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by providing that, after a certain fixed period of probation, attachés should be paid; but that suggestion was coupled with others, such as that no more attachés should be employed than the wants of the service demanded, that appointments should be made only to fill up vacancies, and that promotion should take place by seniority instead of by the favour of the Minister. The Committee adopted the proposition submitted to them, with the omission, however, of the important restrictions by which it was accompanied. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, Sir Hamilton Seymour, Lord Wodehouse, Mr. Hammond, and many other eminent and experienced authorities testified that the unpaid attachés worked exceedingly well, and most of the witnesses examined added that there was no difference in respect to the excellence of their work between the paid and the unpaid attachés. No improvement, then, was to be anticipated in the public service from granting further pay to attachés. He did not think any injustice was done to those gentlemen through their not being paid, for they entered the service knowing what they had to expect. Mr. Hammond stated in his evidence that an attaché could not live upon less than from £400 to £600 a year. He must therefore be a man of some fortune; and if they gave him a salary of £150 or so, it would only be a little pocket money for him over and above his private income. Why, then, should the House be called upon to depart from the rule adopted when the charge was placed on the Consolidated Fund? By consenting to that charge the House had abdicated all control over the diplomatic expenditure and over the diplomatic service. If they once admitted that a supplementary Estimate was to be annually voted for the diplomatic salaries, it was conceivable that the Foreign Secretary might job away the whole of the £180,000 in dispensing it on comparatively unnecessary legations occupied by parasites of his own, and then come to Parliament for a supplementary Estimate with which to pay for the really useful diplomatic business of the country. They ought to do one of two things with those diplomatic salarieseither abolish the system that made them a charge on the Consolidated Fund, and let the whole of them be put in the Estimates annually and be overhauled, or decide that the Secretary of State should keep within the bounds of the sum granted. He hoped the House would express its Mr. Dodson
dissent from the sentiments expressed by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Honiton, and approved in a qualified manner by the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and he further hoped, that when the time came for considering the Estimate by which the Government would seek to give effect to an objectionable Resolution, they would support him in rejecting it.
MR. SEYMOUR FITZGERALD said, he was always glad to hear those speeches of the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Williams) in which that hon. Gentleman advocated economy in the public expenditure; but when he heard the speech delivered by him that evening, it struck him that the hon. Gentleman could never have read the voluminous evidence taken by the Committee that had sat on these questions. The hon. Gentleman expressed his opinion that the public servants in the diplomatic service were notoriously overpaid, and added that, so far as he knew, there was no complaint from any of them of the insufficiency of the remuneration which they received. The fact was, that there was not one single public servant connected with the diplomatic service who did not only complain, but give absolute and positive proof, that the remuneration which he received from the country was utterly insufficient to meet the expenses which he was required to undergo. The object of the Government and the House should be to obtain the services of men of ability; but if public servants were underpaid, the tendency of such a state of things must be to limit the candidates for diplomatic appointments to those who could be entirely independent of the remuneration attached to these posts. In illustration of that, he could mention a fact of which he was aware before he took any part in public life. A Government was very desirous of changing their representative in this country, whom they thought not the most efficient public servant they could select; but, notwithstanding that desire, the Minister to whom he referred continued to hold his appointment for five or six years after his Government wished to remove him, because, in consequence of the insufficient salary, no one could be found to undertake the duties of the office, which his private fortune enabled him to hold. He did not mean to say that such a thing could happen in this country; for here it could not be said that diplomatic salaries were utterly insufficient, although it might be true that they were not alto
gether adequate. Though he went a certain length with his hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State, he was sorry to hear any Minister make such a statement as he did on the subject of the salaries paid to the diplomatic servants. His hon. Friend said
"The Government admit the case presented to them by the Committee. We agree in their re commendations. We think the public servants in the diplomatic department underpaid, and that
they are called on to make sacrifices of their private fortune; but though this injustice is admitted, we say we cannot afford to be just, because at the present time our finances are not in the most flourishing condition."
