§ The House having resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House,
read the following Resolution— 1212That it is the opinion of this Committee that Her Majesty be authorised to guarantee the payment of the interest on the loan of 5,000,000 l. sterling, to be contracted for by His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, in pursuance of the Convention signed at London on the 27th day of June, 1855, between Her Majesty, His Majesty the Emperor of the French, and His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, and that provision be made out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom, or the growing produce thereof, for the issue of such sums of money from time to time as may be required to pay any interest which may at any time be required to fulfil the guarantee of Her Majesty in respect of such interest, conformably to the tenour of Her Majesty's engagement as specified in the said Convention, together with the attending charges of management thereon.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
Sir, the Convention upon which the Resolution is founded was entered into by the two allied Governments with Turkey, in accordance with, and in fulfilment of those common views which have actuated those Governments and the people of the two countries in regard to the war in which we are now engaged. That war was undertaken for the defence, present and future, of Turkey. It has been the opinion of all those who have concurred in the justice and policy of the war that it ought to be prosecuted with all the vigour and energy which the resources of the several parties engaged admit the employment of. No doubt great efforts have been made, and will continue to be made, by the Governments of England and France for that purpose; large armies have been sent out, great fleets have been fitted out and stationed in the two seas—the Black Sea and the Baltic; but it is evident that the exertions of England and France cannot be attended with the results which we are entitled to aim at, and which are essential for the accomplishment of the objects for which the war is undertaken, unless the efforts of these two countries, which are comparatively distant, can be efficiently seconded by the exertions of the country itself which is most nearly, and deeply interested in the conflict. Everybody is aware of what I may call the noble struggle which Turkey has made in this war—of the great and successful efforts which her army made during the greater part of a twelvemonth in defending the northern frontier of her territories. The success of those efforts and the magnitude of them exceeded, I believe, the expectation of almost all those persons who had turned their attention to the resources and prospects of that empire. There were few who believed that there was in the Turkish nation that enthusias- 1213 tic devotion to the cause of their country which has been exhibited by the Turks in this war; there were few who believed that there existed in the Turkish army that power of combination and of resistance which was manifested by the army under the command of Omar Pacha on the borders of the Danube; there were few who believed that the Turkish empire possessed the financial and material resources which were required, and have been furnished hitherto in the course of that contest. At the same time it was foretold by many that the resources of Turkey must inevitably prove insufficient for a prolonged continuance of the exertions which were required, and especially that her finances must fail in supplying the demands which the war would occasion. Owing, however, to great exertions hitherto, those demands have to a considerable extent been supplied by the ordinary revenues of Turkey; but it is no reproach or disparagement to the Turkish Empire to say that her ordinary resources are unequal to the emergencies of the great and important struggle in which she is engaged, because that happens to all countries which are engaged in war. It happens here; it happens in France; and, from information which we have received, we believe that in Russia the difference between the ordinary revenue and war expenditure is greater even than in England, France, or Turkey. We are informed, on I believe pretty good authority, that, whereas the ordinary revenue of Russia is about 30,000,000 l. sterling, her expenses in this war certainly equal, if they have not exceeded, double that amount. Well, Sir, the ordinary revenues of Turkey, I believe, amount to about 10,000,000l. sterling. In the course of last year they were obliged to resort to a loan to increase their available means, and accordingly a loan was negotiated, nominally of 5,000,000l., but of which between 2,000,000l. and 3,000,000l. was actually raised. That has not been found sufficient for the purposes of the Turkish Government, and they have put it to England and France that, unless additional means were found to defray the current expenses of the military and naval services of Turkey, they would come to a stand, and that it would be impossible for Turkey, out of her ordinary resources, to find the means of defraying the necessary and unavoidable expenses connected with her military and naval operations. The matter was long and seriously considered by the Governments of England and France. 1214 We felt, that if, while we were making great exertions in support of Turkey, by armies and fleets, we allowed the very body which we wished to support to fall to pieces for want of resources, we should be defeating the object which we had in view, and should be rendering fruitless all those great efforts which we were making in her support; that unless the Turkish, Government were supplied with the means of paying and maintaining their own army, it would be vain for England and France to send armies for the purpose of defending her territory. Then the question arose, how that additional supply was to be obtained? There were different ways in which the assistance might have been afforded. The two Governments might have had recourse to that system which this country resorted to in the last war, by furnishing a subsidy to the Power which you intended to assist. That, of course, was not deemed expedient either by the British Government or by the Government of France. There are many objections to it, both in regard to the parties who are to furnish the subsidy, and in regard to the real interests of the party to whom the subsidy would be granted. If you wish that the power should have vitality and a real existence, you must teach that Power to rely, as far as possible, upon its own resources, and, at all events, if temporary assistance be required, it ought to be derived as much as possible from the I means and upon the responsibility of the party who is to derive benefit from it. It being thought inexpedient, then, to give a subsidy to Turkey, the next question was in what manner Turkey should be enabled to raise the means to carry on its military and naval services; and it was thought that the best method was that which the two Governments ultimately determined on, namely, to afford to the Turkish Government the assistance of the credit of England and France by a guarantee of a loan the interest and sinking fund of which I should be paid out of the revenue of Turkey herself. That being so far determined, then came another question, namely, taking the amount of 5,000,000l., which the Turkish Government thought it desirable to raise, whether that sum should be guaranteed by the two Governments separately, each taking half the amount, or whether they should conjointly guarantee the whole amount, taking a separate engagement, as between themselves, practically to provide that they should share 1215 half-and-half in the liability, supposing the liability to arise. Undoubtedly the former method is that which the British Government first thought of, and which perhaps is most in accordance with the habits and views of this country, and which is more in conformity with the precedent of former cases of the same kind; but the French Government laid great stress upon its preference of the latter method, which we have adopted—we under the circumstances of the case, considering the right of France to have an opinion on this matter, and that as the arrangement would come to the same result in the one case as the other, we were bound so far to defer to the wishes of the French Government as to adopt the system of joint guarantee instead of the separate guarantee, half-and-half, dividing the loan into two distinct and separate portions. Another question also arises, namely, what is the probability that the Turkish Government will be enabled out of its own resources to pay in future the amount which will become due for interest on the loan and for the sinking fund? I have no hesitation in saying that there is every reasonable and rational expectation that Turkey will have ample means of making good its engagement without throwing any practical and real burden upon the finances of her two allies. The resources of Turkey are infinitely greater than have been as yet developed. By her local position she has resources of commerce which are annually increasing, and which, under happier circumstances, there can be no doubt will be materially and extensively developed. There are in the Turkish territory mines of every kind, both of metals and of coal, which only require to be worked to produce ample resources to that country, and it is to be hoped that other improvements may take place which will tend greatly to increase and develop her national resources. It has been the misfortune of Turkey as yet, that, whenever her Government felt disposed to make any material improvements in her internal arrangements, calculated either to give additional strength to the institutions of the country, or to add materially to her resources either financial or defensive—it has been her misfortune, I say, that the influence of Russian agency has interposed, and, by the means which were always at her command, has either totally paralysed her intended action, or as so essentially crippled it as to prevent its producing the result which might other- 1216 wise have been expected. It is to be hoped that those influences will hereafter have less power than they have hitherto exercised; and I therefore think that we are justified in anticipating that while the engagements which we now call upon the House to ratify will afford to the Turkish Government the means of co-operating with its allies in carrying on effectually the contest in which we are all engaged, there will, on the other hand, be no good reason to fear that those engagements will in the end be productive of any financial burden upon this country. The immediate security given is, in the first place, the available surplus of the tribute of Egypt. That available surplus, after providing for the interest and sinking fund of the loan contracted last year, amounts to about 65,000l. a year, which will be applicable to the payment of the interest and sinking fund of the present loan. Beyond that, the security given is the entire revenue of the Turkish Empire, and arrangements will be made to secure certain parts of that revenue, to provide the means from time to time of meeting the interest and the demands of the sinking fund. It is the intention of the two Governments to make an arrangement with the Turkish Governments, to which we anticipate no obstacle at Constantinople, to secure that the moneys so raised by loan for the military service of Turkey shall be applied to that military service; so that, while on the one hand engagements are entered into to enable Turkey to raise this money, on the other hand the two Governments of England and France shall have a certainty that the money so raised shall really be applied to the purpose for which it is intended; because it is plain, that if the money raised for the purposes of the war were to be diverted into other channels, and were not applied really and truly for the war, this country would be entering into an engagement for a purpose which would not be accomplished, and we should not be justified, therefore, in asking the sanction of Parliament to such a proceeding unless we took measures for securing that the object in view should really and substantially be obtained. Now, Sir, considering the great importance of the struggle in which we are engaged, and the absolute necessity of furnishing, in some way or other, the Turkish Government with the means of playing its part in that great struggle; and considering also the real danger to our enterprise if the Turkish 1217 army were to fall to pieces for want of the ordinary means of keeping it together and of maintaining it in a state of efficiency. I cannot persuade myself that the House will not be disposed to concur with Her Majesty in the engagement which the Convention records, and I anticipate that the House will, by passing this Resolution in the first place, and the Bill which shall afterwards be founded upon it, afford to Her Majesty the means of making good the engagement which She has contracted on the belief that the House will concur in making that engagement good. I am persuaded that the feeling which I believe to be universal in this House and the country, that every effort ought to be made for carrying on the war with energy and vigour, will induce hon. Gentlemen to consider this as one of the most indispensable measures for the attainment of that object, and that therefore I shall obtain the sanction of the Committee to the Resolution which you, Sir, will now be good enough to put from the chair.
