Page images

It was

for he believed even Birmingham try like Turkey, without roads, would rather support his pacific contribute to the commerce of the policy than precipitate the country world? The balance of power into a war. Still there was a feel- might be all very well, but he proing of uneasiness in this country tested against its being argued respecting Turkey; but there was that we were bound, in the inat the same time a growing con terest of England, to maintain viction in men's minds that the Turkey. A good deal was said integrity and independence of the about the Russian power; but Turkish empire, as a maxim of how absurd to talk of a Russian policy, had become an empty army invading England! Why, phrase and nothing more.

she could not move her forces considered that the Turks in across her own frontier without a Europe were intruders, that their loan. If England engaged in war, home was Asia; and that the pro- it would be attended with consegress of events had demonstrated quences which the present genethat a Mahomedan Power could ration had not reflected upon, or not be maintained in Europe. they would not talk so glibly The independence of a country about war. The Government, he that could not maintain itself thought, had done wisely, for could not be upheld; and a fact themselves as well as the country, had now become prominent, that in disregarding the taunts of for every Turk in European Tur- thoughtless men, and resisting the key there were three Christians. cry for war, and he did not blame And what was the feeling of the them for adhering to the tradiChristian population of Turkey tional policy of maintaining the towards their rulers ? He believed integrity of Turkey. that, in the interior, it was not Lord Palmerston, whose speech favourable, and, if he were a rayah was received throughout with ensubject of the Porte, he should thusiastic cheering, said, that he say, “Give me any Christian Go- could not allow the speech of Mr. vernment rather than a Mahome- Cobden to pass without one or two dan." This feeling of the Chris. observations. He had begun by tian part of the population in talking of maintaining the indeTurkey would become an impor- pendence of Turkey, and ended tant part of the subject, and we with endeavouring to show that should have to address our minds Turkey was not worth defending. to the question hereafter, what we If he had stood there as an avowed were going to do with Turkey, for advocate of Russia, he could not we must not think that we could have dared to pursue a course keep Turkey as it is. Mr. Cobden more calculated to assist her views. ridiculed the notion of going to He had never heard a speech more war for tariffs, the futility of which full of contradictions. Mr. Cobden policy experience had proved, and had forgotten the principles of free he contended that the importance trade, of which he had been so of the trade with Turkey had been staunch a defender. Did he not overrated. He maintained that know that the commercial system all our commerce in the Black Sea of Russia was eminently restrictive was owing to Russian encroach- and prohibitory, while that of Turments there. What could a coun- key was the most liberal of any

country with which we had com- nation. In conclusion, he demercial relations? The resources clared his conviction, that if Eng. of Turkey, which were constantly land, united with France, said that improving, tended to make her Turkey should not be molested by commerce every year more valu any other Power, this dictum able to this country. Mr. Cobden, would be enforced. He was satisagain, was a great advocate of non fied that Turkey had within itself interference, and what was the the elements of life and prosperity, matter which he specially recom

and he believed that the course mended to the Government? adopted by Her Majesty's Govern“ What shall we do with the ment was a sound policy, deserv.. Turkish empire?" Mr. Cobden ing the approbation of the counregarded it as a rotten fabric, and try, and which it would be the thought it was high time to con duty of every British Government sider what we should do with the to pursue. country when we got rid of the The debate was closed by Mr. Mahomedans. But he (Lord Pal- Danby Seymour, who expressed merston) did not agree that the his satisfaction at the proper spirit Turkish empire was in a state of shown by Lord Palmerston. decay; he held its maintenance to Prompted, no doubt, by the warbe not only desirable, but worth like aspect of affairs in Europe, contending for. Turkey, so far the Government, towards the close from having gone back in the last of the Session, introduced in the 30 years, had made more improve. House of Commons, under the ments in social and moral con title of the Naval Coast Volun. cerns and in religious tolerance teers Bill, a very important and than any other country. So far necessary measure for the estafrom going along with Mr. Cobden blishment of a naval militia. In in that political slang which was Committee upon the Bill, on the the fashion of those who wanted to 1st of August, Sir James Graham partition and devour Turkey, he gave a general outline of the plan. was convinced that, if we only He first formally retracted an kept out of it those who wished to opinion he had held some six or get into it, as far as the seeds of seven months before with respect internal dissolution

