§ SIR HEDWORTH WILLIAMSON
Sir, before I proceed to offer a few observations to the House, custom requires from me that I should ask hon. Members to give me that kind indulgence which they usually afford to those who address them for the first time; and I must ask for a great share of that indulgence, as I have had but a very short time the honour of occupying a seat in Parliament. I am, consequently, not very well acquainted with the regulations which govern your proceedings. Sir, after expressing in the opening paragraph of the Speech the satisfaction Her Majesty feels in again meeting Her Parliament, Her Majesty proceeds to allude to a question which last year afforded the greatest uneasiness, not only in this country, but throughout the whole of Europe, involving, as it did, not only the probability, but the possibility of an European war. That has happily and luckily passed away, because we are told that those difficulties which then existed between Denmark and the German Powers have been overcome and a peace completed. The Danish question occupied such a large portion of the attention of the House during the last Session, and it was then so ably discussed in all its branches, especially the memorable debate which took place in July, shortly before the prorogation, that it is hardly necessary that I should now trouble the House upon the subject. The House of Commons on that occasion pronounced an opinion which, I think, was perfectly and fully borne out by the country; and although it was admitted on all sides that it was a melancholy spectacle to see a brave and gallant, though small, State like Denmark, unsuccessfully resisting the hostile attack of two such powerful neighbours as those with whom she had to contend, yet, considering the interests involved, it would have been most impolitic for England to have entered into that quarrel single-handed. But peace having been re-established, let us hope that the animosities which embittered the relations between the contending parties will pass away, and that more friendly relations will be established between Denmark and the great Powers of Germany. So far as this country is concerned, it is gratifying to find that the friendship between Her and Denmark has not been diminished by past events, if we may judge from the re- 41 ception given to the Prince of Wales when he accompanied the Princess to the land of her birth. So cordial and gratifying, indeed, was that reception, that I think it almost went beyond what is usually accorded on such occasions, and it partook more of an attempt to express, so far as the people of this country are concerned, the good will or good feeling which prevailed on the part of the Danish nation.
The next part of the Speech has reference to the civil war now unhappily raging in North America, and I do not think Her Majesty could have better expressed the feelings of the House and the country than She has done in stating that it is her intention to pursue the same strict neutrality in reference to it that has hitherto distinguished her conduct. Not only has that policy been adopted by Her Majesty's Government, but also by the people of this country, so far as I can learn; and, therefore, I cannot understand why some portion of the North American press, and some of the people of that country, should apparently entertain feelings so little friendly to this country. However that may be, it must be satisfactory to us to know that abundant proof has been given by the American executive Government to the contrary, and more especially the President has shown his determination, as far as he possibly can, to uphold and maintain friendly relations with this country, for he has on a late occasion disavowed and rebuked some intemperate and imprudent language used by an over-zealous subordinate tending towards hostility to this country; and I believe that the manner in which the very delicate questions involving British interests which must have come before the Admiralty and other Prize Courts of America have been dealt with, is a proof also that the executive Government at Washington is determined, so far as it possibly can, to abide by the treaty engagements entered into by them with this country.
The next paragraph of Her Majesty's Speech refers to the quarrel that has taken place with a Japanese daimio; but I am happy to find that the operations of the combined squadrons of England, France, and the United States have been attended with complete success. As this is rather a complicated question, and inasmuch as the papers connected with it are 42 to be laid before the House, it is not necessary for me to allude further to it than to express my satisfaction that the vigorous action of the English, French, and North American squadrons against the Japanese potentate—whoever he may be—has not put an end to the friendly relations between this country and the Government of the Tycoon.
Her Majesty then proceeds to inform us that She regrets the conflict with some of the New Zealand tribes has not yet been brought to a close; and no doubt many in this House will share those feelings of regret, and even go a little further, and regret that such a war has been at all necessary, because they are aware that the Natives of New Zealand are of a superior order to those wild tribes which Anglo-Saxon colonists have had to cope with in other colonies. They are not only proficient in the art of war, but they also take advantage of their coming into contact with Europeans to study the arts of peace and adopt those vices of civilization much less than other aboriginal tribes which often, I am afraid, follow the steps of the civilization of Europe. This being the case, the Government, I think, are right in trying to adopt towards the superior orders of the Natives a policy of conciliation, and not try to follow out that policy of oppression which is too often consequent upon the conquests of the white race over the natives, and too generally leads to the utter extermination of the aboriginal races. No doubt, if this policy of conciliation can be successfully carried out, I think the country will be found large enough for the amalgamation of the two races, and that both might exist together with mutual benefit to each other. These being my views, I am glad that Her Majesty has informed the Natives who are still in arms, that they will be dealt with after their complete submission not as rebellious subjects but on equitable conditions.
Sir, I now come to the paragraph of the Speech which refers to the proposed confederation of Her Majesty's North American possessions; but as I find it announced that a Bill will be laid before the House in the course of the Session, and this question will then be amply discussed, it is unnecessary that I should trouble you much about it now other than to congratulate the new nationality that has been formed, and the expression of a hope that it will not only be of use to the Home Go- 43 vernment, but will be a blessing and a safeguard to Her Majesty's North American possessions.
I now come to a part of Her Majesty's Speech which requires the serious consideration of the House of Commons—the paragraph which treats of India; and it is satisfactory to find that tranquillity prevails over the whole of that Empire with the exception of the province of Bhootan, where unhappily some disturbances have arisen, and to which place it has been necessary to send European troops to demand satisfaction. No doubt that will be easily obtained and readily given. The general tranquillity of India is, I think, illustrated in a particular manner by that great durbar that was held at Lahore by the Governor General, when 600 Native Princes from different parts of India, representing all shades of opinion, assembled at the request of the Governor General. I think it must have been a very fine sight—not only fine to the eye, but suggestive of feelings calculated to cause serious reflections, to see the Viceroy arrive in his place, in the midst of that vast assembly, and address the Native Chiefs in a few kind words in their own language, explaining and impressing upon them what was expected of them in relation to their allegiance to the Queen. It must also have been a grand sight to see them own their allegiance to the Viceroy, and through him to the mighty Sovereign whom he represents. But it is not only in the military tranquillity of India that we have to rejoice, but it is satisfactory to know that not only is India tranquil, but that a great increase in her manufactures and commerce is the consequent result. Labour, I believe, in India was not long ago most easy to obtain, but now I am informed it is much more difficult to procure it. Wages have risen in consequence of the large tracts of country that have been devoted to the cultivation of cotton, a large quantity of which has come to this country, and been the means of alleviating the distress that prevailed in our manufacturing districts. No doubt the samples are not so good as we were accustomed to obtain before the unhappy war broke out in America, but it is gratifying to find an increased development of industry in India, and I, for one, think that great benefits may be expected to follow from it. Her Majesty could not conclude her review of Indian topics without an allusion to one of the greatest calamities of modern times. I believe that 44 since the great earthquake at Lisbon there has been no case of 60,000 human beings being hurried in a few minutes into eternity. It is most appalling to think of; and the consequent distress through this disaster has been very great in the districts around Calcutta. Her Majesty informs us, however, that the assistance of the officers of the Government, and the charity of the residents, have done much to alleviate the distress; and I feel sure that if local efforts have fallen short, the charity of this country, which was never known to fail in a deserving case, will be cordially extended to the sufferers.
Sir, I have now alluded to most of the topics in the Speech relating to our foreign and colonial possessions. I will now proceed to offer the very few observations I have to make as to what is going on at home. It must be satisfactory to every Member of this House to know that things are going on prosperously and smoothly here. We have enjoyed the great blessing under Providence of a good harvest, and I am glad to say that Ireland has participated in that advantage. But it is unnecessary for me to allude particularly to Ireland, seeing it is represented here by so many Gentlemen of acknowledged eloquence and energy, and who are so much better calculated by knowledge and ability to speak with reference to it.
Although the taxation of the country has been from time to time modified by the ability of my right hon. Friend below me (the Chancellor of the Exchequer), we have a surplus of revenue, and we may hope for still further and greater reductions. I know not how the system of reduction can be fully carried out, until we and other nations have discovered the most efficacious means for destroying one another; for such ability is now displayed in the invention of martial engines that so soon as one excellent plan is invented, some one else invents one more excellent still. Of course, it would be a great evil if this country were suffered to fall behind other countries in warlike efficiency; but I hope the time will soon arrive when the talent and the money that are now expended on these inventions will be devoted to other objects likely to prove more beneficial to the interests of mankind.
I think it is not now necessary for me to allude to the different Bills that will be laid before the House—from my recent 45 entry into the House I am not capable of doing full justice to them; but there are many measures of great usefulness promised in the Speech, especially that relating to the revision of the Statute Law —this has grown to such dimensions that such a process has become absolutely necessary. I leave the matter to the many legal Members of eminence in this House, confident that it will be dealt with wisely and effectually. There are some other subjects alluded to in the Speech, and the last paragraph of it alludes to a Bill founded on the Public Schools Commission Report. The Commission has made its Report on the large endowed Schools and Universities, which represent the education of the higher classes; they have also made a Report as to the National Schools, which explains the state of the education of the lower classes; but with reference to the middle-class endowed schools, there is still a deficiency of information, and it is therefore proper that inquiry should be instituted.
