« AnteriorContinuar »
not be pressed at that time. He believed, MR. GOSCHEN said, he should have however, that the great majority of those given the assurance desired by the hon. bodies were very strongly in favour of Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. a common basis of rating, and were Smith) when he moved the second readanxious to arrive at some settlement of iug-that in assenting to that Motion the question by which equal justice no one would pledge himself to the demight be done to the different parishes tails of the measure; but he thought it in the metropolis, by an arrangement better to postpone that explanation to which would be common to all. If it the end of the debate, because, if he was understood that nothing more than stated it at the beginning, he could not this principle of a common basis of rat- now reply. He cheerfully acceded to ing, which might be arrived at in Com- the wish expressed, that if the House mittee, was implied by an assent to the should now read the Bill a second time, second reading of the Bill, he appre- it would be understood that what the hended that there would be very little House had agreed to was the general opposition to it upon the present occa- principle that equalization of assessment sion. But there would be very consi- was most desirable, without committing derable opposition, no doubt, raised to themselves to any of the details of the the mode by which that principle might measure. Of course, there would be be sought to be arrived at when the Bill considerable difference as to the best was discussed hereafter. A strong feel-mode of arriving at the result which all ing had been expressed in some quarters that the property tax return was the proper basis of taxation both for local and for Imperial purposes. He would not venture to say that this was an opinion that was generally entertained, but it was at least a point from which discussion might very well start, and from which some arrangement might be made. He would, therefore, venture to hope that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Poor Law Board would give them an assurance that, in agreeing to the second reading of the Bill, they did not bind themselves to any thing more than the general principles upon which it was founded.
MR. LOCKE said, that strong representations had been made to him that it was extremely inconvenient to the different vestries that the Bill should be read a second time that evening, as for the most part they had not had the opportunity of discussing it. He hoped his right hon. Friend the President of the Poor Law Board would, in accordance with the suggestion of the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), consider that, although the Bill was now read a second time, the House was not committed to the principle of it, and simply assented to the proposition that they should have an equalization of the basis of rating. He did not think that at present the Bill could be properly discussed, and he hoped the Committee Would be fixed at some distant day, so that on going into Committee they might have a full discussion of it.
desired. He believed there was a general feeling that it was most important to bring the question to a satisfactory settlement, and that whatever might be the difficulties in the way of a perfect measure, at all events the present state of things was so unsatisfactory that it was the duty of Parliament to put an end to it. He had been anxious that the measure should be discussed to-night, for the state of Public Business was such that, unless every available opportunity was taken now for such discussion, hereafter it might be difficult to find an opportunity. He regretted, therefore, that it should be necessary to defer the discussion of the details. But he hoped that the more time was given for the consideration of these details, the greater was the prospect of arriving at a speedy and satisfactory settlement respecting them. Meanwhile, the Government would cheerfully entertain all suggestions for amending the Bill, as long as the general principle was maintainednamely, that there should be uniformity of assessment. He trusted that the House would support the Government in passing the Bill this Session, and he hoped that the delay which seemed inevitable would not endanger that object, because he was sure that, considering the large amount of taxation in the metropolis, persons over-assessed would have great reason to complain if Parliament did not this Session pass a measure which he believed was almost as
urgent as any which could occupy their
MR. LIDDELL said, he regretted majority of the Members who had been that they had not had an opportunity to nominated to serve upon this Committee discuss this Bill, which involved large appeared to have been taken from the and extensive changes in the mode of front Benches on either side of the assessment. He feared that the House House. He found that of the Conservawas sliding into rather an inconvenient tive Members, six had formerly been course by assenting to any definition of Ministers. It would have been more the principle of the Bill, for it seemed satisfactory if the list had contained to him that the mode by which they more names of Members below the were to obtain a common basis of value Gangway, who took an interest in this really constituted the principle of the subject. He should wish that the name Bill. The country had as yet had no of the hon. Member for Whitehaven opportunity of considering the important (Mr. Bentinck) should be added to the changes proposed to be made in the list. mode of assessment by this measure, and therefore he deprecated the House giving a general assent to the principles involved in the measure, by reading the Bill now a second time, with the idea of altering or rejecting all or any of its provisions in Committee.
Motion agreed to.
