HC Deb 08 July 1864 vol 176 cc1198-305

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [4th July], That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty to thank Her Majesty for directing the Correspondence on Denmark and Germany, and the Protocols of the Conference recently held in London, to be laid before Parliament: To assure Her Majesty, that we have heard with deep concern, that the sittings of that Conference have been brought to a close without accomplishing the important purposes for which it was convened: To express to Her Majesty our great regret, that, while the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government has failed to maintain their avowed policy of upholding the integrity and independence of Denmark, it has lowered the just influence of this Country in the counsels of Europe, and thereby diminished the securities for peace."—(Mr. Disraeli,)

And which Amendment was— To leave out the second paragraph of the proposed Question, in order to insert the words "To submit to Her Majesty the opinion of this House, that the independence of Denmark and the possessions of that Kingdom, on the terms proposed by the Representatives of the Neutral Powers in the recent Conference, ought to be guaranteed,"—(Mr. Newdegate,) —instead thereof.

Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question,"

Debate resumed.


Sir, the House will recollect that, at the commencement of the Session, when a question was put to the noble Lord the First Minister, as to when the voluminous papers on Denmark and Germany would be laid upon the table, in complying with the request for their production, the noble Lord, with a prophetic instinct, and I think foreseeing the course which this discussion has assumed, said he would produce them without delay, and he wished the House joy of them. I think I may venture to say that the House has had joy of their production, and that the case, as laid before the House last night by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General, was indeed a very heavy case, and not made lighter by his method of managing it. The House has, indeed, been fairly drenched with despatches and saturated with extracts distilled from the blue-books—so much so that it has nearly lost sight of the question at issue. What are the two Questions before us? The Question before the House is, first, the Address to Her Majesty moved by the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire; and next, the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), to which I shall first very shortly advert. That Amendment, with some difficulty, found a seconder, and when it did it was evident that the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) seconded it under a total misapprehension; for it was plain from his speech that that hon. Member was under some misty idea that the Amendment moved by his hon. confrère and colleague the Member for North Warwickshire—


My Amendment was seconded by the hon. Member for Bristol (Mr. F. H F. Berkeley).


I was under a mistake then, and I apologize to the hon. Member, for he evidently does not like the connection with the hon. Member for Peterborough. Be that as it may, the hon. Member for Bristol made no speech in support of the Amendment, and the hon. Member for Peterborough did make a speech in its defence, and was evidently under the idea that its object was not to preserve Denmark, but to protect this country from some aggression on the part of Cardinal Wiseman. Whoever the seconder, the Amendment will soon expire in its cradle, and will, probably, be followed to the grave by the two hon. Gentlemen, and perhaps by the third. Let it rest in peace.

Before commencing this adjourned debate, I must remind the House of the denunciations made by the War party at an early period of the Session, and of the loud appeal to arms which was heard from a large part of the House. Now what has become of that great section—the War party? Why, it would appear to me as if the millennium had arrived in this House. The noble Lord the Member for Huntingdon (Lord R. Montagu) is in accord with the hon. Member for Rochdale—"righteousness and peace have kissed each other!" Who can help looking with mingled feelings of admiration and surprise on the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) contemplating with brotherly love the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs? All seem to be of one accord. Everybody appears to be pleased with the present aspect of affairs, though it is all doubtful. Every one is for peace, except the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, whose "voice is still for war." But he is deserted by the most effective and most important member of his party. What has become of the noble Lord the Member for Stamford? He appears to me to have discovered on this occasion that "his party may be counted on one's fingers." I think, therefore, the House is now about to listen to the dictates of common sense and to preserve that peace which the country has determined to maintain. Now, Sir, were I inclined to indulge in a tone of triumph on this aspect of affairs—were I inclined to lay a heavy finger on the mystification and blunders which have occurred from 1852 to 1864, I think the opportunity presents itself; but I am not anxious to snatch a personal triumph when the humiliation of the country is in some degree implicated. No man in or out of the House is able to deny that the failure of the Ministry to some extent involves the honour of the country; and however we may rejoice that they have returned to the paths—if they really have—of peace, all must acknowledge, however grateful we may be for the result, that, as was said of the Peace of Amiens, no one can be proud of the means by which it has been attained. We have had a great many solutions attempted of this Danish-German question; and one remarkable solution was given by an hon. Friend of mine on the other side of the House—I mean the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. The hon. and learned Gentleman seems to have supposed that he had entirely settled this question by telling this House that 40,000,000 of Germans had gone mad. Like the excited Irishman at Donnybrook Fair, he flourished his shillelagh both against friend and foe. But I must say that, when his speech is read in Germany and Schleswig-Holstein, it is not likely to give to Prussia a lucid interval, or to impress the people there with the notion that the eccentric and hon. Member is imbued with much learning on this subject, for he appears to be totally ignorant of the merits of the question, and to have taken no pains whatever to inform himself with regard to it. The hon. and learned Member went somewhat out of his way to attack the noble Earl, the Foreign Secretary. Now, whatever I may think of the noble Earl's conduct in these affairs, I do not think that it is a worthy thing to say of the noble Earl, if he had not been brought up as a statesman he would have been a schoolmaster. The hon. Gentleman might have recollected, when sneering at the profession of a schoolmaster, that there have been schoolmasters who might rank with statesmen—that the name of Arnold, for instance, might stand upon an equality with that of a Roebuck. The hon. Member might further have remembered that this country has received some lessons on civil and religious liberty from the noble Earl which it is not likely to forget. Neither can I admit that the noble Earl is alone to blame for the diplomatic blunders and failures that have occurred. It is very true that the fine Roman hand of the noble Lord may be detected in these despatches, which were to confound Europe at the same time that they put this House to sleep. In reading these despatches, one cannot help seeing that, though the "hands are the hands of Esau, the voice is the voice of Jacob." if any one is to be blamed for the complication and failure of these transactions it is the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown, who has for half a century directed the foreign policy of the country. In treating this question of Denmark and the Duchies, I think that not only the country, but the House, has been too much inclined to listen to sentiment rather than to reason. Sympathy without inquiry is a dangerous virtue for a nation to indulge in. It seems to have been taken for granted that everything the Germans did was wrong, and everything the Danes did was right; while it has been forgotten that for twelve years Denmark has systematically evaded her treaty obligations. Because she is a weak Power it seems to be con ceded in this House that Denmark was to be allowed to presume on that position to violate her engagements. From the outset Denmark appears to have adopted one of the maxims of La Rochefoucauld: she "has promised according to her hopes and performed according to her fears!" The House will recollect that before Easter, so impressed was I with these transactions, and so far from shirking my duty—according to the assumption of the right hon. Member for Stroud—I on two several occasions put Questions and gave notice of Motions on this subject. And how were they met? On April 9, I predicted that the Conference must necessarily be a failure. I did so not pretending to any prophetic inspiration, but from the rule of common sense, which is able to guide us all in such matters. The noble Lord at the head of the Government, shaking his finger at me in a manner so peculiarly his own, said— The hon. Gentleman pledges his political sagacity that the Conference will lead to no good result; I can only say, I trust this day next year he will not be able to remind us of what he is now predicting. It is four weeks since I made that prediction, and what has happened? [An hon. MEMBER: Two months.] I give the hon. Gentleman the benefit of that: say it is two mouths. At any rate, it is not a year—and what has become of the Conference? Again, I urged that the Conference should not have for its basis the Treaty of 1852; but the noble Lord said he determinately adhered to the Treaty of 1852. On that occasion I was met by the "previous Question" being moved. I lament that was done, because I think the House would have been put in a fairer position—we should have known better how parties stood—if we had gone into the discussion at that time. If the remarkable speech of the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn had been delivered then, nobody on whatever side of the House could have hesitated who should be his leader on this question. The right hon. Member for Stroud has fortified me by his opinion that a great mistake was committed; but I regret that he has been animated only by that esprit d' escalier which is so peculiarly his own, and that at the time he deserted me altogether, affording neither assistance nor advice. My right hon. Friend now, at the eleventh hour, not only attacks the opposite party for their conduct, but attacks the whole system and theory of Parliamentary Government. I dissent altogether from his proposition. It is not the business of the Opposition to furnish a policy for the Ministry; and the right hon. Gentleman has laid down an entirely new doctrine in that respect. [Mr. HORSMAN: I said so!] The right hon. Gentleman has really said so many things and explained so many, that I may be excused if I have mistaken him. Neither have the Government any right to blame the right hon. Gentleman opposite for having moved his Resolution in its present form. What do the Government want? They object to be destroyed; but, whatever the weapons, or however forged, I fear it would be impossible to please them. The form of words which has been adopted is, at least, conclusive for its purpose. We were told that when the Conference assembled it would set everything to rights, confirm the Government in their place, and maintain peace in the North of Europe—two very important things—the first probably the more important. Well, the Conference met, and has separated. Of course every hon. Gentleman has read the Protocols, which really seem to me to resemble rather the inspirations of the noble Lord's newspaper, The Owl, than the records of such potent, grave, and reverend seignors. Then there is also a summary of the Conference, which is so loosely and inaccurately drawn up, that if I had not known to the contrary I should have suspected it to be the production of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. What has happened within the last day or two with regard to that paper? Why the German Plenipotentiaries have written two letters protesting against that summary of the Conference, and giving their own ideas of it. From first to last this Conference has been a most unfortunate and fatal failure. The language of the Protocols is really very extraordinary. I do not speak of the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary as having written it. Take the first day, for instance. The members of the Conference all assembled, after a little delay, on the 25th of April. Protocol No. 1 tells us that the first thing they do is to elect the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary President. The noble Lord then begins with a solemn speech to them, which must remind hon. Members with dramatic tastes of the celebrated scene in the Critic, where the actors are sworn to inviolable secresy. He says:—"With the exception of the communications which each representative will make to his own Government, the most inviolable secresy will be preserved." We have seen how that rule was observed, and, of course, it is not for me to suggest by whom it was broken. In regard to the drawing up of the very first Protocol, I, on behalf of the neutral Powers—although I am not commissioned to do so—must protest against the language used. Here is a sample—"After the exchange of ideas in which all the Plenipotentiaries took part"—but we are not told what time the operation occupied—"those of the neutral Powers guided by an unanimous feeling of humanity," &c. The inference in regard to the other Plenipotentiaries is obvious. That is not, I say, a proper way of putting the matter. We ought to speak of these Powers in respectful language, and the tone of mingled blarney and bluster is most objectionable. At this first meeting the Plenipotentiaries agreed to refer the proposal for a suspension of hostilities to their respective Courts. That was on the 25th of April; and they did not reassemble till the 4th of May, when there was again a reference to their respective Courts. On the 9th of May the suspension was finally agreed upon. The only thing which one can learn from these Protocols is the definition of the distinction between a "suspension of hostilities" and an "armistice," which is given by M. Quaade at page 32. On the 12th of May the Treaty of 1852 for the first time came before the Conference, and was declined as a basis by the Austrian and Prussian representatives. On that occasion there was a very disorderly debate, nearly as much so as ours last night, though there were no "calumnious" reflections. They adjourned to the 17th of May, and again to the 28th of May, when an extraordinary proposal was made by Lord Russell. I think that some hon. Members in this House, and particularly the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, ought to be exposed for the part they have taken in these transactions, and I intend to expose them. Let us first see what took place on the 12th of May. On the 28th of May Lord Russell comes down with a proposition. The House will naturally suppose after all that had been said, that it was to stand by the Treaty of 1852 and to preserve the integrity of Denmark. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. Member who cheers, and who has evidently not read his book, supposes so; but let me tell the hon. Gentleman what the noble Lord did propose—and it must also be borne in mind that this was a British Minister who had been loud for the Treaty of 1852 and still louder for the integrity and independence of Denmark. The noble Lord comes down to the Conference and he says— In order to prevent a future contest, and to satisfy Germany, it would be necessary, in our opinion"—[that is, in the opinion of the neutral Powers]—"entirely to separate Holstein, Lauenburg, and the southern part of Schleswig from the Danish Monarchy."—p. 39. That is the proposition of the English Minister, and he adds that, In order to justify so vast a sacrifice on the part of Denmark, and to maintain the independence of the Danish Monarchy, it is desirable in our opinion that the line of the frontier should not be drawn more to the north than the mouth of the Schlei and the Dannewerke."—p. 39. The noble Lord made that proposition, and the House has not had its attention drawn as yet, I think, to the great escape it and the country have had from the next proposition of the noble Lord. What was the next proposition? The noble Lord proposed— If the King of Denmark consents to the sacrifices of territory which are required of him in the name of peace, it would be just that the independence of his kingdom should be guaranteed by the great European Powers."—p. 40. So that, if Denmark had consented, we should have been placed in the position of guaranteeing its independence amid a hostile population, and if war had broken out that guarantee must have been redeemed The hon. Member for North Warwickshire has stolen his Amendment verbatim from Lord Russell. The proposal contained in the Amendment is the very proposal made by Lord Russell in the Conference, and the hon. Member comes down now, supported by his hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, and his other hon. Friend who is not his Friend, the Member for Peterborough, and he makes no allusion whatever to what the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs did when he proposed this guarantee from which we have been saved by the obstinacy—thank God!—of Denmark. And now, what has been the result of the twelve meetings of the Conference, for the meetings were twelve in number? There was only one thing on which they were unanimous; but when they did agree their "unanimity was wonderful." They agreed to a vote of thanks to Lord Russell, and they said they left England with the most pleasant recollections. And that, Sir, was the only thing this Conference—assembled from all parts of Europe—was unanimous in agreeing to. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bucks says there was no result from the Conference; but there has been a most important result, and I will point it out to the House. The Conference was assembled to preserve the integrity of Denmark; it separated, having decreed its dismemberment! The Conference was assembled to maintain the Treaty of 1852 intact; it declared its abrogation! The noble Lord the President of the Conference and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs was the I person who moved for the dismemberment of Denmark, and he was the President who assented to the destruction of the treaty, I No doubt he did so with great coyness and; with some reluctance. Indeed, I am reminded, by his conduct, very much of; Donna Julia, of whom it is said, as the House will recollect— A little still she strove and much repented, And swearing 'I will ne'er consent'—consented. We have heard various accounts of this; Treaty of 1852, and I am bound to add that those we have received from the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs are more than I usually inaccurate. All of them have been excessively unsatisfactory and scanty in the materials they afford. The noble Lord the Prime Minister can no longer say that he is tongue-tied, and before I sit down I wish to put to him certain questions, which I have been put to him before, but which he has taken ten years to answer. Now, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman the Lord Advocate, who generally speaks so well in this House, but who on a late occasion, whether from illness or owing to the weight of the case, was not particularly successful in his defence of the Government, was at last reduced to such straits that he held up his hands and asked, "Who made the Treaty] of 1852?" I will endeavour to give a reply to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and also to explain some of the circumstances attending the making of it. Indeed, that is absolutely necessary, because it will not do to come down to the present day, but we must go a little back for these transactions, and I shall have something to say by and by to the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in reference to the version which he has given of them. We are asked, Who made the Treaty? Its origin, though at first mysterious, I believe is pretty well known now. It was compiled at St. Petersburg, printed at Warsaw, bound in Russia leather, and sent to the noble Lord the present First Minister of the Crown, who was then Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Indeed if you turn to our Parliamentary history I am inclined to believe that we shall seldom find a time when the noble Lord was not Secretary for something. What were the principles of the treaty? Why, the treaty bore in its origin, and on its face, the aspect whence it was derived—namely, the Russian aspect. It undertook to set aside the hereditary claims of Princes and the rights of Nations. It undertook to hand over a large population, like so many serfs, to a dynasty which was hateful to them. It infringed all the rules which are supposed to make treaties valid. Here is the definition which Vattel gives of a treaty, "A treaty made for an unjust cause is absolutely void. No one can engage himself to do things which are contrary to natural law." Sir, this treaty was altogether contrary to natural law. It undertook to manufacture an order of succession which was neither valid nor hereditary. It undertook to deliver the people to the rule of a monarch who had no legal right to reign over them. If I wanted a condemnation of it, I should go to a Member of the Government, and a very influential Member too, who says— In these times it is necessary that a treaty should not only have the signatures of envoys and the ratifications of Sovereigns, but that in its working it should be made to accord with the sentiments and wishes of the people to be governed under it. The Member who made use of these words was the noble Earl the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, speaking in another place in June last. It is a pity that the noble Earl had not considered the subject in that light when he undertook to adhere so positively and so fallaciously to the Treaty of 1852. How were the negotiations for the Treaty of 1852 carried on? The treaty itself was supposed to be the crowning glory of the noble Lord, the First Minister of the Crown, although an attempt is now made to shuffle off the responsibility. The noble Lord says, "It is very true that I made the treaty, but it was signed by a noble Lord in another place." But all the important negotiations from first to last were carried out by the noble Lord, and it is hardly fair to the Earl of Malmesbury, who we now hear has written such volumes of excellent despatches, to say that he is in any way responsible for the treaty. He signed the treaty, as any hon. Member would have signed it, in perfect confidence in the wisdom of the noble Lord, the then Foreign Secretary, who at that time was more trusted in foreign affairs than he is at this moment. The Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs told us last night that the House must take into consideration the policy of 1848, and he would have the House to believe that he gave a correct version of that policy. Now, what was the policy of 1848? The hon. Member says that the policy of 1848 was the natural parent of the results of 1864. But was that so? Although it is not in our blue-books, I am in possession of a despatch from a foreign blue-book, which was written by the noble Lord the Prime Minister when Secretary for Foreign Affairs, on the 23rd of June, 1848, in reference to the Schleswig-Holstein dispute. This is the proposition which the noble Lord made for the settlement of the Schleswig-Holstein question. It differs so much from the present policy that I beg the attention of the House while I read the passage. The noble Lord said The future condition of the Duchy of Schleswig shall be settled upon one or the other of the two following plans, according to the choice of the King-Duke. The House will remark that the people were not mentioned at all. The note goes on to say— First, the Duchy of Schleswig might be divided into two parts with reference to the German or Danish nationality of its inhabitants, the southern and German part being to be called the Southern Duchy, the northern or Danish part being to be called the Northern Duchy. The King would then become a member of the Germanic Confederation in his capacity of Duke of Southern Schleswig, as well as in his capacity of Duke of Holstein, and Southern Schleswig would, like Holstein, form part of the territory of the German Confederation, and the sovereignty of southern Schleswig would follow the same line of succession as the sovereignty of Holstein. On the other hand, Northern Schleswig would be attached by its laws of succession to the Crown of Denmark, and the sovereignty of that Duchy would be inseparably united with the Danish Crown. Secondly, if this arrangement should not be thought expedient, the Duchy of Schleswig might remain entire and undivided, such as it now is; it might continue to be administered as it has been by an Administration established for Schleswig and Holstein jointly; and there should also be provincial States in which the representatives of the two Duchies would be assembled together in their proper respective proportions. In this case the King of Denmark would remain as he now is, a member of the Germanic Confederation in his I capacity of Duke of Holstein, but he would not become member of the Confederation in his capacity of Duke of Schleswig. No change would in this case be made in the law of succession in Schleswig. So the noble Lord was fully aware in 1848 of this matter of the order of the succes- sion, and of how nicely that question ought to be touched. The question of the succession was never mooted by the noble Lord till the 4th of July, 1850; and some very extraordinary events occurred then. The idea of changing the succession proceeded from the noble Lord. In a despatch to Sir Henry Wynn on the 9th of February, 1850, the noble Lord first proposed the idea of altering the succession to the Danish Crown, and it was his suggestion that the son of the Duke of Oldenburg should succeed to that Crown, and be desired Sir Henry Wynn to sound the Ministry at Copenhagen as to bow far that would be agreeable to them. Sir Henry Wynn wrote back what was rather a lecture to the noble Lord, for be said that it was between His Majesty and his subjects that the question of the succession must ultimately be arranged. Nothing whatever had been said at that time about the feelings of the people. Well, in 1851, some interest was excited in this country, and a Question was put to the noble Lord, which I trust he will answer to-night, whether there bad been any negotiation with respect to the succession to the Crown of Denmark, or the succession to the Duchies? What was the answer of the noble Lord. It was this— A good deal has passed in regard to these points; but Her Majesty's Government had studiously and systematically held themselves aloof from taking any share in these negotiations. Her Majesty's Government had confined themselves strictly to the mediation which they undertook, which was a mediation for the purpose of restoring peace between Denmark and the Germanic Confederation."—[3 Hansard, cxv. 221.] I want to know how the noble Lord accounts for that answer, he having written the despatch to which I have referred in 1850, suggesting an alteration in the succession, and then told the House that the Government had not interfered in any manner. That is an important point, and, as the noble Lord is now no longer tongue-tied, I think he is bound to explain it to the House and the country. We have heard something of the Protocol of London. That Protocol was signed on July 4, 1850. I am not now speaking of the Protocol of Warsaw. The Protocol I of London of 1850 was represented by the Under Secretary in the history he gave us that night as having been subscribed by Austria and Prussia as mandatories of the Germanic Confederation. I do not want to be afterwards contradicted. Did the hon. Gentleman not say that? The hon. Gentleman nods his head. Well, I say he has totally misinformed the House. Neither Austria nor Prussia did sign that Protocol as mandatories. Austria signed it after some time. Prussia never signed it at all. [Mr. LAYARD expressed dissent.] I maintain what I say. I really do not know how to meet the hon. Gentleman. Will he leave office if he is wrong? I am speaking of the Protocol of July 4, 1850, quoted by the hon. Gentleman, and I pin him to that. I deny that either Austria or Prussia signed the Protocol as mandatories of the Germanic Confederation; and I say that Prussia never signed it at all. The matter is so important that I must read the protest of Prussia on that occasion. Here is the protest which the Chevalier von Bunsen, who then represented Prussia at the Court of England, made to the noble Lord as our Foreign Secretary on July 3, 1850, the day before the Protocol was signed— I deeply regret to be obliged to declare to you, without a moment's delay, that I am not at liberty to join in the Protocol. On the contrary, my instructions prescribe to me positively not to join in any Protocol of this sort, previously agreed upon by the three non-Germanic Powers of Europe, in consequence of negotiations carried on, and commented upon even publicly between those Powers without either Prussia or Austria or any German Government and authority having been consulted or even as much as asked their opinion. Can it be overlooked that this Protocol has been kept studiously, and in spite of reiterated requests as far as Prussia is concerned, a secret to the German Powers? … Germany is excluded from the negotiations which have led to the agreement both here and at Paris, and France is introduced in her place; France who has no legitimate right or claim, or pretext even, to interfere in a question relating to the Baltic and the internal affairs of Germany. Is the world to see, for the first time, a triple coalition against Germany, headed by England? A system of interfering in the affairs of Germany by her great eastern and western neighbour, under the sanction, yea, with the initiative of Great Britain? Are the two German Powers to be slighted by England, whose traditional Allies they have been, and with whom she has fought for the independence of Europe? … Let me then indulge the hope that you will not press any longer a Protocol, nor seem to impose, at the head of an European coalition, upon Germany an arrangement which must by her always be considered as res acta inter alios, as one which disposes of her rights, as if she was to be 'Polonized,' to use an expression coined by you."—Correspondence, 1850–53, p. 13. That is the protest of Prussia against this Protocol; and yet the hon. Gentleman comes down to the House and tells you that that Power signed that document. Let us glance at Rome facts connected with the year 1850, because they will materially enlighten us on the reasons for signing the Treaty of 1852. Important events took place in 1850. In January, a blockade, commanded by Admiral Parker, was undertaken by this country against Greece in the affair of Don Pacifico. In the May following there was a protest from all the great Powers, and the French Ambassador was recalled on that account. There was an important division in this House on June 17, 1850, in which the Government was beaten. There was also a division in this House, when the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield acted more the part of a retriever than a watchdog. It was rumoured and never contradicted, that on that occasion the Russian Minister demanded his letters of recall. That brings me down to June; and there was a great fear of a general European war. The noble Lord was in a great difficulty. What was he to do? He signed the Protocol of July 4, 1850, which, from first to last, was a Russian concoction, and the Russian Minister was satisfied and remained. Now, I come to the Protocol of Warsaw, which bears the date of June, 1851, What was that Protocol? A foreshadowing of the Treaty of 1852. It engaged between Russia and Denmark—not that the Duke of Oldenburg should be nominated, for the Duke of Oldenburg was put on one side because he from the first maintained the lights of Schleswig and Holstein, and would not do for the purpose—but it engaged that the Duke of Glucksburg, the present King Christian IX., who was nominated by Russia, should succeed to the Danish Crown. But Russia by that document for the first time reserved her own claims to the Gottorp portion of the Duchies. Well, that was followed by the Treaty of London of the 8th of May, 1852. It has always been a matter of curiosity to me how they contrived to get the signature of the Prussian Minister to that treaty. The Prussian Minister hung back; but at that time Prussia had a great desire to maintain her claim to Neufchatel, and a week after the Treaty of London was signed, Prussia contrived to have her rights to Neufchatel acknowledged by treaty by the Powers. What happened? The treaty respecting Neufchatel was of no use. In 1856, an unsuccessful revolution of the Royalists broke out there—it was rapidly put down; and since then we have heard nothing of the Treaty of Neufchatel. Yet that treaty acknowledgment of her claims was, I believe, the reason which induced Prussia to sign the London Treaty of 1852. I have no doubt the Under Secretary when he next speaks will confirm me on this point. But what is the position of the King we have made by that treaty? Christian IX. undoubtedly is King of Denmark Proper, because he is so in virtue of the Vote of the Assembly of the Estates of Denmark. But he is no more entitled to be Duke of Schleswig-Holstein than the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary is. The Treaty of 1852 can give him no valid right. The Estates of that country never were consulted. Christian IX. may well say— Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown, And put a barren sceptre in my gripe, Thence to be wrenched by an unlineal hand— No son of mine succeeding. That was the effect of the Treaty of 1852. The noble Lord has, indeed, lately assured us, that when the Danish capital is bombarded and the King taken captive, he will call Parliament together for the purpose of re-considering the situation. What was the first act of Christian IX.? His first act was to decree the incorporation of Schleswig with Denmark, contrary to all his solemn stipulations and agreements. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary turns round and gravely gives the House a lecture on the danger of nationalities as lying at the root of this question. But who so loud two or three years ago as the hon. Gentleman on that very question? Who so loud in the case of the Italians rebelling from Austrian domination in Lombardy? Where is the difference? Are not the same principles to hold good on the banks of the Eider as on the plains of Lombardy. Nationalities lie at the root of this question. I have yet to learn that the House has not the same sympathies with the people struggling in the North as in the South of Europe. It comes to this—after making an excuse, he says the King of Denmark could not help signing the Constitution. But what did he say for the Duke of Augustenburg? He said he accepted compensation as a set-off for his claims on the Duchies. Why, if he had not accepted compensation he would have got nothing. But this compensation was not given for his title—it was a most inadequate return for his estate. The thing was done at the beck of Frederick VII., and if he had not taken that he would have got no money at all, he would have been a beggar. The hon. Under Secretary went on to say that no protest was entered. Why, Sir, there was a protest in March, 1853, against the whole transaction by the brother of the Duke of Augustenburg, and the language of that protest is so just that I will read the concluding paragraph. He protested against the whole treaty. He reserved his rights, and said if he was ever inclined to give them up it should not be for the forwarding of Russian intrigue and Russian claims. He protested at that time; but what happened lately at the Conference? Do not tell me you can get rid of his claims. So sacred and so just are those claims that even now Prussia and Austria have recognized them, and the whole people of Germany are, I believe, unanimous in favour of them. But what happened, I ask, in the Conference? In page 59 of the Protocols of the Conference there is an account of a most amusing scene. At the sitting of June 2, Baron Brunnow, the representative of Russia, made the following communication:— The Ambassador of Russia announces that the Emperor, wishing to facilitate, as far as depends on him, the arrangements to be concluded between Denmark and Germany, in view of the re-establishment of peace, has ceded to the Grand Duke of Oldenburg the eventual right which Section 3 of the Protocol of Warsaw of June 5, 1851, reserved to His Majesty as head of the elder branch of Holstein Gottorp. Upon which the other representatives all got up and complimented him on the excellent spirit he had shown, and the amicable intentions of Russia; and it was, I believe, upon this occasion that they shook hands all round. But what are the real facts of the case? Russia, as far back as 1773, had given up all right and title and claim on the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein to the Counts of Oldenburg, in exchange for Delmanhorst and Oldenburg: in 1864 she made a merit of renouncing a title which she did not possess. It was not till the Protocol of Warsaw that Russia slipped in her claims. What was the object of Russia? To exclude the Augustenburg line; and for this reason—that female succession not being legal I in the Duchies, by the exclusion of the House of Augustenburg the succession was brought nearer to Russia. Russia, in fact, had thus succeeded in putting aside seventeen claimants between herself and the Duchies. There are now but two claimants to the Duchies before Russia; and what would then become of the Baltic? It would become a Russian lake. That is a short, though somewhat tedious history of these transactions.