Sir, I have now touched, very inadequately, on most of the topics of the Speech; there is nothing in it open, I believe, to objection; and I think I have nothing more to do, therefore, than just to say, that as there are no great questions of foreign policy to be discussed this Session, or to occupy our time as they did last year, Parliament may turn with calm minds to the consideration of useful domestic topics. Let not, however, our prosperity render us arrogant towards other nations less happily placed, and then we may, without hypocrisy, join in the prayer of Her Most Gracious Majesty that the blessing of Almighty God may attend our councils and guide our deliberations to the attainment of the object of Her constant solicitude, the welfare and happiness of Her people.
I have to thank the House for the kind way in which they have received me, and beg to move—That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, to thank Her Majesty for the most gracious Speech delivered by Her Command to both Houses of Parliament:Humbly to thank Her Majesty for informing us that the negotiations in which the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia were engaged with the King of Denmark were brought to a conclusion by a Treaty of Peace; and humbly to express the gratification with which we learn that 46 the communications which Her Majesty receives from Foreign Powers lead Her to entertain a well-founded hope that no renewed disturbance of the Peace of Europe is to be apprehended:Humbly to thank Her Majesty for informing us that She remains steadfastly neutral between the contending parties in the Civil War which still unhappily continues in North America; and to assure Her Majesty that with Her we should rejoice at a friendly reconciliation between them:To convey our thanks to Her Majesty for informing us that a Japanese Daimio in rebellion against his Sovereign, having infringed the rights accorded by Treaty to Great Britain and to certain other Powers, and that the Japanese Government having failed to compel him to desist from his lawless proceedings, the Diplomatic Agents and the Naval Commanders of Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and the United States of North America undertook a combined operation for the purpose of asserting the rights which their respective Governments had obtained by Treaty; and to express our hope that this operation, which has been attended with complete success, may by its result afford security for Foreign Commerce and additional strength to the Government of Japan, with which the relations of Her Majesty are friendly:Humbly to thank Her Majesty for commanding Papers on this subject to be laid before us:To assure Her Majesty that we learn with regret that the conflict with some of the Native Tribes in New Zealand has not yet been brought to a close; and to thank Her Majesty for informing us that the successful efforts of Her Majesty's Regular Forces, supported by those raised in the Colony, have led to the submission of some of the Insurgents; and that those who are still in arms have been acquainted with the equitable conditions on which their submission would be accepted:To express our gratification at learning that under Her Majesty's sanction, and at the invitation of Her Majesty's Governor General, a Conference of Delegates from Her several North American Provinces had assembled at Quebec. That those Delegates had adopted Resolutions having for their object a closer union of those Provinces under a Central Government, and that if those Resolutions shall be approved by the Provincial Legislatures, Her Majesty will cause a Bill to be laid before us for carrying this important Measure into effect:To assure Her Majesty that with Her Majesty we rejoice at the general tranquillity of Her 47 Indian Dominion, and to thank Her Majesty for informing us that long-continued outrages on the persons and property of Subjects of Her Majesty having occurred, for which no redress could be had, it became necessary to employ a Force to obtain satisfaction for the past and security for the future:Humbly to express to Her Majesty our regret at the calamity which has recently occasioned great loss of life and property at Calcutta, and at other places in India, and our trust that the prompt assistance rendered by the officers of the Government, and the generous contributions which have been made in various parts of India, may have relieved the sufferings which have thus been occasioned:To thank Her Majesty for having directed the Estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before us, and for having caused them to be framed with a due regard to economy, and to the efficiency of the Public Service:To assure Her Majesty that we learn with gratification that the general condition of the Country is satisfactory; that the Revenue realises its estimated amount; that the distress which prevailed in some of the Manufacturing Districts has greatly abated, while the Act passed for the encouragement of Public Works in those Districts has been attended with useful results; and that Ireland during the past year has had its share in the advantage of a good Harvest, with a gradual extension of Trade and Manufactures:Humbly to assure Her Majesty that we will give our earnest attention to the measures of public usefulness which may be submitted for our consideration:To thank Her Majesty for informing us that Bills will be laid before us for the concentration of all the Courts of Law and Equity, with their attendant Offices, on a convenient site; for the completion of the Revision of the Statute Law; for the Amendment of the Law relating to Patents for Inventions; and for conferring on the County Courts an equitable jurisdiction in causes of small amount:To assure Her Majesty that our serious attention shall be given to the measures which may be proposed for carrying into effect certain Recommendations made to the House of Commons, after Inquiry directed by that House, into the Operation of the Laws regulating the Relief to the Poor, and to the Bill which will be laid before us, founded on the Report of the Commission for inquiring into Public Schools; and to thank Her Majesty for informing us that She has directed that a Commission shall be issued to inquire into 48 Endowed and other Schools in England, which have not been included in the recent inquiries relating to popular Education; and humbly to assure Her Majesty that with Her we fervently pray that the blessing of Almighty God may attend our councils, and guide our deliberations to the advancement of the welfare and happiness of Her People.
§ MR. HANBURY TRACY
Sir, it is with great diffidence that I rise to second the Address, so ably and eloquently moved by the hon. Baronet beside me, and had I not known that it was intended as a compliment through me to the constituency which I have the honour to represent, I should have been inclined to shrink from so great a responsibility. Having, however, under these circumstances undertaken the task before me, I rely with confidence on that proverbial kindness and indulgence which has always been extended to a new Member on his first venturing to address the House. It is with great pleasure that I gather from the general tenor of the Speech from the Throne much that is calculated to inspire us not merely with gratitude for the past, but with sanguine anticipations for the future. If I might be allowed without fear of intrusion to touch on so delicate a topic, I should say that what was only wanting to complete the satisfaction with which we listened to that Speech was, that words of such pleasing import should have been dignified and graced by their delivery from the lips of Her Majesty in person. I am sure I only express the feelings of all around me when I add that it is our earnest prayer that our Gracious Queen may be able so far "to pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow" as to bring herself to gladden the hearts of her loving subjects by again appearing amongst them on occasions of this nature.
Sir, when we contrast the present condition of Continental affairs with that of the corresponding period of last year, it is impossible not to find ample cause for congratulation on their improved aspect, giving rise as it does to a well-founded hope of the maintenance of the peace of Europe. Though there are grave questions still open which may not be closed without disturbance, yet, on the whole, a strong disposition is manifest to settle disputes by other arbitrament than by that of the sword. In proportion as the blessings of free trade spread themselves wider and wider, we may look forward with more and more confidence to the time when 49 the era of gigantic armaments shall end, and the resources of civilized nations shall be expended with greater profit in the cultivation of the arts of peace. Would that we could look at the state of affairs on the other side the Atlantic with similar satisfaction. There, however, while we have still to lament the continuance of an unhappy and devastating warfare in that once flourishing country, we have also to regret that the struggle has given birth to an unprovoked feeling of hostility to ourselves. From this gloomy prospect we turn with relief to the contemplation of the movement recently initiated by our fellow-subjects on that Continent. This is a question so important, so absorbing, that even if our attention had not been especially called to it by the Speech from the Throne to-day, it would be impossible to pass it over in silence. I refer, Sir, to the proposal which has recently emanated from the various Provinces of British North America to form themselves into a confederation, which cannot be otherwise than great and powerful. Sir, when we consider the present unprotected state of those Provinces, and the difficulty of defending them separately against any foreign attack, when we consider the enormous field which they offer for ages to come to our commercial enterprise, we cannot but view these proposals with favour, and almost unmixed satisfaction. The anxiety which has so often been expressed by this House with regard to the defence of Canada in the event of a rupture with the United States, convinces one, that when this great question involving the charter of Canadian liberty is brought before us, it will be discussed in no spirit of party controversy, but with the single object and desire of aiding and assisting the movement in every way compatible with Imperial policy. The days are gone by, Sir, when England looked with jealousy and suspicion on every act of her colonies, when the slightest system of combination amongst themselves would have been regarded as an omen of severance from us. England is no longer jealous of her children; she regards this scheme with emotions of pride and affection, mingled with wonder at the unanimity and loyalty expressed by the representatives of five distinct provinces. The success which the delegates have been able to achieve in organizing a scheme affecting such various distinctions of race, religion, and language, deserves our highest praise. Before pass- 50 ing from this subject, I must, as an independent Member of this House, express my sincere hope that this bright vision of the Canadian future may not be obscured by their injudicious perseverance in that false and suicidal policy, the enforcement of high protective duties. Although, Sir, during the last four years the damage inflicted by these protective measures cannot for one moment be compared to that created by the raising of the United States tariff, and the blockade of the Southern ports, yet the fact remains the same, that Canada has virtually succeeded in shutting out our commerce, and this notwithstanding all we have done for her, notwithstanding that we still spend for her benefit and that of her co-dependencies nearly a million of money. I do most sincerely trust, that when the Canadas, with their vast agricultural plains, are incorporated into the maritime provinces, with their boundless wealth of coal and iron, they will at last see the advantages of liberty in trade, and that we shall hear less and less of hostile tariffs. I think, in justice to England, it should be shown how totally at variance with the feelings which have always been expressed by the mother country is the return which Canada has made by closing the door against British commerce.
