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163 Distribution of Parliamentary (COMMONS}
Motion, by leave of the House, withdrawn.
House adjourned till To-morrow.
cially to those masses of the manufac- of their fallen nature the only rule and turing population whose spiritual destitu- guide of their conduct-would bring down. tion has been admitted and deplored. As a just retribution and punishment upon the regards the Motion before the House, I high and mighty of the land. hope my noble Friend will withdraw it, for the adoption of his Resolution could not be attended with any practical benefit. The discussion of it I hoped might have drawn the serious attention of the Government to the existence of a very serious evil, which requires an effectual remedy; but I regret to find that the noble Earl, while he admits the evil, does not hold out any prospect of steps being taken for its removal.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Thursday, May 11, 1854.
- For Flint
NEW MEMBER SWORN.
PUBLIC BILLS-1° Customs Duties.
2° Gaming-Houses; Manning the Navy; Navy Pay, &c.
DISTRIBUTION OF PARLIAMENTARY
THE EARL OF WINCHILSEA, in reply, said, that no individual, however great his talents, was perfectly competent to undertake a measure of this extent and importance; but he held it to be the duty SIR BENJAMIN HALL said, he wishof the Government of a Christian country ed to ask the hon. Under Secretary for the like this to make proper provision for the Home Department a question with respect religious wants of the people. He did not to a circumstance which, though not inask the Government to provide a system of volving a breach of privilege, was fraught education that would be purely of an exclu- with material inconvenience to hon. Memsive character, but all he desired was, a bers. He believed that there were two sound religious and scriptural education, modes in which the House and the public based upon the reading of the Bible, without might have printed papers laid before them. note or comment. With respect to the ob- The one was when papers were printed by servations which had fallen from a right order of the House, and then the expense rev. Prelate (the Bishop of St. Davids) with of their publication and their distribution regard to great national calamities, he fell under the cognisance of Mr. Speaker. might say that, though individual sins The other was when papers were printed might go unpunished in this world, na- by Her Majesty's command; they were then tional sins never would. He had long felt printed by the Stationery Office, and their that it was the duty of the Legislature of printing was wholly out of the control of a Christian country like this to come for- Mr. Speaker. If the papers were printed ward and contribute some portion of the by the authority of that House, they were enormous wealth with which the Almighty distributed by its officers; but if not, a had blessed it, in the relief of the religious number of copies were sent down to the liwants of the poorer classes of its popula-brary from the Stationery Office, and then tion. No country in the world was so rich distributed to Members. Other parties and mighty; we were the greatest and might, however, obtain such papers before most powerful nation that had ever existed, the Members of that House. On the 11th with more moral influence than had ever of April a Report from the General Board been possessed by any other people; and of Health was presented, and was ordered he felt most deeply that we should be by Her Majesty to be laid before both made awfully responsible for the proper Houses. Some days ago that Report apuse of the talents and blessings placed in peared in the columns of a morning newsour hands. Having relieved himself from paper; but hon. Members did not receive any personal responsibility in the matter, their copies until some time afterwards. he would withdraw the Resolution in com- He wished to know how many copies of pliance with the wish of their Lordships; the Report of the Board of Health were but, at the same time, he begged most printed; whether the printer delivered out firmly to record his opinion, that, if the any copies previous to those sent for the present state of things was to continue and use of Members of that House; if so, how increase in this country, the day would, many, and by whose authority did that despeedily arrive when the condition of the livery take place? manufacturing population-under no restraint of religion, and with the passions The Earl of Clancarty
MR. FITZROY said, that early in the year the general authority for printing the
he had no locus standi to act upon or with the Committee. The Committee upon this came to the resolution that it was very desirable that the hon. Member for Mayo should be appointed to serve with them, in order to conduct the case against the parties whose conduct was impugned; and also that another hon. Member, in the confidence of the accused, should be placed on the Committee, in order to watch the proceedings on their behalf. The appointment of such a person they proposed to leave to the General Committee of Elections, in whose selection there could be no doubt that the House would feel every confidence: The course which he now recommended was strictly in accordance with the precedent of the Carlow Election Committee in 1847, when Sir Frederick Pollock and Mr. Serjeant Wilde were appointed by the House to watch the proceedings on behalf of the parties.
