. ported the continuance of that power as it had been previously exercised—he concurred with his right hon. Friend (Mr. Macaulay) that the very little advantage that could be obtained from it was totally unworthy of consideration, when compared with the shame which would result, if it were permitted to be exercised in this way. If it were to be exercised at all, let it be done subject to the check of responsibility. Let the power be exercised upon intelligible principles. Let the letters be opened, if necessary, but a power exercised no man knowing how or when, was liable to the greatest abuse. No doubt, as his noble Friend had said, it might not be advisable to put a stamp upon letters that had been opened; but surely it was not creditable to the Government to counterfeit stamps, in order to conceal the fact that letters had been opened. They were told that the safety of the country required the exercise of this power, but the same argument might be urged in favour of the employment of spies. The safety of the country did not depend upon violating the confidence of the Post Office by employing spies. This country was in no danger from secret plots. How was this system to be worked? Was it as his hon. Friend had said, by counterfeiting the seals of letters? It appeared that the letter was opened, the seal counterfeited, and the letter resealed. Now, was there anything in the Act of Parliament that warranted such an act? He believed such an act—whatever might be the facts of the case in other respects—was a gross abuse of the power entrusted to the Government under the Act of Parliament. Could anything be more morally wrong than to counterfeit the seal? Against such a practice he for one protested. He did not know sufficient of the facts to express an opinion as to the case before them. All he could say, was, that as it stood, it was a case of great suspicion; but in voting as he should do, for the Motion of his hon. Friend what he meant was, to protest against the practice and principles laid down by the right hon. Gentleman opposite.

