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Office; but the answer was, that it was perfectly hopeless at this distance of time to recover the advances, and under these circumstances the Government thought that the only course was to submit a Vote to the Committee of Supply. As to the other sums, they were withdrawn from the Treasury chest upon the authority of the Governor of the Cape, in excess of the sums voted by Parliament, at a time when he was apprehensive of a Kaffir war, and thought it his duty to take precautionary measures. There could be no objection to any inquiry which the hon. Gentleman might wish into the manner in which the accounts of the Treasury chest were kept. MR. CHILDERS said, there appeared up to 1858-9 advances on account of British Kaffraria £23,000, but in this account the same advances were stated to be £57,000. How was the difference to be reconciled?
vances, which involved the total failure of Parliamentary authority. He was not prepared to state in what precise form stringent instructions to those who had the control of the Treasury chest would be given, but he hoped and expected such instructions would be given as to render their recurrence impossible; and when those instructions were given, they would be laid on the table of the House.
MR. BAXTER said, it was important that no Governor of a colony should be permitted to go on drawing sums of money, looking to be repaid in subsequent years by Votes of the House of Commons; and he was exceedingly glad to hear that the Government were about to adopt stringent measures with a view to prevent so unsatisfactory a state of things occurring in future. He hoped this was the last Estimate of the kind that would be presented to Parliament.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE
QUER said, that although the immediate point was susceptible of the explanation which had been given-namely, that the sums issued in the colonies without direct or adequate authority remained as a general charge against the chest until it was determined to which heads those is. sues properly belonged, yet it did not remove at all the substance of the case of his hon. Friend. The substantial question had first to be settled; and when it was determined to what head they belonged, they were placed under the year in which the issues took place under that head. He was not saying anything in censure of the conduct of the Governor of the Cape, or of any colonial Governor; but, apart from the motives which actuated them, a most material question remained to be settled-whether the Governor was or was not justified in issuing greater sums than what Parliament had voted. In such a vote as this the House of Commons was ousted of its control over the expenditure of the public money; and, moreover, the Executive Government at home was just as much ousted of its control as the House of Commons. These occurrences were liable to take place in different parts of the world, and, while crediting the local authorities with the best motives, it could not be expected that they would feel as jealous of Parliamentary privilege and control as the House of Commons. The subject was not new to the Government, and they had been considering in what mode they could prevent the recurrence of these adVOL. CLXVII. [THIRD SERIES.]
(17.) £10,834, Emigration Board. MR. ADDERLEY complained that this Vote, although it had been diminished, had not been reduced to so great an extent as the House had a right to expect. If the Emigration Board was simply an agency for procuring emigrants for certain Australian colonies, in whose despatch we had no interest, why should the charge of that department be thrown upon the Imperial Treasury? Other colonies maintained emigration agents of their own in England, and he did not see why these should not also. Moreover, if the Board was to be maintained, why should it be separated from the Colonial Office, to which it ought properly to belong?
MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH said, that the Board had during one year only chartered thirty-three vessels, while the number of private vessels chartered was 354. It was true that to a certain extent those vessels came under the superintendence of the agents of the Emigration Board, but that duty could be equally well performed by the officers of Customs. MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE thought it could not be said that the Government of this country had no interest in securing due care and protection for such of our poorer fellow countrymen as wished
to emigrate to the colonies, and he had agement of emigration transport to the Transport Board, and, consequently, the recommendation of the Committee had not been carried into effect.