But we are told that Germany has gone mad. I undertake to say, that never at any period of her history has Germany with her 40,000,000 been so united and of one mind as on this question; and if any people are to be reputed to have gone mad it is the people of England and the House of Commons, if they can be persuaded to go into a war on the question of Schleswig-Holstein, in order to thrust on an unwilling people an unwelcome dynasty. What interest have the taxpayers of this country in the question, whether a Prince of the House of Augustenburg or Oldenburg sits on the throne of the Duchies? The taxpayers of England will say of both these Kings and Princes, "A plague on both your Houses." The Lord Advocate took credit to the Government for preserving the peace of Europe. How far is that correct? It is impossible to deny that the Government were in a league to go to war—to involve this country in a great European war—to put an unwelcome Sovereign on the throne of Schleswig-Holstein; there is no doubt of the fact. Who prevented it? That much maligned and ambitious potentate the Emperor of the French. Had it not been for the Emperor of the French, and had the designs of Her Majesty's Government been followed up, we should at present have been engaged in an awful war with Germany. But the Emperor of the French hesitated. And now I come to the question which demands an answer from the noble Lord at the head of the Government. We have heard of certain words spoken by the noble Earl (Earl Russell) in another place as to the designs of the Emperor of the French. I did not hear them, but I am not satisfied with the explanation given of them by the Under Secretary. The words are very remarkable, and the House will not, I am sure, object to hear them. The noble Lord in another place said, on June 28, 1864—I find this in The Times newspaper, which, we all know, whatever Ministers may be, is never in the wrong— The French Government have repeated to us only within the last twenty-four hours, that the Emperor does not consider it essential to the interests of France to support the line of the Schlei; he declares he does not think France would go to war for such an object. I think if that war were successful, France would expect some compensation on account of her participation, which could not be granted without causing general jealousy and disturbing the balance of power. Now, I want to know what communications have taken place between Her Majesty's Government and the French Government as to the compensation which France has I asked? That is a very material question—we have only been able to get glimpses and snatches of this question; but, whatever may be said by the hon. Gentleman opposite, the progenitor in office of the Under Secretary—(I admit they are very unlike)—I must think that there have been some important secret negotiations going on when the noble Lord so pointedly alludes to the compensation which France was likely to demand. Is not this a warning to us how careful we should be not to meddle in these European matters? Whatever the compensation would be, we are told it would upset the figment called the balance of Power, and possibly saddle us with a considerable addition to our National Debt.

Sir, I will not go into the question how far the Danish people and Ministry have been misled by the noble Lord and Her Majesty's Government; but the House will agree that the Danes were misled by the articles in the Ministerial press, and especially in a paper which was known at one time to be inspired by the noble Lord, because I have seen the editor frequently leaving his house. I beg to say it is not The Times. ["Name!"] No; I will tell the hon. Member in private. But did not that paper systematically and continuously sound the war trumpet? Were not the regiments named, was not the commander-in-chief pointed at, and can we be very much surprised if the Danes were misled?—because, Sir, I believe they place much greater credence on the English press than on the English Cabinet. But be that as it may, I think I could prove that they relied on foreign aid. Would any Minister in his senses have neglected to adopt some of the new inventions, and have left the defences of Denmark in such a disgraceful state, that in some respects they are only to be equalled by our own country, where we have at this moment a paucity of steel shot and no good guns for the navy? Let this country take warning from that state of Denmark. Denmark would have been in a very different position if she had been done justice to by her Minister. M. Hall boasted, menaced, and threatened after the true Palmerstonian style; but he took no pains to arm his brave and intelligent countrymen. I must remind the noble Lord that his Ministerial career has been singularly hostile to Denmark. Sir, the Danes must look upon him with feelings of dislike and suspicion. The noble Lord made his maiden speech in this House on the 3rd of February, 1808, in defence of the seizure of the Danish fleet. I have the speech behind me. He took office in the following year, and he has continued in office until 1864. He presided at the disruption of Denmark in 1808, and in 1864 he presides over her dismemberment. There must be "something rotten in the state of Denmark." What will be the fate of Denmark? Hon. Members will probably see that now the Danes have lost that most unpleasant thing, the sympathy and assistance of England, they will make peace direct with Prussia; and I shall not be surprised if we have to-night a declaration from the noble Lord that the Danes will probably join the German Confederation as a means of escape, and from the chances of avoiding a Scandinavian kingdom.

I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale (Mr. Cobden) in his speech laid down the true policy of England. It was not, as was misrepresented by the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, that my hon. Friend wished to maintain peace at any price, nor has he ever done so. In fact, I have to find fault with my hon. Friend. I think he was a little too warlike when he pointed to Venice in the manner he did. I thought that my hon. Friend, in his more mature views, was manifesting a more warlike spirit, and qualifying for the Cabinet of the noble Lord the First Minister. The time has gone by for presenting this attitude to Europe. The time has gone by for enacting in this way the bluster of Bobadil without the chivalry of Quixote. What has been the fruit of all our intervention in European affairs? Let Poland and Denmark give the reply. What has been its effect? We are isolated in Europe; we are meddling in Asia; we are distrusted by both sides in America; and in Africa even the King of Ashantee resists with effect our ill-planned and ill-conducted enterprises. And this is the history of our spirited foreign policy. I was surprised, in the face of such a state of things, to hear the eulogium pronounced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the success of our foreign policy. The right hon. Gentleman is a great master of character, and has depicted for the first time the noble Lord as the great Minister of peace. But here is a different account by another hand, and I claim the attention of the House, because it is not only amusing but excessively instructive. This is speaking of the policy of the noble Lord— Indeed it seems as if there lay upon the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) an absolute necessity for quarrelling; if he can he will quarrel with an absolute monarchy: if he cannot find an absolute monarchy for that purpose, he will quarrel with one which is limited; if he cannot find that, sooner than not quarrel at all he will quarrel with a republic. I will shorten the quotation; there is a great deal more, but this is very nice— What ought a Foreign Secretary to be? Is he to be like some gallant knight, challenging all comers, having no other duty than to lay as many as possible of his adversaries sprawling in the dust? If such is the idea of a good Foreign Secretary, I for one would vote the noble Lord this appointment for life. Who does the House imagine drew this able picture? The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the right hon. Gentleman has made up his quarrel with the First Minister, and they I certainly now resemble the late noted Siamese Twins. Some question has occurred in the debate as to how far the honour and influence of this country has been lowered. It could not be denied that this country did not occupy quite the position it ought to hold among nations. The want of success alone, independent of the way in which we have managed to bungle and botch, roust of itself reduce the just influence of this country. In my mind it would be very easy to redress that, and to replace this country in a proper position. Members ask, "What is your policy? What would you do?" I will tell you. The noble Lord and the Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench are men of great capacity, but a little past their time, and they bungle; but if they wish to put the country in a proper position with Foreign Powers, and restore the "just influence" of England, it might be easily done by their imitating that custom which is obligatory on unsuccessful officials in Japan. If, Sir, they would enact, in a modified form, that "happy despatch" which we have learnt from the Asiatics, I am sure this country would at once regain its proper position. It would be a subject of regret among themselves and their families for a short time, but it would have the effect of setting matters right. That, Sir, is my policy; but I am afraid they will not take that advice. There sits the noble Lord—sedet, œternumque sedebit—I was about to add, but it would not be true—infelix! But there is another question. What is the position of what is jokingly called the Liberal party? That is the nom de guerre—there is no such thing. But that is between ourselves. We all know that here. There are people out of the House who imagine when we go to the hustings with all our fine professions that we mean it, and that we shall stand by our colours in this House. Well, as an election is near, what is the position of the Liberal party? The old Liberal cries are rather the worse for wear. They used to be something like "Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform." Now, as to one of these questions, Peace, it is delightful to see how we are all agreed; even the noble Lord the Member for Stamford (Lord R. Cecil) is for peace. We are all for peace; and occasionally we all nibble at retrenchment! ["No, no!"] Oh, yes; but only occasionally. But on both sides of the House no one wants Reform. Well, Sir, that is the end of "Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform." But what is the position of the Liberal party? The hon. Member for Sheffield, who has no preferences, but only dislikes one more than another—and, curiously enough, he dislikes the people among whom he sits more than anybody else—has instituted a comparison between the two benches. I have always been of opinion that there are as good fish in the sea as ever were caught, and if we lost the present Ministry, I do not know why we should regard it with inconsolable regret, for it might be possible to replace them. Now, let us see how this Ministry is constituted. Well, I will take first the noble Lord the First Minister—and I wish to speak of him with every respect, because I believe that a more active or a more able man has seldom existed in this country. I may say that Panting Time toils after him in vain, He is certainly facile princeps, the liveliest, if not the youngest on the Treasury Bench. The noble Lord deserves great credit for his admirable management through so long a time of the affairs of this House. He has acted with all sorts of men, and agreed with all sorts of opinions. He has contrived a most extraordinary feat. He has contrived to conciliate both the Low Church party and the High Tories. The Record acknowledges his inspiration, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire bows to his influence. These are great feats. But what is his policy? Sir, his domestic policy is paternal but stationary; his foreign policy up to this day has been pugnacious but progressive. But now, Sir, he is about to achieve the most wonderful feat of his life—he is about to go to the country as the apostle and minister of peace, and will be supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham. Now, that is the most extraordinary feat of all. I have not been unfair to the noble Lord; but let us go into his Cabinet. His Cabinet is a museum of curiosities. There, Sir, are to be found some birds of rare and noble plumage, both alive and stuffed. But, unfortunately, there is a difficulty in keeping up the breed—for these Whig birds have been very barren, and they were obliged lately to take a cross with the famous Peelite strain. I do them the justice to Bay, however, that there is a very great and able Minister among them in the shape of a Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it is to his measures alone that they owe the little popularity and the little support which they get from this Liberal party. Certainly it cannot be said, either by their enemies or friends, that they have been prolific of measures since they have taken office. Even my right hon. Friend (Mr. M. Gibson), who is not connected with them by family, and somehow got into the Cabinet—but, like the fly in amber, "one wonders how the Devil he got there"—has not been fertile. I must say that his hon. Friends the Members for Rochdale and Birmingham are, I think, disappointed in "this young man from the country." When he married into the family we expected some Liberal measures; but the right hon. Gentleman has become indolent, if not quarrelsome, under the guidance of the noble Lord. Well, Sir, what is to be done? We know by the traditions of the great Whig party that they will cling to the vessel, if not like shipwrecked sailors, like those testaceous marine animals which somehow adhere to the bottom, thereby clogging the engines and impeding all progress. Sir, should a vote of this House displace that Administration, what are the Liberal party to do? Well, Sir, if I might advise the Liberal party, I should say that they may feel perfectly happy as to the issue of this great duel which is being fought. They are somewhat in the situation of Iago in the play, and may say like him, "Whether Cassio kills Roderigo or Roderigo kills Cassio, or each kills the other," they must gain. No, Sir, even should this Parliament decide on terminating its own and their existence, they will find some consolation in the knowledge that the funeral oration will be pronounced by the hon. Member for North Warwick- shire, and that some friendly hand will inscribe on their mausoleum—"Rest, and be thankful!"