I am sure, Sir, that all must have heard with intense satisfaction the intelligence that the operations in Japan have been crowned with entire success. Not only may we congratulate ourselves on the completeness of this victory, but also on the gallant way in which it was won. I am confident it was with pride and admiration that the nation read the despatches detailing the conduct of our seamen on that occasion, showing as it did so clearly that whether wood or iron be the order of the day, whether the game be played at long range or short range, whether with a Whitworth or an Armstrong, the seamen of England have not degenerated, and that the same courage and indomitable spirit which gained their laurels in former years gives no sign of flagging. However much the frequency of these little wars are to be deplored, yet, in our relations with Japan, a country in which the government is so divided between the Tycoon, the friend of progress, and the Mikado, its bitter enemy, I think that we should keep a bold front, and, by so doing, overawe the quasi-feudal chieftains, and oblige them to show that respect for treaties which 51 the Tycoon, although willing, is unable to enforce. It was on this footing that the hostilities at Nagasiki were undertaken in co-operation with the French, Dutch, and Americans, to compel the fulfilment of a treaty entered into for opening out the navigation of the inland seas which, owing to their nearness to Shanghai, is of the greatest commercial importance. It was with heartfelt grief and indignation that we read the other day the account of the treacherous murder of two of Her Majesty's officers in Japan, and I am afraid, Sir, it will be a long time before we have a permanent cessation of these cold-blooded atrocities, now unhappily almost periodical in their character, which send a thrill of horror through the veins of all civilized nations. In this particular instance, as far as we know from the reports which have as yet been received, the outrage seems to have been entirely unprovoked. It would appear that these two officers, riding on a pleasure excursion, were suddenly set upon from behind and barbarously and brutally murdered before they could offer any resistance. If any palliation can be offered for so grave a crime, it is that these outrages are to be attributed not so much to the spontaneous animosity of the people themselves as to the orders of their masters, the daimios, whose uncompromising hostility to all Europeans is now a matter of notoriety. The naval actions of Kagosima and Naga-siki were distinguished by the employment, for the first time in actual warfare, of our new naval rifled ordnance; and I think this first experience may, on the whole, be pronounced satisfactory. The prolonged trial of rival systems has given rise to much conflict of opinion as well as caused large expenditure, but there can be no doubt that such controversies benefit the country, in so far as they stimulate invention and sustain to the highest pitch the enterprise and vigour of our artillerists. It is instructive to learn that the Japanese —famous for their genius in the mehanical arts—are among the foremost admirers of our scientific gunnery, and have sought for—and, I fear, procured from this country—similar pieces to those which were so lately employed against themselves. Indeed, not only the Japanese, but almost every other nation pays us this practical compliment; and in the unbiassed selection dictated by the interest of the foreigner may perhaps be found the ultimate solution of our vexed domestic question of 52 rifled naval ordnance. To whichever of the inventors he may incline, to England will belong the honour of taking the lead in this no less than in other metallic manufactures. But, Sir, of what avail in the utmost peril are the highest mechanical appliances, or even the native courage of the British sailor, without that heroic spirit of discipline to which, as a naval man, I may be perhaps allowed to pay my individual tribute. The accounts of the scene off the coast of Montevideo in the month of December last present to us a spectacle of devotion to duty which has perhaps never been surpassed even in the annals of the British navy. In the destruction of the Bombay by fire, Her Majesty's service has indeed to lament a heavy loss of lives; but they have left behind them a splendid moral example of coolness and presence of mind, under the most appalling circumstances, which will not quickly be forgotten.
Before I sit down, Sir, I must ask leave to add one word on the subject of home affairs. It must have been with sincere gratification that all have heard that the general commerce of the country has made satisfactory progress. When we contrast our present flourishing condition with what we might four years ago have anticipated, when we remember the difficulties and distress which the civil war in America was expected to create in all our manufactures, I seem to discern in this unlooked-for result rather the interposition of some superior power than the ordinary influence of human counsel. The revenue, notwithstanding the abatement of taxation, has increased with unparalleled success and public credit; the life-blood of the State is full of animation and vigour. The supply of cotton, about which we had just cause to be alarmed, notwithstanding the continuance of the causes which depress and disturb that important branch of industry, is increasing day by day, and the imports of the last year amount to £72,000,000, of which no less than £50,000,000 were retained for home consumption. These statistics show that its cultivation is being earnestly attended to, and warrant the hope that the present high price will soon be considerably lowered. We have seen during the last year the wonderful development of that system of joint-stock enterprises constructed on the basis of limited liability enlarging our commercial relations to an unprecedented extent. Although taxation to the amount of 53 £2,700,000 was taken off last year, we find the actual decrease in the returns to be of the most trifling nature. Each source of income seems to vie with the other in its readiness to spring back to its old proportions. It is a source of great satisfaction to find that the drain of bullion to the East' which caused so much alarm has already in a great measure abated in the proportion of £12,000,000 in 1863, to £8,000,000 in 1864, showing that the exchange for the staples of India is now mainly effected by the export in largo quantities of the commodities of cotton, iron, and copper. It appears by the Returns with which I have been favoured that the amount of bullion exported during the last year is £23,000,000, whilst the amount of that imported is no less than £27,000,000. The Returns of our mercantile shipping show that our carrying trade is becoming a more and more fertile source of wealth. No less than 23 million tons of shipping entered and cleared at our ports in 1864; and although we must not forget that a large number of American vessels have passed into our hands, English ships are more numerous, and are increasing in size every year. The scheme for the concentration of the Law Courts referred to in Her Majesty's Speech, and which has already been before Parliament, is one that commends itself to the early attention of this House as a measure of great utility not only to the profession of the law, but also to the suitors at large.
Sir, there are other matters in the Speech on which I might dilate, but I feel that I have already trespassed too long on the kindness and forbearance of this House, and I have only to thank the House for the patience with which they have listened to the observations I have felt called upon to make. I beg to second the Address.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That," &c. [See page 45.]
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he should not have presented himself to the House if any other hon. Gentleman had seemed disposed to say a word. It would appear that Irish Members had rather given up the practice of speaking in public. [Laughter.,] Hon. Gentlemen seemed to receive this statement with an incredulous laugh, but he was not aware that any Irish Member had opened his lips during the last recess—except one or two who had addressed public meetings under a sort of moral coercion. For him 54 self, he would say that he had not opened his lips in any public form since Parliament sat last summer. On the other hand, he would like to know what public man in England had not been starring it in the provinces during the recess. The characteristics of the two nations seemed to have been completely reversed. Englishmen now seemed to be given to all sorts of tall talk. Even Cabinet Ministers condescended to address their constituents, although a few years ago it was regarded as opposed to public policy for a Minister to speak in public except on permission from the Treasury Bench. As Irish Members had remained silent during the recess, it was not unreasonable that they should ventilate their opinions in the House, which was supposed to be the proper place for that purpose. When O'Connell was considered a great agitator it was thought not exactly commeilfaut for a Member of Parliament to go through the country during the recess and promulgate those opinions out of doors which it was his duty to express within those walls. Now every English Member was a sort of O'Connell—he would not say a small O'Connell—in his way, and addressed his constituents during the recess. He ought to make one exception. An hon. Member who used to favour his constituents with a summary of Parliamentary proceedings —his hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Bass)—had been quite taciturn of late, and in this respect had followed the example of the Irish Members. His reason for troubling the House on the present occasion was on account of the only paragraph in the Royal Speech with which he would be presumed to have any personal concern. That was a paragraph which, unfortunately, he knew to be incorrect. "Ireland during the past year," said the Speech, "has had its share in the advantages of a good harvest, and trade and manufactures are gradually extending in that part of the kingdom." If the trade and manufactures were extending, it must be very gradually indeed; for being well acquainted with Ireland he was not aware of any extension except in the north of the kingdom, where flax was grown; but in the other three Provinces there was no extension of trade or manufacture at all. A little attempt had been made to revive the flax cultivation, but in the three Provinces trade and manufactures were never in a more depressed state. There might be thirty or forty small mills em- 55 ployed in working up coarse tweeds, but the whole of them put together would not make one decent factory at Bradford. He would like, then, to know where the President of the Board of Trade procured the facts on which he based the statement that the trade and manufactures of Ireland were extending. Emigrants were leaving the country in enormous multitudes; but if the country was in such a prosperous state, why were the people leaving it? The statement that "Ireland has had its share in the advantages of a good harvest" was even more untrue than the other; for Ireland had derived no material advantage from the harvest of last year. Every Irishman who held an acre of land would bear him out that, though for grass land it had been a prosperous year, and cattle, sheep, butter, and wool had paid well, there seldom had been a worse year as far as tillage was concerned. Every landlord in Ireland knew that the tillage tenants were never more hardly pinched than during the last year. The main harvest in England was wheat, in Ireland the chief crop was oats; dry weather might agree with corn to a certain extent, but it was not good for oats at all. There had been, he admitted, a bountiful crop of potatoes, but wheat and barley were below the average; oats was a miserable crop; and the prices of all cereal produce were ruinously reduced. The turnip crop was also a bad one. Why, then, should the paragraph be allowed to remain in the Address? Ireland, upon the whole, though not in a starving condition, was seldom in a more unsatisfactory state than at this moment. There never was a more dissatisfied, discontented, and, he would add, a more disaffected feeling in the country than existed at the present time. It had been stated by eminent Englishmen over and over again that the Irish people who went abroad, where they could give free vent to their feelings, unfortunately showed that they left with very hostile feelings towards the institutions of the country they had deserted. In a recent pamphlet by the Professor of History at Oxford (Mr. Goldwin Smith), who went last year to America in order to judge for himself, that eminent gentleman states that, "The Irish in America are, with too much reason, our mortal enemies." Why should this state of things exist? Why were the Irish in America our enemies? Why did we not make them our friends? No people were more 56 easily conciliated than the Irish, and, he was sorry to add, more easily cajoled. How could there be good legislation for Ireland when there was such misconception in the minds of the Ministry as to the actual condition of the people of that country? And this partly arose from there not being Irishmen in the Cabinet who could give the Government the facts. No Irish need ever apply for admission into a Whig Cabinet. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was not in the Cabinet; neither was the Chief Secretary. He could hardly suppose that if the Chief Secretary had been consulted he would have concurred in the statement contained in the Speech from the Throne, even though he might have derived his knowledge from taking another tour through the country on an outside car. He challenged any hon. Member from Ireland to get up and say that the statement in the Royal Speech was well borne out. He was disposed to move that the paragraph containing it should be omitted. It would have been better to have Ireland altogether ignored in the Speech from the Throne, as she had so often been before, than to have introduced such a misrepresentation. As matters stood, it would be advisable to introduce something to this effect in the Address: —"That the House regrets that the general condition of Ireland cannot be regarded as prosperous or satisfactory; and that multitudes of the inhabitants are emigrating to foreign countries through the want of remunerative employment at home." In the last report issued by the Great Southern and Western Railway Company of Ireland, it was stated that, whilst the returns for the last half year, as compared with the corresponding half year, exhibited an increase in the passenger traffic, there was a large decrease in the tonnage of goods and the number of cattle and sheep carried. It further appeared from that company's returns that the increased passenger traffic was principally due to the transit of troops. The directors stated that they were unable to come to any satisfactory solution of the result disclosed in their report. Perhaps they meant that no solution of the matter that could be come to would be satisfactory, but he thought he could easily find a solution of it. He might say that the goods were not in the country, and he should also observe that, in some cases at least, the cost of transit was more than it ought to be. In his speech at Bradford 57 the other day, the hon. Member for that borough (Mr. W. E. Forster) said that the Irish question was pressing on us more and more—that the state of Ireland was a disgrace to England; and that though we might not now be misgoverning that country to the same extent as we had done in former times, we were misgoverning her on some important matters. Any one acquainted with the history of Ireland—which he supposed not one English Member was—must know that there had been continued misgovernment up to this moment. Indeed, very few Irishmen were acquainted with the history of Ireland, for it was not the fashion to read that history in the Irish schools. Every successive Government admitted that Ireland had been misgoverned in past times, but added, "It is well governed now." And they bonâ fide believed what they stated. But the misgovernment was still going on, and Ireland was still ruled by factious proconsuls sent from this country, who were not admitted into the Cabinet. If a man had some diplomatic training at Geneva or some other place on the Continent, that education was supposed to fit him for the office of Lord Lieutenant, or for that of Chief Secretary. But diplomatists, when they attempted to become statesmen, turned out to be political attorneys. They might do very good service in some other capacity, but they were not fitted to govern Ireland, and were seldom selected as Ministers for this country. The result was that the people of Ireland did not look to that House at all, nor very much to their own representatives either. If he should go to the county Cork in the recess and offer to give his constituents an account of what had been doing in Parliament, they would intimate that they did not want to know anything about it. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, who would make the Cabinet Liberal if he could—but he was an exception in the Government, and had been called the "fly in amber"—was reported to have stated to his constituents that, upon the party division towards the close of last Session, the Catholic votes had reduced the Government majority from sixty-five to eighteen; and to have maintained that the combination effected between the Ultramontane Catholics and the Conservatives was not one which ought to govern this country, or which could promote the cause of civil and religious liberty; also 58 that the Roman Catholics had nothing to gain by such an alliance, as it was not to the Conservative party that they owed their emancipation. The only reply he had to make to this statement was, that the reports which had been industriously circulated on that occasion by myrmidons of the Government, with reference to the motives which had influenced the Irish Catholic Members, were simply untrue. He had scorned at the time to contradict any such falsehoods, and he was sure that the persons who circulated them, even if they did not know them to be false, had no proof of their being true. The Government had not lost any votes by the promulgation of these untruths, but had been gainers by them. If it had been a question of confidence in the Government, he asked how Reformers could have supported the existing occupants of the Treasury benches. The hon. Member for Birmingham and his friends knew that they had only to say to the Government that their support was conditional upon Reform in order to carry Reform measures through the House, and that the Irish Members would vote with them on such questions; but the so-called English Reformers had sacrificed Reform, and everything connected with progress, in order to keep this Government in office—or rather to keep another Government out; whereas they knew that if a Tory Government came into office the Whigs would soon return to office again with a determination to carry out what was required. He thought that when bringing up the Address the Government ought to modify the passage in Her Majesty's Speech he had referred to, and if they refused to do so he should be disposed to move its omission. He saw in the remainder of the Speech a promise of some useful measures, which if passed would be for the benefit of the country; and he trusted that they, and especially any Irish measures of public utility, would be brought on early in the Session.
§ MR. BRADY
said, he had never read a paragraph which it was less easy to understand than the paragraph of the Speech relating to Ireland, which stated that Ireland during the past year had had its share in the advantages of a good harvest. Such a paragraph would have appeared much more appropriately in Punch than in the Speech from the Throne. That paragraph would create great discontent throughout Ireland, as the people would thereby see 59 that they had little to expect from the Government. The country was not suffering from one but a number of consecutive bad harvests, and a strong feeling of discontent arose from the fact that the Government would not give to the people that to which they were entitled; a better security in the tenure of their land. In consequence of this want of security, great numbers had emigrated for the purpose of fighting the battles of the Northern States. The people would do anything rather than remain at home, in consequence of knowing that they did not obtain that remuneration which they ought to receive from their industry and labour. The small farmers of Ireland built their own houses, drained their own land, and supplied their own labour. In England these improvements were effected partly at the expense of the landlord, and partly at the expense of the tenant. He had read with great satisfaction the remarks recently made by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), on the subject of tenant-right; and was convinced that unless something was done for the tenantry of this country as well as that of Ireland considerable discontent, if not distress, would follow as a necessary result. The people of Ireland were now suffering, as they had suffered for centuries, and it was a well-known fact, that if the population now amounted to 8,000,000 or 9,000,000, as it did thirty years ago, instead of being under 6,000,000, the people would be in a state of starvation. Those who remained at home were in a very reduced condition, and those who emigrated carried with them, and cherished in foreign lands, a feeling of hostility, not towards their country, but towards the Government which had overlooked or disregarded their sufferings and their wrongs. Was not that a matter which should have been taken into consideration by the Ministry in framing Her Majesty's Speech? In a speech delivered the other day by the future Colleague of the hon. Member for Brighton, Professor Fawcett, that gentleman stated that there was not a class of men in any community who, after leaving their own country and obtaining employment elsewhere, could be compared with the people of Ireland for their industry, perseverance, and easy management. That opinion, expressed by a Professor of Cambridge, was corroborated by the opinion of a Professor of Oxford, Mr. Goldwin Smith, who had pointed out the advantages which 60 America had derived from Irish emigration, stating that the Americans ought to look on the Irish people as great benefactors. He (Mr. Brady) complained of the conduct of the Government in passing over the land question, which was the real cause of the calamities of the people of Ireland. Why should they pass over the land question, a question deeply interesting to the people of Ireland, and congratulate them upon the excellent harvest with which they, the Government, had nothing to do? Reference had been made to India; but the inhabitants of that country were discontented, and another rebellion might take place unless a better system of management was pursued. They, the people of India, ought to have fixity of tenure and better security for the labour which they bestowed on the land; should they not obtain proper security, no man, having the feelings of a man, would say that they ought not to be discontented. In conclusion, he wished to express a hope that the paragraph would be expunged, and one would be inserted calculated to give hope and confidence to Ireland.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, that he had to complain of several omissions in 'Her Majesty's Speech. He deeply regretted that, in the last Session of this Parliament, the Government were about to make no effort to redeem the pledges which they gave on their accession to office. Six years ago they overturned the Government of Lord Derby on the question of Reform. It was true that a Bill was brought in by the then Lord John Russell; but it was introduced with so much lukewarmness, and was so almost entirely unsupported by the Members of the Government, that at last, upon the Motion of an hon. Gentleman who had that day ceased to be a Member of the House, it was postponed. Hon. Gentlemen opposite went to the hustings pledged to that Reform Bill. They would shortly have to meet their constituents again, and what answers would they have to give when questioned upon this subject? What opportunity could be better suited to the introduction of a Reform Bill than a quiet time like the present, when we had at the head of the Government a statesman of such experience and ability as the noble Lord? Pledged as the Opposition itself was to some reform, he believed that a great opportunity had been lost for carrying such a measure as he, as a moderate Reformer, should like to see passed, for he somewhat 61 differed from the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) on that point. We know not how long the present period of tranquillity may continue. He was sorry that the time had passed when a moderate Reform Bill might have become the law of the land. The opportunity had been lost, and an election would shortly take place. The probability was that a Reform Bill would then be introduced, but no one could say under what auspices. If a Reform Bill should then pass a new election would be necessary, and it should not be forgotten that each election cost somewhere about £2,000,000. But that was taking a low view of the subject. His astonishment at the absence from the Royal Speech of any mention of Reform was increased by the remembrance of the remarkable speech upon the subject which was delivered last year by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer; because he could not for a moment believe that his right hon. Friend would make such a speech merely for the sake of gaining popularity, or without thoroughly meaning every word that he said. He (Mr. Henry Seymour) owned that he did not understand the position of the right hon. Gentleman now that no Reform Bill was proposed by the Cabinet; and he felt certain that if the eloquent speech to which he had referred had been delivered four years ago the fate of the measure then before the House would have been very different from what it was. If, however, there was to be no Reform Bill, the Government ought to devote the present period of tranquillity to the carrying out of other domestic reforms; but he saw no signs of any such measures in the meagre programme which had been laid before the House. The Ministry of Education was in a most anomalous position. Nominally the head of that Department was the President of the Council, but last year the Vice President was turned out of his post because of the unsatisfactory conduct of the Department. The time had arrived when the Education Department, like that of Trade, ought to be separated from the Privy Council and placed under a President of Education who should be responsible for the estimates and for the conduct of the Department. At present that responsibility was divided, and no one knew where to look for it. Under the high officer whom he should like to see appointed ought to be placed the control of our highest educational institutions, such 62 as the British Museum and the South Kensington Museum, upon which the country annually lavished large sums, which were spent in a