MR. PEEL said, that the first item was
never before heard dissatisfaction expressed against the Emigration Board-on the contrary, he had always heard their action referred to with satisfaction. The number of emigrants had undoubtedly diminished, but he thought it was still the duty of the Government to protect the poorer classes of emigrants who left their native country for the antipodes. The colonies, it was said, ought to take that duty upon themselves. Some of the colonies had undertaken the selection of emigrants by means of agents; but the transport of the emigrants, however selected, to the Australian colonies, was still in the hands of the Emigration Board. They chartered the vessels, and were responsible for the arrangements on board. But that was not the only duty of the Emigration Board. They exercised constant control over the great system of coolie emigration a charge which was governed by fixed from India, China, and Africa to the West regulations, and provided for the freight Indian colonies and to the Mauritius. of specie to the several Treasury chests They advised the Secretary of State upon abroad. He did not think it was open all the complicated questions which arose to the objection made to it by the hon. in carrying out that system. They also Member. As to the other large items, the administered the Passengers Act. They rate of exchange in the East involved a superintended the whole of the movements great loss. The net loss provided for in of the poorer classes of this country to the Estimate arising from transactions for the colonies; and they had many other the supply of the Treasury chest in China, duties to discharge in connection with the in the year 1860-1, was £217,971. It colonies, which must be performed by arose entirely from the difference between some Board or other. The right hon. I the value of the dollar as purchased either Gentleman (Mr. Adderley) had asked why here or in China, and the value at which the Emigration Board should not be amal-it was brought to account in the books of gamated with the Colonial Department. the Treasury chest. The only real loss, If that amalgamation took place, the num- however, was in respect of the payments ber of clerks in the Colonial Department of the troops, because in paying them the must be increased, and the change would dollar was taken at 4s. 2d.-the assumed not occasion much diminution of the ex- Government par of Exchange-while the penditure. But he did not think it would sum paid for it in China was from 4s. 7d. be expedient to interfere with the consti- to 48. 9d. This might be considered as tution of the Emigration Board, which had part of the war expenses with China. discharged its duties as satisfactorily as any other department in the State.
MR. DODSON said, the loss ought to have been inserted in its proper placethe Military and Naval Estimates.
MR. BAXTER also thought this Vote ought to have been brought under the consideration of the Committee when the Army Estimates were before them.
MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH would wish to hear some explanation from the noble Lord the Secretary to the Admiralty with reference to the recommendation of the Committee.
LORD CLARENCE PAGET said, it was quite true the Committee which had considered the subject of the transport of troops and the transport of emigrants, had expressed an opinion that it would be advisable to have both those departments of transports brought into the one office; but the Colonial Office thought that there were great objections to transferring the manMr. Chichester Fortescue
SIR HARRY VERNEY contended, that if the transport of emigrants was conducted under the supervision of the State, the most stringent measures should be taken to secure seaworthy ships for the emigrants. Vote agreed to.
(18.) £242,971, Treasury Chest.
MR. FINLAY called attention to the item of £25,000 for freight of specie in aid of Treasury chests abroad, and to that of £156,147 108. 7d. for discount of Bills drawn at Hongkong upon Her Majesty's Treasury or on the Indian Treasury. He thought that both were too large.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER said, there was nothing in reference to the Vote which came within the Army Estimates properly speaking; and when those Estimates were laid on the table, and when he made his financial statement, this matter escaped his attention.
MR. BAXTER hoped that in future more attention would be given to a Vote
of this sort, which was in reality one of great importance.
MR. CAIRD hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would take care that the losses on the remittances to China would next year appear in the Military Estimates, for it seemed we were now likely to have another China war.
518 Frenchmen than in our own colonists, and to subject the latter to a system of checks and supervisions, of which he did not complain, but from which the foreigner was free. He did not object to this additional allowance, which was probably necessary in so expensive a place as Réunion, if it was of any use incurring the charge at all. Under such circumstances, he had a right to ask whether any reports had been received from the Consul at Réunion.
(22.) £167,783, Consular Establishments Abroad.
If not, or if they were unfavourable, then the best course would be to give notice to terminate the treaty, to recall the Consul; and as we had lost this opportunity, as well as that of the commercial treaty, of obtaining from France the same concession with regard to the right of search which MR. CAVE said, there was an increase we had happily obtained from America, in the charge for consular establishments we had better leave France to share with in the island of Réunion above the allow- Spain the disgrace of perpetuating the ance for last year. This increase they slave trade; but let us not help her to might attribute to the French. The supplement her importation of kidnapped House knew that the French were, after Africans with British subjects from India. the emancipation of their slaves, very He would therefore put the Question of short of labourers in Réunion, and they which he had given notice, Whether any smuggled large numbers of British sub-report had been received from the Consul jects from Madras to fill the gap; but their at Réunion respecting the condition of the treatment of these people was not good Indian labourers carried by the French to enough to secure a continuance of this im- that island from Madras and Calcutta. migration. They then began to import negroes, with which, if it was a free immigration, we had nothing to do, and, if not, it was contrary to treaty. We could not make up our minds as to which it was; but we bribed the French to abandon it prospectively by giving them the run of the labour market of Calcutta, which was far enough from Madras to prevent any evil reports having been received. He felt it his duty two years ago to protest against this treaty, feeling very strongly that we should lose all control over those people so soon as they had passed from beneath our flag. The noble Lord at the head of Foreign Affairs assured him that every care would be taken that the obliga-gration of the Coolies from India was tions entered into by the French were obtained in such a way that they hardly strictly carried out. The French lost no knew whether it was voluntary or not. time in securing the benefit of the treaty, The mortality among them even on the for they sent twenty-eight ship-loads of voyage to Réunion was calculated to excite emigrants from Calcutta to Réunion last suspicion. The Government had been comseason, or more than went to the whole pelled to place the English Coolie traffic British West Indies. He had heard under strict regulations, and it was unfair rumours that there had been abuses even the French should obtain the labourers in the embarkation and transit. He had without observing rules of the same kind. heard also that Her Majesty's Government The Government of India should take confessed that no real control could be great care as to the arrangements under exercised by the Consul. If not, then it which the Coolies left the country, and was monstrous to put more trust in the that the health and comfort of these per
Vote agreed to; as were also the following:
(19.) £1,500, Niger Expedition. (20.) £55,000, Liberated Africans and Captured Negroes.