Lord Stanley

. It is not, Sir, ray attention to enter into any details upon this question, for this is precisely one of those in which Gentlemen in opposition may, if they choose, enlist in their favour the popular sympathy, inasmuch as they have the advantage of holding out arguments of popular policy and popular principles while the Government entrusted with the responsibility of office have in that responsibility fetters imposed upon them, and are precluded, in the due discharge of their duty, from staling the facts and entering into the circumstances of the case. We are, therefore, left in this position— that the House of Commons may, if it think fit, take the facts stated by the hon. Member for Finsbury and act upon the assumptions advanced and the statements put forth by the petitioners in their Petitions to the House. Why, Sir, the hon. Gentlemen opposite have argued as though it had been avowed and acknowledged that the warrant had been issued for the opening of Mr. Mazzini's letters. I know of no declaration on the part of either of my right hon. Friends that could have given rise to such a supposition. My right hon. Friend has stated distinctly all he could state consistently with his duty; though he would not state broadly that there was no truth whatever in the allegations made by any of the former petitioners —he stated that in one case he had exercised the power entrusted to him by law, he refused distinctly to state in respect to which of those individuals that power had been so exercised. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. T. Duncombe) referred to the individual whose Petition was before the House, and said that he knows that person's letters had been opened, but produced no proof whatever of that assertion. But the hon. Gentleman says, give us a Committee to inquire into the allegations of the Petition. Why if we were to allow every individual who came forward and reported that his letters had been opened to come to the House of Commons and say, give me a Committee to inquire into the truth of my charge, and the Minister for refusing his sanction to such an inquiry, is to stand under the imputation of sanctioning the opening—even admitting that the facts were so, which my right hon. Friend has not said, and that a warrant was granted for the purpose, or that he must consent to a Committee to inquire, into the practice of a law which no one could say was not of high political importance— if the House of Commons sanctioned such an argument, you might have every day Petitions presented to you of persons complaining that their letters have been opened; and every day the Government might be called upon to answer the question. "Did you, or did you not, authorise the opening of Mr. A's or Mr. B's letters? [An hon. Member: And why not?] Sir, I protest against the assumption (for it is no more) that the letters have been opened. The noble Lord opposite says, "We call in question, not the law, but the manner in which it has been executed by you." How do you know in what way it has been exercised? The noble Lord takes upon himself to assert, and that without the shadow of a proof—he takes upon himself to assert, in opposition to the declaration of my right hon. Friend (Sir James Graham), given in his place as a Minister of the Crown—given with a full knowledge of the facts—in opposition to that declaration the noble Lord asserts that the Government have exercised their right in a manner widely different from that in which it was exercised by their predecessors. That was the opening of the noble Lord's speech: he says, "I don't complain of the power you possess, but the mode in which you have exercised it." And my right hon. Friend answers this and says, ''How I have exercised that power, in what cases I have applied it, and with regard to what individuals, I will no further answer you in this House, no more than would the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) get up and say, with regard to what individuals and in how many cases it was exercised while he was in office;" and rightly would the noble Lord refuse such information were it asked, and rightly had his right hon. Friend refused it. They would do the same under an equal sense of the pressure of public duty. But my right hon. Friend went further, and said, "I have exercised this power on the same principles and under the same restrictions, and to no greater extent, than it was exercised by preceding Governments, and by the Government of which the noble Lord himself was a Member, the Government which renewed the Act of Anne, and re-enacted this power." And I do say that this is a power which, if exercised at all, must be exercised in the confidence which the House of Commons places in the Government. How often have I heard hon. Gentlemen opposite call for some inquiry into the manner in which the secret service money is disposed of. The answer always was, that is precisely one of those matters which must be left to the oath, the conscience, and the honour of the individuals in whom by law the power of expending this money is vested. It is exercised under no further responsibility than that which consists in the conscientious discharge of the duty of office, and in conformity with the terms of the Act. It is one of the powers entrusted to a Ministry, for the due exercise of which your security, and your only security, is the honour and conscience, and oath of the accredited Minister of State to whom that power is entrusted. This, Sir, is a similar power, and I will tell the House this—expressing, mind, no opinion as to the necessity of the power—that if that power be continued to a Government at all, it is a power, the whole importance, the whole use, and the whole efficacy of which depends on its being applied with secresy. It is on these grounds that my right hon. Friend resists the Motion for inquiry, it is on these grounds that he refuses to enter into the details of the specific case to which he may have applied the power with which he is invested. We admit frankly, broadly, and fully—and, by the bye, with respect to this point, the hon. Gentleman opposite has made another most unfounded assertion—we admit, I say, frankly, broadly, and fully, that the cases in which this power should be exercised are those in which the public safety is threatened. It is a power which, by this or by any preceding Government, has very rarely been exercised, and then only upon information which has made the Ministers believe that they were warranted in exercising it by considerations of public good. Far from being an everyday practice, the opening of letters in the Post-office is of very rare Occurrence. The power is one of great delicacy —to be exercised with great caution; but it is a power which, if you mean a Minister to exercise, must be exercised with secresy, without his being responsible or called on to account for his conduct—without, I say, being culled on to answer interrogatories as to particular cases, or state the reasons for and the grounds on which he has exercised that high and most important discretion.

