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whose countenance there was generally | Lordships' House was on every occasion the evidence whether they were speaking expressed against such a proposition. He the truth or not, and it was only because therefore thought any attempt like the men who came forward in this way were present, to introduce such a principle by really scrupulous, that they did not save the stealthy medium of a clause in a meathemselves from trouble by taking the sure with which it had no sort of connecoath. At all events, there could be notion, should be firmly resisted by their question that it was for the interest of the Lordships. The noble and learned Lord community that the testimony of such per- (Lord St. Leonards) had shown the utter sons should be given, and given in the absurdity of adopting such a principle as manner binding on their consciences, this for the common law courts and excludnamely, upon affirmation. Let their tes- ing it from the courts of equity and every timony, therefore, be so given, valeat quan- | criminal court in the kingdom. Again, he tum. He admitted that testimony upon understood it had been announced that the oath was generally the most satisfactory, Attorney General intended to introduce in but if they could not get that, let them the other House a general Bill on this subget the next best testimony that they could.ject of oaths; and if that were so, such a It had been decided by Lord Hardwicke Bill would cover the whole question, and that a Hindoo witness should be sworn by render à partial measure like the present breaking a piece of china and throwing it wholly unnecessary. over his shoulder, because that was the LORD BROUGHAM could not admit form most binding upon his conscience; that the clause with regard to oaths that and that was manifestly the sound prin- had been introduced into this Common Law ciple to proceed upon. He (the Lord Procedure Bill was a clause that had no Chancellor) would not deny that it would natural connection with the general scope be more consistent with the principle if of the measure. On the contrary, he they extended it to every court in the king- thought there was a most natural connecdom; but he recollected that it was only tion between the two. Neither could he by slow degrees that great changes had allow the validity of the argument that hitherto been made. The first relaxation the want of completeness in the principle of the oath was made for the Quakers as it now stood was any reason against its alone, and was limited to civil proceedings adoption as a part of this Common Law only; and when that was done his noble Procedure Bill. He (Lord Brougham) and learned Friend might, if he had lived acted on the same principle as he had in those days, just as well have then urged hitherto followed, in giving his hearty suphis argument based on the inconsistency port to the whole of the great and most of the proceedings, and asked, "What! valuable improvements proposed by this do you want to have Quaker testimony, Bill-improvements as great and as valuand do you only require it in civil cases, able he believed as any that had been inand not in criminal proceedings?" A troduced, he would not say within their great lawgiver of antiquity said that they Lordships' recollection, but almost since must not look for the best laws, but for the period in which our Statutes had been the best laws possible under any given state in existence; and he gave that support of circumstances; and he (the Lord Chan- not less readily, although in some most cellor) said, that after the experiment now important particulars the Bill did not go proposed-if experiment it was-had been by any means so far as he could wish. tried, as it could be most safely and use. He (Lord Brougham) had himself had the fully tried in this instance, and had been honour of bringing forward two or three found to work successfully, as he believed separate Bills on important branches of it would do, then there would be no diffi- this subject-the law of evidence, the law culty in introducing a larger and more ge- of procedure, the unanimity of juries, and neral measure; and he trusted, indeed, other matters that were dealt with in this that the present measure might lead to Procedure Bill. Was he, then, to object to that beneficial result. this Bill, and give it his negative, because it did not go so far as the provisions of the Bills went to which he had obtained the sanction of their Lordships-in a great measure at least, although not in all their stages. The Arbitration Bill which he brought in last year, and which he had
THE EARL OF WICKLOW said, that the late Lord Chief Justice (Lord Denman), Session after Session brought in a general Bill, and not a political Bill of this nature, to relieve witnesses from the necessity of taking an oath, and the sense of their VOL. CXXXIII. [THIRD SERIES.]