most unsatisfactory manner. There was another subject which was touched upon in the Royal Speech— he alluded to the state of Ireland, and he could not in alluding to it help saying that he regarded the condition of that country as a disgrace to England as a civilized, nation. Ireland had of late years been decreasing in wealth and population and increasing in discontent, and what was the remedy for such a position of affairs suggested by the Government? Why, that the whole Catholic population should leave the island. For his own part, the time had now arrived, he thought, for carrying out the policy of Pitt and completing the union between the two countries by the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant. If that step were followed by other measures in reference to education and matters of similar importance, that thorough amalgamation of the two countries which was so desirable, and which had been begun more than half a century ago, might be affected. But there was another topic on which a paragraph had been vouchsafed in the Royal Speech, and to which he wished briefly to refer. The House was informed that India was tranquil, and it was also the fact that an important office in that country had been lately filled by the appointment of Mr. Massey to the post of Finance Minister. He believed, however, that Mr. Massey, for whose character and great abilities he had the highest respect, had never directed his attention to the particular business of the department over which he was going to preside; and to send out a man to administer an office who must spend at least two or throe years in making himself conversant with the duties which he would have to perform was, he could not help thinking, a waste of precious time which India could ill afford. He would further observe, that it was currently reported that a large deficit was expected in the Indian finances this year; and how, he should like to know, would the case stand if there should be a reconciliation between the Northern and Southern States of America, if this country were flooded with American cotton, and if Indian cotton, as a consequence, became depreciated in price? He had long differed from the policy which had been pursued by his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India in that 63 portion of Her Majesty's dominions; and the time was, he thought, fast approaching when his opposition to it would be acknowledged to have been based on good grounds. If he read aright the speeches of the hon. Member for Manchester, he learned from them that the quality of Indian cotton was not at all improved, and that the condition in which it was sent to our markets now was as bad as before the American war broke out. Wow why, he should like to know, was that the case? He maintained that it was because of the poverty of the ryots in India, and the want of a superior class of agriculturists to cultivate the plant; nor could that state of things be remedied so long as agriculture was starved. Now, how came it to pass that such was the position in which agriculture in India was placed? It was owing to the refusal of the Secretary of State for India to alter the tenure of the soil, so that the large amount of capital which was accumulated was not laid out in agricultural improvement. Would any hon. Member whom he addressed, he would ask, erect farm buildings on land, held under the Government on a thirty years' tenure, and with no certainty that his rent might not at the expiration of that period be increased to any amount the Government might please to name? Could money be borrowed on land in England, if the Government happened to have a rent-charge on it of 30 or 40 per cent? Fabulous accounts had reached us of the wealth which had recently been accumulated in Bombay, where silver was used by some of the natives in making tires for the wheels of their chariots and where bubble companies were springing up in every direction. Nothing, however, was heard of the application of capital to the soil, which was at the root of the improvement of the quality of the cotton produced. The consequence would be, as he had said before, a fall in the value of Indian cotton whenever the American war ceased, and a consequent increased deficit. He had made these observations because he had deemed it to be his duty, as a liberal Member of Parliament, to speak out his mind, and to express his regret that they who were called the party of progress should, while they refused to alter the qualifications of the electoral body, also hesitate to carry out other important social reforms. Unfortunately, as things at present stood, we had one portion of our Ministers opposed to all ecclesiastical reform, another 64 to all electoral reform, while the Radicals in the Ministry were quite content with the honour of being sleeping partners. There was a party in America called the "Know Nothings," and the great Liberal party in that House might, he thought, very appropriately be called the "Do Nothings." He should wish to see the stigma implied in such an appellation removed from them, so that they might when they went to the hustings be able to point to work really done, instead of relying on the unmeaning cry of "Palmerston for ever ! No politics and no principles!"
§ MR. R. LONG
said, he did not rise for the purpose of offering any special criticism on the speeches of the hon. Baronet who moved, and the hon. and gallant Member who seconded the Address, for in some of their remarks he was sure both sides of the House would concur, more especially in the hope expressed by the gallant Member for the Montgomeryshire Burghs, that ere long Her Most Gracious Majesty might again gladden by her presence the hearts of her subjects on those occasions on which her presence added so much to the solemnity of the ceremonial. He was, however, not at all surprised at those shortcomings on the part of his political leaders of which the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. H. Seymour) so feelingly complained. Nobody, he thought, who had studied the history of the Whig party, could have failed to perceive that there was a melancholy consistency in the line of conduct which they pursued. Their policy seemed to be based on a series of pledges loosely given and instantaneously broken. They were in the habit of raising the wind in any way that best suited their purpose, and filling their sails with what some of the right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench termed the spirit of the age, and then leaving it to others to fulfil the promises which they had made, forgetting "reform," "economy," "retrenchment"—those big words by the use of which they had won their way to place. Indeed, it often occurred to him that a good description of a Whig in office was "an ugly dog well muzzled." But there were other causes of complaint than those which had been urged against them by the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Henry Seymour). The agricultural constituencies might, he thought, very fairly feel somewhat indignant that no notice was taken in the Speech of the difficulties against which they had so long struggled, 65 and that no allusion was made to a subject which now attracted so much of public notice—he meant the abolition of the malt tax. He was not going at present to enter upon that question, because it would be brought before them shortly in a definite form. He believed that one of the best measures which could be passed for agriculturists would be one giving to large tenant-farmers a control over the local taxation of their counties. But, passing from that point, he wished to say a few words on the subject of Ireland. He was not, he must confess, surprised that the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Scully) should have taken exception to the way in which that country had been mentioned by Her Majesty's Ministers. He (Mr. B. Long) had spent last winter in Ireland with the view of making himself acquainted with its position, and ascertaining how it came to pass that, while England was basking in the sunshine of prosperity, the Irish people should be in a state of the most appalling destitution. He felt so horrified at the state of the country that he was unable adequately to express his indignation. People among the noblest on God's earth had been so reduced and degraded, he believed in his conscience, by English legislation; and, if legislation were answerable for these results, it must be remembered that for thirty years it had been in the hands of hon. Gentlemen opposite. As an English country Gentleman, he felt ashamed of things as they were; he wished he could change them, but he must wash his hands of any responsibility for bringing them about. Every man of common sense, whatever his creed or political opinions, on spending a short time in Ireland, must see that absenteeism was the curse of the country, and that all possible measures ought to be adopted to remove it. If hon. Members believed that penal legislation would be effectual in working a cure, he should be prepared to vote for penal legislation. [A laugh.] He agreed with hon. Gentlemen who laughed—he did not believe that penal legislation would be the best mode. There were two methods of treatment —the cold wind and the warm sun. For his part, he preferred the warm sun. The other day there had been the finest opportunity of giving a severe blow to the absentee system, and Government should have availed themselves of it; not to abolish the Lord Lieutenancy, as 66 one hon. Gentleman had suggested, but to absorb the Lord Lieutenancy in Royalty itself by sending over the Prince of Wales. [Laughter.] He did not see anything to laugh at in the proposition that a member of the Royal Family should take up his residence in Ireland for two or three months in every year. How did the House suppose that loyalty was kept alive in the hearts of a nation? This much he ventured to declare—that if the residences of Royalty in England were as infrequent as they were in Ireland, England would be the most disloyal country on the face of the earth. Notice had been given by an hon. Member of his intention to discuss the condition of Ireland at length, and therefore he (Mr. E. Long) should not attempt to do so on the present occasion. It was only his warm love for the country and close connection with it that emboldened him to offer, what he should not otherwise think of doing, the experience gained by a few months' residence in that country. He would support any measure, come from what side of the House it might, that would benefit Ireland. He did not care whether an Ultramontane or a Protestant proposed it. He would support any proposal that would benefit that sadly debased people—debased, he meant, by the effects of legislation, and not in any other sense. But such measures must be well considered; they must not be confined to careering over the country, making Protestant speeches at Enniskillen, or declaring that a Minister of the Crown did "not care three rows of pins for Dr. Cullen." What Ireland wanted was a government strong enough to be just, and just enough to be strong. Had the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) shown that he really did not fear Dr. Cullen and his party, by upholding in Dublin the Party Emblems Act, which the Government were so fond of enforcing in Belfast? Had he refused to allow Dublin to be given up to a mob, the worst and wildest in that city, he should have felt much more confidence in the right hon. Baronet's administration as Chief Secretary, in his professions of desire to benefit Ireland, and in his regard for the supremacy of English law, and desire that the laws should be impartially administered. He had not any great hope that by a Whig Government much would be done for Ireland. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had been something like fifty years in office, and what had been ever done for Ireland? What 67 might be accomplished by the side of the House opposed to his Government were it in power was a different question, yet to be solved. He (Mr. R. Long) had declared his readiness to accept any measure beneficial to Ireland, come from what part of the House it might; but he hoped this would not be construed into any recommendation or recognition of the alliance which was said to exist between the Conservative leaders and the Ultramontane party. If he wished to give advice utterly destructive of the hopes of that party ever to govern the country, he should counsel them to lend themselves to the scheme of an Ultramontane alliance. But in the particular object of which he was now speaking, there was room enough for all; and being from his position utterly removed from the suspicion of wishing to make political capital in Ireland, he renewed his declaration that a project, come from where it might, to benefit that country should have his warmest support.
said, he trusted that the statement in the Royal Speech that the Estimates had been framed with a due regard to the efficiency of the public service, as well as economically, would turn out to be quite accurate; because he was afraid that in the run for popularity, which would shortly come between the two parties, the efficiency of the public service might be sacrificed to economical views, and a desire unduly to remit taxation. He was induced to say this, because recently important national works in the shape of fortifications at Milford Haven had been stopped, and much disappointment was felt at the withdrawal of the military force in that quarter. He did not mean to criticise military arrangements, but he thought a great mistake would be committed if Volunteers, instead of being considered as an addition to our military force, were regarded as a substitute for it.