Sir G. Grey

The noble Lord, with his usual courage, has rushed to the rescue of his Colleagues in the hour of their necessity; and it is not before he was wanted, in point of argument, that the noble Lord has arisen to defend the administration of which he is so able and distinguished a Member. But I doubt if he has adduced a single argument or made a single assertion much calculated to mend the cause which he has taken up. The noble Lord says, I think without foundation, that the reason why the right hon. Gentleman near him was totally silent, and refused to give any information when invited to do so, with respect to the circumstances of the case before the House is, that in the exercise of the duty devolving upon them as Ministers of the Crown, they are precluded, by a sense of duty, from furnishing the sought for explanation. Now I undertake altogether to controvert this position. What is the charge brought by my hon. Friend? Why, with a moderation which does not always distinguish him, he does not deny that this power should be vested in a Government for certain purposes; but he brings forward an instance of its exercise which he undertakes to prove will convict the Government of having exercised the power vested in them for one purpose to attain another and distinct purpose. It is not brought as a charge against the right hon. Baronet that in certain cases he has exercised a power given to him by law; but that he has exercised it—at the instigation, at the bidding, of a foreign Government— not for the purpose of detecting some plot against our Sovereign Lady the Queen, or against the constitution; but for the purpose of enabling the agents of a foreign Government, or a foreign Government itself, to obtain evidence against certain of its subjects exiled from their country upon political grounds—persons whom it has always been the pride and the boast of this country to receive with hospitality and kindness. Now, it is quite an unfair representation of the case to say that we are calling on Government, on any specific case, to lay the whole facts and circumstances of such case before the House; but I ask the noble Lord—I ask the House whether it was incompetent for him, or inconsistent with his public duty, to pledge his word to Parliament—to give his assurance that the case in which the power was exercised was one in which the exercise of that power was contemplated by those who conferred it—that is, a case of apprehended danger to the State; and further, that he never had exercised, or could think of exercising, the power at the bidding of any foreign Government. My hon. Friend the Member for Yorkshire—professing that ignorance in which, owing to the reserve of Government, we all find ourselves—said that he would not vote for the Motion, because his doing so would be equivalent to assuming the correctness of the allegations advanced. Now, these allegations might have been denied without going into the case. The principle upon which Government has acted might have been stated; but, as the matter stands, if I were to vote against the Motion of my hon. Friend, I feel that I should be doing this, that I should be sanctioning a right which Government claims the exercise of, viz., of examining letters, of opening them, of making what use they please of their contents—not for State purposes —not for purposes connected with general safety—but for the purpose of serving the private ends of foreign Governments. If the right hon. Gentleman opposite had stated that he disavowed that principle, I, for one, should have been satisfied. But, looking at the facility with which such a principle could be stated, without as I believe, the infringement of any official duty —looking at the facility with which such a disavowal could have been made, and coupling that facility with the absence of any such statement, of any such avowal— considering that line of conduct as virtually setting up claims on the part of the Government to detain, open, and examine letters, I shall have great pleasure in supporting the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury.

Viscount Sandon

wished to explain, on behalf of his hon. Friend near him (Mr. S. Wortley), who was accused of having pleaded ignorance upon the subject, that he merely wished to say that he did not intend to enter into the question of the policy of the power being entrusted to Government. For himself, holding in such high esteem as he did the Government, and thinking that in the present case it had acted for the good of the country, and legally and constitutionally, he could not consent to hamper the most important functions of Government by supporting the Motion.

Mr. Wyse

Some doubt had been thrown on the circumstance as to whether the letters had or had not been opened. He had seen them that morning, and examined them minutely, particularly that addressed to Mr. Mazzini, and no sort of doubt was left upon his mind but that they had been opened in the Post Office. Two letters were addressed at the same time to Mr. Mazzini and Mr. Hamilton, by the same person. They had been posted at the same time. The one reached Mr. Hamilton at the proper hour, a little after ten o'clock, and the other reached Mr. Mazzini, a little after twelve o'clock, and the post-marks had been altered by another stamp having been pressed upon them. This he saw with his own eyes. There could be no doubt, then, but that one of the letters had been opened in the Post Office. Government appeared to have acted in compliance with the wishes of a foreign potentate; for an article had appeared in the Milan Gazette —a journal published under such strict censorship that its contents became almost demi-official—to the effect that the English Government had not only determined to put a stop, as far as they could, to any demonstrations of sympathy with the agitation going on in Italy, but would go still further in the suppression of that agitation.

Mr. T. Duncombe

had been charged by the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, with want of courtesey in not informing him of the specific charges which he intended to bring forward that evening. Now, upon a former occasion, he wrote to the right hon. Baronet, inclosing him a copy of a Petition he intended to present the following day to the House, and he expressed a hope that the right hon. Gentleman would be prepared to state whether the letters in question had been opened with his knowledge and consent. He (Mr. Duncombe) presented that Petition, and the right hon. Gentleman stated that the letter of one of the petitioners had been opened by his warrant— which of them it was he did not say—but he also intimated that that warrant had been withdrawn, and, therefore, that the grievance no longer existed. Why was that course adopted? In order, he contended, to stifle and give the go-by to all inquiry. Now, he had another Petition sent to him yesterday, of which he did not enclose a copy to the right hon. Baronet, but he wrote a note to him, to say that he intended to present another Petition relative to opening letters, as soon after half-past four o'clock as the right hon. Baronet found it convenient to attend. He did think that that was, under the circumstances of the case, quite a sufficient notice. If the name was given, the right hon. Gentleman might have recalled the warrant, and, as he did before, insist that no grievance existed. But were these warrants so numerous that he could not tell whether or not one had been issued against Captain Stolzman? Why, the deeper they got into the transaction, the more need there seemed to be fully to investigate it. He was quite satisfied that the public would not be satisfied with the explanation given. This was no longer a mere Post Office question, but one of confidence in the Government, and what he asked was whether he had made out a primâ facie case for inquiry? He thought he had. He had accused Government of having yielded to the wishes of a foreign potentate, and exercised the power—not for the only purpose for which Sir Robert Walpole thought its exercise allowable the avertion of internal danger. No case of internal danger had been urged at all— no defence of the sort had been ever attempted to be set up, and he thought that the country would come to the conclusion —and justly—that in shrinking from investigation Government were admitting their criminality.