§ MR. J. L. RICARDO
said, that if he could reconcile it with his duty as a Member of Parliament, whose special function it was to watch over the Government and to see that no unnecessary burdens were imposed upon the people, to vote for the Resolution proposed by the noble Lord, there were many considerations which would induce him to do so. When, however, he recollected that we were by this loan re-entering upon the whole system of subsidies, the effect of which still pressed so heavily upon the nation, he felt himself bound to consider carefully the course which he should adopt. He found, from a Return obtained by the late Mr. Hume, that the amount of subsidies granted during the last war, in the twenty years up to 1816, amounted to no less a sum than 58,000,000 l., and, taking that amount at the price at which money was had at that time, to that system might be attributed very nearly one-tenth part of the national debt of the country. He felt, therefore, that unless some immediate and imperative necessity could be shown for resorting to a system that had produced such results, he should be compelled to vote against the Resolution of the noble Lord. He might just remind the House, as a singular proof of the way in which the system worked, that out of the 58,000,000 l. which had been thus granted in the form of subsidies, 9,613,000 l. had been granted 1218 to Russia. He would not enter into the question as to how far the temporary exigencies of the day required that those subsidies should be granted; but it must be palpable and clear to every one that if those subsidies, to the extent of nearly 10,000,000 l., had not been granted to Russia, her power of aggression would have been diminished by that amount, and perhaps this country might not now be engaged in the struggle which weighed upon her. In that amount he did not include the Russo-Dutch oan, because that was a subsidy to Holland rather than to Russia; but he could not but recollect that that loan was in existence still, and that at this moment the country was paying between 80,000 l. and 90,000 l. a year to Russia in the form of a subsidy to Holland. What he wished to point out to the Committee was, that if this country commenced the system of subsidies again it might find itself in the predicament of subsidising Russia in an indirect manner for the purpose of subsidising Turkey, and might thus be paying both sides. With regard to precedent, when, in the year 1832 the Greek loan was guaranteed, a different course was adopted from that which it was now proposed to pursue. That loan was an advance of two millions and a half made to the King of Greece, whom this country appointed—and a very satisfactory king he has proved himself! The loan was guaranteed by three Powers—England, France, and Russia. But did they give a joint guarantee? Not all; but each Power guaranteed its own proportion of the loan, and each was liable for that proportion only. Greece had not paid a single penny of interest for the last twelve years, but we had only to pay our own share of the loss, and yet no quarrel had arisen between the three Powers on account of the loan. But, he would ask, was it probable that such would have been the case if the guarantee had been a joint guarantee? Suppose this country were to enter into a joint guarantee with France to pay the interest of this loan of 5,000,000 l., and then suppose a thing should happen, which he hoped would not happen, but which had before happened in the recollection of all present—namely, that a change should take place in the Government of France, either from some accident to the reigning monarch or from some other cause; and then, again, suppose that that country should then turn round and refuse to pay 1219 the interest of this loan; in the event of Turkey not being able to do so, was this country to pay the whole amount itself? Even if it had to do so, that would not be of such great importance, because the amount could be easily raised by the imposition of a new tax, but the effect would be that the country would be involved in interminable disputes, as Holland was with Russia, and in his opinion there was no one element which could be introduced in diplomacy productive of so much ill-feeling and enmity as disputed financial operations. He was by no means surprised to hear the noble Lord say that it was the wish of France that we should enter into a joint guarantee, because, in fact, such a guarantee would be a guarantee by England alone. When a mercantile man saw two names on the back of a bill of exchange, he did not care for the second name if he saw the first was a good one—every one knew that the highest credit ruled the market. He had expected that the noble Lord, who had been a party to the manner in which the Greek loan was raised, would have given to the Committee a better reason than the wish of the French Government for departing from a principle which he then adopted. The main point, however, to be considered by the Committee was, whether this guarantee or subsidy—for he was unable to see any distinction—was a matter of absolute necessity to Turkey. He had never known a time when there appeared to be more uniformity of opinion between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the House of Commons, and he felt sure that the House would be ready to grant any sum of money necessary for the prosecution of the war; but the House ought to pause before it consented to bear not only the expenditure of this country, but also the expenditure of another State, or, at least, before doing so, it ought to inquire whether the country which it was assisting had from its own resources the means of raising the sum of money it required. They ought to have the clearest proof of the necessity of the case. The noble Lord had stated that he did not expect that this country would be called upon to pay anything for Turkey, because he thought that the resources of Turkey were sufficient to pay the interest upon the debt which she was about to incur. But he could recollect that the noble Lord had made a similar promise in the year 1832 upon the occasion of the Greek 1220 loan. In answer to Mr. Baring, the noble Lord said—As the hon. Member had mentioned the term 'guarantee,' in order to prevent any misconstruction, he (Lord Palmerston) would observe that the guarantee contained in the treaty would not involve England in the liability of paying one single shilling of the loan, as it was distinctly arranged that the whole revenue of Greece should, in the first instance, be applied to the payment of the interest and the debt by instalments, so that England could not be called upon unless on the failure of that revenue."—[3 Hansard, xiv. 561.]Now, what had really happened? Did Greece pay a shilling? No. This country had had to pay, for the last twelve years, the whole amount of that Greek guarantee; and, if we had had a joint guarantee, the probability was that we should not have had the French alliance now, and that we should have been engaged in a quarrel with Russia long before. At the same time, the noble Lord, though mistaken in the case of Greece, might be right now. The revenue of Turkey was 10,000,000 l.; the balance on the Egyptian tribute, as he made it, 72,000 l.; the Customs, 100,000 l.; and Syria, 80,000 l.; making altogether, 250,000 l., specially guaranteed for this loan. But supposing this to be so, the noble Lord was placed in a dilemma; for, if the revenues of Turkey were sufficient to pay us, they were sufficient to pay anybody else; and, depend upon it, the public were as good judges as they were of the value of a country's resources. If they were invited to lend this money to Turkey or to guarantee the interest, upon the pretext that she could pay us out of her own resources, there was no sort of reason why the public should not lend her the money without our guarantee at all. It must be remembered that Turkey had already actually raised money, and raised it at a very great price—6 per cent stock, somewhere at 80; and he had been told by a gentleman, who gave him permission to state the fact here, that that individual had offered to lend Turkey the other 2,500,000 l. of the loan at 85, while a French banking company had offered to lend them 2,000,000 l. at 86. The price of the stock now in the market was 91, and would anybody, then, tell him that Turkey could not raise a loan herself, and that she would "fall to pieces" unless we came to her assistance? Doubtless she would have to borrow money at a higher rate; he did not deny that; but why should this country step in now, at the commence- 1221 ment of her difficulties—if difficulties there were—and at once Quixotically offer to lend her money? He could not, for the life of him, conceive what excuse could be offered—the Chancellor of the Exchequer was, he saw, present, and might succeed in doing so, but the noble Lord had offered none—for, appropriating the money of the people of England in this way, while they were told, at the same time, that the resources of Turkey were amply sufficient to pay the interest on the whole amount she wanted. He was one of those who thought they ought not to be negligent of their finances in proportion to the increase of their outlay—on the contrary, the greater the demands upon them, the more careful they ought to be to husband their resources, and he was convinced that unless a different course were taken to that which appeared to be adopted now, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would find that those resources were not inexhaustible. He believed that, up to the present time, there had been an extravagance without parallel even in the expenditure of the last war, and he took blame to himself that he had not spoken on the subject before. Wherever negligence had been shown there had always subsequently been profusion in an equal, if not in a greater, proportion, and no check whatever appeared to have been exercised. The House of Commons had not troubled their heads about the expenditure one bit, and if there happened to be a Chancellor of the Exchequer who took some pains to investigate what the expenditure was, and carefully husband the national resources, he was accused of starving the war. There could be no economy practised now, too, but they were accused of the same thing, and were told that they did not wish the war to be carried on with vigour. He believed this was the stereotyped expression. In his opinion, however, they ought to look a little closer into the subject, and he thought the House of Commons had not been properly treated with regard to it. One day, the Minister for War, a peer, came down and informed the other House that the pay of the army in the Crimea was to be doubled—the House of Commons not having heard a word about it. Now he did not dispute the right of Her Majesty to pay her soldiers what she liked; but the country had to provide the means, and before such an arrangement was announced the House of Commons ought surely to have known something of it. Again, the other night, in answer to a 1222 casual question put to him, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the most indifferent, the coolest possible way, informed the House that he had already exceeded the Estimate, and that he should probably bring forward a supplementary one. No formal announcement had been made on the subject, and at this moment he (Mr. Ricardo) did not know when it was to come before them. Then the first intimation they had received of this loan was in the shape of a report published in the French newspapers, informing them that England was to guarantee a loan of 5,000,000 l. in conjunction with France. The subject was brought before the Legislative Chamber on the 7th of July, and it was not until the 17th that, in answer to a question he had put, they knew anything about it here. He thought this was not the way in which they ought to be treated in that House; they had borne it long enough; and he, for one, did not consider that he should be doing his duty if he submitted to it any longer. He was quite aware of the inconvenience which might be caused by any opposition to a Resolution the subject matter of which had already been agreed upon in a Convention with a foreign Power; but if inconvenience resulted, the noble Lord had nobody but himself to blame for it, because the least he ought to have done was to ascertain the feeling of this House on the subject before entering into any such Convention. If the noble Lord had mentioned the matter to the House, he would no doubt have found that the people of this country were willing to incur their own expenditure; but he (Mr. Ricardo) believed that some paramount necessity must be shown before they agreed to become responsible for the expenditure of others. Entertaining this opinion, he gave the noble Lord notice that he should certainly divide the Committee against the Resolution.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke (Mr. Ricardo) began his remarks by objecting to the Resolution before the Committee upon the ground that we were proposing a subsidy to Turkey. He quoted a return moved for by Mr. Hume, showing what was the amount of subsidies in the late war, including subsidies to Austria and Russia, and he argued from the amount of these subsidies (about 50,000,000 l., I think he stated) that the proposition before the Committee ought 1223 not to be acceded to. Now, Sir, I would first call the attention of the Committee to the fact that what is now under their attention is not a subsidy, but a guarantee. What is meant by a subsidy is that this country raises a sum of money, that it either effects a loan, or out of the current revenue it pays a sum of money to a foreign Power, and hands it over to that Power in order to defray the expenses of the war. That was a practice which was followed to a great extent during the late war, and this country furnished large sums of money to Austria, to Prussia, and other continental Powers for the purpose of enabling them to continue the gigantic struggle which was maintained for so many years against the power of Napoleon. But, Sir, the proposition now under the consideration of the Committee is not a subsidy, but it is a guarantee of a loan to be effected by Turkey. The Government of Turkey will effect the loan, and is primarily liable for the payment of the interest, and also for an annual sinking fund. The obligation of England and France only arises in case Turkey fails to discharge the annual interest. This is the difference between a subsidy and a guarantee, and this is an answer to the objection which my hon. Friend takes to the adoption of the practice of subsidising foreign Powers. He next proceeds to discuss the question of the joint guarantee. Now, I have no hesitation in stating to the Committee, as has been already stated by my noble Friend at the head of the Government, that if Her Majesty's Ministers had exercised their own discretion and choice, without any objection on the part of the French Government, they would have preferred that their guarantee should have been separate, should have extended only to half the loan, and that the guarantee for the other half should have been separate on the part of the French Government. That course, however, was objected to on the part of the Government of France. They proposed that the guarantee should be joint and entire for the whole loan, and, considering the amicable relations subsisting between the two Governments, and the joint object for which this loan was to be effected, Her Majesty's Government considered that they were bound to accede to this arrangement. Now, I am aware that there are some arguments of weight which may be adduced—as they have been by my hon. Friend—in favour of a separate guarantee. But an engage- 1224 ment has been entered into by the French Government by which they undertake, in case the two Governments are called on to make good their guarantee, to defray one-half of the sum that may be necessary for the payment of the interest and any other expenses incident to the transaction. Thus, although, in form, the loan may be jointly guaranteed, practically and in effect the guarantee will be made separately by the two nations. My hon. Friend has further objected to this Convention on the ground that no necessity has been shown for the interference of the guaranteeing Governments, and that it was in the power of Turkey to raise for herself a fund sufficient for the maintenance of the war without calling for the assistance of any other nation. In answer to that statement, I can only say that the strongestrepresentations were addressed to Her Majesty's Government and the Government of France with regard to the inability of the Turkish Government, during the progress of the war, and in the actual state of her finances and credit, to raise a sum sufficient to defray their military expenses connected with the war. The Committee must consider, not merely the condition of the revenues of Turkey during a time of peace, but also the extraordinary demands which have been made upon her in a time of war, and the fact that hitherto she has not been a borrower in the money-market of Europe. Compared with more civilised nations she enjoys the advantage of having, as yet, contracted no national debt. I believe that the first debt of magnitude which she ever contracted was the loan of 3,000,000 l., borrowed partly in this country and partly in France, which she raised on somewhat, disadvantageous terms, not with standing the large amount of her resources. Upon that loan she received 80 l. for every 100 l., and for the sum borrowed she pays an interest of 6 per cent., besides being subject to certain deductions in the nature of commission. I believe that further losses were incurred by the Turkish Government in remitting the sum of money thus raised from London and Paris to Constantinople; so that the actual amount realised by Turkey would by no means come up to the amount which her credit fairly entitled her to. In the circumstances under which the loan was negotiated, and the pressure brought upon her finances by the existing war, she could not have gone into the market with a project for raising a sufficient sum for the 1225 maintenance of the war and for defraying her military expenses with any chance of success. In such a state of affairs she applied to her allies, and, after giving due consideration to the subject, they have agreed to the Convention which is now before the House. My hon. Friend also says the House ought not to entertain this proposition, because they have not received due notice of it from the Government, and he says that both upon this and upon other financial matters the House have not been treated with that respect and deference to which they are entitled, particularly referring to the supplementary estimates for the naval and military services about to be introduced. I can only say that when an hon. Baronet opposite (Sir H. Willoughby) asked me a question with respect to the intention of Government to propose such supplementary estimates—
§ M R. J. L. RICARDO
The question of the hon. Baronet was as to when you intended to go into Committee of Ways and Means.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
The hon. Baronet communicated with me previously as to the way in which the question should be put, and he asked if it was my intention to propose anything additional in Committee of Ways and Means. I stated that it would be necessary to propose some additional estimates for the army and navy, and that if those estimates were agreed to by the House it would then be my duty to show how the additional expenses were to be met. I am at a loss to know how, in giving that answer, I departed from my duty to this House. I believe that it is not the usual practice to give notice of submitting supplementary estimates. When submitted they speak for themselves, but of course sufficient time is given for their consideration before they are proposed to be voted in Committee of Supply. My hon. Friend further says that, before Her Majesty entered, into this Convention with the Governments of France and Turkey, the House ought to have been informed of the intention of the Government to propose such an arrangement, and the pleasure of the House ought to have been taken before the Convention was framed. In answer to that objection, I can only say that such is not the practice with respect to treaties between independent nations. It is the prerogative of the Crown to negotiate with foreign Powers, and to enter into Conventions with them in matters involving 1226 a guarantee. If the treaties require the subsequent confirmation of Parliament, then they are communicated to Parliament, with a recommendation to enable the Crown to give effect to the provisional arrangements. The communication from the Crown is the notice to the House; it is competent to the House either to grant or to refuse its assent to the recommendation of the Crown; but I believe that no example can be found of a Minister, before the Convention was made, coming down to the House and taking its pleasure upon the desirability of entering into a negotiation with a foreign country. I believe that I have now gone through the principal points which have been touched upon by my hon. Friend, and although it is no doubt inconvenient that any prospective burdens should be imposed upon the resources of the country, still I cannot but think that the Committee, on a consideration of all the circumstances of the case, will see that Her Majesty's Government had no other alternative than to propose this Convention for the purpose of providing means for the carrying on of the war with vigour and success.