to the militia. He had not then, cerned, there were many countries he said, been sanguine that volunin Europe which would not bear a tary enlistment for service on very favourable comparison with shore would take place to the it. He trusted Mr. Cobden's extent which had been already speech would not mislead any one witnessed. In France, every seabeyond the limits of this country; faring man was compelled to serve that his language would not excite in the naval force ; but he was deabroad feelings likely to mar the sirous of exhausting every means efforts of Her Majesty's Govern- before resorting to compulsion. ment; and that the great pre The Bill before the Committee ponderance of a proper feeling was based on the principle of upon the subject in that House voluntary enlistment. There was would prove to the world what a very large number of men living were the real sentiments of the upon our shores, such as fisherBritish Parliament and the British men, bargemen, lightermen, and



[merged small][ocr errors]

men employed in the coasting ser- special circumstances specified in vice, who, he had every reason to the Bill, and subject to those cirbelieve, would not in a time of cumstances being laid before Parpeace be unwilling—as the men liament, the power of extending who had joined the militia had that service to two years was given not been unwilling-for a short to Her Majesty in Council. In period in each year to be trained that case, however, an additional to the use of great guns. These pay of 2d. a day would be given to persons having more or less ma- each man. In the event of serrine habits and experience, such vice afloat, there was a power, by training would be easy to them; proclamation, to extend the disit would accord with their habits tance from the shores of Great of life, and would not be uncon Britain and Ireland from 50 to genial to their past manners ur 100 leagues. In no case would past tastes.

It was proposed in the volunteers be asked to extend The Bill then about to be brought their services to a greater distance in, to hold out to them exactly the from their native country. There same pecuniary inducement which was also power taken by the Bill, was offered to landsmen joining under proclamation, to compel the the militia service, and which had service afloat of pensioners of the been found to work so successfully coast guard and of seamen riggers. The bounty would be 61., paid in In the event, which he hoped and such sums and distributed over believed was far distant, of any such a period as the Admiralty such danger as the Bill contem. might recommend. The number plated being either imminent or of men that they propose to raise apprehended, he believed that a in the United Kingdom, the Chan- force could be readily provided of nel Islands, and the Isle of Man, somewhere between 18,000 and was limited to 10,000; and their 20,000 men; which, considering period of training was limited to that they would be men trained to 28 days. That training ought to arms in the prime of life, and partake place either ashore or afloat, taking of the national character of subject to the condition, if they British seamen, would, when comwere afloat, that they should not bined with the advantages of a steam be taken more than 50 leagues fleet, be amply sufficient for the from the coast of Great Britain or defence of our native shores. Ireland. It was proposed that

The Bill met with no oppotheir pay should be equal to that sition, and passed through both of able seamen in Her Majesty's Houses of Parliament before the service. The period for which the conclusion of the session. enlistment was to take place was In addition to the Naval Coast not to exceed five years. Power Volunteers Bill, two other meawas given to Her Majesty, in the sures, of great importance to the event of an invasion or of im- maritime interest of the nation, minent danger of invasion, to call, were added to the statute-book by proclamation, for the services of during the session, namely, the those men afloat for a period not Pilotage and Mercantile Marine exceeding one year, except in case Bills. The main provisions of of the extension of that danger for both were explained by Mr. Carda longer period, when, under the well, upon the House of Commons

[ocr errors]