The House divided:—Ayes 162; Noes 206: Majority 44.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Busfeild, W.
Aldam, W. Butler, P. S.
Archbold, R. Christie, W. D.
Armstrong, Sir A. Clay, Sir W.
Bannerman, A. Clements, Visct.
Barclay, D. Cobden, R.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Colborne, hn. W. N. R.
Barnard, E. G. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Barron, Sir H. W. Collett, J.
Bellew, R. M. Collins, W.
Berkeley, hon. C. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Craig, W. G.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Currie, R.
Bernal, R. Dalmeny, Lord
Bernal, Capt. Dalrymple, Capt.
Blackstone, W. S. Dawson, hon. T. V.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Denison, W. J.
Bright, J. Denison, J. E.
Brotherton, J. D'Eyncourt,rt.hn.C.T.
Browne, R. D. Divett, E.
Buller, C. Drax. J. S. W. S. E.
Buller, E. Duff, J.
Duncan, Visct. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Duncan, G. Ogle, S. C. H.
Dundas, F. Ord, W.
Dundas, hn. J. C. Paget, Col.
Ebrington, Visct. Paget, Lord A.
Ellis, W. Parker, J.
Elphinstone, H. Pattison, J.
Esmonde, Sir T. Pechell, Capt.
Ewart, W. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Ferguson, Col. Philips, G. R.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Philips, M.
Forster, M. Plumridge, Capt.
Fox, C. R. Ponsonby,hn.C.F.A.
French, F. Power, J.
Gibson, T. M. Protheroe, E.
Gisborne, T. Ramsbottom, J.
Granger, T. C. Rawdon, Col.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Ricardo, J. L.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Roebuck, J. A.
Hall, Sir B. Russell, Lord J.
Hanmer, Sir J. Russell, Lord E.
Hawes, B. Russell, J. D. W.
Hayter, W. G. Scholefield, J.
Heneage, E. Seale, Sir J. H.
Hill, Lord M. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Hindley, C. Shelburne, Earl of
Hobhouse, rt. hn.Sir J. Smith, B.
Hollond, R. Smith, J. A.
Horsman, E. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Hoskins, K. Standish, C.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Howard, hn. J. K. Stewart, P. M.
Howard, Lord Stuart, W. V.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Stock, Sergt.
Howard, hon. H. Strickland, Sir G.
Howick, Visct. Strutt, E.
Hume, J. Tancred, H. W.
Humphery, Ald. Thornely, T.
Hutt, W. Towneley, J.
Jervis, J. Traill, G.
Johnson, Gen. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Langston, J. H. Tufnell, H.
Langton, W. G. Tuite, H. M.
Layard, Capt. Turner, E.
Leader, J. T. Vane, Lord H.
Lemon, Sir C. Wakley, T.
Leveson, Lord Walker, R.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T.B. Wall, C. B.
McGeachy, F. A. Wallace, R.
McTaggart, Sir J. Warburton, H.
Mangles, R. D. Watson, W. H.
Marsland, H. Wawn, J. T.
Mitchell, T. A. Williams, W.
Morris, D. Wilshere, W.
Morison, Gen. Wood, C.
Morrison, J. Worsley, Lord
Muntz, G. F. Wyse, T.
Napier, Sir C. Yorke, H. R.
O'Brien, J. TELLERS.
O'Connell, M. Bowring, Dr.
O'Conor Don Duncombe, T.
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Adderley, C. B.
A'Court, Capt. Alford, Visct.
Acton, Col. Allix, J. P.
Adare, Visct. Antrobus, E.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Fellowes, E.
Arkwright, G. Filmer, Sir E.
Arundel and Surrey, Fitzroy, hon. H.
Earl of Forman, T. S.
Ashley, Lord Fox, S. L.
Baillie, Col. Fremantle, rt.hn.Sir T.
Baird, W. Fuller, A. E.
Balfour, J. M. Gardner, J. D.