usual number of copies of the Report of of the witnesses to be called, because he the General Board of Health for official considered that by the votes of the House. and parliamentary distribution was sent from the Home Office to the Stationery Office, and on the 10th April two printed copies were sent to the Home Office. One of these was laid on the table of that House, and the other upon the table of the House of Lords. But, between the time of issuing the order for printing the Reports and the time of their distribution, the Board of Health applied to the Home Office for 4,000 copies of the Report. The consent of the Ilome Secretary having been given, 4,000 copies were sent to the Board of Health, which they distributed themselves. He imagined that one of them had reached the paper, in whose columns the hon. Baronet had read it. He (Mr. Fitzroy) was not responsible for any irregularity that might have taken place in publishing documents intended for the use of Members of both Houses before they had been delivered to them. He could only be responsible for the manner in which the order for publication was given, and that was in the usual form on this occasion. He was not able to answer any questions with reference to the manner in which the Board of Health had distributed the copies sent to them.
SIR BENJAMIN HALL said, he wished to know whether the printing of these 4,000 copies formed part of the expenditure of the Board of Health?
MR. FITZROY said, that he apprehended that it would be included in the general charge for printing Parliamentary Papers. He believed that the expense of the printing in connection with the Board of Health amounted to 20,000l. per annum.
MR. STONOR'S CASE. MR. SOTHERON then moved that Mr. G. H. Moore, the Member for Mayo, and one other Member of the House, to be named by the General Committee of Elections, be appointed on the Select Committee in the case of Henry Stonor to examine witnesses, but without the power of voting. When the Committee appointed to investigate this matter met, they found themselves involved in great difficulty with respect to the manner in which they should prosecute the inquiry, because none of the Members of the Committee had any knowledge of the circumstances of the case. The hon. Member for Mayo laid a statement of his case before the Committee, but declined to suggest to them the names
MR. FRENCH said, he thought it would be highly advisable, before the House agreed to the Motion, that they should know who was to be the other Member. Whoever were appointed, both parties ought to be as nearly as possible equal in ability to discharge the duty required of them. He confessed he was surprised that the hon. Member for Mayo, who had moved the appointment of the Committee, had not been made a Member of it: he thought a slight thereby had been cast on the hon. Mem ber.
SIR GEORGE GREY said, he must deny that the General Committee of Elections, of which he was Chairman, intended to cast any slight upon the hon. Member for Mayo by not nominating him as one of the Members of the Committee. They had done so because they understood that, on referring the nomination to them, the House desired them to select five impartial Members to compose the Committee. If they were now directed to appoint another Member in addition to the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore), merely to examine witnesses, but without the power of voting, they would of course act upon quite a different principle, and would conceive they best discharged their duty by asking the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies to name that Member.
MR. FREDERICK PEEL said, that he had no objection to offer to that part of the Motion which related to the appointment of the hon. Member for Mayo. With
regard to the other part of the Motion, it was the opinion of the Duke of Newcastle that it was quite unnecessary. The noble Duke would himself be able to state what had occurred with regard to the appointment of Mr. Stonor, and he (Mr. Peel) thought that a tribunal consisting of five impartial Gentlemen, Members of that House, would be quite competent to arrive at a correct conclusion without any other person being nominated to the Committee. The noble Duke was, therefore, perfectly willing that the question should be left to their decision.
MR. MILES said, that the statement of the hon. Gentleman was highly honourable both to himself and the Duke of Newcastle; but still he thought that, in order to assist the Select Committee to arrive at the truth, each side should nominate a Member to conduct their case.
MR. HUME said, he thought the House should beware lest, by appointing Members in the mode suggested, they should throw a doubt on the capacity of the Members of the Select Committee to conduct an inquiry such as the present. After the statement of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies, which was highly honourable both to himself and the Duke of Newcastle, he considered it would be highly improper to place any nominee Members at all upon the Com
MR. BRIGHT said, that it was perfectly impossible that five men who were entirely ignorant of the facts of a case should arrive at the truth without the assistance of some one who was acquainted with the matter, and was in a position to bring forward evidence and cross-examine the witnesses. He was glad to hear what had fallen from the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies, who had, he thought, taken the proper course; but still he was of opinion that in order to have a fair inquiry into this matter, it was necessary that the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore), who could bring forward evidence, should be on the Committee.
