Imatges de pÓgina

MR. APSLEY PELLATT asked if there would be any objection to throw open the library at the Foreign Office to the public?

lieved there was no department of the the Foreign Office for a certain number of State in which there were persons better months in order to acquire that previous qualified than the clerks of the Foreign information to which the hon. Member Office for the performance of their very referred. arduous duties. He certainly had been greatly indebted to them for the valuable assistance which he had received from them during the time that he had been at the Foreign Office. With regard to our foreign diplomacy, of course, every man was at liberty to entertain his own opinion; but, without making any personal comparisons as to the particular ability or attainments of particular individuals, he would venture positively to assert that there was no Government in Europe that was better served by its diplomatic agents than the British Government both had been and now was. There was one obvious reason for this; and it was, that independently of the merit of individuals, every man in the British service knew that the way to recommend himself to the head of the department was to give a faithful and accurate account of what he saw, what he heard, and what he observed, and that, whether the account which he gave tallied or not with the previous wishes and opinions of the chief of his department, provided he fulfilled his duty faithfully and with intelligence, he would be sure to obtain praise and promotion; whereas in the service of some foreign countries, if a person represented anything in a manner not conformable with the views of his Government, he was more likely to obtain censure and removal than praise and promotion.

MR. BOWYER said, he must still contend that in the Foreign Department it was peculiarly necessary that there should be an examination of the persons employed, because no one could be found efficiently to serve the country without some knowledge, not only of the routine of the department, but of law and languages, which could only be obtained by a considerable amount of study. Though the Bill to reform the Civil Service had not yet come before Parliament, he thought that some regulation might be adopted in the Foreign Department which would ensure that there should always be a sufficient number of persons trained both in theoretical learning and in the practices which qualified men to serve the country in diplomatic offices.

VISCOUNT PALMERSTON said, it was a rule long established that persons who were appointed as unpaid attachés on first entering the service must have attended at

VISCOUNT PALMERSTON said, the library at the Foreign Office consisted of a certain number of works connected with history and international law for the use of that department, and also of despatches written and received at the Foreign Office, which were at the end of each year bound into books and put aside on the shelves of the library. After a certain period, say ten or twelve years, these records were transferred to the State Paper Office, where they remained under the custody of the Keeper of the State Paper Office. Now, with regard to the library of the Foreign Office, if any one wished to see printed books there, or large blue books that were not to be found in the British Museum or any other library accessible to the public, they, of course, could be seen; but, with regard to many of those books, and the manuscripts of despatches sent and received, they were documents which of course from their nature could not be shown to everybody who might express a desire to read them.

Vote agreed to, as was also

(16.) 40,550l., Colonial Department. On the Vote of 68,6001. for the salaries and expenses of the Privy Council,

MR. G. BUTT said, that the clerk of the Council had in 1853 received a salary of 2,000l., but for the present year it was put down at 2,500l. If he was rightly informed, the gentleman who held the office had it by a grant in reversion, and he presumed the salary was then fixed. How, then, was it that this addition of 500l. had been made?

MR. CARDWELL said, the original salary was 2,500l. a year, but it was only 2,000l. during the time that the gentleman held another appointment, in connection, he believed, with the colony of Jamaica. On the giving up of that place the salary reverted to its original amount-namely, 2,500l.

Further explanation being required, Vote postponed.

The House resumed.

Order for Second Reading read.
MR. AGLIONBY, in moving the second

reading of this Bill, said that he had only recently heard that the measure would be received with any opposition, and he hoped that such opposition would be able to be removed by some slight alteration in the clauses. One objection was, that the Bill was not stringent enough, and another objection was, that it was too stringent, so, perhaps, it might be possible to steer clear of both of these objections by taking some middle course. With respect to the 9th clause, relative to clerks to justices in petty sessions not practising in their own courts, he begged to state that he meant no disrespect to those gentlemen in any way. The object of the Bill was, by allowing prisoners accused of minor offences to plead "Guilty" and receive their sentences at petty sessions in open court, to spare prosecutors and their witnesses the trouble and expense of attending at the assizes, and to rescue youthful offenders from the contamination to which they were exposed in the weeks and months which they were not unfrequently obliged to pass in gaol between their committal and their trial. All the objections which had been made to the Bill could, he thought, be dealt with in Committee, and he hoped, therefore, that the House would now give its assent to the second reading. Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

