HC Deb 28 July 1859 vol 155 cc521-38

Mr. MASSEY in the Chair.

(In the Committee.)

The following Vote was then agreed to:

(1.) £4,050, Civil Establishment at Bermuda.

(2.) £6,628, Ecclesiastical Establishment, British North American Provinces.


objected, on the ground that land had been granted for these establishments, which, therefore, ought to maintain themselves without coming upon this country. One of the items was for the Roman Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland, whose salary he found had been increased from £100 to £500 a year.


asked whether the amount of the Vote was an increasing one or not?


said, the Vote was gradually dying out, having materially diminished within the last few years.

Vote agreed to, as was also,

(3.) £2,342, Indian Department, Canada.

(4.) £42,998, British Columbia.


expressed his astonishment at the magnitude of this Vote, and deprecated the constant accession of new colonies. Very lately he had seen a report of a deputation which waited on her Majesty's Government for the purpose of recommending the annexation of the Feejee Islands. Every one of these new accessions increased the burden on the taxpayers of this country, and he thought some stop should be put to the system. In the present case this was part of an old colony, and £42,000 seemed to him to be a monstrous sum to start with.


feared that a new colony nearer home than the Feejee Islands would become a charge upon this country next year if the Government did not take care. Efforts were being made to refuse a renewal of the licence of the Hudson's Bay Company, and thus transfer a country which, if it produced nothing to us, at least cost us nothing, to the charge of the Imperial Exchequer.


asked how much had been raised in the colony by customs, land sales, and mining leases. In his opinion the colony ought very soon to be able to defray its expenses out of these revenues. The colony of Canterbury, New Zealand, of which he had been one of the founders, had never cost the country one shilling, and he saw no reason why British Columbia might not be established on the same principle. Next year he should certainly ask the House not to allow this Vote.


had not expected criticism from the right hon. Gentleman, whom he had rather looked to defend the Vote, seeing that the colony had been established by the Government of which he was a Member. The sum asked for was large, but the expenditure had been incurred, and unless Parliament paid the Bill there were no funds to meet it. The chief expense arose from sending out a party of Sappers and Miners, which was the act of the late Government, and an unfortunate accident—the burning of the ship conveying stores—had increased the amount. With respect to the income of the colony, he had no accurate accounts later than February 23rd, at which time the Governor stated the receipts of local revenue, up to that date, at £23,000, and the expenditure at £25,000. There were further receipts expected from the sale of land—town lots—to the extent of £10,000. He really thought nothing could have been more judicious than the conduct of Governor Douglas. He had laid out about two-thirds of the receipts of the colony in forming roads, without which the colonization of the country could not be carried on. The right hon. Gentleman had said that British Columbia should pay its own expenses from the sales of land as the Australian colonies had done; but there was a great distinction between the cases. In British Columbia land for agricultural purposes could not be sold, rapidly or at once, owing to the present want of roads and communication. There was a large population flocking in, attracted by the gold discoveries, and the Governor had tried a monthly licence, but it was found impossible to levy it profitably, as the expenses of collection would have eaten up the produce. An export duty upon gold was in contemplation, but there were difficulties in its way, because the diggers could transfer their gold across the American frontier, and thus evade the tax. The Government had urged upon the Governor the necessity of making the colony self-supporting, and had been warned that he must not expect perpetual grants from that House; and he hoped in a short time that result would be arrived at. But in the mean time it was impossible to form a new colony without giving it some assistance at starting.


thought that, considering the circumstances under which the colony was established, considering the necessity for establishing it, and considering that his right hon. Friend the Secretary for the Colonies under the late Govern- ment had given full information to the House as to the expenses which the formation of the colony was likely to entail on the country, it would not be just to object to the present Vote. At the same time he concurred with the late Government, and with the hon. Gentleman, the Under Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. C. Fortescue), in the necessity of the colony being impressed with the idea that it must manage to pay its own expenses.


said, that this place had been a British possession for a long time, though not recognized as a colony. With its resources it ought to yield a revenue sufficient to meet the expenditure. California has received no assistance from the United States' Treasury.