After the remarkable speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman it may not, perhaps, be inappropriate to recall the attention of the House to the precise question before it. The words of the Resolution express regret "that the sittings of the Conference have been brought to a close without accomplishing the important purposes for which it was convened;" and "that, while the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government has failed to maintain their avowed policy of upholding the integrity and independence of Denmark, it has lowered the just influence of this country in the counsels of Europe, and thereby diminished the securities for peace." Now, the main question is, whether as matter of fact that Resolution is true, and it lies within a very narrow compass—within a period of about eleven months. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has last spoken entered upon a minute dissection of the Treaty of 1852, and inquired into matters antecedent to that treaty. He truly stated that that treaty was the work of the noble Viscount. The noble Viscount himself had informed the House that he had conducted a correspondence with the Powers of Europe touching the settlement of Denmark, which reached 6,000 folios, and that this treaty had been the result. When Lord Malmesbury came into office he was called upon to sign it; but he declined until he ascertained that the faith of England was pledged; and the interval of eight or nine months which he spent in office before he signed was employed in the endeavour, in conjunction with Count Bismark, the Prussian Minister, who acted on behalf of the Duke of Augustenburg, to see that the claims of the Duke upon Denmark were satisfactorily adjusted. He did not sign the treaty until it was ascertained that the Duke had renounced his claims, such as they were, to the Duchies. That is the true history of Lord Malmesbury's connection with the treaty. It is true that once afterwards he was appealed to by the Germans in respect of the Duchy of Schleswig, and I believe he answered that the Diet had rights with reference to Holstein, but as for Schleswig that Duchy was to be considered as disposed of by the signataries to the treaty, and thus by their united act rendered the subject of an European adjustment to be modified by the parties who had signed the treaty. At the time of the death of the late King of Denmark it was incumbent on the English Ministry to decide upon a policy, and to pursue it with consistency and moderation. The noble Viscount was then in office; he was the author of the treaty, and in his hands were the issues of peace or war. But Her Majesty's Government, instead of pursuing a policy of wisdom and moderation, had recourse to menaces and threats, unaccompanied by corresponding action. From this inconsistent, capricious, and therefore mischievous policy, has sprung the present condition of affairs. Let us see whether this position cannot be proved. The Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs read a vast number of documents to the House, but there is one paper which I did not hear him read, and which proves the whole case on which the House must give its decision, because the vote is not a vote of confidence or no confidence, but every hon. Gentleman is called on to vote whether the Address I moved by the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire is true or not. The Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs said that no intention to make war had existed in the Foreign Office, and I now ask attention to what is my contribution to the quotations already furnished to the House, I presume it may have originated in consequence of the Prussian Minister having possibly informed the Russian Minister at a casual meeting that he had been conversing with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and that the noble Earl had in effect threatened Prussia with war. I could suppose that, under these circumstances, the Russian Minister having reminded his colleague of the successful way in which Prince Gortschakoff had disposed of Earl Russell, suggested that the Prussian Minister should call on the noble Earl and ask for an explanation. In the month of January I find Earl Russell giving a description of what passed between him and the Prussian Minister, which proves to my entire satisfaction that in a number of conversations between the Prussian and perhaps other Foreign Ministers and Earl Russell, threats and menaces, not vague but positive, must have been used by the latter noble Lord. On the 14th January, 1864, Earl Russell writes to Lord Bloomfield that he had had a conversation with Count Bernstorff on the subject of the proposition to occupy Schleswig, and adds— That the Count desired to have an explana- tion of some observations made by me on a former occasion, which he said he had not fully understood. I had spoken on a former occasion in the sense that Denmark would resist such an occupation, and might be aided by Great Britain. He wished to have an explanation of what I had then said. It is to be observed that in speaking to Count Bernstorff on the occasion alluded to, I had expressly declared that I could not say what the decision of the Government might be, as the Cabinet had not yet deliberated, and consequently not submitted any opinion to the Queen; but that judging from the general current of feeling in Parliament and in the nation, I thought an invasion of Schleswig by Germany might lead to assistance to Denmark on the part of this country. I now said that, apart from the occurrences of the last two months, I could well understand that Great Britain might fully rely upon two Powers so honourable and so much alive to the interests of Europe as Austria and Prussia. But we had lately seen how little their authority was regarded by the smaller German Powers, and by the popular enthusiasm of the masses."—No. 4, 534. This was spoken on the 14th of January, before the application was made to France to make war, and it shows what was passing in the mind of Earl Russell. In writing this despatch to Lord Bloomfield, it is to be observed that Earl Russell admits that, in speaking to Count Bernstorff, he stated that, judging from the general current of feeling in Parliament and in the nation, he thought that the invasion of Schleswig might lead to assistance being given to Denmark by this country. Now, I maintain that anything more decisive and emphatic is not to be found in all this mass of papers, and that despatch shows how vain was the endeavour of the Foreign Under Secretary to prove that the department, of which he is a member, did not do the very thing which it is plain to demonstration that they did. It must be observed, too, that if Government maintain in office any Colleague who holds opinions which they disapprove, they must either disavow and expel him, or else they all become responsible for what he does. Earl Russell then, according to the same despatch, proceeded to explain to Count Bernstorff, That should the Duke of Augustenburg enter into the possession of the Duchies, the occupation would at once be turned into permanent possession, and Denmark would be dismembered; and that, seeing these dangers, and the reckless manner in which many of the German Princes and all the German popular meetings were ready to set the faith of treaties at defiance, Her Majesty's Government could not wonder that the King of Denmark was ready to defend Schleswig, and to consider its hostile occupation as a fatal blow to the integrity of his dominions."—No.4, 535. But, Earl Russell added, That he could not doubt that he would be assisted by Powers friendly to Denmark in that defence."—No. 4, 535. Now, what Powers, I ask, were alluded to? The noble Earl had before said that Denmark would be aided by England. Had he any authority to speak for France or Russia? Where does that authority appear? I say he had none; and for whom, then, did he speak but for England? And in the compass of the short document I have referred to, the noble Earl twice, I believe, assures the Prussian Minister that England meant to assist Denmark with material aid. If there is any doubt from Earl Russell's words, there is none from the answer of the Prussian Minister, who, according to the despatch, "shortly but pointedly adverted to the dangers that might be incurred by Europe if Germany and England were to become enemies." Anything more plain to an unsophisticated man, not trained in diplomacy, or in the ways of the Foreign Office, I cannot conceive. That document proves two things. It proves that menaces were held out towards the German Powers, and it proves that there existed an intention to go to war. If that document were read and known in Denmark, could any man there doubt but that the faith of England was pledged to that country, and that the Danes might safely continue the war, and maintain that noble defence which they had undertaken against overwhelming odds? But we were asked last night whether the Government are not at liberty to give advice to Foreign Powers; and I answer that it does not follow that you have a right to give advice to Foreign Powers unless you mean to assist them, if they submit to your advice and follow your dictation. In the whole political history of Europe there is not such a thing to be found as that short document of four lines—signed "Russell"—calling on Denmark to summon a Parliament to repeal the Constitution. Her Majesty's Government are of opinion that, if the Danish Government should receive a summons from the Diet, or from Austria and Prussia, calling upon them to repeal the Constitution of November last, the King should declare that he will convoke the Rigsraad without delay, in order to submit to that Body a proposal for the revocation of such parts of the Constitution as apply to Schleswig. I say the Government had no right to make such a demand as that upon another State, and then desert her in the moment of difficulty. In former days a great Foreign Minister would have burnt his fingers sooner than sign such a document unless he was prepared to act with corresponding firmness. The Attorney General asks whether we are not to remonstrate. Sir James Macintosh, speaking on behalf of Italy, once asked that question of Mr. Canning, when urging him to remonstrate with the great Powers against interference in the affairs of that country. Mr. Canning's reply, in effect, was this—"You, as a private Member, may say what you please. You have a right to speak your mind as regards Italy, Poland, or any other country. But when you call on me, as the Minister of England, to remonstrate with other Powers, I have to consider what must be done if our remonstrances were flung back in our faces. England is too great a country," said Mr. Canning, "to endure such an insult." Therefore, it does not follow, as the hon. and learned Gentleman seems to think, that the affairs of the world are to be managed like a Chancery suit, advice being given at every step, till, after dragging its slow length along, the wordy controversy ends in war. When the Duke of Wellington went to the Congress of Verona, Lord Castlereagh bade him beware how he offered advice in regard to the affairs of Italy, because we never sanctioned the invasion of Naples, which overthrew the Parliament of that State; and because, said Lord Castlereagh, we must not give advice when we are not prepared to act. I have no authority to speak on behalf of the party of which I am an humble Member; but if I were asked what ought to be the guiding principle of the foreign policy of England, I would answer, in the words which Mr. Canning uttered on a memorable occasion. Mr. Canning said— The situation which England holds forbids an exclusive selfishness; her prosperity must contribute to the prosperity of other nations, and her stability to the safety of the world. But, intimately connected as we are with the system of Europe, it does not therefore follow that we are called upon to mix ourselves on every occasion with a selfish and meddling activity in the concerns of the nations which surround us. It is upon a just balance of conflicting duties and of rival but sometimes incompatible advantages, that a Government must judge when to put forth its strength, and when to husband it for occasions to come. Our ultimate object must be the peace of the world; that object may sometimes be best attained by prompt exertions; sometimes by abstinence from interposition in contests which we cannot prevent. It is upon these principles that it did not appear to the Government of this coun- try to be necessary that Great Britain should mingle in the recent contest between France and Spain. That is, I say, a very statesmanlike doctrine as to the foreign policy which should be pursued, and it is exactly contrary to the course taken by the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary. If there were nothing else, the immense pile of papers relating to Denmark, which have been laid on the table, is conclusive evidence against the noble Lord. No man could write such an enormous amount of matter without committing himself a hundred times over. The assertion that it was not intended by the Government to go to war is contradicted—as I could easily prove if I were not unwilling to weary the House, by the whole scope and spirit of the despatches, and the war policy was abandoned only when it was found that a peace policy would be safer for Her Majesty's Ministers. In the course of the Debate there have been three remarkable speeches—the able and suggestive speech of the hon. Member for Rochdale, the brilliant but eccentric speech of the right hon. Member for Stroud, and the speech in which the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield assailed the theory of Parliamentary government and the Constitution of the country. The speech of the hon. Member for Rochdale filled me, in one aspect of the question, to which I will hereafter advert, with alarm. The hon. Gentleman asked, as a matter of abstract principle, whether it was not wise in a Minister to take every possible precaution not to enter into a Continental war; and I must say I never heard a sentiment in which I more cordially concurred. Then the hon. Gentleman proceeded to express his belief that the conduct of our foreign diplomacy was deplorable and inexcusable; that it had utterly broken down; and whereas we propose to censure the Government in regard to Denmark only, in his opinion England has been subjected to humiliation in every quarter of the globe. Now, that is a most startling assertion when we consider the position and character' of the hon. Member for Rochdale. It has been justly said that a politic Minister would wish to stand well with France, not by forfeiting in the slightest degree the independence of his country, but by conducting our communications with France with courtesy, dignity, and tact. The hon. Member for Rochdale negotiated the commercial treaty, and is known to every political man in Paris and to the whole mercantile interest of France. His opinion, therefore, carries with it great weight in that country; and I ask, can it be wise or safe to preserve in office the Ministry whose conduct he has described in such severe terms of reprobation, and to leave the interests of the nation in such unworthy and imbecile hands? The hon. Gentleman imputes to the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary only incapacity, but he charges the noble Lord at the head of the Government with insincerity, because he states broadly that noble Lord intends, when he has demoralized his party, to transfer power to those who are believed to be opposed to the political convictions which he now professes. What will be thought of the Government when that description of their character is read in France, or in other parts of the Continent? Will people abroad not be disposed to say—We know this Gentleman, the Member for Rochdate, well; we have confidence in his capacity and sincerity; and if what he tells us be true, how can such a Government properly be allowed to remain in power only to plunge England into even a lower depth of humiliation, if that be possible, than any she has reached already? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud broached some theories of a very novel and impracticable character. He commenced with a well delivered Philippic against the foreign policy of the Government. Now, I wish to speak of Lord Russell with all possible respect. When he was a Member of this House I think he displayed great learning in his speeches upon historical and constitutional questions, and I often obtained from him instruction which I failed to get in other quarters, Therefore I have no wish to apply to Earl Russell the language applied to him by his friends, and especially by the right hon. Member for Stroud, who exhausted the language of vituperation in describing the contempt he felt for the policy of the noble Lord, although he nevertheless intends to support the Government by his vote. I regret that the right hon. Gentleman is not in his place, because I was anxious to give him an opportunity, before his political reputation as a statesman is seriously damaged, of withdrawing two-thirds of his speech, and giving his vote in accordance with the remaining third. What did the right hon. Gentleman say? He told the House that, in September, 1862, the noble Lord wrote a despatch relating to the affairs of Denmark, and that when the unfortunate Danish Minister to whom it was read heard it he became agitated, and said, "I little thought a British Minister would ever seek to destroy Denmark." The cause of that remark was, that in this document, strange to say, the noble Lord recommended the severance of Schleswig from Denmark. The right hon. Gentleman, having laid great stress upon that part of the conduct of the Foreign Office, said, "That was, Sir, a fatal policy." A fatal policy! Why, such an avowal is a fatal avowal for the right hon. Gentleman; for if the policy is fatal, and the Ministry is in power who have pursued that fatal policy, how does he, the uncompromising patriot—the only one who is awake while the nation is slumbering—continue to support a Government in office whose fatal policy he so deeply laments? The right hon. Gentleman proceeds to say, with singular inconsistency, that the Government is not to blame, but that the blame, in reality, attaches to the Opposition. Those intrusted with the management of affairs are not to blame for the fatal policy, but those who have no power and no responsibility must bear the blame. I hardly know what might happen to the right hon. Gentleman if he were face to face with his indignant constituents at Stroud. Suppose some one amongst his constituents said to him, "Did you say that the policy of Earl Russell was a fatal policy?" "I did." "Did you say that it was blind, rash, and ignorant?" "I did." "Did you censure the conduct of the Minister for Foreign Affairs throughout?" "I did." "And yet you gave your vote to keep him in power." Surely no such theory was ever before propounded by a public man for supporting a Government. How could the Opposition be held responsible for the failures of Earl Russell? The noble Lord the Prime Minister has told us over and over again that the Opposition have no right to interfere with negotiations until they are completed, and all the right hon. Gentleman has been trying to do has been to screen the bad vote he is about to give by an abusive speech. The Resolution of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) has been brought forward at the right time in accordance with the principles of the Constitution, and it is not to be met by an excuse that the Opposition are to be blamed for what the Government has done, of which the Opposition knew nothing. The right hon. Gentleman, using a legal phrase, says that we were accomplices before the fact; but in order to be so it should be shown that we knew there was a criminal and a crime, and that we possessed a guilty knowledge, and aided the criminal in his crime. What did I know of these despatches until they were laid on our table? No more than if I had never been born. Yet I should be an accomplice after the fact, and so would every hon. Gentleman on these benches, if, when the right time came, and when the materials were before the House to enable it to form a judgment, we who object to the course taken by the Government did not promptly and effectually bring the question to an issue in the only proper and constitutional manner in which the question can be considered and discussed. The right hon. Gentleman entertains a most extraordinary view of responsibility. He said, truly, that responsibility was the first duty of a statesman; but this is a monarchy, and the negotiations upon foreign affairs are conducted in the name and on behalf of the Crown. Treaties are made by the Crown, and those who act for the Crown are Ministers selected by and responsible to the Crown. That is the first stage of our constitutional responsibility, and the next stage is that the same Ministers are also responsible to the House of Commons. That stage we have now arrived at, and our responsibility now begins. That we assented to the previous question on the Motion of the hon. Member for Liskeard is no argument, because the time was inopportune; but now the time for action has arrived, and we are not only responsible to our consciences for the vote we give, but there is still another stage of our responsibility, and that is to the constituencies who have sent us here. They may rightly call us to account for the vote we give to-night, just as we call the Ministers to account for the conduct they have pursued while acting as the responsible advisers of the Crown. The right hon. Gentleman has mistaken the whole theory of our responsibility. He has confounded the Opposition with the Government, and has also confounded the rights of the Crown with the privileges of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman went the length of saying, that north, south, east, or west, there was no quarter in the civilized or uncivilized world in which the influence and prestige of England have not been lowered and her character humiliated; and I submit to him that the moment he proves those facts to his own satisfaction, he is as much bound as a juryman on his oath to give the verdict which a belief in such facts warrants. A man of the conspicuous ability of the right hon. Gentleman has no right to propound theories in this House which tend to damage or destroy the Constitution of the country. As to the doctrine laid down by the hon. Member for Rochdale to the effect, that the Foreign Minister should lay every despatch upon the table and ask our concurrence in it, that is simply impossible. We have pursued the only constitutional course that was open to us, and those who admit the truth of the charges we make against the Government are bound to vote with us. I come now to the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck), and I confess that, if possible, it surprised me even more than any other speech which I have heard in this debate. The hon. Gentleman applied language to the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office which I shall not repeat, because it is not respectful to the high position of that distinguished Peer. He may have been placed at the head of the Foreign Office at a time of life when he was not acquainted with the delicate duties which he had to perform, and he has no doubt exhibited a want of sagacity in the performance of those duties; but it is scarcely right or courteous to say that he is only fit to be a schoolmaster. But my hon. and learned Friend, like the right hon. Member for Stroud, was looking for an excuse for his vote, and he laid down a doctrine which I certainly thought the Revolution had settled. He said he knew that the policy of the noble Earl was entirely disapproved by the noble Viscount at the head of the Government; and although the noble Viscount expressed his dissent, my hon. and learned Friend had the modesty to say, "I know how it is much better than you do. You are of one way of thinking, and the noble Earl is of another. If you had been at the head of the Foreign Office these things would never have occurred. It is because the noble Earl is at the head of the Foreign Office that everything has gone wrong. Therefore I will vote for you and I will abuse him." That is called a statesmanlike policy; but is it possible for any reasonable man to subscribe to such a doctrine? The scope of the argument of my hon. and learned Friend is, that the noble Viscount has deliberately kept at the head of the Foreign Office a noble Lord whose policy he disapproves and whose conduct he condemns. The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield's excuse for the noble Viscount for having kept the Foreign Minister in his office against the convictions of his understanding and with a knowledge that he was damaging the best interests of his country is, that the noble Viscount differs from his own Foreign Secretary, and we are to assume now, on the day of trial, against the principles of the Constitution, that one colleague is to be sacrificed in order that another colleague may be flattered. Lord Macaulay, in his brilliant sketch book called the History of England, has a celebrated passage in which he says one of the great blessings derived from the Revolution is to be found in this, that whereas before the Revolution each Member of the Government was only responsible for his own department, now the settled and fundamental doctrine of the law and Constitution is, that each Member of the Government is responsible for the conduct of every other Member. That theory and practice, however, the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield endeavours to shatter to fragments by attempting to screen the noble Viscount in a manner that must wound his pride as a statesman, and hurt his feelings as a man. Yet these are the intolerable paradoxes which the hon. and learned Gentleman, with all his peculiar air of superior wisdom, propounds to this House. I can quite understand the argument suggested by the hon. Member for Rochdale, and virtually repeated by many others, as to the effect which may be produced by individual character on the fortunes of a people. It has been so from the beginning of the world. It was the character and genius of individual men which built up and sustained the colossal fabric of ancient Roman power. It was the proud consciousness of heroism which made the old Roman, when asked what would have happened if Alexander the Great had marched against Rome, instead of against the East, reply, that if he had come to Rome he would have found there many Alexanders. The question has been agitated among the biographers of Castlereagh, Wellington, and Alexander Emperor of all the Russias, as to which of those three men it was who exercised most influence in overthrowing the despotic power of the first Napoleon, and in giving, have no doubt, a wholesome lesson to the Third, Some maintain that it was the Emperor Alexander, others that it was Wellington; but M. Thiers gives the preference to the English statesman, the great and fearless Castlereagh. And when I heard the hon. Member for Liskeard, with his peculiar talent for ridicule, describing the late Conference, I could not help contrasting our present Foreign Secretary with that other wise and intrepid English statesman, who, while always exhibiting the respect due to the Sovereigns of Europe, compelled Kings and Emperors to do the thing that was just, and raised the honour and influence of his country to that pinnacle of glory from which his feeble and vacillating successors are dragging it down. What has been the course of conduct of Earl Russell throughout these transactions? I have heard it aptly described by one who has watched it closely as "a protracted Parliamentary manœuvre." Good faith ought to be the foundation of England's foreign policy. The Government might have said either that they would go to war, or that they would not, to maintain the integrity and independence of Denmark. Either statement of policy would have been distinct and intelligible; but they compelled her to yield everything that was demanded of her until her brave and unfortunate people said, "We have nothing more to give but our lives, and those we will sell as dearly as we can in defence of the land of our birth." The spectacle now offered by unhappy Denmark, as brought about—I charge it strongly—by the want of decision and firmness on the part of Government, is one of the most deplorable ever presented to the eye of a humane man. I agree that the smaller free and independent States are among the most beautiful parts of the European system. I regret the downfall of Denmark, and I say her name and example will live in the admiration of mankind when the memory of her unscrupulous aggressors is execrated or forgotten. The conduct of Her Majesty's Ministers in this lamentable business has not been defended by one independent Member of this House, unless, indeed, the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield can be said to have defended it by avowing that it would be impossible for him to find in the English language words sufficiently strong—I was going to say sufficiently ferocious—to denounce the head of the Foreign Office. The hon. Member for Rochdale seemed to think this an ill-timed Motion, and he told us that the noble Viscount was doing our work, and would, when he had sufficiently demoralized his own party, hand over the Government to his political opponents. Sir, we do not desire to possess a tarnished and dishonoured inheritance. We are called Conservatives, and why? Because we are jealous of the honour of our country, con- servative of its glory, as we are of the noble institutions which have made it free and kept it happy. We believe that the Foreign Minister has erred, and greatly erred; we believe that he has lowered the influence of England among the nations of the earth; and we appeal to every right-minded Member of this House, if he thinks that to be the truth, to assert it on this occasion by his vote, and to agree to a Resolution which I am satisfied will be confirmed by the approving voice of an indignant country.


said, that before alluding to the speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down, he desired to refer to the speech of the hon. Member for Kildare. In many of the statements of that speech he entirely concurred. He believed that the interests which both he and that hon. Gentleman represented had not been wisely cared for in many instances by the noble Lord; but the best and fairest course to pursue on that occasion was to deal with the question before the House on its own merits. This was the course the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord Stanley) had adopted, and he had frankly stated that he did so deliberately because, if extraneous faults were to weigh against the Government, extraneous merits would also have in justice to weigh in their favour. With reference then to that subject the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) appeared to him to have forgotten what had been the conduct of the Opposition, and how that conduct had influenced the negotiations while they were proceeding. To both sides of the House he thought some blame justly attached for the manner in which they had allowed themselves to be swayed backwards and forwards by public opinion on a delicate and difficult matter about which it was impossible that public opinion could be well informed. Let them remember the speeches which had been delivered in that House during the last few weeks on the subject of Denmark. Take those delivered by the noble Lord the Member for Stamford (Lord Robert Cecil) for example. The only time that he had ever seen the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Osborne) cowed or silenced was, when that noble Lord held up to public indignation those whose sympathies were German, and sought to show the world that in that House almost all were in favour of Denmark, and that there was nothing like a German party there. Had that language no in- fluence on the affairs of Denmark? Had the yet stronger language used by Lord Derby in another place no influence? The effect of their speeches was such as to create a false impression on the minds of the Danes. It appeared to him that in some degree the Government were subject to the same reproach. Those who bad listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Liskeard must be aware that, under the Treaty of 1852, Denmark had entered into most solemn obligations with Germany with regard to the affairs of Schleswig and Holstein. Lord Russell, on the 20th of September, 1862, wrote a despatch which declared the minimum that Germany had a right to claim from Denmark. Was there any Gentleman in that House who would controvert that fact, which went to the very marrow of the question? Was there any demand in that despatch which Denmark was not bound—most solemnly bound—by treaty obligations to yield to Germany? Yet the right hon. Gentleman came down to that House and talked of the interference of the Government. What could the Government do for Denmark till she bad respected her treaty engagements? The Government ought to have said to Denmark, "These are the best terms we can make for you, and we ask you to fulfil your treaty engagements. If you wont do that we can do nothing more for you. Germany, Austria, and Prussia have accepted our terms; the whole matter will be satisfactorily arranged—will you accept those terms or not?" And if Denmark refused to accept those terms, they should have told her boldly that she could expect no aid from England. Earl Russell did attempt to wash his hands of the whole matter at that time, and what prevented him from persevering in that course? Hon. Gentlemen opposite now talked of peace; but who sounded the trumpet in the House of Lords on that occasion? Who denounced that compromise which, had it been accepted, would have placed Denmark in a position of security free from the invasion of hostile armies, and without a disputed succession? A most distinguished statesman in another place, who bad been a Member of Lord Derby's Government, brought forward the subject, and the Earl of Derby stated in the strongest manner that It is our duty as it is our policy to protect her against aggression. And although God forbid that the last extremity should be forced upon us! yet, I say, that if a question arose as to whether the Danish monarchy should be dissolved, or should lose its integrity and be frittered away—(still more that it should be placed by collateral means through indirect influences in the position of a dependency of the German Confederation)—I say there is no alternative which would not be preferable, on the part of England, than that a policy should be adopted which would lead to consequences so disastrous."—[3 Hansard, clxx. 1761.] That was the interpretation put by the noble Earl on the recommendations made by Lord Russell in his despatch of September 20, 1862. When Lord Ellenborough was dwelling on the expediency of not consenting to the arrangements proposed by Lord Russell, he was driven by the force of the treaty engagements of Denmark to maintain that treaties extorted by force did not bind; in other words, he invented a new code of international morality to disengage Denmark from doing what she had promised to do; but it should be recollected that the conditions Denmark obtained were made at considerable sacrifice on the part of Germany, because, before 1852, Schleswig and Holstein were so intimately united together that there was a Customs' line between Denmark and the Duchies, and Danes could not pass into Schleswig-Holstein without a passport. He thought, therefore, that for the present unfortunate position of affairs the Opposition were very much to blame. He could not deny that at the present moment this country had not the influence in Europe which fairly belonged to her, and he entirely agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman) in attributing that altered condition to our conduct on the Polish Question. He was on the Continent at the time, and he must say the feeling which that conduct had excited was very strong indeed. And who was to blame in that matter? Austria bad been blamed; but in a letter to the Duke de Gramont, M. Drouyn de Lhuys said expressly it was not the fault of the Austrian Government that the proposition of France bad not been adopted. That proposition was an identic note; and if Austria, together with France and England, bad signed an identic note, the whole aspect of affairs would have been changed. Austria would have taken her part with the Western Powers in the cause of liberty and progress; but, in consequence of the outcry made by the Opposition to such a course, she had been thrown back into the arms of Prussia and Russia, and to that was to be traced all the misery that had happened to Denmark, and the still greater misery that was menaced. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were quite as much responsible for that state of things as the Government. What would be the consequence of transferring the conduct of negotiations in this state of affairs to hon. Gentlemen opposite? They absolutely refused to give any idea of the policy they would pursue; and we had to gather it from loose speeches and vague declarations made by noble Lords and hon. Members, and from articles in newspapers. Their organs in the public press were constantly preaching war. He thought, therefore, that nothing could be more dangerous than to hand over the power of carrying on these negotiations where such tremendous interests were at stake to a party who declined to declare their policy. It might be said, "they should not prescribe till they were called in." But that was not in conformity with the course pursued by Sir Robert Peel on the Vote of Confidence, January 31, 1840. Sir Robert Peel then said— I know too well the little value that can be placed on that support which arises from misconception of one's real opinions … I have so little desire to procure a hollow confidence, either on false pretences or by delusive silence, that I rejoice in the opportunity of frankly declaring my opinions."—[3 Hansard, li. 1016.] He did frankly declare his opinions, and it was not on any abstract ground, but on a comparison between his principles and those of the Government he wished to supersede, that the vote was taken. The House had not been told on what principles the policy of hon. Gentlemen opposite would be conducted, and for that reason alone he felt justified in opposing the Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire. He would now say a few words on the foreign policy of this country. He was afraid the intimate alliance of Austria might be lost to this country; but he trusted the noble Lord at the head of the Government would endeavour to renew the warm and cordial relations which formerly existed with France. He knew the noble Viscount set value on the French alliance, but he feared that he was too much guided by the ideas that prevailed a few years ago, and that he was always too eager to gain a diplomatic triumph over France. The noble Lord succeeded in isolating France in 1839, and so gave rise to a bad feeling that nearly broke out into open war; and something of the same kind took place last November and December on the Po- lish Question. He attributed the present position of Schleswig-Holstein to the latter event. If the noble Lord intimated to France his wish that cordial relations should be re-established between the two countries, and satisfied them that there was no desire on our part to trip them up, the peace of Europe would be preserved, the affairs of the Duchies would be satisfactorily arranged, and the clouds which now overspread the horizon would disappear. But so long as there was disunion and suspicion between these great Powers, the peace of Europe would always be in danger.


