Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

8 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



1 PARLIAMENTARY JOTTINGS. THE novelty of changing seats in the House of Commons has passed away. The Ministers appear to be in their proper places, and the Opposition seem accustomed to the change. Mr. Disraeli, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, fills his place with dignity, at least, if not with power. Mr. Walpole and Sir J. Pakiagton to his right, Lord Stanley to his leffc, Sir Hugh Cairns as Attorney-General, and Mr. Bovill as Solicitor- General, are particularly apt in their several vocations. Mr. Disraeli's manner as leader of the Rouse is nearly perfect; he has such vast control over himself, that nothing seems to flurry him; his calm courtesy, ready tact, and pleasant humour, give quite a different character to the House. There have been several what are called hits made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the past week, which have carried the House with him. Sir Robert Peel, in a very bold manner, taxed the late Government, and Mr. Gladstone especially, with deceiving the House by adding a supple- j mental charter to the Queen's University, Ireland, I 'whilst they were pledged to acquaint the House of any change before such came into operation. His remarks were so personal that Mr. Gladstone said Oh, oh," upon which Sir Robert Peel Was still more severe, saying it was all very well for the late Chancellor â the Exchequer to say Oh, eh," in the place of non-responsibility which he now occupied, but he thought it was due to the House that an explanation should be given, and that the right honourable gentleman should acquit himself, if possible, of forfeiting his pledge. Of course, Sir G. Grey defended his colleague, and talked of the justice of the step they, the Govern- ment, had taken, and of its usefulness. Mr. Lowe was equally irritating in his manner to Mr. Glad- stone as Sir Robert Peel had been, and, after several members had spoken upon the same sub- ject, it remained for the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer and the present one to close the debate. Mr. Gladstone vindicated his conduct in the first instance, and then inveighed against the taunts of Sir Robert Peel, who himself sat on the Treasury Bench when the Act they had carried out was first proposed. In a sarcastic vein he pointed to friends who deceive you, and that of all other men he expected least to find the late Secretary for Ireland declaiming against conciliatory mea- sures for that country. He then appealed to the I present Government, and hoped they would adopt such measures for Ireland as would tend to make the people more contented and happy. One mode of doing this was by giving the same privileges to Roman Catholics as were enjoyed by Protestant?, and the supplementary charter given to the Queen's University was a step in that direc- tion. There are speeches of Mr. Gladstone's which may be called pivot speeches, because whenever the late Chancellor of the Exchequer is debating anything in which he really feels a warm interest, his body revolves all the time he is addressing the House. First, he turns to the person who has attacked him, then to the Speaker, and then makes a general appeal to the House, which gives an ani- mation to what he says, very different to Mr. Disraeli, who stands feverishly clutching the despatch-box before him, or fiddling with the papers on the table. Well, on this occasion Mr. Gladstone was in a rotary mood; round and round went the great orator—forth in potent volume flowed the ecstatic utterances of his Irish policy and he ended with a peroration in which he called IIPOII the Government to do their best for that Country which was fast being depopulated, saying that now was the time to legislate, to-monow would be too late. After Mr. Gladstone'sat down Mr. Disraeli rose. A gentle whisper went round, What will he say ?" because it is well known that the Attorney-General and several of his collea,gues are Orangemen, and by supporting a policy which let in Roman Ca- tholics to Protestant colleges, ha may not meet with their support,. lNo difficulty was, however, visible in his cVantesance or manner; but with a confidential sort of tacit admission of how con- venient it would be if Government had time to Consider the matter, he assured the House that the subject would have the serious attention of Ministers, and suggested that it might be as well to wait and see what the Senate of the University "would do about the matter in the autumn." The humour of the thing quite won the House, and dis- armed criticism. The speeches of Mr. Disraeli as compared with Mr. Gladstone are as different as can be. The latter is rather verbose—too minute in details, Often occupying the House an hour in wha,t may be delivered in ten minutes. He appeared during his leadership to be fond of speaking, and when it, should have been the place of one of his colleagues to reply, he often undertook to do it himself. The reverse is the case with Mr, Disraeli j he seems to have thorough confidence in his coadjutors. If the Home Secretary is called upon, Mr. Wal- pole answers without' any exchange of words with his 1 iader; the same in the Army and Navy departments, alike in Indian: affairs, as also in the Board of Works, legal ques- tions, &e., the representatives of the several heads make their reply. "When as Chancellor of