going into Committee, on the 7th intended (he said) to maintain the of March. He set out by quoting restriction which required that a some figures to show the vast in- British ship should be manned crease of British shipping. In with a crew consisting of three1815 the amount of tonnage was fourths British subjects; but ship2,681,000 tons; in 1825 it was owners would be allowed to man 2,553,000. But from the time of their ships with British and foMr. Huskisson tv that day there reign seamen in what proportions was scarcely an instance of re- they thought fit. The system of verse, and no instance of a con- volunteering from the merchant firmed and continuous reverse; service to the Royal Navy was not and if the Committee compared to be abolished; but should any the year 1852 with 1849, they loss fall on a shipowner by volunwould find, that, while the total teering, he would be compensated amount of British tonnage in wards from the funds of the Admiralty and outwards in 1849 was 8,152,000 Salvage also would be retained ; tons, in 1852 it had increased to but arrangements were in progress 8,727,000 tons; and the number of by which the lien which the law ships built and registered had in- gave upon a ship in such cases creased from 121,000 in 1849 to might be released, and the case 167,000 in 1852. It had been de. submitted to the Admiralty Court. termined not to effect any change The grievances of desertion abroad in the constitution of Trinity House were to be redressed by Bill ; and or the Boards of Ireland and Scot- that of Consular fees would be reland, the three light-managing bo- dressed by the Foreign Office. dies; but to make them account. Upon the question of pilotage, it able to Parliament through minis was proposed to amalgamate the terial responsibility for their pro- Trinity House and the Cinque Port ceedings, and to lay their accounts pilots, and to place them under before the House every session. one control, giving the pilots of The views of the Government had the Cinque Ports the right to take been communicated to Trinity ships out of the Thames, and the House ; and it had been unani- Trinity House pilots the right to mously agreed that Government bring them in; to confer upon the should control the expenditure of Board of Trade, in extreme cases, their revenues, and periodically in- the power of remedying the defects spect their accounts. The Elder of local acts affecting pilotage in Brethren, however, prayed the Go- the Mersey; and to invest the vernment not to press for the cessa Board with powers of a mediatory tion of pensions and charities out of character in the Severn, both for the light-dues proposed by the Go- these purposes and for instituting vernment; but they agreed, pend- a strict inquiry into all by-laws, ing the final decision, to suspend rates, and regulations, with the aid the grant of any new charities or of the officers of the mercantile pensions. Proceeding to enter into marine department of the Board. details with respect to the other It was proposed to reduce the pilotshipping grievances, Mr. Cardwell age of the port of London 25 per proposed to institute an inquiry cent., while the pilotage of vessels into “passing tolls "— a subject tugged by steam would be raised beset with difficulties. It was not from one-fourth to one-third.

Several other Bills, of considera- jesty to release you from your atbleimportance in themselves though tendance in Parliament, and at not of political interest, received the same time to express Her Mathe Royal assent before the end of jesty's cordial approbation of the the session. Such were the Act zeal and assiduity with which, for the Suppression of Betting during a protracted and laborious Houses, with respect to wbich the session, you have applied yourAttorney-General, in introducing selves to the consideration of many it, observed, that there were be- subjects of great importance to the tween 100 and 150 betting-houses public welfare. in London, and a like proportion “ Her Majesty has seen, with in the country, and that in every much satisfaction, that, by the reprison in London or establishment mission and reduction of taxes for the reform of offenders abund. which tended to cramp the operaant and conclusive testimony might tions of trade and industryyou be gathered of the vast number of have given fresh extension to a syspersons—especially youthful per- tem of beneficent legislation, and sons-- who had been led into crime have largely increased the means by the dreadful temptations held of obtaining the necessaries of life. out in such establishments. An “The provision which you have Act for the Better Prevention and made for meeting the demands of Punishment of Aggravated As the public service, not only in the saults upon Women and Children, present but also in future years, is brought in by Mr. Fitzroy. Seve. of a nature to give permanent staral notorious recent cases and the bility to our finances, and thereby constant occurrence of others, had to aid in consolidating the strength unfortunately but too plainly shown and resources of the empire. that the previous state of the law · The buoyant state of the Rewas wholly inadequate to meet the venue, and the steady progress of evil. The Act for the Abatement our Foreign trade, are proofs of of the Smoke Nuisance was of great the wisdom of the commercial poconsequence to the health of the licy now firmly established; while metropolis ; and the Vaccination the prosperity which pervades the Extension Act, the object of which great trading and producing classes, is to render vaccination compul- happily without even a partial exsory under pecuniary penalties, ception, affords continued and inwas a measure of great sanitary creasing evidence of the enlarged importance and necessity, as the comforts of the people. mortality from small-pox had long • The measure which you have been greater in England than in passed for the future government any other country in Europe. of India has been readily sanc

On the 20th of August The Par- tioned by Her Majesty, in the perliament was prorogued by commis- suasion that it will prove to have sion, and the ceremony was accom been wisely framed, and that it is panied by the forms usually ob. well calculated to promote the imserved under such circumstances. provement and welfare of Her MaThe speech of the Lords Commis- jesty's Eastern domivions. sioners was as follows:

Her Majesty regards with pe“ My Lords and Gentlemen,- culiar satisfaction the provision We are commanded by Her Ma- you have made for the better ad

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »