HC Deb 12 March 1850 vol 109 cc738-807

rose and said, he had to throw himself upon the indulgence of the hon. Member for West Surrey, and ask him to allow him to bring on the Motion of which he had given notice for this evening, relating to several Members of this House, who were incapable of being sworn, according to the usual practice, upon the Holy Gospels. This Motion might clearly have been made one of privilege, by a claim being preferred to be allowed to take the oath in a different form by a Gentleman who, it was matter of public notoriety, had been elected to serve in Parliament although holding religious opinions that prevented him from taking the customary oath. But he had thought it far better, in order to avoid any appearance of excitement, and to obtain a calm and deliberate inquiry into the matter, to give notice, in a form that was not technically one of privilege. He had reason to believe that no long discussion would ensue, or that any serious opposition would be offered, because he intended only to move for a Committee simply to inquire, and therefore he had to solicit the indulgence of the hon. Member for West Surrey, to enable him to bring the Motion on at once.


said, if this Motion were really so pressing as a matter of privilege, it might have been brought on at any time within the last three years; and if Ministers were so exceedingly anxious to bring it on, the subject might be taken some other night, and not encroach on the very few evenings that were left open for the Motions of private Members. There was no person in the world for whom he would more readily give way than for his hon. and learned Friend; but he must also remind him that when he (Mr. Drummond) did give way with this very Motion last year, the consequence was, that it was put off till a very late period of the Session, when the noble Lord taunted him with bringing forward in an empty House what ought to have been done at an earlier day; and, therefore, for all these reasons, he (Mr. Drummond) would proceed with his Motion whenever Mr. Speaker pleased to call upon him.


immediately called the name of the hon. Gentleman, pursuant to the order in which it stood on the Notice-paper.


then rose to bring forward the Motion of which he had given notice. He said that he would not take advantage of the distress which a large portion of the community was at present suffering to excite feelings of prejudice in any part of the House, nor should he deny that comparative prosperity was being enjoyed by other important classes of the community. He must, however, contend that in many cases this prosperity was a mere transference from one class to another; and this, not a transference of luxuries from one class to another, but also a transference of the mere necessaries of life from one class to those who did not possess them. He could not now enter into all the considerations which led to this conclusion. He was particularly anxious to avoid the topics touched upon by the hon. Member for the West Riding a few nights ago; and should, therefore, confine himself strictly to the words of his Motion, and address his remarks entirely to that taxation which depresses the labouring classes by diminishing the funds for finding them employment, and advert to that part of the public expenditure to which the hon. Gentleman the Member for the West Riding did not much allude, namely, the public salaries of all the servants of the Crown. And if he (Mr. Drummond) left other subjects unmentioned, it would not be because he denied their importance, but simply in order to leave other hon. Gentlemen to follow the matter up in whatever direction they pleased. He must beg the attention of the House, for a very few seconds, whilst he compressed, in as short a space as he could, a brief history of the last few-years, in order to bring us up to our present position. There was no denying that the war, carried on with lavish profusion, did nevertheless give to us a monopoly of all the commerce of the world; that it secured to us an immense field for our ma- nufactures; that the large number of soldiers, sailors, and ships required, did create an immense demand for agricultural produce; and that the whole of this prosperity was increased by being carried on under a gradually depreciating currency. The peace came—distress followed—their commerce had to be shared with others. The manufacturers met with rivals. They were in distress, and various measures were adopted for their relief. There were commercial exchequer bills, and large subscriptions for starving manufacturers besides. The peace also caused the discharge of soldiers and sailors, making a glut in the labour market; there was a diminished demand for corn, and other agricultural articles; the landed interest got into difficulties, and the arrangement of the currency question sealed that difficulty; they got the corn law as an equivalent for that measure, and they had now repealed the corn law, without an equivalent, and they were back in the place they were in 1819. He was not going to ask the Government to recall what they had adopted—if they had adopted a policy—if they had done anything to which they would stand. He granted that a sufficient time had not yet elapsed to be thoroughly acquainted with the effects of what had been done. He granted also that consistency required them to persevere, although he anticipated, after serious convulsions had taken place, they would be obliged to retrace their steps. He did not ask them to retrace them, or to follow his policy, but he asked of them honestly—was that too hard—to follow up their own. He asked them if free trade was anything more than the cry of faction to get themselves into office, to carry it out, and to be honest. The country was now suffering, because they had stopped in the middle, and had given all sorts of flimsy excuses for that stoppage. He called upon them to follow, and they might depend upon it they must follow it up. He would tell the Government honestly one thing of which he was afraid. He was anxious to keep the present Ministers in their places; and, as there was a conviction that if they were sitting at the Opposition side of the House, they would support him, there were persons who were anxious to put them out, but he was anxious that they should be kept where they were, and should be compelled to carry out their policy. He would tell them why they would be compelled to do so. The farmers had begun to reform. The farmers had taken it into their heads in many poor-law unions to answer motions that had been made for more adequate remuneration in the unions, by docking them down one half. That was their notion of adequate remuneration. The two points to which he called the attention of the House in support of his Motion were these—to reduce their expenditure, especially in the matter of their salaries, and to be honest free-traders by taking of all burdens which pressed upon the growth of raw produce of every kind. He had received a letter from a very able solicitor, a supporter, he believed, of the noble Lord in the city of London. He says he considers that all the judicial salaries are most absurd, being fixed at a time when the public were lost in amazement at the enormous incomes said to be made by Sir James Scarlett and Sir Edward Sugden, and when it was fancied that all eminent counsel made 5,000l. or 10,000l. per annum. His correspondent then said he considered that such incomes were not now made by leading barristers, and many of them would be glad to secure 3,000l. or 4,000l. per annum; that many barristers would be glad to secure a county court judgeship; and that the salaries of all future judgeships ought to be reduced and made more equal with the present altered price of provisions. He said, if they sold wheat at a reduced price, let the national expenditure be made to square with it. When the hon. Gentleman the Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire quoted the difference between the Judges in that country and America, the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade showed how different the circumstances were between the two countries; but it was no answer to what the Member for the West Riding said, for he distinctly admitted that there was no parallel between a republic and a monarchy; but yet a contrast might be made between the English Bench and the American Bench, and the salaries of the judges were enormously greater in England than in America. When, years ago, they talked with certainty that after the Peace all prices in the country would be on a level with continental prices, it was never expected that the salaries that were raised on the ground that the expense of living was greater than on the Continent, would still remain at their present extent. This gentleman also sent him an extract from a report of the Select Committee that sat in 1797, from which it appears that the Chancellor's salary had been raised from 9,500l. to 14,000l. a year, the Chief Justice's salary from 4,800l. to 8,000l., and the Senior Puisne Judge from 2,500l. to 5,000l. According to the scale of living in 1799, the Judges were receiving now what would be equivalent to 50 per cent more than it was intended they should receive. His correspondent admitted that none of their public officers should be more liberally paid than their Judges; but thought there was reason to believe that their salaries would bear a reduction without trenching upon the dignity of the office. He had a still more valuable authority to quote in support of his views. The President of the United States had 5,000l. a year—the Governor of Canada had 7,000l.; so the governor of a province required to have more than a sovereign king. He had another valuable authority to submit to the House. It was a letter from a tenant farmer whom he had met at dinner the other day, and who stated the fact to him he was now going to relate. In writing to him he said— This morning I made inquiries relative to the reductions my neighbour. Lord Cottenham, has lately made in his labourers' wages; it is 3s. per week—nearly one-fourth, only excepting his gardeners, who are engaged by the year, and to whom he promised a similar reduction after Michaelmas next. Then came an observation from his friend, who had been a Whig and Radical, and very hot indeed on the Reform Bill, and it would be seen how people could get enlightened when they got a little dissatisfied. He said— This is what the Whigs call, with their usual self-complacency, the improving condition of the labourer arising from free trade, which as regards the case of the farm labourers, gives a bare exist-once in summer, and thorough destitution in winter. He (Mr. Drummond) had not the honour of knowing the noble Lord to whom that letter referred; he was not aware that he had ever seen him in his life, but only judged of him from what he had heard, and he thought it was impossible to select any person whose sense of the adequacy of remuneration was more delicate, or who was more keenly alive to the advantages of good wages. It was to be recollected that the noble Lord held, in fact, the highest rank in the Cabinet, and he (Mr. Drummond) supposed that, consequently, his Motion for reduction would be supported by Her Majesty's Ministers. No doubt the noble Lord opposite, who was always so happy to say a civil thing, would now for the first time inform them that this Motion was in accordance with the principles of Her Majesty Ministers, and not with their theory but with their practice. It was said that this was a question that affected the landlord as well as the tenant, and how that might be in other places he could not say. As he had said at the beginning, he wished to confine himself to the two points, partly because he know on those points he was master of the details, and because it was not true of the district he represented. He did not believe that in that county, or a long way round, there were three estates that were outside 3,000l. a year. The greater part of the land was held by men who farmed their own land, yeomen, who had no resource to fall back upon—it was those people they were oppressing. One of them had sent him from his books the price at which the produce sold for six years succeeding 1842. In 1843, it was 1,061l.; in six years from 1842, it was 872l.; and for this year the produce had been 673l. That was the amount of diminution in the property of the yeoman, produced, unintentionally no doubt, by their measures, and made a difference of 38 per cent. Another yeoman who was speaking of the Motion that had been made for the reduction of local taxation, said— What is the reduction of local taxation to me? I grow 100 loads of wheat in the year; this year they have been worth 1,000l.—some years ago they were worth 1,500l. Then with regard to the cost of production, there was another particular in which they had not acted honestly towards the farmers. He learnt from three yeomen the other day that the labour on one farm was 382l., on another 600l., on another 1,300l. Out of 282,000 landed proprietors in the country, there were 250,000 who held from half an acre to 500 acres of land; and those were the persons who suffered, and not the tenant farmers, who could go back on the landlords, or the landlords, who had other means of relief. He had mentioned the other day the case of those persons who had paid fines for the renewal of bishops' leases, and now he had to call attention to the case of a clergyman, who says, that, having bought an advowson, he borrowed money to build a house. The advowson was worth ten years ago 1,200l. a year, but now it had gone down to 800l. a year. He would put this ques- tion to the free-traders—and would do a good many of them the justice of saying they were truly honest—he would ask any one of them by what right they prohibited those yeomen from growing what they pleased on their land, and using it as they liked? He asked by what right they prevented them from growing tobacco if they liked, or linseed, and using it as they pleased, as oil or otherwise, or beet root, and making it into sugar, and drinking it up, or feeding their cattle with it—he wanted to know by what right they told them that they should not take any of their produce and water it when they liked, or dry it when they liked? Why did they not let them do what they liked with their produce, without any meddling or interfering with them? He asked the freetraders to give a plain answer to that, and to let them grow hops if they so wished? And this reminded him of what was said on one occasion by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth, who ridiculed the advantages to the labourer of growing hops, and, suiting the action to the word, put out his hand as if he were in the act of gathering hops; but the right hon. Gentleman forgot in his action that it was with the left hand, and not with the right, that they gathered hops. Why, also, should they prevent him from using the clay as he liked, and increasing his buildings and cottages—in short, why should they prevent him from using in any way his produce as he pleased? That was the test which the free-traders would have to answer. The farmers might not be very bright, but they could understand plain honesty; and if they saw that the free-traders merely applied a principle so far as it was profitable to their own pockets, they would call them a name they would richly deserve. He would call the attention of the House to a very curious fact which was worthy of their consideration. In 1723, the duty upon malt was only 4s. per quarter, and the amount consumed was at the rate of five bushels per head all over the kingdom. They increased it in 1829, when the duty was 20s. 8d. per quarter, and the amount then consumed was one bushel one gallon per head. In 1731, the malt being still at 20s. 8d. per quarter, but the duty on beer being repealed, the consumption rose to two bushels per head; but in 1840, in consequence of an increase of duty, there was a falling off to one bushel, and there it remained. He said this Motion would put the sincerity of a great number of persons to the test. It was very easy for Gentlemen to go down to the hustings, and say that standing armies and so forth were kept up by the Government for their own interest, but that they themselves only felt interested for the public good, and were willing to have cheap corn and cheap everything; but he believed a great number of votes were given by hon. Gentleman in that House just in proportion as their end was served or not, and not from the motives declared on the hustings. An hon. Gentleman had said something the other night about fishing, and he (Mr. Drummond) believed that fishing went on to a considerable extent, and there were many advocates of free-trade principles who would never agitate them when they thought the end was likely to be a diminution of places in the gift of the Minister. He (Mr. Drummond) would continue to press this matter as long as he sat within the walls of the House, and every constituency in the country should have full means of knowing the votes of their representatives. When he said they should give up the whole of the duty that pressed upon the labourer and owner of the soil, he was told that if the Government took that course, they could not keep faith with the public creditor; but he would tell them that they had not kept faith with the public debtor. They had brought the public debtor to have no respect for their faith, and, whether they liked it or not, the language of the farmers at the present moment showed that was their opinion. Some of those farmers said to him, "Sir, we have been opposed to you at all times; we have been Whigs, and always went against you; but whatever you think of us we were faithful loyal men, and respected the institutions of the country; but we have not found that those institutions protect our property, and we care not a rush whether they are maintained or not." [Laughter.] Did they think that was a laughing matter? He expected those bold mockers would not laugh when he told them what was worse—that amongst the labourers reduced in the way he had shown, there was a very common feeling that they did not see why there should be such a difference between the rich and the poor. That was a fearful condition of things, and they must act honestly and justly if they would avert its effects. The way in which they must act was to diminish the salaries of all the servants of the Crown, and also by taking off every impediment from the cultivator of the soil to do with his produce what he pleased. Those were the two points for which he claimed attention. He did not want to screen the rich, or to protect the landlord against the labourer. No! he would say, put a property tax upon the landlord if they pleased, but whatever they did, let them take the pressure from the labourer.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That whereas the present taxation of the country depresses all classes, and especially the labouring classes, by diminishing the funds for the employment of productive labour, it is the opinion of this House, that adequate means should be forthwith adopted to reduce the expenditure of the Government.