said, he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, that the two most important points to remember in this debate were the relations of Schleswig and Holstein with Denmark and Germany, and the interpretation of the famous despatch of September 24, 1862. He would deal with the first point at once. The right hon. Gentleman said that Schleswig was united to Holstein. This might be true in 1848–9, when the country was upset by revolution and commotion; but for hundreds of years Schleswig had been a part of Denmark, and the Eider had been the boundary, Holstein belonging to the German Confederation, and Schleswig to Denmark. He had already called the attention of the House to an important treaty ratified by the French King in 1720, by which France, in concert with England, guaranteed the Duchy of Schleswig to Denmark. With regard to the despatch of Earl Russell, dated September 24, 1862, and called the Gotha despatch, it was the keynote of all the embarrassments which now surrounded the question. His case was, that the noble Earl (Earl Russell) had lowered the just influence of England, not only by holding out menaces that were not fulfilled, but also by laying down general principles of conduct upon which foreign nations, believing in the Foreign Secretary, thought the English Government would act. Lord Russell on one occasion asserted that when a weaker people were fighting for their homes it was the business of a greater Power to assist them. That general principle was quoted everywhere on the Continent as the guiding policy of the noble Earl, and this was one of the main causes of the embarrassments that had ensued. Acting in that spirit, Lord Russell dictated to Denmark the principles on which that kingdom should be governed, and went into the smallest details in a manner which could not but give offence to an independent nation. Lord Russell returned from his attendance on Her Majesty about the 17th of September, and the despatch was dated on the 24th of September, but it was not communicated until October 11. What became of the despatch during that interval? The noble Earl, writing to Sir Augustus Paget, said— Sir,—I had yesterday a long conversation with M. Bille. He called in consequence of the report of a despatch which I was about to send to the great Courts. M. Bille proceeded to say that this report had caused great alarm in the Danish Government; that they had hitherto reason to believe Her Majesty's Government favourable to the rights of Denmark. The Danish Government, upon the advice of the British Government, and other allies of Denmark, had complied with the requisitions of Germany in regard to Holstein and Lauenberg. Their only stronghold at present was the constitution which bound together Denmark and Schleswig; this gone, the Danish monarchy would fall to pieces."—Correspondence, (1862) 311. Now, before it was communicated, the Danish Minister told Lord Russell what effect the mere rumour of such despatch would have upon the Continent. But, in spite of all that, in spite of the difficulty in which he knew he was placing his country, in spite of the warning he had got, the despatch was communicated. On October 14, Mr. Paget writes to Earl Russell— M. Hall was visibly agitated while I was reading the despatch, and when I gave him a copy of it he said that he had never expected to receive such a document at the hands of Her Majesty's Government. Coming at such a moment, he considered it the most disastrous blow that could be inflicted on the cause of Denmark, and as leading most surely, if acted upon, to absolutism, or to the dismemberment of the Danish monarchy. …. He thought, moreover, he had some right to complain that, whereas this despatch had been communicated more than a fortnight to Berlin and Vienna, it was only now communicated to the Danish Government. He had always looked to England as the surest support of Denmark. No one had upheld more strongly than your Lordship that Germany had no rights over those parts of the monarchy not appertaining to the German Confederation, and it was certainly, therefore, not from your Lordship that he expected a project to emanate which suggested the abolition of the common constitution."—Correspondence, (1862) 315. Here was the origin of all the embarrassment that had followed. Lord Russell took upon himself to give advice to the Danish Government—he was warned of the bad effect it would have—and in spite of that he gave it, and communicated it to the Courts of Berlin and Vienna. He must say that if the Resolution had been a great deal stronger it would only have been treating the Government with due seventy. He would not trouble the House by repeating that tissue of ineffectual menaces which were afterwards made to the great Powers; but we were now placed in a very painful position in consequence. The hon. Member for Bridgewater (Mr. Kinglake) had interposed between the House and the Government by an Amendment, by means of which the Government expected to slip through. But they would not say "Aye" or "No" fairly to the Resolution before the House. This was no party question. [A laugh.] The hon. Gentleman might laugh, but on that (the Opposition) side they did not make it a party question in the least. The Government, however, made it a party question, otherwise they would not have ten Members voting with the noble Lord. If a Gentleman went into the lobby he would meet with hon. Members who would say they were very glad Kinglake had brought forward his Amendment in order to get Lord Russell out of the scrape, because they did not like to throw the noble Viscount overboard, seeing that he had served his party well. But he was surprised that such an Amendment should have proceeded from the hon. Member. His hon. Friend was the author of a most remarkable book, The History of the Crimean War. He had read that book not once but several times, and he had extracted from it an eloquent passage, which he should like to read. It was this:— Any Prince who may be inclined to wrong another State casts his eyes abroad to see the condition of the great Powers. If he observes that they are all in a sound state, and headed by firm and able rulers, who are equal, if need be, to the duty of taking up arms, he knows that the contemplated outrage would produce a war, and unless he be a madman or a desperado he will be inclined to hold back. On the other hand, if he sees that any great nation which ought to be foremost to resist him is in a state of exceptional weakness, or under the governance of unworthy or incapable rulers, then, perhaps, he allows himself to entertain a hope that she may not have the spirit or wisdom to perform her duty; that is the hope—and it may be said in these days it is the only hope—which would drive a sane Prince to become the disturber of Europe. To frustrate this hope—in other words, to keep alive the dread of a just and an avenging war, should be the care of every statesman who would faithfully labour to preserve the peace of Europe. In general, when the world believes England is firm, there is peace; it is the hope of finding her weak and irresolute that tends to breed war. If a Power fails in this duty to itself and Europe, it suddenly becomes lowered in the opinion of mankind; and, happily, there is no historic lesson more true, than that a moral degradation of this sort is"—what?—"speedily followed by disasters. This was beautifully expressed, and it was such words as these that he should have expected to hear on this occasion from his hon. Friend, but they were quite inconsistent with the Amendment now placed before the House by their author. It was a sad position in which this country was placed. The interests of a great country found themselves opposed to the great, noble, and generous performance of duty. He did not hesitate to say so, because the interests of this country were always for peace, and always must be. At any rate, war was so terrible a scourge that every nation would pause before making an appeal to what was called the ultima ratio regum. But grant that war was a terrible thing, yet we could not but feel our present humiliation. He had seen to-day the contest between the Schools of Eton and Harrow, and when he beheld those gallant boys he could not but feel ashamed to recall the expressions of contempt which he had heard on the Continent against the policy of the noble Lord. But it was said that, at any rate, the country was still at peace. This was the extraordinary part of the business, for the Government made proposals to some of the great Powers to go to war, and it was made their special excuse for not going to war because France and Russia would not aid them. The noble Lord the Prime Minister could not end his speech the other night without suggesting an occasion which would impel this country to war. The noble Lord was very fond of interfering, but he must say that when the noble Lord was Foreign Secretary this country was respected owing to the energetic character of the noble Lord, with whom it was a word and a blow. But what has become of the civis Romanus now? The noble Viscount's policy was very unlike the noble Earl's. What was now the feeling in Denmark about England, where England used to be loved? In a book written by Mr. Herbert, the brother of Lord Carnarvon, a most touching record was given of the effect of the mismanagement of English foreign policy on the feelings of the Danish people. That gentleman wrote— To be born a Dane is to be born an honest, courteous gentleman. The Danes are sorely hurt at our desertion of their fortunes; they feel it the more severely because between them and England there has existed a silent brotherhood. English is the language that is taught in their schools and colleges; their customs, their feelings, their thoughts are all English. Whatever the Danes feel on the subject of England, they say but little to an Englishman; it always touches me to see how much their courtesy seals their lips. Sometimes, however, the thought escapes them—'I cannot go to England this year; all is too much changed.' They read with great delight the debate on Denmark in the House of Lords. 'It was the old Norse blood,' they said, 'that ran so hotly on that night.' He should like the noble Lord at the head of the Government to explain the fresh menace he uttered the other evening when he said, that if the Allied troops were to occupy the Danish Islands, to bombard Copenhagen, or to take the King prisoner, the Government would take the matter into consideration. What was the force of those words? He hoped the vote of the House to-night would show, not that the country was going to war, but that the House did not approve a policy which had degraded and humiliated England.


No doubt the noble Lord will give a satisfactory answer to the question just put to him, though it may perhaps not prove to be satisfactory to the hon. Member. As a disinterested spectator of a party struggle, I am anxious very shortly to explain my views on the question submitted to the consideration of the House. The hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Osborne), in an amusing speech resembling a pyrotechnic display, which dazzles the eyes and pleases the senses of the spectators, but which when examined for argument offers nothing but a few bits of burnt paper and charred stick, said that the House had been drenched and saturated with despatches and quotations from the blue-books. As far as I am concerned, I can promise not to cite any single passage from any one of these 1,500 pages which the right hon. Gentleman the late Chancellor of the Exchequer told us he had studied with so much care, but which the present Chancellor of the Exchequer showed that he had studied to little profit. I readily admit that this country stands in a disagreeable position. Failure in a just cause, and even in a bad cause, is always disagreeable; but, because the negotiations have failed, I cannot see any justice in carrying a Vote of Censure against the Government; and if I had any doubt on this point in my mind, it would have been removed by the course of the present discussion. It was my good fortune to listen to the great gladiatorial contest between the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire and the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and it appears to me that the Chancellor of the Exchequer tore into shreds the web, or rather the net, which the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, the retiarius of his party, had manufactured with so much care and labour. The speech of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire was intended to be a general bill of indictment against the foreign policy of the Government; but it was somewhat strange that in a bill of indictment against the whole foreign policy of the Government no mention was made of Italy, none of Syria. It must have been for one of two reasons that Italy was not mentioned—either because the policy of the Government in regard to Italy was considered sound and unassailable, or because there were circumstances connected with the present debate which rendered it desirable that Italy should not be mentioned on the other side of the House. In Syria the Government obtained a great and undeniable diplomatic success. The greatest credit is, in my opinion, due to Lord Dufferin, who conducted the negotiations on the spot, and succeeded in inducing the French Government, who may be said to have held the keys of St. Peter in one hand and of the Holy Sepulchre in the other, to withdraw their army of occupation from Syria. The present question, however, resolves itself practically into one concerning the conduct of the Government in regard to Denmark. It is not a question of policy. We are all, I think, agreed in favour of a policy of peace. It is simply a question of conduct. What, then, are the faults found with the conduct of the Government in this Danish Question? The main objections urged here and elsewhere against the Government may be summed up as follows:—First, that they did not adopt a decided line in the first instance; second, that they menaced and did not follow up their menaces by action; and third, that they held out to Denmark promises which they were not able to fulfil. Now, I must say that if the Government had at the outset taken what is called a strong course, it would, in my opinion have been of very doubtful policy. It is easy to be prophetic after the event; but how do we know what might have been the consequences of action? Prussia is obstinate and excited on this matter, as much from a fear of revolution at home as from a desire to assist the Germans in Schleswig-Holstein. Prussia is, moreover, a great military nation; and if in midwinter, when the ice was still in the Baltic, we had sent a fleet thither and a contingent of 30,000 or 40,000 men to support Denmark, it is questionable whether we should have been successful in preventing the flooding of the Danish mainland by the hosts of Germany. Without any discredit to us, that policy might, perhaps, have resulted in misfortune and disaster. I do not believe that our honour has suffered in consequence of the failure of our negotiations, or that our influence in Europe is really lessened. I believe that a nation like England, strong in her armaments and known integrity of purpose, will always continue to possess her just influence in the councils of Europe. It is true that we are closely allied to Denmark—it is true that the Rose of Denmark has been transplanted to the English soil, and is now the pride of England—it is true that we felt indignant that Denmark should be used as an outlet for the revolutionary passions of Germany, and that the Danes should be made experimental targets for needle guns; but we are not called upon, either by honour or by interest, to go to war for Denmark, any more than any of the other Powers that signed the Treaty of 1852. I do not feel that we have been humiliated by the course which has been pursued by Her Majesty's Government in this matter. In dealing with the alleged menaces the element of time is generally left out of consideration; but it is necessarily very important. I am not in favour of threats without action. I greatly prefer hard hitting to hard talking, and I am not an admirer of everything that has been said or written by the Government on this subject. At the same time I cannot shut my eyes to the circumstances under which indications of future conduct were given. When the Government used strong language they had reason to believe that the other signataries of the treaty would cordially join with them, and when they discovered their mistake they changed their tone. I do not, therefore, see in the despatches any ground for censuring the Government in regard to the language which they employed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to the analogous case of Spain in 1823, when England, although anxious to prevent the invasion, only looked on. The Opposition then, as the Opposition does now, approved the policy of peace; but that did not prevent them from attacking the Government, They said, "We are against war; but we think you should have used stronger language at the first, and then there would have been less risk of war, for that would have deterred France from going into Spain." That is another feature of analogy between that case and the present which the right hon. Gentleman overlooked. I have not the slightest doubt that, at the present time, if the Government had followed the example of Mr. Canning and abstained from strong language, we should have heard the Opposition making that a ground of complaint, and insisting that a decided tone would have afforded greater security for peace. The third point is as to the Government having deceived Denmark. At the opening of the Session there was great doubt and apprehension on this subject, for it was feared that the honour of England might have been pledged in an unfortunate manner. I, for one, entertained this fear; but, after hearing the speech of the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary in another place, I went home comforted. The noble Lord distinctly said that we had not promised material aid to Denmark; and, in confirmation of that, he told the House of Lords that the Danish Minister had declared to him that the Danes expected no material help, but only sympathy from England. Therefore, on none of these three heads of the indictment do I think the Government open to condemnation. I own that we have failed, and failure must be mortifying. It is painful, too, to stand idly by and see a gallant little State bullied by a large nation like Germany. It is sad to see wrong thus rampant and triumphant, and to find Faust-recht—the barbarous policy of Goetz of the Iron Hand—again in the ascendant in the middle of the 19th century: but we are not to blame for this. I attribute our failure to the fact that England was really the only Power ready to go to the assistance of Denmark. We had no arrière pensée—no compensations to seek, no boundaries to extend or frontiers to rectify. We were willing to do our part to protect a small Power from the oppressions of a large one, and to prevent might from becoming paramount in Europe, if the other signataries of the treaty had gone along with us. The Protocols prove that it was from mere accident, consequent on the meeting of the Conference having been held in London, that Earl Russell was the mouthpiece of the neutral Powers. They all endorsed his proposals in the Conference. I cannot, then, admit that my coun- try is humiliated by the failure of the negotiations, or that our influence in the counsels of Europe is forfeited. On this occasion we were not bound to go to war by ourselves single-handed; but that does not mean that England will never again engage singly in war. We showed our readiness to fight, if it were necessary, in defence of our honour in the Trent case; and one can easily conceive that questions might arise in regard to the independence of neighbouring States, in regard to our highway to India, and in regard to other matters, which might lead us to rise in arms in support of our honour or our interests. Our indignation at the treatment which a country so nearly allied to us in various ways as Denmark has received is just and natural; but we alone are not called upon to stand up for the maintenance of the balance of power in Europe Nor is the balance of power the figment which some hon. Members imagine. It is the expression of a desire on the part of the nations to live together in peace and amity; but its main principle is, "Take care of No. 1." It would not be right for England to peril her power and authority by Quixotically serving as the sole policeman of Europe. From the way in which hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to luxuriate in a sense of humiliation, it must be, one would fancy, a pleasant and delicious sensation. They appear absolutely to revel in this feeling of humiliation. My hon. Friend opposite cannot even go to the cricket match between Eton and Harrow, which The Times calls a great constitutional game, without experiencing humiliation. What association there can be in the hon. Gentleman's mind between Cricket, the Danish Question, and this Motion, I am at a loss to understand, unless it be that the hon. Gentleman and his friends think they have been fielding long enough, and that it is now their turn to have an innings. I confess that I for one do not feel humiliated, and in looking to this question, and in looking back to the past, I cannot help thinking that hon. Gentlemen who censure the Government for having dishonoured and humiliated the country would do well if they recollected the golden rule, not only to do but to feel towards others as you would they should feel unto you. In 1859, when Lord Malmesbury held the seals of the Foreign Office, I recollect how the policy of the Government was censured. I thought the censure unjust at the time, and I brought forward a Resolution stating that the honour of the country had not suffered in their hands. But there was also the case of the Charles et Georges, which occurred soon after, a matter in which the Foreign Minister of England figured. In both Houses of Parliament—by Lord Wodehouse in one and by the hon. Member for Bridgewater (Mr. Kinglake) in the other—was the conduct of the Government denounced, and the hon. Member for Bridgewater went so far as to say that England had not been so humiliated and degraded since the days of Charles II. Although I do not feel humiliated now, I did then; and I cannot help recollecting that hon. Gentlemen opposite, who are so lavish of censure now, were the first to deny that the country had been dishonoured and humiliated then. These recollections of the past should, therefore, make hon. Gentlemen opposite careful how they bring like accusations against their successors. But be that as it may, I cannot think it a patriotic course to endeavour to step into office upon the humiliation of the country, and I will be no party to censure a Government which has earnestly, honestly, and perseveringly, although unsuccessfully, laboured in defence of treaty rights and for the maintenance of peace and order in Europe.


said, that when he first heard that it was impossible for Parliament to separate without expressing some opinion upon the Danish Question, he felt it difficult to deny the propriety of such a course; but, at the same time, he felt a secret misgiving as to the nature of the advantage that was to be derived from it. That misgiving was founded upon the remark of a very eminent statesman who once held a distinguished position in this country—that he never felt thoroughly alarmed when he parted with his colleagues, except when they had all come to a determination that something must be done. The same difficulty applied to a determination that something must be said when they had no definite idea as to the nature of what that something must be. Every person who had spoken appeared to be anxious to relieve himself of the responsibility of saying anything in favour of war. Indeed, one hon. Member went so far as to declare that it would be absolute insanity to go to war with Germany for the sake of the Duchies. It was hardly necessary for any man of average common sense to say that he was averse to war, but, at the same time, it would be very im- prudent to make any general declaration against war such as had been made in that House. They could not control events, and a mere declaration in favour of peace had not the effect of producing peace. No Englishman desired to see this country embroiled in a war with Germany, but it was impossible to say what might not be forced upon us. It was hardly possible to avoid the embarrassment which the question now before the House had occasioned. For his own part he denied the necessity of doing something when the something to be done was worse than nothing. It was an axiom of policy with some people, that something must be done; but if that something was radically bad, it was better to remain perfectly quiet than to pass a Resolution which must deceive. He disliked abstract Resolutions, because, under a vague form of words, very false issues might be raised; and for that reason, since he had been a Member of the House, he had almost invariably voted against abstract Resolutions. With, regard to the present Resolution he could only contemplate it in two aspects—interior and exterior. In its interior aspect it meant nothing but the transfer of power from one side of the House to the other; and as to its exterior aspect, the country and the people of Europe generally would scarcely imagine that the House of Commons had met and had had a serious discussion upon the question of Denmark, without stating what was intended to be done. He admitted that we were not bound to say what we would do; but it would be very mischievous if Resolutions of this kind were brought before the House simply for the purpose of making a little political capital out of them. It appeared to him that the House was exercising a sort of criminal jurisdiction, and was now engaged in trying the Government: yet, although he had had some experience as a magistrate, he had the greatest difficulty in arriving at a satisfactory conclusion as to the merits of the charges brought against the Government. One night an accusation was made that the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office had declined an offer of mediation; and the next they were told that it was no such thing. The noble Lord at the head of the Government was accused of having stated that, in the event of a war, Denmark would not act alone; and it was said on the other side, that if the context of the noble Lord's speech was examined it would be found that there were two other Powers engaged in backing Denmark to whom the remark applied. It was not want of honour but want of skill that was imputed to the Government, and that was a very difficult matter for the House to decide, although it was extremely easy for any one to say that they might have done better. The House had been in some degree an accomplice in the course pursued by the Government, for it had over and over again compelled the Government to deliver lectures to the Governments of other Nations; it was almost on the point of declaring itself for war on the Polish Question; and therefore it was but fair that some share of the blame should be distributed to the House. He could have wished that the Resolution had been brought before them in a different shape. Even if it were true that "the just influence of the country had been lowered," he did not see how the matter was to be made much better by the House declaring that fact. That reminded him of the celebrated character in one of Shakespeare's plays who wished to be "written down an ass." He did not wish it to be written down by the House that this country's influence had been lowered, and he thought the influence of this House was likely to be lowered if they turn out the Government without expressing an opinion on their policy. Moreover, the Motion was indefinite. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), who was always straightforward, had moved an Amendment which some might think dangerous, but which, at least, meant something; yet if that House went to a division he would probably find that those who agreed with him in that were very few. He saw no practical object that was to be gained by transferring power from one party in that House to the other; and he thought that if they were to come to a solemn Resolution on the question before them, they ought to declare something with regard to the future as well as to the past. In the absence of such a declaration, he could not be a party to a Resolution, although it came from his own side of the House, which simply referred to what was past without affording any practical indication of the course which ought to be pursued.


said, the Motion of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire censured the Government for having failed in their avowed policy of maintaining the integrity and independence of Denmark. The Amendment of the hon. Mem- ber for North Warwickshire must be taken a9 a condemnation of the Government for not having avowed their determination to maintain that integrity and independence by armed intervention; and the Amendment by the hon. Member for Bridgewater might be said to mean that, apart from all other considerations, the House ought to be grateful to the Government for maintaining peace, and ought to manifest its feeling by silently and tranquilly adapting itself to circumstances. He believed the original Motion would be supported by a large number on its intrinsic merits, that the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) would be the solitary follower of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, and that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bridegwater would be accepted by the Government as meaning that, no matter what else happened, the integrity of the Treasury bench ought to be maintained. The tendency of the discussion had been to raise a much larger question than any that had actually been brought forward; and the practical result of their decision would be affected by the confidence which the general policy of the Government might have inspired. Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer had admitted that their foreign policy had failed. But those who intended to support them might nevertheless ask, "Can you forget what they have done for Ireland? Can you forget how they have settled the question of tenant-right—how they have both deplored and sought to arrest the depopulation of that country—how they have dealt with the question of the Established Church—how they have secured for Ireland a fair share of the public expenditure—how they have given a charter to the Catholic University—or how, at a moment of unparalleled distress, they have widely opened the public purse, and through the mouth of the Chief Secretary appealed to the inexhaustible treasury of English generosity?" If hon. Gentlemen who meant to support the Government were able to point to such things as these, he could understand the Vote they were about to give. But his own opportunities of observation had not enabled him to discover that the Government had done anything for Ireland which they ought to have done, and he believed that for him to support them would be a violation of the duty he owed to his constituents and his country. It was not fair on the part of the hon. Member for East Norfolk (Mr. Howes) to refer to rumours disparaging to the character of Members of that House, the accuracy of which he doubted. The hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. Cogan) had replied to the insinuations of the hon. Gentleman in eloquent and indignant terms. So far as he was personally concerned, he confessed, instead of being irritated, he was rather amused by these insinuations. There always had been and always would be some persons in that House who would persist in believing that on all critical occasions there were Jesuits in disguise in the galleries and about the lobbies, endeavouring to operate on the minds of Roman Catholic Members. The House of Commons would be incomplete without some persons to represent this peculiar class of delusions. Only yesterday he was given to understand by an hon. Friend of his, a member of the Church of England, that two eminent ecclesiastics had arrived in this country in order to assist at the overthrow of the noble Viscount's Administration. He could assure the House there was no kind of truth in the rumours to which the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Norfolk had referred; and the Vote he was about to give had nothing whatever to do with the fact of his being a Roman Catholic, but was altogether the result of the almost universal distrust which was felt of the policy of Her Majesty's Government. Apart from the general question of confidence in the Government, this Resolution contained two propositions which were perfectly true. First, that Government had failed in upholding the integrity and independence of Denmark; and, second, that the just influence of England had been lowered in the councils of Europe. Must not every candid mind acknowledge that all this was true? Had they not inspired the Danes to resist even at overwhelming odds. That fact had certainly lowered the influence of England in the councils of Europe by creating a suspicion in the minds of Continental Governments, that England's character for truth and honour could not be relied upon. Moreover, Continental Governments would believe that England abstained from acting because she was afraid; and they would believe so for this reason—the Government said that England would have to contend against the whole German people, because France and Russia for some reasons seemed determined not to act. It was said that France and Russia were parties to the Conference, and that they had failed as well as England. But they distinctly stated that they were not partisans, and they never threatened in word or deed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had accepted the issue of confidence or no confidence. Speaking, then, of Ireland, of which he knew something, he ventured to say there was not a constituency in that country which had confidence in the Government. There was not an Irish Member who owed his seat to the fact of his being a supporter of the noble Viscount. He believed the time was very near when the noble Viscount and his Friends would experience the consequences of the distrust and dissatisfaction their policy had created in Ireland; and he, for one, would rejoice in the advent to power of those of whom it could be said that they never promised without meaning to perform, or created expectations destined never to be realized.