§ MR. MAGUIRE
said, he could not agree with that portion of Her Majesty's Speech which included Ireland in its description of the general prosperity of the kingdom. He had always been foremost in urging upon his countrymen the duty and necessity of self-reliance; for he was convinced that, whatever Government might do, nothing effectual could be done for the salvation of Ireland unless Irishmen depended on themselves. But it was idle for Government officials and pamphleteers to taunt Irishmen with want of self- 68 reliance, and to assume that Government had no responsibility whatever in the matter. While he put a large share of the responsibility on the natural leaders of the people, he did assert that a larger share belonged to the Government, and one from which the Government could not escape. Governments, whether Whig or Tory, were too much inclined to go into partnership with Providence in these matters. If harvests were favourable and abundant, the Ministry took credit for good government, and the consequent contentment of the people. If the harvest were bad and deficient, the favourite course, apparently, was to deny the fact. For three years he had ineffectually struggled to get the Chief Secretary to admit the existence of distress in Ireland. The hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Henry Seymour) had asked a question which was most pregnant with regard to India, but was equally so with respect to Ireland. "What," said the hon. Gentleman, "will the ryots be induced to build farm-houses and make farm improvements with leases of only thirty years, and those leases held under the Government? Not at all, because they will be afraid that the Government will raise the rent at the end of thirty years." But what was the condition of the ryots of Ireland? Had they leases for thirty years? Why, nine-tenths of the tenant-farmers of Ireland, who were the ryots in this part of the world, had no leases at all, and there was no law unless one so niggard and vexatious that they could not put that faith in it that would induce them to make improvements, or compensate them if those improvements were stolen from them. The hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Long) stated that he had been alarmed and horrified at the condition of Ireland. If an Irish Member had used that language it would be said that he had exaggerated the state of the case. He must, however, remark that the cause of the misery which was going on in Ireland was not traceable to the violation of-the Party Emblems Act, it was not traceable to religious differences, or to non-residence of a member of the Royal Family; but it was traceable to the want of large, liberal, and generous laws, which would stimulate the energies of the people, and give them such a hope in the prosperity of their country that the attractions of America would gradually fade from the national vision. During the last year 120,000 people had crossed the ocean from 69 Ireland to a country in which trade was bad, commerce interrupted, and war raging, and all that notwithstanding the diminution of the Irish population. Now, did not that fact show the existence of something wrong which the Government ought to endeavour to remove? If the Government, if not in this at least in the next Parliament, took up this matter they would have the power to save the country and stop the tide of emigration, which was carrying away not merely the bone and sinew of Ireland, but a great deal of the strength and power of the Empire. He knew a case in which the whole side of a county had been in the hands of two proprietors who gave neither leases nor encouragement, and on one estate the habit was to keep the tenants in constant terror of notice to quit. Fortunately those estates were purchased by persons of a different mind, who gave liberal leases, and in one month after the leases wore signed money which was never thought to exist began to show itself in improvements. One of the tenants fell ill and sent for the doctor from Skibbereen. "Oh, doctor," said he, "'twas that cousin of yours in Cork that destroyed me. When I was tenant of Mr. So-and-So and had no lease I did not care much what became of the land. But when we got leases for ninety-nine years from your cousin, the new agent, all the tenants fell to work, and I was up to my middle in water trying to drain the lands, and so I caught the rheumatism. 'Tis your cousin I blame for it all." He (Mr. Maguire) spoke with the full weight of responsibility. In his own city he had been intrusted with the preservation of the peace for three years, and had done his best to set an example. But if it were the last time that he was to stand on the floor of that House he would raise his warning voice in no exaggerated words, but solemnly and sincerely; and declare, on the authority of those who felt the pulse of the people of Ireland, that there was such discontent and dissatisfaction in that country that nothing but just laws could turn the hearts of the people towards the Government. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland deplored the other day that the people were leaving the country and carrying with them to another land a feeling of hostility towards England. He (Mr. Maguire) saw before him the man who before long would lead the great Liberal party, and he appealed to him and to those on the other (the 70 Ministerial) side of the House not to shirk this question. The interests of India were important, but the interests of Ireland were more important still. The Lord Lieutenant had spoken rightly when he said that the feelings which the Irish people carried across the Atlantic would influence the policy of American statesmen. The number of Irishmen by descent or birth in the Northern and Southern States of America was equal to the entire population of Ireland; and, energetic as they were, and animated by a hatred of England, into what calamities might they not be the means of precipitating the two countries? Now he, as a man wishing for the prosperity of his own country, and that no hostile foot might ever stand upon its soil, was anxious that the statesmen of England should look a little nearer, and, without troubling themselves so much about disorders abroad, try to heal the sore which was in the very bosom and heart of the Empire. Let not the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. B. Long) believe that the visit of Her Majesty, welcome as that would be, would heal the wounds of Ireland. That would be merely applying a bit of Court plaister over a deep ulcer. The people would be glad to see Her Majesty, but, starving as many of them were, and hopeless of improvement, they did not want the mere sunshine of Royalty or the glitter of courtly pageantry. What they did want was just laws. Let the House give them just laws that would liberate the arms of the people, and give them a field for their exertion.
§ MR. B. LONG
explained that he had adverted to absenteeism as the worst evil in the social condition of Ireland, and that he regarded the occasional residence of a member of the Royal Family in that country as a means of correcting that evil.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
There can be no doubt, Sir, that the question which has been raised by the hon. Member for Dungarvau (Mr.Maguire) requires more lengthened consideration than it can receive on the present occasion. I was very much struck by an observation which fell from my hon. Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. Scully), that English Members knew very little about Ireland; and, after listening to the speeches of the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. B. Long), and the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. H. Seymour), the observation was still more forcibly impressed upon my mind. The hon. Member for 71 Poole may or may not have been in Ireland, but he proclaimed that the Government of that country was the worst of any civilized nation on the face of the earth, clearly indicating that he can know nothing of the Government of that country. As regards the observations of the hon. Member for Chippenham, I should be sorry to accept the picture drawn by him. I believe he limited his vision to the confines of the county of Wicklow. [Mr. R. LONG: No, no !] Well, then, he visited other parts of Ireland, and he said that the condition of the country was most appalling. The hon. Member for Dungarvan refused to give his adhesion to that statement.