, in seconding the Motion, expressed his concurrence in the views of his hon. Friend who had preceded him. While giving the Government credit for a desire to reduce the expenditure, as far as they thought consistent with the exigencies of the country, he did not think that the Government quite appreciated what those exigencies were. He had felt it incumbent upon him upon late occasions to support Motions which had been opposed by the Government—the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding; and also that of the hon. Member for Montrose, on the preceding evening, for a reduction in the Army. He had done this, not because he pretended to understand military subjects so well as the right hon. Gentleman below him (Mr. F. Maule), but because he thought that though the necessities of the Government was one important element in the question of taxation, the necessities of his constituents was another element quite as important; and the necessities of the latter made reductions in the public expenditure imperative. His hon. Friend who brought forward this Motion, and himself, were consistent in the course they now took for a reduction in expenditure. They had both anticipated the mischievous results of the late free-trade legislation; those mischievous results were now almost universally admitted; and one consequence he always foresaw was, the necessity for a reduction of taxation. But how happened it that, at this particular juncture, the House was unanimous in calling for economy and retrenchment? The demand seemed to have been even anticipated by the Government; and he wished to know how they had come to anticipate it? According to the principles of the free-traders, it ought to have been a time for increasing expenditure. They did not expect free trade to make us poorer. They always said it would enrich the country and increase the revenue. Was a disposition to parsimony and niggardly economy a symptom of increased prosperity or of increased poverty? What had been the course and object of our legislation for some time past? For the last thirty years we had been pursuing the phantom of cheapness; and whenever an approximation had been made to the extremity of declension in prices, the country had, through its manifest impatience of taxation, winced under the pressure of low prices. This had been the case in 1816, 1822, and 1835—years marked by sudden and great declensions in price. A similar impatience prevailed at the present moment. Now that free trade was the law of the land, why was not the country prosperous? Cheapness—the first object of so long a course of legislation—prevailed. Why were not all the great interests of production flourishing? The revolutions of the Continent had ceased, in which were last year's excuse for the ill success of free trade, although in his (Mr. Cayley's) opinion, they had operated in favour of our manufactures. Famine could no longer be the scapegoat. He should like to hear the reason assigned by the Gentlemen holding free-trade principles. Was the country better satisfied—were the working classes better satisfied? One of the concomitants of this progressive cheapness had been an increase of crime in a far greater proportion than the increase of population; while in France there had been a diminution of crime during the same period. Since 1811 the population of England and Wales had increased 60 per cent; the number of commitments had increased 500 per cent. Between 1821 and 1848, emigration had increased 1,900 per cent. Whence this increased disposition, on the part of the working classes, to emigrate from their own country? Depend upon it it was no slight cause that drew them from their homes, for which they had naturally as strong an affection as any of those he now addressed. It had been—with occasional but short intermissions—a period of gradual but increasing decline in the circumstances and comfort of those large classes, that made them seek in a home across the waters that comfort they had failed, since the introduction of our novel commercial system, to find in the home of their fathers. Corn had fallen from 108s. a quarter, in 1811, to 44s. in 1849; in round numbers, 60 per cent; but, in spite of this fall of more than one-half in the price of the staff of life, the working classes were better fed, better clothed, more contented in the former period than the latter, under the high price than under the low; and yet they were told that cheapness was advantageous to the working classes. It had been too much the fashion of late only to compare the last year with the one immediately preceding—a year of great distress. Had they so little confidence in the principle of free trade that they would only compare the present year with the previous year, which was proverbially a year of distress? Let him compare it with the year 1840. In the year 1840 the price of wheat was 57s. the quarter, and the paupers relieved amounted to 1,199,000. In 1848 the paupers relieved amounted to 1,876,000. In 1849 there was a reduction of 400,000l. in the poor-rate as compared with 1848; but in 1848 there was an increase of 1,000,000l. in the poor-rate over 1847. Now, the price of wheat in these years was: for 1840, 54s. 8d.; for 1848, 50s.; for 1849, 44s. This showed a fall of 4s. in 1848, and of 10s. in 1849, as compared with 1840; so that whatever test they applied—whether that of the poor-rate, or crime, or emigration, or impatience of taxation—the same truth came out, namely, that low prices did not suit a heavily-taxed country; and for this plain reason, that as prices fell, taxation remaining more or less a fixed quantity, there was less room for profit either to the master-producer or his workman, although until the transition state passed away, and wages universally fell to a level with other things, some portions of the working classes might appear temporarily better off; but their time would come. When they had remunerating prices for corn the poor-rate was less, and the number of paupers relieved was less than when the price of corn was low. It was because he wished to see the labourer obtaining wages enough to support himself in real comfort, that he desired protection for agriculture, and native industry generally. Nominal cheapness, accompanied by an increased difficulty to purchase cheap food, was no benefit to him. If it could be proved by argument—and what was still hotter than argument, if it could be proved by practice and fact—that the working classes as a body were better fed and better clothed under a low price than under a high price of corn—he, for one, would be a convert to the doctrine of free trade. But in his experience, and it was not a very short one, he never knew that to be the case. On the contrary, the country suffered more under low prices, and therefore if this cheapness were allowed to go on further than it had been, his noble Friend at the head of the Government, instead of being staggered by the proposition of the hon. Member for the West Riding, for a reduction of 6,000,000l. of expenditure, must prepare himself for a good deal more than that. Another even stronger illustration he would give of how little low prices conduced to discomfort among the working classes: let him take the average price of corn, and the average poor and county rates for ten years, from 1811 to 1820 inclusive. The average price of corn for these years was 95s.; the average poor and county rate for the same period, the years 1812 and 1813 excepted, because they were omitted in the return, was 6,600,000l. Now, the average price of wheat for the four years preceding the alteration of the poor-law, since which a new and more stringent system of dealing with paupers has been in operation, which would disturb the fairness of a comparison—in the years 1832, 1833, 1834, and 1835, the average price of wheat was 44s. per quarter, whilst the average poor and county rate during that period of low prices had risen to 8,100,000l. This showed very clearly in his opinion that the prosperity of the working classes did not depend on the low price of corn. He was not in favour of a high price of corn. He wished for such a price as had been indicated some years ago by the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel), namely, a price ranging from 50s. to 56s. the quarter. He believed that with such a price of corn the agricultural and even the manufacturing classes in the country would be more prosperous and comfortable than they were now, or promised to be for some time. Indeed, if the accounts from Manchester were to be relied on, the manufacturers there were not in a very satisfactory condition—far less so than in many previous years. In reference to the pressure on the industrial energies of the country, caused by a great fall in prices, and thence inducing impatience of taxation, which was the origin of the present Motion, he begged to call the attention of his noble Friend and of the House to a remarkable and significant correspondence between the millions of the revenue and the shillings in the price of corn. Taking a period of 28 years from 1822 to 1849 inclusive, the average revenue was 53,000,000l. The average price of wheat for the same period was 59s.; but if he deducted the notoriously scarce years of 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1839, and 1847, the average price of wheat was exactly 53s. But, lost this should appear the effect of accident, he would take the four years from 1832 to 1835 inclusive—those years when prices were exceedingly low, and which formed the standard for the reduction proposed by the hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden). The average price of wheat in these years was 44s., and the average revenue of those four years was 46,000,000l.; and in the last year of the four fell to 44,000,000l. He spoke throughout in round numbers. If the price of corn had gone on decreasing after 1835, as it promised to do now, instead of rising, he would not go on to speculate on what the revenue would have likewise fallen to. Enough for him (Mr. Cayley) that the coincidence was most remarkable—the warning significant. He thought that it was well worthy the consideration of his noble Friend. Although he only offered it to his notice for as much as it was worth, another time he (Mr. Cayley) might attempt to solve the mystery. At all events he felt he could not be wrong in warning the noble Lord that if he persevered in the present commercial system, there would be a progressive, a continuous, demand for a reduction and revision of taxation louder than had ever yet been made. If his noble Friend thought he had come, or was nearly Coming, to an end of the experiment of free trade, he could tell him he was wofully mistaken. We are scarce (continued the hon. Member) arrived at the end of the first stage—at farthest we are only changing horses at Barnet on our road to the north. At every succeeding stage the noble Lord will be met by increased embarassment—in-creased obstruction—more fearful resistance. He will have to encounter war to the knife between British wages and foreign wages—between taxation prices and natural prices—war to the knife between white bread and black bread—war to the knife between poor-laws and no poor-laws—between a nation with poor-laws and a world without them—war to the knife between the lawful insanity of an abstract dogma and the lawless insanity of the lucifer match; and it will be well if in these dread and accumulating struggles to carry out this ruthless scheme—the only effect of which has hitherto been to make the rich richer and the poor poorer—it will be well if the walls even of the House in which we sit be not shaken to their very foundation.


thought that when a Motion of so indefinite a character that it was almost admissible by all parties was submitted to the House, and supported by speeches so totally different from the nature of the Motion itself, it was the duty of the Government to state at once the course which they meant to take in reference to that Motion; for that purpose he had risen thus early in the debate. The Motion itself consisted of a series of assertions, ending with a conclusion, in all which he concurred. He could not differ from the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Surrey in the assertion that taxation was a burden, and a very disagreeable burden, to all who endured it. He could not differ from him in the conclusion that the necessary means by which to get rid of such taxation was by the Government taking every adequate means to reduce the expenditure of the country. But when he came to listen to the speech of his hon. Friend, he thought that he discerned in that speech more than met the eye in the resolution his hon. Friend had proposed. He thought he discerned in that speech a proposition to deal with the public income without reference to the faith which was due to the public creditor. He thought he saw in that speech a reckless attack upon the salaries of public men, especially of the Judges, whose position must be approached, if approached at all, with the most careful and prudent consideration which that House could give to any subject that was brought before it. The hon. Gentleman concluded his speech by a general attack upon the policy which had been adopted in 1846 and in the years subsequent; while his hon. Friend the Member for Yorkshire (Mr. Cayley), who seconded the Motion, had made this a debate entirely upon a question as between protection and free trade; and he prophesied, if the Government should continue in their present course of policy, the many difficulties with which they would have to contend. He (Mr. F. Maule) was prepared to say, that all experience had shown that that policy was one which conduced to the happiness of this country, and to the comfort of the great majority of the people. Approach in what shape they might—come from what quarter they would, Her Majesty's Government would be prepared to deal with all the contingencies which that policy might raise up, and calmly, but with a firm resolution, go forward in the steps in which they had, in their opinion, so successfully trod. He was not altogether clear that the hon. Mover of the present Motion was himself consistent in the course he had pursued. He (Mr. F. Maule) thought he could remember when his hon. Friend, instead of considering cheap corn as the greatest bane by which the interest of the agricultural labourer could be affected, held cheap corn to be the farmer's best friend; that the heaviest tax which the people had to pay was the landlord's monopoly of corn; and that the landlords were the only persons who gained by that tax. He (Mr. F. Maule) thought he could remember when his hon. Friend held the opinion that all other classes, including the farmers themselves, were injured by that tax, and when he recommended the landlords to get rid of the tax as soon as possible for the benefit of those classes who, as he now said, suffered by the abolition of it. His hon. Friend had said that by removing protection from the produce of the country, the Government had left the cost of production entirely unattended to. He (Mr. F. Maule) denied that in toto. What was the first cost in raising corn? Was it not the price of the seed? If the price of the seed had been reduced by the policy pursued, that was one item in the cost of production that had been cheapened. Next came the cheapening of the food of the labourer, and the food of the horses employed in agriculture, by removing the taxes from that food. Both the Mover and Seconder of this Motion appeared to consider that the labouring classes of this country consisted of agricultural labourers alone. They did not seem to take into their consideration that there was a vast—he might almost say a larger—class employed in other labour in this country than that of agriculture. The benefit which had resulted to them from cheapness had been such that he did not believe in the whole history of this country there had existed a period when the great mass of the people were in a better condition than they were in at the present moment. When his hon. Friend spoke of the direction in, and the extent to, which he would go in the reduction of taxation, all he pointed to was a diminution of the salaries of the Judges. No other course was indicated. Now, with reference to the salaries of the Judges, it was not many years ago that those salaries were reviewed, and at this moment a Bill was pending to legalise a reduction of the salary of the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench from 10,000l. to 8,000l., and a prospective reduction of the salary of the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas from 8,000l. to 7,000l. These were large salaries, it was true, if compared with the sums paid by other nations. But hon. Gentlemen who lived in the country upon their estates must know that one of the highest institutions of which this country could boast, was the pure, impartial, and recognised uprightness of the administration of justice throughout the land; the confidence which the people had in it, and the power which that feeling exercised in reconciling them to the law, even when its decrees were against their own interest, were among the first securities for order. Every one must admit the absolute necessity of retaining in the position of Judges men of the highest capacity for learning, for integrity, and for knowledge. And in determining what the amount of their salaries should be, they must be compared, not with the salaries paid in other countries, but with that income which an eminent advocate in this country could earn at the bar. Something was said on a former night about the American judges, which he would repeat, because people out of doors did not sufficiently inquire into those things. An American judge received an exceedingly small salary. At the age of sixty, no matter how ripe his intellect or how strong all those capacities which would enable him to discharge his duty to his country, he ceased to fulfil the duty of that office. What became of him? Did he retire, as in this country, upon that pension to which every public man belonging to that station was entitled? No. He was sent back to seek his own living as best he might. And judges who had filled the supreme chair in the United States had frequently been seen afterwards pleading as counsel at the bar, before that very chair which, perhaps, they had occupied far better than those who had succeeded them. He cautioned the House and the public how they reduced the salaries of the Judges below that allowance which would enable them to maintain such a state as should give them character, position, and credit in the eyes of the public. As to what were fitting salaries for public men, that was a question not for him to deter- mine. When the subject should be mooted, the House would be the best judge of the matter, and to the House he handed over the subject. Whatever they did with the salaries of public officers, other than the Judges, let them be cautious how they dealt with those. Except this single class the hon. Mover had pointed out no other direction in which he would reduce, or suggest reductions, to diminish the burdens which he said pressed on the industrious classes. Last year his hon. Friend carried a Motion of this description by a small majority, and he would now read an extract from a letter which, in consequence of that Motion, had been addressed to all public departments, and which showed that the Government had immediately applied itself to reduce and curtail in all proper manners the current expenditure of the country. It was a letter written from the Treasury, and the extract was this:— I am commanded by the Lords of the Treasury to call the attention of the heads of departments to the resolution of the House of Commons, passed on the 19th of July, that 'large sums are expended in supporting needless places, extravagant salaries, and unnecessary works and establishments,' and they direct me to express their earnest desire that all the estimates should be framed with the most rigid economy, excluding all charges for errors not indispensably necessary for the due maintenance of the public service and the permanent institutions of the country. He would ask his hon. Friend whether the Government had been lax in their progress in the road he had pointed out? Within the last three years no less than 3,000,000l. of expenditure had been economised, and on Friday next the House would know from the Chancellor of the Exchequer what course he and his colleagues would think it right to take as to the financial arrangements of the present year. He confessed that when he looked at the returns of the public expenditure for a fair and legitimate subject of reduction, he could scarcely lay his hand upon one that would effect what his hon. Friend desired. He presumed that his hon. Friend did not mean to interfere with the interest of the public debt, or with the civil list granted to the Crown. And as to the charges on the Consolidated Fund, he had cautioned his hon. Friend how he meddled with the salaries of the Judges. As to the non-effective branches of the service, his hon. Friend must know they consisted of engagements entered into with public servants who had served in a military or civil capacity, and were as much sancti- fied by public faith as any other contract could be. But all these charges for interest, the civil list, and the charges on the Consolidated Fund, and for the non-effective service, amounted to 34,000,000l. His hon. Friend admitted that he would take 10,000,000l. for the Army and Navy and Ordnance; so that the miscellaneous estimates only remained. They varied from time to time, and were very much at the disposal of the House; but those amounted only to 3,800,000l., making, with the other charges, 47,800,000l. for the amount of the whole expenditure. What was the margin, then, for reduction, so as to gain a visible relief to the labouring class? But his hon Friend asked that they should give permission to the farmers to employ their lands in any cultivation they pleased—to run a-muck against the whole Excise duty collected for revenue; and he began with tobacco, which last year produced 4,400,000l. His hon. Friend asked why farmers should not be allowed to grow tobacco? That question had been asked for nearly 200 years. It had been resolved on previously to 1829, and tobacco was then grown in Ireland; but he believed it was found that to pay those who grew it, it required a protective duty of near 600 per cent, which it was not possible to give, and in 1829, after that trial, it was found absolutely necessary to rescind the privilege. His hon. Friend said he would leave every one to take upon his Motion such course as he thought fit. That was not a fair way to put a Motion before the House. When they put a Motion relating to the increase or decrease of taxation before the country, they should put it in an intelligible shape, so that the country might not misunderstand the decision of the House on the question. He would ask the House not to be caught by this Motion, or to deal with it in the vague manner in which his hon. Friend had laid it before them. His hon. Friend had laid a trap in a very ingenious manner, to catch all the birds in that House that might fall into it; but he would find that those in that House who thought upon this matter, and weighed the arguments that went forth to the public, were not to be caught by the light food with which he had baited it. He entreated them not to send forth their approbation of such a Motion; the effect of such a course would carry doubt and dismay to many men in all parts of the country, and, feeling convinced that such would be the case, whilst the abstract proposition was one that he could not and would not deny, he should meet the Motion of his hon. Friend by moving the previous question.