MR. W. E. FORSTER said, he hoped the House would give him credit for having taken the utmost pains to form the Committee impartially from both sides of the House, and from those who took an interest in the question. He was aware that it was desirable to have a Member from the City on the Committee, as the Bill materially affected the
Bill read a second time, and committed interests of the companies; and, with for To-morrow.
ENDOWED SCHOOLS BILL. MOTION FOR A SELECT COMMITTEE.
MR. W. E. FORSTER moved that the Select Committee on Endowed Schools Bill do consist of twenty-one Mem
that view, he had asked his hon. Friend (Mr. Crawford) to be on the Committee. He would have proposed another name, but he had been led to believe that the
hon. Member for Sussex (Mr. G. B. Gregory) was closely connected with the companies of the City. As to the remarks of the hon. Member for Boston
(Mr. Collins), he must be aware that ten Members were taken from his side of the House.
Motion agreed to.
MELLY, Sir STAFFORD NORTHCOTE, Mr. WALTER,
MR. CRAWFORD said, it was always an ungracious thing to object to the composition of a Committee; but this Committee had raised much opposition MR. COLLINS replied, that although on the part of those whom he such was the case, still the greater numrepresented. Perhaps there was no constitu-ber were taken from above the Gangency in the kingdom that was more way. likely to be affected by this Bill than that which he represented, and yet there Select Committee to consist of Twenty-one was not a single representative for the Members:-Mr. WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER, Sir City whose name appeared on the Com- JOHN COLERIDGE, Mr. WALPOLE, Mr. ACLAND, mittee. It was true his right hon. Mr. MOWBRAY, Mr. JAMES HOWARD, Mr. AdderFriend (Mr. W. E. Forster) had asked LEY, Mr. BUXTON, Sir JOHN PAKINGTON, Mr. him to be a Member, and that he had Sir JOHN HAY, Mr. PARKER, Mr. GEORGE GREdeclined on account of the pressing na-GORY, Mr. WINTERBOTHAM, Mr. JOHN TALBOT, ture of other duties. But he had a Colleague, an Alderman of the City, and a member of more than one of the City companies; a man of great knowledge of the subject, and who was therefore well able to take part in the labours of the Committee. He therefore gave Notice, that he would to-morrow move that the number of Members be twenty-two, and that his hon. Colleague (Mr. Alderman W. Lawrence) be added to the Committee.
MR. COLLINS remarked that the great
Mr. JACOB BRIGHT, Mr. BERESFORD HOPE, Mr. DILLWYN, and Mr. GOLDNEY:-Five to be the quorum.
REGULATION OF RAILWAYS ACT (1868)
LEAVE. FIRST READING.
MR. SHAW-LEFEVRE, in rising to move for leave to bring in a Bill to repeal so much of "The Regulation of Railways Act, 1868," as relates to the approval by meetings of incorporated
Railway Companies of Bills and Certificates for conferring further powers on those Companies, stated, in explanation, that ill consequences had arisen from the operation of one clause in the Bill of last year, by which smaller companies were prevented from coming before Parliament where larger companies who had an interest in their line wished to oppose them. He had consulted with the Chairmen of Committees in both Houses, and at their instance he had brought forward the present Bill. Motion agreed to.
Bill to repeal so much of "The Regulation of Railways Act, 1868," as relates to the approval by meetings of incorporated Railway Companies of Bills and Certificates for conferring further powers on those Companies, ordered to be brought in by Mr. LEFEVRE and Mr. JOHN BRIGHT. Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 62.]
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL moved that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty as follows:
"Most Gracious Sovereign, "We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave humbly to represent to Your Majesty, that Sir Colin Blackburn, knight, one of the Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench, and one of the Judges selected for the trial of Election Petitions, pursuant to the Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868, has reported to the House of Commons, that there is reason to believe that bribery extensively prevailed at the last Election for the Borough of Bridgwater.
"We therefore humbly pray Your Majesty, that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to cause inquiry to be made pursuant to the Provisions of the Act of Parliament passed in the sixteenth year of the reign of Your Majesty, intituled, Act to provide for more effectual inquiry into the existence of Corrupt Practices at Elections for Members to serve in Parliament,' by the appointment of William Forsyth, esquire, one of Her Majesty's Counsel, Thomas Chisholm Anstey, esquire, Barrister at Law, and Charles Edward Coleridge, esquire, Barrister at Law, as Commissioners for the purpose of making inquiry into the existence of such corrupt practices."
