Page images
PDF
EPUB

conduce to the credit or authority placed in two or three years, Mr. of the House. This practice of Gladstone showed errors in the drawing bills upon the future was elements of his calculation, and an innovation. The House should what he considered to be fallacies wait till the time came when they in the analogies and arguments knew the financial condition of urged in support of the motion. the country, the expenditure, and He was prepared to admit that the means of meeting it. The in certain conditions of the remotion avoided all the other re- venue it might be judicious to missions with which they might reduce the duty on fire insurance; be called upon to deal—the duties but this proposal was made in on tea, sugar, paper, and the in- total ignorance of the necessicome-tax. He asked the House ties of the country, when it was not to prejudge this great ques- not known whether there was tion.

any revenue to give away, and Mr. Dodson's motion was re. whether this was the wisest mode jected by 202 to 110.

of financial remission if there was a The next proposal of this na- surplus of revenue. The meaning ture was made by Mr. H. B. of the motion was, that neither Sheridan, who, on the 8th of the income-tax, nor the paper March, asked for leave to bring duty, nor the tea duty, nor the in a Bill to reduce the duty on sugar duty, was to be put in fire insurance. He wished to competition with the duty on lower the rate from 38. to 1s. He fire insurance, this special seleccontended that the high rate ope- tion being urged by a combinarated as a restriction upon insur- tion of wealthy bodies. The ance, and that a relief from the motion was negatived on a diviburden would produce a larger sion by 138 to 49. return of revenue. He urged a The only remaining proceedvariety of other reasons, moral as ing of a financial nature worthy well as economical, in favour of of notice was a motion made by his motion.

Mr. Arthur Mills, on the subject Mr. Norris opposed the motion of Colonial Expenditure. He proas one brought forward in the posed that a Committee should interest of the insurance offices, be appointed to inquire whether and not calculated, so much as any, and what, alterations might other remissions which might be be advantageously adopted in made, to benefit the public. regard to the defence of the Bri

Mr. Malins and Mr. Alderman tish dependencies, and the proSidney supported the views of portions of cost of such defence Mr. Sheridan.

as now defrayed from Imperial The Chancellor of the Ex- and colonial funds respectively. chequer considered that, as far He observed that the question as argument went, this was an was of considerable importance, exhausted subject. The effect of since it involved the expenditure the proposition was to vote a of 4,000,0001. a-year, nine-tenths condemnation of 900,0001. of the of which sum fell upon the taxarevenue of the current year, and tion of this country; and he although Mr. Sheridan calculated showed that the principle, if that this amount would be re- there was any principle, observed in the proportions contributed by ment not to resist an inquiry that the parent country and by the might have the effect of reducing different colonies, was not uni- a lavish expenditure which taught form. As he understood that his the colonies to lean too much motion would be opposed by the upon the mother country, instead Government, he anticipated and of trusting to their own resources. replied to the objections he ex- Lord Palmerston said it seemed pected they would offer to the to him that the objects sought by inquiry, which he proposed, he the motion might be classed said, in no hostile spirit.

under two heads-first, to deterThe motion was seconded by mine the number of troops that Mr. Marsh.

should be maintained at each Mr. C. Fortescue, Under-Se- colony and dependency; and, cretary for the Colonies, assured second, to decide by whom they Mr. Mills and the House that he should be paid. The former did not regard the motion as a question could not be properly party attack. He observed that determined by a Committee of Mr. Mills had greatly exagge- that House, but by the Executive rated the amount of the colonial Government; and, with regard to military expenditure, the causes the latter, it was not in the comand conditions of which differed petence of the House itself, or in different colonies, and that the even of the Imperial Government, doctrine that the colonies should to say what contribution each codefray the cost of their own de- lony should make, as some of fence might be carried too far them had local legislatures, and The case was not so bad as Mr. the question must be a matter of Mills had represented ; but, at negotiation. He could not, thereall events, the question, in the fore, anticipate any practical reopinion of the Government, was sult from the appointment of this not a fit one for inquiry by a Committee; nevertheless, if it Committee of that House. appeared to the House that an

Mr. Baxter and Lord Robert inquiry was desirable, he should Cecil supported the motion. Mr. not oppose the motion. Adderley also urged the Govern- The motion was then agreed to. CHAPTER IV.