had some special reasons for saying a few words on the present occasion—reasons having reference to his hon. Friend who had laid this proposition before the House. He had the happiness to be a near neighbour of his hon. Friend, and on almost every market-day he had the pleasure of meeting him in the borough which he (Mr. Mangles) had the honour to represent. After the last Session of Parliament, in the course of which his hon. Friend brought forward a Motion very like the present, but for which he (Mr. Mangles) did not vote, he was frequently taxed by his constituents for not having supported that Motion. He would tell the House, therefore, why he did not support his hon. Friend's Motion upon that occasion, and why he should not support it now. He had no such reliance on his hon. Friend's guidance—no such reliance on his political consistency, as would induce him to follow the lead of his hon. Friend on that or any other occasion. He was present with his hon. Friend shortly after the close of the Session of Parliament of last year—his hon. Friend must remember the occasion, it was at the White Lion, at a public meeting—when his hon. Friend took some credit to himself for supporting the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding. He had looked, therefore, with great confidence to see his hon. Friend give his support to the hon. Member for the West Riding on his similar Motion the other day. He saw, it was true, the hon. Gentleman in the House before the division, but he did not see him in the lobby. His hon. Friend seemed to intimate that he was not present. If it was not his hon. Friend who was in the House at that time, it must have been his double. But he was not in the division. Abiit, evasit, erupit; he did not vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding as he ought to have done. That was one of the reasons, and only one, why he was not prepared to follow his hon. Friend; and, without intending him the least personal disrespect, he could not help regarding this as one of the Motions which the hon. Member for Middlesex called flash-in-the pan Motions. He could not believe that his hon. Friend really intended to carry out any practical economy. He had not the good fortune to hear the whole of his hon. Friend's speech, but he had no doubt that it was very instructive, and still more amusing. But though he assented, as he believed every man in the House must do, to the mere words of the Motion, he dissented from nearly every one of the arguments which his hon. Friend had used. In the first place, his hon. Friend seemed to assume that the agricultural labourers were the only people in the country. The manufacturers, and miners, and the shipping interest, and other numerous and important classes of the community, were almost ignored. He was prepared, however, to join issue with his hon. Friend on the condition of the agricultural labourer, and he asserted, that in that part of the country from which he and his hon. Friend both came, the great body of the labourers were in a better condition at this moment than they were before the removal of protection. On Sunday last he had been in a labourer's cottage; the labourer was not within, but his wife was. [Laughter.] Gentlemen might laugh—at any rate, his (Mr. Mangles's) own wife was with him. The labourer's wife told him that her husband was then employed under a farmer, whom his hon. Friend knew very well—Mr. Baker, of the Manor Farm. Before the abolition of the corn laws, he had been employed under a railway contractor as a horsekeeper, at 15s. per week, but he was now thrashing for Mr. Baker at 12s.; and the labourer's wife told him distinctly, several times, that she was better off now with 12s. a week than she had been with 15s., and had a larger command of all the necessaries and comforts of life than before. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment on the Address on the first day of the Session, told the House that in Lincolnshire agricultural improvements had been carried as far as it was possible to carry them. Now, he did not pretend to say how this might be, for he knew nothing of Lincolnshire; but he had read a speech delivered at a public meeting by the Rev. Sir G. Robinson, relating to that part of Northamptonshire which bordered on Lincolnshire, where the rev. gentleman told his hearers that he had been recently in that part of the county, and that he had found there docks and thistles, which he should have believed were intended for fox covers if they were not so strong that the foxes could not break away from them. ["Oh, oh!"] He admitted fully that the joke was a very bad one; but it was not his: it was the joke of the rev. gentleman— it was a protectionist joke. But speaking of parts of the country which he knew, he believed that there was an abundant margin for practical improvements to meet the whole fall in prices. He would give, as an instance of this, the case of a farm which was taken about two or three months ago in the middle of the panic. The farm contained 104 acres, and had been let to what was called in that part of the country a "smock-frock farmer," at a rental of 70l. a year. He was always in arrear, and his landlord prevailed upon him to give the farm up, upon condition of giving him time to pay up the arrears that were due. The landlord then took it into his own hands, and after thoroughly draining it, and building a new house upon it, it was let, in December last, to a highly responsible tenant for 130l. a year, for a term of fourteen years. That sum gave the old rent and 5½ per cent upon the whole sum laid out in the improvements he had mentioned. He believed there was hardly a farm in that part of the country to which he had referred which was not capable of the like improvement. His hon. Friend had spoken of the especially bad condition of the small landholders; but he would ask why the food of the whole community should be taxed to enable them to maintain their position? What did his hon. Friend suppose was the amount of the increase in the value of landed property in their part of the country during the last hundred years? Did he not believe that it had increased in value 100 per cent? He (Mr. Mangles) knew a case where land, which let 120 years ago for 16l., was now held at a rental of 45l. per annum. The farmers, he contended, should not be told that their condition was utterly hopeless; that nothing but a change in legislation could help them; and that, without such a change, there was nothing for them but to lie down in a ditch and die; but they had heard so much of this sort of language, that every man who told them the truth, and that they must put their own shoulders to the wheel, was denounced and hunted down as the farmers' enemy. His hon. Friend knew how he (Mr. Mangles) had been denounced to his own constituents. The farmers, indeed, were like the Israelites of old, saying, "Prophesy smooth things; speak to us deceits;" and he was sorry to say that this had been the course pursued by his hon. Friend.


said, he would imitate the example of those who had preceded him, of briefly stating the general grounds upon which he should give his vote. The Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey might be considered either in a commercial or a financial point of view. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War regarded it as meant to imply an opinion on the causes of commercial distress, and that his hon. Friend really intended by this Motion to call upon the House to imply an opinion unfavourable to the commercial policy they had pursued of late years. He had that confidence in the frankness and openness of his hon. Friend, that he firmly believed that if his hon. Friend had intended to ask the House of Commons to express an opinion on the principle of the commercial policy they had recently adopted, he would have so framed his resolution as to bring that great question to some clear issue, and not by the use of equivocal phrases have attempted to gain an advantage which he could not have gained if he had used direct and intelligible terms. Still less could he believe that his hon. Friend really intended to imply an opinion unfavourable to the commercial policy which had been pursued, because he (Sir R. Peel) heard the other night his hon. Friend declare that in his opinion, on the termination of the war, it would have been utterly impossible to maintain by legislation a price of food in England higher than that which was maintained on the Continent; and his hon. Friend had taken credit for his sagacity in having previously to 1815 publicly expressed his opinion that they could not, by artificial means, by legislation, raise the price of corn to a higher rate than that which could naturally be maintained. Again, he had heard an extract read from some document—a document put forth, he presumed, with his hon. Friend's sanction—from which he (Sir R. Peel) inferred that, at no very remote period, the principles of free trade, or at least the abolition of legislative restrictions on the supply of food, had never had a more cordial, earnest, or persevering advocate than his hon. Friend. Now, coupling these more recent declarations with that credit for sagacity to which his hon. Friend laid claim for having foreseen that on the termination of the war the natural price of food as distinguished from an artificial one must be the price of food in this country, he could not, he said, share in the suspicions of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War, and believe that his hon. Friend did really mean by equivocal phrases to gain any advantage, or imply any particular opinion on the commercial question. He took the premises of his hon. Friend, and he thought that they justified his conclusions in favour of economy. But those premises equally vindicated the principles adopted in 1842 and subsequent years. There was hardly one of them that might not be justified on the premises of his hon. Friend. His hon. Friend said, "That whereas the present taxation of the country depresses all classes, and especially the labouring classes." Now surely the legitimate inference from that was, "that the House is of opinion that the House of Commons acted most wisely in 1842, and in subsequent years, in diminishing and repealing taxes which depressed all classes, and the labouring classes especially." Is not that a fair and legitimate inference from the premises? His hon. Friend might justly encourage us to proceed in our course, might ask us to declare "that it will be desirable, as soon as revenue considerations may permit, to remove those other taxes which press heavily on the labouring classes of the community;" but he defied him from these premises to draw any such conclusion as this for instance—"That this House is of opinion that it is desirable to revert to those principles of taxation which were in force before 1842, and to impose duties on the raw materials which furnish occupation for the industry of the labouring classes of the community." Still less would it be in the power of his hon. Friend to draw any such conclusion as this from his premises—"That the House is of opinion that the taxes which were reduced or repealed in 1842 and subsequent years—namely, the duty on corn, meat, live animals, salt meat, cheese, and butter, should be restored to their former amount." It was utterly impossible for his hon. Friend to draw that conclusion from his premises. No; that which his hon. Friend meant to declare by his resolution was this, that the taxation that remained pressed heavily on the productive industry and comforts of the labouring classes; and that it was desirable that all practical economy should be introduced into the public expenditure, with the view of permitting a further reduction of that taxation. That he believed to be his hon. Friend's Motion—that he believed to be his hon. Friend's view. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Cayley), that the merits of the commercial policy recently adopted must be mainly tested by the answer to this question—had the social condition of the labouring classes of this country been improved by the adoption of the principles of free trade? Had their comforts been increased? There might have been in some cases a diminution in the nominal amount of wages received; but the question was, speaking of the labouring classes generally, had their command over the comforts and necessaries of life been increased by the abolition of the legislative restrictions on the importation of food? And he rejoiced that the hon. Gentleman said, and no doubt said truly, that if they could prove to him that the principles of free trade had really added to the comforts of the labouring classes, he would at once become a convert to free trade. The hon. Gentleman thus freely admitted that that was the test by which the merits of this great question were to be determined, and that if the comforts of the labouring classes had been increased generally by their increased command over the necessaries of life, or over those small luxuries, few enough, which were within their reach, no other consideration could prevail to justify the continuance of restriction. So far as they could place any reliance on documents, and so far as they could judge of the present administration of the poor-laws, of the number of unemployed poor, so far even as they could form a judgment in some of the rural districts, they had no right to infer that the comforts of the agricultural classes had been curtailed by the abolition of the corn laws. In some parts of the country he was aware great distress prevailed; but the condition of the working classes was, as the hon. Member had truly stated, the test by which the merits of the question must be decided. Now, speaking, not only of the working classes generally, but of the labourers employed in agriculture in particular, he doubted whether they were not at this moment, after the removal of protection, better provided with all that was essential to the comfort and enjoyment of humble life than they had been whilst protection existed. His hon. Friend said that great distress existed amongst agriculturists at the present moment; but severe distress, and a corresponding demand for economy, had prevailed at other periods under a system of protection. In 1822, 1833, and 1836, and the winter of 1841, when protection existed, agricultural distress was most severely felt, and coincident with it was a loud demand for economy. His hon. Friend would do well to consider whether the low prices of which he now complained—inasmuch as equally low prices had prevailed under a system of protection—ought to be attributed to the operation of free trade. In part, no doubt, they were attributable to that cause; but it had been conclusively shown, in previous discussions, that other causes, acting concurrently with the removal of protection, had made prices fall below their natural level. It was unnecessary to travel over the ground again, and to show that the prevalence of scarcity in 1845 and following years, throughout a great part of Europe, had given a stimulus to increased production, which might fairly account for the depression of which the agriculturists complained. His hon. Friend insisted on having free trade in everything, and said that any person in this country should be allowed to grow tobacco if he chose. How that could benefit any class, he (Sir R. Peel) was unable to perceive. Surely his hon. Friend did not intend to allow tobacco to be grown in this country free of duty, whilst a duty of 1200 per cent continued to be levied on tobacco imported from abroad. He must of course mean that tobacco might be grown in this country subject to excise regulations, and liable to the same duty as that paid upon foreign tobacco. The hon. Member said that he would have no favoured classes; but he would have a favoured class with a vengeance if he allowed tobacco to be grown in Wexford, and brought to market without payment of duty, whilst he taxed the tobacco grown in the southern States of the American Union to the amount of 1200 per cent. His hon. Friend must, of course, intend to subject home-grown tobacco to a tax corresponding with the customs duty levied on the foreign article; and if he should succeed in prevailing upon the House to adopt his suggestion in this respect, it was hardly possible to estimate the small amount of benefit which the agricultural interest would derive from it. His hon. Friend also insisted that the labourer should be permitted to grow his own hops, and corrected a mistake into which it appeared he (Sir R. Peel) had fallen in a former debate, in supposing that hops were gathered with the right hand; for it seemed the practice was for hop-pickers to hold the plant with the right hand, and collect the fruit with the left. His hon. Friend lived in a hop county, and was charmed with the picturesque scene which would be presented by a labourer in a fantastic dress, on a delightful autumn evening, gathering untaxed hops to be applied to the manufacture of his own beer. His hon. Friend sympathised with the unfortunate peasant who was prevented from applying his own hops to the brewing of his own beer; but of what advantage would the removal of the restriction be in less favoured parts of the country than that in which his hon. Friend resided? Take the weavers of Paisley or Lancashire, for example—would those men deem it to be an advantage to be allowed to gather untaxed hops on condition that they should consent to the reimposition of duties on food? What reception did his hon. Friend imagine he would receive from these men if he were to say to them—"I will reimpose the duties on corn, bacon, cheese, butter, salted meats, and live animals; and, as a compensation, I offer you the permission to gather hops without legislative interference." The sympathy which his hon. Friend felt for the labourers of Surrey and Kent in respect to their hops, was worthy of more extensive application. It should include within its benevolent range the labourers to whom the privilege of growing hops or tobacco was nothing—to whom the free access to the main articles of subsistence was everything. Giving his hon. Friend full credit for a bonâ fide intention to recommend a resolution pledging the House to a course of economy, he (Sir R. Peel) came now to the consideration of that question. He was as strongly convinced as his hon. Friend could be of the necessity of economy. He (Sir R. Peel) did not vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding on a former evening, because he believed that the statement of facts set forth in it was not strictly correct. He did not vote for it, because he thought that the principle of reducing the expenditure of this year to the standard of any particular former year was a fallacious one, and that an attempt to carry it out would lead to great inconvenience. He could have no prepossession personally against the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding, because he (Sir R. Peel) was First Lord of the Treasury in 1835, when those low estimates were adopted which the hon. Member would make the model of estimates for all future years. At the same time he could not but recollect that, when in opposition in 1838, he urged the Government to increase the Navy Estimates, and that he then expressed the prevailing opinion of that part of the House which was unconnected with the Government. It was also impossible for him to forget that, although the Government over which he presided proposed reduced estimates in 1835, yet in 1845, when he was proposing, as First Minister of the Crown, the re-enactment of the property tax, and when he had every motive for reducing expenditure in order to conciliate the favour of the country towards the reimposition of the tax, he felt it his duty, looking to the circumstances of the country—to the vast extent of our colonial possessions—to the severe strain to which the physical strength of the soldier was subjected in consequence of the want of relief from colonial service, and to the danger of weakening his sympathies with the mother country, arising from too protracted a residence abroad, he felt it his duty to propose an increase of the Army to the amount of 5,000 men. In both cases, however—in the reduction of 1835, as in the augmentation of 1845, he and his colleagues were influenced solely by considerations of public duty. Giving the hon. Member for the West Riding credit for his lucid statement, and for suggesting many considerations well worthy of serious attention, nevertheless, for the reasons which he had stated, he could not concur in the conclusion to which the hon. Member had come. His hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey having been absent when the hon. Member for the West Riding submitted his proposition to the House, now came forward with a Motion which appeared to be more open to grave objection than the other. Both Motions concurred in deprecating taxation which pressed upon the labouring classes. The hon. Member for the West Riding proposed to reduce 6,000,000l. or 7,000,000l. of expenditure, whilst his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey specified no particular amount of reduction, but declared his opinion that "adequate means should be forthwith adopted to reduce the expenditure of the Government." In that opinion he (Sir R. Peel) heartily concurred—no doubt adequate means should be adopted for that purpose; but past experience had taught him, that if the House of Commons was impressed with the necessity of retrenchment, the best course it could take for effecting that object was to proceed gradually, to consider details, and to make reductions where the Government neglected its duty, rather than to put forth high-sounding declarations in favour of economy without pointing out any specific mode by which it could be accomplished. The House of Commons was very apt to have hot and cold fits as regarded economy. He had known the House at one time in favour, he would not say of lavish expenditure, but of a considerable relaxation of the national purse strings, and at another suddenly enforcing inconsiderate and precipitate retrenchment. In saying this, he was speaking of the reformed Parliament. Neither the principles laid down nor the course pursued by the reformed Parliament for several successive years had tended to promote economy. This he knew, that the Government with which he had been connected, and other Governments, had found great difficulty in preventing the House, when the hot fit happened to be on, from increasing the expenditure. It was his opinion, therefore, that systematic and progressive retrenchment was more likely to be effected by Government—by a Government inclined to retrench—than by the various and vacillating temper of the House of Commons. After what had passed during the last fortnight, the House of Commons would be placed in a peculiar position if it should adopt the Motion now submitted to it, because by the passing of that Motion it would justify the country in expecting that some vast retrenchment was about to be made. On what item of expenditure was such retrenchment to take place? He was sorry to hear his hon. Friend talk rather loosely about the preservation of public faith. Considering the name which his hon. Friend bore—considering his connexions, his position, and his high character, it was unworthy of him—and, in saying this, he meant to pay an unaffected compliment to his hon. Friend—to countenance lax notions with respect to the imperative obligation of observing faith with the national creditor. His hon. Friend said that he did not mean to violate public faith; but, then, what great department of expenditure did he mean to reduce? Reference had been made to the salaries of public officers; but the hon. Member for Oxfordshire had given notice of his intention to renew his Motion on that subject, and it would be better to leave the question to be discussed upon that occasion on its intrin- sic merits, than to prejudice it by adopting a vague and general resolution now. It might be taken for granted that his hon. Friend did not meditate an attack on the civil list; that he concurred in the opinion expressed the other night by the hon. Member for the West Riding, that the civil list being the result of a solemn compact between the Parliament and the Crown, ought not to be disturbed during the lifetime of the present Sovereign. Did he then mean to hold out a hope that any great reduction of the military force could be made? At an early hour that very morning the House of Commons had resisted an attempt to reduce the effective force of the Army below 99,128 men, by a majority of 223 to 50. At a later period of the day the House declared by a majority of 117 to 19, that it was necessary to maintain the whole naval force proposed by the Government, namely, 39,000 seamen, and 11,000 marines. Now, those two votes involved the whole question of the expenditure necessary for the military and naval services, and therefore under neither of those heads could his hon. Friend hope to effect any saving. This House also, on Friday last, rejected the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding, pledging the House to make a very large reduction in the general expenditure of the country, by a majority of 272 to 89. With what consistency could this House vote for a vague resolution in favour of retrenchment, after having so recently implied, or rather expressed, an opinion adverse to extensive reduction in any department civil or military? He (Sir R. Peel) was decidedly in favour of the policy and necessity of retrenchment. For what was said about the comparative lightness of taxation in this country, he cared nothing. There were many taxes pressing on the energies of the country and diminishing the comforts of the humbler classes, and their repeal, if it could be effected with good faith and public security, would be of inestimable advantage to the nation. Nay more, he would say that in time of peace, you must, if you meant to retrench in good earnest, incur some risks. If in time of peace you will have every garrison in every one of our colonial possessions in a state of complete efficiency—if you will have all our fortifications in every part of the world kept in a state of perfect repair, he ventured to say that no amount of annual revenue would be suffi- cient to meet such demands. If you adopt the opinions of military men, naturally anxious for the complete security of every assailable point, naturally anxious to throw upon you the whole responsibility for the loss, in the event of war suddenly breaking out, of some of our valuable possessions, you would overwhelm this country with taxes in time of peace. The Government ought to feel assured that the House of Commons would support them if they incurred some responsibility with respect to our distant colonial possessions for the purpose of husbanding our resources in time of peace. Bellum para, si pacem velis, was a maxim regarded by many as containing an incontestable truth. It was one, in his opinion, to be received with great caution, and admitting of much qualification. He did not mean to say that we ought to invite attack by being notoriously unprepared for defence. There were some important means of defence, such, for instance, as the ordnance and navy, which could not suddenly be brought into action unless they were constantly maintained in a state of efficiency; but we should best consult the true interests of the country by husbanding our resources in a time of peace, and instead of a lavish expenditure on all the means of defence, by placing some trust in the latent and dormant energies of the nation, and acting upon the confidence that a just cause would rally a great and glorious people round the national standard, and enable us to defy the menaces of any foreign Power. It was said the other night that reference must be had by us to the warlike preparations of foreign Powers. That was true, but at the same time the conduct of foreign Powers in maintaining enormous military establishments ought to be a warning as well as an example to us. Though the great military Powers of the Continent might be proud of their strength, and might cherish the belief that by means of their vast armaments they secured themselves against attack, yet the cost of those armaments was exhausting their resources, and enfeebling their capacity for exertion by preventing the possibility of economy. No greater benefit could be conferred on the human race than if the great continental Powers were to consent to maintain their relative position towards each other, while each reduced its army to an amount of force, the maintenance of which would not exhaust its strength, and undermine the foundations of its prosperity. If the time for a severe struggle should ever recur, the financial trial would be as severe as the physical one. If the Governments of Russia, Prussia, France, and Austria would have the good sense, without any disturbance of the balance of their relative strength, each to forego a portion of the enormous expense incurred by maintaining vast armies, they would not diminish their national security, and would greatly contribute to the happiness of their people. The conduct of foreign Powers must no doubt have a certain influence on our own course in respect to the maintenance of establishments; but he repeated there was a lesson of warning as well as of example. Those were his views with respect to the necessity of retrenchment. He would advise the House of Commons to apply itself to economy practically and consistently, and not to vote in the morning, by a majority of 223 to 50 for an Army of 100,000, and 117 to 19 for a Navy of 39,000 seamen, 11,000 marines, and 2,000 boys; and in the evening of the same day to pass a vague and general resolution, which will induce the country to believe that the House is about to carry out some great plan of retrenchment. He, for one, would not vote for a Motion which must end in delusion. Agree to the resolution, and the House would be apt to say, "We have performed a great duty—we have come to a glorious resolution in favour of retrenchment—we may safely repose on our laurels, and neglect the somewhat troublesome and invidious duty of attending to economy in details."