said, he must beg to explain. He had simply said, that if an Irish Member had indulged in language of the same description he would have been charged with exaggeration.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
The hon. Member for Chippenham stated to this House that the Irish people were a debased and mutilated people. I ask whether that is not language which the hon. Member for Dungarvan would repudiate as exaggeration. What were the remarks that fell from the hon. Member for Chippenham, this new champion of Irish nationality? He said that the state of Ireland was a disgrace to the world, and that for the last thirty years the party represented by the present Government have had the administration of the country, and that all the laws have emanated from them. But the hon. Member, and those who sit on the same side of the House, have had the opportunity of suggesting legislation for Ireland. Why did they not do so? What does the hon. Member propose? He says that the remedy for the state of things in Ireland is not to have the Lord Lieutenant there, but to pass penal laws against absenteeism, and force the Prince of Wales to live there. I put it to the House whether, if the state of Ireland is such as the hon. Gentleman describes, the presence of the Prince of Wales can be in any degree serviceable. It would be more like condemning him to transportation and penal servitude. I am prepared in any debate which may take place not only to vindicate the conduct of the Government, but to show that the condition of the country has greatly improved. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Scully) found fault with the Speech from the Throne. He said it would have been better not to have alluded to Ireland at all, and declared that it was a 72 provocation to allude to the gleam of sun -shine and hope now visible in that country. But, observe the difficult position in which the Government are placed. I recollect that in 1860 no allusion was made to Ireland in the Queen's Speech, and then it was said that Ireland ought to have been mentioned. And now, when we do allude to Ireland and its improved condition, we are told that it is a provocation which ought not to have been given. I maintain that there is an evident improvement in the enterprise and the condition of the people, and that the Government are, therefore, perfectly justified in referring to the advantage Ireland has derived from her share in the good harvest, and to the extension of her trade and manufactures. I believe that the statement made by the hon. Member for Dungarvan as to the numbers who have left Ireland during the past year is not exactly correct. No doubt emigration still continues to a large extent. The hon. Member, however, said that 120,000 persons had left the Irish shores since the last year. Now, the statistics show that there has been a diminution of emigration in 1864 as compared with 1863. In 1862 there were about 70,000 emigrants; in 1863, 117,000; while last year, 1864, the number was only 114,000, showing a diminution, although a small one, in the number of persons leaving the country. It would, however, be wrong to suppose that the population of Ireland has been diminishing in proportion to the numbers who have left it. Since the Census of 1861, up to the present date, more than 350,000 persons have undoubtedly left the soil of Ireland with the intention of not returning to it. According to the latest statistics, however, the population of Ireland has diminished by only 128,000, the difference being due to the increase of births over deaths. The hon. Member for Dungarvan referred to the wide-spread distress that existed in Ireland, but the information we receive does not bear out that statement. The only district in Ireland in which distress can be said to have existed during the last three months has been the county of Galway. There have been, no doubt, much pressure, suffering, and want of employment there on the part of the poor; but the inhabitants have contributed funds and have provided employment for 300 or 400 persons on public works. It is worthy of observation, that although the Union workhouse of Galway 73 provides accommodation for more than 1,000 persons, yet, according to the last Return, there were only 520 persons in the house, and on the 14th of January there were only fire persons in receipt of outdoor relief. This does not indicate so gloom}' a state of things as some are inclined to suppose; and I trust it will be found before long that this partial distress has been relieved. There has been a vast improvement in the returns of agricultural produce in Ireland during the last year. It is an undoubted fact that Ireland has passed through three very serious and distressing years, but last year was one of improvement and promise. There has recently been a movement in Ireland to which the Government have given a considerable impetus. During the past year the occupiers of land have been urged to sow their ground with flax, and what has been the result? Nearly 100,000 more acres have been under flax cultivation than in the year previous. During the past year there have been over 300,000 acres under the flax crop. Let me put the value of that to the House in three sentences. In Ireland the flax is worth about 7s. 6d. per stone, so that the intrinsic value of 300,000 acres of that crop when brought to market is over £4,000,000. I ask the hon. Gentleman who drew so pathetic a picture of the state of the country whether this is not an indication of the advancing prosperity of Ireland? Then there is a large number of people employed in the manufacture of linen, and a large number also engaged at worsted work. I contend, therefore, that, apart from this distress in Galway, I am justified in saying that the condition of Ireland is one of improvement. Look at the returns for the various ports—Dublin, Cork, Belfast, and Londonderry, and they afford evidence of this improvement. I will not enter into details on the subject this evening, because I shall have an opportunity of doing so on an early occasion; but referring to a speech recently made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell), and directing the attention of hon. Members to that speech, I may be permitted to say that I should prefer to rely on the opinion of that right hon. Gentleman as to the increasing prosperity and hopefulness of the condition of Ireland, rather than on the views entertained either by my hon. Friend the Member for Poole, or the hon. Gentleman the Member for Chippenham. 74 I am convinced that there is a spirit of enterprise now becoming manifest in Ireland; that there is an improved feeling as regards what may be effected for the country, which justifies our best hopes for the future; and I only hope that, during the present year, we may see the prospects of the past year even improving, and that after the three years' suffering which she has just undergone, Ireland may arrive at that position to which certainly she was advancing before the date of those disastrous years.
§ LORD FERMOY
said, he did not at all agree with the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. H. Seymour) in thinking that the last Session of a Parliament was the proper time for Her Majesty's Government to bring in a Reform Bill. In common with hon. Gentlemen who had spoken in support of the Government, he deplored the fact that the Government and the House had not at an earlier period of the existence of the present Parliament grappled with the question of Reform. There had, indeed, been many other important questions to consider, and the country also had been apathetic:—but if the question were mooted just when Parliament was about to be dissolved it would be dropped, as it had been dropped before. He should much prefer a measure being deliberately brought forward after the question had been fully discussed at the hustings. To introduce a measure now would lay the House open to a charge of insincerity on the part of those constituents who were about to be appealed to. Some very able and also some very singular speeches had been made that night on the subject of Ireland, which showed the growing interest with which the affairs of that country were regarded. The speech of the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Long) did as much credit to his head as it did to his heart. But on this question of Ireland, he (Lord Fermoy) regretted that the Speech from the Throne (which was said always to be made up piecemeal by respective Cabinet Ministers) should contain exaggerations as to the state of that country. It was going beyond the fact to state there had been a really good harvest in Ireland. He felt quite assured that the paragraph as to Ireland had not been furnished by the very able and intelligent nobleman who had recently gone over to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant, for his Excellency was applying his able and 75 practical mind to plumb the state of the country; and no one who had any means of knowing the exact truth would state that the last harvest in Ireland, looking at it as a whole, was a good one, or that the country itself was in a state of anything like prosperity. There had previously been three very bad harvests, three of the worst ever seen in Ireland, and, as compared with those, the last might be called a good one; but, taken by itself, it was not more than an average one. The wheat crop was only about two-thirds of an average one, while the price, which had formerly been as much as 30s. and 35s. per sack of twenty stone, was only 21s. As to oats, there had never at any time been so bad a crop as that cut last harvest. Barley was an average crop, but the price was low. Turnips, now an important portion of the Irish harvest, was next to a total failure; there was not anything like the third of an average crop. The people could not have borne up against the shortcomings of the other kinds of produce, only the potatoes were a good crop. For milk and butter, especially butter, very high prices had been got; but, on the whole, the harvest was not more than an average one. Except for that, there would be no sign of prosperity among the agriculturists of Ireland. Reference had been made to the west of Ireland, and to Galway especially, with which he was well acquainted, although he was not connected with it by any ties of property. He thought the right hon. Baronet dealt in too off-hand a manner with the question of distress in Galway. At this moment he believed the distress there was positively appalling, and there was very small means of meeting it. Statistics were very good in moderation, but they were apt to mislead when applied without a practical knowledge of the country. His right hon. Friend argued that the distress could not be very great, because there were only six people on outdoor relief in Galway town. He denied that that was any criterion of the destitution. The circumstances of the place were peculiar. It had no commerce, and a large number of the inhabitants were dependent on fishing for a precarious livelihood. Now, at this moment, as he was informed, the poor rate in that unfortunate town was no less than l1s. in the pound—an amount of taxation which was palpably ruinous. Surely, then, this was peculiarly a case in which the Government ought to interfere, 76 in a moderate way, to relieve the distress. A small sum expended on public works would be of great service, and he understood that both the Custom House and barracks were falling into decay and needed repairs. Let the helpless people be set to work to repair them. The Chief Secretary for Ireland attached great importance to the increase in the cultivation of flax in Ireland. Now he (Lord Fermoy) believed the only part of Ireland in which prosperity was to be found was the North, in which manufactures were united with agriculture. The establishment of the flax manufacture had undoubtedly contributed to the prosperity of the North; but that prosperity had been the growth of years, arising from the people having become familiarized with the flax manufacture. It would be futile and useless for statesmen to suppose that the present distress could be alleviated by the introduction of the flax cultivation to other parts of Ireland. Prosperity arising from such cultivation could only be the work of time, and their children were more likely to witness it than themselves. With respect to the granting of ninety-nine years' leases, here again he thought the right hon. Baronet had been too sanguine, because it would take a long time to induce the majority of the Irish landlords to accede to such a proposal, and distress, so far as alleviation from this source was concerned, would continue in the meantime. The real method of making Ireland prosperous would be by uniting manufactures with agriculture. There were other subsidiary means of helping the struggling poor of Ireland, and he thought the Irish railway companies whose lines ran between Dublin and the south and Galway would do well to imitate the practice of other companies, and make concessions as to the back carriage of empty boxes. This would be a great impetus to the fish and provision trades, where the dealers could not afford such expenses.
§ SIR FRANCIS CROSSLEY
differed altogether from some of the opinions expressed both by the noble Lord who had just sat down and the hon. Member for Dungarvan, when they said that the prosperity of Ireland could only be promoted by extending the manufactures of the north to every other part of the country. He said that that was impossible. We found that the manufactures in England were more or less concentrated in the north, as they were also in Ireland. 77 Manufactures were of slow growth, and required a long time to establish themselves. He was glad to find that Ireland had taken so good a position as regarded her linen trade, and he had no doubt that as long as they persevered in that manufacture they would succeed. If the prosperity of Ireland were to be postponed until the manufactures of the north were disseminated throughout the south, the east, and the west of that country, then they would never see her prosperous. He had listened with attention to the hon. Member for Dungarvan, but had not been able to get at what the hon. Member was driving at. The hon. Member complained of the bad harvest, and consequent distress in Ireland. The hon. Member had called upon the House to do justice to Ireland; but the hon. Gentleman had altogether failed to inform them in what way they had done injustice to his country. If that were stated, then there could be an attempt made to remedy it. It was useless to complain of the failure of certain crops. If the turnip crop had failed that was no reason for accusing this country. We had had also failures of crops in this country; but the English farmers did not come to the House of Commons in dry seasons and complain that Parliament did not give them rain. He must differ from the noble Lord in respect to his observation upon the subject of a new Reform Bill. He (Sir Francis Crossley) thought it much better to deal with the question in the present Session than to postpone it until the election of anew Parliament; because we know how reluctant Members were to vote for Reform when they knew that the result of such a measure would be to send them back to their constituents, He therefore thought that the question could be considered with the greatest advantage in the present Session, when there was no foreign question of any great moment to occupy their minds. The working man wanted a share in the representation of the country, and he would never rest satisfied until that right was conceded to him, nor ought he to be.