MR. DISRAELI said that the House should not consider merely the feelings of the person who brought the accusation and of the persons who were accused. What would be the result of having only one nominee, the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore)? He, being perfect master of his case, would be sure to manage it effectively; and as there was no person to represent the Government, the Committee, Mr. F. Peel
who were in a judicial position, and who ought to decide on the facts that were laid before them, would be obliged to fight the battle of the Government in answer to the accuser, who was a member of their own body. Such a result was not at all desirable. It was due to the five Gentlemen who had to perform so difficult and delicate a task, that they should not be placed in this unsatisfactory position. He did not think that they should sanction a sentimental feeling in matters of this kind. Let the accusation that was made in this case be met in the usual manner, and let all means be taken to secure a fair decision, by giving to both sides equal advantages, as far as that could be done. It would, he was sure, be most satisfactory both to the House and the Committee if nominee members were appointed on both sides.
MR. BOUVERIE said, that Mr. Stonor himself seemed to have been quite forgotten in the course of this conversation. As his character was involved here, he thought some hon. Member ought to be appointed to act upon the Committee on his behalf.
MR. DEEDES said, as a Member of the Select Committee, he could assure the hon. Gentleman that the Committee had hitherto most carefully determined to abstain from doing anything that should in any way implicate Mr. Stonor in the inquiry. The Committee considered that they had nothing whatever to do with that gentleman's conduct, but that they were appointed to inquire into, and report upon, an entirely different matter. Mr. Stonor's friends need not, therefore, entertain the slightest fear that anything unjust would be done in regard to Mr. Stonor. The hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) had admitted that there should be on the Select Committee a Member whose duty it was to conduct the inquiry, but, then, in that case, there must also be an hon. Member appointed by the other side, because it was perfectly impossible for any judicial Member of the Committee to cross-examine the witnesses with the strictness that was desirable, without exposing himself to the imputation of being a partisan of the accused party. To avoid that he hoped that the House would appoint another Member in addition to the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore). And while he perfectly recognised the feelings which actuated the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies, he could not help expressing a hope that he would reconsider his determination, and,
ciple was applicable to the destitute wife or children of militiamen.
by appointing a Member to represent the Government, relieve the Committee from the difficulty in which they would otherwise be placed.
COLONEL HARCOURT said, he would now beg to ask the right hon. Secretary at War whether, six women per company being the number who with their families are by the regulation of the Army permitted to embark with their husbands on foreign service, the Government will object to grant to those of that number who have been prevented from going out on the present occasion by the exigencies of the service, the same allowance of half rations for the women, and quarter rations for the children, which they would have had if they had gone out?
MR. SIDNEY HERBERT said, he had to state that there was no instance in which any application had been made to continue the issue of half rations to wives of
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER said, that from the discussion which had taken place, it seemed evident that the House was unanimously of opinion that the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore) should be on the Committee, though without the power of voting; and also that the general sentiment of the House was favourable to the appointment of a nominee Member on the part of Government. His hon. Friend (Mr. Peel) had said that, so far as the feelings of the Duke of Newcastle were concerned, it would be more agreeable to him not to be represented upon the Committee by any person, or to be put before the Committee in the position of a partisan. He (the Chancellor of the Ex-soldiers who had been prevented under chequer), however, wished to state on the part of his hon. Friend that he did not desire to insist upon this in opposition to the wish of the House; and if it was the general opinion that a nominee should be appointed on the part of the Duke of Newcastle, he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would not offer any opposition to this step, although it would certainly be more agreeable to his Grace if a different course were pursued.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered "That Mr. Moore, and one other Member of the House to be named by the General Committee of Elections, be appointed to serve on the Select Committee on the case of Henry Stonor, to examine witnesses, but without the power of voting."
these circumstances from going on foreign service. He was of opinion that the best course would be to leave it to the discretion of the commanding officers to say whether it would be for the advantage of the women in question that they should receive half rations, supposing the application to bo made.
MR. FLOYER said, he wished to inquire whether the claim to out-door relief would be held good in the case of wives without children, as well as of those who had children?
MR. BAINES said the principle applied in both cases.