ARMY AND Navy.-Improvements in Military Administration and in

the Construction of Ships of War-Numerous Discussions in Parliament on these topics.—Navy ESTIMATES—Moved by Lord Clarence Paget on the 11th of MarchThe Noble Lord enters into a full statement as to the progress of the French Marine, and the necessity for constructing Iron-cased Vessels for Defensive Purposes - Account of the French Ship La Gloire and the English WarriorRemarks of Mr. Baxter, Mr. Lindsay, and Sir John PakingtonMr. Bright condemns the excessive Amount of the Estimates-He is answered by Lord Palmerston— Motion for Inquiry into the Constitution of the Board of Admiralty proposed by Admiral Duncombe-Lord C. Paget, on behalf of the Government, consents to the Motion, which, after some debate, is agreed to-Sir James Elphinstone moves for an Inquiry into the System of Promotion and Payment of Officers in the Royal Navy-The Ministers object to the Motion, as tending to the disadvantage of the Service-Remarks of Lord Palmerston The Motion is carried by 102 to 97-Debate on the relative Merits of Iron and Wooden ShipsMr. Lindsay, seconded by Sir M. Peto, moves ResolutionsLord C. Paget opposes them-Speeches of Mr. Bentinck, Sir J. Pakington, the Earl of Gifford, Mr. Corry, and other MembersThe Resolutions are withdrawn-Further Debates on Iron-cased Vessels -Sir John Pakington gives a startling Account of the Progress made by France in this direction, as contrasted with our own- -Mr. Lindsay, Lord C. Paget,

and Lord Palmerston controvert the facts stated— The same subject ( is mooted by the Earl of Carnarvon in the House of LordsThe

Duke of Somerset makes an interesting Speech in explanation, entering fully into detailsEarl Grey expresses much satisfaction at this statementThe Naval Estimates are passed in the House of Commons after some oppositionMr. Lindsay inquires of the Government whether some limitation of the Marine, both of France and England, cannot be settled by agreement between the two Powers— Lord Palmerston states, with much force, the difficulties and objections to such proceeding.—THE ARMY ESTIMATESThey are moved by Mr. T. G. Baring on the 14th of MarchHis Speech He describes the Progress made in the Construction of Armstrong Guns, and the Improvements in the Organization and Management of the Army-Criticisms by various Members on this statementThe large amount of the Estimates is complained of, and justified on the ground of necessity by Lord Palmerston --- Mr. B.

[ocr errors]

A

Osborne denounces the Camp Establishment at Aldershott in strong terms - Colonel Dickson proposes a Revision of the Estimates with a view to greater Economy-Remarks of General Peel, Mr. Monsell, Mr. Baring, and Lord Palmerston - Several Amendments are mored, but without successThe Vote for the Volunteer Force gives rise to an interesting DebateViscount Elcho calls the attention of the House to the Requirements of that Force, and uryes increased Contribution from Government - Answer of Mr. T. G. Baring, who pays a high tribute of Praise to the Rifle Corps, but deprecates Money Allowance to Volunteers - Pemarks of Mr. H. Berkley on the Yeomanry Cavalry ---The Votus are agreed to. GOOD deal of interesting dis- have been greater had it not been

cussion took place this Ses. deemed advisable to purchase a sion upon various matters relating considerable store of timber. to the military and naval services. The number of men and boys The many improvements intro- to be maintained was 78,200. duced in the administration of the Last year the number voted was army, especially in the treatment 85,000, but only 81,000 were and condition of the soldiers, the maintained; therefore, the de. novel construction of artillery crease was not 7000 but 3000 ; and other weapons of war, as well and as 3000 were coming home as the experiments lately made from China, the force of the navy in the structure of iron.cased ves- would not be reduced by a single sels, and other matters of naval man. Then we had a large accesmanagement and discipline, fur- sion to our force in another way. nished occasion for several mo- The Royal Naval Reserve was tions on the part of private mem- making great progress; 4000 bers as well as explanations and prime, able seamen had already statements by the official heads been enrolled, they were entering of public departments.