said, the hon. Gentlemen opposite had some difficulty in concealing their aspirations for war—except the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), who had boldly given them the same counsel which a far less respectable Gentleman had given in another place. Almost in the very words of Beelzebub he exclaimed My sentence is for open war; of wiles More unexpert I boast not; them let those Contrive who need, or when they need—not now. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite also (General Peel) had, against his will, advocated a war policy—at any rate, the hon. in his speech, lay down so near the lamb that no one could tell which was lion and which was lamb. Then the hon. Member for West Norfolk (Mr. Bentinck) thought the head and front of the offending of the Government was that they had reduced the Naval Estimates. A paper had been placed in his (Mr. Buxton's) hands by the noble Lord the Secretary of the Admiralty which would console the hon. Gentleman. Never was the fleet more efficient. There were now 10 iron-clads in commission 4 more would be ready directly; 9 besides were building; and 4 more were nearly finished—making in all 27 ironclads, besides floating batteries. He had listened with the closest attention on the first evening of this debate to the speech of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, and the conclusion he had come to was that, while it was intended as a solemn indictment of the British Government, the facts were too strong for the right hon. Gentleman, and he turned it into an indictment of the Governments of Russia and France. The right hon. Gentleman laid it down as an indisputable axiom, that if France, Russia, and England combined, war would be impossible. At the same time he employed all his comic powers in travestying the strenuous efforts of the British Government, notwithstanding what he called humiliating rebuffs, to induce the Emperors of Russia and France to enter into that very combination with us by which, according to the right hon. Gentleman himself, war would have been impossible. Surely it followed that the British Government had been unjustly blamed, and that all the guilt—if guilt there were—rested upon Russia and France, who coldly rejected that proposal by which Denmark must have been saved. Now, the right hon. Gentleman, and nearly all those who followed him on that side of the House, had laboriously scrutinized the 1,500 pages of blue-book on this subject, in order to scrape together every word that could possibly seem to bear out the idea that we gave unfounded encouragement to Denmark. The right hon. Gentleman came forward with a Vote of Censure against Government for its shameful treachery to Denmark. He had moved Heaven and earth; he had searched through and through every sentence in those great blue-books for the materials of his censure. For himself he (Mr. Buxton) frankly admitted that, in the conduct of this affair, lasting for many months, involving a huge amount of correspondence and of negotiation, and passing through such a singular variety of phases, things had been said and written, which, with the light of the event upon them, might be looked upon with some regret; but, at the same time, he thought that every one must have noticed the fatal, the ruinous omission in the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters who had attacked the Government. How was it that when he came forward to avenge that cruel wrong to Denmark he had not a sentence, he had not a line, he had not a word to quote showing that Denmark herself deemed that she had been treated with treachery? Surely, if England had lured her on by false pretences, and had brought those woes upon her by pretending to hold out her right hand to aid her, and then leaving her in the lurch, surely then Denmark herself would fill the world with the accents of her indignation! There would be some despatch—there would be some appeal—from Denmark to the public opinion of the world —some reclamations against such base misconduct. It was an overwhelming fact, that neither the right hon. Gentleman, nor any of those who had followed him, had pointed to a single word to that effect uttered by Denmark. No doubt Denmark had expressed profound grief and disappointment at finding that we did not come armed to her aid; but that was altogether another thing from expressing indignation at having been deceived. It seemed to him that the position of hon. Gentlemen opposite in that respect partook of the ridiculous. They seemed to be saying to Denmark, in the words of the Friend of Humanity— Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids, Ready to fall as soon as you have told your Pitiful story. Whereas the virtual answer that Denmark gave to them was simply— Story; God bless you, I have none to tell, Sir. Whereupon exit the right hon. Gentleman in a transport of universal philanthropy and indignation. Now, the mind of that House had been sufficiently saturated with extracts from despatches and questions as to the exact amount of responsibility in which they involved the Government. The phrases used by the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) and by Lord Russell in many of his despatches did—it must in all frankness be allowed—amount to menaces of war against Germany; whereas the palpable fact was that we refrained from war. He did not wonder that Europe should have put those two things together, and jumped to the conclusion that England blustered and threatened without meaning to perform. But he spoke the real conviction of his mind when he said that that conclusion, however plausible, was false. England threatened Germany; that could not be denied. But the essential thing to observe was that all those threats were uttered during the first phase of the affair, when there was every reason to expect that France and Russia would join with this country in resisting the dismemberment of Denmark. Those threats during that period were perfectly sincere, and would have been carried out. After it had become clear that Russia and Franco would not join, then from that moment England ceased to menace Germany with armed resistance, and betook herself to negotiation alone. Those who wished to form a true judgment on the conduct of the Government could not do so unless they fixed their eyes on that vital point of time and circumstances under which those me- naces were uttered; and he could not refrain from saying how glad he was that the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord Stanley) with that candour and love of truth which distinguished him, had admitted the bearing of those considerations on that famous sentence which had been so often cast in the teeth of the noble Lord at the head of the Government. Out whether those threats were defensible or not, be could not think that the question they had to decide was a mere question of the force and meaning of phrases It would be a most pitiful thing for Parliament to abdicate its functions as supreme judge of the policy of this country, and turn itself into a petty critic of the details of the manner in which that policy had been carried out. The Resolution proposed by the right hon. Gentleman was constructed with subtle skill; but depend upon it, the strong common sense of the people of this country would demand that if Parliament condemned or maintained the Government, they should not do so upon the ground of a few phrases, the real tenour of which might have been misconceived and the circumstances of the utterance of which might have been forgotten. The people of this country—nay the people of Europe—were looking to that House for a discussion and a decision upon the broad policy which the Government had pursued. That policy had, it seemed to him, been marked by three main features. It was marked at the outset by an energetic endeavour on the part of England to induce Russia and Prance to combine with us in guaranteeing the integrity of Denmark, if need were, by force of arms. The second great feature, in the policy of the Government was their determination, after France and Russia had rejected those proposals, not to fight for Denmark alone. The third main feature of their policy was, that after the Government had come to that conclusion, although they had decided against war, they did not stand coldly aloof, but came forward earnestly and strenuously as mediators between the combatants, He would state as succinctly as he could what to his mind were the grounds for a true judgment upon each of these main features of the policy of the Government. With regard to the endeavour made last year by the Government to persuade Russia and Prance to combine with us to secure justice to Denmark, he would content himself with saying that he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bucks that such a combination would have rendered war impossible, and therefore as a lover of peace and humanity he held that the Government had been right. He passed on to that far more complex question, which had perplexed every thoughtful mind during the last few months, the question whether the honour and duty of England required us to go to war for Denmark, although standing alone in her defence. Now, he believed that there were few even of those who clearly held that it would not have been well to fight for Denmark but had come to that conclusion with reluctance, hesitation, and pain. No man could be so cold-hearted as not to have watched with admiring sympathy the gallant bearing of the Danes, and the bold front with which they had met the calamities that had swept over them. They had encountered their fate with dignity, firmness, and valour; and our admiration for them had been enhanced by the shame and disgust with which even those who advocated the German side had witnessed the rapacity, the reckless and brutal violence of the Allied Powers—or rather, he should say, of Prussia. Every generous impulse made us long to protect Denmark by force of arms. But not merely the statesmen, but the people of this country had felt that it was not by impulses of indignation that they ought to be swayed, but that it behoved them to investigate rigidly the whole bearings of the case; and distressing as many of them had felt that conclusion to be to which they had been driven, they could not on that account the less acknowledge, that in refraining from giving material aid to Denmark without any support from cither Russia or France, our Government had acted wisely and well. It was admitted, he believed, on all sides, that if England had intervened on behalf of Denmark it would have been simply a piece of generous chivalry on her part, not a course imposed upon this country by any material interest of our own. Now, be cordially allowed that in many cases such a course might be the right and wise one for England to pursue; but what he ventured to affirm was, that the circumstances of this case did not permit us to adopt that fascinating and attractive policy. At the outset we could not blind ourselves to this, that the case on behalf of Denmark was by no means free from complications. This was not, in its commencement at least, an unprovoked aggression by two great Powers, with the view of spoliation. No one who had studied the matter could deny, however warmly we might feel for the Danes, that they had not been guiltless of their own blood. It must be owned that in a very great degree it was owing to their own want of judgment—nay, more, to their own want of justice—when the power rested in their own hands, that these calamities had come upon them. In their treatment of Holstein and Schleswig they were led by violent partisan feeling to act with deplorable harshness and folly, and that, too, in defiance of the urgent remonstrances of England; and thus they had given to Germany a right, which no man could question who had studied the case, to interfere. Some had talked as if England might have aided Denmark with her fleet alone. But she must undoubtedly have landed a large army to prevent the irruption of the German hosts; and, whatever they might think of England's power of waging war, surely no statesman but must pause at the thought of a collision with the enormous force wielded by the 40,000,000 who inhabit Germany, and whose peace establishment was said to be little short of a million men; and we were to encounter those serious risks for a cause the justice of which was far from clear, at a moment when already our energies were seriously taxed, and the horizon seemed to be lowering with coming storms. At the commencement of the year when these affairs in the North of Europe were their most ominous aspect, we were either actually engaged in war, or war seemed likely to arise in Japan, China, India, and New Zealand; above all, at that time, there was grave reason to fear that the excessive irritation of the Federals might involve us in war with them on behalf of Canada. But then they had been told that we possessed an extraordinary power of assailing Germany in the rear, by stirring up revolution among the oppressed nationalities of Southern Europe; but, even had that task been easy, he asked what British statesman worthy of the name—he asked what man of common sense or common humanity—would have cared to take the awful responsibility of lighting the flames of civil war and filling Southern Europe with bloodshed and ruin? He should shrink with horror from the idea of stepping forward to kindle such a conflagration as that. Then, again, as Earl Russell had more than once hinted, who could say what attempt France might make were we at war with Germany, to seize on the left bank of the Rhine? and no one could think without dismay of the calamities which such a step might bring upon Europe. These considerations might seem ample, but they could not also forget the frightful risks to our commerce which such a war would engender. If honour demanded war, all considerations of expediency must, of course, give way; but without the compulsion of honour or duty it would be little less than wickedness for a statesman to involve his country in a war that must involve a fearful loss of life and fearful suffering. He thought the Government deserved the thanks and not the condemnation of the House, inasmuch as they had kept the country at peace, when there were great temptations to involve it in war. He would now touch very briefly on the third and last main feature of the policy of the Government. In deciding for peace they might have taken either the one or the other of two courses. They might, like France and Russia, have looked on with cold indifference and refused to move a finger to stave off or to soften the disasters that had befallen Denmark. Such a course would have had all the prudence that attends upon unalloyed selfishness; and they had learnt in that debate that such a course would have been approved by some on both sides of the House. As a Member of the Liberal party, he rejoiced that their leaders did not take that cold and selfish course. He rejoiced that they were moved by generous sympathy for Denmark, by an earnest desire to prevent wrong from being done, and to preserve the peace of Europe. Actuated by such motives they came forward as mediators in the strife, and earnestly and strenuously endeavoured to prevent, and then to stop the war between Germany and Denmark. In doing so they had, of course, to urge upon Denmark to make great sacrifices; they had at the same time to force the German statesmen to remember the obligations that bound them and the claims of justice and humanity. It was inevitable that a mediator playing such a part and allaying the pretensions of either side should incur condemnation from all sides, and encounter ridicule and abuse from those who found their schemes opposed. The generous endeavour of England to restore peace failed. It remained for them to bear with dignity the misconstruction to which failure could not but expose them from those who cared little for peace and humanity, but much for seeing what they called the humiliation of England, or of the Liberal Government. His own conviction was that when the excitement had died away, and the policy of England was calmly judged, then, despite some errors, it would be owned to have been a policy statesmanlike and prudent as regarded ourselves, towards others generous and humane.


said, that the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken had fallen into the same error that had been committed by many hon. Members on his side of the House, who had spoken in this debate—he had misstated the nature of the case against the Government, and had misunderstood the arguments by which it was supported. The hon. Gentleman, like others, had argued the question as if the whole matter depended on the production of meagre extracts from despatches. They turned and twisted these extracts as they pleased, and when they had compared one sentence with another, and said that the Opposition had attached too much importance to this or that passage, they thought they had upset the case against the Government. But that was not the way in which this question was to be dealt with. The charge against the Government did not rest upon a few meagre extracts which might be twisted and turned, this way and that, but upon the evidence on which the Resolution was founded affirming that England had been humiliated and her just influence lowered in the recent negotiations. The charge against the Government rested on the want of sagacity and statesmanship shown by them in the whole course of the negotiations, and the supporters of the Resolution maintained, not that England had been humiliated, but that through the conduct of the Administration she had lost a portion of her just influence among the nations of Europe. When the Treaty of 1852 was concluded the best arrangement which the circumstances of the time admitted of was made, but it was an arrangement containing in itself great difficulties, because it involved the maintenance of relations of a complicated description between Germany and Denmark In the course of the ten years which followed, it appeared that neither Denmark nor Germany were prepared to carry out the arrangement of 1852, and by 1862 it ought to have become obvious to any statesman of sagacity that it had become extremely difficult or impossible to maintain that arrangement. What, then, was the position which England ought to have oc- cupied and the course she should have taken? Having no personal or distinct private interest in the maintenance of the treaty, but interested in preserving the balance of power, England ought to have occupied the position of mediator and arbitrator, and thus she would have been able to mediate with effect and influence. Now, what was required of a mediator and arbitrator who desired to act effectually in the matter? It was essential that he should be recognized as impartial and as prepared to take a fair view of the question. Did England, under the guidance of the noble Earl at the head of the Foreign Office, occupy that position? On the contrary, she had been notoriously placed in the opposite position by the noble Earl the Foreign Secretary. In September, 1862, the noble Earl, instead of maintaining this attitude of reserve and inpartiality, stepped forward without necessity, and by the despatch of the 24th of September he expressed his opinion that Denmark was wrong in the questions between her and Germany, and pointed out concessions which she ought to make in order to set herself right. The effect of that announcement was such as might have been expected. It encouraged the German feeling throughout the Continent, while upon Denmark the effect was depressing and discouraging; and she remonstrated, and replied with so much indignation that the noble Earl was obliged in November to send out a second despatch, somewhat modifying the expressions he had previously used. The consequence was that on this second despatch Denmark pretended to found the Patent of March, which was the foundation of the ensuing troubles. He did not say that the despatch justified Denmark in what she did, but it furnished her with an excuse. The consequence was that England no longer stood in the position of an impartial mediator, but was looked upon as a partisan. Was not this an entire misconception of the position she ought to have held? It was one of the chief difficulties, as appeared from the despatches, which the English Government had to contend against when they wished to give advice. In another respect the conduct of the Government had not been such as to maintain the just influence of England. The Government had not gone with a single aim and mind. There had been a double mind. There had been a desire, on the part of one part of the Cabinet, for strong measures, and a desire on the part of another, to remain quiet. If one or other of these lines had been adopted, the dispute between Denmark and Germany might have been brought to some conclusion; but the consequence of adopting both lines and of the vacillation which ensued was to lower the influence of England. So much for the policy of the Government which the Resolution censured. With regard to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bridgewater, which was about to be proposed and accepted, he understood, by the Government, it was his opinion that the address, amended as that hon. Member proposed, would read like an echo of the speech of the noble Lord at the head of the Government on Monday week, when the noble Lord wound up his observations that England might find herself, in the event of an attack on Copenhagen, under the necessity to take other measures; because the hon. Member for Bridgewater did not express any general or universal preference for peace, but only that it was satisfactory that the Government had not advised Her Majesty to go to war at this conjuncture. That was to say that there might be other conjunctures when war would be necessary. The Opposition side of the House had been told to lay down a policy; but the Amendment laid down no policy at all, but merely stated this, that at that particular conjuncture of affairs it would be peculiarly objectionable and dangerous to go to war, while it held out the menace that in certain circumstances England would go to war. So that there was to be kept up that policy of menace which had already brought such degradation upon the country—and that policy would have the sanction of the House. Such would be the consequence of endorsing with approval the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bridgewater. The Opposition had been asked to submit their policy, but they had not the means of laying down a definite and detailed policy, like the Government. They might, however, retort the question, and ask what was the policy of the Government for the future? Did they really mean to go to war if Zealand were invaded and Copenhagen besieged? and did those who voted for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bridgewater intend to approve that course? The Amendment in question was not so much an expression of confidence in the Government as an approval of their conduct in this transaction. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might say they were not very well pleased with the behaviour of the Ministry, but did not wish to turn them out. Then they might either accept the Motion, appending a rider stating confidence in the Government, or meet it by a direct negative, and propose a Vote of Confidence. If the Government had, as was generally acknowledged, committed the fault of interfering unnecessarily with other countries, and uttering menaces which they did not intend to fulfil, that fault ought to be censured, as a warning for the future to this or any other Government that might happen to be in office. But care should be taken not to mix up approval of a line of conduct which was mischievous and objectionable with a general expression of confidence in the Government.


, at this exhausted stage of the debate, would not allude to many topics which had been introduced into it without any very distinct bearing on the matter at issue. He would not even discuss with his hon. friend the Member for Liskeard the state of the Liberal party, further than to say that, when that party had been purified by the defection of his hon. Friend, the poor residuum must do as well as it could without him. He would not even inquire whether a better Government might not be found, taken from hon. Gentlemen opposite, than that which sat below him. Thank Heaven, on either side of the House, England could find a Government in which she and Parliament could place confidence. This was not the question. It was—and a very simple one—has the Government so conducted these negotiations as to sully the honour of England, and forfeit the confidence of the House of Commons? He would state his reasons for the vote he was about to give, and hoped to find a better one than that which he had heard, not without pain, from too many speakers on his side of the House, namely, that they disapproved of the policy of the Government from beginning to end. Before he censured any man for doing badly, he liked to feel some confidence that he in their place, or that others in their place, would have done better. They had heard a great deal of what Government ought not to have done, but next to nothing of what they ought to have done. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had been very niggardly in gratifying the natural curiosity of their opponents, and of saying what ought to have been done in the past, what should be done in the future. Two speakers alone—both distinguished speakers, the one among the oldest in parliamentary age, the other amongst the youngest of their companions, the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield and the hon. Member for Canterbury—had alone had the courage to say what ought to have been done, what they themselves would have done. The hon. Member for Canterbury said, that we should have told the Danes, "Act on our advice, and, if so doing does not secure to you peace and the integrity of your dominions, we will fight for you." The hon. Member for Sheffield says, that we should have told Germany, and this comes to much the same thing, that we should consider the entry of German troops into the Duchies to be a casus belli. They both tell the House that the course they recommend would have prevented war. He (Mr. Clay) could come to no such conclusion. Under all ordinary circumstances this might have been the case, but the circumstances attending this Dano-German question were altogether exceptional. Such was the excited feeling of the German people for their nationality—so strong was it, and so universal—that it was clear that their rulers must either he its leaders or its victims. The German Courts, with perhaps the exception of Austria, were placed between war and revolution; and even last year, when it was commonly said, "Austria and Prussia can never be so mad as to go to war," he had never doubted which alternative they would choose. War was a great evil, no doubt; it was a wound, it left a scar, but it healed. Revolution, from the point of view of a German Court, was a far greater evil. It was the destruction of dynasties, the utter upsetting of the existing order of things, the inauguration of anew order, than which nothing was to be more deprecated. The course, then, which has been recommended by the only two speakers who have had the courage to recommend anything would not have secured peace, but, on the contrary, would have landed England some months back in a war in which she has no very distinct interest. But the right hon. and gallant General the Member for Huntingdon had laid down a principle for the foreign policy of this country in a speech—nor was this any disparagement to other speakers—which received and deserved as much attention as any during the debate. Yet, what did his principle come to, repeated with much variety of illustration? It came to this—In all foreign squabbles England must hold her tongue or be prepared to fight. Nor was it doubtful which course the gallant General would take. He very naturally prefers the sword to the pen. His (Mr. Clay's) answer was, that the country would not permit either of the alternatives which the gallant General presented to the Government. The policy of this country, and no part of that policy more than its foreign policy, was of necessity a reflection, more or less accurate, of the feeling of the people. Imperfect as the representative system might be, it at least secured this much. He might be told that it was the duty of Government to lead popular feeling, and not to follow it. He would not stay to discuss this proposition, but would leave it, with the remark, that any Government which acted on it would be very short-lived. At least, when the issue was whether the honour of the country had been tarnished, it was not beside the question to ask how the country understood her own honour. Well, he believed that the Government in these negotiations had accurately represented the feeling of the country ["No, no!"] No, no, why not? Would the country have permitted its Government to be silent while blood was poured forth like water, and might was over-riding defenceless right in Europe? Would they have been content that Government, with folded hands, should have stood by an unconcerned spectator, while the bloody drama of Poland was acted over again in Denmark? No. The country would have dismissed with contempt the Government which had been unmindful of the call of humanity. On the other hand, would it have been tolerated that this country should have been plunged, single-handed, in a war for a cause which only remotely can concern England? No. The country would have dismissed in wrath the Government which had been unmindful of the interests of England. The feeling of the country was to use every possible means, short of war, to avert its horrors from Europe. Entreaty, remonstrances, search for foreign co-operation, menace, if you please, but not a single-handed war. This feeling had been accurately represented by the Government, and, if so, nothing remained of this mighty matter but a question of style and manner unworthy a serious discussion. It would be strange indeed if, ranging over 1,500 pages of despatches, passages—many of them—were not to be found open to the animadversion of 300 critics, not ill-disposed to find fault. He would now, in the fewest words he could find, consider what the Government had had to do, and how they had done it. They had to deal with a question surrounded by very unusual difficulty. They had to deal with one nation, obstinate to a proverb—with the German people madly excited by the feeling of nationality beyond any parallel, in their history—and with the German courts; nor was this the smallest difficulty, forced, when face to face with revolutions, which he ventured to prophesy were only postponed—to abandon the traditions of a prudent policy which had hitherto distinguished them—they had to deal with Allies having different interests in the matter in dispute. How did they come out of this difficulty? Why, they had approached within a hair's breadth of a settlement, ["Oh, oh!"] Hon. Gentlemen opposite would say, "What a settlement? How unlike the Treaty of 1852!" Yes. But was it so new either in the affairs of private life, or in diplomacy, to start with terms very different from those which would be ultimately accepted. He would ask the gallant General, did he always ask, at first, for his horse the price which he would be contented to accept, or was it the practice in diplomacy to commence with an ultimatum? If he (Mr. Clay) wished to know whether a bargain was a good one, he looked—not at the first terms asked—but at those which might be eventually agreed to. Well, the settlement of this question, to which the Government had so nearly approached, would have been so advantageous, that he ventured to say that England would have found no terms of laudation too glowing for the Government, who while they would have restored peace to Europe, would have satisfied German nationality, and would have left Denmark all the stronger from the loss of a population disaffected to her sway. So nearly had the Government arrived at this great settlement—a mere strip and ribbon of territory dividing the disputants—that he charged it as a crime against the obstinacy of the one and the wicked ambition of the other that it had not been concluded, and that war's torch had again been set a blaze in Europe. Against Denmark he charged a folly—against Germany a crime—against the Government, a failure, if they liked—but a failure which ought to have been a success—a failure which was so near a success that he, for one, would not, on account of it, help to propitiate foreign courts—and it might be their own—by the disgrace of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, and of the foreign Secretary. He, on its account, would not displace a Ministry; still more strongly he refused, on its account, to append his signature on the journals of the House, to the record, to which this Resolution invited him, of the humiliation of his country.


