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Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. In the House of Lords, on June 28, upon the motion of the Earl of Carnarvon, it was agreed to appoint a select com- mittee to consider whether any and what arrangement could De made to remedy the present defective construction of their Lordships' chamber, especially with reference to hearing. The Earl of Malmesbury stated, in reply to Lord Wharn- cliffe, that the Viceroy of Egypt had been officially invited to visit this country, and that he would be entertained with the honour due to his position, after which their Lordships adjourned. At the morning sittings of the Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated, in answer to Mr. B. Cochrane, that, with the view of facilitating the public business, and especially the Reform Bill, it was his intention to propose to continue, in a modified form, the order that the House shall sit on the afternoons of Tuesdays and Fridays. The House having resolved into committee on the Reform Bill, the Attorney General proposed a new clause relating to the mode of demanding the payment of poor rates. It was to the effect that every poor rate payable from an occupier in respect of premises capable of conferring upon him the franchise, should be de- manded of him by a requisition or demand note wholly or partly in writing or print, which note should be deemed to be duly served if delivered to the occupier, or left at his last or usual place of abode, or with some person on the premises in respect of which the rate was demanded and that no rate should be deemed to be payable until the expiration of seven clear days from the service of the note. The clause was subjected to a lengthened discussion, and met with considerable opposition, the chief objection being that it would invest overseers with the power of enfranchising atpleasure. Lord J. Browne moved to amend the amendment by adding a proviso that the collector or overseer should make the de- majid within one month from the publication of the rate, or in default should be liable to a penalty of ll. for each omis- sion, but on a division the proposal was negatived by 327 to 48. Resuming the debate on the principle of making the de- mand, Mr. Denman urged that as overseers were frequently political partisans, they might, for party purposes, neglect to demand the rate, and thus disqualify the occupier; he thought, therefore, it was but just that there should be no disqualification until the rate had been demanded. The Attorney General observed that he had drawn up the clause in accordance with an understanding come to with Mr. Denman when the third clause of the bill was being con- sidered, that some such section should be brought up. He added that in voting for the clause on the present occasion, he did not consider himself precluded from opposing it on the report. On a division, the clause was rejected by the narrow majority of 2—207 to 205,. the whole Treasury Bench, with one or two exceptions, going out in support of it, in opposi- tion to the great body of their supporters. This result gave rise to an excited and, at times, acrimonious debate. It was commenced by Mr. Gladstone, who remarked that the line taken by the Attorney-General struck a blow at the confidence which ought to prevail between the Executive and the members of the House in arrangements of this kind, and asked with great warmth whether the Government had used its legiti- mate influence with its supporters to carry the clause, which embodied a distinct agreement made with Mr. Denman. Turning to Mr. Hardy, he asked him what course he had taken in the division, and repeated that the decision just given reopened the borough franchise, and if not reversed would convert household suffrage into a mere mockery. The Attorney General vindicated the course he had taken as being perfectly consistent with the principles of fair play. Mr. Denman, Mr. Secretary Hardy, Colonel Gilpin, Mr. Cardwell, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Bright, &c., also took part in the discussion. Soon after its conclusion the House resumed, and at six o'clock the sitting was suspended. The evening sitting commenced with the usual attempt to count out the House, after which, on the motion for going into Supply, Mr. C. Fortescue moved a resolution condemning the post- ponement of the Irish Reform Bill, and expressing the opinion of the House that it ought to be introduced this Session. In support of it he referred in detail to the answers given by fr. Disraeli to the numerous questions which have been addressed to him during the Session on this matter, and criticised sharply his last statement, in which he excused himself from proceeding further with the bill, insisting that there was nothing in the state of Ireland which was unpro- pitious to the reform of the constituencies, and attributed iome share in the determination to a deputation of Irish Con- servative members, with