He could not conceive a more objectionable principle than the one involved in that statement of his hon. Friend. With regard to the recommendation as to houses, he would remind hon. Members that there was a great difference between building a large embassy house for £90,000, and taking a house on lease of moderate length, at the current rental. The deduction made from the salary of a diplomatic Minister while on leave was another matter which afforded much ground for complaint. When a Minister came home on leave for a couple of months-and it was admitted that such visits to this country were of advantage to the public service-the whole of his salary was deducted during the time he was absent from his post, though it was impossible for him to stop the whole of his expenditure. His establishment abroad must be kept up during his temporary absence. Payments for his house, his servants, his carriages, and various matters were all going on, not perhaps to quite the same extent as when he was there, but still to a large extent; and yet the Government deducted the whole amount of his salary, and, what was more, did not give it to the chargé d'affaires; but, handing him a guinea a day in addition to his ordinary salary during the absence of his chief, pocketed the difference between that and the Minister's salary. The hon. Under Secretary's answer to the case was that the Government could not afford to make a change at present. He hoped the public funds would soon be in such a condition as to enable the Government to carry out the recommendations of the Committee. He could not think his hon. Friend's excuse a valid one. He believed the principle upon which it was founded to be most objectionable, and he hoped justice would be done to a body of public men who in talent and indefatigable VOL. CLXVII. [THIRD SERIES.]
zeal were not excelled by any others in the public service of this country.
SIR MINTO FARQUHAR said, that he should support the decision of the Committee of which he had the honour to be a Member. Having been an attaché for six or seven years, he felt bound to state that no man had done more for the diplomatic service than the noble Viscount at the head of the Government; and he hoped that the noble Lord would acknowledge that many of the recommendations of the Committee only did justice to that service. He could declare that more attention could not have been paid to any subject than that which had been given to this by his colleagues and himself. The Committee recommended that in future all attachés should be paid after four years' service. He could not admit, because a man was ready to enter the diplomatic profession without a salary, that he ought not therefore to be paid for his services. He objected, on principle, to unpaid services. He had heard the late Lord Cowley say that no man ought to enter the service without receiving a certain amount of payment, if it were only £50 a year. He also recollected Sir F. Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne, giving a similar opinion. After four years' service, at all events, he thought they ought to receive a salary and become paid servants of the Crown. He also thought it would be very desirable that the attachés, when paid, should become secretaries, beginning as third secretaries, and rising to second and first secretaries, according to length of service, instead of being called paid attachés, as in foreign capitals they were considered to hold an inferior rank, by being so called, to the third and second secretaries of Foreign missions, whose duties were, after all, the same as those of the present paid attachés at British missions. It was a just cause of complaint that at present the attachés, when they became paid servants of the Crown, did not receive a commission, which, in fact, they ought to have on entering the profession; but, according to existing_rule, received it only when they became Secretaries of Legation, after having been ten or even twelve years in the service; and, consequently, their time of service, whatever it might have been, did not count towards their pensions, until they had attained the rank of Secretary. He thought that the noble Viscount, and the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office, would do well to encourage exchanges now and
expend more than their salaries in performing their duty to the public.
then for a certain period, between the clerks of the Foreign Office and the junior members of the diplomatic corps. Both MR. WHITE said, he ventured origiparties would benefit by such an ex-nally to take exception to the constitution change. The younger members of the of the Committee which sat upon the diplomatic corps would not only gain a question of the diplomatic service, because more complete knowledge of the duties of he knew that the result of its deliberations the Foreign Office, but would return to would lead to an augmentation of public their missions refreshed in those liberal expenditure. He had himself objected to principles which distinguished the Foreign the nomination of the present Foreign administration of England, and which Seeretary upon it, not from any invidious would act as a counterpoise to the notions motive, but to raise the question of the with which they might, perhaps, be im- constitution of the Committee. On the bued by constant residence in despotic Committee there was an undue proportion countries. Two months' leave was given of the official element-there being eight in each year to diplomatists; but if they out of fifteen members either officials or could not take advantage of it for a year ex-officials, and four others who were conor two, the leave was allowed to accumu- nected with the diplomatic service. It late, and any reduction of salary, when was easy to foresee what the Report of such they were permitted to take their leave, a Committee would be. The hon. Memought to be very small. The practice ber for Horsham (Mr. S. Fitzgerald) of leaving it to Ministers sent to many thought it strange that hon. Gentlemen foreign capitals to hire their own houses below the gangway should object to the was attended with much inconvenience. paying of attachés, or to the raising of A new Minister usually found the last their salaries, because, he said, that by so residence given up, and he often had doing they were handing over the offices great difficulty in obtaining a house. He to the exclusive possession of aristocratic was obliged, on his arrival, to go to an hotel, persons. But his reply to the hon. Genand every one tried to obtain the largest tleman was, that if he could show that by possible sum from him for any residence paying attachés or increasing their salaries that he desired to rent. It was a great he would guarantee that the area of selecevil to be obliged frequently to remove tion should be widened, there would be the documents and archives of the embassy some weight in his argument. He (Mr. from one house to another. If the Go- White) was of opinion that by increasing vernment would take a residence on a the emoluments of the profession they long lease for the Minister, a reduction would