(21.) £10,750, Mixed Commissions, Traffic in Slaves.
MR. LAYARD said, that the fact of their having been a great mortality among the Coolies sent to Réunion by the French had been reported to the Government by Mr. Hill, our consular agent in that island, and representations had accordingly been made to the French Government on the subject. There was every reason to believe that these representations would produce an improvement both as regards the class of vessels employed and the treatment of the emigrants. An English Consul had been appointed at Réunion for the purpose of seeing that the contracts with the Coolies were faithfully carried out.
MR. W. E. FORSTER said, the emi
sons during the voyage were duly attended | been made at Alexandria. Consuls could to. It was useless to make complaints only be appointed by the Crown, and the after the immigrants arrived in the colony. Canadian Government had not therefore MR. THOMSON HANKEY said, he had the power of appointing the Consuls at frequently heard it complained that the Chicago and Buffalo. agreements made with the Coolies were never carried out. These persons were British subjects, and ought to have the same protection as the labourers imported into the English colonies. To say that the Coolies on their arrival in the island might appeal to the British Consul was perfectly useless.
COLONEL SYKES supposed we should now see legal Consuls appointed wherever any considerable number of Englishmen were found.
MR. LAYARD said, his hon. Friend had omitted to notice the distinction between Turkey and other countries.
MR. CAVE said, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs had only answered half his Question, and that unsatisfactorily. We might, indeed, regulate the embarkation in India, though apparently we had not even done this, but the Consul was appointed, as he had understood, when the treaty was ratified, to see that the arrangements were properly carried out in Réunion. This could only be done by sending some one as inspector round the estates to ascertain whether the Coolies were paid the stipulated wages. Rumours were current that the contracts were not carried out, and that these unfortunate people were entirely without protection or redress.
MR. FREELAND believed that a memorial had been received from British residents in Constantinople with reference to the introduction of trial by jury in civil cases, and also a report from the Judge of the Consular Courts, containing his views upon the question. Would there be any objection to lay copies of that memorial and report upon the table of the House?
MR. LAYARD said, that the Government had not yet decided what reply they should give to the memorialists. The matter had been referred to Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople for his opinion; and when it was received, there would be no objection to lay the papers on the table.
COLONEL SYKES said, he observed in the Estimate that in addition to a Consul, Vice Consul, and second Vice Consul at Alexandria, two new offices had been created of legal Vice Consul at £600 a year, and a law clerk at £300; and asked for an explanation.
SIR FRANCIS BARING pointed out that the salary of Consul at Lagos at £500 was continued, although Lagos was now a British dependency. There was also a new post created of Vice Consul at Abbeokuta, with £400 a year.
MR. DODSON wished to know why the allowance to the Consul at Cologne was double what it was last year. It had been stated he performed the duties of postmaster in receiving the mail-bags. Had the correspondence so much increased? He observed that the Consuls kept at Chicago and Buffalo were still kept up, although the Select Committee stated that the necessity for these officers was very doubtful. At all events, if necessary, they were kept up for Canadian purposes.
MR. LAYARD said, that some time ago a legal Consul was appointed at Constantinople to settle disputes between Her Majesty's subjects, and he was found so useful that a similar appointment had Mr. W. E. Forster
MR. W. E. FORSTER wished the Committee to be distinctly told whether the regulations for the shipment of Coolies in French ships were less stringent than those which applied to emigration in British ships. There ought to be the same regard for the comfort and health of the Coolies whether they were shipped in French or English vessels.
MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH said, it had transpired in the course of the discussion that evening, that the Emigration Board in London were responsible for looking after the emigration of Coolies from India. It was their duty, therefore, it would seem, to lay down rules for the Coolie emigration in French vessels.
LORD ROBERT MONTAGU said, the Government could not have a Consul at a place within the Queen's dominions; and as Lagos had been, without the sanction of the House of Commons, annexed to the British Crown, perhaps the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs would not object to omit the salary of the Consul at Lagos.
MR. LAYARD said, he was not quite able to give an answer to the noble Lord, but he would make inquiries and let him know the result before the report was brought up. Tote agreed to.
(23.) £86,748, Establishments in China, | portion to what they had already laid Japan, and Siam. out; in short, there appeared to be a total expenditure of £33,000 a year on the establishment; a few years ago it was £15,000. Then there was a house at Therapia, which had been presented by the Sultan, and on that account had to be maintained; and in consequence there was a very considerable item for boat-hire between Constantinople and Therapia.
MR. FREELAND had, on a former occasion, called attention to the growing amount of the sums required for the repairs of the Ambassadors' residences at Constantinople. They were now asked to Vote a sum of £11,728 for extraordinary disbursements connected with the Embassy at Constantinople. This was a sum enormously in excess of the sum demanded for similar purposes in connection with any other Embassy. He thought that the whole expense of the Establishment at Constantinople ought to be thoroughly looked into.
MR. LAYARD said, the sum of nearly £2,000 for telegraphic messages was a large one, but the couriers who were formerly employed entailed a much heavier expense. As for the sum of £1,300 for boat-hire-if our Ambassador lived in Constantinople in summer, the expense of his residence would be much larger. But all the Ambassadors left the city in that season, and therefore the two residences were necessary. The sum for the Embassy was large, but he trusted that in time it might be reduced. As regarded the Paris expenditure, it had been thoroughly investigated at the Foreign Office, and not a shilling had been laid out which was not well accounted for. As to the question of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Bouverie), the statement of expenditure was for the year 1860-1, when the Two Sicilies and the Kingdom of Sardinia were still in existence.
MR. KINNAIRD thought the expenditure ought to be compared with the trade between this country and Turkey, for a large trade could not be carried on without a commensurate expenditure on the diplomatic service.
MR. WHITE found that this country paid five times as much for the conduct of its trade with Turkey as for the conduct of its entire trade with the United States. He was of opinion that the consular establishments in Turkey required curtailment.
VISCOUNT PALMERSTON said, that
LORD ROBERT MONTAGU said, this sum was £22,000 greater than last year, and there were six new charges for Consulates in China, which amounted to upwards of £14,000; so that the upshot of our Chinese war was, that after having expended several millions we were now to be saddled with a payment of nearly £20,000 for Consulates. What were the results of all that we had done? Our imports from China in 1857 were to the value of £11,500,000; in 1858 they were only £7,000,000; in 1859, £9,000,000; and in 1860, £9,330,000. Our exports to China were in 1857 about £1,660,000; the same in 1858; £2,500,000 in 1859; and £3,000,000 in 1860. Therefore we paid the Chinese a great deal more than we received from them, and the balance of trade was against us. He wanted to know, then, what advantage did we derive from all that we had expended upon wars with China?
MR. LAYARD said, that the new ports in which Consulates had been established promised great results, and would be, he was convinced, of the greatest possible advantage in the way of trade. Vote agreed to.
(24.) £35,000, Ministers at Foreign Courts.
MR. E. P. BOUVERIE asked for an explanation of charges for two countries that had disappeared from the map of Europe, the Two Sicilies and Sardinia.
MR. CHILDERS wished to know how it was that the disbursements at Paris under the head of Miscellaneous Expenditure should have exactly amounted to £1,000 a year. Had they contracted for Miscellaneous Expenditure at that sum?
MR. PEACOCKE asked for explanation about the miscellaneous charges for the Turkish Embassy.
MR. AYRTON said, the attention of the Committee ought to be directed to the enormous expense of the establishment at Constantinople. A palace had been built, at an expense of £85,000; then a Vote for a chapel, which was at first refused, was taken, and then another Vote; and then upwards of £50,000 was spent upon consular buildings. Having expended nearly £140,000 on public buildings at Constantinople, one would have expected that the annual charge would be reduced; but it appeared to have increased in pro