Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

10 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



PABLIAIENTABY JOTTINGS, THE House of Commons during the past week has exhibited rather a vacant appearance. County members have for the most part been absent, but the debates have not been void of interest. On most points the late Ministers, together with the majority of the Opposition, have been very amiable to the new Government. They have allowed measure after measure to pass without going to a division. In the majority of instances, however, these measures originated by the late Ministry, and therefore could not well be opposed. But there are a few members in the House who have their -crotchets, and are determined to carry them out, let whatever Government be in power. In the past week we had a new man with a new crotchet, if I am right in calling it a crotchet. Mr. Seely, the member for Lincoln, is a little, spare man, very mild in appearance. He has been in the House some years, and his voice has scarcely been heard. He always, however, took his place amongst the most advanced Reformers, and sat in the second bench below the gangway when the Russell-Gladetone Ministry were in power. He alone separated Mr. Bright from Mr. Stuart Mill. He is also known as being the host of Garibaldi when in London, and being a tried friend to the cause of liberty. He is a practical man, having a flour-mill in Lincoln, and is a partner in Clayton and Shuttleworth's agricultufal implement manu- factory.. What these engagements have to do with haval matters I do sot know, but Mr. Seely appears to be "well up" in every thing con- nected with shipping, and absolutely astonished the House with the raps he gave the Govern- ment upon naval management when certain esti- mates were introduced. He called attention to the waste of money in anchors, in cables, in experiments of no practical use, and in the general mode in which dockyard officers conducted their business. Those attacks quite took Sir J. Pakington aback, who asked time to consider before he could reply to them. On Saturday, however, be attempted to do so, and the right hon. gentleman contended that the member for Lin- coln had made charges which were erroneous or vastly exaggerated. Upon this Mr. Seely rose, and, in a plain matter-of-fact speech, gave various Instances of gross waste of money, as for instance, that .£100 had been charged for the repair of a Citter, whilst the cost of a new one would be only > £ 42. After going through a variety of figures of a like character, he called the attention of the Souse to extravagance, which, in his opinion, was ■^presented by upwards of a million of money. Mr. Seely is evidently obtaining a position in the House, because he has taken up a subject Which he seems thoroughly to understand, gets up his facts as carefully as he can, and leaves the discrepancies to be pointed @ut by those in authority if they are able. The next person I would mention as having his crotchet is Mr. Whalley. It is no matter what the subject before the House is, if an evil enliits, the Jesuits are at the bottom of it, in his estimation. Fenianism in Ireland, the war on the Continent, the riots in the park, even the revolt in New Zealand, are all attributable to the pope's emissaries. He never rises without the Itouse becoming disorderly. His determined attacks upon the Roman Catholics are resented not only by members of that creed but by Protestants. Of the latter, even Mr. N<. wdegate, who is quite an Exeter-hall man, often gives a rebuke to the Enthusiasm of the member for Peterborough. 1YIr. Whalley is a Whig, however, and Mr. Newde- gate a Tory. So they have changed sides, each one going with his party. Mr. ISTewdegate has taken a corresponding seat below the gangway, on the Ministerial side, instead of on the Opposition, 9,8 formerly. Not so Mr. Whalley; he has of late Walked up mysteriously to the front Opposition seat, several times during Mr. Gladstone's absence ~as occupied the post of honour there, of course give it up when the ex-Chancellor of the Exche- jlher should make his appearance. A little prac- tieal joke was played upon Mr. Whalley in the face of the whole House by Mr. Maguire, who, as e^eryone knows, is a Roman Catholic. He walked IIp to the member for Peterborough, and making s?me flattering remarks upon his conscientious ^ews, engaged him in conversation, and they ^alked together down the floor of the House to the Peers' seats under the gallery; here was seated ? dignitary of the Romish church, to whom Mr. ^aguire introduced Mr. Whalley with much dignity. The latter looked as if he had been stnng by a wasp, just bowed, and retired, much to the amusement of those who witnessed it. There are good crochets as well as bad ones, and e Bank Act question brought out Mr. Watkin, JUo ia one of the most smooth-tongued gentlemen I heard speak. He is a really able man, and if, as Macauiay says, constitutional government is governed, by talk, he may fairly be a power in this Country. His speech was one of considerable ^nantial and commercial importance, and was r^dled with great power, without, saying any- j. which could give the slightest offence to in- dividuals, at the same time it implied a want of forethought on the part of the Government. He oved an address