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respect to this matter. By the last Mex-| dearly for it. But he must say that the state of Mexico was such that any change of government must be an improvement, and the people of Mexico and the world generally were likely to profit by the acts of the French, however opposed those acts might be to the interests of France.
ican papers issued by Her Majesty's Government it appeared that Sir Charles Wyke and Commodore Dunlop had left Mexico and had gone to New York. Now, it appeared that the Convention signed by those two gentlemen was signed subsequent to that time. He wanted to know whether they had acted with the sanction of Her Majesty's Government in going to New York, and whether the noble Earl had any objection to lay the papers upon the table in reference to this point?
EARL RUSSELL said, that Commodore Dunlop and Sir Charles Wyke never went to New York. Sir Charles Wyke wrote home to say that it was his intention to go there, but he never executed that intention. He was now living at Mexico, but not in an official character, and he had informed the Mexican Government that he would not resume that character until the Couvention had been ratified by his Government. The Spanish Secretary of Legation was also, he believed, living there in an unofficial capacity. With regard to the Address of the French Government to the Chamber, it certainly contained a statement liable to misapprehension. But the papers which had been laid before Parliament, and those which were about to be produced, were likely to remove that misapprehension. Ile intended to write a despatch to the French Government upon the subject, which would, he hoped, tend to the same result.
THE EARL OF MALMESBURY said, there was one more point which he thought it important to notice. According to the public prints there appeared to be a feeling in Mexico that Sir Charles Wyke had taken a strong part with the Mexican Government as against the proceedings of the French. He did not believe that report at first, but it was said that Sir Charles Wyke had attended the theatre in public on an occasion when money was being raised for the Mexican wounded, and had thus identified himself with that party. Now, although the performances at the theatre might have been for a charitable object, it did not appear to him that it was a proper act of Sir Charles Wyke to appear publicly at the theatre on such an occasion. He (the Earl of Malmesbury) was sure that in this country there was no feeling whatever against the French in regard to their proceedings in Mexico. His own feeling was that they had made a great mistake in policy and were paying The Earl of Carnarvon
EARL RUSSELL said, that Her Majesty's Government had no information that Sir Charles Wyke had acted in the manner stated. He knew that such a report had reached Paris, but Sir Charles Wyke's letters, dated May 12, contained nothing on the subject. If Sir Charles Wyke had appeared publicly at the theatre on that occasion, he quite agreed with the noble Earl opposite, that it was a very injudicious act on his part.
UNITED STATES-CASE OF "THE
LORD BROUGHAM, on behalf of his noble and learned Friend (Lord Lyndhurst), whose health, as their Lordships would be glad to hear, had greatly improved of late, moved for the correspondence which had taken place respecting the capture of the Emily St. Pierre by the Americans, and her recapture from the prize crew. He understood that there had been some correspondence upon this subject, and he wished to know from the noble Earl whether there would be any objection to produce it?
EARL RUSSELL: I have no objection to lay the papers before the House, as the Correspondence is now closed, and Lord Lyons, in his last letter, promised to send it home immediately. The opinion of the Law Officers was taken upon this question, and they stated that there was no power in this country to surrender the vessel, or to give it up to the United States Government. It was said by them, and was at that time supposed to be the case, that there was no precedent on the case; but I have been informed this morning that there is a precedent, singularly enough, when the British Government demanded from the American Government the surrender of a vessel which had been recaptured by the crew after being seized as a prize. Mr. Adams, the grandfather of the present American Minister in this country-and he must say that the diplomatic agent who bore his name was a most worthy descendant of that distinguished statesman was then President of the
United States, and he replied that there hands of parishes, and transferred it to an was no precedent for such a demand. irresponsible body. He thought it would The result was the British Government be best that the Bill should be sent by failed to obtain the redress they sought their Lordships to a Select Committee. from the American Government.
LORD PORTMAN said, that great efforts, in which a noble Duke opposite and himself had borne a part, had been made in former years in the other House of Parliament to pass some such measure as the present, which was urgently needed. The Bill was little more than an enlargement of some clauses which were now the law; but the area of management was not suffi ciently large. It was extremely desirable that this measure, which had come down from the House of Commons, should be considered and amended by their Lordships, if it required amendment, and he hoped that it would become law this Session. To refer it to a Select Committee would not be a convenient mode of discussing it. Two or three of the clauses demanded careful consideration, which could be bestowed upon them in a Committee of the Whole House. On the whole, the Bill would, he believe, tend to give the country better roads than it had at present, and at a much less cost.
THE DUKE OF RICHMOND agreed very much in what had fallen from the noble Lord who spoke last as to the neces.. sity of passing some such measure as this, and could corroborate from his personal knowledge the statement that its subject had received a considerable degree of attention from the other House of Parliament. Concurring in the principles of the Bill, he thought that all the Amend
HIGHWAYS BILL-[BILL No. 93.]
Order of the day for the Second Reading read.
LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, he believed it was now thirty-one years since a noble Friend of his, now present, proposed a Bill in the other House of Parliament to amend the law relating to highways. Since that time there had been frequent attempts to legislate on the subject, and a Bill had at length successfully passed the other House of Parliament, and was now brought up to their Lordships' House in a shape which he trusted would secure their approbation. It had been carefully investigated by a Select Committee of the House of Commons. It was very desirable to establish some system by which they could secure the formation and maintenance of good roads throughout the country. The principle of this Bill had already been adopted with great success in South Wales, where the roads had been considerably improved and the expense had not been increased. The mode of procedure proposed to be enacted under this Bill was, that any five justices of the county might present a requisition to the Court of Quarter Sessions, and the court might make an order requirments necessary to make it a good and ing that the whole county, or any part of useful measure could be made in Comthe county, might be formed into districts. mittee of the Whole House. That provisional order had to be confirmed at another Court of Quarter Sessions, and the additional confirmation of the Secretary of State was then required. Power was given to appoint a paid surveyor and a paid treasurer, and each parish was to appoint a waywarden, in the same way that the surveyors of highways were appointed now. He would not go further into the details of the measure, which could be more appropriately considered in Committee; but he trusted that on the present occasion he should receive the assent of their Lordships to the second reading of the Bill.
Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a. THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY objected to the Bill, on the ground that it took the power of taxation out of the
LORD LYVEDEN was glad to see a Highway Bill that had some chance of passing, because it had also been his lot, in common with many others, to labour in this cause without success in the House of Commons. He believed that no Bill would be effectual that was not compulsory; but he was willing to see this measure adopted, because it would extend the area of management and give them surveyor with larger districts under their charge. Improvement in this respect was urgently called for in his own county, which paid £37,000 for the repairs of its highways, and yet the greater part of them were impassable in the winter.
THE EARL OF CARNARVON said, he thought this essentially a Bill of detail, which could be more conveniently dealt
with in Committee than on the second
he was glad to observe the general dispoeition of their Lordships in favour of the principle of the Bill. He should be happy to consider any suggestions that might be made to simplify or improve its machinery. Motion agreed to.
THE MARQUESS OF BATII thought the present law quite sufficient for all practical purposes. The remedies when a road got out of repair were ample; but the fact was that persons refrained from indicting bad roads because of the odium they would bo certain to incur. All that was really necessary to accomplish all they desired was that some officer should be appointed to go over the country, and where the roads were found out of repair to indict the parties liable. The Bill would only entail unnecessary expense, supersede local authority, and increase the influence of the Secretary of State's office.
LORD LYTTELTON maintained that a measure of this kind ought to be compul
LORD REDESDALE considered the measure entirely experimental, and no doubt before it was long in operation it would require Amendments in a variety of particulars. He supported the Bill.
LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY said,
Bill read 2 accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday, the 30th instant.
RED SEA AND INDIA TELEGRAPH BILL. [BILL No. 70.]
THIRD READING DISCHARGED. BILL RE-COMMITTED.
On Order of the Day for the Third Reading,
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL said, it had been objected on a previous occasion that the Bill gave the sanction of Parliament not merely to the old, but also to the new Company; and with the view of meeting this objection he now proposed to omit the three first lines of the 1st clause, which confirmed the arrangement between the two Companies, and to insert a recital of the arrangement which would be set out in the schedule, and which was embodied in the Treasury Minute. The effect would be to give the sanction of Parliament to that part of the agreement between the two Companies which required such sanction, and the transfer of the property and the conversion of the money payment given by the statute.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN was anxious that the new agreement should be produced. It might be the best or worst agreement in the world, but which he could not tell until he had the opportunity of seeing it.
LORD REDESDALE defied anybody to see how the matter stood by looking at the Correspondence; and he complained of the loose way of transacting business of this kind by Treasury Minute which referred to Correspondence as embodying the agreement. The more business-like way would be to have a regular formal agreement prepared, though he could understand that Companies preferred having informal arrangements, because they knew that the result was that it would tend to their interest and against that of the public. Another circumstance was that probably the parties interested would not be satisfied with the alteration now proposed. His own opinion was that the Bill should be recommitted in order to introduce the Amendment, because the effect of this
would be to give the parties interested an | sponsible if the telegraph was not in workopportunity of seeing the precise shape in ing order? He believe that such a clause which the Bill would pass. was in the contract embodied in the TreaLORD WODEHOUSE joined in re-sury Minute, and he would therefore ask questing their Lordships not to read the the noble Duke to lay that document on Bill a third time until they had seen the the table. agreement set out in a clear and intelligible form.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL said, the original agreement, signed by Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli, was already printed in extenso in an Act of Parliament. The present arrangement was simply with a view to make the best of a bad bargain; for, so carelessly was the first agreement drawn up that there was no doubt that the Government had bound themselves to pay £36,000 a year, whether the telegraph was laid down successfully or not. There was not the slightest wish on his part to conceal any documents which bore directly or indirectly upon the subject; and, in conformity with what appeared to be the wish of the House, he would consent that the Bill should be now recommitted with a view to its being reprinted with the amendments he had suggested.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL said, it was only intended to give the sanction of Parliament to that part of the agreement which required its sanction. It was supposed that expressions were used in the preamble and clauses which left it ambiguous, and he proposed to strike out the words to which exception had been taken. The Bill had passed through the Commons without objection, and it threw no additional burden upon the public funds.
LORD LYVEDEN agreed in the objection that had been taken as to the difficulty of ascertaining what the agreement really was. He objected to indirect allusions to engagements entered into by the Crown. They ought to be clearly and intelligibly stated. Private companies were fond of loose agreements; and if difficulty occurred, the Crown was called upon as a point of honour to make good every expectation.
EARL GREY trusted the noble Duke would adopt the suggestion of the Chair-day
man of Committees, and recommit the Bill. The Committee might be adjourned for a few days, and the Government would then have time to look into the matter.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL thought there was no necessity for this; but still, if noble Lords were of a contrary opinion, he had no objection to postpone the Bill again.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR recommended their Lordships to accede to the suggestion that the Bill be recommitted, in order that they might have full informa. tion upon the subject, and be enabled to agree upon such amendments as would prevent the necessity of the Bill being rejected by the House of Commons.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN said, the jealousy he felt was that the Treasury, or any public Department, should have the power to make agreements involving a large expenditure of public money without bringing them before Parliament. The province and duty of the House of Commons he had always understood to be to inquire into such questions as these.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE asked whether the Government were in a position to oblige the contractors to fulfil the clause of their agreement, which made them re
Order of the Day for the Third Reading read, and discharged; and Bill re-committed to a Committee of the Whole House.
House in Committee; Amendments made:
The Report thereof to be received on Monthe 27th instant; and to be printed as amended [No. 109].
House adjourned at a quarter past Seven o'clock, to Monday next, half-past Eleven o'clock.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
MINUTES.]-PUBLIC BILLS.-1° Chancery Regu-
2o Portsdown Fair Discontinuance.
EMPLOYMENT OF NAVAL OFFICERS
LORD ROBERT MONTAGU said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that the services of Captain Sherrard Osborne, or of any other Officer of Her Majesty's Navy, are to be placed at the disposal of the Chinese Government; whether such Officer will be paid by the Chinese Government, and whether he will, at the same time, retain his commission and continue to receive pay as an Officer in
Her Majesty's Navy; and whether one or more Gunboats are to be lent to the Chinese Government for any purpose they may think proper?
MR. LAYARD said, that application had been made, on behalf of the Chinese Government, for the services of Captain Sherrard Osborne and other officers. The subject was under the consideration of the Government, but he was not aware that any decision had yet been come to upon it. He did not know that any gunboat had been lent to the Chinese Government? MR. BRIGHT: By whom was the application made, and when?
MR. LAYARD: By the agents of the Chinese Government in this country.
THE ARMY IN CANADA.-QUESTION. COLONEL W. STUART said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether a free passage will be granted to the wives and families of officers who were sent out to Canada during the past winter, or any other allowance be made to enable them to join their husbands in Canada?
whether he can place a Document on the table of the House, showing the amount of such charge under Contract at each of the fifty-five places?
SIR GEORGE LEWIS said, if the hon. Baronet would move for a return upon the subject, he should be happy to lay it upon the table.
THE NEW REGIMENTS.-QUESTION. SIR ANDREW AGNEW said, he wish. ed to ask the Secretary of State for War, Why the Officers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st Hussars, and of the regiments of Infantry from the 101st to the 108th inclusive, are not gazetted; it being understood that all these regiments are embodied, and that the officers of most of them have been appointed and have performed their regimental duties for a considerable time?
SIR GEORGE LEWIS said, that the Indian Government were organizing these regiments, but the officers could not be gazetted until the rolls were received in this country.
SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY said, he wished to ask the Secretary of State for War, What amount of public charge is created by Contract at the fifty-five places stated in Parliamentary Paper No. 267 of this Session, where Contracts on account of Fortifications have been made; and Lord Robert Montagu
SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY said, he wished to ask if the right hon. Baronet will state the gross amount?
SIR GEORGE LEWIS: What the hon. Baronet asked for is the details, and it would be more convenient and satisfactory to the House to lay these details on the table in writing. I can give the gross amount at any time that it may be convenient to the hon. Baronet.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS said, that arrangements were at present in progress for sending out the wives and families of soldiers who had been sent out to Canada,ject was under the consideration of a Comand accommodation would be provided inmittee who had not yet made their Report, the same ship for the wives of officers.
and he was therefore not able to say what the recommendations would be, but he understood their attention had been directed to the subject to which the question of the hon. and gallant Member referred.
COLONEL FRENCH said, he rose to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether, in the Revised Warrant for Barrack Masters now under consideration, the officers, whose ages vary from sixty-five to eighty, and who may under its provisions be expected to retire, will be included in the improved retiring regulations?
SIR GEORGE LEWIS said, the sub