thought it would be unwise to withhold this sum, which was necessary for the establishment of an organized Government in a new colony.


thought the Committee were bound to agree to the Vote, as the colony was established with the consent of Parliament, and after a short statement as to the probable expenditure which its establishment would devolve on this country; but he hoped that the case of New Columbia would not be taken as a precedent for, but as a warning against similar expenses in favour of all new colonies.


said, the principle proposed by the late Government in establishing this colony was that it should be self-supporting, and he quoted a passage from a despatch of the late Secretary of State (Sir E. B. Lytton), in which he expressed a hope that the colony of British Columbia would soon be self-supporting, and that the expense of sending out the engineers would be reimbursed from the first balance in the colonial revenue.


said, that the bulk of the items in this Vote, no less than £37,000, arose from a detachment of Royal Engineers having been sent out to the colony. The Hudson's Bay Company had ceased to have anything to do with the colony, and with Vancouver's Island.


wanted a distinct answer whether the intentions of the present Government were, as those of the late Government had been, to make the colony reimburse this expenditure out of the growing revenue.


said, it was no use promising impossibili- ties. As to the late Government he could only say, that a colony could not be made self-supporting by a sentence in a despatch, while at the same time a heavy expenditure was imposed by the Home Authorities. The present Government would do all they could towards rendering the colony self-supporting; but it would only be deceiving the House to say that there was much probability of the amount now voted being reimbursed.


remarked that the present Government had shown a disposition to introduce economy in respect to this colony, as upon taking office they found pending a contract for a mail service and the establishment of a mint, questions which they had disposed of for the present.

Vote agreed to.

5. Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £24,728, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of the Salaries of the Governors, Lieutenant Governors, and others, in the West Indies, and certain other Colonies, to the 31st day of March 1800.


did not understand why the people of this country should be taxed to pay these Governors. At all events, the Governor of Western Australia had no business whatever in the Estimate, for the present condition of that colony was prosperous. He, therefore, moved that the Vote he diminished by £1,800, the amount of the salary of the Governor of Western Australia.

Motion made, and Question proposed,— That the item of £1,800 for the Salary of the Governor of Western Australia be omitted from the proposed Vote.


asked, whether the Government had turned their attention to the possibility of finding a new sphere in which convicts discharged from prison might recover a position in society? The ticket-of-leave system had failed; and he was convinced that a sphere for the recovery of those persons was not to be found under our present system. The law when it condemned a man to penal servitude did not intend to affix on him a punishment which should pursue him during his whole future career; yet that was the effect of the existing system, for it affixed a stigma from which few recovered in this country. Was it not possible to employ the convicts upon public works in the Colonies, and then to find a sphere for them in the Colonies after their sentence had expired? That system had been successfully carried out under the system of assignment, until the sphere for its operation, was unwisely narrowed; the existence of such colonies as the Cape of Good Hope and Australia owed their existence to it. He would also draw the attention of the Government to the circumstance of many convicts losing their intellect in consequence of the severity of the discipline to which they were subjected in this country. The law did not intend to condemn a man to a punishment worse than death, when it condemned him to penal servitude; and yet he knew instances of insanity, produced by the present system of prison discipline, the separate system, in recent instances, as the result of convictions, within the constituency he had the honour to represent. He would recommend the Government not to lose sight of the great benefits which the colony of Western Australia conferred on the mother country and on humanity by the employment, and, he was happy to say, 'the profitable employment of convicts, after their discharge from prison.


said, that with regard to the West Indian colonies these Votes were only votes in aid, and that the colonists themselves paid a portion of the expenses. The whole subject of the government of the West Indian Islands was in a most unsatisfactory state. The salaries awarded to the governors of the smaller islands were generally very inadequate. He conceived that by forming them into groups, and having one establishment for each group, the Government would be carried on more efficiently and more economically; and in a few years the West Indies would not require the aid now given them for the payment of a portion of the salaries of their Governors.