circumscribe the area of selection, of his salary might be made, if it were and therefore he could not accept the thought necessary; but it would be a great recommendations of the Committee. When comfort to the new Minister to have the Astronomer Royal was first appointed, a house to go to at once. He thought in the reign of William III., the King the recommendations made by the Com- proposed to give him a salary of £800 a mittee were very fair and just to the di- year; but Dr. Flamsteed said he would raplomatic service, without being extrava- ther have £300; and when the King asked gant, and he believed that the House why, the doctor replied, "For £300 a would only be upholding the feelings and year you will get an astronomer; but if long experience of the Foreign Office in you give £800 you will get not an astrosupporting the resolutions of the Com- nomer, but an aristocrat." He would mittee. Earl Russell, Lord Malmesbury, merely add that he should oppose the rethe Earl of Clarendon, and Lord Strat- commendations of the Committee. ford de Redcliffe had all borne testimony to the able manner in which the OMNIBUS FARES IN THE METROPOLIS. diplomatic service of this country was carried on. A more able or distinguished body of men were not, indeed, employed in the public service, and yet there was abundant proof that almost without an excep. tion their expenses abroad exceeded their income. He believed that the House would not wish, when the country was well served, that these gentlemen should Sir Minto Farquhar
MR. DAWSON said, he rose to call the attention of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to the system of extortionate fares demanded by the Drivers and Conductors of public conveyances in the Metropolis, and to the absence of any proper limitation of fares in the present
of fares; and the defendant said, his fare was 6d. for any distance; the public could please themselves whether they rode or not; he was not aware of any law by which omnibus proprietors were compelled to charge certain fares, and if they thought proper to charge half-a-crown for each passenger, they could do so. The newspapers were full of complaints from our own countrymen, but it was for our visitors that he particularly felt, because, from their imperfect acquaintance with our language, and with the distance of places which they wished to go to, they were peculiarly liable to extortionate demands. It had fallen under his own observation He could assure the right hon. Gentle- that three foreign gentlemen were asked man, from communications which he re- 1s. apiece by the conductor of an omniceived every day, as well as from the con- bus for riding from the Exhibition to stant complaints that were made, and the Charing Cross; and, upon his remonstratstate of things which the police reports ing with the conductor, he was informed disclosed, that there was a wide spread by the man that as long as he exhibited disinclination to tolerate such a system of a placard of increased fares outside, he public exaction as now prevailed, and that had a right to make that or any such that House and the Government would be charge. He contended that legislation held responsible. At a time when we had on the question was not impossible. The invited foreigners of all nations to our suggestion had been made that there Exhibition-and the fulness of the hotels, should be an uniform rate of one penny and the almost impassable state of the a mile, or for less than a mile; that no thoroughfares, showed how they had re- fare should be less than twopence; that sponded to the invitation-we had done all omnibuses should travel at a rate not absolutely nothing to correct the glaring less than seven miles an hour, with other faults in our modes of public conveyance, regulations. A second suggestion was, and we were handing over the persons and that there should be a list of fares conpurses of our visitors to the rapacity and spicuously placed both inside and outside extortion of the least conscientious portion the omnibus, and that no change should of the community. It was highly preju- be permitted to take place in the amount dicial to the public convenience that om- of the fare except after one month's nonibuses should be subject to no better tice published in the London Gazette and supervision, and that they were enabled in two of the morning papers. A third to charge double fares whenever an in- and very valuable suggestion was, that on creased demand was made upon them.every application for the renewal of an Railways and hackney carriages were sub- omnibus licence, a table of fares should ject to strict regulations, and it was strange be produced, which should afterwards be that a mode of conveyance to which the adhered to. Another nuisance was the poorest classes in the community were practice of nursing, which ought to be obliged to resort should be under such put an end to. With regard to the Lonvery ittle ontrol. A case which was don omnibus, it was more inconvenient, reported in The Times of the 25th of and less adapted for ingress and egress, June would illustrate the matter. A Mr. than any similar vehicle which could be Smith, an omnibus proprietor, was sum- found in any other country in Europe. moned by Inspector Carter, at the in- It certainly required reconstruction. As stance of Sir Richard Mayne, before Mr. to the cabs, he acknowledged the more Ingham, at the Hammersmith Police Court. defined regulations which were in force The charge was, that the extreme places respecting them; but still there was great between which the omnibus ran were not room for improvement. For example, the painted on the table of fares. Mr. Ingham law seemed inadequate at present to comsaid, he was not aware of any law by pel the attention of drivers to a hirer which omnibus proprietors could be com- unless the number of the party was such pelled to paint the distances on the table as seemed to promise a better fare than
regulation of Omnibus traffic. The subject was one of great public interest and importance, especially at that moment. When he brought the matter to the notice of the Home Secretary on the 16th of last month, he expected to receive a more satisfactory reply than the right hon. Gentleman had given. That reply was to the effect that
"It was impossible to adopt the same regulations as to the rates and fares of omnibuses as existed in regard to hackney carriages. Omnibuses were a description of stage carriage; but the law did provide that the fares charged should be uniform for all passengers, and should be according to a scale conspicuously painted within the
usual. He would suggest that the police, | mind the suggestions of the hon. Member, as well as private persons, should insti- with a view to any improvement which tute prosecutions in all these cases, for seemed necessary. few persons could follow the excellent example set by Sir Frederick Slade the other day, and summon, in the public interest, omnibus conductors or cab-drivers who were guilty of imposition. That domestic question possessed just now a cosmopolitan interest, and he hoped that the Government would not lose sight of it.