at the rate of 100 a week, and Ön the 17th of March, Lord there would be some 7000 by the Clarence Paget, the Secretary to end of the year. Besides these, the Admiralty, in moving the there were 7000 Royal Naval Navy Estimates, which were of Coast Volunteers, 4000 Coastvery large amount, made a clear guards, and 8000 Marines on and able statement as to the re- shore; there were 1500 supernusources and needs of the British meraries, and in the training naval service, and gave an in- ships 2000 boys. A large numteresting account of the fleets and ber of pensioners were also fit armaments of other Powers in for service, if wanted again. The comparison with our own. The system of training boys for the estimates for the year 1861-2, navy was working well, and prosaid the noble lord, amount to mised to supply the navy with 12,029,475l., an apparent de- 2900 boys per annum. The crease for the current year of casualties among our force afloat, 806,625l., or, deducting the extra- (38,000,) were 5000 a-year inordinary vote on account last ye cluding deserters, and he hoped for China, a real decrease of to make that good by taking 2900 601,6251. The decrease would boys from the training ships, and

2100 from the merchant service. smaller vessels. This is irreBefore proceeding to state the spective of the vessels which number of the ships, Lord Cla- lately belonged to the Neapolirence Paget delivered a statement tan Government. Here is a as to the naval strength of other very powerful force of sea vessels. Powers. “ First of all, with re- I must now advert to a novel spect to the French navy, as far weapon of war, which, to my as we can gather from the official mind, is of still more importance reports—for we have no informa- in considering the force of nation that is not open to the tions at sea. French public we believe that • With regard to the French France has 35 line-of-battle ships navy, we know that they have no afloat and two building, making a less than two very large and total of 37. We believe that the powerful iron-cased ships. We French have 18 paddle and 2 know that they have also four screw frigates, making a total of 39 powerful vessels which they call frigates afloat and 8 frigates build- iron-cased frigates ; and that they ing. All these are wooden ships. have, likewise, four of a very forI will deal with the iron-cased midable class, called floating batships afterwards. The vessels I teries. In addition to these, have spoken of are all steamships. they have five gunboats, with There is a great variety of small which we are partially acquainted vessels, corvettes, gunboats, and by rumour, and which are of a other classes, making the entire very formidable character. We French navy consist of 266 ves- find, then, that the Spaniards are sels afloat, and 61 building. building an iron-cased vessel Then we have to consider another which is not yet afloat; and of great naval Power, Russia. Rus- the French ships I

may say that sia has 9 screw liners afloat and three are afloat; La Gloire and none building. She has also 7 La Normandie are actually on the screw and 10 paddle frigates, water. Of the French 'floating making 17 frigates afloat, and 6 batteries I am not prepared to building. Next, we have for the say how many are afloat; but I first time an account this year of have every reason to believe that the Spanish navy, which is taking every one of these vessels could, its place among the navies of if required, be afloat in a very Europe. Spain has of steam short period of time. We underliners afloat 2, and building stand that the Russians are about 1. She has 12 frigates afloat to build an iron-cased frigate, and 2 building. They are all and the Italians have already one steamers, but whether they are of those iron-cased frigates, which paddles or screws I cannot say. is either afloat or about to be We have another navy, that of launched. At the present moItaly, now entering the arena. I ment we have seven iron-cased hope that people will speedily ships under construction. It rank among the first maritime would, perhaps, be interesting nations of the world. Italy has to the Committee if I gave them one screw liner afloat;

some information as to what we 6 screw and 12 paddle frigates, know already of these iron-cased with a considerable number of ships. The Committee may re

« PreviousContinue »