said, with regard to the Motion of the hon. Member for Lambeth, that he thought the hon. Member had been rather unfortunate in choosing this particular Governor as a victim, because the colony of Western Australia performed very important functions towards the mother country. He was not prepared to give an answer to the great and serious question raised by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. He could only say that the Colonial Office would not undertake to make the mischievous attempt of forcing convicts upon colonies which had expressed most unmistakeably their feeling against receiving them. No doubt, the hon. Member alluded to the establishment of a new penal colony. He could not say what might be the intentions of the Government on that head; but with respect to Western Australia, that colony did receive a certain number of convicts, and disposed of them after the expiration of their sentence, by settling them in the country. It was on that ground that Western Australia was included in the present Vote, and this sum might be considered as a contribution from the mother country to a colony which performed towards her most valuable services.


said, that it appeared to him to be perfectly useless to found penal establishments at the other end of the world which should be nothing more than convict prisons. The convicts ought ultimately to be fused with the population. He thought the House would display little gratitude to Western Australia by refusing the present grant. If the employment by that colony of convicts in hard labour was found profitable, other colonies would be induced to reconsider the determination they had come to of refusing convicts.


thought that Rupert's Land would be glad to receive convicts of good character. [Laughter.] Of course no convicts could be well considered men of good character; but there were classes of convicts, and he meant a better class of convicts.


did not suppose that the colony received convicts to benefit this country, but simply to benefit itself. He would, however, trusting that the matter would be taken into consideration by the Government, withdraw his Motion.

Motion by leave withdrawn.

Vote agreed to.

(6.) £19,350, Salaries, &c, Stipendiary Justices West India and Mauritius,


observed that these magistrates were first established during the apprenticeship system in the West Indies, and that system had now been abolished for twenty-two years.


said, it was not the intention of the Government to fill up the vacancies in the places of the present magistrates when they should become vacant.

Vote agreed to, as were also

The following Votes:

(7.) £10,230, Civil Establishments Western Coast of Africa.

(8.) £6,533, Island of St. Helena.

(9.) £960, Heligoland.

(10.) £2,067, Falkland Islands.

(11.) £4,299, Labuan.


objected. This place, if supported at all, ought to be supported by the Indian Government. It had been originally taken possession of by a personnamed Brooke, who kept it as long as it suited his purpose, and then handed it over to the Government. The occupation of this place had been totally unprofitable to this country, and he should move that the whole of the Vote be disallowed.


was much surprised to hear the hon. Gentleman speak of so remarkable and distinguished a man as Sir James Brooke, as "a person named Brooke," and he was sure that the hon. Member would, on reflection, be sorry that he had spoken of him in such a disparaging way. He knew nothing personally of Sir James Brooke; but he believed that the motives which originally induced him to take possession of Labuan were of the highest and purest character, and that he was principally influenced by a desire to spread the blessings of Christianity. He thought the hon, Member should not bring forward a question of this character in this incidental way, and he would advise the hon. Member to follow the example of the late Mr. Hume, and give the House an opportunity of dealing specifically with the question.


hoped, that the Government would take the question of the retention of Labuan into their consideration. He did not see what Imperial interests were served by the establishment; and in 1857 a promise was given that if Labuan did not pay its expenses, the question of its abandonment as a Government establishment was to be seriously considered. The local revenue had decreased by £1,090, and the net increase of the Vote was £2,842; and he did not hear that any success had attended the attempts to develope the natural resources of the island.


differed in opinion from the noble Lord, and concurred with the large body of commercial men who had by memorials and other means expressed their opinion of the utility not only of this colony, but of Sarawak; believing that an establishment of English power in that part of the world would in future be most important. He thought that the great and illustrious man who had established the colony, and who was now in this country stricken down by ill health, deserved some other reward than the disregarded language which had been used with respect to him. He did not know a more noble instance of what an energetic Englishman could do than was afforded by the adventures of Sir James Brooke in those almost unknown quarters of the world. He believed that hereafter Sir James Brooke would be regarded with the same feeling as Sir Walter Raleigh and others who had benefitted their country by their adventurous enterprise.