Sir, in the graver parts of the very lively speech which we heard at the commencement of the evening, two remarks were made by the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Osborne) which require more than a passing observation. One of those remarks had reference to the causes of the troubles which now unfortunately exist in the North of Europe; the other had reference to the Treaty of 1852. As to the causes of those disturbances which exist in the North of Europe, the hon. Member found fault with the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Cobden) and the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck), whose powerful and characteristic speeches appear to me, both upon that and upon other parts of the question, to have exhausted almost everything which can be said upon it. If I have read the papers which have been placed in the hands of hon. Members to any purpose, it is to my mind demonstratively clear that to allege that the populations of Schleswig and Holstein were the cause of the troubles in the North of Europe is to allege that which is totally unfounded in fact. On the contrary, those troubles were an import from a foreign land. They were fomented, they were encouraged, they were excited, and enforced by a revolutionary spirit working in Germany, which, acting on the idea of a fatherland, and adopting the dangerous doctrine of nationalities, determined the German people to appropriate to themselves territories and possessions which never belonged to them. When I look to the conduct of the two Great Powers who ought to have exercised some influence over the minor States of Germany, I own that I feel astonished at the manner in which they have allowed themselves to be home away by that violent current until they themselves became the principal movers in a transaction which history will brand with a mark as black as the partition of Poland. Those Powers seem to me to have been gathering up the shreds of that wild movement which burst over Europe in 1848; and, having done so, they seem to have given to it a force and a consistency which would not be satisfied with anything less than the disrup- tion of solemn obligations which they could no longer keep, because they were under a pressure too great to allow them to be maintained. This leads me to the extraordinary statements of the hon. Member for Liskeard, in reference to the Treaty of 1852. If the observations which have fallen from the hon. Member are really to be the arguments which are to guide the policy of this House with regard to the affairs of Europe and with reference to treaties of this kind—if the alleged discontent of Prussia and the protest she has made with regard to the Protocols is to be a reason why, after putting her hand to a solemn instrument, she is to be allowed to repudiate it, then I say, deliberately, that the public law of Europe is broken up, and with the breaking up of that public law you have no security for the rights of nations, nor for the maintenance of future peace. Although it is true that the name of Prussia does not appear to the Protocol of London, yet the name of Prussia, through her Ambassador, does appear to the Protocol signed at Berlin, which is to the same effect. She is bound by that Protocol. Both Austria and Prussia had given in their adhesion to the Protocols of 1850: both those Powers entered into a correspondence in 1851; both signed the Treaty of 1852; and then, forsooth, they try to import into those treaties something different to supersede them, whereas, if any such object was in their mind, they were bound to communicate it at the time the treaties were signed, and not to insist upon engagements which were never incorporated into such treaties. That is a most serious matter for the House to consider; for if it amounts to anything it amounts to this—that prior engagements contained only in diplomatic notes, and never incorporated in a subsequent treaty, are to supersede and set at nought the most solemn obligations. If such a doctrine were established, you would have no security for the maintenance of international rights. That was the first great blunder in these transactions. I am astonished to find that even these diplomatic notes have had a consequence assigned to them which they do not bear; for Germany seems always to be insisting on the one condition in them—the non-incorporation of Schleswig, but seems to have forgotten the other condition on which alone that first condition was made, namely, the non-amalgamation of Schleswig and Holstein. If you look to these notes, the one fact is as clear as the other; and, to my utter astonishment, it does not appear to have occurred to the minds of all the great Ministers and diplomatists in dealing with this question, until it was mentioned by Earl Russell in the autumn of last year. When it was communicated to the French Ambassador, the French Ambassador was astonished to find that the non-amalgamation of the two Duchies had been so provided for. One false step is sure to lead to another, and this false step led unquestionably to that of which we have heard so much—an interference and an intermeddling with the affairs of a foreign State which would have made that State the abject vassal of the Power who interfered with her. Throughout 1861, 1862, and 1863 this was going on. No doubt, Germany, on the part of Holstein, was demanding too much when she demanded the right to interfere with the affairs of Denmark Proper; but Denmark also demanded too much when she desired to limit to an undue extent the powers of Holstein. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State draws a distinction between intervening and interfering, and says that interfering means intermeddling with the internal affairs of foreign countries, and that intervening is a course taken in the interests of peace. But the charge which I cannot help bringing against the Government is, that during the years 1861 and 1862, they did not intervene in the sense in which you say that they did, but that they interfered to an extent and in a manner which no Government had heretofore done with the affairs of another. The noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, having, I suppose, lost the opportunity of bringing in a Reform Bill for his own country, proposed no less than three Reform Bills for Schleswig-Holstein, and one of those three was of such a nature that the Minister of Denmark was forced to tell our Minister that it must lead either to anarchy or to absolutism. But, as one false step loads to another, this second false step led on to a third. When Germany succeeded in getting this right to interfere in the affairs of Denmark she set up another pretence for doing so—namely, nationality. Nationalities, indeed! What are they? How can you define them—by natural boundaries, unity of laws, unity of religion, or unity of language? Depend upon it that if you, or if Austria or Prussia set up that doctrine, whether on the ground of natural boundaries or of unity of religion, laws, or lan- guage, the argument can be turned against themselves with tenfold force; and I hope the House and the country will never listen to a doctrine of that kind, which must end in throwing Europe into a state of anarchy. How can Germany set up the ground of natural boundaries? How can she set up the ground of unity of religion? The Thirty Years' War and the Treaty of Westphalia are the answer to that. Then if they take the ground of language, have Prussia and Austria no subjects who may set up a counter-claim against them? And are they going to press these claims where there are people of German extraction in other countries, as, for instance, in Alsatia, Lorraine, and elsewhere? See what difficulties ultimately arose in attempting to settle these matters in the Conference. You could not draw the boundary line between the German and the Danish parts of Schleswig. You got a narrow strip of land, and the only thing you could do was to propose that an arbitrator should fix upon an artificial lino—and you must also remember that a grave and conclusive objection on the point was taken by Denmark, who said, "You cannot decide on the question of boundary without determining for me what is to be my military and commercial security. I cannot part with this portion of the subject without turning for a moment to the monstrous notion, that when Powers claim a right to themselves, they are to make themselves judges and executioners in their own cause, and are to take material possession of the countries in dispute. Different reasons are assigned by Prussia and Austria for this movement. First it is said that they could not control the German people, who, unless this war had been undertaken, would have created a civil war; and next it is said that the movement could not be stopped unless Denmark made a coup d'état and got rid of her too democratic institutions. And now, forsooth, the German Powers have taken possession of these countries and inflicted on them the cruellest wrongs. I need not describe how they have treated the Danish functionaries, nor say that they have established a censorship of the press where it did not exist before. They have also gone into Jutland to collect war contributions and imposts in order to feed the war so unrighteously entered upon. And the climax is that we are now told that war breaks up treaties, and so they may treat their victims, who ought to be secure under those treaties, as they may see fit. Let me ask how, then, the Government ought to have dealt with these questions. I entirely agree with the observation of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) that you were perfectly entitled to take either of two courses. You might, on the one hand, have said, "As there is no guarantee, we do not promise to give you material aid, because we did not think we have sufficient interest involved." On the other hand, when such wrongs as I have referred to were committed, you would have been perfectly justified, in the interests of justice and peace, in giving that aid to Denmark which she required. Which of those two courses was the best I will not say. That may be open to different constructions by different minds. The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Cobden) would never interfere at all. That is an intelligible policy. Others would have interfered, if necessary, by war. That also might have been an intelligible policy. But this, I think, is clear, that you ought to have a definite and distinct policy marked out for yourselves one way or the other. There is no doubt the wrongs committed were so great that if you intend to protect the rights and independence of nations you were fully entitled—and, provided you had the co-operation of others, in my opinion you ought to have exercised your right—you were fairly entitled to arrest or check the perpetration of those wrongs. That is my deliberate opinion. And the reason for it is, I must say, very strong. We have heard much of Poland in this debate. Remember its partition. How has history dealt with that great crime? It has fixed the worst blame on the perpetrators; but it has also blamed France, England, and other Powers for standing by and allowing its consummation. You might have said, then, that you could not allow this wrong to be done towards Denmark without contracting some portion of its guilt. But why did you not take that course? The answer is that you were isolated and left alone. And why were you thus isolated? Because by your own conduct you had estranged France and Russia from you and forced them into the cold reserve of wounded pride. You had irritated and offended the very Powers by whom this great mischief could have been averted. Without their co-operation half your influence was taken away. But the influence which may be exercised—and I trust always will be exercised—by England can only be preserved if, when she threatens, she is prepared in case of need to strike; but you must not threaten with words unless you are ready to follow them up by deeds. And now you have given inducements to Denmark to persevere in a course under the promise of assistance, or very nearly the promise of it, and then you have abandoned her. But, it is said, it ill becomes this House to take notice of these facts. Sir, I think it would ill become this House to be silent when these facts are patent. Had Parliament not spoken, our just influence would have been much injured by obviously shrinking from the duty plainly devolving upon us, just as the influence of England is lowered by the course you have taken. And what is the reason for all this? History often repeats herself, and history is repeating herself now. Remember the Crimean war. What was the cause of your misfortunes then? Divided counsels. What is the misfortune of your position now? Divided counsels. In the case of the Crimean war you went on drifting, drifting, drifting; in this case you have also gone on drifting, drifting, drifting; but there is this difference—in the one case you drifted into war, in this case you have drifted into shame and disgrace. Your motto then was too late! too late into the Principalities, too late into the Black Sea. Your motto now is again too late! too late in applying to France and Russia for the co-operation you would have obtained earlier—too late in not protecting Denmark before the islands are taken—and you will be too late again in protecting Copenhagen and the King, for you will not undertake again to do more than re-consider the question until Copenhagen is taken. I say, then, it is the duty of this House to speak out. And in what sense should it speak out? There is only one sense in which it can speak out, and that is to speak the truth. There is only one way in which it can speak the truth, and that is to say what this resolution says—namely, that you have not maintained the independence of Denmark—that you have not maintained her rights and her integrity, but that you have lowered the influence of England, and you have thereby diminished your means of preserving the peace of the world. Well, but I am told that we on this side of the House ought to declare the policy which we would pursue. The noble Viscount at the head of Her Majesty's Government has had a great career, and his name will go down to posterity I hope honoured and respected; but I will venture to say that throughout the whole of that career the noble Viscount never heard the notion that it was the duty of an Opposition to find a policy for a Government. It is not the duty of the House to interfere in foreign questions till we have the whole matter before us. It is our duty to leave the initiative with the Government. But the duty enunciated by hon. Gentlemen opposite is that they will take counsel only with Gentlemen on those (the Ministerial) benches as to how the Foreign affairs of the country shall be conducted, and that you who are in office will consult with those out of office, and who cannot know all the facts as to what policy you should adopt. That would be, to use Sir Robert Peel's illustration, when the patient is sick and requires aid, you who receive the fees and ought to find the cure will pocket the fees and leave the responsibility with those who, not having full information, cannot give advice. You are, in short, to have the power and we the responsibility. I say that is a doctrine which inverts the order of things. It transfers a question to the House that ought never to be transferred—(namely, the initiative in matters of war)—to it. Then there is another objection which takes a double form—as urged by the Chancellor of the Exchequer—namely, that if we are to have any vote of this kind at all, we ought to go to the old fashioned way, and have a Vote of Want of Confidence—not a vote with regard to any particular point in the Ministerial policy. It is also said, "Do not humiliate the country by placing on the records of the House a Resolution that the influence of the country is lowered." Now, I say it is much better and fairer to bring the matter to a distinct, clear, indisputable point, whether the Government has done right or wrong in a particular line of policy, than to move a general Vote of Want of Confidence. Then, as to the idea of humiliation in placing this Resolution on record: there is no humiliation in the record; the humiliation is in the circumstances that require you to make such a record in your Journals. My right hon. Friend says, Where are the precedents? The same argument was used in the Crimean War, but I myself pointed out precedent after precedent; and I am persuaded if in the retrospect of the past you find anything justly entitled to blame you will do good instead of harm by placing it on record, because you will warn Ministers not to interfere under such circumstances again in the affairs of other countries. If there be humiliation in such a Resolution, it is in your power to avoid that humiliation by placing before the House a distinct Resolution affirming that the House has confidence in the Government, upon the ground that they have upheld the authority and dignity and just influence of the country. Will you venture to do that? If you did, you would not have ten votes on the other side of the House. Your ablest defenders one and all condemn your conduct in the very strongest terms. That, then, is my justification of this Resolution. Your own supporters condemn your policy, though they give you their votes. Sir, when the Session commenced, the one great anxiety in the public mind was that the Dano-German question should be satisfactorily settled; the one strong desire and feeling of the public heart was that Denmark should be saved and peace preserved. The public looked to the noble Viscount, and they had confidence in him that he would effect that double purpose; and what is the result? Their expectations have failed. Denmark has been ruined—a devastating war has broken out—peace has not been preserved—and now we are told we shall have to go to the country. Well, let us go to the country. Will you go to the country upon this question? Will you go to the country? I will venture for once to prophesy. I will venture to predict that if you do go to the country your constituents will say that had the Government employed more firmness and fewer menaces—had they used more vigour and less vacillation—had they shown more consistency and less uncertainty—they would then have supported the policy pursued. But not having done this, I think they will also tell you this—that, as you had right and justice on your side, you ought to have shown yourselves firmer in counsel. You ought to have used language which you were prepared to abide by. You ought to have exercised strong will and an unwavering hand. If you had done that the public law of Europe, which is the best and perhaps the only guarantee for the permanent peace of Europe, would hare been upheld, your own influence would have been unimpaired, and Denmark would not have been ruined. For all these things the country will also add that the responsibility must rest somewhere. According to the Constitution it rests there (the Mi- nisterial Bench). And such will, I believe, be the verdict of a mortified and indignant people.


Sir, if any doubt could have existed when the notice of this Motion was first given as to its object and importance, that doubt must have been fully dispelled by the debate that has ensued upon it; for we are now told, fairly and plainly, that although the words simply imply censure on one act of the Government, it is intended as a vote of "No confidence;" and that the issue which the House is called upon to determine is, whether Gentlemen on this side of the House or Gentlemen on that side shall be charged with the conduct of the affairs of the country. Now, Sir, I object to much that has passed in this debate—but to two things mainly—first of all, to the attempt to separate my noble Friend at the head of the Foreign Office from the rest of his Colleagues—a most unconstitutional attempt—a most unfair attempt; an attempt which ought to have been reprobated by those who, having been in office, know the joint responsibility of the Members of a Cabinet. Sir, I declare on my own part and on the part of my Colleagues, that we are all equally responsible for what the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office has done; and therefore I trust that we shall not have any more of these personal attacks upon Earl Russell, but that whatever censure any man may wish to cast upon the conduct of the Government may be aimed at the Government itself, and not at any individual member of it. I also, Sir, regret deeply for my country the pains that have been taken, by many of those who have taken part in this debate, to villify and degrade this country. Not content with blaming the Government, which they were entitled to do, and endeavouring to prove that we were wrong—which they had a right to do if they could prove it—in every step of these transactions, they have maintained that England is degraded, and that she has sunk in the estimation of foreign nations. And when forsooth? and since when? Why, since the termination of the Conferences, which closed a few days ago. Sir, I deny, on the part of the Government, the statements that have been made. I say that England stands as high as she ever did. And those who say she has fallen in the estimation of the world are not the men to whom the honour and dignity of England should be confided.

Well, Sir, but this bill of indictment was most singularly brought in by the right hon. Gentleman who moved the Resolution; because, in the early part of his speech, he step by step expressed his approval of what the Government had done. He began by admitting that the Treaty of 1852 was, when it was concluded, a wise and good arrangement. He does not deny that all the Governments who were parties to it congratulated each other for having made what they then thought—and there were grounds for the opinion—a settlement that would insure the peace of Europe. And when we are told that the Prussian Minister of that day, the Chevalier de Bunsen, refused to put his name to a certain Protocol, I believe I am right in saying that so eager was the Prussian Government for the treaty, that the draught was sent from Berlin to London, with a special order that he was to sign it as he received it, and was not to make any objections of his own. Well, then, whatever may have been the feelings of the Chevalier Bunsen, who was known to be a very enthusiastic champion of German unity at the time, his feelings were not shared by his Government, and it is a misrepresentation to infer, because of any objections he may have felt, that Prussia was not sincere and anxious for the conclusion of that Treaty. Saxony was equally pleased with the arrangement then made. That arrangement violated no rights. It simply was that the Danish Parliament should be invited to change the law of succession in Denmark legally, which they did—that the King should be empowered, by his prerogative, to name his successor, which he did; and that that successor should be acknowledged by the contracting Powers as heir to the Danish Crown; and that the States which were then and had been for a long time under the sway of the King of Denmark, should (as far as the object of the treaty went) remain united under the Danish sceptre. It was thought that this arrangement was secured by the change in the law of succession in Denmark, and the renunciation of the Duke of Augustenburg, who was next in succession to Holstein. Well, Sir, we know that the reason why that arrangement failed was, that the Danish Government did not give the German subjects of Schleswig the liberal administrative system to which they were entitled, and that the late King of Denmark committed the same errors which the King of Holland committed with re- gard to Belgium, by interfering in their language, laws, religion, and all those things that are dear to man. That has been a constant source of expostulation on the part of the Germans, and those expostulations were not attended to as they ought to have been. The result of it was, that when the late King died these discontents, which had been smothered during his reign, burst forth as to the disputed succession to Holstein. Then came the Federal Execution in Holstein for the purpose of compelling the King Duke to revoke his Patent.

And that brings me to the point to which I have often been referred—namely, the answer I made to the hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. S. FitzGerald) at the end of last Session. It is said that we began at that time to threaten Germany. I deny that what I said implied any threat of war on the part of England, and the words which I am going to read will, I think, prove it. What I said in answer to the hon. Member was— I have said that we concur entirely with him, and I am satisfied with all reasonable men in Europe, including those in France and Austria, in desiring that the independence and integrity, the rights of Denmark, may be maintained. We are convinced—I am convinced, at least—that if any violent attempt were made to overthrow those rights, and interfere with that independence, those who made the attempt would find in the result that it would not be Denmark alone with whom they would have tocontend."—[3 Hansard, clxxii. 1252.] The context shows, and it is quite plain, when I talked of every man in Europe—when I talked of France and Russia—I did not confine myself to this country. But what preceded that passage? I said just before It is impossible for any man who looks at the map of Europe—I did not say the map of Aldershot and Portsmouth—and who knows the great interests which the Powers of Europe feel in the independence of the Danish Monarchy, to shut his eyes to the fact that the war, begun about a petty dispute concerning the institutions of Holstein, would in all probability not end where it began, and might draw after it consequences that the parties who commenced it would be exceedingly sorry to have caused." [3 Hansard, clxxii. 1251.] What I was pointing to was an European war, not a war between this country and the German Powers. But, then, what was it that the hon. Gentleman, who is so much against interference, said which called forth the reply I am now quoting? Why, the hon. Gentleman said, "If the Government would say"—he had said that he apprehended danger from the Execution in Holstein—that the entrance of the Federal troops into Holstein upon grounds of execution misfit might involve consequences fatal to the integrity of Denmark, and then he went on to say, If the Government would say that under pretence of Federal rights the Germanic Confederation were not to interfere with the rights of the Danish Crown, and if France and Russia held similar language, the danger to which he had adverted might be obviated."—[3 Hansard, clxxii. 1249.] The hon. Gentleman, therefore, wanted the English Government to say to the Diet, "You shall not go into Holstein for the purpose of executing your Federal law." He said, "Even if England were to say it, the danger might be avoided; but if England were to persuade France and Russia to say it also, the danger which he apprehended would be obviated." Therefore, I say, it is not for the hon. Gentleman who attacks us to say that our expostulations to Prussia and Austria against the course they were taking were not justifiable representations, since he would have had us take a still higher course, and try to prevent them doing that which by the law of Germany and the law of Europe they had a perfect right to do. We did not do that; our representations were of an entirely different character. Well, when the occupation took place, the Danish Government was recommended, not by England alone, but by England and other Powers, not to resist. They did not resist; and when the further invasion of Schleswig was threatened, we endeavoured to persuade the King of Denmark to take steps to revoke that constitution which was made the ground of the occupation of Schleswig as a guarantee for its revocation. He promised that he would do what he could, and as early as he could, for that purpose. Well, then, what was the time when, according to hon. Gentlemen opposite, who complain so much, and at the bottom of whose thoughts lies an in terference by force—what was the time when, in their opinion, that interference ought to have been made? The German troops entered Schleswig about the beginning of the year—the middle of winter. That was not a time when any military or naval operations could have been undertaken by this country. Well, what did we do? From the beginning we endeavoured to persuade France and Russia to concur with us in every step which we took. Menacing language is said to have been used. Why, the menacing language was warning to the German Powers of the dangers to Europe and to themselves which might arise from an extension of the war beyond the quarter in which it had arisen. But the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) in his speech approved our conduct up to September. He says it was wise and judicious, because France was with us. But he went on to say, in September a change took place, and then we disgusted France and lost her support. How, according to him, did that come to pass? It was on account of Poland and the Congress. He says, we abandoned France about Poland. But what was our course with regard to Poland? Were we not told in this House over and over again, that we ought only to interfere diplomatically in favour of Poland? Did not the hon. Member for the King's County repeatedly urge us in that direction, and was not his urging backed by hon. Gentlemen who sit near him? Even the mode of representation was pointed out. We were told not to content ourselves with simple remonstrances on the part of England, but to get France, Austria, and Prussia, and all the Powers of Europe, to concur with us in representing to Russia the expediency of dealing leniently with Poland, and acting towards the Poles in accordance with her treaty engagements. We did so; but we did not do that which we never undertook to do—make war against Russia for that object. My noble Friend avowed that such was not his intention, and the right hon. Gentleman approved the course which we pursued; for he said a little time ago, to make war against Russia for Poland would have been an act of insanity. Therefore, it is unreasonable to allege that the course which we pursued with regard to Poland could have justly offended the Emperor of the French. It is a reflection on the French Emperor to attribute to him a feeling of that kind. Then came the Congress; and with regard to that also the right hon. Gentleman says we were quite right. No one of common understanding, I think, could imagine that a Congress under the existing circumstances could have been attended with any success. The right hon. Gentleman says that a Congress ought to follow action, and not to precede it; and a very just distinction it is, and one entirely applicable. Well, when it is alleged that the conduct of France about Denmark was influenced by what the British Government did in these two instances, it is to impute to the Government of the Emperor of the French motives and conduct unworthy a great Power which has a due regard for its own honour and dignity. France was actuated by quite different motives, and she never concealed them from us. We were certainly led in the beginning to expect that France and Russia would join us in pressing strongly upon the German Powers the impropriety and injustice of their conduct. But France very fairly told us, "A war about Denmark to you would be a naval war, to us it would be a land war. We have all Germany upon our frontier. It would be a great undertaking, costly both in men and treasure, and one, therefore, we are not disposed to undertake for an object which is not a French object, and does not concern the dignity, the possessions, or the welfare of France." I think that was a fair argument, and we had no right to press France any further to adopt the course we had suggested. We lost, therefore, the support of France except morally and diplomatically. Russia we also applied to, and Russia gave us answers which amounted to declining any co-operation. And when one considers the bond of union which exists between Russia, Austria, and Prussia, with respect to Polish affairs, he cannot be much surprised that Russia should not be very willing to employ force against her neighbours. Well, then, step by step up to September, the right hon. Gentleman deems that our policy was wise and judicious. And I contend that after that date likewise it was wise, judicious, and honourable to the country. We laboured to persuade the contending parties to come to an agreement; we recommended just concessions to Denmark; and we remonstrated with the Germans for conduct which was unjustifiable towards Denmark. At last a Conference was proposed; the proposal came from Prussia first. We agreed to it. Some time elapsed before it could be assembled. Questions arose whether an armistice should precede it. We should have preferred that it had; but failing of that, we stipulated that it should be the first subject of discussion. We found it impossible to obtain an armistice, and therefore the first point with us was to assemble the Conference as early as possible. Well, Sir, it is said our influence is gone—we have no influence in Europe; yet, remark that we were invited by other Powers to take steps to bring about the Conference. In that Conference, as the Protocols show, step by step the neutral Powers—France, Russia, and Sweden—went in accordance with England. Nothing was done or proposed by England which was not previously agreed on and concerted with those Powers—and then you say that England is degraded and lowered in the eyes of other nations, and that they have no confidence in her.

Sir, we are accused of having in the Conference departed from the provisions of the Treaty of 1852. They have certainly been departed from. Necessity compelled that. When the Conference assembled, all the Powers acknowledged themselves bound by the provisions of the treaty—at least as a starting point for negotiations. We did not make it the basis of the Conference because we knew that objections were entertained to it by Prussia, and possibly by Austria and by the Confederation, whose assent to it had never been asked. We took the broader basis—namely, that of endeavouring to arrive at a pacific solution of the question, and to restore peace to Europe. Was that an unworthy object? Was that a defective basis? Why, if that object had been attained, would not that have been acknowledged to be a proper basis for the Conference, and would not the result have been satisfactory? The Germans were asked to state what the terms were on which they were willing to conclude peace. There were certain difficulties in getting them to state those terms. They at last proposed a personal union of the Duchies with Denmark, which the Danish Government were unwilling to accept. Then another proposition was made to separate from Denmark, Holstein and the whole of Schleswig. That was deemed objectionable. They were induced to relax from that pretension; and at last the parties were brought to this—that the Danes consented that the question should be settled by the separation of Holstein from Denmark, together with the German portion of Schleswig. No doubt that was a departure from the provisions of the Treaty of 1852; but I am not on the whole sure that it would have been disadvantageous to Denmark to be quit of a population which had long been discontented and was difficult to be governed—as had been shown at the time of the Royal marriage, when the Holsteiners refused to contribute to the dower offered by the King. So far the parties were brought together that they agreed to a division of Schleswig, a certain part of which was to be united to Holstein; and the whole question came at last to this—where the line should be drawn. There was an impossibility to bring the parties to agree on this point. The Danes demanded the line of the Schlei, the Germans the line from Apenrade to Tondern. We proposed arbitration. If the parties had accepted arbitration, and if the arbitrator had been empowered peremptorily to decide, that would have settled the question; and then, instead of the censure and the condemnations we have heard so lavishly pronounced on us in these debates, all mankind would have acknowledged that our exertions had been crowned with success, and that we had made an honourable agreement between the two parties, and that the peace of Europe had been secured. It was not our fault that the two parties objected to arbitration, which was a most reasonable proposition in itself. It has been said that the English Minister promised to the Danes that if they agreed to the line of the Schlei he would not propose any other line, or support any other line if proposed by any other Power, and that the proposal of arbitration was a departure from that promise. He did make that promise and abided by that arrangement; but that did not fetter his hands from proposing arbitration when it was found impossible to bring the Germans and Danes to an agreement respecting the line that should be adopted. Would it have been a sufficient answer if, after the Conference was broken up, we bad been asked, "Why did you not propose arbitration?" to say that, we were bound to propose no other line but the Schlei? I say that it was proper and our duty to propose arbitration, which, if the proposal had been accepted, would have restored peace. The French Plenipotentiary proposed another solution—namely, an appeal to the population of the disputed districts. That proposal though honourably made was not acceded to. Then, I say, when hon. Gentlemen, not looking to the main features of the transaction, pick out sentences in these blue-books on which to found a vote of condemnation against the Government, though that may be a proceeding which may suit those who wish to blacken and displace the Government, I am persuaded that the country will not think that it is the proper way of treating a great European question. I am sure the country will not join in the proposed condemnation.

Let us examine what the Resolution is—I speak not of the first and second para- graphs, but of the last. The right hon. Gentleman in the last paragraph proposes that the House should affirm that the influence of England is lowered in the eyes of Europe, and that thereby the security for peace is diminished. That is supported by a great number of gentlemen, who maintain that we ought never to interfere in anything beyond our own shores. What, then, is the use of our influence if we are not to interfere, and how is the peace of Europe endangered by the loss of our influence, if that influence is to be confined to influence within these walls? The Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman is an admission that the doctrine of many of those who support it is unsound in the existing circumstances of the world, and that the great interests connecting a country like ours with every part of the world render it impossible for her to be passive or indifferent as to what is passing among other nations, and that circumstances requiring vigilant watching must sometimes cause her to interfere in transactions in which we are not directly concerned. Then we are told that the balance of power is an exploded doctrine belonging to ancient times. Why, it is a doctrine founded on the nature of man. It means that it is to the interest of the community of nations that no one nation should acquire such a preponderance as to endanger the security of the rest; and it is for the advantage of all that the smaller Powers should be respected in their independence and not swallowed up by their more powerful neighbours. That is the doctrine of the balance of power, and it is a doctrine worthy of being acted upon. We have done our best to rescue Denmark from the danger to which she was exposed, first by counselling her to put herself right when she was wrong, and next by endeavouring to induce her aggressors to refrain from continuing their aggression; and by inducing the neutral Powers to join us in adopting the same course. And what said the right hon. Gentleman in his opening speech on this subject? He said that if England and France were agreed upon the same policy, war would be difficult; but that if England, France, and Russia were agreed, war would be impossible. Well, we tried to make war impossible. But France and Russia would not combine with us, and therefore war became possible, and took place. The right hon. Gentleman has therefore pronounced a panegyric upon our policy, and he ought to vote against his own Resolution. We adopted the best means of rendering war impossible, and the failure was not our fault. At the time I answered the question of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, we had reason to believe that Sweden was going to conclude a treaty offensive and defensive with Denmark; but it was not carried into effect.