EXCHEQUER BONDS-QUESTION. MR. T. BARING said, he begged to ask the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he would state the amount
FAMILIES OF SOLDIERS AND SAILORS- subscribed for the Exchequer bonds de
'COLONEL HARCOURT said, he begged to ask the right hon. President of the Poor Law Board whether there was anything in the law as it now stood, or in the orders of the Poor Law Commissioners, to prevent the guardians of the poor from giving, if they thought fit, out-door relief to the destitute wife and child of any soldier, sailor, or marine in Her Majesty's service? MR. BAINES begged to say, that there was nothing in the law or in the orders of the Commissioners, as they now stood, to prevent any board of guardians from giving out-door relief to the destitute wife or children of any soldier or sailor on service. He would add that, in the opinion of the Poor Law Commissioners, the same prin
scribed as Bond A, payable at par on the 8th May, 1858, up to two o'clock on the 8th instant, distinguishing the amount of subscription payable in money and that payable in Exchequer bills; and whether the deposit of 10 per cent was paid before two o'clock on the 8th instant on the whole amount subscribed, and, if not, what was the extent of the deficiency? Also, whether any subscriptions have been accepted for the Bond B, ending on 8th May, 1859, and for the Bond C, ending on 8th May, 1860; and, if so, to what extent for each description? He would explain in a few words the object of his question. The House was aware that the Government, in inviting subscriptions for the late proposed issue of Exchequer bonds, offered to sub
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE
scribers the option between two modes of | payment-one in Exchequer bills, the other QUER could state that, if it were of inin money. It was, therefore, very desir- terest to the House to be made acquaintable, with a view to determining the finan-ed with it. He could not state precisely cial position of the country, to know to the amount paid in Exchequer bills; but what extent the deposit had been paid up, 1,600,000l. was the amount tendered for and likewise what amount had been paid and paid up to the 8th May, and the rein Exchequer bills and what amount in maining 400,000l. had been tendered for money. It had likewise been published since. that the subscription would be received up to two o'clock on Monday, the 8th instant. As the Resolution of the House only ratified what had been subscribed up to that time, it was to be presumed, of course, that nothing further had been issued; but perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would afford them some information on the subject.
But he would take care that no contract of any kind should be entered into until the sense of Parliament had been ascertained.
CONVEYANCE OF TROOPS-THE ANDES
MR. FRENCH said, that he had given notice of his intention to put a question to the First Lord of the Admiralty with respect to the conveyance of the 1st Royals from Plymouth, in the Andes steamer, to the East. The matter was one with respect to which he thought it advisable that no misrepresentation should be allowed to have currency, and he had therefore deemed it right to put the question at once. The statement which had appeared in the public papers with respect to the removal of the regiment in question was as follows:-In the month of April last the Andes, a steamer not of very considerable size-1,200 tons burden—had been chartered for the conveyance of 500 men to the East; that the number of the regiment upon its arrival at Plymouth had been found to be 800; that there were only 500 berths in the vessel, and that in consequence a telegraphic message had been sent up to the Admiralty to know what course was to be taken under the circumstances of the case. Orders were
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHIEQUER said, he thought that the object of the hon. Gentleman was a perfectly reasonable one, and that he would best promote it, not by endeavouring to answer the question now, but by presenting a return which would give the information in a more exact form than it would now be in his power to supply. It would state what amount was subscribed on Monday, the 8th May, what amount was subsequently subscribed, and what amount had been paid. When he had the honour of addressing the House on Monday night, he was not in ́possession of accurate information on this point, and he had spoken not quite exactly, having with him a memorandum which had just been put into his hands, and which had been hastily drawn up. The hon. Gentleman would thus see what had taken place with respect to all the points embraced in his question, except as regarded the payment of deposits by a par-issued thence, it was stated, to the effect ticular hour. He believed that the usual practice was to take the deposit, not to the last hour for receiving tenders, but to the last hour of banking business; and likewise that deposits for small sums were taken on Tuesday morning from parties who had given notice. He thought the hon. Gentleman had not quite correctly stated the effect of the vote of Monday night. He apprehended that the vote of Monday night went to sanction the whole amount of the bonds paid; but that there was a distinct understanding between the hon. Gentleman and himself, that he was not to make any new contract beyond the amount actually agreed upon.
MR. T. BARING: The right hon. Gentleman cannot state generally, then, what the result of the measure is?
Mr. T. Baring
that as much accommodation as possible should be provided for the troops, but that the whole number must embark; that the troops had embarked, and that, in consequence of the orders to which he had referred, 800 men, or something above that number, had been sent out of Plymouth without a moment's delay, and commanded to proceed at once to their destination. It was further stated, that, in consequence of no efficient examination of the vessel having been made before her departure, and the bulkhead not having been covered with iron, that portion of the vessel had taken fire, that a very considerable quantity of gunpowder had been placed on board without the usual precaution of a magazine being established, and that but for the determined gallantry of the privates of the