Among the many excellent qualities of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which have made him deservedly esteemed by his friends and by this House, I confess that I cannot but admire the comfort and composure with which he discharges the difficult duties of his office. I confess that I do not think that any Gentleman who listened to my right hon. Friend could have derived from his speech—unless he had been otherwise informed—an impression that we have now before us for discussion and settlement one of the most serious and formidable questions which have ever been submitted to Parliament; because if there is a question connected with our finances that excites a deep and general feeling of suspicion, mistrust, alarm, and aversion, it is a proposal, at the commencement of a war, of the nature of that now before the Committee. We are not discussing, on this occasion, any question of pacific or martial policy. We do not come here as Members of a peace society, or of a war society, and I shall deal with the question before us precisely as if I believed that the difference between four ships and eight ships, or the difference between limitation and counterpoise, justified the effusion of all the blood and treasure which the war has cost, and is still likely to cost. 1227 If there is to be war, it ought to be carried on with all the energy of which the country is capable, and we ought not to avail ourselves of the unpopularity of a particular vote, to assail by indirect means the prosecution of a war which we have not attempted to interfere with by direct means. I do not, therefore, in the slightest degree object to the principle on which my noble Friend at the head of the Government is anxious to proceed. I grant that it is a legitimate subject for consideration in this House whether or not you ought to give direct aid—in addition to all the heavy expenditure which you have incurred—to the Power in whose behalf you are waging war. We know that Turkey greatly mismanaged her first attempt in the financial market about two or three years ago; but last year she succeeded in effecting a loan, for which she was undoubtedly obliged to pay dear, but very little more, after all, than England had to pay at the period of the revolutionary war, and not one farthing more than the great empire of Austria or the solvent kingdom of Sardinia would hare had to pay. Therefore I do not perfectly see that a case of necessity has been established, but of course I am bound to admit that the Government has better means of judging than myself with respect to that point. Therefore I should be prepared, to a considerable extent, to apply the principle of confidence even in respect to an operation of this kind, if I were satisfied that the Government itself had given its attention to the question; but taking it for the moment on trust that a case of necessity has arisen, it then becomes a matter of vital importance to consider how we should supply the necessity of our unfortunate ally. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to think that he had removed every ground of alarm when he declared that this is not a subsidy, but a guarantee, and the noble Lord at the head of the Government stated that he had a great objection to subsidising Turkey. Now, I cannot help noticing with considerable surprise that we have been on a small scale giving something like a subsidy to Turkey, in the worst of all ways—namely, in disguise. The Government having, for the purposes of Turkey, had occasion to obtain coal from a portion of the Turkish dominions, had been paying to the Turkish Government, in respect to that coal, a charge in the way of royalty of 10s. per ton; the total cost being 15s. per ton. 1228 Thus we have been paying to the Turkish Government for that coal about ten times as much as the most fortunate coalowner in Northumberland obtains on the produce of his mines, and four or five times as much as the coalowner of Staffordshire, though he has iron furnaces at hand to consume the produce of his mines. Now such a proceeding is highly impolitic—whatever measures are adopted, let them be of an open and undisguised character. The noble Lord assures the House that this country runs no risk of being called on to make good her guarantee; and forgets, apparently, that in 1832 he used precisely the same language; but smooth and agreeable speeches in this House will be of no avail when creditors come to the English Government and plead their guarantee. Nor is this the only case. In 1795, Mr. Pitt came down to the House and assured Parliament, with perfect sincerity, that there could be no risk of this country being called on to pay the Emperor of Austria. What was the result? Although Mr. Pitt was at pains to take real and substantial securities, such as would not be found in the Convention now on the table—depositing the shares of the Bank of Vienna in the Bank of England and taking power to sue every receiver and revenue officer in Austria; yet not a farthing of the interest of that loan had ever been paid by Austria—we were compelled to pay the interest half yearly, and, when the principal was finally settled, something like 2s. 6d. or 3s. in the pound was paid by Austria and 17s. by England. Mr. Pitt found that a guarantee was a subsidy and something more and worse—a deception and an imposture, because it deluded the people and the representatives of England, inducing them to pledge the national credit and entrapping them into engagements of which they did not know the nature; and after that experiment, he (Mr. Pitt) never repeated his proposal for a guarantee, but adopted the manly course of granting a subsidy—the course which, supposing a case of necessity to have arisen, it appears to me ought to have been followed upon the present occasion. For England to guarantee a loan to a foreign Power, especially to a Power placed in such equivocal circumstances as Turkey, is a bad and dangerous proceeding. If Turkey really wants our aid, let her have it in an open, straightforward manner. If she wants a loan, and we desire to show we have a good opinion of 1229 her credit and resources, let us become subscribers and pay down our money at once; or if a case of necessity can be shown, let us give her whatever she requires for the purposes of the war; but do not let us be inveigled into such an arrangement as that now proposed, of which no man can see the end, which may give rise to political difficulties of the most formidable character, and which will certainly impose a heavy burden upon the people. I have shown in the case of Mr. Pitt what was the result of his first attempt in this ill-omened course of guaranteeing; and yet he did his best, by every form of instrument, to fasten on Austria the responsibility of the loan. There is another reason, in addition to that stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, why the Government did not come down and explain their intentions to the House. Our guarantee is a joint and several guarantee, and knew that the other mode of proceeding—that of guaranteeing upon our own account, separate from France—is most in conformity with the habits and wishes of the people. The truth is, the Convention now on the table is an unhappy retrogression. Do its subsidiary and mechanical arrangements indicate any intention to bring home the responsibility to Turkey? Can any man really believe that it establishes anything like an equality of liability between France and England? The Chancellor of the Exchequer says, that by an arrangement between the two Governments, France is to send over to this country half of the interest in the event of Turkey failing to meet her engagements. But that arrangement does not appear on the face of the treaty, and I hope the House will not consent to the instrument as it now stands, in order that it may be amended in that and other respects. It is a significant circumstance that everything is to be done in England. The money is to be transmitted to England; the interest is to be paid in England; the creditor of the Sultan of Turkey will knock at the door of the Bank of England for payment of his dividend. The Sultan, it is true, engages to remit the money. Suppose he forgets to remit—suppose his remittances miscarry—suppose some ingenious Russian Minister, after peace is made, should represent to Turkey how unfortunate her position is with respect to this debt, extorted from her by the English oppressors—will the holder of Turkish stock be sent away from the doors of the Bank 1230 of England unpaid? Of course not; we are bound to pay the interest; and when we have paid our own share, can we turn round and say that the French half had not arrived, and that the creditor must wait until we get the French remittance? On whom, let me ask, does the first responsibility fall? Undoubtedly, the first responsibility is made to fall on England, and I believe the first responsibility in this case will be the last responsibility too. We are told, that in settling a question of this kind, France is to have the weight of its opinion as to a guarantee or subsidy, but the weight of an opinion depends on the experience of the party who forms it, and it so happens that while France—so much the better for her—is almost without experience in the matter of guarantees, our experience, on the contrary, has been enormous, and we ought to have bestowed the benefit of it on our ally. After all, however, that excuse has nothing in it whatever. Let us look for a moment to the Greek loan of 1832. In 1832, the credit of France relatively to that of England was no better than now, and the credit of Russia was still worse; yet the Greek treaty was so framed, that no question, which could wound national feeling was raised by it. There were three parties to the loan then made—England, France, and Russia—and the utmost pains were taken that the payments by Greece should be bonâ fide, those payments being absolutely made a first charge on the Greek revenue, from which not a farthing was to be paid for any purpose till the demand arising out of the loan was satisfied. But, not with standing, it was all perfectly worthless. The arrangement was, that the King of Greece was authorised to raise a sum of money, and that money he raised homogeneously—there were not three sums of money raised on three different credits, but one sum raised on the credit of Greece, backed by a threefold guarantee. The responsibilities of the three guaranteeing Powers were perfectly equal, and there was no question whatever of three different portions of stock into which the amount was divided. Now, this mode entails pecuniary sacrifice, no doubt, but I wish the House to bear in mind that I am at present talking of something more serious than pecuniary losses. I am looking at the political difficulties that are inseparably mixed up in the form of guarantee now proposed. When we have got before us the noble Viscount's own precedent in 1231 1832, which undoubtedly entailed heavy pecuniary loss, but entailed nothing more, are we going to change that form of proceeding and to adopt a course which, while it will be equally disadvantageous in a pecuniary sense may also involve us in great pecuniary embarrassments. We cannot possibly say what questions may arise under a guarantee of this description; but suppose the war is over, and that the two Governments of France and England differ as to the ability of Turkey to pay; suppose that during the war Turkey is unable to pay, and that when the peace comes France thinks she is then able, but that England thinks she is not—who in such a case is to settle the question? In critical times, what danger to Europe may not grow out of this question? Suppose that both countries being called on to pay under this guarantee, one of them obtains from Turkey an equivalent, and the other does not—what heart burnings and quarrelling may arise out of the circumstance! Suppose Turkey does not pay, and one of the guaranteeing Powers is disposed to recover from her—it is extremely doubtful whether, under the present form of the instrument, either France or England could proceed singly against her. Suppose that England wants to recover, I want to know, will she have a right to distrain upon Turkey? And if Turkey says, the interest is guaranteed by France, are we, in such a case, to distrain upon France? Why should we involve ourselves in the possibility of questions like these, and depart, for no conceivable object, from the line of precedent, the line of economy, and the line of common sense laid down by my noble Friend in the case of the Greek loan in 1832, in that skilfully devised treaty by which the three guaranteeing Powers were placed on an equality, avoiding all political embarrassment? During the present year we have, in the case of Sardinia, carried out a loan, but, in that instance, the people of England could not be deceived; they know the worst that can happen, because the money paid to Sardinia is raised in England, being paid out of the Ways and Means of the year, just as ordinary expenditure. That is a bonâ fide loan, which the position and circumstances of Sardinia well warranted, and could not, like the arrangement now before us, deceive or delude the people, because we paid the money, and because it involves none of those political dangers that form the greatest objection to the present loan. I feel 1232 bound to say to my right hon. Friend, that I am greatly surprised to find that no security is taken for the right application of the money. We know the state of things in Turkey; we know perfectly well that all the local instruments of Government in that country are corrupt. Have you taken any security for the right application of this money? No. My noble Friend says, he does not anticipate any difficulty on that score. I am glad he does not anticipate any difficulty; but I should like to have something rather more solid than his anticipations in a matter of such deep importance, for his anticipations have not always proved correct. Why is there not a provision in the treaty establishing, on the part of the English and French Governments, a control over the expenditure of the money? How ridiculous shall we appear if we inflict a charge on the people of England, and find that it has gone to fatten the corrupt agents of a weak and uncertain Government? The French Government, it is quite evident, have already felt the defectiveness of the instrument in this respect, because in the Moniteur it has been stated that the Report presented by the Legislative Body represented that the right application of the loan was secured by the preamble of the treaty. Perhaps Her Majesty's Government will point out the passage in the preamble of the treaty which enables the English and French Governments effectually to control the application of the loan. The words used are of the largest and most general kind, and the objects of the loan are described to be to provide for the vigorous prosecution of the war. It has been said that it is the prerogative of the Crown, and not the function of the House of Commons, to form treaties of this kind. That is perfectly true. I agree that we have nothing to do with the formation of these treaties. We cannot propose Amendments or take a middle course. We must either become fully responsible for setting a precedent, of which Mr. Pitt and the men of his generation would have been ashamed, or face the difficulty and agree to the Resolution. It is the prerogative of the Crown, under the advice of the Ministers, to determine the terms of these conventions, but I am not to be told that the functions of this House, with regard to entailing charges upon the people, are to be set at nought by that doctrine of prerogative. The terms of the Convention contemplate the exercise of free discretion on the part of the House 1233 of Commons; and as they leave you the exercise of that free discretion, they leave you charged with a full responsibility. You can escape from no part of that responsibility, and I think we have no choice before us, except to go along with the hon. Gentleman near me in saying "No" to this Resolution, and to leave it to the Government to modify the terms of the Convention in such a manner as will enable them to submit to us a more rational and satisfactory arrangement, or to charge ourselves with a responsibility to the people of England in which I, for one, am determined to bear no part.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