said, that the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth had not taken a very intelligible course in oppositing the Motion of the hon. Member for West Surrey. After attempting to affix several inconsistent and inconsecutive deductions upon the Motion, the right hon. Baronet said it was impossible to believe that the Motion could be construed into any reflection upon the commercial policy adopted of late years; but immediately rushed into a laboured defence of the free-trade measures which he carried when last in power. The right hon. Baronet then seemed to come to the conclusion that the Motion had a purely financial aspect, and had stated that economy was necessary, but that he preferred to see it carried out by the Government rather than by the House of Commons. Now he (Mr. Newdegate) had been brought up in an old-fashioned school, in which he was taught to regard this House as the keeper of the public purse. But, according to the right hon. Baronet, the House of Commons was not to decide upon the propriety or necessity of economy, but was to vest its whole discretion in the hands of Government, who should say whether economy was to be practised or not. He (Mr. Newdegate), for one, however, most distinctly objected to vesting them with any such discretion, and took upon him to assert that the right hon. Baronet had not, to his apprehension, laid down the true grounds upon which the Motion of his hon. Friend was submitted to the House. That Motion was submitted to the House in consequence of the condition of the country; and it called upon the House to consider the condition of the country, and to admit that economy was thereby rendered indispensable. The terms of the Motion were these:— That, whereas the present taxation of the country depresses all classes, and especially the labouring classes, by diminishing the funds for the employment of productive labour, it is the opinion of this House that adequate means should be forthwith adopted to reduce the expenditure of the Government. He thought that few men would be bold enough to declare that taxation did not diminish the funds which were available for the employment of productive labour, or that the farmers of this country do not employ more adult labour than any other class; and he appealed to any one who was connected or acquainted with the farmers of this country whether their capital was in such a position that it would boar any unnecessary deduction by means of taxation. Well, he should vote for the Motion of his hon. Friend. He had voted against the proposition of the hon. Member for the West Riding the other night, because he did not agree with the terms of his Motion, and did not think they were founded on fact. He should vote for the present Motion, because it was fully justified by the circumstances of the country, and was perfectly intelligible; and he warned hon. Gentlemen who, like the hon. Member for Guildford, refused to assert their principles when the opportunity for doing so was plainly brought before them. If they were in favour of economy and retrenchment, why not say so? But if they did that, perhaps they would find themselves obliged in consistency to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Oxfordshire for a reduction of salaries; and possibly hon. Gentlemen who sat behind the Trea- sury bench did not desire to see themselves placed in a position that would not justify them in a refusal to support that Motion. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth had denied that the free importation of corn had alone caused the present depressed prices for agricultural produce; but he asked the right hon. Gentleman if low prices were not the end and purpose of his commercial measures, why he had adopted those measures? If they were not intended to reduce the price of corn, he (Mr. Newdegate) could not see how the right hon. Baronet was justified in appealing to his measures as having afforded to the labouring classes the means of consuming untaxed food at the lowest price at which it could be obtained. But the right hon. Baronet did not deny that great distress did exist amongst certain classes; that there was very considerable distress amongst the agriculturists; but, speaking of the great bulk of the labouring classes, he maintained that their condition was improved. Now, what he should like to know, was the proportion of the great bulk of the labouring classes that the agricultural labourers composed. He was perfectly aware that certain documents had been published which contained a complication of unintelligible and delusive figures, by which a result was arrived at which would seem to place the agricultural interest and its dependants in a minority. Still he would defy any reasonable man to analyse the population returns, and reject the conclusion that the agricultural classes were by far the largest class in the country; forming, in fact, with those dependent upon them, more than half, and nearly two-thirds, of the population of the united kingdom; and the right hon. Baronet congratulated the House upon having conferred upon the great bulk of the labouring classes an unmixed benefit by the reduction in the price of agricultural produce, and in the same breath he admitted that the agricultural interest was in distress. He (Mr. Newdegate) was of opinion that distress in the agricultural districts was not so bad as it would be. The right hon. Baronet had referred to former periods of distress; but would he make the House or the country believe that their circumstances were not materially altered by his measures? And again, he asked, what were the end and purpose of those measures, if the future was to be like the past? The right hon. Baronet taunted the hon. Member for West Surrey with inconsistency; but even if his hon. Friend did some thirty years ago write the pamphlet to which the right hon. Baronet had alluded, and in which he expressed opinions that were at variance with those he had lately maintained, he thought it was scarcely competent for the right hon. Baronet, in the year 1850, to have so completely forgotten his own conduct and speeches up to the year 1842 according to his own showing, but up to 1846 in the estimation of the country, as to render it competent to him to taunt the hon. Member for West Surrey with inconsistency in having changed an opinion which he entertained some thirty years ago.


was understood to say that he had not taunted the hon. Gentleman with inconsistency.


took the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey to mean that he believed a new system had been of late adopted which engendered weakness in the country, depreciated its character, cast down the condition of its labourers, and tended to produce national poverty; and his Motion was consistent with his statement, for it was to the effect, that as the means of the people had been diminished, so the burden of taxation ought to be lightened. Now, one point to which he particularly wished to advert, because so great a misunderstanding prevailed respecting it, was the relative pressure of the taxation of the country upon the population at present, as compared with former periods. The weight of taxation during the war was often insisted upon by hon. Gentlemen opposite; but if they would compute the difference in the value of money at the two periods, by comparing the taxation during the war with what it was now, they would find that the amount in 1813 did not exceed that for 1849 by more than 625,000l. He was led to notice this subject upon the present occasion, because the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department had, on a previous night, in reply to the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, boasted of the diminution which had taken place since the year 1813 in the poor and county rates. He compared their amounts, and certainly showed that there was a nominal diminution; but he made no allowance whatever for the difference of 23 per cent in the value of the money in which that taxation was levied, as compared with the present period. The right hon. Gentleman stated that in 1813 the poor and county rates in England and Wales amounted to 8,646,841l., and in 1849 to 7,674,146l.; thus showing a decrease of 972,695l., or in round numbers, a million of money. Now the right hon. Gentleman was exactly 2,000,000l. wrong in that statement, and for this reason. If he had taken the trouble to refer to any of the documents which were accessible to the House, or had even have looked into M'Culloch's Dictionary, he would have seen that in 1813 the value of the currency was depreciated at least 23 per cent, and consequently that when he compared the taxation of 1813 with that of 1849 he ought to have allowed 23 per cent to make that comparison fair, or he would fall, as he did fall, into an error amounting to no less than 2,000,000l. Reduce the poor and county rates of that period to the same value as the currency of the present day, and they would find that they amounted to no more than 6,652,068l. So that the poor and county rates of 1849, being 7,674,146l., instead of being less by 1,000,000l. than the poor and county rates of 1813, as stated by the right hon. Baronet, exceeded them by 1,000,000l. in round numbers, when the comparison was fairly made in our present money. Then, if the right hon. Gentleman will refer to the general taxation of the two periods, a similar result would appear. The revenue of 1813 was 68,748,393l. in the money of that time, which being depreciated to the extent of 23 per cent, made it in money of the present day 52,936,240l., whilst the revenue for 1849 was 52,310,768l., thus showing a difference of 625,472l. He begged the House to remember, therefore, when hon. Gentleman spoke of the taxation of war time, that the revenue of 1813 was but very little larger than that of last year. If he were told, "Oh, but the population has increased one third," and that, as the taxation was distributed over a larger number, it was lightened to that extent, he would ask them to consider this, that the agricultural produce of the country had been reduced in value 47 per cent since that time, and that the exports had diminished in value, as compared with their quantities, to the extent of 70 per cent. Did not this show that the means of bearing taxation in this country were far more diminished than the weight of taxation had been relieved by its distribution over a larger surface? He concurred most entirely in what had fallen from the right hon. Member for Tamworth with regard to his desire to maintain the requisite establishments; but he could not concur either with Her Majesty's Government or with the right hon. Baronet in an attempt to set aside the consideration of this question. When the right hon. Baronet said that this House had hot and cold fits of economy, he warned him that the country had experienced a cold fit under their recent legislation; and that there was a general desire for relief from taxation which this House could not withstand, and which no man who represented a popular constituency had, under existing circumstances, a right to resist.


was understood to say, that the arguments adduced against the Motion did not appear to him to meet the case which had been made out. They had been told that the Motion of the hon. Member for West Surrey was too vague, and also that the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding was too explicit. He had been sent by his constituents to support retrenchment and economy, and he should vote accordingly for the Motion. If there was no chance at present of their returning to their old commercial policy, the only course open to them was to reduce the cost of production by the reduction of taxation.


said, he should vote with his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey. As for the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, he did not then see him in his place, nor should he care if he never saw him there again; but he must say that he was consoled under the accusation of inconsistency, by the fact of its having been made by the father of inconsistencies. He was of opinion, no matter what other hon. Gentlemen might think, that the maintenance of the Army and Navy was necessary, not only for the purposes of defence from any invasion that may take place by foreign Powers, but to keep the peace on the part of the turbulent radicals and brawling free-traders at home. The hon. Member for Guildford said, that the labourers of this country were well off. [Mr. MANGLES: I said they were better off than they had been.] He (Colonel Sibthorp) insisted that they were not better off; and if they were in any way well off, it was in consequence of the exertions of the conservatives and the tenant farmers, who had better feeling towards them than many of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and who had determined to maintain the labourers during their dis- tress, and prevent them from becoming the inmates of those bastilles, the union workhouses. The hon. Member for Guildford also talked about the farmers putting their shoulders to the wheel. Now, he would tell that hon. Member that they meant to put their shoulders to the wheel, and that in no underhand way, but in a straightforward manner, and he would assist them in shoving the present Government from the benches whore they now sat, but not to replace the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, and with him his friend and ally the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He believed that protection would yet be had, and that through the hon. Gentlemen who now supported the Ministers, probably as expectants, and probably because they were paid for so doing. They, he hoped, would be the first men to acknowledge their errors; and if they intended to hold their seats in that House, they must come round, and say at the hustings that protection should be the watchword. He hoped to live to see the day when they would retract their errors, and he thought that it would be soon; they would thereby bring the country into a safe harbour, where peace and contentment would be the lot of all classes of the community.