Address to be communicated to The Lords, and their concurrence desired thereto.
The hon. and learned Gentleman said that after the remarks which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University (Mr. G. Hardy) on the Norwich case, it would not be necessary for him to go into the subject at any length. The right hon. Gentleman
said that whenever a learned Judge reported in terms of the Act that corrupt practices had prevailed, the House ought to act on the opinion of the Judge and issue a Commission. In this case the learned Judge had reported in terms of the Act that he had reason to believe that corrupt practices did extensively prevail at the time of the last election. The case was very similar to that of Norwich, except that, in this case, the bribery was exercised on behalf of the Liberal candidates, though the Judge reported that there was no reason to implicate them in the bribery. The learned Judge, in his summing up, said the evidence had satisfied him that there was a portion of the electors going about the town, and making inquiries whether anything was going; whether any stuff was going, and so on; and he was further satisfied that hopes were held out to them that, if anything was going, those who voted early would be paid the same as those who voted later. The consequence was that, while only seventyfour votes were polled for Mr. Westrop, the Conservative candidate, between one and four, the votes on the Liberal side rose from 465 to 731 during the same period, and the learned Judge added it was impossible to resist the conclusion that these numbers were procured by bribery. He (the Attorney General) must add that Bridgwater was an old offender against the bribery laws; that it had been reported on by more than one Committee of the House; and that one Committee reported they had reason to believe bribery did extensively prevail. He hoped, therefore, the House would accede to his Motion.
MR. LAYARD: Sir, the subject of CIVIL SERVICE ESTIMATES,
my hon. Friend's Question is one of conQUESTION.
siderable importance. Not only have MR. NEVILLE-GRENVILLE said, many Royal and other interesting hishe wished to ask the Secretary to the torical monuments in our cathedrals and Treasury, When the Civil Service Esti-churches been removed from their orimates will be issued ?
ginal places, injured, or suffered to fall MR. AYRTON said, in reply, that he into decay, but monuments of great hoped the Civil Service Estimates would be national as well as archeological value printed, and be in the hands of Members, have been irreparably injured and even within ten days or a fortnight from that wontonly destroyed. This state of things date.
is not creditable to the country. In France and elsewhere measures have
been taken by the Government to preOFFICIAL SALARIES.-QUESTION,
serve and maintain such monuments, as MR. WHITE said, he would beg to ask forming part of the property of the nathe First Lord of the Treasury, Whether tion. Since I have held the Office which he has any objection to directing that I have now the honour to fill, my attenthe Salaries and Expenses of the office of tion has been seriously directed to this the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs matter. There are, as my hon. Friend (Class 2), Consuls Abroad, &c. (Class 5), well knows, great difficulties in dealing with the Salaries and Pensions of the with it in this country, especially those Diplomatic Service, hitherto paid out of connected with what might be considered the Consolidated Fund, with Cost of as interference with private rights and Buildings (Class 1) and proportion of property—for instance, as in the case of Secret Service Money, and all ordinary the destruction, only recently, of a highly or extraordinary items of expenditure, curious and interesting ancient monushould be so arranged as to exhibit in ment in Cornwall, an act of vandalism one Estimate the total annual cost of which, if what I have read in the newsour Diplomatic and Consular Services ?