Sir, the tendency of the concluding and impassioned part of the oration of the right hon. Gentleman was to represent that the Chancellor of the Exchequer intimated that the Crown has some power independent of this House to contract engagements which the House is bound to ratify. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer made no such representation. He stated, in answer to a complaint that the House had not been consulted beforehand by the Crown as to the engagements into which the Crown was entering, that according to precedent and the principles of the Constitution, the Crown should judge of the engagements into which it might think fit to enter; that if those engagements required—as all engagements connected with money must do—the sanction of this House, such engagements should distinctly and specifically be made contingent upon the approval of the House; but that it is not for the Crown to come down and ask the opinion of the House as to the engagements into which it shall enter by negotiation with any foreign Power. Such engagements are to be determined upon by the responsible advisers of the Crown, and in the present instance I think Her Majesty's Government have acted entirely in accordance with the precedents that have been adopted in every similar case, and perfectly in accordance with the principles of the constitution. Let the Committee for a moment go into the real foundation of this Convention. Does anybody, really doubt that the Turkish Government is in absolute want of pecuniary resources to enable it to carry on the war? Does any man who thinks the war ought to be carried on with vigour doubt that it would be a great misfortune and a great impediment to its success, if Turkey were from want of means reduced to a state of in- 1234 ability to keep its army together, to cooperate with the armies of England and France? If, then, it is essential to the success of our operations that the Turkish army should be paid, fed, armed, clothed, equipped, and kept fit for action, and if it is impossible that these objects can be accomplished unless Turkey obtains means beyond those which are furnished by her ordinary revenue, the question arises—how are these additional resources to be obtained? Is Turkey to obtain them by going into the market and negotiating upon her own credit? Or is it advisable that her allies should step in and assist her with their superior credit to raise money? We ought to adopt the means most likely to accomplish our object effectually. The hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. Ricardo), said that last year Turkey was able to obtain a loan, certainly not upon very advantageous terms, but as advantageous as those upon which Spain, and Portugal, and the little state of Sardinia were enabled to raise loans. I have no doubt that if Turkey went singly into the market she would upon some terms obtain a loan, but our object is to render her resources as efficient as possible for the purposes of the common cause in which we are engaged. If it is demonstrated that Turkey, going into the market alone, would not get the amount of assistance she requires upon terms equally as good as those on which she would obtain it if she were assisted by the credit of England and France, surely the interest we have in rendering her means as effective as they can be made should induce us to step in and assist her in obtaining those pecuniary means which her exigencies require. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone) differs from me much upon any one of these preliminary positions. He says that, although he may entertain different opinions from those which I hold as to the terms upon which peace may be obtained, or as to the expediency of carrying on the war in the way in which it is now conducted, he agrees that if the war is to be carried on it must be carried on vigorously and effectively. Surely the right hon. Gentleman will not deny that without money war cannot be carried on vigorously and effectively. The difference between us seems to me to be simply this—that my right hon. Friend would go further than I should go, and further than the propositions of the Government go, in imposing 1235 additional burdens upon the people of this country. His argument is that a guarantee is an inexpedient thing. He says that we ought to imitate the conduct of Mr. Pitt, who, having failed in his arrangement for a guarantee for Austria, on all future occasions, when it was necessary to afford assistance to foreign Governments, boldly and manfully proposed that we should directly pay the money in the shape of a subsidy to the Power we desired to assist. Now, our opinion is, that if assistance is to be given to Turkey—and we think it necessary that such assistance should be given—it should be afforded in the manner in which it may be most useful to Turkey, and least burdensome to this country. The Turkish Government would probably have been much more thankful to us if we had adopted the method which my right hon. Friend seems to prefer, and had simply given her a subsidy equal in amount to the loan which it is proposed to raise. It appeared to Her Majesty's Government, however, that the aid which Turkey required could be best afforded to her by an engagement which, we trust, will not be attended with any actual burden to this country, and which if it were to be attended with such burden at a future period, would involve a burden less considerable and less certain than that which would arise from granting to the Turkish Government an immediate subsidy of the same amount. With respect to the amount proposed to be guaranteed, if it is conceded by my right hon. Friend that the Government of Sardinia was unable to send 15,000 troops to the seat of war without being assisted to the amount of 1,000,000 l. a year, can it be thought unreasonable that Turkey, which is carrying on a war with armies of infinitely larger numbers, in Asia, in Europe, and in the Crimea—should require 5,000,000 l., instead of the 1,000,000 l. which the Sardinian Government found it necessary to obtain to support a much more limited force? In the case of Sardinia an advance of money was made in the shape of a bonâ fide loan; but in the present instance no advance of money is required on the part of England—all that England and France are required to do is to give their security as a guarantee, in the event of Turkey not paying the interest and maintaining the sinking fund. The right hon. Gentleman seems to think that there are strong objections to this arrangement with regard to diplomatic and 1236 international considerations, and to prefer such an arrangement as was made in the case of the Greek loan to that now proposed. I confess I think he is not altogether right in his opinion upon that subject. In the case of the Greek loan, each party guaranteed a separate part of the aggregate loan. In the present instance both parties guarantee jointly and separately the whole. My right hon. Friend seems to think that this method is more likely to cause inconvenient questions to arise between the guaranteeing Powers than the course which was adopted in the former case. But I will tell my right hon. Friend what happened in the case of Greece. Greece did not pay. We wanted to enforce payment, and the natural course would have been for England (or France or Russia, whichever Power wished to enforce payment) to say to Greece, "You are our debtor; we have been compelled to pay the interest of one-third of the loan; you have not paid it; you have broken your engagements; you must make good those engagements, or we shall resort to the means to which nations have recourse to enforce engagements which are not fulfilled." Our course was to urge upon Greece, by representations, and the threat of stronger measures, if necessary, the observance of her engagements. What happened? Why, Russia and France said—"We do not agree with you; we look with more indulgence on the pleas which Greece puts forward as excuses for not making payment. If you enforce the payment of the interest and sinking fund on your part of the loan, you, to that extent, diminish the power of Greece to pay us our respective portions of that interest and sinking fund; you will, therefore, be doing us an injury, and we protest against your proceeding alone; you must abstain from urging your demand on your portion, unless you consent also to urge ours." But if it had been a joint and separate guarantee that question could not have arisen; because whichever Power had undertaken payment of the whole, it would have been entitled to enforce payment of the whole on the debtor; and the other parties could not have pleaded, as France and Russia did, that by exacting payment of one portion you diminished the means by which the debtor could make good the payment to the other parties. Therefore, if you consider the question simply as regards international inconveniences, I am inclined to think the present arrangement is less open 1237 to questions of international difficulties than such a separate and distinct arrangement as was adopted in the case of Greece. My right hon. Friend says (and in that I perfectly agree with him) that it is essential security should be taken for the proper application of the money which we assist Turkey in raising; and my right hon. Friend thinks that provision ought to have been part of the treaty. It might, perhaps, have been made part of the treaty if both Governments had been disposed to take advantage of the necessities of Turkey, and to insert in an international convention those conditions which would be wounding to the proper self-respect of Turkey. Those conditions were not inserted, but they will form part of a separate engagement between Turkey and the Governments of England and France, which is now in progress of negotiation and will shortly be completed. Her Majesty's Government think that by establishing a Turkish and French and English Commission, through whose hands shall pass all the moneys which are issued out of the proceeds of the loan, and who shall be charged with seeing the sums applied to the military purposes for which the loan is raised—we think such an arrangement as that (which will shortly be completed and submitted to the House) will be sufficient for the purpose which has been very properly pointed out by my right hon. Friend. An objection is taken to the arrangement by which a great portion of these transactions are conducted in England. But there is this obvious advantage in that arrangement. We wish to secure to Turkey as much as possible of the loan, and I am sure no one can understand better than my right hon. Friend that the circumstance of these transactions taking place in England, instead of in England and in France, will save many expenses, commission, and charges of that kind, which go to diminish the produce of the loan which it is the object of the Convention to raise. It therefore appears to me that the objections of my right hon. Friend only amount to this—that he would prefer a direct loan to Turkey of this 5,000,000 l. to this guarantee. No doubt, in the case of a loan you would know exactly what you had to pay; but I should prefer not having to pay at once the whole amount intended by this loan to be raised. The advantage of the arrangement which this treaty proposes is this—that Turkey gets an immediate advance, and England and 1238 France are exempt from the burden—they are exempt, at all events, from the burden, immediately; and if those anticipations which I think we are perfectly justified in forming are realised, and Turkey pays, our obligation will not arise, and we shall then have afforded Turkey aid in carrying on her operations without the burden of a charge which a loan would necessarily and immediately entail.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, I remember a little time ago, when the Sardinian loan was proposed, I stated my opinion that it was expedient that the attention of the House of Commons should be called to the first step in advancing to foreign Powers sums of money, either by way of loan or subsidy. I am not prepared to say that it would have been politic on that occasion to oppose the measure which Ministers brought forward, because peculiar circumstances recommended it to the consideration of the House, and it was as little objectionable in its nature as a transaction of this kind can be. But, as the first step in making advances to foreign Powers, I thought the proposal deserved graver and greater consideration than it received. We have before us now a much larger proposition, in form very different, and accompanied with circumstances which should make the House pause before it agrees to the Resolution which is in the hands of the Chairman. The noble Lord, in his second speech, in answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University (Mr. Gladstone), has dealt very much upon this point, that this is not a subsidy but a bonâ fide loan, and he has recommended it to the favour of the House, because, whatever may be the consequences of the engagement, the immediate burden will not be felt by this country. But I make no difference in a country like England between national credit and national capital. If England guarantees the interest of a loan, I cannot, under any circumstances, admit that in our financial arrangements we can consider that to be a liability which we shall not be called upon to meet. If the security offered by Turkey were as favourable as the noble Lord described it, I agree with the hon. Member for Stoke that Turkey would not be an unsuccessful solicitor for aid in the market through those channels which always supply States in such a position. But I look with great incredulity on the description which the noble Lord has given of the resources of the Turkish Government. The noble Lord said he had no 1239 difficulty in stating to the House his opinion that Turkey would be able to fulfil her engagements under this Convention, and that she would pay the interest and sinking fund which would be required if this financial operation were completed under the security of England and France. The noble Lord did not hesitate in giving his conclusions to the House, and he touched the resources of Turkey with that warmth of colouring I have sometimes seen in the prospectuses of Joint-stock Companies. But what were the anticipations of the noble Lord on a similar occasion to which he and others have referred, namely, on the occasion of the Greak loan in 1832?—because, to estimate the value of the noble Lord's opinion, it is fair to refer to his opinion on a similar occasion, when in a position of equal responsibility, and when he recommended a case of the same kind to the consideration and sanction of Parliament. With reference to the Greek loan, on the 8th of August, 1832, the noble Lord, after premising that the three Powers guaranteed a loan of 60,000,000 francs, divided into three portions, proceeded to say—When he was required to state the amount of the Greek revenue, he begged to say, that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whoever he might be, was called upon to anticipate the amount of revenue of this country even for one year only, he always expressed, with some degree of hesitation and doubt, his anticipations of the next year's income; and to call, therefore, upon him to act the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for Greece, and to anticipate what would be the revenue of that country, not for the next year only, but for the next six years, was to require him to undertake a task somewhat difficult, and one which, with all deference, he must decline, seeing that the ablest financiers could not perform it in the best regulated States. His firm conviction, however, was, that the revenue of Greece, under a stable Government, would be amply sufficient to meet the demands upon it, and, he believed, that the whole of the loan would not ultimately be required to be raised." [3 Hansard, xiv. 1267.]That was the opinion of the noble Lord when he recommended us to give the sanction of Parliament to a transaction of a similar kind to that now before us. The noble Lord has given us an equally favourable opinion of the resources of Turkey. But, remembering the description he gave in 1832 of the resources of Greece, preliminary to the loan being granted, let us just look at the last item of the finance accounts for the year ending the 5th of January, 1855, p. 7, where we find "Payment for interest and sinking 1240 fund on the Greek loan 47,637 l. 1s. 2d." Therefore, if we are to be guided by the past, it would be most imprudent to conclude that we shall not incur the same liability as we have incurred in the case of Greece, and we must be prepared to see in our finance accounts a portion of the public treasure, raised by taxes from the labour of the people of this country, set aside for the interest and sinking fund of the Turkish loan. I do not wish for a moment to contend that that is any reason why we should not, if it be necessary for the interests of England, come forward to assist Turkey; I do not want now to enter upon that question; but I do say, it is most important that at the beginning we should have a clear idea of the arrangements entered into, the liabilities we are incurring, and also a conviction that we shall be called upon to redeem them. Therefore I look upon the proposed guarantee in this case as not merely an engagement to fulfil, but as one which we shall certainly be called upan to fulfil. Such I believe to be, not only a prudent, but the inevitable conclusion at which we must arrive. Before you enter upon an engagement of this kind, you are bound to prove the necessity of the policy which you recommend. Now, we really have not before us any circumstances which convey to my mind any necessity for such a plan. The noble Lord says, everybody knows that Turkey is called upon to make great exertions, and that she is not able to meet the expenditure which such exertions entail. But everybody knows that we have not the information before us which justifies such an appeal from the noble Lord. We ought to have some definite details on the subject before entering into engagements of this kind. Where is the line to be drawn? The noble Lord now recommends us to guarantee interest upon a loan of 5,000,000l.; but, upon his plea, I do not see why it should not be 10,000,000l. We have no data upon which to form an estimate of the amount of expenditure, or of the particular objects for which that expenditure is to be incurred. We have, indeed, a right to assume that the expenditure may be much more considerable, if it is to be for the objects which the noble Lord has vaguely referred to—I mean, military objects. Therefore, under the circumstances, I think the House should pause and consider whether they are not entering upon a system the beginning of which, 1241 perhaps, is only in this Session, but the end of which may be far distant, and the result of which may be a great increase, not only of the liabilities of the country, but even of the burdens which we are called, upon ourselves to bear. If we are to assist Turkey—if it be our interest to maintain the power of Turkey, it would be well for the Committee to consider whether it would not be wise, if we are to incur this expenditure, to do so under our own control and from our own resources. This arrangement will commence a system which, whether it be in the shape of loan or subsidy, is, in fact, an advance from the public treasury of this country, which, in all probability, will not be repaid. I demur also to the policy of this measure on the very grounds which have been put forward by the noble Lord as its chief justification. The noble Lord described the system as one most useful to Turkey, and least burdensome to England. But I object to those captivating terms, as tending to divert the attention of the Committee from the real question before it, and I deny that it is less burdensome to England than any other plan. It is raising money upon the credit of England for the service of Turkey, and it must not be thought that the Government have devised some peculiar mode by which Turkey can be assisted, and which will be less burden some than any other to this country. On the contrary, there is only one mode by which the credit of this country can be exercised, and, whether the money raised be given to Turkey or employed for the benefit of England, we have to pay the same rate of interest, and we incur the same liability of repayment. The Committee must consider what is the only question, so far as this portion of the subject is concerned—it is whether we shall, by the exercise of our credit, in fact advance capital for the advantage of Turkey? The noble Lord tells us objections have