whom Mr. Disraeli some few weeks ago had had an interview. Colonel French seconded the motion, complaining chiefly of the effect which Mr. Disi-ael 's policy had on his own Irish Reform Bill, which he should have pressed on with much more earnestness. The motion was supported by the O'Donoghue and Mr. Cogan, and opposed by Mr. Conolly aud Mr. P. Dawson. The Chancellor of the Exchequer parried, in a humorous vein, the imputation that recent deputations or elections had anything to do with the postponement of the Irish Reform Bill. In the administration of Ireland the present Government had been placed in cir- cumstances of perplexity, from which their prede- cessors had been entirely free, having to consider not merely the internal state of the country, but the action of external influences, and though up to Whitsuntide the Cabinet contemplated the introduction of an Irish Reform Bill, something occurred then which induced them to come to the unanimous decision that it ought not to be proceeded with. But even had Ireland been altogether serene, under the circumstances of the Session it would have been im- possible to do more than simply introduce the Bill, and no progress could have been, made with it. Consequently no real delay had occurred, and next year, if the Government continued in office, one of their first duties would be to grapple with the question. Ir. Gladstone, accepting Mr. Disraeli s pledge that an Irish Reform Bill would be introduced at the beginning of next Session, advised Mr. Fortescue not to press his motion, but, at the same time, held strongly to the opinion that the Government ought at least to have explained what their policy was, and dissented altogether from the doctrine that the existence of discontent in Ireland, even to such an ex- tent as to necessitate the suspension of the Habeas Corpus, was a justification for the postponement of a Reform Bill. Sir F. Heygate made some observations, after which Mr. Fortescue withdrew his amendment. Captain Vivian called attention to the recent War-office circular on the duties of Volunteers, and, while approving the earlier paragraphs, criticized the latter portion, which speaks of the Volunteers acting as special constables, and asked for an explanation of the difference between a dan- gerous and an ordinary riot, and for a definition of a felonious act, concluding by a resolution affirming that the Volunteers, in case of civil tumult, have no duties distinct from those of ordinary subjects. The Attorney-General replied that the resolution was en- tirely in harmony with the circular, the general effect of which was. that Volunteers could not be used as a military force, but that they were not exempt from the duties of all other classes of Her Majesty s subjects. The vagueness of the circular was criticized by Mr. Forster, Mr. Hughes, and Lord Elcho, who suggested that para- graphs 6, 7, 8, and 9, referring to the responsibilities of the Volunteers as citizens, should be withdrawn, in which he was supported by General Peel and Sir G. Grey; and it was defended by the Solicitor-General, who re- peated that there was nothing in the instructions which changed the responsibilities of the Volunteers as citizens, and by Sir J. Pakington, who, in the end, promised to consider the propriety of omitting the paragraphs to which objection had been taken; and Captain Vivian's resolution was then agreed to. The Public Records (Ireland) Bill passed through Com inittpe. Some other orders were disposed of, and the House ad- journed. In the House of Lords, on July 1, the Earl of Shaftesbury gave notice that on Monday next he should call the attention of the House to a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury to a private clergyman in which he stated that Convocation would be consulted on all matters dealt with by the Royal Commission on Ritualism, and that its conclusions would be submitted to Convocation before the meeting of Parliament next year.' The noble earl said he should ask by what authority Convocation was apprised of the conclusions of the Commissioners before Parliament. Lord Campbell laid on the table a bill for exempting rifle and artillery-volunteers from serving on juries. The Earl of Shaftesbury gave notice that he will on Mon- day call attention to the statement made by the Archbishop of Canterbury that convocation will be consulted upon any recommendation of the Ritual Commission before parlia- ment legislates upon the subject. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe moved for copies of any corres- pondence which may have taken place between her Majesty's Government and the Ottoman Porte, or the Hos- podars of the Danubian Principalities, respecting measures adopted by the latter for depriving the Jewish residents in Moldavia of their property and expelling them from the country. The .Earl of Denbigh expressed his indignation at the manner in which Jews had been treated in Moldavia. The Earl of Malmesbury said he had no objection to lay the papers on the table, but would abstain from discussing the matter till the papers were produced. The, motion was then withdrawn. Recovery of Certain Debts (Scotland) Bill was read a third time and passed. The County Treasurers (Ireland) Bill passed through com. -inittee. Grey and Ripon called attention to, and criticised adversely, the instructions recently issued by the War-office respecting the employment of volunteers to quell riot or dis- turbance. The Earl of Longford said the War Department had been placed niJ* ]?° of difficulty in being required to lay down precise regulations for uncertain contingencies If the in structions were not understood or were inconvenient the" Secretary for W ar had already announced hisXt's to withdraw that portion of them to which objection weaken Earl Russell thought the instructions were open to the oh Jections which Earl de Grey and Ripou had poffl out Earl Cowper considered something ought to be done to modify the instructions and lay down clear and definite i-e- grulafcions, so that the volunteers might not find themselves in a false position in the event of disturbances arising. After some further conversation the subject dropped. The Marquis of Clanricarde asked whether Government hai^receivfid a decided answer as to the course the Spanish Government intended to pursue with respect to the Tornado. The Earl of Jlalmrsbury said there was difficulty in over- coming the passive resistance of the Spanish Government. The last despatch from them had already been published, and in the meantime there was no alternative but to accept the assurances of the Spanish Government that the case should be tried The Consecration and Ordination Fees Bill, the Court of Chancery (Ireland) Bill, and the Court of Chancery (Officers) Bill passed through committee. The Railways (Scotland) Bill and the Salmon Fishery (Ireland) Act Amendment Bill were read a second time, after which their Lordships adjourned. In the House of Commons, Lord Stanley stated in reply to Mr. Baxter, that lie could not say that rapid progress was being made in the negotiations respecting the Alabama claims, but he did not despair that a satisfactory settlement would be come to. It was his intention to lay the papers on the table of the House before the close of the session. The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved a series of reso- lutions regulating the mode of conducting business whenever the House shall meet at 2 o'clock during the present month. A short discussion arose respecting the attempts which had been made to count out the House when it re-assembled at nine o'clock, and Mr. Crawford moved an amendment, providing that if it should appear, by a division or otherwise, before half-past nine, that 40 members were not present, the House should not rise, but should adjourn for ten minutes. General Peel and Lord Dunkellin, however, pointed out practical difficulties in carrying out the amendment, and The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he thought they ought not to interfere with an ancient right. Eventually the amendment was negatived, and the resolu- tions agreed to. .The House then went into committee on the Representa- tion of the People Bill, resuming the discussion on a new clause, moved by Colonel Dyott, which enacts that persons who possess freeholds in boroughs, and who reside within seven miles, shall vote for the borough, and not for the county. Mr. W. E. Baxter opposed the clause, because it would deprive a class of voters of a prescriptive right which they had enjoyed for centuries. Mr. Newdegate, Mr. Howard. Mr. Gilpin, Mr. Bright, Mr. Alderman Lawrence, and Mr. Gladstone opposed the clause as having a disfranchising effect; while Mr. Scourfield, Mr. D. Griffith, and Mr. Vance, supported it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer remarked that a good deal might be said on both sides of this question, but he did not intend to discuss it. The matter had been under the consideration of the government, but they thought it was not expedient to bring forward any proposition of this kind. The clause was negatived. Another clause, which was moved by Mr. Neate, that no person shall be entitled to vote for any county in virtue of any rent-charge created after the first day of July in the present year, was withdrawn after a short discussion, but Mr. Neate said he should bring it forward again if he found that members were convinced of its great importance. Mr. Candlish brought up a clause enacting that no elector who has been employed for reward, as agent, canvasser, club messenger, or otherwise, at an election, shall be en- titled to vote. His object, he explained, was to put a stop to the practice which had prevailed in some boroughs of nominally employing, but in fact bribing, great numbers of electors as canvassers and messengers. lVIr. Crawford thought the clause would to a certain extent be inoperative, because if the electors could not be