papers be true, one would have scarcely MR. GLADSTONE, in reply, said, he thought possible in these days. After presumed the Question of his hon. Friend fully considering the subject, I have was not meant to relate to the Estimates thought it advisable to turn my attention, for the present year, which were so far in the first place, to Royal and other advanced that no change could well be historical sepulchral monuments, some made in them. As his hon. Friend was of which have been injured, removed, aware, it was impossible to give the opened, and otherwise interfered with various items of expenditure embraced even of late years. The first step is to in the Miscellaneous Estimates in a man- obtain a list of such monuments as it ner which would be perfectly clear and might be desirable to place under public satisfactory in every point of view. If protection. With this view I addressed all the subordinate charges connected a short time ago a letter to the Society with the several offices named were set of Antiquaries, requesting their assistforth, confusion rather than the contrary ance in preparing such a list. My rewould be the result. At the present quest has been met in the most cordial moment he could not reply in full to the spirit by the distinguished President of Question of his hon. Friend, which could the Society, Lord Stanhope, and by its be best answered when the Votes to members. They have taken steps which, which it referred came on for discussion. I trust, will enable me to obtain such a
list as will permit me to submit to the
House some proposal for the protection PRESERVATION OF ANCIENT MONU- of these monuments which may meet with MENTS.- QUESTION,
its approval, or, at any rate, to invite its SIR HARRY VERNEY said, he views and opinions upon the subject. wished to ask the First Commissioner of I find it possible to effect the object I Works to consider, Whether measures have in view with regard to sepulchral can be adopted to place the ancient monu- monuments in cathedrals and ments now existing in this Country under churches, I would endeavour to ascerthe protection of some authority which tain whether some means might not be may prevent their destruction ?
found to extend the same protection to
other monuments of national and historical interests and importance.
COMMUNICATION ON RAILWAYS.
the hon. Gentleman might like to see he could have access to by calling at the Board of Trade.
ABYSSINIAN EXPEDITION.-QUESTION. MR. PALMER said, he wished to ask VISCOUNT ENFIELD said, he would the President of the Board of Trade, beg to ask the First Lord of the AdWhether the rope system which the miralty, Whether the crews of the HosBoard of Trade has sanctioned for com-pital Steam and other Transports enmunicating in Railway trains between gaged in the late Abyssinian Expedition the passengers and the Company's ser- are not entitled to receive the donation vants in charge of the trains is by means Batta for their services; and, if not so of a rope carried outside the carriages, entitled, whether he would state the and whether the passengers will be grounds for such refusal? obliged to reach out of the carriage window to use such rope; and, if so, why a rope on the outside of the car-informed the Admiralty that a six months' riages has been sanctioned in preference to a rope carried through the inside of the carriage; and, whether he will lay upon the Table the Papers relating to the sanction given by the Board of Trade to a rope system?
MR. CHILDERS said, in reply, that on the 15th of June, 1868, the Treasury
Batta donation would be granted to the troops and naval forces engaged in the Abyssinian Expedition. No authority, however, was given to give Batta to the merchant seamen. The charter parties under which ships were engaged as transports contained no stipulations as to the wages of their crews, which were paid by the shipowners, Government having nothing to do with them.
CONSOLIDATION OF THE STAMP ACTS.
MR. CRAWFORD said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether any steps have been taken at the Treasury for the Consolidation of the Stamp Acts?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER said, that the Solicitor of the Board of Inland Revenue was now engaged in consolidating the Stamp Acts, and he hoped the work would be completed in time to legislate on the subject either at the end of this or at all events at the beginning of the next Session of Parliament.
MR. BRIGHT said, in reply, that the system which had been sanctioned by the Board of Trade was the one in which the rope ran outside the carriage. The window of the carriage being open, the rope was just outside on the top, and it was almost as easy to lay hold of it as if it were inside, its position being at the same time very much more convenient. As the House had already been informed, the system had been adopted on the recommendation of a most influential committee of the intelligent managers of our most important railways, and the Board of Trade felt that it would be but fair to give a trial to a system which the managers believed would be sufficient, which they were all perfectly willing to adopt, and which he himself thought would be found to be all that would be necessary. The railways south of London which did not run carriages in connection with the northern lines were adopting at least some of them, the South-Eastern being onean electric system, which had also been sanctioned by the Board of Trade; but wherever MR. NEWDEGATE said, he wished companies ran their carriages on lines to ask the Under Secretary for the Colonies, When the Papers relating to O'Farrell, consisting of a copy of leaves from O'Farrell's diary; a report of some conversations between the Colonial Secretary and the late prisoner, several declarations in the nature of affidavits in support of the genuineness of the Papers, and an explanatory minute by Mr. Parkes, in his then capacity of
on which the rope system was sanctioned then they would be requested to adopt the same system. As to Papers on the subject he hoped the hon. Gentleman would not think it necessary to press for their production, as many scores of communications relating to something like 200 inventions had been sent to the Board of Trade. Any Papers which
FENIANISM IN AUSTRALIA,