had felt himself somewhat in the predicament of the navigator who, when asked to join in some doubtful religious ceremonial, said, "If this is the devil, I worship God." He had had some idea of offering his vote on the other side of the House under a similar protest, and would probably have done so had he heard nothing but the speech of the hon. Mover. But what was to be done with the speech of the hon. Seconder, who, with all the eloquence for which he was remarkable, impressed the House with the idea that every one who voted for the Motion must be held as voting to raise the price of corn? The bait was reduction of taxation; the hook protection to agriculture. The hon. Seconder avowed the object without any appearance of disguise; and he (Colonel Thompson) must, under these circumstances, be permitted to decline voting with the other side of the House.


said, that when he found a Gentleman so distinguished as the hon. Member for West Surrey, than whom no one knew better how to express his meaning, bringing before the House an abstract resolution, which amounted to nothing but a political truism, he was obliged to ask if that hon. Member did not mean something else. He (Mr. Wood) was not fond of imputing motives to Gentlemen who brought forward Motions in the House; but when nothing could be found in the Motion itself when it was read, hon. Members were obliged to fancy that it did mean something. What that something was would be best gathered from those who supported the proposition. By far the larger portion of those supporters had talked of the miserable condition of the farmers in consequence of the alterations which had been produced by measures of free trade. Then everybody who had been at a loss to discern the meaning of the Motion itself, would, supposing it to be carried, view it as a great triumph, and that it put an end to free trade. Somebody else might adopt the interpretation which he, for one, could wish to be the right one, and might think at last some relief might be coming; and that some reduction in the expenditure upon the Army and Navy was really at hand. But that would be an entire delusion, and Members would be obliged to tell their friends out of doors not to pin their faith upon that interpretation; for the hon. Gentleman proposing this Motion, instead of voting for a proposed reduction of the Army and Navy, walked out of the House without voting. Therefore this latter supposition could not express the meaning of the resolution. Some impenetrable mystery hung over it. It would be an equal delusion were the country to suppose that by the success of this Motion they would be one step nearer the benefits proposed to be gained by it. Did anybody believe that if some other measure for real and actual reduction—for something to be absolutely done—were proposed, that hon. Gentlemen sitting opposite, except some four or five who had voted in a different direction to the rest on other occasions, would support that measure? He saw no utility in carrying an abstract resolution of this sort, which would have no effect whatever upon the policy of the Government or the existing state of things; and as he did not think it right that the people should be so deluded he should support the previous question.


regarded the observations of the hon. and learned Member who had just resumed his seat, as a sign of the times. The meaning was that he would not vote for the Motion, be- cause not only he, but everybody else, must agree with the principle it asserted. On the present occasion, as when the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire was discussed, the Government availed themselves of the different parties for the purpose of defeating each in turn. By this balance of parties, the Government, between the two adverse sections, and occasionally, or nearly alternately, appealing to the one or to the other, gained their majorities and retained possession of their offices; and another result was, that the House collectively refused to pledge themselves to any course of reform either definite or indefinite. There might be some matter for mirth in this, but there was little hope for the stability and security of our institutions. But a state of things might be nearer than those in office would like to contemplate, when Members of that House might be compelled by the strength of circumstances no longer to consent to keep any Government in office by this balance of parties, and this play of voting; but that constituencies would say to their representatives—whether their present representatives or those they might hereafter select—you must compel the Government to enter upon a system of retrenchment; a difficult question, formidable and dangerous in regard to the institutions of the country, that he was certain the noble Lord at the head of the Government would be the first to regret. ["Hear, hear!"] He heard the right hon. the Secretary at War cheering what he had asserted; but, far from being daunted by that cheer, he reasserted it. [Mr. F. MAULE: What do you mean?] He would tell the right hon. Gentleman what he meant. He meant that when they had placed the agricultural community of this country in a position that they felt their property had been utterly destroyed by the legislation of that House—and here he was neither defending or accusing them, but merely stating to the House what was working in their minds—when they found themselves in that position, they did not see that their attachment to the aristocracy of the land compelled themselves to support expensive institutions of which they had ever been the foremost champions. Hon. Gentlemen opposite who advocated the repeal of the corn laws knew well—what more would now soon know also—that in reality that repeal was agitated, not from politico-economic but from democratic motives. His hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey alluded to what the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth had said was the greatest of all questions—the public credit. There had been frequent allusions, indeed, to the public credit during the course of this discussion—more frequent, he thought, than was quite satisfactory to hear—which might tend to excite some degree of alarm. But let it never be forgotten that, when the public faith was referred to, and when the agricultural constituencies—he did not say the agricultural Members now in the House, but confined himself to warning the House that the present agricultural Members might be changed, and that successors might be appointed with other feelings and different views—when the farmers, blame them or not, felt that their property had been sacrificed, they felt also that it had been sacrificed under circumstances to which the epithet of public faith or public honour was little applicable. These questions must be looked in the face, and the time had come when they must be boldly met. He trusted, however, he should not be accused of counselling these things. He only availed himself of the opportunity of putting before the House the difficulties of the position of Members of that House at present, not only with regard to their own constituencies, but with respect to the entire system of expenditure, of commerce—in fact, to the whole manner of conducting public affairs. He only hoped that those who advocated the changes that had been made, were now prepared not only to keep them in the position they now were; that they would not content themselves with seeing the further application of their principles distantly postponed, but would show how the principles they had so loudly extolled were compatible with the security of our institutions, and how, while they were prepared to resist any return to the system they proposed to abrogate, they were likewise prepared to carry out their new system in its consequences, even to their own injury and disadvantage. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth had alluded to the article of tobacco; and in return to the question why the British farmer might not be permitted to grow his own, he had asked whether he would desire to have an excise regulation of 300 per cent upon his crop as an equivalent for the customs duty exacted from the foreign growers. They (the protectionists) were not called upon to say whether they would or not. That was not the argument. The other side said, we must have free trade. Then let us have free trade, leaving the duties to be considered as a question of revenue. But it was said the revenue could not afford the sacrifice. Why, that was exactly what had been always contended for and as constantly denied. Now it was their (the protectionists') turn, and they demanded either a return to the old path, or the carrying out of the new principles to their benefit as they had heretofore been put in force to their injury. Let the free-traders cither give the benefit as well as the injury of free trade, or show how they would legislate consistently and fairly on a one-sided system. The right hon. Member for Tamworth had asked what good it would be to the farmer of Wexford to grow a little tobacco? But it did not concern a farmer in Wexford only; for it was well known to be a question affecting the whole of the south and west of Ireland, in a great portion of which tobacco could be grown at this moment, and it was well known that in the time of the famine nothing had been more welcomed by the poor man than a little tobacco. Seeing other nations less taxed and with advantages not possessed in this country were not consenting to march in our free-trade course, but were protecting their own agriculture, he would ask how hon. Gentlemen opposite were prepared to deal with all these complications and opposing interests? The aspect of affairs was becoming more serious every day. The House had been told by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, by the whole Ministerial bench, and he believed by the hon. Member for Westbury, that the price of corn would certainly get up. Then he put the plain question to them—would they tell the House at what price cheapness ceased to be a blessing, and became a curse? If cheapness was their all in all, why had they conjured up the bright vision of approaching cheapness, if it were to be so soon dimmed by the clouds of returning high price? There was no hope for relief under the present system, until those who suffered from it protested against all one-sided legislation, warned the Government against the coming danger, and told them that no majorities in that House, no apparent triumphs of practised debaters, could convince a set of men whose fortunes had been sacrificed by legislation, that they should continue to entertain those feelings of kindliness and respect which they had been accustomed to feel for what they had ever stood firmly by—the great institutions of the country.


Sir, it was not my intention to have addressed the House on a Motion which appeared to me so vague, and so susceptible of any kind of interpretation which any hon. Member who might speak might be pleased to attach to it, that it would be difficult to collect what the sense of the Motion would really be if the House agreed to affirm the proposition. But the hon. Member who has just sat down, has made this cool of the evening so very warm by his speech, that I cannot help taking notice of some of the doctrines he has put forth. Let me, however, first allude shortly to the subject of the Motion itself. I understand the hon. Gentleman to move that there ought to be some large decrease of taxation, and some great reduction in expenditure. Now, the hon. Gentleman who last spoke, seems to imply that we are evading all reduction by the course we are taking. But it appears to me, on the contrary, that the course we take is the way by which reduction can be effected. I will take the question in the form upon which the great majority of the House seem to have more decided views than those expressed by the hon. Mover. We have some 28,000,000l. to pay for the interest of the national debt, other sums for the Consolidated Fund, and we have to meet the whole of the half-pay department, with other sources of expenditure, and we should have very little upon which we should be able to make a large reduction unless we were to reduce the establishments of the Army and Navy. But the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tam-worth has asserted, and truly, that after our votes upon the numbers of the Army and Navy, it could not be supposed that the gist of the Motion of the evening was to reverse the votes of the morning, so that how the hon. Gentleman was to arrive at any great reduction of taxation by any great decrease of expenditure it was impossible to imagine. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire is going to bring forward a Motion by which he proposes to take off 10 per cent from official salaries. That Motion might be good or not—it might be adapted to the circumstances of the times, or the contrary. But if they agreed to it and deducted 10 per cent from the salaries of all the Ministers holding office in the Cabinet, and from the heads of departments in the Government, it would amount to the sum of 4,000l.; and what would be the great reduction in taxation that would arise from that saving, I must leave the hon. Gentleman to explain. If you have to meet the half-pay, and other expenditure to which you are bound, and if you think the numbers of the Army and Navy not excessive—that, in fact, hardly any reduction could be made—what amount of remission of taxation would you be able to make? The hon. Gentleman says that we have gained a great advantage by on one night opposing Motions made by hon. Members on this side of the House, and on another night opposing Motions proceeding from hon. Members sitting on the other side. All I can say to that is, that if it had been our object to have a certain majority with us, it would have been far more to our interest to take one of the courses which hon. Members on either this or the other side have proposed. If we had taken the course proposed by the hon. Member for Montrose, of making a large reduction in the Army and Navy, and had adopted generally the policy he advocated, we should, in that event, have had that support which he and those who sit with him could have given: or, on the other hand, if we had been able to say, with the hon. Gentleman opposite, that there ought to be a restoration of the import duties upon articles of food, although we might have proposed very small duties, upon corn, and articles of that kind, we should have had the support of those hon. Gentlemen. It is, therefore, putting ourselves in a difficulty, and not giving ourselves any advantage, by not acting with the one side or the other, when we say that we do not agree with those who propose a large reduction in the establishments, and when we say, also, we cannot agree to a return to the principles and measures of a protective policy. And why do we do this? Simply for this reason—that such is our conviction. The hon. Gentleman opposite, however, seemed, in one part of his speech, to lose sight of that reason; for he told us, that, if we went on in this course, those who sat on the other side of the House, and supported us when measures were proposed to us to which we objected, would become inclined to vote for measures dangerous to the institutions of the country. It is impossible for me to believe that the hon. Member has any foundation for that statement.


I beg the noble Lord's pardon; he has misunderstood me. What I stated was, that we might be re-moved, and that measures of the kind might be proposed by our successors.


The hon. Gentleman in the first part of his speech made no such reservation, but said that votes would be given for measures dangerous to the institutions of the country. [Mr. STAFFORD: No, no!] But I am content to take the other form now suggested by the hon. Gentleman, that hon. Gentlemen who do not entertain such opinions will be succeeded by others who do entertain them. If the first interpretation placed on the words of the hon. Gentleman be the correct one, what he said would be a libel upon the parties to whom he alluded; but taking the second as the proper interpretation, then what the hon. Gentleman alleged was a libel upon the constituencies of the country. I do not believe, because their opinions are not suffered to prevail, because this House has adopted a view with respect to the policy of the country in commercial matters which is opposed to the opinions of the electors of counties, that, therefore, those electors would send to this House men inclined to vote for measures which hon. Gentlemen opposite think would be dangerous to the institutions of the country. I am confirmed in this belief by observing that a noble Friend of mine, from whom I differ on this subject, but whom I also regard with the highest respect—I mean the Duke of Richmond—when attending a public meeting, at which some one said that the farmers were no longer loyal, immediately followed that speaker with great indignation, and appealed to the meeting that the loyalty of the farmers was intact; and I find, too, that the Duke of Richmond was supported in that sentiment by the cheers of the whole meeting. I cannot, therefore, assent to this reflection of the hon. Gentleman—injurious, as I regard it, to the constituencies of the hon. Gentleman himself, and of those who think with him. Then the hon. Gentleman has resorted to an oft-refuted fallacy on this subject of free trade and protection; and, referring to the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth and to the hon. Mover of the Motion, he asks that the farmers should have free trade and be allowed to grow tobacco. So far as this subject is concerned, the question is whether they could grow tobacco, with a duty upon the foreign article; and if the opinion is correct—and it may be a sound one—that tobacco might be grown in this country, if free of duty, as against the foreign, which bears a duty, not, as represented by the hon. Gentleman, of 300 per cent, but of 1200 per cent, then the question arises, whether, with a 1200 per cent excise tax to countervail the foreign duty, the farmers would be able to engage in the cultivation of tobacco. So much, then, for one of the great grievances which have been brought forward. But there was another grievance advanced—that the farmers were not allowed to moisten and dry their own barley, and that the malt tax interfered injuriously with the consumption of the produce of their land. But here no question of free trade arises, for no foreign malt comes into this country free of duty, and the farmer is not subject to any duty to which the foreigner is not liable. It is purely a question relating to the taxation of the country. The malt tax was increased in consequence of the wars in which we were engaged. I do not know what the hon. Member for West Surrey thinks of those wars, but we have to pay 24,000,000l. a year in consequence of the American and French wars, and I am not one of those who believe those wars were wisely undertaken. I think both were unnecessary; but having been undertaken, and debts having been incurred on ac-count of those wars to individuals, those debts must be paid, whether those wars were justifiable or not. The malt tax, then, was one of the burdens which was increased in consequence of the war. Then the hon. Gentleman had asked another question; he had asked the supporters of free trade to explain when, in their opinion, cheapness ceased to be a blessing; and a similar question had been put to them by other Members in the course of the Session. It was said, "These gentlemen tell us that they expect a rise in the price of corn, and hold that up to us as an advantage in prospective: how can they regard it as an advantage when they are always saying that we ought to have low prices in order to make corn cheap, and that it is our duty to buy in the cheapest market?" I think all these misapprehensions have arisen from a sentence of Adam Smith, which has been somewhat misinterpreted. He says that a nation which pursues its true interest would act just like an individual—that it would sell in the dearest and buy in the cheapest market. What I understand by that sentence is, that a nation should be allowed to pursue its own interest just as an individual would. It does not mean that a nation is to be compelled by law either to buy cheap or sell dear. If persons choose to buy a dear article they should be at liberty to do so; so also if it happen that they should prefer a cheap article; but what is essential in legislation is that you should not interfere merely for the purpose of making any article dear which would otherwise be cheap. That is all that legislation is concerned in. If you have to raise taxes for the purpose of revenue, you may have to lay them upon articles which will make them dear, and thereby they are, as this resolution says, a great evil to the country, and "diminish the funds for the employment of productive labour." If you want taxes for revenue, and revenue is absolutely necessary for the service of the State, impose them for that purpose; but it is not a right principle to impose a tax merely for the purpose of making any article, produced by a particular class of the community, dear, and thereby injure the consumer of that article in favour of the producer. That is the whole doctrine; and it is not any object of legislation to say, we should pass laws for the particular purpose of making the article cheap. We only say we will allow the people to buy as cheap as they can get it, either in this country or from foreign countries, and it is an injury, without you have this necessity for revenue to which I have referred, to come between the consumer of corn and the foreign producer, saying, "You shall not obtain that corn so cheap as you otherwise might, because we wish to favour the producer as against all other interest." I am merely stating this because I think the principle has been so often misapprehended. It follows from what I have said, that, as to legislation, we have no business whatever with questions as to how cheap or how dear an article may be. If there is an extraordinary production in foreign countries as well as in this country, there then arises the species of cheapness at present existing, that is, an extraordinary cheapness arising from particular circumstances; but from that time production is checked, and prices will rise. Just as, upon the other hand, if there were a very high price, you must expect a greater production in the next year, and a consequent change in prices. But with regard to interference to make the article either dear or cheap, the principle of free trade is, that legislation ought not to interfere either one way or the other. And if it does so happen that, by demand, any article comes into great request, and thereby the price is increased, that which is naturally a high price arising from demand is, I think, a beneficial and wholesome state of things with which legislation should by no means interfere. It is quite the contrary if you have an artificial dearness produced by legislation, if you say you will make such dearness by Act of Parliament, and will not allow persons by their own industry to procure their subsistence in the cheapest manner in which it can be had. If this doctrine be true, there is no truth whatever in the assertion of the hon. Gentleman and others, that they have only a one-sided free trade. They have free trade in most articles; and it is not pretended, for it cannot be pretended, that this House is bound to abolish taxes which are necessary for the purpose of revenue. You are only proving that higher taxes are laid on, not for the purpose of favouring one class against another, but for the purpose of raising the revenue which is absolutely necessary. Let us not have now, as we had some ten or twelve years ago, two seta of taxes, one of very large amount paid to the Exchequer for the benefit of the State, and another also of very large amount paid into the pockets of individuals, or a class, for the benefit of those individuals or of that class. In this point of view, I think the views of the hon. Member for West Surrey in proposing this Motion are singularly inconsistent with the Motion itself, because we have to bear very heavy taxes. If the wars we have undertaken, the debts we have incurred, and the establishments necessary to be maintained, even in the judgment of the most economical Members of this House, require a large amount of taxation, let us not add to the burden by another species of taxation, which is not to go into the Exchequer, but which is intended solely to benefit one class of the nation at the expense of another. For these reasons, and for others which have been stated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary at War, I cannot assent to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Surrey. I shall, therefore, vote for the previous question, especially as I think the resolution itself would serve no good purpose.