been made to the nature of the guarantee. It is proposed to give, with France, a joint guarantee for the whole interest upon this sum of 5,000,000l. In this respect the present Convention differs from the arrangement entered upon in 1832 as to the Greek loan. The noble Lord will correct me if I err, but I believe the proposition as to the guarantee of the Greek loan was originally made in the form now recommended by the noble Lord. The original proposition was, that there should be a joint guarantee of the three 1242 Powers for the whole sum. That was very wisely opposed by the noble Lord, then a Secretary of State, and I believe that within two years after that time there arose, with respect to France, circumstances which would have rendered a joint guarantee at that time in the highest degree embarrassing to this country. But the noble Lord very wisely upon that occasion took care there should not be a joint guarantee, but that the security should be apportioned between the three guaranteeing Powers. Now, the noble Lord seems to wish to maintain that the scheme of a joint guarantee is preferable to that which he preferred in 1832; but, certainly, it appears to me that an apportioned separate guarantee is, and must necessarily be, a much more simple form, than the joint guarantee which is now proposed. A separate guarantee must lead to fewer complications than a joint guarantee; and yet what occurred in 1836? Why, the noble Lord was obliged to come to the House—this country being then only burdened with its own separate guarantee—and to say that, in consequence of certain circumstances, which had induced Russia to be no longer willing to guarantee her own portion of the Greek loan, he was obliged to come to Parliament and ask for fresh powers to enable England to fulfil her engagements. I think I am not erring in this. In July, 1836, the noble Lord brought in a Bill to amend the Act of the 2nd and 3rd of William the IV., chapter 131, relating to the Greek loan; and on that occasion the noble Lord said that the Government of this country originally refused to guarantee its part of the loan unless Russia and France guaranteed their portions of it; and he then stated that France had guaranteed her portion, but that Russia had objected to guarantee her portion of it, and that the object of the Bill he then introduced was to enable the Government of this country to guarantee the remainder of the loan, which Russia had refused to do. The noble Lord was thus obliged, in 1836, to bring in a Bill to enable him to fulfil the engagement which this country had entered into in 1832, although that engagement was not a joint, but a separate guarantee. What would have been the situation of the noble Lord if he had had to deal with a joint guarantee? Suppose France and Russia, in 1836, had both refused to fulfil their joint guarantee, and had not paid their portion of the interest? The noble Lord would have been obliged to 1243 pay the interest upon the whole loan. Yet this was in the case of a guarantee which had been cautiously given, and in a manner which did credit to the noble Lord's discrimination. Under these circumstances, therefore, the noble Lord will pardon me if I look at the proposition which he has now made—that of entering into a joint guarantee—not only with suspicion, but with great alarm. If a separate guarantee was attended with such complications and difficulties, and if it required all the ability and energy of the noble Lord to effect an arrangement at that time, what may not be the consequence of our entering into this engagement for a joint guarantee with our present ally? It is because I highly estimate the value of our alliance with France that I am anxious to keep it as clear as possible from all financial engagements. The noble Lord has acknowledged the possibility of a misunderstanding with an ally under such circumstances. Why should we go out of our way to enter into an engagement pregnant with so much political difficulty and danger, with the precedent which we have before us which the noble Lord himself fashioned and told them was likely to meet all difficulties? Irrespective of my objection, therefore, to the original scheme, of coming forward to do what is called assisting Turkey, by using the credit, that is the capital, of England in a manner so crude—for, without any detail of circumstances to justify it, such an advance to Turkey appears to me to be a crude proposal—I say, irrespective of this objection, I have another objection to the form which the noble Lord has recommended us to adopt. The noble Lord says that an arrangement will be made by which we shall have a control over the financial operation of Turkey, which will secure to us the application as well as the interest of the loan and the sum to be paid towards a sinking fund. Commissioners are to be appointed in various parts of the Turkish Empire, who, I suppose, are to be receivers general of the revenue. This is an arrangement pregnant with political difficulties and danger.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
They are not to be receivers general of the revenue; they are to see to the appropriation of the loan.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Then I think the noble Lord has entered into an arrangement infinitely more to be deprecated. What will happen, if we are not only to supply the funds but also to distribute and 1244 expend them? There will be perpetual quarrels as to the mode in which the money has been expended, and when Turkey is called upon to pay the interest, she will always have the opportunity of excusing herself by alleging that either she has not received the money or that it has not been expended for her benefit. Similar reasons for non-payment have been urged by some of the American States. Those States have alleged that the loans they were required to repay were negotiated in so expensive a manner that they did not receive more than a moiety, or two-thirds of the money, and therefore they refused to pay any portion whatever of their debt. I am altogether opposed to making these advances to States placed in the position in which Turkey stands; but if you are to make advances to Turkey let them be bonâ fide advances, and let the money be paid into the hands of Turkey herself. There may be frauds and bad management in the application of the funds; but then it would be applied by the hands of Turkey and she cannot complain; but if you insist upon having the money expended by Commissioners, you will furnish your debtor with a plausible plea for not paying either the interest or the debt itself. I hope, however, the Committee will pause before they agree to this Resolution. This is the second advance we have been asked to make to a foreign Power during the present Session; and if you sanction this advance on insufficient security, I see no reason why you may not expect to be called upon to advance a much larger sum in a very short time. The description which the noble Lord has given of the destitution of Turkey, though vague, is nevertheless so alarming that, if you sanction this advance, there is no reason to doubt its being made a precedent for still larger demands at some future day. My opinion, therefore, is, that this is a measure which the Committee ought not to sanction. If the Government can show that there are specific objects to be attained which make it necessary that we should assist Turkey, it will then be for the House to consider whether those objects could not be better obtained by our more directly expending the money required than by paying it into the hands of Turkey. But the truth is, we are entirely at sea on this subject. Her Majesty's Ministers have given us no details; and we do not know whether 5,000,000l. or 10,000,000l. will be sufficient to effect the object which is in the 1245 mind of the Minister. This, however, we know, that by agreeing to this Resolution we shall be establishing a precedent which will, in my mind, have the most injurious effect upon the finances of this country. All this is irrespective of the political consequences which may result from this loan. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to be surprised that an hon. Gentleman on this side the House (Sir H. Willoughby) should complain of the circumstance that, at the end of the Session, after the House has voted a larger sum of money than has been granted for the last forty years, it should be announced that we are again to be called upon to go into a Committee of Ways and Means. I do not think that we ought to have waited to be told, in answer to an inquiry by the hon. Baronet the Member for Evesham (Sir H. Willoughby) at the end of July, that considerable Supplementary Estimates were to be placed on the table. I think, with the hon. Member for Stoke, that that notification ought to have been made to the House in a more formal manner—that the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to have come down to the House and informed it of the circumstance, and not that he should have stated it in answer to a question in so low a tone of voice that considerable doubt prevailed respecting the nature of the answer—se much, indeed, that I was obliged myself to rise and repeat the question in order to clear up that doubt. It is impossible to shut our eyes to the serious state of our finances, great as may be the resources of this country. No doubt the country is prepared to make great sacrifices, and the Government will not appeal in vain to the country to support them, provided the country should have a precise idea of the object for which the public money is to be expended. But what precise conception have we as to how the money to be given to Turkey is to be expended. I myself cannot make any distinction between 5,000,000l. to be raised on the credit of England for this or for any other purpose, and when we come to consider the general finances of the country, it renders all estimates impossible and all calculations complex. I think, therefore, it will be well that the House should not sanction this Resolution. Let Her Majesty's Ministers reconsider the whole of the question and place before us a clear idea of our financial position, and let them devise some mode of assisting Turkey more effective than by sending English 1246 capital to that country instead of employing it in English hands for the vigorous prosecution of the war in order to establish Turkey as a real and effective barrier to Russia.
§ SIR DE LACY EVANS
said, he was not surprised at the kind of negative reception which the proposition of the Government had met with; yet he should be sorry if the House were to throw any decided obstacle in the way of affording assistance to Turkey in some mode or other. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) seemed to think it would be better to make this advance to Turkey without retaining any control in our own hands. He entirely differed from the right hon. Gentleman in that respect. He should never consent to give this money into the hands of such a Government as they knew that of Turkey to be without retaining in our own hands an efficient control over the expenditure. But what he complained of was, and what the House had a right to complain of was, that they were called on to vote the large sum of 5,000,000l. without an assurance from Turkey that she would accept the conditions and control which were to accompany the loan. The noble Lord said, indeed, that he believed the Turkish Government would agree to the arrangements for the disposal of the money; but he did not think the noble Lord's belief was justification enough for them to vote 5,000,000l. of money. He did not think that the case of the Greek loan was in point, because there were three parties—namely, England, France, and Russia, parties to that loan; and one of them—Russia—had interests at variance with the other two. But in the present case there were but two parties—France and England; and he believed that France had the same interest with England in the matter. No doubt there was a lavish expenditure of money towards the close of the last war, but he believed that the loans to Russia, Austria, and Spain, had mainly contributed to the termination of the war, and to secure a forty years' peace. The noble Lord was, in his opinion, liable to the charge of not setting forth sufficient grounds for proposing this advance. He begged leave to state, from what he knew of Turkey, some grounds why it was desirable to sustain her in her present difficulties. The Turkish Government had 250,000 men in arms at the present moment, which was a great drain upon the resources of the country. Of these, there 1247 were between 50,000 and 60,000 in the Crimea, well supplied with artillery and some cavalry. To those who knew Turkey, it was a matter of astonishment how she sustained her army on the Danube and in the Crimea, besides her army, however imperfectly supplied, in Asia Minor. Under these circumstances, it was quite clear that whatever defects might exist in the financial system of Turkey, she had absolutely maintained her army. He had seen her troops, and they were well armed, well clad, and tolerably well fed. That was a proof that there was no such extreme derangement in the Ottoman finances as was alleged; and her army, so far from deteriorating, was improving. He should be sorry if any absolute obstacle were thrown in the way of the Government with regard to this proposition; but it was important to secure that the money should be well applied. We all knew that there was a great deal of corruption in Turkey, and he thought that if we were called upon to guarantee her a loan, a strict arrangement should be entered into with regard to the manner in which it was to be spent. He thought, for instance, it would be well to stipulate that some of it should be applied to the purposes of the 20,000 men who were being embodied under General Vivian, and the 4,000 cavalry who were to be enrolled by this country under General Beatson. He thought also it would be well if they were to increase their pay a trifle above what they would receive in the Turkish service. He thought some delay ought to take place in the further progress of this proposal.
§ MR. LAING
felt very strongly that they ought not to sanction any measure of this description, involving, as it did, a fresh liability, until they had had some opportunity of discussing the principles, the policy, and the objects of the war; and until a clear understanding was come to respecting the objects for which the money was wanted. Since the debate raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), which had taken place not only in ignorance but under a complete misapprehension of the facts of the case, the correspondence relating to the Conferences at Vienna had been laid upon the table, and the House found themselves in the position of having broken off the negotiations contrary to the expressed opinions of the whole of the eminent statesmen who represented the four allied Powers. He would, however, 1248 abstain from the general question of the war, because he thought that upon the present occasion they ought rather to confine themselves to the merits of this as a financial measure, supposing that its object was a good one. Now, the objections which had been urged against the system of guarantees seemed to him to have a great and overwhelming force. Those objects divided themselves into two classes, financial and political. Financially, there was the same fatal facility about raising money in this way that there was in raising money by putting one's name to bits of stamped paper. They were told that the liabilities the country would incur would be absolutely nothing, whereas the assistance to Turkey would be very great. But that was a complete fallacy. The national credit, great as it was, was nevertheless an exhaustible quantity, and the more they drew upon it for foreign loans and guarantees the less they would leave for other purposes. Besides, look at the effect it would have upon the price of the public funds. Those funds amounted in round numbers to 700,000,000l., and if by entering into a system of unlimited guarantees they reduced prices only one per cent, the country would at once incur a loss of 7,000,000l., and the national credit would also be shaken to that extent. Besides, by bringing into the market a floating quantity of stock equally eligible for investment they would render less favourable the terms on which the country could hereafter contract loans for its own purposes. With respect to the political objections to the system of guarantees, he need not enter at any length upon that subject after the forcible manner in which it had been dealt with by his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford. What was the proposed object of the war? It was to secure the independence of Turkey; but a loan so guaranteed, so secured, and so administered, was really a measure for securing the dependence of Turkey, and was only suited for the circumstances of a small and subordinate kingdom like Greece. There would be no objection to a loan for such an object as the cutting of a canal through the Isthmus of Suez, because in such a matter it would be desirable to obtain a perpetual right of interference; but in the present instance the case was just the reverse. Indeed, they ought to add to the Four Points a fifth, to the effect that Russia should never guarantee a loan to Turkey, 1249 for by that means she would acquire the right of meddling with her concerns. The political objection involved in the chance it might bring of a quarrel with our associate had already been dwelt upon. But did they not all know in private life that if they wanted to remain on particularly good terms with any one, how desirable it was that there should be no pecuniary transactions between them? Suppose that Turkey should make default, the creditor would naturally come to the Bank of England in the first instance; and we after paying the demand of the creditor should go in our turn to France; but France might tell us that, It is your own fault; you ought to have put a pressure upon Turkey, and it is through your laches that the money is not paid. Supposing, again, that France and England had to pay arrears of interest, France might say to Turkey that she must have something for her money—some island in the Mediterranean, or the Egyptian tribute. He thought it was his duty therefore, as a representative of the people, however much he was disposed for a vigorous prosecution of the war for clear and definite objects to vote against the Motion in its present form.
§ MR. COBDEN
It is not my intention to enlarge upon the financial question which has been so ably dealt with by the hon. Gentlemen who have preceded me, but I must take the opportunity to make one or two remarks upon the illustration afforded by the proposition of the Government of the tendency to interfere in the internal affairs of Turkey, which I have from the first foreseen would be a consequence of this war. It is not the war with Russia which has brought Turkey to such a state that she requires a loan. I have not seen that she has made any such vast and costly efforts for the defence of her territory as to involve a great State in financial ruin, and less than twelve months ago the noble Lord at the head of the Government repeated his assertion that Turkey had made more progress in internal improvements, both economical and commercial, and in religions liberty, during the last twenty years, than any other nation in Europe. But now what does the noble Lord tell us? He says, we must guarantee a loan of 5,000,000l. to Turkey to prevent her empire from falling to pieces.
§ MR. COBDEN
The noble Lord now says the Turkish army; but I turned round to an hon. Gentleman near me and repeated the words the noble Lord used, in order to be sure that I had heard them correctly, and they referred in the first place to the Turkish Empire, and in the next place to the Turkish army. The noble Lord, at any rate, talked of the advance of this money being a matter of life and death to Turkey. In this matter, as in everything else, I believe the Government—especially the noble Lord—have either been grossly ignorant of what we were going to do from day to day, or else have not dealt frankly with the House, and given us the full benefit of their own knowledge; because if what the noble Lord said twelve months ago were true, Turkey cannot by this time have brought herself to the forlorn and humiliating position in which the noble Lord now says she is placed. But what are we to think of the policy of the Government, in continuing this war for the preservation of Turkey, if it has in one short twelve months brought her to that position? I will not enter into a discussion as to the war itself, for that subject is to be brought forward again, but this much I may say—it is known to us all that the war has within the last two months, since the Vienna Conferences, been renewed at the instance of our own Government. After the revelations of The Times newspaper, evidently obtained from the Emperor of the French himself, or from M. Drouyn de Lhuys—for no one but he or the Emperor can have furnished the information which has been given with respect to conversations and interviews that passed between them—even the hours of the day at which they occurred being mentioned—there can be no doubt that the renewal of the war is the work of the noble Lord at the head of the Government. I have challenged the noble Lord upon this subject, both publicly and privately, within the last two months, and we must now be satisfied that the war has been renewed by him in opposition to the Plenipotentiary of France, to his own Plenipotentiary, and even to the Plenipotentiary of Turkey, who was one of the most eminent statesmen of that country, now not very fruitful of great men. We are, therefore, carrying on a war for the preservation of Turkey against her own wish, and in endeavouring to preserve her independence we have brought her to such a desperate condition that she will fall to pieces if we do not guarantee this loan. 1251 Mark the humiliations, the degradation to which we have brought the great empire whose integrity and independence we are defending. The hon. and gallant Member near me (Sir De Lacy Evans), who marshals his squadrons much better than he does his arguments, told us that the Turkish Government ought not to be trusted with the distribution of the money which is to be advanced, and then went on to urge that Turkey had administered her own resources with much advantage. I will take the hon. and gallant Member's facts, where he tells us the character of the Turkish Government, and leave alone his logic. But what has the noble Lord done? Having told us what a progressive Government that is, he now tells us that it is not to be allowed to distribute the money we are to advance, but that the expenditure of that money is to be superintended by a commission of one English, one Turkish, and one French officer. Was ever any empire, whose independence it was desired to preserve, subjected to such degradation? How will this plan practically work? Are these three Commissioners, or their agents, to act as paymasters to the Turkish army? We all know that at the head of every Turkish regiment there is a man who plunders it. Do you intend to pay money to the colonel of each regiment, who of course would pocket one-half of it, or to send some one to the interior of Asia Minor and to the banks of the Danube to see that every soldier puts the piastres into his pocket? Every one must see that the scheme is altogether impracticable. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire is a very good one, that if you force the Turkish Government to allow you to distribute this money they will one day tell you that you have wasted the money, and they are not responsible for what you have done. Is the policy of our Government calculated to amend the deplorable condition of Turkey? Already, to carry out your policy she has mortgaged two-thirds of the revenue of Egypt, and she is now asked to mortgage the other one-third, besides giving a lien upon the Customs of Syria and Smyrna. How will this carry out your avowed object of the restoration of the prosperity of Turkey? By withdrawing such large sources of revenue from the empire in its present embarrassed state you will immensely increase the difficulties by which it will be beset in the course of another year. Is this 1252 5,000,000l. all that will be wanted if you take into your hands the restoration of Turkey? The truest description that can be given of the Turkish Empire is, that there is practically no government where the Turkish Government still holds the supreme authority. There is some government in Egypt and there is a tolerable administration in Servia, in Wallachia, and in Moldavia, because these places are to a great extent separated from Turkey. Wherever you have had any other authority—even in Syria—you have had something like order and government preserved; but in Asia Minor, and those provinces where the authority of Turkey reigns supreme, I challenge contradiction, that practically there is no Government at all. And that is the country which you hope to benefit by carrying on this war If one year of the war has produced such disastrous consequences to Turkey, what will be the effect of carrying out the threat of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark (Sir W. Molesworth) and continuing it for six years? One word with regard to the technical question before the Committee. If you are going to advance money to Turkey, any plan whatever would, I believe, be better than that which is now proposed. If you will interfere with the internal affairs of Turkey, it may be necessary to make an advance of money, because a want of money is the chronic symptom of disordered and worn-out Governments. If you must administer to that state of things to keep Turkey from falling to pieces, I say that any way would be better than that proposed. I say, avoid the complications which have been pointed out by those who have preceded me. Do not delude yourselves with the idea that you are lending money when you are giving it. You have no more chance of getting this money back from Turkey than if you threw it into the sewer; and, if you are going to advance money at all, I say, take the simple course of making her a present of it. Let France give her share, but do not complicate yourselves with any joint or separate guarantees. Depend upon it that the proceedings of to-night will be a great triumph for the Russian party. You admit that Turkey is a sick and dying man, and you have offered a greater insult to that country by to-night's proceedings than ever Menchikoff did by any of his notes. If you want to serve Turkey, the best thing you can do is to put an end to this war with Russia, and to address yourselves 1253 to the reconstitution of the Turkish Empire, giving it some form of Government, and putting it in the way of becoming a progressive and prosperous nation.
§ MR. WILKINSON
said, that he thought that the best mode of guaranteeing the loan would have been a separate, and not a joint guarantee; but the question appeared to have resolved itself very much into a peace and war debate, and he had no doubt that every one of the peace-at-any-price party, as well as those who approved of the Austrian proposition, would be found in the lobby in opposition to the present Resolution. The object in view was to provide the best means of prosecuting the war, and whether those means were to be provided in the shape of men or money was a question for the Executive to determine. Looking at the question in a constitutional light, he could not take upon himself the responsibility of refusing the Government his support on the present occasion.
§ MR. CARDWELL
The Committee must have listened, I think, with surprise, to the observations which have just fallen from my hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth. We are about to consider the first of a series of measures in a course of downward precedents. The hon. Gentleman has an idea that those who support peace at any price will be found in the same lobby with those who support the proposition of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke, and that seems to be a sufficient argument with him in favour of the present financial proposal, which he thinks ought to be left entirely in the hands of the Executive. In such matters as these we are in the hands of the Executive, and an inconvenience arises in this debate in consequence of our being so; because they have the prerogative of causing conventions to be entered into in the first instance; and that which is our duty as the representatives of the people, from which we cannot relieve ourselves, the responsibility of which we have to bear, and the duty of which we must discharge, does not arise, until already a step has been taken by the Crown which we are most reluctant, if possible to avoid it, to frustrate. But are we amenable in general to the charge of endeavouring to frustrate the intentions of the Executive? Has not Parliament sanctioned, up to this time, an expenditure of 90,000,000l.? Take all your annual expenditure of 1851, and for the purposes of this war you will find that we have 1254 already sanctioned by taxation as much more, and by loan, again, as much more; so that now, for the purposes of the war, apart from the expenditure for the debt, we have in round numbers trebled our expenditure of 1851. What is our duty, then, when we are called upon to enter into a new and untrodden path of expenditure? It is for us to ascertain whether it is a wise expenditure, whether it is calculated to attain the end in view, and to press as little as possible upon the already tried resources and sinews of the people. The hon. Member for Lambeth says that every Member of the peace party will be found in the lobby voting against the Resolution—in the same lobby ought to be found every Member of the war party who wishes the war to be carried on with vigour at the least expense to the public. What is the complaint which has been made against the Convention now on the table? We are obliged to accept that Convention in its integrity, or we must appeal to the Executive to get it amended; and, if we are not satisfied with it as it stands, our only power is to offer some opposition to the Bill which is founded upon it, in order that the Executive may revise and amend it. The objections which I take to the Convention I shall state with extreme brevity. They are three in number. First, I say that we are going to tax the people of this country for a large sum of money, over which we shall have no control, or an inadequate control. Then, we are told by the Government that a Contention hereafter is to be concluded, by which some security may possibly be afforded that the money they raised for the war will be actually expended for the war. Is that the way that we deal with our own Money? We vote 90,000,000l., but we vote it upon some Estimate; we have some responsible Minister through whose hands it is to pass, and we appropriate every shilling to the purpose for which it is intended. But this is money which we are giving to a foreign Government; but there is no security that the purpose for which it is expended will be the purpose of the war; we do not know that it will pass through incorrupt hands; we have reason rather to suspect that it will pass through corrupt hands; and we shall have no account and no security. The next objection is, that this is entirely a disguise and a deception. The history of all modern finance is the history of reckless expenditure under the disguise and cover of a loan; and this is an expen- 1255 diture which we are going to entail upon ourselves without knowing whether we or our allies shall ever reap the benefit of it. The third objection is the political consequences which may be entailed upon us by the indebtedness which we are about to create, and the danger of occasioning a jealousy between ourselves and France in regard to almost every conceivable subject which can arise out of the multiform relations of the Turkish Empire. Among these are such questions as the trade of Smyrna—whether heavier or lighter custom duties shall be levied in the Levant, and a multiplicity of political questions, the complicated nature of which we cannot now conceive, but of which we know this, that every one which arises will be a source of trouble to ourselves, to Turkey when the peace is concluded, and also to France. When we speak of the shape of this assistance it is said, "Are you not content that this is to be a loan instead of a gift?" I am afraid there will be very little difference between the two cases of a gift or a loan to Turkey. We do not, however, say that this had better be a gift, but we say, "If 5,000,000l. are to be raised by two great empires, and we are to be one, let us make a present of 2,500,000l., and let us have neither a pecuniary nor a political liability with regard to the other 2,500,000l." The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in answer to a question which was put to him, said, "You imagine that we have guaranteed the principal, but we have only guaranteed the interest"—only guaranteed the interest of a perpetual annuity! I should like to know the difference between guaranteeing principal and interest and guaranteeing interminable annuity. The position in which the noble Lord at the head of the Government is placed is a very difficult one. At one moment, when anxious that this advance should be granted, he drew such a picture of the reduced condition of Turkey as scarcely any ally ever read in newspaper attributed to the Minister of an ally with whom he was engaged in war; but when he came to speak of the repayment of the loan, then he said Turkey had resources as yet unexpanded and minerals undeveloped. If Turkey could not expand her resources and develope her minerals before the war, is it likely that when the war has reduced her to the condition which it has now done, that she will be able to expand her resources and to develope her minerals? The true state of 1256 the case is this—Turkey is necessitous and reduced, and you want to give her assistance—and if you are compelled to do so, how can you furnish such assistance in the most economical manner? The argument against this proposition is not an argument of peace or war; it is an argument which, on the one hand, no friend of peace can conscientiously resist, for he can have no right to come and lay on the taxpayers a liability for five millions on account of any speculative opinions he may have on the subject; and, on the other hand, I contend that those who ought most carefully to watch the beginning of this descending series of precedents—who ought to be determined that every shilling shall be effectively, and not ineffectively, expended—who ought to bear in mind the examples of the last war and the difficulties which were entailed on the nation by subsidies and guarantees, and therefore those who ought most carefully to evade the dangerous quicksands of such a course are those who most desire the effective and vigorous prosecution of the war.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I am desirous, before the Committee proceeds to a vote on the Resolution before it, to call attention to the position in which the country will be placed if this Resolution is not agreed to. A Convention has been entered into between Her Majesty, the Emperor of the French, and the Sultan, with respect to the contraction of this loan. In consequence of this engagement, the Emperor of the French and Her Majesty have each made recommendations to their respective legislative bodies, to carry into effect each part of the arrangement. The recommendations of the Emperor of the French preceded in point of time those of Her Majesty to her Parliament. The constitutional practice of this country has been to consider a treaty imperfect and not binding until the ratifications have been exchanged; and in obedience to this established practice, Her Majesty, after the treaty had been signed by the Secretary of State, did not lay it before Parliament until the ratifications had been exchanged at Constantinople. The Emperor of the French proceeded in a different manner. Shortly after the Convention had been signed, the Legislative Body of France being in session, the treaty was laid before them, accompanied with the report of the Council of State. It was taken into consideration by them, and a Commission of the Legislative Body 1257 was appointed. The report of the Commission was in favour of the proposition of the Government, and the guarantee has since been adopted by the Legislative Chamber. The Convention has now been brought under the consideration of the British House of Commons by the recommendation of Her Majesty, and we have to consider whether this House will think fit to enable Her Majesty to fulfil the engagement she has entered into under this Convention, and to perform her part in the guarantee of the loan, which is a joint guarantee between the Governments of France and Great Britain. What will be the effect of the rejection of this Resolution by the Committee? Why, Her Majesty will have to communicate to her ally, the Emperor of the French, that it is not in her power to fulfil the convention into which She has entered, and to inform him that the assent to the Convention which has been obtained from his Legislative Chamber will be void and of no effect. That will be the necessary consequence of the rejection of this Resolution. I fully admit that Her Majesty gave her assent to this Convention provisionally, and dependent upon the subsequent assent of Parliament, and I by no means deny the right of the House, if it should think fit, to refuse its assent to the Resolution now in the Chairman's hands:—and I only wish to point out distinctly the position in which Her Majesty, the executive Government, and the country, will be placed with regard to our ally if this Resolution should be negatived. I can perfectly understand Members of the House adopting the view of the hon. Member for Wick (Mr. Laing), who disapproved all assistance being rendered to foreign Governments, and who thought that, if we were engaged in war with foreign Powers we ought to limit our expenditure to the maintenance of our own troops; and that if we did give any assistance to foreign Powers, that it would only lead to complications and difficulties, whether such assistance was rendered by way of loans, subsidies, or guarantees. That is a course which appears to me to be clear and distinct, and one which any person might justify by