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not be pressed at that time. He believed, I 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 desired. He believed there was a gethat the property tax return was the neral feeling that it was most important proper basis of taxation both for local to bring the question to a satisfactory and for Imperial purposes. He would settlement, and that whatever might be not venture to say that this was an opi- the difficulties in the way of a perfect nion that was generally entertained, but measure, at all events the present state it was at least a point from which dis- of things was so unsatisfactory that it cassion might very well start, and from was the duty of Parliament to put an which some arrangement might be made. end to it. He had been anxious that the He would, therefore, venture to hope measure should be discussed to-night, that the right hon. Gentleman the Pre- for the state of Public Business was such sident of the Poor Law Board would that, unless every available opportunity give them an assurance that, in agree- was taken now for such discussion, hereing to the second reading of the Bill, after it might be difficult to find an opthey did not bind themselves to any-portunity. He regretted, therefore, that thing more than the general principles apon 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 accordSo with the suggestion of the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), consider that, although the Bill Tis now read a second time, the House was not committed to the principle of it, d simply assented to the proposition hat they should have an equalization of the basis of rating. He did not think at at present the Bill could be properly sed, and he hoped the Committee would be fixed at some distant day, so hon going into Committee they might have a full discussion of it.

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 attention.

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.


MR. W. E. FORSTER moved that the Select Committee on Endowed Schools Bill do consist of twenty-one Mem


MR. CRAWFORD said, it was always an ungracious thing to object to the composition of a Committee; but this Committee had raised much opposition on the part of those whom he represented. Perhaps there was no constituency in the kingdom that was more likely to be affected by this Bill than that which he represented, and yet there was not a single representative for the City whose name appeared on the Committee. It was true his right hon. Friend (Mr. W. E. Forster) had asked him to be a Member, and that he had declined on account of the pressing nature 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

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
As to the re-
companies of the City.
marks of the hon. Member for Boston

(Mr. Collins), he must be aware that ten
Members were taken from his side of the


MR. COLLINS replied, that although such was the case, still the greater number were taken from above the Gangway.

Motion agreed to.





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 Certifieates 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.

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We therefore humbly pray Your Majesty, that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to cause quiry to be made pursuant to the Provisions of the Act of Parliament passed in the sixteenth year of the reign of Your Majesty, intituled, 'An Act to provide for more effectual inquiry into the stence 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 fer the remarks which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Membr for Oxford University (Mr. G. Hardy)

the Norwich case, it would not be nesary for him to go into the subject at ay 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.

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MR. NEVILLE-GRENVILLE said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, When the Civil Service Estimates will be issued?

MR. AYRTON said, in reply, that he hoped the Civil Service Estimates would be printed, and be in the hands of Members, within ten days or a fortnight from that date.

OFFICIAL SALARIES.-QUESTION. MR. WHITE said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he has any objection to directing that the Salaries and Expenses of the office of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Class 2), Consuls Abroad, &c. (Class 5), with the Salaries and Pensions of the Diplomatic Service, hitherto paid out of the Consolidated Fund, with Cost of Buildings (Class 1) and proportion of Secret Service Money, and all ordinary or extraordinary items of expenditure, should be so arranged as to exhibit in one Estimate the total annual cost of our Diplomatic and Consular Services?

MR. GLADSTONE, in reply, said, he presumed the Question of his hon. Friend was not meant to relate to the Estimates for the present year, which were so far advanced that no change could well be made in them. As his hon. Friend was aware, it was impossible to give the various items of expenditure embraced in the Miscellaneous Estimates in a manner which would be perfectly clear and satisfactory in every point of view. If all the subordinate charges connected with the several offices named were set forth, confusion rather than the contrary would be the result. At the present moment he could not reply in full to the Question of his hon. Friend, which could be best answered when the Votes to which it referred came on for discussion.

MR. LAYARD: Sir, the subject of my hon. Friend's Question is one of considerable importance. Not only have many Royal and other interesting historical monuments in our cathedrals and churches been removed from their original places, injured, or suffered to fall into decay, but monuments of great national as well as archeological value have been irreparably injured and even wontonly destroyed. This state of things is not creditable to the country. In France and elsewhere measures have been taken by the Government to preserve and maintain such monuments, as forming part of the property of the nation. Since I have held the Office which I have now the honour to fill, my attention has been seriously directed to this matter. There are, as my hon. Friend well knows, great difficulties in dealing with it in this country, especially those connected with what might be considered as interference with private rights and property-for instance, as in the case of the destruction, only recently, of a highly curious and interesting ancient monument in Cornwall, an act of vandalism which, if what I have read in the newspapers be true, one would have scarcely thought possible in these days. After fully considering the subject, I have thought it advisable to turn my attention, in the first place, to Royal and other historical sepulchral monuments, some of which have been injured, removed, opened, and otherwise interfered with even of late years. The first step is to obtain a list of such monuments as it might be desirable to place under public protection. With this view I addressed a short time ago a letter to the Society of Antiquaries, requesting their assistance in preparing such a list. My request has been met in the most cordial spirit by the distinguished President of the Society, Lord Stanhope, and by its members. They have taken steps which, 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


SIR HARRY VERNEY said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works to consider, Whether measures can be adopted to place the ancient monuments now existing in this Country under the protection of some authority which may prevent their destruction?

its approval, or, at any rate, to invite its views and opinions upon the subject. If I find it possible to effect the object I have in view with regard to sepulchral monuments in our cathedrals and churches, I would endeavour to ascertain whether some means might not be found to extend the same protection to

other monuments of national and historical interests and importance.


the hon. Gentleman might like to see he could have access to by calling at the Board of Trade.

ABYSSINIAN EXPEDITION.-QUESTION. VISCOUNT ENFIELD said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether the crews of the Hospital Steam and other Transports engaged in the late Abyssinian Expedition are not entitled to receive the donation Batta for their services; and, if not so entitled, whether he would state the grounds for such refusal?

MR. PALMER said, he wished to ask the President of the Board of Trade, Whether the rope system which the Board of Trade has sanctioned for communicating in Railway trains between the passengers and the Company's servants in charge of the trains is by means of a rope carried outside the carriages, and whether the passengers will be obliged to reach out of the carriage MR. CHILDERS said, in reply, that window to use such rope; and, if so, on the 15th of June, 1868, the Treasury why a rope on the outside of the car-informed the Admiralty that a six months' riages has been sanctioned in preference Batta donation would be granted to the to a rope carried through the inside of troops and naval forces engaged in the the carriage; and, whether he will lay Abyssinian Expedition. No authority, upon the Table the Papers relating to however, was given to give Batta to the the sanction given by the Board of Trade merchant seamen. The charter parties to a rope system? 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.


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 one- -an 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 Coloon which the rope system was sanctioned nies, When the Papers relating to then they would be requested to adopt O'Farrell, consisting of a copy of leaves the same system. As to Papers on the from O'Farrell's diary; a report of some bject he hoped the hon. Gentleman conversations between the Colonial Sewould not think it necessary to press for cretary and the late prisoner, several their production, as many scores of com-declarations in the nature of affidavits Eunications relating to something like in support of the genuineness of the 200 inventions had been sent to the Papers, and an explanatory minute by Board of Trade. Any Papers which Mr. Parkes, in his then capacity of


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