did not mean to enter upon any review of the somewhat learned, though particularly unsatisfactory, essay of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, upon the doctrines of free trade. Nor, indeed, was any review necessary, because the noble Lord, in his concluding sentence, admitted all that his (Lord J. Manners') hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey was contending for. The noble Lord said, for example, "in imposing duties, let us take care to impose none for the benefit of one class and the prejudice of another." The proposition of his hon. Friend was a simple corollary of that proposition, for "in taking of taxes," said his hon. Friend, "let us take care we do not prejudice one class for the benefit of another." His hon. Friend added that, by the system which had been adopted, several great classes had been prejudiced; but he was now told that by having prejudiced them, another great class of the community had been benefited. The noble Lord, nervous at the state of parties in the House, and still more nervous at the feeling growing up in the country, had thought it necessary to defend the farmers from what he concluded to be an imputation upon their loyalty by his (Lord J. Manners') hon. Friend the Member for North Northamptonshire. All that his hon. Friend said, and all he intended to say, amounted only to this, that the farmers of England, loyal as they always had been and would be to their Sovereign, might say, if the system of unjust and partial free imports were maintained to their destruction, "the time has now come when we must press for those retrenchments, regardless of the consequences, which may be detrimental to the maintenance of the institutions of the country." The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War opposed the Motion mainly upon the allegation that the great mass of the people never were in such favourable circumstances as they were at present. But they were always told that it was the great mass of the labouring classes who virtually paid the taxation of the country. Then he wanted to know, if the great mass of the labouring people were in the prosperous condition that had been described, what meant the numerous petitions presented to the House for a reduction in the amount of taxation, which they were said chiefly to pay? He wanted to know why, in the year 1850, after the new commercial system had been so happily established, and after it had been attended with such beneficial results, the House of Commons was called upon, both by the agricultural and commercial representatives, to diminish the amount of taxation, while at the same time Her Majesty's Ministers, no doubt with perfect truth, said they had adopted every possible retrenchment in the public service? The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War read the circular which had been ad-dressed to the heads of departments in consequence of the success of his hon. Friend's Motion last year; and it was added, on the part of the Government, that they had adopted every practicable economy. The House, therefore, now found these two extraordinary concurrent facts: on the one hand, that all classes of the people were agreed in saying they were overburdened with taxation; and on the other, that the Government had reduced the amount as far as they possibly could. The hon. and gallant Member for Bradford said, his constituents were tolerably well off, though they pressed him a little with their burdens; but how was it the House had not heard from any Gentleman connected with Lancashire, or the cotton districts, any expression that they regarded with complacency and satisfaction the future of cotton? Why was it they had heard nothing of the often-repeated sneers at competition with America? Was it because there was hardly a Gentleman connected with Manchester who did not know that at no distant day the whole people of the United States would be clothed in garments of American manufacture? He supposed the hon. Gentleman who had recently taken so prominent a part in the peace movement would say it was not to America the manufacturers of Manchester looked for an extension of the cotton trade, but to China, whose market had been so peacefully and so righteously opened to them by bloodshed and injustice; and the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon had in a former debate referred in terms of considerable satisfaction to the great increase which had taken place in the consumption of tea. It was painful to attempt to refute such statements of prosperity; but he must call the attention of the House to the last trade circular of Messrs. Littledale and Co., of Liverpool, which would show that all the notions about the enormous commerce likely to be carried on between England and China had been most seriously dimmed and endangered. The rule of this commerce had been described to be a chest of tea for a bale of cotton, and a bale of cotton for a chest of tea; but what at this moment was the working of the trade? Messrs. Littledale's circular, dated the 4th inst., contained the following ominous statement:— Great complaints are made of the bad state of the country shopkeepers in the country districts. We have closely questioned some of our wholesale grocers and tea-dealers, who assure us that there is no disguising the fact that such is the case, and that the general answer received from their travellers is, that 'they can get neither money nor orders.' He would direct the attention of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon to the conclusion of the circular, which was as follows:— The serious falling off in the deliveries of sugar, coffee, tea, and cocoa for the two months of this year, compared with those of the last, but too truly confirms these complaints, and are perhaps the most alarming features in our present prospects. He did not know whether the linen trade of Ireland offered much more favourable symptoms for the future; and the House would recollect that the other day the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department used an expression with reference to Durham, to the effect that in a mining district we must expect to see distress. The time then was approaching, and it would shortly arrive, when the cry of distress, already so great, would be still greater; and when the House would hear from the hon. Member for Montrose statements far more appalling than those he made last night. Five hundred distress warrants, said the hon. Gentleman, had been executed in a single parish in the metropolis; and the hon. Gentleman who represented that constituency declared that he could not say the condition of England was flourishing. Flourishing! It was only flourishing in the tropes and figures of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton who moved the Address. It was only flourishing in the anticipations of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Westbury—anticipations which never could be realised; and unless the price of corn rose, to the great delight of hon. Gentlemen opposite, those most inconsistent votaries of free trade, and to the consolation of Her Majesty's Ministers, however they might defeat Motions of this kind, they might depend upon it that Session after Session they would return upon them with double power from both within and without the walls of the House. He put it then to Her Majesty's Ministers, whether they could maintain the taxes which his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey had described as taxes which pressed upon the industry of the people far more injuriously than those duties which the noble Lord had helped to repeal. And now he would ask, what was the accusation of inconsistency which had been made against the party who intended to support the Motion of his hon. Friend? Why, that last night they declined to diminish the military and naval service of the country. A more unjust charge of inconsistency was never made. The Motion of his hon. Friend was of a general character, and it was not inconsistent with the maintenance of an adequate naval and military force. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose wished to strike off a definite number of men from the Army and Navy, whom his (Lord J. Manners') friends thought could not be spared, and therefore they opposed the proposition; but the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey was one which every Gentleman belonging to the Financial Reform Association was unquestionably bound to support, if he wished to be consistent. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War said the terms of the Motion were vague, and he resisted it in a speech quite as extraordinary as that of the hon. and learned Member for Oxford. The right hon. Gentleman opposed a "vague" Motion by the vaguest of all means, namely, by moving the previous question; and hon. Gentlemen who were pledged to support every Motion for economy, intended to evade a proposition which affirmed the necessity for economy. They might carry the previous question, but the subject would be renewed over and over again, until they could not, and dared not, repeat this method of shelving it. His friends supported the Motion, because it left the responsibility of it to a certain extent, where it ought to be left, upon the shoulders of the responsible advisers of the Crown; they did not take it upon themselves to say in what particular departments of the State retrenchments should be made; but they affirmed that retrenchments must be made. Whether they were to be effected by reducing the salaries of Gentlemen holding office, and lowering the wages of the men employed in Her Majesty's service, or whether we should return to the old system of government and abolish all commissions, it was not for them to declare; but, under the circumstances of the country, they held that the present amount of taxation could not, with justice, continue to be imposed upon the people. On these grounds he should vote for the Motion; and he was not the less disposed to support it, because some hon. Gentlemen said it was equivalent to a return to protection. Nothing, however, could be more clear or distinct than the way in which his hon. Friend had guarded himself against such a supposition. Still, if hon. Gentlemen chose to have it so, he should not be deterred from supporting it by any such insinuation. The present amount of taxation could not be maintained. Some step or other must be taken in relation to it. His hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey then had put an alternative, which the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth admitted was a fair carrying out of his principles. The fault would rest with the House if they negatived it. For himself, he supported the Motion in the spirit in which it was framed; and he was not at all disinclined towards it, because it was a practical protest against an unjust system, a system which was crushing the industry of the English people, and which was incompatible with the maintenance of our historic empire.


If I were a person somewhat unduly influenced by authority, I should be puzzled as to my vote on this occasion; for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth, who is justly considered a high authority, has spoken against the Motion of the hon. Member for West Surrey; the noble Lord on this side of the House has taken the same course; my hon. Friends the Member for Bradford and the Member for Oxford have each taken the same line, and have given us the reasons why they oppose the passing of this resolution. Although much has been said that I cordially approve of, and especially in the speech of the right hon. Member for Tam-worth, yet I confess I cannot see the difficulty in which men of my opinions and practice in the House need to feel themselves, in regard to the resolution of the hon. Gentleman. I have read the resolution with care, and I am anxious that the House should not depart from the resolution and persuade themselves that they are taking a right course in opposing it, because it may have been supported by some injujudicious friends of the hon. Gentleman, and by arguments which cannot fairly be brought in support of it. The resolution is but half the resolution which the hon. Member moved last year; it is a much milder Motion than that which be made last year; it is merely expressive of the opinion of the House— That whereas the present taxation of the country depresses all classes, and especially the labouring classes, by diminishing the funds for the employment of productive labour, it is the opinion of this House that adequate means should be forthwith adopted to reduce the expenditure of the Government. Looking at this resolution as it stands, for I did not hoar the speech of the hon. Gentleman, having only entered the House whilst the right hon. Baronet was speaking, I argue from it that the hon. Gentleman means that the propositions which the Government have introduced to the House this Session, although they do, to some extent, lessen the expenditure of the country, yet that they do not go so far as the hon. Gentleman thinks they might, and the necessities of the country require. I hold that opinion, and holding that opinion, I am bound to say this resolution comes before me as exceedingly reasonable and proper, and one which either side of the House might with great propriety adopt. The speakers from the Treasury bench who have addressed the House to-night think the resolution of no use; that it is exceedingly vague. I have no doubt it is vague to some extent; and we can always find fault with resolutions we do not wish to vote for. We are all very ingenious in discovering excuses for opposing a resolution which it may not be convenient for us to support. What is the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War? Is there any thing very distinct in that? He moves the previous question, which is simply to say that it is inconvenient now to discuss this subject, and still more inconvenient to vote upon it; we do not deny the truth of the resolution, but it is more convenient not to express an opinion. If the House thinks economy not of great consequence, and if the people out of doors do not think economy of much consequence, we may vote for the previous question; but if the House is in favour of economy, and if the country is still more in favour of economy than the House, then I think we are bound on this resolution being proposed to give it our support, and not attempt to escape from it. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War alluded to a resolution which was passed in the House last Session. I will read it to the House:— That whereas a greater amount of taxation is levied upon the people than is required for the good and efficient Government of the United Kingdom, and whereas large sums are expended in supporting needless places and unnecessary works and establishments;"— the rest of the resolution was precisely that which the hon. Gentleman had moved tonight. On that occasion the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex, who is a good friend of the Government, moved an Amendment, which was lost, there being 71 votes in favour of the Motion, and 68 in favour of the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War has told the House that, in consequence of the adoption of that resolution, the Government issued a circular to the various departments. They sent this circular to all the branches of the public service, stating that it was necessary that a rigid economy should be carried on in all the departments of the public service; and in doing this the Government has shown a proper respect for the unanimous decision of the House. This statement of the right hon. Gentleman is most conclusive, because if the resolution of last year induced the Government to issue the circular, and if we see several reductions of expenditure this year, which were not proposed last year, we may fairly conclude that if the House should sanction again a resolution of economy, such as was sanctioned last year, that the Government who were disposed to carry economy further than they had lately done, would receive this as a gentle admonition from the House to preserve the same line of conduct, and they would have the sanction of the Parliament strengthening them in all economical changes against all those unseen and pernicious influences which are ever opposed to retrenchment. In the remarks of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, respecting the proceedings of the previous evening, and the large majority that voted in favour of continuing an expenditure of 12,000,000l. or 13,000,000l. for the Army and Navy, there was some force. He (Mr. Bright) voted in the minority, in favour of the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding, on Friday, and would have voted in favour of the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose on Monday night, had not circumstances prevented his being in the House. Now, if those who voted in the minority on those occasions were consistent in the course which they had heretofore pursued, he conceived that they were bound to vote for the resolution now proposed. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, however, viewed the matter differently. They did not vote for the Motions of the hon. Members for the West Riding and for Montrose, and on that account had placed themselves in rather an awkward predicament. They did not in general show much mercy to the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tam-worth, and could scarcely wonder, when they left themselves so open to his quiet sarcasms, that he should have made the House some amusement entirely at their expense. If he (Mr. Bright) were in their position, he would really come to some definite conclusion—he would either be for economy or he would not. He did not complain of their being in favour of economy because the corn law question was settled. He did not seek to convert the present into a corn-law debate—that was the policy of the officials. He wanted to make it a debate on economy, and nothing else. Whether present low prices arose from free trade, or from any other cause, it was enough for county Members to know that large portions of their constituencies were at present in a less prosperous condition than at former periods. That in itself was sufficient to stimulate them to a minuter investigation into the great questions of finance. Differing as he did from those Gentlemen in reference to free trade, he felt nevertheless that they might, upon that ground, fairly be permitted to ask the Government, and if possible to compel the Government, to carry out retrenchment in the public expenses wherever it could be shown to be possible. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Oxford spoke of the manner in which this had been made a protection debate, and said that if this Motion were carried, there were parties in the country who would regard it as a triumph of protection over free trade. He (Mr. Bright) was the last man who would wish to give a triumph to the protectionists, as such. He was now, if possible, more strongly than ever opposed to their policy. He believed that the statements which had been made as to the effects of free trade by the noble Lord the Member for Colchester, were wholly opposed to the real facts of the case. But he maintained that it was not the policy of any man who was in favour of retrenchment to allow the question of protection to interfere with his vote on the present occasion, or indeed to be mixed up with the real question before them. With protection they had, in fact, nothing more to do, and should consider it as settled. Let them not quarrel then about that which was settled. Let them rather, if there was anything else they all agreed to be essential for the country, and practicable by Parliament, endeavour to effect it. Let them unite, not to destroy any of the institutions of the country, not, if they pleased, in refusing to maintain those defences which a large majority of the House believed to be necessary; but let them unite in cutting down with an unsparing hand all those excrescences of expenditure which could be proved to exist. They had seen the Government employed in reducing by hundreds of thousands that amount which they before maintained it was hardly possible to diminish. Why not carry it out to its legitimate and fullest extent? This Motion ought not to be considered hostile to the Government. It was not so considered last year; and in its results it certainly had not so proved, for it gave to the Government greater power to effect the objects they declared they had In view. If adopted on the present occasion it would strengthen and stimulate them as it did last year. He believed that no Prime Minister had any real interest in a corrupt expenditure. He believed that the present Prime Minister sincerely desired all such expenditure to be abolished; and as a friend to the Government of which he was the head, and as more especially the friend of economy, he (Mr. Bright) felt himself bound to give his vote in favour of the Motion.