Sir, I deny utterly that the influence of England has been lowered. There is no proof of it whatever. It is a mere assertion. Now, the assertion must refer either to the period before or to the period after the Conference. To the period before the Conference it cannot apply, because it was by the influence of England that the Conference was assembled, in the capital of this country. Neither can it apply to the period subsequent to the Conference, because nothing has taken place during the last fortnight on which such an assertion could be founded. It is, therefore, a gratuitous libel on the country. It is a libel by a great party on the country which they want to govern. Why, such a Resolution being voted, if they came into office and went to a foreign Government saying, "Join us in this or that," would not the answer be, "No, you have put it yourselves on record, that your country is degraded!" At all events it might be said, "If, as you allege, the influence of your country is lowered, you are not the people to restore it." It is, I repeat, a most unfounded assertion, and I trust the House will not be induced to countenance it. It is a libel on our country to record by a vote of the House what is not the fact—namely, that the influence and position of England have been lowered. Sir, the influence of a country depends upon other things than protocols and despatches. It depends on its power to defend itself, on its wealth and prosperity, on its intelligence and cultivation of mind, on the development of the arts and sciences, and on all those things which make a nation truly great and powerful. As long as England retains these conditions, so long shall I deny that her influence has been diminished. I contend, then, that the Resolution which the right hon. Gentleman has proposed is not one which it is fitting for the House to adopt. Observations have been made on the Amendment which my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgewater (Mr. Kinglake) has put on the paper, and it is said by some, that it is intended as an escape from voting on the Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman. I have no hesitation in saying that, for my part, I regret that my hon. Friend has given notice of this Amendment, because I should have been better pleased to have met directly the Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bucks. We have, however, just been told by the hon. Baronet the Member for Stamford (Sir Stafford Northcote), that the Amendment of my hon. Friend expresses entirely the statement which I made to the House not very long ago. If that be so, then the hon. Baronet must admit that we should accept the Amendment. The hon. Baronet went through it step by step to show that it tallied with everything which I stated when I announced the result of the Conference. Nobody can say that, in accepting the Amendment, we are in any way shirking the Resolution. At the same time I certainly did express to my hon. Friend a wish that he would not move the Amendment, so that we might vote on the Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman. He declined to comply with that desire, and we are now prepared to vote with him. The real character of the Motion has been more plainly disclosed by some of those who have taken part in the debate, and more especially by the hon. Member for Tipperary (The O'Donoghue). It has been acknowledged that this is not simply a censure upon one individual act or course of action of the Government, It is a declaration of a general want of confidence in the Government, and is intended for the purpose for which such votes are usually moved to oust the Government. I do not complain of the object in view; but I complain of the mode in which it is sought to be attained. I think it would have been more manly, open, and straightforward to put that expression of opinion in the constitutional shape of a Motion of Want of Confidence, instead of endeavouring to wrap it up in extracts from these 1,500 pages of blue-book. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might as well have said frankly, "We think you have been in power for a sufficient period; your continuance there any longer is too much for human patience; everything must have its limit; and the time has come when Parliament should be called upon to say, whether the present Government should be retained, or whether it will have us in their stead." I have not the slightest reproach to address to hon. Gentlemen opposite, except that they have not candidly avowed and set forth in plain language what their true aim is. Some complaints have been made that our despatches are not clear in their language; but I think that objection may well be taken to the Resolution. It would have been far more fair, and far more in accordance with the general custom, if hon. Gentlemen opposite had put their expression of opinion into the shape of a formal Vote of Want of Confidence. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Tipperary said very truly, that this being the case, the House ought to look not merely to the limited action of the Government in this particular case, but to their general conduct in other matters. That would be quite proper and fair; and if a Vote of No Confidence had been proposed, it would have led to a discussion of all the measures of the Government. I contend that if the House would take that view of the matter, it would find that in the five years during which we have been honoured with the confidence of the House and have carried on the Government, the country has continued in an unexampled state of prosperity. More has been done in those years in everything connected with the material interests of the country than perhaps was ever done in the same period of time before; and on that ground alone we may stand and defy any attacks that may be made on us from any quarter whatever. At this hour of the night I know that to go into the details which may be applicable to this argument would be encroaching too much on the time and patience of the House. I would, however, beg leave to state two or three facts which bear on the question, by showing what has been the conduct of the Government, what we have done, and what improvements have taken place in the country during our administration. ["Question."] We listened very patiently to hon. Gentlemen opposite in their abuse of us, and I think it is now but fair that they should listen to the reasons which we think may be fairly stated in our general justification. Between 1860 and 1864 we have reduced the taxation of the country by £12,000,000. With the assistance of the hon. Member for Rochdale, to whom I have repeatedly said the country is much indebted, a commercial treaty was negotiated between France and England, which has wonderfully increased the mercantile relations of the two countries; for whereas the imports from France in 1859 were in value £16,000,000 and odd, in 1863 they reached £24,000,000. In 1859 the exports to France amounted to £9,500,000, while in 1860 they had increased to £22,900,000. It is obvious that this great development of the commerce of the country must have been of the greatest advantage at a time when we are suffering so severely from the supply of cotton from America. During our administration, the permanent National Debt has been reduced by £11,000,000—that is, £6,000,000 has been actually paid off and £5,000,000 have been converted into terminable annuities. The private income of the country has increased to such an extent that the assessment of the Income Tax has been augmented by £27,000,000 in the course of those four or five years. Further, the expenditure has been diminished by £3,000,000 odd. [A VOICE: In what time?] I am now speaking of the years from 1860–1 to 1864–5. Nor have we been unmindful of other matters. Our national defences are naturally of great importance, owing to our insular position, and liability to attack from various quarters. We have endeavoured to place these defences on a satisfactory footing. I willingly give hon. Gentlemen opposite the credit of originating the Volunteer movement; but that means of defence has been wonderfully developed during our administration. Our dockyards are now in course of being made secure. We no longer read pamphlets about the perils of Portsmouth, and I trust that that and the other dockyards will soon be rendered safe from any enemy. The foreign trade of the country has risen from £377,000,000 in 1861 to £444,000,000 in 1863—an increase of no less than £67,000,000 in that short space of time. It is not necessary to go into further details, or I could show the various other improvements which have been effected in savings banks and in other matters which are deeply interesting to the working classes. We have been enabled to go through that great calamity, as it was expected to be, which befel us in the Cotton famine with less disturbance than might have been expected, and with less suffering and privation to those who are engaged in our manufacturing industry. And we have not been solely occupied with the concerns of the United Kingdom. My right hon. Friend who has the management of the affairs of India, has also done great things in regard to that empire. I recollect when the change in the Government of India first took place, that it was said that India was inextricably in debt, and that the time would come when this country would be called upon to defray that debt for her. In 1858, the deficit in the Indian revenue amounted to more than £14.000,000, and in 1864–5 there was a surplus of £823,000. Thus, by the wise administration of my right hon. Friend, a large deficit on our Indian finances has been converted into a growing surplus; the employment of Natives has incensed, and the material well being of the people is well known to everybody, railways have been constructed, telegraphs erected, numerous public works commenced, and every improvement which modern science has produced has been introduced into that country. The exports from India, which in 1858–9 amounted to £29,862.871, had increased in 1862–3 to £46,485,169. Well, then, I say that all these indications of national prosperity show that the contentment and well-being which we know to exist among all classes of Her Majesty's subjects have a good foundation, and that the Government of the Queen which has been intrusted during the last five years with the task of conducting the affairs of the country, has not' neglected any of the interests to which its attention ought to have been directed. On the contrary, they have been the promoters of great improvements in all matters connected with the general interests of the country. We have during our period of office also preserved this country from war. There were many people ready to urge us to take an active part in that war which is now being carried on in North America. We were not without reasons and motives which might have afforded us a fair justification for taking part in that contest; but we abstained. No doubt there are some who thought that we ought to have leant more to one side, and some that we ought to have leant more to the other; but our conduct has been that of rigid and impartial neutrality, and we have saved the country from all the calamities which would have been created by a state of war. I know there are Gentlemen in this House who do not entirely approve of the policy we have pursued in China. That may be a subject for discussion; but the result certainly has been a great development of our trade with China, and a good understanding with the Government of China. Therefore I say, that whatever may be said of the steps by which we arrived at that conclusion, no one can deny that the result has been advantageous to the country. We have also preserved good relations with all the countries of Europe. A statement has been made that in the last Speech from the Throne for the first time was omitted the sentence in which Her Majesty stated that she had received friendly assurances from Foreign Powers. The hon. Gentlemen who made that assertion are very ill-read in Royal Speeches; because I can assure them that it is not this year for the first time that that very unmeaning passage has been left out. Indeed, I trust that it will never appear again, because such friendly assurances are never given or received. The only meaning of the passage is, that the Sovereign was in good relations with Foreign Powers, and it is better to say that plainly than to have this roundabout and stereotyped phrase, which for so many years had been inserted as a matter of course. In the present case we could not say so sincerely, because we had differences with Austria and Prussia which rendered it impossible to make that assertion; but when these differences are over, I hope it may be shown in the Queen's Speech that the manner in which affairs of this country have been conducted for some years past have produced that result. Well, Sir, that being the case, I contend that we are entitled to the confidence of this House. I quite admit that hon. Gentlemen opposite are perfectly entitled to make a great struggle for power. It is an honourable struggle, and I make it no matter of reproach. They are a great party, comprising n great number of men of ability and influence in the country; and they are perfectly entitled, whenever they think the prize is within their reach, to make an attack upon those who hold it. But, on the other hand, I say that we have not done anything to deserve that that prize should be taken from us. I think that we have conducted the affairs of the country during the five years we have been on these seats with honour and advantage to the country, with credit to ourselves, and in a manner deserving the approbation of this House and the confidence of the country. ["No!"] Although hon. Gentlemen opposite meet that assertion with "No, no, no!" I am very strongly inclined to think that whatever the decision of this closely packed assembly may be to-night, the country at large will answer in the affirmative, and will re-echo the assertion which I have just made. I think there has been no sufficient ground established for the Motion. It evades and shirks the real object of the Movers; namely, a declaration, which they ought to have come forward and proposed in a manly way, that the Government have lost the confidence of the country. I think this a Motion not founded on justice or on facts. I confidently believe that the decision of the House to-night will be the rejection of the Motion and the substitution of the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgewater; but whatever the decision of the House may be—and I am satisfied it will be in our favour—I am confident that the acceptance of the Resolution would not be in accordance with the general feeling of the people of this country.


Sir, on Monday last I moved an Address to the Crown thanking Her Majesty for the papers connected with the late negotiations which had been placed on the table; and at the same time in that Address I made three statements which I trusted the House would accept. The first was that Her Majesty's Government had failed in their avowed policy, which was to uphold the integrity and independence of Denmark; the second was to represent to Her Majesty that by the course of their proceedings the just influence of this country in the councils of Europe had been lowered; and the third was that by the lowering of the just influence of the country in the councils of Europe the securities for peace were diminished. In introducing that Resolution to the consideration of the House I had—as is inevitable under such circumstances—to quote considerably, though in as small a proportion as I could, from the mass of diplomatic Correspondence which had been laid on the table. I have observed that frequently under similar circumstances—in the case of the first China debate, for instance, in which Sir James Graham took a leading part—where the opinion of the House has been asked upon multifarious papers, somewhat needless accusations have been made on both sides of the House that documents have been unfairly quoted. I was therefore careful to avoid such imputations in the present instance. I quoted no passage without at the same time giving the page, so that detection might be immediate; and I never quoted secondhand, but read from extracts copied by myself. I am not conscious of ever having intentionally garbled or misquoted any passage; and having listened with the utmost attention throughout this debate of four days, and having read the despatches referred to by hon. Members on both sides of the House, who have drawn from the same documents different inferences, I am bound to say that, as far as I can judge, there have been no quotations of an unfair character. On the contrary, the documents have been handled in a legitimate manner; and it is my belief that that is the invariable practice of this House. Indeed, it seems to me, totally irrespective of higher considerations, that it would be absurd for any person who founds his arguments on documents of this character willingly to misquote or misrepresent them. What would he render himself liable to? There sit opposite to him hon. Gentlemen who have the very same papers in their hands, and therefore have the means of correcting him; they can instantly refer to the document he is quoting. Therefore, that it should for a moment be supposed under such circumstances that any hon. Gentlemen would attempt to misquote or misrepresent documents appears to me very extraordinary. Therefore, nothing impressed me with the weakness of the case of the Government more than when the most distinguished orator on the Treasury bench rose to answer me, and at once resorted to the old and, I will not say, vulgar habit, because the epithet might be misunderstood—but a habit certainly which ought not to be sanctioned by the House—namely, that of accusing one of misquoting and misrepresenting papers on the table. That person must not only be incompetent, but absolutely silly, who should attempt to address the House of Commons on an occasion of this kind and bring forward a case founded on the misquotation or garbling of public correspondence. I am conscious that I did nothing of the sort. Of course, at this period of the debate, I will not go into any details as to that charge; I should be quite content to meet any half dozen of my opponents in a private room on the matter, where I am persuaded they would acquit me of any intention of that kind. If I refer to one point at all, it is only because the merits of the case are concerned in it; and that is my reference to the despatch to Lord Russell from our Chargé d'Affaires at Paris. I had a copy of that despatch in my hand; but I did not read the whole of it, only as much as I thought sufficiently proved the fact I desired to ink press upon the House. The rest of the despatch confirmed my view, or I should not have copied it; but I omitted it to save the time of the House. What was my object in quoting that despatch? It was the answer from Mr. Grey to Lord Russell, describing a conversation with M. Drouyn de Lhuys. What I wished to show was—not as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and others who followed him have represented,—that the Emperor of the French, out of mere pique, would not act with the English Government—I do not think that any Prince or Government in Europe would act out of pique—I assume, they understand their own interests too keenly for that; and I should think the Emperor of the French, a very sagacious Prince, is about the last who would be likely to do such a thing. I did not mean to say that the Emperor had washed his hands of all concern about the affairs of Denmark, and would have nothing more to do with them; but I wanted to show—and I think the extract which I read certainly did show—that the Emperor, inconsequence of what had occurred between England and France in regard to the negotiations respecting Poland, had not sufficient confidence any longer in the steadfast policy of the English Government that he would act with them. I did not think it necessary to trouble the House with the whole of the despatch; but the part which I omitted strengthened my position, because, what did it say? The French Minister says you are not to suppose that we are indifferent about Denmark, but we decline to act with you. Therefore, the very passage which I am charged with omitting, actually confirmed my statement. The Chancellor of the Exchequer also accused me of "falsifying" a document. After the gracious manner in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer apologized for that expression, I do not recall it to give him the slightest annoyance; but I ask what was the despatch to which that accusation against me applied? I described a despatch as menacing to the Diet, and I will assume that I may have made the mistake of treating a menace applicable to the decree of the Diet in reference to the inheritance of the Duchies, as being applicable to the Federal Execution. I really have not had an opportunity to verify this point, but it is possible that I may have put the matter in that way. But assuming that, it is evidently a most insignificant point, and one that would by no means justify the serious charge that was made. I dismiss all this idle matter, which has really taken up much too much of the time of the House, and which, through so distinguished a person as the Chancellor of the Exchequer having dealt with it, has led to his example being followed by many other hon. Members in this debate; and I come to the material parts of his speech.

The right hon. Gentleman says, "There are two positions which I lay down: first, you say that the English Government were acting in a very irregular and impolitic manner; that they were menacing here and cajoling there; that Germany was threatened on one day and Denmark misled on another? But I maintain," he said, "that we did nothing that was not done by the other great Powers,—France and Russia." That was stated broadly by the right hon. Gentleman, and has been repeated since; but there is not a tittle of proof of it. We have had plenty of proof that the Government menaced and cajoled, but we have no evidence whatever beyond this stout statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reiterated as it has been by the Under Secretary. On the contrary, from all we can judge from the papers on the table, the truth is that whenever we announced to the Courts of France and Russia, that we were going to take a certain stop, they sometimes gave a qualified and reluctant assent, and occasionally there may have been one of those mechanical applications to the German Courts recommending or acknowledging with approbation our policy; but there is no proof whatever that the same tone taken by the English Government with respect to the German Courts or the Danish Court was ever adopted by those Powers. If so, why does not Denmark complain of them as of England? Denmark never pretends that France or Russia misled her. The second position of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is, that our Government never renewed their menaces after they knew that other Powers would not join them. That is an admission that they did menace before that time. There is no proof of that second position, but there is an immense mass of proof the other way. Sir, I want to know when Her Majesty's Government ceased to menace. The despatch quoted very properly in the excellent speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Dublin University (Mr. Whiteside)—I mean the letter to Lord Bloomfield from Lord Russell, where he gives an account of his conversation with Count Bernstorff—shows that for nine months from the month of May preceding, Her Majesty's Government were in fact threatening Germany with war; when Count Bernstorff adverted shortly and pointedly to the dangers that would be incurred by Europe if Germany and England should ever become enemies,—Lord Russell fully admitted them and as fully regretted their existence— But I (Lord Russell) said that, since the month of May, Great Britain had warned Austria of these dangers; that Prussia and Germany had likewise been warned; but that the voice of England was unheeded, and little time was now left for counsel, wisdom, and moderation. I hoped it would not be thrown away,"—No. 4, 535. I hoped it would not be thrown away! What is a menace if that be not one? What do they mean by saying they have not menaced? What has happened in Parliament this year—in both Houses? Have we not had the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the House of Lords making mysterious announcements about the Channel fleet? What did that mean? Why should the Secretary of State in his place in Parliament tell us that the Channel fleet was ready, and that he did not think the Prussian and Austrian fleet united would dare to meet it? I ask the House what does that mean? Was it merely a playful phrase, just designed to amuse the Peers before dinner, who are not always so busily engaged as they are tonight? What is the meaning of the Secretary of the Admiralty coming down and hitching his trowsers like a celebrated performer in nautical pieces. ["Oh!"] I assure the noble Lord that I only meant an allusion to the profession of which he is an ornament, and declaring that the Channel fleet was all ready to go anywhere in twenty-four hours—what did that mean?


I beg to say that that was spoken in answer to a question from the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich.