em- ployed, their brothers or cousins would be. He suggested that the word" agent" should be struck out. Mr. Gladstone said it was by the nominal employment of electors as messengers by far the greater portion of the bribery was committed, and he should therefore vote for the clause; but he concurred in the suggestion that it should not apply to agents. After a lengthened discussion the clause was agreed to with some amendments, which, however, did not affect the prin- ciple of the clause. The question of giving additional representation to large towns was again brought forward, on this occasion by Mr. Horsfall, one of the members for Liverpool, who moved a clause giving Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham an additional member each. He founded the claim of these towns on their population, property, and intelligence. Birmingham, he said, had 296,000 inhabitants, and Manches- ter 357,000. He contrasted the population and the assessed property of the City of London with those of Liverpool, showing that in both respects Liverpool was superior; but London had four members, and Liverpool two. After a short discussion, Mr. Sandford, who had given notice of an amendment to take two members from the City of London, said he would move it at a future stage. Mr. T. Chambers urged the claim of the metropolis to more members. Mr. Bright regretted that Mr. Horsfall had not included the borough of Leeds in his motion, and said he thought the proposition should have been to give four members to each of those towns. The great cause of discontent hitherto in the great towns from which the present agitation had pro- ceeded, had been that a great portion of the inhabitants had not the vote. Henceforth their discontent would arise from the fact that they had not members in proportion to their population, and he strongly urged on the Government to re- move the cause of discontent so far as this proposal would remove it. Mr. Beecroft said he voted against the motion of Mr. Laing, to give additional representation to six large towns because he thought it was a party motion. He did not vote against Leeds per se. Ir. Baines pressed the claims of Leeds. The Chancellor of the Exchequer repeated the arguments of Mr. Adderley against the principle of the motion, but went on to say that all these questions must be dealt with on the principle of compromise, and on that ground the govern- ment would assent to the motion. But he must say that considering the honourable rivalry of Lancashire and York- shire, Leeds ought to have an additional member as well as the two chief cities of Lancashire. He added that the new members for these places would have to be obtained by omitting from the schedule some of the proposed new boroughs, and that he should withdraw the proposition to give an additional member to Salford. General Peel said he voted against the motion made by Mr. Laing, and it was his intention to vote against this motion. He did not think that with such a franchise as they had given, such a scheme of redistribution as was proposed by this bill could stand. It would not survive the next parlia- ment. The proceedings in reference to this bill had taught him three things-first, that nothing had so little vitality as a "vital point;" second, that nothing was so insecure as a security;" and, third, that nothing was so elastic as the conscience of a cabinet minister. Mr. Gladstone said it was usual when a boon was offered to accept it without question, but as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in assenting to the motion, had intimated that the new members were to be taken not from small towns but from large towns, he must observe that that arrange- ment was not satisfactory. Mr. Bazley and Air. Cheetham both protested against the proposition not to give an additional member to Salford. Mr. Horsfall offered to withdraw the motion, and leave it to the Government to bring up a clause carrying out his views, but this was object ed to; several members, however, saying no to the motion that the clause be read a second time, a division was taken, \vhich resulted in the clause being read a second time by 297 to 63. Further progress with the bill was then postponed till July 2. On the order for the third reading of the Railway Guards and Passengers' Communication Bill, a division was taken on the motion of Mr. Serjeant Gaselee, who moved the rejec- tion of the bill, but the third reading was carried by 43 to 5. Some other businese, was disposed of, and the House ad- journed. In the House of Lords, on July 2, The Commons' amend- ments to the Sale of Land by Auction Bill were discussed at some length, Lord St. Leonards strongly objecting to vi • T^P011 a division, they were ultimately agreed to. lhei Merchant Shipping Bill was read a second time, after a Srlj exP{5n!jtion of its objects from the Duke of Richmond, who described them to be the better accommodation of seamen, the prevention of scurvy, and to guard against the