specious and plausible arguments. But I confess that I do not understand the course taken by the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford and other hon. Gentlemen, who admit to a certain extent that circumstances may justify us in giving assistance to a foreign Power, but who maintain that 1258 of all modes of assistance which can be given, a guarantee is the least expedient. Let us examine the alternatives they have proposed to us. In the first place, they say that a loan is better than a guarantee, and adduce the example of the Sardinian loan. I had the honour of submitting that loan to the House shortly after I succeeded to my office, and I believe that it was a good arrangement; but I confess that I am unable to see the extraordinary advantages which it possesses as compared with a guarantee. What course did we adopt with regard to that loan? We raised money, it may be said, by way of loan, and advanced to Sardinia the sum of 2,000,000l., 1,000,000l. of which is payable in the present year, one half of which has been advanced, and another 1,000,000l. is payable next year, if the war continue so long. What advantages does such a loan possess over a guarantee? We have no control over the appropriation of the money. The Sardinian Government expends it as it may think fit, through its own officers and agents, and I am at a loss to understand what are the security, economy, and advantage which hon. Gentlemen discover in the loan advanced to the King of Sardinia, as compared with the guarantee it is proposed to give in this case. In whatever point of view we consider this question, whether as regards the loss to the country, or the burdens on the Exchequer, or the security we obtain for the proper appropriation of the money for the purposes of the war—I say that, in whatever direction we look, I think I can defy any hon. Gentleman to show that loans possess any advantage over guarantees. The next alternative which we are told possesses an advantage over a guarantee is a free gift of subsidy; but to adopt that plan we must go into the market and borrow 5,000,000l. on our own account, because we have not that balance in the Exchequer. In the financial statement which I had the honour of laying before the House, it was my duty to submit to it estimates almost unexampled in the financial history of the country, and, to my regret, to propose new burdens, but no estimate for this loan was submitted to the House, and, therefore, if the plan of a subsidy were adopted, we should have to go into the market and borrow the money. Now comes the consideration how that could be done. It will be in the recollection of the Committee that among the Ways and Means for 1259 the year there was a loan of 16,000,000l., and, for the purpose of raising that amount, it was necessary to give certain assurances to the lenders, in order that they might have security for the money they advanced, and in order that the public might obtain the loan upon the most advantageous and reasonable terms; and one of the assurances which the Government had to give was, that we would not raise any new loan while any of the instalments of that loan were pending. Now, the last instalment of that loan does not become due until December next, and therefore we could not ourselves borrow the 5,000,000l. until the end of this year. Now, if it should please the Committee to reject this Resolution, and to say that the executive Government is to devise some other means of complying with the terms of the Convention, that it is to negotiate afresh with France and Turkey, in order to devise some other means for furnishing the necessary funds—if, I say this ulterior course is to be resorted to—it is necessary to inquire how it will be possible for the Government to raise the funds necessary for fulfilling the Convention which has been entered into by the Crown? I trust that those hon. Gentlemen who propose to reject this Resolution, and who talk of the advantages of loans or of subsidies as compared with guarantees, will explain to the Committee what is the practical course which they wish the Government to adopt. It is not sufficient for hon. Gentlemen simply to negative the course we propose to adopt when the subject under discussion is a Convention entered into not in excess of but in pursuance of the prerogative of the Crown and in accordance with habitual practice. I say that it is the duty of the Government to find the means of fulfilling engagements of the Crown and of the country with foreign Powers, and I also say that it is the duty of those hon. Gentlemen who call upon the Committee to reject this Resolution, which has been proposed by the Government in order to fulfil the engagement of the Crown, to point out the means by which they consider that engagement can best be carried into effect, he right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire seems to be of opinion that every loan raised in this country on the guarantee of the Government is a subtraction from the national wealth, and he Appears to consider the Government responsible, for taking so much from the wealth of the country. Now, if any fo- 1260 reign Power raises a loan in this country it subtracts from the wealth of the country, and such a loan has already been raised by Turkey. Two years ago the Turkish Government raised a loan, not accompanied by a guarantee of the English Government: that loan was principally subscribed by English contributors, and that loan was therefore an abstraction from the wealth of the country. But at the same time, the contributors have their benefit in the interest which is paid to them by the Turkish Government. There is therefore no difference, as far as the diminution of the wealth of the country is concerned, between a loan raised by private contractors and a loan contracted under the guarantee of Government. Having made these observations, I can only express a hope that the House will not go to the extreme length of putting a negative on this Resolution and thus prevent a Bill being introduced to give effect to it; and by so doing bring about an anomalous difficulty, and an embarrassing state of affairs which must arise from its rejection.
§ MR. WALPOLE
I had hoped, Sir, that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was about to accede to the very reasonable proposition of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli), not to force this Resolution upon the House without further consideration. There are many reasons which I might advance why it would be advisable that the Government should adopt that course. One reason is that, in the first place, the arguments which have been advanced against this Resolution are not only unanswered, but, because they are so, I believe they are unanswerable; and, in the second place, there is this singularity, that, with the exception of the noble Lord at the head of the Government and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, not a single gentleman has offered one single argument in support of the Resolution; for although the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Wilkinson) has announced his intention of supporting the Government, he, at the same time, has advanced the strongest possible argument against the Resolution. But, Sir, if I was disappointed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not accede to that proposal, I was still more surprised at the language which he used, and which was totally at variance with the more constitutional language of the noble Viscount the First Lord of the Treasury. The right 1261 hon. Gentleman, it is true, has admitted that these conventions made by the Crown are conventions of a contingent nature, which Parliament has a right afterwards to consider; but the whole line of argument adopted by the right hon. Gentleman was opposed to that statement, for he, while admitting that Parliament had a right to consider these conventions, argued as if Parliament must adopt them because the Crown had entered into them. I do not think, Sir, that that is constitutional doctrine. I think that it is very advantageous for this House and for the country that this question, with regard to guarantees, has been raised, because now we can come to some understanding with respect to similar proposals to which we may be asked to assent. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer tries to draw a distinction between a guarantee and a loan, and he says, "Is not a guarantee better than a loan?" But who suggested that you should make a loan to the Turkish Government, unless there is something like a guarantee—different from that you propose—that that loan is the most advantageous manner of assisting the Turkish Government to carry on the war? The other alternative put by the right hon. Gentleman is this:—"If you won't have a guarantee or a loan, are you to make a subsidy or a free gift?" My answer is, that a subsidy or a free gift is even worse than the guarantee or loan that you propose. But then, to my utter astonishment, the right hon. Gentleman winds up his arguments by this observation:—"If you reject this Resolution, it is your duty to suggest to the House some practicable course for us to adopt." Why, what is the executive Government there for? Does the Chancellor of the Exchequer really wish that the executive affairs of this country should be carried on by the House of Commons or by the Opposition; or are we not to receive from the Government, with the responsibility which Governments have upon their shoulders—with the information they possess, greater than can be commanded by this House,—are we not to have from them the distinct propositions they are prepared to make, and are we not to have reasons to support them? [Lord J. RUSSELL: Hear, hear!] Yes, but that was not the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer put it to us to propose some practical mode of proceeding in this case, and, notwithstanding 1262 the interruption of the noble Lord, I must say that, unless he can suggest some practical mode of extricating the Government out of what, I think, is a considerable difficulty, I doubt whether the doctrine I am endeavouring to enforce is not more constitutional than that which his interruption would imply meets with his approval. Without repeating the arguments which have been made use of in the course of this debate, I must say that the political and financial objections to this proposition appear to me so great that I must repeat my hope that the Government will not hastily force it upon the House. I do not think I could add anything to the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone), backed as they have been so ably by the hon. Member for Wick (Mr. Laing); but I beg the Government to look to the last two articles of the Convention and consider what the effect will be if they persist in the policy they have marked out. By that Convention you are making England the trustee for the contractors of the loan; you are making England the trustee for France and the trustee for Turkey; you are bringing upon England all the complications and difficulties which attach to that trusteeship, and until I receive a better explanation from the Government I, for one, am not prepared to adopt a proposition which, as I believe, will lead to remonstrance, to complications, and to difficulties greater even, it may be, than those which now at this moment beset you.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
The right hon. Gentleman appears very much to have misunderstood the argument of my right hon. Friend. He by no means meant to say that it was the duty of those who sit opposite, or of any persons in this House, not being the responsible advisers of the Crown, to propose measures for the Executive Government. The argument of my right hon. Friend was this. He explained to the House the financial position in which the Government stands. He first of all argued that pecuniary assistance was essentially requisite for the military service of Turkey—and here I may be allowed to say, with reference to what has fallen from other Gentlemen in this debate, that it is no reflection upon Turkey to assert that, engaged in a great war requiring most extraordinary exertions of a military kind, her ordinary revenues are insufficient to meet that emergency. I have been taunt- 1263 ed by the hon. Member for the West Riding with inconsistency because, having said last year that Turkey had made greater advances in the way of improvement than almost any other country had ever done within the same period of time, I now stated that she could not continue to carry on the war without extraordinary means. Why, Sir, this country is unable to carry on the war without extraordinary means. France is unable to carry on the war without extraordinary means. Austria is unable even to maintain her army on a peace establishment, and has reduced it because her ordinary means are insufficient for the purpose of keeping it up; and therefore it is no contradiction to say, on the one hand, that a country has made great improvements in her internal organisation and resources, and, on the other, that, being engaged in a contest which requires extraordinary efforts, she is unable to make those efforts by the help of her ordinary resources in time of peace. Sir, I say my right hon. Friend argued that assistance was requisite to enable Turkey to bear the inevitable burdens of the war. Well, our measure has for its object to assist her in procuring those means. There are two kinds of objections which may be made to the measure. Some Gentlemen object to it, because they would prefer separate responsibility to a joint responsibility, and because they think that it would be better to encounter at once the whole amount of responsibility, and to give the money in the shape of a gift, rather than to have, without any present demand, a contingent liability hanging over our heads. There are other persons who object on broader grounds—who think the war ought not to be carried on, that peace ought to be made at any price, and who object to anything which furnishes the means of prosecuting the war. Well, that is a very intelligible objection, but I do not think it is one in which the majority of the House will concur. Then, I must say that the argument of my right hon. Friend who spoke near the gangway (Mr. Cardwell) was not one possessing much force or value. One objection he made to this Resolution was the amount of sacrifices which we have made ourselves in the prosecution of this war. Why, Sir, if it has in this House been thought wise and necessary to make these great efforts out of the resources of this country for the prosecution of the war, surely it is and would be inconsistent in us to refuse this, which is no effort at all as 1264 we contend, and which, even upon the showing of those who criticise it most, is only a contingent, and comparatively small sacrifice; surely, I say, it would be inconsistent to sacrifice a great object for a small effort, when we have already nobly been making great efforts for the accomplishment of the same object. With all deference, then, I think the argument used by my right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell) bears greatly against the conclusion which he would establish. The argument of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer was this. He said, "We assume that assistance is necessary for Turkey. We have provided by this treaty a method by which that assistance may be acquired—that is to say, by a loan which Turkey is to contract under the guarantee of England and France." Then he says, "You object. Now, what do you propose instead of it?" and he argues that all imaginable methods of affording to Turkey the same aid are impossible, because, as my right hon. Friend says to those who urge that we ought to give the money at once, "How are you to find it?" You have it not out of your disposable income, and you are precluded by the engagements entered into with the contractors of the loan we have lately raised from raising another loan until the end of the year. Those, therefore, who argue that you ought to raise the money on your own credit and give it to Turkey as a loan, are met by this objection—that you have not, either out of surplus income or by means of loans of your own, the power of placing this money at the disposal of Turkey. Well, then, you are reduced to this alternative—will you sanction this method of assisting Turkey to carry on a defensive war—a war in which we are pledged to cooperate with her, and in support of which we have made great exertions of our own—will the House sanction the engagement of the Crown for giving assistance to Turkey, or will they say to the Crown that no assistance shall be given to Turkey to enable her to carry on that war? My right hon. Friend wished the House seriously to consider the position in which they are thus placing the Grown, the country, and the general cause in which we are engaged. It may, undoubtedly, be that this House may think that we have come to the end of our resources. This House may imagine that it is time to stop in the career in which we have embarked. They may altogether alter the opinion hitherto enter- 1265 tained of the necessity of prosecuting this war with energy and with vigour. They may say, "We will hear no more of it; we will contribute nothing; and we won't even incur a contingent and remote liability for the purpose of enabling an ally in his own territory, and in his own defence, to carry on the war with energy and success." I should deeply grieve to see such a course taken by the House, but, at all events, it would be an intelligible line of proceeding, and the House would have to account to the country for this change in their sentiments. But if the House is determined, as I believe it to be, in accordance with the Resolution which it came to to that effect, to support the Crown in the conduct and vigorous prosecution of the war, then I would really entreat it not to stand upon comparatively trifling differences of opinion as to the particular method in which this assistance should be given to Turkey. Some Gentlemen may have a preference for a separate liability over a joint one; that is a matter on which it is perfectly intelligible that men may differ; but is it a fundamental objection to this proposal? Is it worth while, for the sake of a difference of opinion on such a minor point, to send this Convention back to France and to Turkey to be remodelled and reframed, and delaying, allow me to say, at this time of the year, the assistance which this loan would afford to our ally for an indefinite period? For, let us remember the time of the year which we have now reached. No change can be made in this arrangement without a fresh Convention between the contracting parties. That Convention must go back to Constantinople and then wait until it can be ratified, after which we must return to Parliament for its authority to enable us to carry it into execution. We are now in the middle of July; and is the House prepared to continue its sittings until that change could be made, or would it insist on no effect being given to the measure till the next Session, when it would be too late to render to Turkey the assistance which we think we are bound in honour to afford her? Sir, this is, after all, a more serious matter than some Gentlemen seem to consider it. It does affect the honour of England—it does affect the great interests for which this House and this country have made such great and such noble efforts; and I would implore hon. Gentlemen not to deal with the question on the narrow grounds upon which it has hitherto been discussed, but rather to 1266 take a larger and broader view of it, and to consider the important interests which are at stake and the grave consequences which may flow from the refusal of this House to sanction this engagement. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) has addressed an appeal to Her Majesty's Government founded on the question of time; and he thinks that, the Resolution having been inserted in the Votes only yesterday, more time is required for considering it.