I have no doubt it was in answer to a question of my right hon. Friend the Member for Droitwich—but it was not the question of my right hon. Friend that sent the funds down the next day one per cent. Well, Sir, I say there has been a continuous system of men aces; and I must remind the House that none of the circumstances to which I have just referred have ever been explained or vindicated. There is another point which has come out very much in this debate and never been satisfactorily met by any speaker on behalf of the Government. All the materials on which they formed their ultimate decision respecting interference between Germany and Denmark were in their possession months and months ago; and yet the decision was never formed until after the Conference, when the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) came down and finally communicated it to the House—and communicated it even then with a gloomy and somewhat terrific proviso at the end of his statement, which certainly did not convey to the country the idea that their policy was even then fixed. I want to have that explained. Why was Europe disturbed and the country distracted with the idea of going to war about Denmark, when all the materials on which the ultimate decision of the Government was formed had been in their possession for months and months? They were perfectly acquainted with the fact that France and Russia would not act with them—they knew the exact determination and policy of the German Courts—all those considerations with regard to our finance and commerce, the effect of blockades upon our mercantile intercourse, all these and other considerations must have presented themselves to them; and yet for months and months, with these materials in their possession upon which to come to a decision, that decision was taken at the last moment, and without any satisfactory explanation? "But," says the Chancellor of the Exchequer, "I object to the course you are taking. If we have mismanaged your affairs, this is not the manner in which a great party in opposition should act. You ought to address the Crown to dismiss its Ministers. In the days of the Norths and the Foxes they addressed the Crown in an unequivocal manner to dismiss the Ministers. They never had discussions on Resolutions as to the conduct of negotiations and matters of detail of this kind. They went forward boldly and addressed the Crown." The right hon. Gentleman says, "Not only do you not act in a straightforward manner and address the Crown to dismiss the Ministers, but you use language in your address unprecedented in Parliament—language which depreciates the position of this country, so unusual, so unparliamentary, so unprecedented—language which it will be a disgrace to Parliament to adopt, and which in the great days of the Norths and Foxes was never adopted." Now, I contest the position taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on both these points. I take the case of the fall of the Administration of Lord Shelburne. A peace had been concluded with France, Spain, and America, the independence of our colonies being recognized. Lord Shelburne negotiated that peace. The papers were laid on the table; the Opposition did not approve that peace; and how did they proceed? Did they address the Crown for the dismissal of Ministers? On the contrary, they took a perfectly different course, but not so decided a course as that I have recommended and am prepared to vindicate. They proceeded by Resolution. Lord George Cavendish moved among others, "That the concessions made to the adversaries of Great Britain were greater than they were entitled to." Why, that is not only a proceeding by Resolution, but by a Resolution which would show at least that the Government had made concessions which they were not entitled to make. We might then have proceeded by way of Resolution. But I now come to the other statement of the right hon. Gentleman, echoed by the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) and received always with a chorus of cheers, that there is something unparliamentary, even disgraceful, in the House of Commons proposing in an Address to the Crown to make an allusion to the just influence of the country being lowered. This, said the right hon. Gentleman, is not the course which was taken in the great days of the Norths and Foxes. Well, I take the Address moved by Mr. Fox on one of the most celebrated occasions of this kind that ever occurred, and I will read it to the House, and if Her Majesty's Ministers will accept I it instead of mine—a more modest Address, adapted to the temperate spirit of our times, I shall be perfectly ready to make arrangements to that effect. Mr. Fox said, in his Address to the Crown— We can neither give any credit to the Ministry for their profession of a wish for peace, nor repose any confidence in their capacity for conducting negotiations to prosperous issues, odious as they are to any enemy and contemptible in the eyes of all Europe from the display of insincerity and incapacity which has marked their conduct. These are the expressions used by Mr. Fox in his address to the Crown in 1796. I did not use such language; but I think I have answered the objections of the right hon. Gentleman. ["No, no!"] I have proposed an Address to the Crown, which, because it alludes to the just influence of this country having been lowered, is said to be unprecedented, although Mr. Fox, whom the right hon. Gentleman recommended to me as an authority, moved an Address in which the Ministry of the country, which for foreign nations is the country, are described as contemptible in the eyes of Europe. The right hon. Gentleman complains of our not meeting the question in a more explicit and straightforward way. But are we met in an explicit and straightforward way? I never believed, until I heard the speech of the noble Lord, that the Government were really going to shelter themselves under the Amendment, the Amendment which has never been moved, of the hon. Member for Bridgewater (Mr. Kinglake). I thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer met us fairly the other night and said, "The real question at issue is this—Are you or are you not satisfied with our administration of your foreign affairs in these negotiations? That is the interpretation I put upon the question. It is a vote of want of confidence in our conduct of those negotiations?" If that be your interpretation of the position you occupy, how can you fall hack on the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bridgewater? What is that Amendment? It is the previous Question, drawn up by an amateur diplomatist, and moved by the historian of the campaign in the Crimea as a compliment, I suppose, to the Emperor of the French. But the noble Lord who has just sat down, and who is going to support the Amendment of the "previous Question" declines to meet the case at all. ["No, no!"] I understand the noble Lord to say that his opinion is that the Government should support it. But the noble Lord has been very careful, though he shields himself formally under the Amendment of the Member for Bridgewater, to make as wide an issue as possible. What consolation Denmark will have from that last account of the investments in our savings banks, I am at a loss to understand. We have had too the Indian Budget to-night, which usually is not brought forward till late in July; and we have also been treated with the marvellous efforts of Government (Providence, of course, having had nothing to do with it) in alleviating the disasters of the Cotton famine. Sir, the issue before the House will be the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bridgewater, which gives no approbation to the conduct of the Government. As far as I can understand it, although they argue on the merits of their case, the Government will not take the opinion of the House boldly upon it. That, I think, is not acting with the fairness we should have expected from Her Majesty's Government. The House has collectively incurred some very hard words, because acting, I think, from very proper motives, they have not hastened to a decision on the policy of the Government; and therefore, as we have at last, and I think at the right time, asked the opinion of the House, we had a right to expect that Her Majesty's Government would not have evaded a decision. We must remember we have all of us been taunted by the right hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman) with absolute complicity with Government in avoiding a decision on this question. I will not trespass now upon the indulgence of the House in detail; but one result of this debate will be, that the House of Commons—I do not speak of the Opposition alone—are completely exonerated from any such imputation. I was rather surprised to hear the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs expatiating on our delay in bringing forward this question. Many of the most important despatches were not in our hands until after the Easter holydays, and, although the right hon. Member for Stroud is of opinion that it was my duty to come forward and step in between the Conference when it was announced as about to sit, and its result, and to call upon the House for an opinion that the Government were not justified in calling that Conference together, I am still of opinion that it was far wiser on the part of the Opposition to take the course we did. When the Minister of the Crown, in his place in Parliament, and speaking on his own responsibility, assured the House of Commons that a Conference had been called together, and that he was not without hopes of a satisfactory result, I think that, if I had proposed to interfere between the Government and the Conference, I should have taken a step the country would not have approved. Yet, for abstaining from this interference, we are made the objects of an invective of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Horsman) of an unprecedented kind. He denounces the Government, he derides the Opposition, he detests the Peace party, he attacks the whole body of the House of Commons, and tells them that they are guilty of complicity with the Ministry because we did not move in this question. But why did not the right hon. Gentleman move in it? He had for three months on the paper a motion which was without exception the most unconstitutional that was ever placed on the table of this House. Why did he not move that preposterous proposition, which struck at the prerogative of the Crown, and would have changed the whole spirit of our constitution? Why, because he knew that if he had moved that revolutionary rigmarole he would have been left without a teller had he gone to a division. And this is the Gentleman who lectures Parliament as a body, and every individual in particular, with a recklessness of assertion unequalled. We know that in private life there is always in every circle some person, male or female, who is regarded as "a superior person." They decide on everything, they lecture everybody; all acknowledge their transcendant qualities; but everyone gets out of their way. The right hon. Member for Stroud is the "superior person" of the House of Commons. I am quite surprised that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck), who has been sitting opposite the right hon. Member for Stroud with that colossal lantern which he always uses to find an honest man, has not the ingenuousness to acknowledge that he has at last found the object of his search. The first Minister of the Crown having brought forward the state of the revenue and of our exports and imports, I want to know why he did not bring those interesting documents in to the debate on the Ashantee war—because they were equally applicable there. Her Majesty's Government have mismanaged the affairs of Denmark, but then, they say, our exports and imports have increased. The House will have something to say about New Zealand before long, and I want to know what documents the President of the Board of Trade will furnish the noble Lord with on that occasion. The noble Lord says the influence of the country has not been lowered by the action of the Government, but that influence depends on intelligence, wealth, and so on. If our influence merely depends upon wealth, intelligence, success in the arts, and the development of our industry, I shall begin to think with the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Cobden) that it would be quite as well to do away with the Foreign Office. The noble Lord asks where our influence is lessened? And he reminded the House that I had said that if England and France were united war would be difficult; and that if England, France, and Russia were united war would be impossible. He says the Government have adopted what I laid down as the cardinal principle of foreign affairs. The noble Lord says, "We did apply to France and Russia." Yes; but France and Russia would not act with you. That was the element wanting in the administration of your foreign policy. You failed. I ask you why you failed? We know very well that in July—ten days after the speech of the noble Lord, which he has abjured to-night—the French Government communicated to us that they were eager and anxious to act with us in this matter. You had then the ready sympathy and willing assistance of France. Why did you forfeit it? I say you forfeited it by the manner in which you conducted your negotiations with respect to Poland. And what is your defence on that point? The hon. Gentleman the Member for the King's County (Mr. Hennessy) gave notice of an Address to the Crown in favour of Poland, and there was an apprehension that the Opposition were going to support it. And so our gifted Ministry plunged headlong into these portentous Polish negotiations, which have tended to destroy our influence in Europe, and have been one of the main causes of the fall of Denmark. I say it is impossible that Ministers so experienced could be influenced by a notice given by an independent Member of this House, and by an idle rumour that we were going to support his Motion. I do not believe that men upon whom so much responsibility rests could be influenced and controlled by such slight events. "But," says the noble Lord, "the Motion was very strong and very dangerous." Well, Sir, so far as I was concerned, I recommended my hon. Friend the Member for the King's County to withdraw his Resolution; but when some one tried to induce him to alter it, I recommended him not to follow that advice. I approved it because in its terms it was copied verbatim from the principal despatch of the noble Lord himself, when Foreign Secretary, on Polish affairs. I said, if we are to have an Address to the Crown, let us have the language used by an experienced statesman who has considered this subject in every light; and do not let us make a mistake in an Address which we propose to bear to the foot of the Throne. I deny that the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud, as to the course which I pursued on the Motion relative to Poland, has the slightest foundation. As for the romance of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, it is entirely due to the energy and ardour of his imagination. I dont find fault with those qualities. We must take a man as we find him, and, although we might wish that the hon. Gentleman possessed a little more tact in debate, yet in that case he might never have discovered the bulls of Nineveh. That a man filling so responsible an office as that of Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs should relate to the House that monstrous and marvellous story of a conspiracy to restore Poland and turn out the Ministry, is one of those eccentricities that only occur in prolonged debates. The noble Lord asks, Where is the influence of this country lowered? I say "everywhere." It can be said of you what cannot be said of any other Ministry that this country ever had. Twice within the last twelve months you have made the most importunate appeals to St. Petersburg, and twice they have been rejected, and once with a haughty reprimand. You have not once or twice but many times, applied to France in your difficulties, but France has declined to act with you. I say that proves you have lost your influence. You have menaced Austria—you have menaced Prussia—you have menaced the Diet—and in every instance your representations have been treated with indifference. Is not that evidence that the just influence of this country has been lowered? It is said that my Resolution is retrospective, and does not refer to the future. That is not the case. I have said nothing about indicating a policy, because every one now admits that it is not our duty to go to the foot of the Throne and indicate a policy. But, Sir, I say that the Address which I will in a moment place in your hands is not retrospective, does refer to the future, and is essentially practical. That can be shown in a moment. Suppose we had really pursued the course which had been denounced by the Member for Stroud—suppose when the papers had been all produced we had not asked the opinion of the House upon the conduct of the Government—that, indeed, would have been shameful complicity. Suppose the House had been prorogued without our having solicited its opinion, and suppose that in the interval, before Parliament meets again, some other State in Europe—Holland, Belgium, Switzerland was in danger—what security have we that Her Majesty's Ministers would not pursue towards that State the identical policy which they have pursued with regard to Denmark? They would naturally say, the House of Commons have not disapproved our policy, they have sanctioned menaces at one time, retractation at another. Therefore, I say, we can prevent in the future a policy so disastrous only by passing the Resolution which now, Sir, I place in your hands; and I am confident that it will recommend itself to the opinion of the House, and approve itself to the feelings of the country.


I hope the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) will not put the House to the trouble of dividing on his Amendment. He must have ascertained that the feeling of the House is not in its favour, and it would be very inconvenient to go to a division upon it at this hour. [Loud cries for the withdrawal of the Amendment.]


replied: It would afford me great pleasure to comply with anything which the noble Lord suggests; but I ask for an answer; the Danish people are a free people, and I wish for a decision from this House as the representatives of another free people, whether this House will consent to afford any assistance to the Danish people in defence of their independence as a nation by adopting the terms proposed by the neutral Powers in the recent Conference? [Continued cries, urging the hon. Member to withdraw his Motion.]


put the Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question;" and the great majority of voices appearing to be in the affirmative, Mr. Speaker declared that in his judgment the "Ayes" have it. Whereupon the hon. Member for North Warwickshire called that "the Noes have it."


said, that before he again put the Question on the hon. Gentleman's Amendment, he wished to call the attention of the House to a matter affecting their proceeding in verification of the voices. If the hon. Member should persist in dividing the House, inconvenience might result, and it would be necessary to have some change made in their arrangements. It appeared that the "Noes" would form a very small portion of the Members present, and that, therefore, the lobby would not contain all the "Ayes." The difficulty had been foreseen, and considered by himself and the officers of the House; and he proposed a slight change in the arrangements, interfering as little as possible with the established forms. The "Ayes" would go to the right, but the door of the lobby would be kept open; they would pass on and be counted without delay. But in order that the incoming stream might not be commingled in the House with the outgoing stream, the Members as they were counted would pass into the lobby outside of the House; when all should have been told, they would reenter the House. He trusted this arrangement would obviate the inconvenience that must otherwise arise.


then again put the Question, and not more than two or three voices declaring in the negative, Mr. Speaker said that in his judgment the "Ayes" have it.



said—I think, Sir, that the decision of the House is now evident. I have no wish to put the House to inconvenience by a division. I therefore withdraw my Amendment.

Question put, and agreed to.


, who attempted to address the House in explanation, but was prevented proceeding by the impatience of the House, then moved his Amendment.

Amendment proposed, To leave out the last paragraph of the proposed Question, in order to add the words "To express the satisfaction with which we have learnt that, at this conjuncture, Her Majesty has been advised to abstain from armed interference in the War now going on between Denmark and the German Powers,"—(Mr. Kinglake,) —instead thereof.

The House divided:—Ayes 295; Noes 313: Majority 18.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, to thank Her Majesty for directing the Correspondence on Denmark and Germany, and the Protocols of the Conference recently held in London, to be laid before Parliament: To assure Her Majesty, that we have heard with deep concern, that the sittings of that Conference have been brought to a close without accomplishing the important purposes for which it was convened: To express the satisfaction with which we have learnt that, at this conjuncture, Her Majesty has been advised to abstain from armed interference in the War now going on between Denmark and the German Powers.

To be presented by Privy Councillors.

Acton, Sir J. D. Elphinstone, Sir J. D.
Adderley, rt. hon. C. B. Estcourt, rt. hon. T. H. S.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Fane, Colonel J. W.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Farquhar, Sir M.
Archdall, Captain M. Farrer, J.
Astell, J. H. Fellowes, E.
Bailey, C. Fergusson, Sir J.
Baillie, H. J. Ferrand, W.
Baring, A. H. Filmer, Sir E.
Baring, T. FitzGerald, W. R. S.
Barttelot, Colonel Fleming, T. W.
Bateson, Sir T. Forde, Colonel
Bathurst, A. A. Forester, rt. hon. Gen.
Bathurst, Colonel H. Franklyn, G. W.
Beach, W. W. B. Fraser, Sir W. A.
Bective, Earl of Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Beecroft, G. S. Galway, Viscount
Bentinck, G. W. P. Gard, R. S.
Bentinck, G. C. George, J.
Benyon, R. Getty, S. G.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Gilpin, Colonel
Beresford, D. W. P. Goddard, A. L.
Bernard, hon. Colonel Gore, J. R. O.
Bernard, T. T. Gore, W. R. O.
Blake, J. A. Graham, Lord W.
Bond, J. W. M'G. Greaves, E.
Booth, Sir R. G. Greenall, G.
Bovill, W. Greene, J.
Bowyer, Sir G. Greville, Colonel F.
Brady, Dr. Gray, Captain
Bramley-Moore, J. Grey de Wilton, Visct.
Bramston, T. W. Griffith, C. D.
Bremridge, R. Grogan, Sir E.
Bridges, Sir B. W. Haliburton, T. C.
Brooks, R. Hamilton, Lord C.
Bruce, Sir H. H. Hamilton, Major
Bruen, H. Hamilton, Viscount
Burghley, Lord Hamilton, I. T.
Butler-Johnstone, H. A. Hardy, G.
Cairns, Sir H. M'C. Hardy, J.
Cargill, W. W. Hartopp, E. B.
Cartwright, Colonel Harvey, R. B.
Cave, S. Hassard, M.
Cecil, Lord R. Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Clive, Capt. hon. G. W. Heathcote, Sir W.
Cobbold, J. C. Hennessy, J. P.
Cochrane, A. D. R. W. B. Henniker, Lord
Cogan, W. H. F. Hesketh, Sir T. G.
Cole, hon. H. Heygate, Sir F. W.
Cole, hon. J. L. Heygate, W. U.
Collins, T. Hill, hon. R. C.
Conolly, T. Hodgson, R.
Copeland, Mr. Ald. Holford, R. S.
Corbally, M. E. Holmesdale, Viscount
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Hood, Sir A. A.
Cubitt, G. Hopwood, J. T.
Curzon, Viscount Hornby, W. H.
Dalkeith, Earl of Horsfall, T. B.
Damer, S. D. Hotham, Lord
Dawson, R. P. Howes, E.
Dickson, Colonel Hubbard, J. G.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Humberston, P. S.
Drax, J. S. W. S. E. D. Hume, W. W. F.
Du Cane, C. Humphery, W. H.
Duncombe, hon. W. E. Hunt, G. W.
Dunne, Colonel Ingestre, Viscount
Du Pre, C. G. Jermyn, Earl
Edwards, Colonel Jervis, Captain
Egerton, Sir P. G. Jolliffe, rt. hon. Sir W. G. H.
Egerton, hon. A. F.
Egerton, E. C. Jolliffe, H. H.
Egerton, hon. W. Jones, D.
Kekewich, S. T. Palmer, R. W.
Kelly, Sir F. Papillon, P. O.
Kendall, N. Parker, Major W.
Kennard, R. W. Patten, Colonel W.
Ker, D. S. Paull, H.
Kerrison, Sir E. C. Peacocke, G. M. W.
King, J. K. Peel, rt. hon. General
Knatchbull, W. F. Pennant, hon. Colonel
Knight, F. W. Pevensey, Viscount
Knightley, R. Phillips, G. L.
Knox, Colonel Powell, F. S.
Knox, hon. Major S. Powys-Lybbe, P. L.
Lacon, Sir E. Quinn, P.
Laird, J. Redmond, J. E.
Langton, W. G. Repton, G. W. J.
Leader, N. P. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Leeke, Sir H. Rogers, J. J.
Lefroy, A. Rolt, J.
Legh, W. J. Rose, W. A.
Lennox, Lord G. G. Rowley, hon. R. T.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Salt, T.
Lennox, C. S. B. H. K. Sclater-Booth, G.
Leslie, C. P. Scott, Lord H.
Leslie, W. Scully, V.
Liddell, hon. H. G. Selwyn, C. J.
Long, R. P. Shirley, E. P.
Longfield, R. Smith A. (Herts)
Lopes, Sir M. Smith, Sir F.
Lovaine, Lord Smith, M.
Lowther, hon. Colonel Smith, S. G.
Lowther, Captain Smyth, Colonel
Lyall, G. Smollett, P. B.
Lygon, hon. F. Somerset, Colonel
Lytton, rt. hon. Sir G. E. L. B. Somes, J.
Stanhope, J. B.
Macaulay, K. Stanhope, Lord
M'Cann, J. Stanley, Lord
M'Cormick, W. Stirling, W.
Macdonogh, F. Stracey, Sir H.
MacEvoy, E. Stronge, Colonel
M'Mahon, P. Stewart, Sir M. R. S.
Malcolm, J. W. Stuart, Lieut.-Col. W.
Malins, R. Sturt, H. G.
Manners, rt. hn. Lord J. Sturt, Lieut.-Col. N.
Manners, Lord G. J. Sullivan, M.
Maxwell, hon. Colonel Surtees, H. E.
Miles, Sir W. Talbot, hon. W. C.
Miller, T. J. Thynne, Lord E.
Mills, A. Thynne, Lord H.
Mitford, W. T. Tollemache, J.
Montagu, Lord R. Torrens, R.
Montgomery, Sir G. Tottenham, Lieut.-Col C. G.
Mordaunt, Sir C.
Morgan, O. Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.
Morgan, hon. Major Treherne, M.
Morritt, W. J. S. Trevor, Lord A. E. H.
Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Mundy, W. Turner, C.
Mure, D. Vance, J.
Naas, Lord Vandeleur, Colonel
Nicol, W. Vansittart, W.
Noel, hon. G. J. Verner, Sir W.
North, Colonel Verner, E. W.
Northcote, Sir S. H. Vyse, Colonel H.
O'Conor Don, The Walcott, Admiral
O'Donoghue, The Waldron, L.
O'Ferrall, rt. hon. R. M. Walker, J. R.
O'Neill, E. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
O'Reilly, M. W. Walsh, Sir J.
Packe, C. W. Waterhouse, S.
Pakenham, Colonel Watlington, J. W. P.
Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J. Welby, W. E.
Palk, Sir L. Whiteside, rt. hon. J.
Williams, Colonel Yorke, hon. E. T.
Willoughby, Sir H. Yorke, J. R.
Woodd, B.T.
Wyndham, hon. H. TELLERS.
Wyndham, hon. P. Taylor, Colonel
Wynn, C. W. W. Whitmore, H.
Adair, H. E. Clay, J.
Adam, W. P. Clifford, C. C.
Adeane, H. J. Clifford, Colonel
Agar-Ellis, hon. L. G. F. Clifton, Sir R. J.
Agnew, Sir A. Clinton, Lord R.
Alcock, T. Cobbett, J. M.
Andover, Viscount Cobden, R.
Angerstein, W. Coke, hon. Colonel
Anson, hon. Major Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Anstruther, Sir R. Collier, Sir R. P.
Antrobus, E. Colthurst, Sir G. C.
Ashley, Lord Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.
Athlumney, Lord Cox, W.
Aytoun, R. S. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Bagwell, J. Crawford, R. W.
Baines, E. Crossley, Sir F.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Dalglish, R.
Baring, T. G. Davey, R.
Barnes, T. Davie, Sir H. R. F.
Bass, M. T. Davie, Colonel F.
Baxter, W. E. Denman, hon. G.
Bazley, T. Dent, J. D.
Beale, S. Dering, Sir E. C.
Beamish, F. B. Dillwyn, L. L.
Beaumont, W. B. Dodson, J. G.
Beaumont, S. A. Douglas, Sir C.
Bellew, R. M. Doulton, F.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Duff, M. E. G.
Berkeley, hon. Colonel F. W. F. Duff, R. W.
Duke, Sir J.
Berkeley, hon. C. P. F. Dunbar, Sir William
Biddulph, Colonel Dundas, F.
Black, A. Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.
Blencowe, J. G. Dunkellin, Lord
Bonham-Carter, J. Dunlop, A. M.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P. Dunne, M.
Bouverie, hon. P. P. Dutton, hon. R. H.
Bright, J. Elcho, Lord
Briscoe, J. I. Enfield, Viscount
Brocklehurst, J. Ennis, J.
Brown, J. Esmonde, J.
Browne, Lord J. T. Evans, T. W.
Bruce, Lord E. Ewart, W.
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A. Ewart, J. C.
Buchanan, W. Ewing, H. E. Crum-
Buckley, General Fenwicke, E. M.
Bulkeley, Sir R. Fenwicke, H.
Buller, J. W. Fermoy, Lord
Buller, Sir A. W. Finlay, A. S.
Burke, Sir T. J. Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W.
Bury, Viscount Foley, H. W.
Butler, C. S. Foljambe, F. J. S.
Butt, I. Forster, C.
Buxton, C. Forster, W. E.
Caird, J. Foster, W. O.
Calthorpe, hon. F. H. W. G. Fortescue, hon. F. D.
Fortescue, rt. hon. C.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. French, Colonel
Carnegie, hon. C. Gavin, Major
Castlerosse, Viscount Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Cavendish, Lord G. Gilpin, C.
Chapman, J. Gladstone, rt. hon. W.
Childers, H. C. E. Glyn, G. G.
Cholmeley, Sir M. J. Goldsmid, Sir F. H.
Churchill, Lord A. S. Goschen, G. J.
Gower, hon. F. L. Moncreiff, rt. hon. J.
Gower, G. W. G. L. Monsell, rt. hon. W.
Greenwood, J. Morris, D.
Gregory, W. H. Morrison, W.
Gregson, S. Neate, C.
Grenfell, C. P. Norris, J. T.
Grenfell, H. R. North, F.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. O'Brien, P.
Grosvenor, Earl Ogilvy, Sir J.
Grosvenor, Lord R. O'Hagan, rt. hon. T.
Gurdon, B. O'Loghlen, Sir C. M.
Gurney, J. H. Onslow, G.
Gurney, S. Owen, Sir H. O.
Hadfield, G. Packe, Colonel
Hanbury, R. Padmore, R.
Handley, John Paget, C.
Hankey, T. Paget, Lord A.
Hanmer, Sir J. Paget, Lord C.
Hardcastle, J. A. Palmer, Sir R.
Hartington, Marq. of Palmerston, Viscount
Hervey, Lord A. Paxton, Sir J.
Hayter, rt. hn. Sir W. G. Pease, H.
Headlam, rt. hon. T. E. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Heathcote, hon. G. H. Peel, rt. hon. F.
Henderson, J. Peel, J.
Henley, Lord Pender, J.
Herbert, rt. hon. H. A. Peto, Sir S. M.
Hibbert, J. T. Pilkington, J.
Hodgkinson, G. Pinney, Colonel
Hodgson, K. D. Ponsonby, hon. A.
Holland, E. Portman, hon. W. H. B.
Horsman, rt. hon. E. Potter, E.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Powell, J. J.
Howard, Lord E. Price, R. G.
Hutt, rt. hon. W. Pryse, E. L.
Ingham, R. Pritchard, J.
Jackson, W. Proby, Lord
Jervoise, Sir J. C. Pugh, D.
Johnstone, Sir J. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
King, hon. P. J. L. Ricardo, O.
Kinglake, A. W. Robartes, T. J. A.
Kinglake, J. A. Robertson, D.
Kingscote, Colonel Robertson, H.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Roebuck, J. A.
Layard, A. H. Rothschild, Baron L. de
Langton, W. H. G. Rothschild, Baron M. de
Lawson, W. Russell, H.
Leatham, E. A. Russell, A.
Lefevre, G. J. S. Russell, F. W.
Lee, W. Russell, Sir W.
Legh, Major C. St. Aubyn, J.
Levinge, Sir R. Salomons, Mr. Ald.
Lewis, H. Scholefield, W.
Lindsay, W. S. Scott, Sir W.
Locke, J. Scourfield, J. H.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Scrope, G. P.
Lysley, W. J. Seely, C.
Mackie, J. Seymour, H. D.
Mackinnon, W. A. (Lym) Seymour, W. D.
Mackinnon, W. A. (Rye) Seymour, A.
Mainwaring, T. Shafto, R. D.
Marjoribanks, D. C. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Marsh, M. H. Sheridan, R. B.
Martin, P. W. Sheridan, H. B.
Martin, J. Sidney, T.
Massey, W. N. Smith, A. (Truro)
Matheson, A. Smith, J. A.
Merry, J. Smith, J. B.
Mildmay, H. F. Smith, M. T.
Miller, W. Stacpoole, W.
Mills, J. R. Staniland, M.
Mitchell, T. A. Stansfeld, J.
Moffatt, G. Steel, J.
Stuart, Colonel Watkins, Colonel L.
Sykes, Colonel W. H. Weguelin, T. M.
Talbot, C. R. M. Western, S.
Taylor, P. A. Westhead, J. P. B.
Thompson, H. S. Whalley, G. H.
Thornhill, W. P. Whitbread, S.
Tite, W. White, J.
Tollemache, hon. F. J. White, hon. L.
Tomline, G. Wickham, H. W.
Tracy, hon. C. R. D. H. Williams, W.
Trelawny, Sir J. S. Williamson, Sir H.
Turner, J. A. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Tynte, Colonel K. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Vane, Lord H. Woods, H.
Verney, Sir H. Wrightson, W. B.
Vernon, H. F. Wyld, J.
Villiers, rt. hon. C. P. Wyvill, M.
Vivian, H. H.
Vyner, R. A. TELLERS.
Walter, J. Brand, hon. H. B. W.
Warner, E. Knatchbull-Hugessen, E.
Watkin, E. W.

House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock, till Monday next.