said, he had been guilty of no disrespect to Sir James Brooke. He had called him Brooke, and the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sotheron Estcourt) had called him Sir James Brooke. That was all the difference between them. He wished also to be informed what Sir James Brooke had done for Christianity in Labuan.


agreed in the sentiments expressed on both sides of the House with respect to the admirable character of Sir James Brooke, who had no doubt established the British name and fame in those remote seas. He trusted that the hon. Member for Lambeth would not divide the Committee on his Motion. The question was, on a former occasion, brought under the consideration of the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Labouchere) whether this Vote should be continued on the Estimates much longer, and the present Secretary for the Colonies felt it was a question deserving most serious consideration. He agreed with the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) that in a pecuniary sense the colony had been a failure, and it was necessary to consider whether any imperial interests would be served by retaining it.


said, a great many intelligent men in the kingdom felt that any facilities afforded by the possession of this island were not worth having at the price given for them.

Vote agreed to.

(12.) £12,708, Emigration Board.


said, that the number of Commissioners might be reduced. The Colonies complained of the manner in which the business of the Emigration Board was conducted, and were establishing offices of their own in England. The matter was one for the Colonies more than for this country; the Colonies were the parties interested in the emigration of persons from this country. The number of emigrants now sent out by the Commissioners were very few. He had no objection to the part of the Vote which was for the payment of the officers at ports, who discharged very important functions under the Passengers' Act; but to the part which provided for the expenses of the Emigration Board he did object, and early next Session he would move a reduction of the staff by one Commissioner and one Secretary.


alluded to the atrocities practised upon emigrants on board ship. He was one who did not think emigration necessary. Instead of sending our people away, we ought to endeavour to keep them at home; we had not too many; we wanted more.

Vote agreed to, as were the following—

(13.) £13,000, Captured Negroes and Liberated Africans; and

(14.) £11,050, Mixed Commissions for Suppressing Traffic in Slaves.

15. Motion made, and Question proposed,— That a sum, not exceeding £76,404, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Expense of the Consular Establishments Abroad, to the 31st day of March 1860.


said, that the Committee which sat last Session to investigate this subject might have continued their labours with advantage. It appeared by this Estimate no change was made on the old system, except by additional expenditure, and he did not wish that that should be the only notice taken of the labours of the Committee. He did not believe that if the recommendations of the Committee had been acted upon any great additional expenditure would have been incurred by the country and the service would have been put on a greatly improved footing. He thought there should be but two classes of consular agents. One class should consist of trained gentlemen who had full knowledge of the requirements of commerce and of mercantile law amply remunerated, who should fill the office of consul at the chief port of each country; and the other should consist of respectable British merchants at the various minor ports, whose zeal should be stimulated by the prospect of honorary distinctions at the disposal of the Sovereign. The consular office should have a distinct and definite character, and should not be given to any accidental friend of the Foreign Office. At present the unsatisfactory position of needy men representing British interests was equally unjust to them and injurious to our national character. The recommendations of the Committee related both to the payment of consuls and the manner of their appointment. One cause for the first recommendation was the greatly increased cost of living at many ports, especially in the Levant and countries contiguous to the Levant. He understood that the late Government had left behind them a paper upon this subject, in which the question of fees was treated, and a proposition made to recur to the system of tonnage fees, whereby the expenses of the consular establishment would wholly fall upon the shipping interest. He thought this was not a moment to increase the burdens pressing upon that interest, and therefore he hoped the subject would be fully considered by the present Government.


said, that the consular system required revision, for he was of opinion that many of these officers were utterly useless. He entirely disagreed from the propriety of increasing this Vote by £6,370 for increased consular salaries. The first of these fortunate officials was the consul at Marseilles, whose salary was increased from £550 to £900 a year. He would like to know what increase of trade we had with Marseilles to warrant such an increase. He also found that this gentleman was entitled to certain fees which amounted to a large annual sum. The salary of the consul at Barcelona was proposed to be increased from £400 to £550 a year. It was absurd to say there was any trade with Barcelona sufficient to justify such an increase. At Alexandria the consul's salary was proposed to be increased from £600 to £1,000 a year. He was able to congratulate the Committee on one item removed from these Estimates, to which he had called attention for the last three years. He alluded to the salary of £400 a year for a consul at Cincinnati. When he found that the salaries of the consuls at New York and Boston, where there was a large trade, were still left at £500 and £200 a year respectively, he could not believe that the increase in the salaries of the other consuls arose from any other motive than favour; and he therefore moved the reduction of the Vote by a sum of £6,375.