Baring, hon. W. B. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Baring, T. Gladstone, rt.hn. W. E.
Barneby, J. Gladstone, Capt.
Barrington, Visct. Godson, R.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bateson, T. Gore, M.
Beckett, W. Gore, W. O.
Beresford, Major Gore, W. R. O.
Boldero, H. G. Goring, C.
Borthwick, P. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Botfield, B. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Bowles, Admiral Greene, T.
Bramston, T. W. Grimsditch, T.
Broadley, H. Grimston, Visct.
Brownrigg, J. S. Grogan, E.
Bruce, Lord E. Halford, Sir H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Hamilton, J. H.
Bunbury, T. Hamilton, Lord C.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Harris, hon. Capt.
Cardwell, E. Henley, J. W.
Cartwright, W. R. Henniker, Lord
Charteris, hon. F. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Chelsea, Visct. Herbert, hon. S.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Hervey, Lord A.
Christopher, R. A. Hodson, F.
Chute, W. L. W. Hodgson, R.
Clerk, Sir G. Hope, hon. C.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hope, A.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Hope, G. W.
Codrington, Sir W. Hornby, J.
Compton, H. C. Houldsworth, T.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Hussey, T.
Courtenay, Lord Ingestre, Visct.
Cresswell, B. Irton, S.
Cripps, W. James, Sir W.C.
Damer, hon. Col. Jermyn, Earl
Darby, G. Johnstone, Sir J.
Davies, D. A. S. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Dawnay, hn. W. H. Jones, Capt.
Denison, E. B. Kemble, H.
Dodd, G. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E
Douglas, Sir H Knight, H. G.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Knight, F. W.
Douro, Marq. of Lawson, A.
Dowdeswell, W. Lefroy, A.
Drummond, H. H. Lennox, Lord A.
Dugdale, W. S. Leslie, C. P.
Duncombe, hon. O. Lincoln, Earl of
East, J. B. Lindsay, H. H.
Eastnor, Visct. Lockhart, W.
Eaton, R. J. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Egerton, W. T. Mackenzie, W. F.
Egerton, Sir P. Maclean, D.
Eliot, Lord McNeill, D.
Emlyn, Visct. Mahon, Visct.
Entwistle, W. Mainwaring, T.
Escott, B. Manners, Lord C. S.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Martin, C. W.
Feilden, W. Masterman, J.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Sheppard, T.
Morgan, O. Shirley, E. J.
Mundy, E. M. Sibthorp, Col.
Neeld, J. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Neeld, J. Smyth, Sir H.
Neville, R. Smollett, A.
Newdegate, C. N. Somerset, Lord G.
Newport, Visct. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Stanley, Lord
Norreys, Lord Stewart, J.
O'Brien, A. S. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Ossulston, Lord Taylor, E.
Packe, C. W. Tennant, J. E.
Palmer, R. Thesiger, Sir F.
Palmer, G. Thompson, Ald.
Patten, J. W. Thornhill, G.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Trench, Sir F. W.
Peel, J. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Pennant, hn. Col. Trollope, Sir J.
Plumptre, J. P. Trotter, J.
Powell, Col. Verner, Col.
Praed, W. T. Vesey, hon. T.
Price, R. Vivian, J. E.
Pringle, A. Waddington, H. S.
Pusey, P. Welby, G. E.
Repton, G. W. J. Williams, T. P.
Richards, R. Wodehouse, E.
Rolleston, Col. Wood, Col.
Round, C. G. Wortley, hn. J. S.
Round, J. Wortley, hn. J. S.
Rous, hon. Capt. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Rushbrooke, Col. TELLERS.
Sanderson, R. Young, J.
Sandon, Visct. Baring, H.
Back to