SIR GEORGE GREY said, he was sorry the answer which he gave a short time previously did not appear sufficient to the hon. Gentleman. There was a great distinction between cabs, which plied for hire for uncertain distances, and omnibuses, which, like stage-coaches, plied between certain given points. Still, some of the suggestions of the hon. Gentleman were worth consideration. On the other hand, the law already provided for some of the cases mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. For instance, omnibus "nursing" accompanied with violence or obstruction, was an offence which was already punished by suspension of licences, and by fine. Many of the complaints made as to the public vehicles of the metropolis were caused by the very unusual demand for them. In ordinary times competition was the best security for low fares in omnibuses; but at present the demand much exceeded the supply, and that was even more true of cabs than of omnibuses. Then, with regard to police prosecutions, the police had received instructions, upon which they acted, to watch the conduct of cab-drivers where they refused to take up passengers; and numerous cases had occurred in which, upon the information of the police, cab-drivers had been fined and their licences suspended. It was impossible at such a time to prevent the misconduct of individual drivers, and in all cases to secure their punishment; but the police were doing everything they could to pro tect the public, both Englishmen and foreigners, against imposition. With regard to the inconvenience of the present omnibus, Parliament could not well prescribe the form of the vehicle, or make any minute regulations respecting it; but one improvement would certainly be, that the table of fares should be painted outside as well as in. It was hardly worth while to bring in a Bill on purpose to effect that object; but it might be desirable at an early period to revise the law with regard to public vehicles, and then he would bear in Mr. Dawson
THE MALT DUTY.—OBSERVATIONS. MR. BALL said, he rose to call the attention of the House to the continuous oppressive Duty on Malt. They had had discussions upon questions of expenditure which had elicited some very able speeches. He thought that those speeches which had emanated from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) were calculated to do a vast deal of good. They were the handwriting on the wall which declared that no Government would ever again be allowed during a time of peace to raise a revenue of £70,000,000. A feeling had sprung up throughout the country that an immense expenditure should no longer be tolerated; and that as it was wholly unnecessary, it ought to be materially reduced. But if they had a revenue of even £75,000,000 or £80,000,000, they would be sure to spend it; and therefore their great security for the future would be their determination to refuse such large sums of money as had hitherto been asked for. If they were to abridge the revenue, he was sure that their expenditure would be cut down. Now, he did not know anything that claimed more strongly the consideration of the House and the Government than the reduction of the malt duty. Before the corn laws were abolished, it was generally admitted that the interests of agriculture would have fair claims on the consideration of the Government. They had not, however, received the consideration which had been promised. He hoped that the time would never arrive when they would suffer from a dearth of corn as they were suffering from a dearth of cotton. They had always been told that there would be an abundant supply of all commodities if free trade were fully established; but in the case of cotton it had failed to keep up the necessary supply. He hoped that the time would never arrive when a war with Russia or America would prevent a supply of corn coming into the country. He was disposed to think that the House was not aware of the amount of revenue derived from malt. Besides the £5,000,000 or £6,000,000 which were derived from the article of malt, there were £10,000,000 or £11,000,000 more from spirits; and thus the country derived about £17,000,000,