Motion made, and Question proposed,— That the sum, not exceeding £70,029, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Expense of the Consular Establishments Abroad, to the 31st day of March 1860.


said, that the bulky volume which the Committee on the consular service had published was a sufficient proof that they had not closed their inquiries prematurely. He did not think the "slaps" which his hon. Friend the Member for Pomfret (Mr. M. Milnes) had taken at the late Government were justifiable. The Committee only closed their inquiry last August, and the late Government could not in the time that had since elapsed have prepared a satisfactory report on a matter requiring a correspondence with consuls at distant ports, and an attentive consideration of their communications as well as of the recommendations of the Committee. That Committee had taken great pains in the conduct of their inquiry, and he must observe that the evidence taken by them showed that a more honourable, a more intelligent, and a more distinguished body of public servants than the consuls employed by the country did not exist. As regarded what had been said by the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Williams) against the increase in some of the salaries, that hon. Gentleman seemed to forget that within the last few years the expenses of living at foreign ports had vastly increased. In some cases they had been trebled. Instances had been brought under the notice of the Committee in which the consuls supported the respectability of their office out of their own private income. Although as little disposed as the hon. Gentleman himself to waste the public money, he was sure that the country desired to treat public servants not only with justice but liberality.


wished to draw the attention of the Committee to the case of Marseilles. When Mr. Turnbull was appointed consul at that port in 1816 he received fees. In 1826 he was placed upon a salary of £800 and forbidden to trade. In 1832 his salary was reduced to £600 and permission to engage in trade restored; which was, however, of no use to a man whose connection with mercantile affairs had ceased six or seven years before. In 1835 the salary was further reduced to £550. He hoped the hon. Member for Lambeth would not run a muck against salaries without reference to other circumstances.


said, it could not be expected at that time to go into the general question connected with the consular system. A paper relative to the mode in which it was proposed to carry out the recommendations of the Committee would shortly be laid on the table, and the matter could then he fully discussed. This paper could not be prepared in time to alter the present Estimates. With reference to the objection of the hon. Member for Lambeth, he believed it would turn out that those increased salaries were made either in cases of evident propriety, upon the recommendation of the Committee, or were merely nominal in lieu of fees, which were now paid into the Consolidated Fund. It was impossible at present to abolish entirely the system of consular fees and substitute fixed salaries; but as vacancies occurred the new appointments were only made upon condition that the fees should be paid into the Consolidated Fund, and the person appointed to the office to receive a fixed salary.


did not exactly understand the value of consuls, for he recollected that the consul at Marseilles was unaware of any "extraordinary preparations" just before the Emperor Napoleon forwarded 70,000 men from that port to Genoa. If he had merely used his eyes he must have seen some unusual bustle. Lately, too, when the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs inquired respecting preparations alleged to be mailing at Brest, the consul at that port was found amusing himself elsewhere.


called attention to an item in the Estimate of £500 for the salary of the consul at New York, and to another item of £500 pension to Mr. Barclay, late consul at New York, on account of the abolition of the office.


said, the matter belonged to the Foreign Office, and he could not explain the apparent contradiction at present.


said he should persist in his amendment.

Motion put and negatived.


said, he would have divided, only that he was afraid he should not have found another teller.

Vote agreed to.

(16.) £67,363, Consular Establishments in China, Japan, and Siam.


said, there was one item in this Vote of £7,800 for Interpreters in China. He thought the consuls ought themselves to be able to speak the language of the country they were in.


said, that was precisely the reason of the item to which the hon. Member objected. A number of young gentlemen had been sent out to those countries as Interpreters to be trained up for the consular service.