the Ex- chequer, or as leader of the House, Mr. Disraeli is called upon, he answers in a few words and to the purpose. For instance, when asked concerning the appointments of Mr. Blackburne and Mr. Napier to the highest legal oSices in Ireland, who were represented by Mr.Oaboroe, in a very brusque manner, as both unfitted for the several positions of Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Chief Justice of Appeal-the one being as octogenarian and the other "deaf as a stone' Mr. Disraeli merely answered, that her Majesty had made these ap- pointments on the of her Minis- ters, and he believed both these gentleraea were fitted tofulfil their duties. But I think tho prettiest retort was given an evening or two a>:tev, when Sir Patrick O'Brien, reviving the subject, asked whether it was true that Mr. Blackburne declined the Irish Chancellorship in 1858 on the score of age. The reply was given with all Mr. Disraeli s pre-eminent mastery of trifles, and particularly of the art of pausing, and a real bit of comedy was his statement that Mr. Biackburne declined the Chancellorship when Lord Derby offered it to him because he was already in possession of a dignified and permanent office, and he did not think the Chancellorship would possess the latter character. Here he paused, and the House for a moment did not see the force of this, but gradually a laugh broke out-i good-humoured laugh-from every side, as if quite ta,ken by the sly frankness and subtle humour of the reply. The right lion. gen- ,r,, tleman said no more, but eat down amid cheers. On the other hand, however, Mr. Disraeli seems to know where he may take liberties, and he can castigate severely when he pleases. No one would desire to have been in the place of Mr. Mill the other evening when lie placed upon the paper ten questions concerning the Jamaica inquiry, which j occupied about two pages of the orders of the day. I Every member, as well as every reporter, is sup- plied with these .papers; therefore, to save the time of the I-louqe, it is customary for the Speaker to call upon the member at the proper time, when the orders of the day are being gone through, to submit his motion, who merely rises and says, I beg to submit the motion which stands in my name" to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary for the HOllie Department, or who- ever it may be, and then sits down again; the Minister replying to the motion as it appears on the printed paper. Mr. Mill went through the ordinary form, whereupon Mr. Disraeli asked him to read his motion. What, all of it ? asked the philosopher ? Yes, all," said the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and for about ten minutes Mr. Mill was the laughing-stock of the House. Mr. Disraeli then rose, and replied to them with such a scathing of their impropriety, inaccuracy, and general objectionableness, as one had need to be a philosopher to bear with anything like equa- nimity. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the first nine questions made accusations de facto, and the tenth asked Government whether such things had occurred. Mr. Mill made positive assertions against numerous persons, and then asked the Government to contradict him. Mr. Disraeli reminded the hon. gentleman that whatever acts had been committed, they were during the existence of martial law; and the legality or illegality of the proceedings was a point upon which there was a difference of opinion. Some farther inquiry was being made, and so far as Mr. Eyre was concerned he had already been dismissed from his post. It was unfair to confound errors of judgment with malice prepense; and the most convenient mode of deal- ing with the question was with a direct motion, and not by a string of questions like those sub- mitted to him. I don't know how it is, but recently Mr. Mill has not taken with the House at all. Whether it is his advocacy of female suffrage, or whatever it may be, he is not the popular member he was; and on this occasion the majority seemed to delight in the chastisement of Mr. Disraeli. Later in the evening, when Mr. Mill endeavoured to speak on another subject, the House roared him into his seat with a peremptori- ness which showed how vividly they remembered the philosopher's recent faux pas. A LITTLE circumstance occurred during Mr. Disraeli's speech which shows how perfectly at home he is in the House. Colonel Sykes was talk- ing rather loudly on the Opposition side during his speech, whereupon the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer put his glass to his eye, and openly quizzed the colonel, turning round to Lord Cran- borne, who sat next to him, and saying some- thing so droll concerning the grey-headed Indian Scotch colonel's appearance, that put the whole ot the members on the Treasury Bench into laughter. A number of bills are sftill on the papers, which were originated by the late Ministers, but one after another they get shelved, and I dare say in about a fortnight's time the business of the session will be closed, and that many of the members will be on the hills of Scotland, or preparing for part- ridge shooting at home. The vacation, however, will be used by the Liberals to get up a consider- able opposition for the forthcoming session. Their head-quarters will be the "Cobden Club," which was inaugurated last week, Mr. Gladstone taking the chair. :r.œ:t




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