should follow the example just set, and endeavour not to make this a free-trade debate, but to address himself as strictly as he could to the Motion before the House. As he was in the House when the Motions of the hon. Member for the West Riding, and the hon. Member for Montrose were brought forward, he should take the liberty of saying-why he thought there was no inconsistency in voting against them, and yet in voting for that of the hon. Member for West Surrey. That made by the hon. Member for the West Riding had been well do-scribed by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth as a specific Motion to go back to a defined amount of expenditure necessary under particular circumstances, and at a particular time. Persons might very well be ready to go far in economy, yet not be able to pledge themselves to go all that distance. He therefore thought there was no inconsistency in those who wished to strengthen the hands of the Government, and, if need were, to press them forward in the path they had to traverse, taking this course. The same reasoning applied exactly to the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose. It might be they were quite certain that it was fit to cut down the Army by 10,000 men, or they might differ as to the extent of the reduction, and also as to the precise amount of men proposed to be reduced in the Navy. The vote now proposed for the Navy was 39,000 men; but did Government always strictly adhere to that number? Last year, he believed, there was an excess of 6,000 men above the vote of 43,000; perhaps this year there might be a diminution, as it might be found not quite convenient, under the pressure of that House, to employ the 39,000 men for whom a vote had been taken. With respect to the Motion itself, and the taxes proposed to be taken off, he had been much struck with the great ingenuity with which the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth had given the go-bye to the question of the malt tax. The right hon. Gentleman amused the House with an account of the system of gathering hops, and wanted to know how the removal of the hop duty would benefit the Paisley or Manchester manufacturer; but he did not condescend to say anything as to the benefit which the labourer might be expected to derive from being enabled to drink his beer without its being subject to a tax on malt. The malt tax influenced the agricultural mind, and affected the consumer in a much larger degree than the hop duty. The silence of the right hon. Gentleman on the subject of the malt tax was calculated to cause some apprehension to hon. Gentlemen opposite; it was rather significant, especially after dilating so long on hops and tobacco. The conscience of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War seemed to have taken alarm at the thought of giving a denial to this Motion, and he had had recourse to moving the previous question. They had denied the Motion last year; what had happened in the interval to bring such a change over the spirit of their dream? for though there were one or two expressions more than in the Motion of last year, substantially it was the same question. The resolution had been attempted to be negatived last year on the Amendment of the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex. This year it was to be put aside in a quiet way by the previous question, meaning something or nothing just as might suit. The noble Lord at the head of the Treasury had given them new readings of Adam Smith; the noble Lord said, it mattered not whether things were cheap or dear, provided they were free, and that it was a good and healthy sign when prices rose high from a brisk demand. Carrying that principle out to its legitimate lengths, the noble Lord must think the famine prices of 1847 a great blessing. Against this Motion, he (Mr. Henley) had heard no single argument alleged, though it had been described as inconvenient and unmeaning; no one had ventured to deny the necessity of exercising all the economy that could be practised with safety to the country. The hon. Member for Guildford seemed to think that there was no distress amongst the agriculturists, but he believed the hon. Gentleman was singular in that feeling; all parties in the House seemed to be agreed that there was a cloud hanging over the country, and that it was necessary to spend as little as possible. This certainly was anything but a fulfilment of the prophecies which had been made in order to induce them to adopt the new system of commercial legislation; they were then told that they would all be much richer. When he (Mr. Henley) looked back at the state of prosperity which this country had enjoyed in 1845, and how willing both the House and the country then were to go along with the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth in the high estimates which he then produced, he, for one, could but lament the change which had come over the prospects of the country. Certainly, people were in such a condition now, from one end of the country to the other, that there was a universal cry that taxes could not be borne. He was the last man in the House to say anything that would bear against public credit; but he could not shut his eyes to the fact, that when there was a universal cry of distress, every institution of the country became, in a certain degree, endangered. He regretted to hear the right hon. Secretary at War stating, on the part of the Government, that no remission of taxation with which he was acquainted would give relief to the people, or words to that effect.


denied that he had made any such statement. He had said, that he saw in the resolution of the hon. Member for West Surrey no remission of taxation proposed that could give relief to the people.


It came to this, then, that no pressure which such a Motion could put upon the Government was likely to produce such a remission of taxation as would give relief to the country. He regretted to hear the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, because many persons were anxious that the recent change in our commercial policy should have a fair trial, but they were satisfied it could not have a fair trial unless the burdens now pressing upon the people were removed or lightened. He would give his cordial support to the Motion, and he was confident that, if it were carried, its effect would be to press down the public expenditure.


was understood to say, that if it was the object of the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Surrey to raise the revenue by a property tax, he was ready to support the Motion. They must have taxes for the maintenance of the Government, and if they remitted other taxation, they had no alternative but to draw the necessary revenue from property. He considered, that if they relieved foreign importers from duties, the produce of the land ought to be equally free from all imposts. They must remove the duties not merely from malt and hops, but from every thing else; and by expanding their commerce, and increasing their trade, they would soon have every labouring man fully employed; they would obtain relief from the poor-rates, and every landowner would get the full benefit of the produce of his land. He considered that the right hon. Member for Tamworth had not only made the House, but also this country, Europe, and the world his debtors by the speech he had made to-night. It was a great and glorious speech, and would never die out out of the memory of men. He (Mr. Heyworth) would vote for the Motion.


thought that the hon. Member for Oxfordshire had not succeeded in proving that he would not be acting with great inconsistency in voting for this, after opposing his (Mr. Hume's) Motion, and that of his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding. His excuse was, that the present Motion was general, and the others specific. Now, the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding declared that the taxes required for the present expenditure impeded the operations of agriculture and manufactures, and thus diminished the funds for the employment of labour in all branches of productive industry. Surely that was general enough. For himself, he was always ready to support retrenchment, whether proposed by Tory, Whig, or Radical. He had expected that the hon. Member who made the Motion would have shown the great increase in our establishments which had taken place since 1792. He well remembered that the successive augmentations in official salaries, moved by Mr. Percival, were placed on the ground of the increased price of food during the war. The enormous expenditure of Government at that period, amounting to some hundred millions, had produced a factitious state of things, from which we were only now recovering. In 1821 these views were adopted by Government, and the House unanimously resolved that the public establishments should be reduced, as would be seen from the Treasury minute of 10th August, framed after the resolutions agreed to by the House of Commons on the 26th of July. The minute declared that all public offices should be restored, both in respect to the number of persons employed in them, and the emoluments received, to the footing on which they stood in 1792, unless some special reason existed to the contrary. This was acted upon to a considerable extent, and the estimates of the following year were reduced by 3,000,000l. He thought the House should now adopt the same policy, and, on that ground, every salary, from the Crown to the porter, should be considered and reduced. He recollected the cheers of the House, amidst which the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth came down and stated that Her Majesty had consented that her income should be subject to direct taxation. The civil list had been settled in the reign of William IV., but let any hon. Member look back to the prices of that day, and see whether the present establishments should be continued. He hoped the resolution would be carried; he advised the Government to accept it, as they had accepted stronger resolutions on former occasions, for the situation of the country required it. In 1792 the staff of the Army cost 12,000l.; at present it cost 167,000l. Let them return to the establishments of 1792, as recommended by the Committee of 1819 and 1821, and they might bring the expenditure down from 50,000,000l. to 40,000,000l., whilst keeping every department in a state of efficiency. He hoped that this Motion would be carried, and he wished the same for every Motion for reduction. That much might be effected was evidenced by what had been done for the Navy during the administration of the right hon. Member for Ripon. That right hon. Gentleman made reductions to the amount of a million, and with economy he increased the efficiency of every department of the service. But the career of economy was soon checked. In 1833 there were 407 generals in the Army, and 153 had been added since. The same story might be told of the Navy and the half-pay list, which was 760,000l. at the peace, and was 740,000l. at the present day. He had only further to say, that he did not support this Motion as a means of returning to monopoly, which he knew was impossible, but as a means of promoting economy; and he thought that hon. Members opposite would do a great service to the farmers if they disabused them of any hopes of a return to protection, but encouraged them to join the other classes of the community in promoting economy in every public department.


said, they had been told by the hon. Member for Guildford that the labouring classes were now in a better condition than formerly. He wished some proof could be adduced that such was the case, but for his part he had reason to fear that the contrary was the fact. He held in his hand a statement which he had received within the last few days, describing the condition of the labouring classes in four or five parishes on the borders of Suffolk and Cambridge, and stating that they had combined to prevent a reduction of their wages from 8s. to 7s. a week. That reduction had been found necessary, owing to the great poverty to which the farmers had been reduced, in consequence of the taxation having been taken off the foreigner and levied on them. In one instance they had gone to their employer and broken his machinery and ploughs, and then fired his buildings, destroying property to the amount of 2,000l. They had also, he was sorry to say, resolved, in case their wages were not increased, to proceed in a body to visit Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace. He should vote for the Motion, as he believed that economy might be introduced into every branch of the public expenditure.


did not like to go to a division without explaining the considerations which should influence him in giving his vote. He had not had the pleasure of hearing the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, but he had listened attentively to the speeches of the hon. Gentlemen who had moved and seconded the Resolution, and the impression produced on his mind by them, was, that the hon. Gentlemen who sat at the same side of the House with the hon. Member for West Surrey, and who never gave their support to any legitimate or bonâ fide attempt to reduce taxation—were only anxious on the present occasion to make "cat's paws" of hon. Gentlemen who sat at the same side with him (Mr. Osborne). This was his deliberate conviction, and he was exceedingly sorry to find that into the trap they had so ingeniously set, the hon. Member for Manchester had been so unwary as to fall. He was unaffectedly sorry to find that the hon. Gentleman had fallen a victim to their artifice, and that he was going, by his vote, to undermine that sound commercial policy which it was the glory and honour of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth to have designed and perfected. He (Mr. Osborne) was resolved not to be a party to any such compromise. He at least was determined not to allow himself to be made a cat's paw of by the hon. Member for West Surrey. He would cheerfully record his vote in favour of any measure which the hon. Gentleman might bring forward in an earnest and single-hearted manner to effect a reduction in the expenditure of the Army, the Navy, and the Ordnance, but he would take care not to be decoyed into giving a fallacious vote in favour of a proposition which, though it was brought forward under the specious plea of economy, meant in reality a reversal of that free-trade policy to which the Legislature had so frequently and so emphatically declared its adherence.


did not expect any such reduction of expenditure to result from this Motion as would enable the Government effectually to lighten the taxation; for with such establishments as ours, and the necessities of an empire like this, he did not think it much beyond the mark. The object of the Motion was to compel a revision of taxation which pressed with severity on the labouring classes, particularly the agriculturists. The malt tax and the hop duty were the principal taxes which pressed on the agricultural interest, not merely as regarded the employer, but the labourer also. Those classes had a just right to call for a repeal of those taxes upon the principles of free trade. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth had rather taunted the Members on that side of the House for having voted against a reduction in the Military Estimates, and for now voting for a general reduction of the expenditure of the country. The right hon. Baronet, however, must, by this time, have found out that he had not legislated altogether for the country in general. It never should be his policy to vote under false colours, and he took this opportunity of stating that he was for a revision of taxation by the equitable adjustment of local burdens, and by the adoption of a system of customs duties on the basis of a revenue tariff, in which case he contemplated the imposition of a 5s. fixed duty on corn. This was policy which he believed many on the other side of the House would support, if they had the courage. The 5s. duty would yield 1,500,000l. or 2,000,000l. a year to the revenue, and prevent the market from being swamped as it was at present. He did not desire a higher duty if this fair adjustment of taxation were adopted, nor would he in that case support any Motion for imposing anything beyond that amount.


said, he had believed, until the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had just sat down had addressed the House, that it was scarcely possible to add to the variety of grounds on which hon. Gentlemen would support this Motion. If time and opportunity served to go through the various speeches, and the grounds on which each Gentleman would give his vote, he thought it would afford a curious illustration of what really would be the amount of opinion expressed, and the light that the public would derive from the vote which would be come to to-night. But the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had just sat down had, with his accustomed candour, declared to the House what was his object in supporting the resolution, and he (Mr. Labouchere) begged, especially of those Gentlemen who sat on that (the Ministerial) side of the House, to mark the grounds on which the hon. and gallant Gentleman should support the Motion. He said he did not think that any reduction of taxation would be of service unless it were accompanied by a reimposition of a duty on corn. [Captain HARRIS: Any large reduction.] Effectually to lighten taxation was the frank and candid statement of the hon. and gallant Gentleman; and how, with that opinion, he could vote for the Motion in the terms in which it was couched, he was at a loss to discover, for the hon. and gallant Gentleman stated that the object he had in giving this vote was to promote a reversal of the policy that the House had taken, and he said distinctly that he contemplated a duty on the import of corn to the amount of 5s. a quarter. And now, with regard to the terms of the Motion, he certainly was not prepared, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, to express anything in contradistinction to those terms. Indeed, his reasons for asking the House to negative the Motion would be altogether inconsistent with any such argument. He should present himself with ill grace to the House, if he were not able to state to them that he thought the Government had given practical proof, not merely by professions but by actions in the reductions they had carried out in the present and in the past year, that they felt that all unnecessary expenditure produced unnecessary taxation, and that all taxation was in itself a great evil to all classes, and more especially to the working classes of the country; and that it was the paramount duty of the House to reduce that expenditure as rapidly as they could consistently with those other interests which it was their duty not to lose sight of. On the three great estimates—those upon which alone everybody agreed any large reductions could take place—he meant for the three great services of the Army, Navy, and Ordnance—a sum of not less than 730,000l. had been saved this year, and, as compared with the year before, not less than a million sterling. This, he said, was a practical proof that the Government had not neglected their duty to the House in this respect, and that they had gradually but effectually applied themselves to retrenchment. He was aware that a desire animated the people of the country that economy should be carried into effect consistently with the real interest of the country. He would not inquire into the reasons which made gentlemen in the landed interest especially eager on this subject at the present moment. Whatever those reasons might be, it was the duty of the House to see that the public money should be expended only with a special view to the public good. But was this a reason for agreeing to an abstract resolution like this, and at a moment when the Government had given practical proof of the spirit of economy which animated them. Was it not unfair and most ungenerous to a Government, who were doing their duty to the best of their ability, to pat them in a situation in which they were likely to be told that any reduction which they might make was all done under the pressure of the House of Commons, and not because they were themselves inclined to do it? That was a most unfair and ungenerous manner of attacking the Government, and he had a right to say that the conduct of the Government had not justified any such attack. But he conceived that there would be evil consequences of a far graver description than any annoyance to Government which would follow from the passing of this Motion. He believed that the impression out of doors would be of a most unfortunate description, and that it would lead to a great delusion. He could not, he confessed, altogether separate a Motion of this kind from the speeches of the hon. Gentlemen who proposed and seconded it. He believed there never was a time in this country when it was more important for the real interests of the country that the credit of the country should be unshaken; and he must say that the language of the hon. Gentleman who brought forward the Motion, and that of the hon. Member for Oxfordshire, who was generally so prudent and cautious, when he told the House that taxation was becoming unbearable in the country, he could not help supposing that language of that kind would lead foreign nations to form a most inaccurate notion of the real resources and the financial state of the country. He did not deny that there was distress in portions of the country; he believed that among the agriculturists there was great and severe, though he hoped but temporary, distress; but to state that the whole of the country was in a distressed condition, or to state that it was less capable of exertion for any national object, or to support the taxation of the country, was a statement which he believed might be made with as little or leas proof in this year of 1850 than in any period during the last fifty years. He was quite aware that general professions of economy were but little attended to, and he should think them little worthy of attention had not the Government to which he had the honour to belong given practical proofs by the reductions they had made. He therefore hoped that the House would not agree to a Motion of this kind, which might be interpreted to mean almost anything. When the estimates were brought forward was the time for hon. Members to object to un-necessary expenditure, and to economise. One word only before he sat down. He heard with the same pleasure that the whole House did the able speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tam-worth, and he quite agreed with him, that the real state of this country must depend not on great and overwhelming establishments, but upon respectable establishments, and above all, upon a contented and prosperous people, and upon well-ordered finances. He also agreed with him, that with regard to our colonies, it was not wise to push to an extreme that care to provide for whatever contingency might happen, for that by so doing we should cripple our means. But he could not help thinking that Gentlemen put a false interpretation on the language of the right hon. Gentleman, when they stated they understood him to abandon the defences of any portion of the empire. He should deprecate any such language, coming from what quarter it might; but he did not understand the right hon. Gentleman to say anything of the kind. His (Mr. Labouchere's) opinion with regard to the colonies was, that we might to a much greater degree than we had hitherto done, gradually adopt other defences than the military power of this country; but at the same time we could not escape the duty which the position of this, as the mother country, devolved upon us.