Vote agreed to.

(17.) £20,000, Extraordinary Disbursements of Embassies and Missions Abroad.


called attention to the great increase which had taken place in this Vote during the last few years. During a very short period the Vote had increased from £16,000 to £40,000 a year. However, the amount voted had not been required, the sums actually spent being in 1856 £27,482; in 1857 £30,732, and in 1856 £30,734. That being so, it appeared to him to be unnecessary year after year to take a Vote for some £10,000 more than was required. He would be glad to know if these unexpended balances were in the Exchequer or to the credit of the Government. These diplomatic expenses had increased most enormously of late years. Since the year 1840 no less a sum than £6,477,000 had been voted on account of these services. He wished to invite the attention of the Secretary of the Treasury to this subject, and he trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would urge upon the Foreign Office the necessity of more economical arrangements. In 1853 he stated before a Select Committee that if care were not taken these diplomatic services before many years would amount to half-a-million annually. He regretted to inform the Committee that his fears had been more than realized, for the Estimate for the present year was £521,665. He should state to the Committee what the items of expenditure on this account for the present year were: in addition to £82,000 for the Foreign Office, and £40,000 for secret services, he found the following sums voted, namely, for consular service and pensions, £242,796; for diplomatic salaries and pensions, £183,936; for special missions, £41,497; outfits, £18,025; extraordinary disbursements, £40,000; repairs of three embassy houses, £5,390; British consulate at Constantinople, £10,000; making in all a sum of £521,665. The manner in which these Estimates were prepared was somewhat extraordinary, and seemed specially framed not to give clear information. For instance, they found a sum of £12,000 was the estimate for the embassy at Paris; but hon. Members were not to suppose that was the whole of the expenditure for that embassy. They would find items relating to that establishment running through other Estimates; such as a charge of £1,140 for keeping up the Embassy House, and £3,817 for extraordinary charges, including one item of £1,000 under the comfortable head of "miscellaneous charges." Then, the repairs to the Embassy House had cost the country (including the sum voted last year) no less than £150,000 since 1816. If they looked to the Foreign Office expenditure they found an expenditure of £10,000 for postage, and yet among the "extraordinary charges" there was an item of £4,000 for postage, and also an item of £7,106 for extra couriers. Unless hon. Members went through all the Estimates they never could find out the expenditure of any one department. It was desirable that the whole of the items should be put together under the head of each department. A singular and unfortunate item in this Estimate was £5,003 for interpreters, attachés, and clerks. Certainly, if at the Foreign Office a strict examination was discouraged, and writing in a bold hand with distinctly formed letters was not thought desirable, then, indeed, extra clerks and interpreters might be required. He would now give an instance of the manner in which the public money was lavished. The extraordinary expenses for Lisbon were put down at £536; and notwithstanding the enormous diplomatic establishment in Portugal, the King having lately thought fit to many, a special mission of congratulation was sent, increasing the expenditure by £1,393. The Minister sent to Florence had an outfit of £800, and after staying a few weeks or months at his post was sent to America, and got another outfit of £900, and the new Minister for Florence also received an outfit. He hoped that the Secretary to the Treasury would consider these things. This enormous expenditure was gradually increasing, and he trusted that the hon. Gentleman would endeavour to check it.

MR. ELLICE (Coventry)

thought the Committee was indebted to the hon. Gentleman for the attention he paid to this subject, and thought that the continued increase of the estimate required vigilant supervision of the department. But, with regard to the embassy at Paris, it must be borne in mind that Paris was the centre of all our diplomatic affairs in Europe, and that this country had to maintain a certain importance and dignity there. The Paris embassy must either be maintained in equal importance with the embassies of the other States of Europe, or, if not, that House ought to relieve the poor nobleman or gentleman employed to transact diplomatic affairs in that capital from the enormous expense which was attached to his condition. Their diplomatic agent at Paris must either be paid in such a way as would enable him to maintain the dignity of his country, or he must be cut down at once to the condition of a simple Minister, with a small house to live in, where he might put on the door, "No English people entertained here." Let the Committee consider the position in which the Ambassador at Paris was placed. Lord Granville spent an immense private fortune beyond the salary allowed him to maintain the dignity of his position. The English Ambassadors at Paris were generally half-ruined by the honour, and it was with the greatest difficulty that Lord Cowley maintained the position he wished to maintain on the salary he got. In the other observations of the hon. Member he cordially concurred, and he thought that this annually increasing expenditure might, by inquiry, be stopped.