recurrence of such cases as the Rappahannock by placing restrictions upon changes of name, upon sale and resale of British vessels, after which their Lordships adjourned. In the House of Commons, at the morning sitting, Lord Stanley stated, m reply to Lord E. Cecil, that the Viceroy of Egypt has postponed his visit to this country for two or three days, in consequence of an invitation from the Sultan to meet him in Pans. A government vessel will take him from the French coa,st, and bring him to Dover. He will there be received with military honours, will be conveyed ™ ^5 >011TT T railway, and will have a military escort to Claridge s Hotel, where apartments have been provided for him. The House having gone into committee on the Representa- tj°n of the People Bill, Mr. Roebuck complained that though he had given the government hia*trenuous support during the passage of this bill, they had agreed toeive additional representation to Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, while Sheffield had been left out "in the cold Mr. Hugessen said there was no use in giving a large extension of the franchise, unless they accompanied it with a wise and equitable redistribution of seats. He sketched a scheme which by the disfranchisement and grouping of small boroughs would place at the disposal of government a suffi- cient number of seats to satisfy the claims of the larger constituencies for increased representation. Mr. J. Hardy objected to any town having more than two members. Mr. Dillwyn complained that his borough (Swansea) had been left out in the cold, too; and he urged its claims it being one of the four towns with a population of above 50,000 which have only one member, to an additional member. Mr. Gladstone referred to the notice paper, which con- tained notices for giving additional representation to various towns, which if agreed to would involve sixteen seats. Then there were the claims of the counties to be considered. He suggested that these and the claims of Scotland should be decided upon before they proceeded any further with propo- sitions for redistribution. Mr. Bright said the observations of Mr. Gladstone showed the extreme difficulty the house was in with regard to the question of redistribution, and he expressed his regret that the government had not adopted his suggestion to separa j the two questions of franchise and redistribution. He ex- pressed a strong opinion against increasing the number of members of the house, though he admitted the claims of Scotland to more members. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the opinion of the house was to be gathered, not from speeches of members, however distinguished, but from motions and divisions. A motion had been carried by an overwhelming majority that no borough with a population of less than 10,000, and which now returns two members, should in future return more than one and another motion was to disfranchise boroughs with a population of less than five thousand, and there was a considerable majority against that proposition. The government had acted on the opinion of the House as gathered from those divisions. Mr. Glad- stone had alluded to the various clauses of which notice had been given by various members. His answer to that was that all the clauses brought forward by the government had been disposed of. All the new clauses were by private mem- bers, and government intended to oppose them. They were not prepared to support any further disfranchisement of any borough. A motion to report progress, which had been made by Mr. Roebuck to put himself in order, was then withdrawn, and The Chancellor of the Exchequer, having moved a clause that Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester have each an additional member, Mr. Hadfield proposed that Sheffield be added. Mr. Laing said he should vote against the amendment. He thought after what occurred at Sheffield they should take the opportunity of giving that town a moral lesson. Mr. Gladstone demurred to the proposition, that because a few persons had been guility of atrocious outrages in a town they ought not to give to the town its fair share of representation. The more they gave the people the privilege of representation the less likely were the'people to resort to unlawful means of remedying supposed wrong. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply to some observa- tions from Mr. Henley, intimated that Government had given way on Mr. Horsfall's motion because they received a communication from a number of gentlemen that they could not further support them unless they entered into that com- promise. He thought it, however, unwise to proceed further in that direction, and he should therefore vote against the amendment. Mr. Hibbert should vote against the amendment, because he accepted the clause proposed by the Government as a compromise. On a division the amendment was rejected by 258 to 122. Another amendment, by Mr. Berkeley, to add Bristol, was negatived by 235 to 136. Mr. Serjeant Gaselee moved to add a proviso that the towns in question should be divided into wards, one return- ing two members, the other returning one member, which was negatived by 235 to 136. Mr. Bright asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer from what source he proposed to take the four members, and re- marked that the clause giving an additional member to Salford had already passed the committee. He characterised the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take the four members from the proposed new boroughs as a mere shuffling of the cards. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said what he proposed was what Mr, Bright himself had constantly recommended —taking the members from the smaller boroughs and giving them to the larger. Mr. Gladstone observed that the proposition to take from Salford the second member already given to it could only be made on the report, and would certainly be resisted. Mr. Ayrton thought the time had come when they must ask themselves whether they were to pass the bill this session or not. He considered the compromise of the Government a fair one, and that they should now proceed with the bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he should be pre- pared to state on Thursday (July 4) what changes he proposed to make in the schedule. The clause was then agreed to. 4 « Mr. Laing, who had given notice of a clause to group certain boroughs, said he should not now propose it, but he thought the time would come when they must give more representation to large boroughs and counties and take it from the smaller boroughs. A clause by Mr. Neate, to give votes to members of corpo- rations, lay or ecclesiastical, in respect of lands owned by the corporation, was opposed by the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer, as introducing a new principle unknown to the laws of the country, and was negatived. Mr. Hibbert moved a clause rendering the payment of ex- penses of conveying voters to the poll illegal. The expenses under this head in England and Wales amounted to 100,0001. at the last election, and he thought the time had arrived when candidates ought to be relieved of this expense. A discussion ensued, in the course of which Mr. W. Martin and Mr. H. Bailie pointed out the difficulties that would be causedfby the clause in counties; Mr. Clay, and 1.1". Osborne, supported the clause; and Mr. Gladstone supported a suggestion that the clause should apply only to boroughs. Mr. Hibbert acceded to the suggestion. Mr. Hunt pointed out some difficulties which would arise if the clause were agreed to. Some of the large boroughs were on the same footing as counties. It being then ten minutes to seven o'clock further progress with the bill was postponed, and the sitting was shortly afterwards suspended. At the evening sitting Mr. O'Reilly called attention to the charge of the Chief Justice of England to the grand jury at the Central Criminal Court in reference to the prosecu- tion of Mr. Eyre, in which he declared it to- be the law of England that no English subject can be subjected to martial law, and moved a resolution affirming that the House would regard as utterly void any commission or pro- clamation proclaiming martial law in any part of this king- dom. That resolution, he said, was necessary, because recently martial law was proclaimed and acted upon in Jamaica and led to deplorable events, and because the Government might think proper to proclaim martial law in Ireland. After a discussion, in which Mr. W. E. Forster, Mr. G. Hardy, Mr. J. S. Mill, Mr. Headlam, and other lion, mem- bers took part, the motion was withdrawn. Mr. S. Cave obtained leave to bring in a bill to amend the Companies Act of 1862 also to bring in a bill to carry into effect a convention between her Majesty and the Emperor of the French concerning the fisheries in the seas between the British Islands and France, and to amend the laws relating to British sea fisheries. Mr. J. A. Smith obtained leave to bring in a bill to provide for the guarantee of persons holding situations of trust under government by companies, societies, or associations. Sir C. O'Loghlen obtained leave to bring in a bill to remove certain restrictions on the negotiation of promissory notes and bills of exchange under a limited sum. The order for going into committee on the Sale of Liquors on Sunday (Ireland) Bill was discharged, and the bill was referred to a select committee. Mr. Denman moved the third reading of the Attorneys', &c., Certificate Duty Bill. Mr. Hunt opposed the bill, which dwelt partially with the question of licences. It abolished the licences of solicitors, but left existing the licences of pawnbrokers and auctioneers. Besides, there was but a small surplus, and the revenue could not afford the loss. Mr. Fawcett also opposed the bill. The bill wa s thrown out by 87 to 66. I The House then adjourned.




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