MR. COBBETT said he thought that, so far from the Bill being calculated to lessen the expenses of criminal prosecutions, it was very likely considerably to increase them. He quite agreed that the object of the Bill was a praiseworthy one, but he thought it might be carried into effect nearly as well under the existing law as by the Bill of the hon. Member. Great injustice, he believed, would be done to persons thus suddenly called on to plead before the magistrates, and, while the Bill would not shorten the time which youthful offenders would have to pass in gaol, it would have the effect of giving great offenders lesser punishments than they ought to receive. All that numerous class of offenders who, having been convicted once or twice before, stood in great dread of being sentenced to transportation or penal punishment, would be almost encouraged by this Bill to the commission of small offences during that season of the year when they could get no employment, knowing that if they pleaded "Guilty before the magistrates, they would only be Mr. Aglionby


punished by a slight imprisonment. Then, again, nothing was more frequent than for mistakes to be made by justices and clerks of the peace in the offence for which they committed men; committals were often made out for larceny when the real offence was embezzlement or obtaining money under false pretences, and what an pleasant position a Judge would be placed in who found himself called on to sentence a man for an offence to which he had pleaded "Guilty," but which he had never committed. Another objection he entertained against the Bill was, that, as a prisoner after having pleaded had a right to retract his plea, it would be improper to compel a Judge to hold a man to the plea put in before the justices. The Bill would have the effect of giving facilities to crafty offenders of obtaining smaller punishments than their offences deserved. He agreed that it was desirable to have a mode of shortening the duration of punishment awarded to prisoners desirous of pleading "Guilty" to offences of a minor description, but the magistrates already possessed greater powers than they generally exercised in that respect. Upon the grounds he had already stated, he begged to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words "Upon this day six months."

MR. ATHERTON said he should oppose the Bill on the ground that the Legislature would be dealing with the subject without due regard to the proper administration of justice. Although economy was a matter to which every attention should be paid, the fair and satisfactory administration of justice was an object of far greater importance than the saving of a few pounds. If the Bill were agreed to, there would be a danger of effecting a saving of expense to prosecutors at the risk of having haphazard sentences.

MR. J. G. PHILLIMORE hoped the House would agree to the second reading of this Bill, which was intended to remedy a great and serious evil.

VISCOUNT PALMERSTON said, the Bill of the hon. Member professed to deal with that which required a remedy. There might be imperfections in the Bill, but they were capable, he considered, of being remedied in Committee. He therefore recommended the House to give the Bill a second reading.

1301 The New War Department- {JUNE 9, 1854}

MR. M MAHON thought that a great | field of battle, and that the noble Duke deal of injustice would be perpetrated had acceded to the advice of Mr. Guthrie, under the Bill for the sake of saving a gentleman of great ability, who had done


MR. HENLEY said, he doubted whether the Bill would work, and whether it would be accompanied by such a saving of expense as the hon. Member (Mr. Aglionby) seemed to suppose.

MR. ROBERT PALMER said, as a chairman of quarter sessions, he had received numerous complaints of the number of cases sent to trial under the present system, and was glad to find that the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Aglionby) had introduced a Bill which proceeded in the right direction. He did not altogether approve of all its provisions, but he thought such amendments might be made in Committee as would remove the objections which he entertained.

MR. AGLIONBY, in reply, said, the feeling was generally in favour of amendHe had listened with great ing the Bill. attention to the various arguments, and he should endeavour, as far as he could, to meet the views of parties, while at the same time he hoped the most efficient parts of the Bill might be retained.


MR. CRAUFURD said, the improvement suggested in the present measure had been tried with great success in Scotland. That the word 'now' Question put, stand part of the Question.' The House divided :-Ayes 59; Noes 9: Majority 50.

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Main Question put, and agreed to.
Bill read 2o.

The House adjourned at a quarter after
One o'clock.

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Friday, June 9, 1854.

MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS.-1a Excise Duties;
Exchequer Bonds (£6,000,000).
2a Income Tax (No. 2); Church Building Acts
Amendment; Industrial and Provident So-


3a Consolidated Fund (£8,000,000), (No. 2).


put a question to the noble Duke (the
Duke of Newcastle). Their Lordships had
no doubt heard that arrangements had
lately been made in reference to the mode
of dealing with wounded men upon the

everything in his power to carry out his ju-
dicious recommendations upon the subject.
A corps had been established, and the ne-
cessary steps taken for attaching to that
corps such implements as were necessary
for the purpose of conveying wounded men
from the field of battle in the manner that
would afford the best chance of saving their
lives, and he believed that everything had
been done which the Government could do.
He understood that the corps and its ma-
chinery were still at Woolwich; and as
some anxiety had been felt in reference to
the conveyance of that corps to the place
where it ought to be stationed, the question
he wished to put was, whether any such
corps had been established, and whether
any exertions were being made for the
purpose of conveying that corps to its

He was

THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE said, that the corps of which his noble Friend had spoken had now been established for the first time, and he had every reason to believe that the example of its establishment would be found worthy of imitation by other nations, and that it would be advantageous to our own country. happy to say that he thought he should be able to give a satisfactory answer to his noble Friend's question. The corps, being of an entirely novel character, both as regarded its machinery and as regarded the men who were to act in it, had not been organised in a single day, but the arrangements with respect to it had now been completed for some time, and a screwsteamer had been chartered for its conveyance, with a large quantity of stores, to the East. He understood that this vessel would start from this country in the course of the day after to-morrow.

THE EARL OF DERBY: I do not know whether the noble Duke answers the question of my noble Friend in his capacity of Colonial Secretary or of Secretary of State for the War Department, and I think it is desirable that an explanation should be given to your Lordship's House at the earliest possible moment with respect to the important changes now supposed to be in the contemplation of the Government, in the creation of a new office of Secretary of State for the War Department, separate from those of the Secretary for the Colonies, and with respect to the arrangements which are to be adopted in consequence of those

1303 The New War Department- {LORDS}

The Ambulance Corps. 1304

THE EARL OF ABERDEEN: He will have nothing whatever to do with the control of the financial department, as we are at present advised.

changes. I understand that an announce- | do with the control of the financial department was made last evening in the House ment of the Army? of Commons on the part of Her Majesty's Government, of their intention of forming the new office. I am further informed-if it is not irregular now to refer to the fact -that a new writ has been moved for the City of London in the room of the noble Lord who lately held the office of leader of the House of Commons on his acceptance of the office of President of the Council. I wish, therefore, to ask the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government whether I am right in supposing that that noble Lord has accepted the office of President of the Council. It may not be improper to ask also, whether, if he has accepted it, he will still remain a Member of the House of Commons? and I wish further to ask Her Majesty's Government, with regard to the office of Secretary of State for the War Department, to explain to this House and to the country what are the precise functions and duties which it is proposed to devolve upon that office, how far they will interfere with or be superior to those of the departments now in existence, and whether the new Secretary of State will exercise a control over all matters connected with the administration of the military affairs of the country?

THE EARL of ABERDEEN: In answer to the noble Earl, I have first to inform him that my noble Friend the Member for the City of London has accepted the office of President of the Council, and that he will remain in the House of Commons. I have further to inform the noble Earl that it is intended that a division of the functions of the Secretary of State for War and for the Colonies shall take place, and will be carried into effect before the next meeting of the House. The functions of the Secretary of War will be those which are at present exercised by the Secretary of State for War and for the Colonies in the War Department. What further changes may hereafter take place in the administration of the Departments immediately concerned in the military service of the country I am not prepared to say; but the Secretary for the War Department will possess all those powers and exercise all those functions which are now exercised by my noble Friend near me, who is at present Secretary of State for War and for the Colonies.

LORD PANMURE: I was somewhat interested in the debate which took place in this House a short time ago with regard to the establishment of a Minister of War; and I am happy to find that Her Majesty's Government have at last, owing to the opinions which have been expressed in both Houses of Parliament, and also owing to public opinion as it has been expressed through the press, adopted that course which will eventually turn out to be the only one by which military affairs can be administered in this country. I am glad to hear from my noble Friend that it is not intended to constitute a Minister of War as a mere decoy to deceive the public. I have no desire to see things done hastily; but if the office of Minister of War is to be established, the officer who fills it must have a department as well as a name. In my opinion, as soon as it can be conveniently done, the Minister of War should take charge of the administration of the finances of the Army; he should take charge of the Commissariat Department; and, in my opinion, he should also have transferred to him, as soon as possible, the management and direction of the militia force of this country. I do not at all wish to see the functions of the Commander in Chief interfered with as far as regards the executive government of the Army, nor do I wish to put into the hands of the Government the administration of what is called the patronage of the Army. For six years I had experience as to the manner in which that patronage was administered under the present system; and I believe that it was never more honourably or more efficiently administered than when it was in the hands of the late Duke of Wellington, and, under his orders, of Lord Raglan. I have every reason to believe that the same system of administration is pursued by the present Commander in Chief, and I have no desire that the Government should interfere in the matter at all; but if we are to have a Minister of War, he ought to know what is going on in every military department of the Government-whether at the Horse Guards,