thought an unfair construction might be put on the recent correspondence respecting Examinations, in consequence of the observations of the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Wise). All that was to be inferred from that correspondence was that a young man of great abilities and of mental aptitude for a post ought not to be disqualified simply on the ground that he could not write a clerklike hand. He quite agreed with the right hon. Member for Coventry in respect to the Embassy at Paris. A large expenditure was essential there for the credit of the country; but he thought the Committee were indebted to the hon. Member for Stafford for his remarks, because there was a strange tendency in that assembly to be stingy and close-fisted in matters of the utmost importance, and unduly liberal in other matters.


said, that with respect to this particular Estimate of £40,000, the actual expenditure was always a year in arrear of the estimated expenditure, and it did not appear to be the case that, though £40,000 were voted, the whole sum was expended. The total amount of the expenditure in 1857–58 was only £30,734. That was a proof that on the part of the Foreign Office there was no reckless disposition to throw away the public money, merely because it had been voted. There could be no doubt, however, that the full amount of the present Vote would be required, as increased activity of diplomatic intercourse, and the multiplicity of telegraph messages, arising out of the affairs on the Continent, had caused great ex- penditure. The hon. Member for Stafford, in speaking of the payments for Interpreters and Clerks, had touched on the controversial question of the education test; but nearly the whole of those payments were made in Turkey, and the hon. Member would hardly carry the test so far as to require a knowledge of the Turkish language. The rest of the payments were chiefly made in the Brazils and the Spanish States of South America. The object of the hon. Member's speech might be taken as a warning against increase of expenditure, and in that point of view nothing could be more useful. With respect to the Embassy establishments, a reduction of expense, unless the diplomatic system was entirely altered, could not be looked forward to, as the expense of living and house rent was increasing. Another cause of expense was the extension of our commerce and opening communications with other countries, such as China and Japan. He did not mention this circumstance as constituting any argument for not exercising strict economy, and the Committee might rest assured that the utmost supervision would be exercised with the view to prevent unnecessary expenditure.


said, that the large expenditure incurred by the Ambassador at Paris arose from his being called on to entertain all the aristocracy of this country when they visited Paris; but why should the working men of this country be called on to pay for that? In addition to the regular allowance for the French Embassy of £10,000, there were extra expenses of £3,819, including an item of £1,000"miscellaneous."What did that mean? Under the head of Prussia he found an extra charge of £667 for fetes and illuminations, and £1,001 for extra couriers to America.


objected to voting a larger sum than had been expended last year. He thought the hon. Member for Stafford had understated the aggregate of the diplomatic and consular expenditure. It was upwards of £660,000.


said, it would be quite necessary to take a Vote for £40,000; he understood that the whole would be expended.

Vote agreed to.

(18). £121,989 Superannuation Allowances.


said, that when the reduction of one public office took place the retiring officers should be gradually employed in other public offices.


said, that the Government were not insensible to the importance of keeping down the retired list, and when the Irish revenue police was abolished every available man belonging to it was employed in the constabulary.


said, the whole system required revision. A Secretary to the Treasury after five years' service was entitled to an income for the rest of his life of £1,200 a year. There was nothing like it in any other country.

Vote agreed to, as were likewise the following Votes:—

(19.) £1,170, Toulonese and Corsican Emigrants, &c.

(20.) £325, Refuge for the Destitute.

(21.) £3,428, Polish Refugees, & c.

(22.) £4,176, Miscellaneous Allowances.

(23.) £1,717, Treasurers, Public Infirmaries, Ireland.

(24.) £2,600, Westmoreland Lock Hospital, Dublin.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.