List of CONTENTS.
brought in again this year, contained a Content 31; Not-Content 41: Majority vast number of most important provisions; 10. and although he did not succeed in prevailing upon the Select Committee to agree to them, there could be no doubt that the most important of his provisious were incorporated in the present Bill. He was Bath certainly of opinion-and it was perhaps a Drogheda natural impression for him to entertainthat the provisions rendering arbitrations Salisbury and references more effectual than they Beauchamp were now by law with respect to partnerships, charter-parties, and other points, were more effectually set forth in the Bills which he had introduced both in the last Session and in this; but still they were substantially acted upon in the Bill now Haddington under consideration, and therefore he felt Hardwicke deeply gratified, and he still lived in hopes. that the other provisions of his Bills would be carried out on some future occasion. For these reasons, highly approving of this Bill, as far as it went in all these respects, he cordially rejoiced that it was about to receive the sanction of their Lordships. Upon the question of the oaths, he had only one word to add, namely, that numerous instances had come before him of
cruel injustice being worked to the parties who were deprived of the benefit of the testimony of those persons whose consciences they might perhaps think were over scrupulous-but they had no right to say that they were over-scrupulous-that was assuming that these persons were wrong, and that we were right, which we were not justified in doing, for that assumption was the ground of all intolerance, and even of all persecution-we had no right, therefore, to say that they were over-scrupulous-they might be right in their scruples, although we thought that we were right; but that parties should be deprived of the benefit of testimony by means of the Legislature was a cruel injustice; and that persons should be liable to be imprisoned, and imprisoned too even for an indefinite time, because they, from conscientious scruples, refused to bear testimony in the manner required by the court, was, in his opinion, one of the most monstrous cases of injustice and cruelty combined of which any Legislature was ever guilty.
On Question, Resolved in the Affirmative; Bill read 3 accordingly.
LORD ST. LEONARDS moved the omission of Clause 21, which dispensed with the necessity of taking the oaths.
On Question, their Lordships divided:·
Colville of Culross
Amendments made; Bill passed, and sent to the Commons. House adjourned till To-morrow.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Tuesday, May 30, 1854.
The House met, and forty Members not being present at Four o'clock, Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House till Thursday.
OF LORD S,
Wednesday, May 31, 1854.
Their Lordships met, and, having transacted the Business on the Paper, House adjourned till To-morrow,
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Thursday, June 1, 1854.
MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS.-1a Criminal Law
2a Consolidated Fund (£8,000,000).
THE WAR WITH RUSSIA-DISEMBARK-
THE EARL OF ELLENBOROUGH: I rise to put a question to the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Newcastle) of which I have given him notice. I only put the question pro formá, as I cannot doubt what the answer will be. The question
is, whether a correspondence which has appeared in the Morning Chronicle of today, between Marshal de St. Arnaud and General Brown
THE EARL OF WICKLOW: I rise to order. It is the time for proceeding with the Orders of the Day (a quarter past five), and if your Lordships wish to adhere to your regulations, you will conform to the desire of those noble Lords who wish the Orders of the Day to be proceeded with. It is contrary to the orders of the House and its regulations that questions such as the noble Earl is putting should be put after the time for the Orders of the Day, and especially when the Orders have been called for.
THE EARL OF ELLENBOROUGH: My Lords, I am always disposed to maintain your Lordships' Orders, and now an objection has been raised whether I have the right to put this question now. I shall therefore give notice of it to-morrow; but I must say that if it is to be understood that no question of public importance arising in the course of the morning shall be put after the clock has passed the quarter, it is necessary for your Lordships to rescind that order. The correspondence to which I was referring bears evident marks of authenticity; and I call the attention of your Lordships to it because it has an important bearing on a subject which has been frequently introduced to this House since the commencement of the war— namely, the question whether the trans ports employed in the conveyance of troops to the East have with them a sufficient quantity of boats for the convenient embarkation and disembarkation of those troops. The letter to which I wish to call your Lordships' attention purports to be addressed by General Brown to Marshal de St. Arnaud, through Lord Raglan, and it
is in these terms:
"Scutari, May 7, 1854. "My Lord-In communicating to you the safe arrival in this port of the 93rd Regiment and of the second brigade of the Rifles, I should fail altogether in my duty if I did not inform your Lordship of the prompt and efficient assistance which I received for the embarkation of these troops from Admiral Bruat, General Canrobert, and all the French authorities residing at Gallipoli. Not
having on the spot any English vessel of war, and finding myself without any other means of establishing a communication with the steamers or transports but the very defective aid of the boats of the locality furnished by the Commissariat, it would have been impossible for me to effect that embarkation without a considerable loss of time,
had it not been for the aid of our allies. In such
circumstances, I did not hesitate to apply to the
French admiral and general, whose readiness to lend assistance to the troops of Her Majesty had been already appreciated by me on previous occasions. General Canrobert at once placed at my orders all the flat-bottomed boats which he could dispose of, and Adiniral Bruat was kind enough to employ all the boats of his squadron both in the men were placed on board. The result of this towing the others and in carrying troops, until all prompt and friendly co-operation was, that the two regiments, which had already marched eight miles from their lines at Gallipoli, of which the embarkation did not, in consequence, commence until one in the afternoon, were all on board, with upwards of one hundred horses, by sunset, so that it was possible to weigh anchor before nightfall. I am deeply impressed with the feeling that, owing so much personally to these distinguished officers for the kind co-operation which they afforded me on this occasion, as indeed on many others, I should be most ungrateful were I not to seize on the very first occasion to express the obligations under which they have placed me from the first moment that I have been acting in concert with them.—I have the honour to be, my Lord, your very obedient humble servant,
"G. BROWN, Lieutenant General."
Now, with the aid of the flat-bottomed boats belonging to the French, it appears to have taken six hours-that is, from one o'clock in the afternoon until sunset-to place these 2,000 men and 100 horses on board. It seems from this statementwhich I assume to be an accurate copy of the letter of General Brown-that the apprehension I have entertained from the beginning, with respect to many of those transport steamers, is correct--namely, that the Government; or those employed in the fitting out of those steamers and transports, did not have regard to the necessity of having an unusual number of boats, of an unusual size, to each of those steamers and transports, for the purpose of enabling them rapidly to embark and to disembark troops. It is unnecessary for me to press upon your Lordships the extreme importance of attaching to every vessel employed in the conveyance of troops, as many boats, of a fit description, for their complete embarkation and disembarkation, as is consistent with other branches of the public service. Everything may depend, in the success of operations, on the rapidity with which a large number of troops can be thrown on shore. The wind may rise, or the sea may rise, and it may be impos sible for the ships, after a short period, to communicate with the shore. A small body of men may thus be thrown, without resources, upon the land, and exposed to the attacks of the enemy, whom they might not be in sufficient strength to resist, when, if there had been a sufficient number of boats
for the purpose of landing a large body with | in vessels of war, but in such vessels as stores and provisions, no danger could have could be procured from the commercial been incurred. And, more than that, the service of this country, and the whole of want of sufficient means of embarkation that force has been conveyed in ships hired may compel an officer to select a disad- for that purpose; and my noble Friend is vantageous instead of an advantageous well aware that the admirable invention of spot for such disembarkation. It is im flat-bottomed boats which was made some possible to exaggerate the importance years ago did not exist as regards these of this matter; and I do trust, if it has particular vessels. Now it is perfectly not hitherto, it will attract the immediate true that every one of those vessels has notice of Her Majesty's Government; or, been provided with an adequate number of if these vessels, as I apprehend, have boats for ensuring the safety of the men been despatched without a sufficiency of on board, in the event of accident; but suitable boats for the purpose of the dis- they are not provided with the flat-bottomed embarkation of troops, that that defect boats which are essential for the embarwill be at once remedied, and that a suffi- kation and disembarkation of troops for ciency of boats will be at once sent out. military purposes. The French, who had I made a suggestion some eight years ago, sent the greater portion of their troops, not which your Lordships will perhaps allow by vessels hired for the purpose, but by me to repeat, that it would be expedient ships of war, had there five sail of the line, to have on board every one of the larger which of course were supplied with those vessels a large boat, with a small amount boats, and they very courteously lent them of steam power, sufficient to tow other to facilitate the landing of the English boats and to turn the ship's head round. troops. But why does my noble Friend If all the troops are to be conveyed on assume, having given him on a former ocshore in boats rowed by seamen, the num-casion to understand that the transports ber conveyed on shore at one time must be very small, and the process of disembarkation will proceed less rapidly than it would otherwise do; but if a small steamboat were attached to every ship for the purpose of towing the boats to and from the shore, the thing could be accomplished with the greatest despatch.
THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE: In the first place I am enabled to inform my noble Friend that the letters, in reference to which he has put this question to me, are perfectly authentic. I am enabled to say that, because I have been furnished with copies of them by Lord Raglan. Whatever distrust my noble Friend may feel with reference to the preparations made in this respect, I can only repeat now what I stated on a former occasion when a similar question was asked, that Her Majes ty's troops serving in the East have been provided most amply with the means of transport, so far as the sea is concerned. I think I can prove that the instance which he produces of boats having been borrowed from the French, at Gallipoli, is by no means conclusive as to the neglect of which he complains. Your Lordships are aware that, in order to enable this country to despatch two of the largest fleets that have ever sailed in the Black Sea and the Baltic, it was at the same time considered desirable that the large body of troops destined for Turkey should not be conveyed thither The Earl of Ellenborough
were of this description, that because on an unimportant occasion of the disembar kation of troops at Gallipoli they had not those boats at immediate command, they have not been provided for those great emergencies which may be expected to arise? I can only repeat that ample provision has been made for the purpose of embarking and disembarking troops at any particular point. There would be an inconvenience in stating to your Lordships publicly in this House the number of boats which have been provided, or the number of troops which can be thrown on any portion of the shore at any one moment; but I say these things have been most carefully considered; and I received a letter only the other day through the Admiralty, dated 20th of May, from Admiral Boxer, a gentleman appointed by the Admiralty to the command of the transports in the East, with an adequate number of officers under him-than whom I believe there was no officer more competent for such a scrvice-and who states that all the necessary preparations have been made, and that he was able to embark or disembark troops at any point that might be required with perfect safety and with the greatest celerity.
THE EARL OF ELLENBOROUGH said, it appeared to be the case that the Government did not make any arrangement with the persons to whom these transports and
ley) that 50l. should be made the maximum, but he believed that 701. or 801. would be a fairer amount.
steamers belonged, in order that the vessels should have, on this particular occasion, when they were to convey troops, a larger number of boats-and boats, too, of a larger kind, than they were accustomed to carry. In point of fact, if the troops had depended on the boats belonging to the transports, they could not have disembarked without the greatest inconvenience and delay.
THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE observed, that any arrangement such as, the noble Earl adverted to could not possibly have been made. When such vessels as the Himalaya and Orinoco were taken up at a fortnight or three weeks' notice, did the noble Earl suppose that the Government were in a position to call on the parties to whom the vessels belonged to supply flatbottomed boats for the embarkation and disembarkation of the troops? No company could have made such a preparation without three months' instead of three weeks' notice. What the Government did was to take care that, when the transports arrived in the Bosphorus, sufficient means should there be provided for disembarkation.
THE EARL OF DERBY thought that as the clause now stood, the public would be placed in a worse position than under the present law, by which a railway company, through whose negligence a horse or other animal might be killed, was liable for its full value. He admitted that it was unreasonable to require railways to carry horses worth 3007. or 400l., or 3,000l. or 4,000l., at the ordinary rates, and make them liable for the full value of the animals. He considered, however, that the maximum fixed by the clause of 301., beyond which special insurance must be paid, was too low. He had suggested to the noble Lord (Lord Stanley of Alder
LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY was willing to insert 50l. instead of 301. He also proposed to leave out the last provision of the clause, relating to packages, parcels, &c., in respect to which the railway companies would be governed by the Carriers' Act.
THE EARL OF HARROWBY thought there should be a limit to the liability of railways in respect to injuries sustained by passengers. Some average amount should be fixed, beyond which the companies ought not to be called on.
THE EARL OF DERBY thought that, however easy it might be to ascertain the average value of horses or cattle, it was not so easy to fix the average value of human life. The subject mentioned by the noble Earl was of importance, but the present was not a fit opportunity for its discussion.
The blanks fixing the maximum value of horses were filled with 501.; for cattle, 151.; and for sheep, 21. The last provision of the clause, relating to parcels, was struck out, and the clause as altered was agreed to.
Other clauses agreed to; Amendments made: the Report thereof to be received To-morrow.
House adjourned till To-morrow.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Thursday, June 1, 1854.
MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS.-1° Church Building Acts Amendment (No.2): Excise Duties (Sugar). 2° Public Revenue and Consolidated Fund Charges.
3° Income Tax (No. 2); Church Building Acts Amendment; Industrial and Provident Socie
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE. SIR JOHN PAKINGTON, in rising to submit the Resolutions of which he had given notice, said, that the subject which had been referred to the consideration of the Committee, appointed at the commencement of the Session, upon the Business of the House, was so important that he trusted that he should not be thought to be unnecessarily or improperly occupying their time if he ventured to enter into some explanation of the proceedings of the Committee, and of the circumstances under which it had been appointed. It would be in the recollection of the House that at