to the Queen, praying for the lasue of a Royal commission to investigate the causes which led to the late protracted pressure in ?he money market, and to the continuance for a period of a minimum rate of discount of 10 Per cent. at the Bank of England; and also to in- vestigate the laws at present affecting the currency and banking in the United Kingdom, and to re- Port what (if any) alterations have become expe- J*/ent therein; and iurtner, tnat it be an instruc- tion to the commissioners to present their report ^d the evidence taken by them on or before the ist February, 1867. He referred to the recent cir- cumstances under which the late Government gave Permission to suspend the Bank Act, and he said that such was the crisis that the Foreign Secretary found it necessary to send circulars to our repre- sentatives abroad explaining the state of things, ^hich circular increased rather than allayed the ai8trust. Sir Stafford Northcote has a plausibility oi his though it is of a different character to that ox Watkin. He is always immensely bookish, seriously conscientious and comprehensive, *Ie generally promises a great deal for the future, but admits any thing necessary at the moment. ^n this occasion he made an admirable speech on the safe side, promising, during the vacation, an ^qniry should be made into monetary panics, h°piDg in the forthcoming session they may intro- r^ce some satisfactory measure, if not there would ke no objection to a Parliamentary inquiry. Mr. Fawcett condemned the gambling spirit of the age, which caused the late monetary crisis, and thought the Bank right in keeping up the rate of interest. This speech was peculiarly agreeable to oltlr. Hubbard, the eminent Bank director; he is 04e of the mildest-looking, tall, white-whiskered gentlemen in the House-never says any thing put upon Bank questions, then he rises as if by Inspiration and supports the Bank directors in their policy. Of course, Mr. Gladstone had some- thing to say upon the subject, but the motion was absolutely talked out, although it is one of those things which affect the commercial interests of this country more than any other. The Jamaica question caused considerable sen- sation, there being various parties in the House Who take different views on the subject. Mr. Buxton was chairman of a private inquiry, in 'Which Mr. Mill, Mr. Hughes, Mr. White, and others were parties; but, inasmuch as he did not go far eiiotigh in his views as to the conduce of Governor Ejre and the other officials, they out- voted him in certain resolutions, and he resigned the presidential seat. Now it was known that Mr. Mill had some strong motions to make in the House reflecting upon Mr. Eyre, and calling upon the Government to bring him before a civil tri- bunal. Mr. Buxton was first, however, and only moved that further inquiries should be made into the matter, and that those who had lost property, and women and children who had become widows and fatherless, by excess of duty on the part of the Jamaica officials, should be compensated. Mr. Adderley made a speech in support of Mr. Eyre and martial law, but confessed that over zealous- ness had caused the ex-Governor to go to an extremity that he was not warranted in doing. The tirade of Mr. Mill against the authorities was very severe; he would have Mr. Eyre and every official engaged in that conflict arraigned before a Criminal Court. Mr. Forster, Sir Hugh Cairns, Mr. Cardwell, Mr. Cochrane, Col. North, and Sir Roundell Palmer took part in the debate, but the "observed of all observers" was Mr. Russell Gurney. He is a tall, thin, legal-looking gentleman, with a rather lank, American coun- tenance, and a long aquiline nose; he is not very fluent in speech, but his words seem to be well weighed; his pliable, nervous voice, and his dis- tinct, strong articulation give peculiar force to what he says. His personal knowledge of the circumstances connected with the outbreak, and the private evidence he collected when in Jamaica, considerably modified the revengeful feelings against Mr. Eyre. At last the debate was brought to a close by a few remarks of Mr. Ayrton. I have only space to notice the little sensation which occurred when the Abolition of Church Rates Bill was introduced by Mr. Gladstone. The Government did not positively object to the second reading, but it was to be understood as a pro forma, affair, and not to be carried through committee this Session. The ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer was desirous of putting the House to a division, when Colonel Taylor, the Government whipper-in, rose and said that between him and Mr. Brand, the Opposition whip, there had been an I understanding that the matter should be settled in the manner suggested. Mr. Gladstone looked surprised, and still wished for a division, when, much to the amusement of the House, the majority of the members walked out, which seemed to imply that the" whippers-in" had the right of compromising their party in whatever way they pleased, without consulting the leaders. Next week it will be my duty to dwell upon the whitebait dinner and the prorogation; after which your humble correspondent must be a "Man about Town," and tell you something about the ins and outs of vacation life.


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