, in explanation, said, he had not been aware that so erroneous a construction either had been, or could possibly be, put upon what he had said, as had been just alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. So far was it from being true, that no man would be disposed to make a more vigorous exertion than himself for the preservation of any part of the British empire that should be assailed. What he said was, that he did not think it necessary that every garrison and every fortification, in every part of the colonies, during the whole of the peace, should be kept in as perfect a state as if we had a right to expect an attack upon them. He stated that we must trust in some degree to the natural energy of the British subject to defend any portion of the British empire that might be menaced.


regarded the Motion of the hon. Member for West Surrey as a truism, and he did not see how any one could object to it. He was astonished that Her Majesty's Government did not adopt it. For himself, he regarded the Motion as so much a matter of course, that he did not know he should have voted for it but for the speech of the right hon. the Secretary at War. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that the consequence of the resolution passed last year was that the Government had sent round a circular to all the public departments, stating their wish that the utmost practicable economy should be adopted. That would be a reason why he should vote for the present Motion. The Government had asked for an increase of the income tax, on the ground that they could not meet the expenditure; but although the increase on the income tax had been refused, they had not only met the expenditure, but effected a surplus. He agreed in thinking that the weight of taxation was unbearable, and that something must be done, especially to take off the burden of taxation which pressed upon the industrious classes. He also agreed that since there had been a change from high to low prices, there ought to be a reduction in all offices and salaries, from the highest downwards. After the warning given by the right hon. the Secretary at War that another circular urging economy must be sent round if this resolution passed, he should vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for West Surrey.


said, that if this were some specific Motion to lighten the taxes of the community, he would vote for it; but he was very much of opinion that this Motion was a trap, which his hon. Friend the Member for Manchester had fallen into. It was a specious move. The Motion was true; but what were the intentions and views of the majority who voted for it? It was a vote that might catch a few Members who were not accustomed to the tactics of that House; but if the Motion were coupled with the speeches of those who had supported it, the House might be convinced that the supporters of the Motion would not agree to any reduction of taxation that would be for the benefit of the people in general. The hon. Member for North Yorkshire, who seconded the Motion, advocated the repeal of the malt tax. Now, he considered that the malt tax might be repealed by the people themselves, without appealing to that House. He had voted in the two minorities on the late Motions for reduction of expenditure, and whenever a Motion for a specific reduction of taxation came before him, he would support it. But he was not fond of these sham Motions. If hon. Members opposite were in favour of economy and retrenchment, let them vote for the Motions brought forward to effect it. The present Motion was a deception and a fallacy, which should not have his support.


said, that if the present Motion were a "trap," it had assuredly caught him, for he meant to vote for it. He had nothing to do with the intions and meaning of those who had brought forward this Motion. He took it as he found it, and he not only saw nothing to object in it, but something that he was very ready to support. He had a Motion of his own that had stood for to-night for the repeal of the window duties, which pressed heavily on all classes, and especially upon the labouring classes, and he expected and hoped that in return for supporting the present Motion, hon. Gentlemen opposite would vote in favour of his resolution in favour of repealing the window tax when it came on.


replied: He felt neither indignation nor contempt towards those who called this a dishonest Motion; such charges were altogether unworthy of notice. But he could tell them what Motions were "sham Motions"—they were those Motions that everybody knew would not press the Government. Certainly, however amusing might be the discrepancies strung together in support of this Motion, the discrepancies by which it had been opposed were not less amusing. One hon. Gentleman said it was a mere truism. "So powerful was it," said the right hon. the Secretary at War, "that the Government had acted upon it last year;" and another hon. Gentleman said he would not vote for it because he would not be made a cat's paw. It appeared he had been misunderstood when he dealt with the taxes that pressed peculiarly on the labourer and the small farmer. He thought he had been explicit enough, for he took tobacco and hops, and various other things, as illustrations of articles the cultivation of which ought not to be interfered with by the Government. An hon. Member had asked what advantage the people of Paisley would gain by the repeal of the malt tax. It was true that what they drank was not ale, but whisky; but it might as well be said, that as they did not live upon wheaten bread, but on Scotch porridge and oat cake, of what benefit to them was the opening of the ports to foreign wheat? It was known to his Friends around him that he had intended to vote in favour of the Motion of the hon. Member for the West Riding on Friday night, but that he had been obliged to leave the House. The hon. Gentleman opposite the Member for Guildford had contradicted one of his (Mr. Drummond's) statements, but he happened to receive a petition from the neigbourhood of Guildford that day, from which the House would be able to judge which of the statements was most accordant with the fact. [The hon. Gentleman hero read an extract from the petition, to the effect, that the petitioners, believing there was no probability of a return to protection, considered the duty on malt, hops, and bricks, most inconsistent in principle, and unfair and injurious to the farmer, and prayed for their total repeal, and for liberty to the farmer to grow any root whatsoever on his land. They also prayed, as the prices of all needful commodities were considerably reduced, that all public salaries and pensions should be reduced in a corresponding degree.] "Believing there was no probability of a return to protection"—this was the language of men who, they were always told, would listen to nothing but getting back a 5s. duty on corn. The hon. Gentleman's nearest neighbour—than whom a more respectable man did not exist—called his labourers together lately, and told them— My good fellows, I'm not able to pay you for your labour as I have done. Two courses are open to me—I will either keep you all on at reduced wages, or I must turn off some of you altogether. The men took a day to consider of it; and they all agreed to work for him at reduced wages. He was surprised to hear hon. Gentlemen talk as they had done about his making light of the public credit. What he said was, that they had not kept faith with the public debtor; and, therefore, it was those hon. Gentlemen, and not he, who had taught the country to hold the public creditor so very cheaply. He had several times said he would rather vote for a higher property tax than endanger the rights of the public creditor. Whenever he heard hon. Gentlemen talk as they had done on this subject, it always forcibly reminded him of La Fontaine's fable. Les Bêtes Malades. The public debtor was like the poor animals which the lion was told it had done too great an honour to by cracking their bones; but the public creditor, like the jackass of the fable, as soon as it saw it was about to be interfered with, exclaimed, Comment manger le foin d'autrui? He had repeatedly warned the House of the peril arising from the doctrines of repudiation that were growing up in the country; and the fact was, our whole system of legislation had produced a most vicious state of things, enabling a few greedy capitalists to realise colossal fortunes amidst a starving people. And a remarkable proof of this was, that when Mr. Pitt was enacting the legacy duty, he thought it absurd to establish a legacy duty for the case of the millionaire, as it was then supposed to be utterly impossible that such enormous fortunes could be amassed by particular indviduals. In conclusion, he maintained that this was no sham or covert Motion; it was plain and intelligible; and therefore he looked for the support of the House upon it.

Whereupon Previous Question put, "That that Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes 156; Noes 190: Majority 34.

List of the AYES.
Alcock, T. Duke, Sir J.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Duncan, Visct.
Archdall, Capt. M. Duncan, G.
Arkwright, G. Duncombe, hon. A.
Baillie, H. J. Duncombe, hon. O.
Bankes, G. Du Pre, C. G.
Barrington, Visct. Edwards, H.
Bass, M. T. Emlyn, Visct.
Bennet, P. Evans, W.
Beresford, W. Evelyn, W. J.
Blackstone, W. S. Fagan, W.
Blair, S. Farnham, E. B.
Blake, M. J. Farrer, J.
Blandford, Marq. of Fellowes, E.
Blewitt, R. J. Filmer, Sir E.
Boldero, H. G. Floyer, J.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Forbes, W.
Bramston, T. W. Fordyce, A. D.
Bremridge, R. Forester, hon. G. C. W.
Bright, J. Frewen, C. H.
Brocklehurst, J. Fuller, A. E.
Brooke, Lord Gaskell, J. M.
Bruce, Lord E. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Buck, L. W. Goddard, A. L.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Gooch, E. S.
Burroughes, H. N. Greenall, G.
Cabbell, B. B. Greene, J.
Carew, W. H. P. Grogan, E.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Gwyn, H.
Chatterton, Col. Halford, Sir H.
Christy, S. Hall, Sir B.
Clive, H. B. Halsey, T. P.
Cobbold, J. C. Hamilton, G. A.
Cobden, R. Hamilton, J. H.
Cocks, T. S. Harris, hon. Capt.
Cola, hon. H. A. Hastie, A.
Coles, H. B. Henley, J. W.
Compton, H. C. Heyworth, L.
Cubitt, W. Hildyard, R. C.
Dashwood, Sir G. H. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Deedes, W. Hodgson, W. N.
Devereux, J. T. Hood, Sir A.
Dick, Q. Hope, H. T.
Dickson, S. Hornby, J.
Divett, E. Hotham, Lord
Duckworth, Sir J. T. B. Hume, J.
Humphery, Ald. Rufford, F.
Jones, Capt. Rushout, Capt.
Knox, Col. Sadleir, J.
Lacy, H. C. Salwey, Col.
Lennox, Lord A. G. Sandars, G.
Lewisham, Visct. Scholefield, W.
Lockhart, W. Scully, F.
Long, W. Seymer, H. K.
Lopes, Sir R. Sibthorp, Col.
Lushington, C. Sidney, Ald.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Simeon, J.
Mackenzie, W. F. Smith, J. B.
Meagher, T. Smyth, J. G.
Manners, Lord G. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Manners, Lord J. Spooner, R.
Meux, Sir H. Stafford, A.
Miles, P. W. S. Stanford, J. F.
Miles, W. Stanley, E.
Moody, C. A. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Mowatt, F. Stuart, Lord D.
Mullings, J. R. Stuart, J.
Muntz, G. F. Sullivan, M.
Naas, Lord Thompson, Ald.
Newdegate, C. N. Thompson, G.
O'Connor, F. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Oswald, A. Vesey, hon. T.
Packe, C. W. Walmsley, Sir J.
Palmer, R. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Pechell, Sir G. B. Wawn, J. T.
Pelham, hon. D. A. York, hon. E. T.
Plumptre, J. P.
Portal, M. TELLERS.
Prime, R. Drummond, H.
Richards, R. Cayley, E. S.
List of the NOES.
Abdy, Sir T. N. Clements, hon. C. S.
Adair, R. A. S. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Aglionby, H. A. Cockburn, A. J. E.
Anson, hon. Col. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Anstey, T. C. Collins, W.
Armstrong, R. B. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Bagshaw, J. Cowan, C.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Crowder, R. B.
Baring, T. Currie, H.
Barnard, E. G. Currie, R.
Bellew, R. M. Dawson, hon. T. V.
Berkeley, Adm. Denison, E.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Denison, J. E.
Berkeley, C. L. G. D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T.
Bernal, R. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Birch, Sir T. B. Douro, Marq. of
Blackall, S. W. Duncuft, J.
Bowles, Adm. Dundas, Adm.
Boyle, hon. Col. Dundas, G.
Brockman, E. D. Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.
Brotherton, J. Dunne, Col.
Browne, R. D. Ebrington, Visct.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Bunbury, E. H. Ellis, J.
Busfeild, W. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Campbell, hon. W. F. Enfield, Visct.
Cardwell, E. Evans, Sir De L.
Carter, J. B. Ferguson, Col.
Castlereagh, Visct. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Cavendish, W. G. Foley, J. H. H.
Chaplin, W. J. Forster, M.
Charteris, hon. F. Fortescue, hon. J. W.
Childers, J. W. Fox, R. M.
Clay, J. Freestun, Col.
Glyn, G. C. Owen, Sir J.
Grace, O. D. J. Paget, Lord A.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Paget, Lord C.
Greene, T. Palmer, R.
Grenfell, C. P. Parker, J.
Grenfell, C. W. Patten, J. W.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Peel, F.
Grosvenor, Earl Perfect, R.
Guest, Sir J. Pinney, W.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Power, Dr.
Harcourt, G. G. Power, N.
Hardcastle, J. A. Pusey, P.
Harris, R. Rawdon, Col.
Hatchell, J. Ricardo, O.
Hawes, B. Rice, E. R.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Rich, H.
Headlam, T. E. Romilly, Sir J.
Heald, J. Russell, Lord J.
Henry, A. Russell, F. C. H.
Herbert, H. A. Sandars, J.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Scrope, G. P.
Heywood, J. Seymour, Lord
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Shafto, R. D.
Hobhouse, T. B. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Hodges, T. L. Shelburne, Earl of
Hogg, Sir J. W. Slaney, R. A.
Howard, Lord E. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Howard, hon. J. K. Smith, J. A.
Howard, P. H. Somers, J. P.
Hutt, W. Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.
Jervis, Sir J. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Jocelyn, Visct. Strickland, Sir G.
Johnstone, Sir J. Talbot, J. H.
Ker, R. Tancred, H. W.
King, hon. P. J. L. Tenison, E. K.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Thicknesse, R. A.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Thompson, Col.
Legh, G. C. Thornely, T.
Lennard, T. B. Townley, R. G.
Lewis, G. C. Townshend, Capt.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Tufnell, H.
Loch, J. Verney, Sir H.
Mackie, J. Villiers, hon. C.
M'Gregor, J. Wall, C. B.
Mahon, The O'Gorman Wellesley, Lord C.
Mangles, R. D. Westhead, J. P. B.
Martin, C. W. Whitmore, T. C.
Maule, rt. hon. F. Willcox, B. M.
Melgund, Visct. Williams, J.
Mitchell, T. A. Williamson, Sir H.
Moffatt, G. Wilson, J.
Monsell, W. Wilson, M.
Morison, Sir W. Wood, W. P.
Mulgrave, Earl of Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Norreys, Lord Wrightson, W. B.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Wyvill, M.
O'Connell, M.
O'Connell, M. J. TELLERS.
Ogle, S. C. H. Hill, Lord M.
Osborne, R. Grey, R. W.
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