said, the Government had, since the prorogation of Parliament, taken a step which was of very considerable importance, more especially in as far as it touched our friendly relations with the Government of Washington. It would be remembered, that on the last day of the Session he had the honour of submitting to the House some considerations on the 78 subject of the then proposed recognition of the Imperial Government of Mexico; and, in answer to his representations, the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) was so good as to make a statement which was worded with that precision which hardly ever deserted him. He spoke, he believed, with an accurate recollection of the words. The noble Lord said—If we find matters still uncertain and a war going on which may result one way or the other, we should say that is not a state of things which would justify us in recognising the Archduke of Austria as the Emperor of Mexico.That was the assurance which the noble Lord gave to the House in the month of July. A very few months afterwards, Her Majesty's Government did propose to recognise the Archduke of Austria as the Emperor of Mexico. Of course, he was entitled to suppose, and he still supposed, that Her Majesty's Government must have had information which in their view justified them in taking such a step consistently with the assurance which they had given to the House. But he observed that, shortly after the actual recognition on the part of Her Majesty's Government, the President of the United States delivered his Message to Congress, in which he distinctly stated that the war in Mexico was still raging. Here, then, were two opposite authorities— Her Majesty's Government recognizing the Archduke as if the war had virtually come to an end, while the President of the United States informed the world that the war was still going on. When they came to inquire which of these authorities was best supported by fact, he was bound to say that the current of testimony was very strong in favour of the statement made by the President of the United States. Hardly any mail came from that part of the country without bringing some narrative corroborative of it. Judging from the accounts published so lately as December 28th by an organ trusted by the noble Lord and also by the French Government—he meant the Morning Post —there could be no doubt the campaign was going on in the south of Mexico, and it appeared that the French had met with a very serious reverse. At Ayucha, the capital of one of the States, it appeared further that almost the whole of the southern part of Mexico was now in the hands of the natives. It was true that Monterey, where Juarez had his head quarters, was lost, and that Mazatlan also had been taken; but, on the other hand, Acapulco had been 79 won by the Mexicans. It was of great importance that such a step as the recognition of this Government should not have been taken thoughtlessly, and he was bound to suppose that it had not been so; for the House was aware that the people of the United States had upon this subject a feeling, which he owned appeared to him to be not based on right principles, but which, nevertheless, was entertained by them with a degree of enthusiasm hardly exceeded by what they felt on the subject of the civil war, maintaining as they did the Monroe doctrine, and forming, as they seemed to have done, the determination to make all sacrifices rather than permanently allow the establishment of any European Government in the State of Mexico. Under these circumstances, he trusted the Government would be prepared to lay papers before the House showing the grounds on which, after the decided assurance given by the noble Lord, they felt themselves justified in recognising the Archduke of Austria as the Emperor of Mexico. He hoped he might express a hope that such papers were now ready to be laid on the table. Last year there had been great delay in the production of papers, but the honour of the Government required that not an hour should be lost in showing that the recognition of the Archduke as Emperor of Mexico was an act consistent with the deliberate assurance which the noble Lord had given to the House.
§ COLONEL SYKES,
referring to that part of Her Majesty's Speech which related to Bhootan, one of the wildest regions on the face of the earth, and which was almost literally in the clouds, between Assam and Thibet, and whose chief productions were rocks and jungle, said, the outrage complained of originated in our sending a deputation there to endeavour to make an arrangement with the Government which we were not invited to make, and which that Government repudiated. Our Minister was no doubt treated with insult; but why did we go there and expose ourselves to insult? Our Government justified the maintenance of 70,000 Europeans in India to look after our Indian army, because we would not trust the Native troops with arms in their hands. These Europeans, then, with such distrust, should accompany Native troops on all services throughout India. But what was the fact? Four brigades of Native troops had gone to Bhootan, and the only 80 Europeans were those with the Artillery. What, then, became of the argument about the necessity of having 70,000 European soldiers in India to look after the native troops, and exhausting the youthful blood and sinew of England for that purpose? With regard to the late cyclone, it was most calamitous, about 60,000 human beings having been suddenly swept into eternity in Calcutta and the neighbouring districts. But the disaster also extended to the mouth of the Kistnah, and destroyed 12,000 more persons at Masulipatam. And here he must notice the generous and openhanded way in which the native gentry of India came forward to relieve the distress arising from this calamity, and that a distress, too, not occurring in their own locality. It was a remarkable fact that in the neighbourhood of Calcutta less was contributed towards the relief of this misery than from Western India. From the gentry of Bombay, men unconnected with Calcutta by community of feeling, the most munificent donations were received. He must now warn the House as to coming events in the far East. He regretted to find there was not one word in the Speech about unhappy China, which was now in a state of almost universal anarchy, misery, and suffering, brought about by our policy, our interference, our breaches of neutrality, and outbroken pledges. The anarchy existing throughout the provinces was extending also to the Council at Pekin, from the conduct of two ambitious men, Seng-ko-linsin and Tseng-kwo-fan, both of them anti-foreigners whose rivalry might jeopardise the safety of foreigners in Pekin. Then, what were we doing in Japan? It was said that we had taken the law into our own hands in consequence of the infringement of a treaty which we had concluded with the Government of Japan. But he maintained that we had not now, and never had, a treaty with the Emperor of that country, as our Government well knew. What we had was a treaty with one of the Japanese nobles, a chief named the Tycoon, who had told us officially that he had no power whatever beyond his own province, no more than a Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex had over a Lord Lieutenant of Surrey. There were 700 of these nobles in Japan. It was sought to make the English people believe that the Emperor of Japan was a mere spiritual potentate who sat constantly in his temple, and that the Tycoon was de facto 81 temporal Emperor. But the Mikado was as much, a temporal Emperor as the Emperor of China, who performed both civil and spiritual functions. His position was also analogous to that of the Grand Lama of Thibet, the Pope of Rome, or an ancient Roman Emperor, who was pontifex maximus as well as supreme civil ruler. This our diplomatists ought to have known, but they had chosen to make a treaty with the Tycoon at Jeddo, and they now wished to make the Mikado or real Emperor, and all the other princes of the empire, responsible for his act. Two more of our subjects, Major Baldwin and Lieutenant Bird of the 20th Foot, had just been murdered in Japan, and we must demand the punishment of the murderers. We did not get the culprits surrendered to us in the Richard-son case, and if resistance were made to our next demands, the troops we now had in Japan would not suffice to enforce compliance. Another expedition would, therefore, have to be sent out to that country, at the cost of the British taxpayers. The Emperor, called the Mikado, refused to sign the treaty we had made with one of his nobles, and if he encouraged the rest of the nobles to resist us, as he was disposed to do, and of which we had proofs in the cases of the Princes Satsuma and Choshiu, they would be quite ready to aid him. He sincerely trusted, however, that affairs in Japan would not be permitted to reach the extremity to which our policy had driven them in China.
§ SIR CHARLES WOOD
wished to correct a statement made by the gallant Colonel in respect to the injuries and insults received from the Bhootanese Government. Those injuries were not merely personal insults offered to our Envoy, but consisted of a series of outrages extending over a number of years. The Bhootanese had on different occasions made irruptions into the plains, murdered our subjects, and carried others into captivity whom they refused to release; and this state of things was not one of recent times only, but had been going on for more than twenty or thirty years past. It had, therefore, been felt necessary to check these lawless incursions. An expedition for the purpose of putting an end to such a course of intolerable conduct on the part of the Bhootanese had been projected before the mutinies, but was naturally postponed during their continuance. After India was 82 restored to tranquillity Lord Elgin had sent a mission to Bhootan in the hope of avoiding the necessity of hostile operations, and to induce the inhabitants to desist from their perpetual border raids. Several former missions had been received there with the greatest civility, and there had been no reason to suppose that Mr. Eden would have met with the treatment that had been offered to him— namely, the grossest possible insult, very narrowly escaping with his life, and, of course, without obtaining the slightest engagement either for the restoration of our captive subjects or for the cessation of these border raids. It was, therefore, felt imperatively necessary, for the protection of our fellow-subjects, that some means should be taken to prevent the repetition of such insults and outrages. It had been proposed to send troops into the interior of Bhootan in order to exact reparation from the Government, but he had been unwilling to sanction this course, as he felt it might be difficult, if not impossible, to leave the country again, from the state of utter disorganization in which the Government was. He proposed only to occupy a line of posts on a low range of hills commanding the passes, so as to be able to prevent the incursions of the plundering parties from the upper country. The Government did not, however, hope to obtain anything from the Bhootanese Government in the shape of compensation. The papers referring to this subject would be laid before the House, which would then see that they related to a matter not of isolated insult, but to a series of injuries which had been going on for many years. With respect to the observation of the gallant Colonel as to the loss of life at Calcutta and its neighbourhood by the late cyclone, he believed the loss of life had not been more than 30,000 persons; but he was sorry to say that in addition there was a loss of 30,000 more lives in two other districts, making a total loss in the three districts of 60,000 lives—a number that he feared was not exaggerated. He, in conclusion, observed that every assistance had been rendered to the sufferers by the Government officers on the spot, and the most generous subscriptions had been promptly raised at Bombay and in other parts of India for the relief of the suffering survivors.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Committee appointed.83
§ Committee appointed,
§ To draw up an Address to be presented to Her Majesty upon the said Resolution:—Sir HED-WORTH WILLIAMSON, Mr. HANBURY TRACT, VISCOUNT PALMERSTON, Mr. CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER, Sir GEORGE GREY, Mr. SECRETARY CARDWELL, Sir CHARLES WOOD, Mr. MILNER GIBSON, Mr. VILLIERS, Mr. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Sir ROBERT PEEL, The LORD ADVOCATE, and Mr. PEEL, or any Five of them;—To withdraw immediately.
§ Lords Commissioners' Speech referred.
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Nine o'clock.