THE EARL OF DERBY inquired whether the Ordnance Office, or any other depart the Secretary of State for the War Department—and he ought to act by his own aument was to have anything or nothing to thority, not under that either of the Colo

The Earl of Derby

THE EARL OF DERBY: I think it is desirable that the noble Earl should state more in detail the duties that are to be performed by the new Secretary of State; as it appears to me that, if he is not to have control over the financial department of the Army, and is to have nothing to do with the patronage of the Army, the new Secretary will have something very nearly approaching to a sinecure in time of peace. I wish to ask whether the new Secretary of State is to be deprived of the control over the finances and the patronage of the Army; and, if so, whether it is intended to appoint that officer only during time of war?

nial or of the Home Secretary. If the troops | "New Dotation," said, that the issue are to be moved they should be moved by which had to be tried was, how much of his authority that is, by his authority to those funds belonged of right to the Dean the Commander in Chief to move them. and Canons of Windsor, and for how much All my observations aim at making this of the funds the Dean and Canons were Ministry of War a department that will trustees for the Military Knights of Windexist in time of peace as well as in time of sor. He brought the question forward upon war, and that will, at all times, have con- four distinct grounds. He asked for an trol over everything connected with the mi- inquiry, in the first place, on behalf of the litary administration of the country. prerogative of the Crown, which he considered had been violated by a diversion of the funds of the Sovereign of the Order of the Garter from their legitimate objects; and, in the second place, on behalf of the taxpayers of England, who had been assessed for a series of years for the expenses of the buildings connected with this charity, while there had been ample funds belonging to the charity itself and especially intended for that purpose. He asked for it, thirdly, on behalf of the British Army, because he believed that, after the full satisfaction of all demands, a fund would be placed at the disposal of the Crown, as he hoped, sufficiently large to restore the twenty-six knights, whose appointments had not been filled up, but who had been appointed under the Statute of Edward III. He moved, lastly, on behalf of the present Military Knights of Windsor, a body of gentlemen who had performed the greatest and most important services to this country, but which he would not now detain their Lordships by alluding to. He was compelled to call the attention of their Lordships to a period of five centuries ago, when an event took place which had been made the subject of one of the frescoes which decorated the chamber in which they were sitting, namely, the investiture of the first Knight of the Garter. He had no observation to offer with respect to the charming romantic legend concerning the Order, nor with the quaint badge, and the equally quaint device which decorated the knee of the Black Prince. It sufficed him (the Earl of Albemarle) to say that the Royal father of that Prince, three years after the battle of Cressy, instituted the Order of the Garter, to which two descriptions of knights were to belong, the one being the Knights Companions of the Order, and the other the Poor, or, as they are now called, the Military Knights of Windsor. The object of the institution of the Order was twofold. In the first place it was the creation of Knights Companions, to afford encouragement and reward to persons descended from a series

THE EARL OF ABERDEEN: The Secretary of State will not be deprived of the control over the finances or the patronage of the Army, as he now possesses neither the one nor the other; but he will have the control over the whole administration of the Army, and that will be found quite sufficient to employ his utmost exertions, certainly during war. As for what may happen in time of peace, the noble Earl will, perhaps, have the goodness to wait until time of peace before asking us to settle what will then be the functions of the new Secretary of State; and if that time happily should ever come, we shall then be able to say more satisfactorily what his functions shall be. At present it is quite sufficient that he has ample duties to perform, and I have no doubt the division which has taken place of the functions of the War and Colonial Departments will be such as to add to the efficiency of the public service.

THE MILITARY KNIGHTS OF WINDSOR. THE EARL OF ALBEMARLE, in moving for the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the administration of the funds of the charities connected with the Military Order of St. George and the Garter, and more especially with the Royal grant of King Edward III., commonly called the "Old Dotation," and that of Queen Elizabeth, commonly called the


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