§ MR. WALPOLE
What I said was, "Will the noble Lord reconsider the Resolution, and alter his plan entirely?"
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
The right hon. Gentleman is a statesman who views things on a large scale; and I am sure that no man in this House has the honour of the country and the great interest now concerned more truly at heart than he has. Now, he asks the Government to reconsider this arrangement. Will he a little reconsider his own proposition? And do not let him taunt me by saying that I am asking him to suggest the course which the Government is to pursue; but will he just follow out in his own mind the steps which must be taken if we are to act upon his recommendation to revise our proposals? Why, here is a treaty signed and also ratified between France, Turkey, and England. The ratifications were exchanged at Constantinople. Now, we cannot alter this arrangement without having a new treaty; and how does the right hon. Gentleman think this new treaty is to be worked out, and how long would it take? There must be a renewed negotiation with France, and would the Government of that country agree to such a change? I will not undertake to say that it would. The Government of France might have great objections to assenting to what (I was going to say) the right hon. Gentleman wishes; but, upon my word, so many different opinions have been stated in the course of this debate that I am at loss to know which of the conflicting views is the one entertained by the right hon. Member. I will assume, however, that he would be satisfied if the guarantee were separate instead of joint; for that, as I understand him, is the point on which his opposition rests. [Mr. WALPOLE made a remark.] Does the right hon. Gentleman prefer that the money should be given en bloc, and in the form of a gift, or does he wish that, instead of guaranteeing a loan, the British Government should adopt the mode acted upon in the case of the Sardinian loan, 1267 and take security for principal and interest from Turkey? Whichever of these proposals the right hon. Gentleman advocates he must see that no such change can be effected without cancelling the present treaty and entering into a new one. Supposing that course to he right; if this month had been January instead of July there might have been time for adopting it, because then the negotiations might be opened, a fresh treaty signed and ratified, and the sanction of Parliament obtained to its execution. In the actual state of things, however, such an arrangement would be equivalent to the practical postponement till next Session of any assistance to Turkey in the way of helping her to a loan. Now, I have no hesitation in saying that that would be attended with the most disastrous results in regard to the military operations in contemplation. I will declare to the House my most perfect conviction that if we withhold from Turkey the additional means that she requires to enable her to maintain her army in an adequate state for operations in the field, the consequences will be most calamitous. This House may choose to take upon itself the responsibility of such an issue. Hon. Gentlemen who have declared themselves ready to carry on the war with all the energy and spirit which the country can command; hon. Gentlemen on the other side who have taunted Her Majesty's Government with being insincere in the prosecution of the war, and who have declared that it is all a delusion for us to pretend that we are in earnest in our intention to conduct the contest with vigour and determination, because we have really had at heart peace almost at any price—those who have held this language may indeed refuse this slight contribution towards the means necessary for waging the war with energy and resolution; but I shall leave it to the House and the country to pronounce between such persons and the Members of the Government as to who it is who are really sincere, and who it is who are practising a deception upon the public and upon the world by making professions which they do not actually feel. I leave it, I say, to the country to determine on the sincerity of those who by their speeches and their verbal declarations make such large and general protestations of their earnest desire to support the war, but who, nevertheless, upon the first practical measure for that object being afterwards submitted for their sanction, refuse to the very ally for whose 1268 defence this great conflict was undertaken the small amount of aid which no the money but the credit of England and France would afford to him to enable him to maintain the integrity of those very territories in behalf of which we have already incurred such a heavy expenditure, and for which we have been making such immense exertions.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 135; Noes 132: Majority 3.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acton, J.||Holland, E.|
|Anderson, Sir J.||Horsman, rt. hon. E.|
|Ball, J.||Howard, hon. C. W. G.|
|Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.||Howard, Lord E.|
|Bass, M. T.||Ingham, R.|
|Bethell, Sir R.||Jackson, W.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Kershaw, J.|
|Bland, L. H.||Kinnaird, hon. A. F.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Kirk, W.|
|Brady, J.||Labouchere, rt. hon. H.|
|Brand, hon. H.||Langton, H. G.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Lee, W.|
|Brown, H.||Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. C.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Lindsay, hon. Col.|
|Buckley, Gen.||Lockhart, A. E.|
|Butt, I.||Lowe, R.|
|Campbell, Sir A. I.||Luce, T.|
|Castlerosse, Visct.||Mackinnon, W. A.|
|Cayley, E. S.||M'Cann, J.|
|Cobbett, J. M.||M'Gregor, J.|
|Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.||Massey, W. N.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Matheson, A.|
|Craufurd, E. H. J.||Milligan, R.|
|Deedes, W.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|De Vere, S. E.||Molesworth, rt, hn. Sir W.|
|Dillwyn, L. L.||Moncreiff, J.|
|Drumlanrig, Visct.||Monsell, W.|
|Duncan, Visct.||Morris, D.|
|Dungarvan, Visct.||Mowatt, F.|
|Ebrington, Visct.||Mulgrave, Earl of|
|Ellice, rt. hon. E.||Muntz, G. F.|
|Esmonde, J.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Ewart, J. C.||Norreys, Sir D. J.|
|Ferguson, Sir R.||North, F.|
|FitzGerald, Sir J.||O'Brian, P.|
|FitzGerald, J. D.||O'Brien, Sir T.|
|Forster, C.||O'Connell, D.|
|Forster, J.||Oliveira, B.|
|Fox, W. J.||Osborne, R.|
|Galwey, Sir W. P.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Glyn, G. C.||Pechell, Sir G. B.|
|Goderich, Visct.||Peel, F.|
|Goodman, Sir G.||Pellatt, A.|
|Greene, J.||Perry, Sir T. E.|
|Gregson, S.||Philipps, J. H.|
|Greville, Col. F.||Pritchard, J.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Ricardo, O.|
|Grey, R. W.||Ricardo, S.|
|Grosvenor, Lord R.||Richardson, J. J.|
|Hall, Sir B.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Hankey, T.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Hastie, Arch.||Sadleir, J.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Sawle, C. B. G.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Scholefield, W.|
|Higgins, G. G. O.||Scobell, Capt.|
|Hogg, Sir J. W.||Scully, F.|
|Scully, V.||Waterpark, Lord|
|Seymour, Lord||Watkins, Col. L.|
|Seymour, H. D.||Whatman, J.|
|Shafto, R. D.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Shee, W.||Wilkinson, W. A.|
|Shelley, Sir J. V.||Williams, W.|
|Smith, M. T.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Smith, rt. hon. R. V.||Wilson, J.|
|Somerville, rt. hon. SirW.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Steel, J.||Wyndham, W.|
|Tite, W.||Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.|
|Tomline, G.||Berkeley, G.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Heywood, J.|
|Alcock, T.||Horsfall, T. B.|
|Alexander, J.||Hotham, Lord|
|Bailey, C.||Hume, W. F.|
|Ball, E.||Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Jones, Adm.|
|Banks, rt. hon. G.||Jones, D.|
|Barnes, T.||Kendall, N.|
|Bateson, T.||Knight, F. W.|
|Beaumount, W. B.||Knox, hon. W. S.|
|Bell, J.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|Bentinck, G. W. P.||Liddell, hon. H. G.|
|Booker, T. W.||Lockhart, W.|
|Bright, J.||Lovaine, Lord|
|Buck, G. S.||Lowther, hon. Col.|
|Burrowes, R.||Lushington, C. M.|
|Cairns, H. M'C.||Macartney, G.|
|Cardwell, rt. hon. E.||MacGregor, Jas.|
|Cecil, Lord R.||Maddock, Sir H.|
|Child, S.||Maguire, J. F.|
|Cobden, R.||Manners, Lord G,|
|Codrington, Sir W.||Maxwell, hon. J. P.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||Meagher, T.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Meux, Sir H.|
|Cowan, C.||Miall, E.|
|Crook, J.||Miles, W.|
|Crossley, F.||Michell, W.|
|Davies, J. L.||Moffatt, G.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||Morgan, O.|
|Duffy, C. G.||Mowbray, J. R.|
|Duncan, G.||Mullings, J. R.|
|Duncombe, hon. W. E.||Murrough, J. P.|
|Dundas, G.||Naas, Lord|
|Dunne, Col.||Napier, rt. hon. J.|
|Egerton, E. C.||Newark, Visct.|
|Evelyn, W. J.||Ossulston, Lord|
|Farnham, E. B.||Pakenham, T. H.|
|Fellowes, E.||Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Fergusson, Sir J.||Palmer, Roundell|
|Fitzgerald, W. R. S.||Peacocke, G. M. W.|
|Forester, rt. hon. Col.||Peel, Gen.|
|French, F.||Pennant, hon. Col.|
|Gilpin, Col.||Percy, hon. J. W.|
|Gladstone, rt. hon. W.||Phillimore, R. J.|
|Gordon, hon. A.||Pilkington, J.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Graham, Lord M, W.||Rushout, G.|
|Granby, Marq. of||Smijth, Sir W.|
|Guinness, R. S.||Smith, J. B.|
|Gwyn, H.||Smyth, J. G.|
|Hadfield, G.||Spooner, R.|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Stafford, A.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Stanhope, J. B.|
|Hastie, Alex.||Stanley, Lord|
|Heathcote, Sir W.||Stirling, W.|
|Henley, rt. hon. J. W.||Stracey, H. J.|
|Herbert, rt. hon. S.||Stuart, W.|
|Hervey, Lord A.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Sullivan, M.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H|
|Taylor, Col.||Walsh, Sir J. B.|
|Tollemache, J.||Whiteside, J.|
|Tyler, Sir G.||Whitmore, H.|
|Verner, Sir W.||Wise, A.|
|Vernon, G. E. H.||Wyndham, Gen.|
|Vernon, L. V.|
|Waddington, H. S.||Laing,|
|Walcott, Adm.||Ricardo, J. L.|
§ House resumed.