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tion, carefully avoiding any observation on the merits of particular schemes. I will read the only passage which can have reference to the Bill before the hon. Baronet's Committee
"This year the number of Bills was only fifteen, but among them was a gigantic scheme affecting a large district in the South of England."
This is absolutely all; and so guarded was I that I mentioned no name, and, as it happens, there is another scheme to which the description would apply, though I will not deny that the first was in my mind. The rest of my speech has reference to the general question, and even there I do not express myself against amalgamations; but that regulations for periodical future revision should be framed, and that certain Standing Orders should be amended, which could not, of course, affect Bills now in Committee. The House was full. The noble Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee followed me. The Member for Stockport (Mr. Watkin) spoke. The Member for Wick (Mr. Laing) was present; both always ready and watchful, and both interested; but it did not apparently occur to them, or to any one else, that I had the absurd intention of biassing the Committee. And I presume the House will not accept the doctrine, for it really comes to this that Members are to be debarred from discussing general subjects, because the arguments may bear indirectly on some private Bill. Sir, this is the tenth year in which I have had the honour of a seat in this House, during that period I have frequently taken part in the business of Parliament. Up to this moment no exception has ever been taken to the propriety of a single syllable I have uttered in this House; and I confidently hope that the House will acquit me of having deserved it on this occasion.
I should do so most heartily and readily
but, at the same time, if I were asked whether I adhered to the opinion I had expressed? I said I do adhere to it, and there is no reason why I should not do so. I do adhere to it in the plainest and most direct manner, and I am prepared to defend everything I said, barring the form, and anything that may have offended him. It so happened that the other afternoon there was a long debate in the House on the question raised by the hon. Gentleman the Chairman of Committees. The House was tired and impatient on the subject-so impatient that it would not listen to what the noble Lord the Member for the East Riding (Lord Hotham) wished to say; who, of all others, had the best right to be heard on such a subject. For me, therefore, to get up at a time when the House was necessarily anxious to proceed to other business of great importance would have been perfectly futile. Besides, I did not happen to be sitting in the line of sight, and your eye, Sir, would naturally have fallen on some other Member. But I had a reason for what I did say next day before the Committee of which I happened to be Chairman. That Committee has got before it a most perplexed, troublesome, difficult, and arduous question. The diffi culty of it may be estimated when I say that I was credibly informed yesterday that, notwithstanding all the pains I have taken, with the assistance of the Referee, to keep the proceedings within due bounds, the inquiry cost the moderate rate of three and a half guineas a minute. I, hoping to save expense, had suggested to one of the counsel who appeared before me the day before, that I thought he need not call witnesses from other systems of united railways, because really the Committee were perfectly aware of everything that SIR JOHN HANMER: In the first could be said on the subject. But I said place, I beg leave to express the satisfaction so-and-so took place the night before in which it gives me as it would to any the House of Commons; such-and-such other Gentleman-to make any amends to doctrines were, according to my underthe right hon. Gentleman for anything in standing of them, expressed by the right which he may have thought that I con- hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the ducted myself to him with less courtesy Board of Trade, and therefore it may be than he deserved. It is only justice to for you now to consider whether you will myself to state that, the very moment I or no be content with the evidence as it learnt that objection had been taken by stands, or call other witnesses. him to my remarks, I sought him out and my sole reason for saying what I did, and stated, what he has very correctly re- I had no wish to cavil at what had fallen peated, that, if there was anything in the from the right hon. Gentleman. At the form of what I said which was offensive same time I do fairly own I did feel very or hurtful to his feelings, it would give me greatly aggrieved by the right hon. Gen pleasure and satisfaction to withdraw it-tleman's speech, and he will pardon me VOL. CXCI. [THIRD SERIES.]
and therefore he could not object to the scheme upon that ground.
MR. STEPHEN CAVE: My statement with regard to amalgamation followed what I said with regard to this scheme.
SIR JOHN HANMER: Well, it all comes to the same end. At all events, the right hon. Gentleman uttered the words before I did. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman, who is connected by representation with that part of England, was arguing the matter upon some particular and local ground, which I thought he ought not to have done; and for the reasons I have given, I told the counsel before the Committee what I did the next morning. That is the long and the short of it. I willingly withdraw any expression that may have hurt the right hon. Gentleman; still I may, as I must, think that he selected the wrong time for making a statement upon this subject.
ESTABLISHED CHURCH (IRELAND).
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT.
LORD STANLEY: I beg to give Notice that, on Monday next, on the Motion for going into Committee upon the Irish Church Establishment, I shall move an Amendment in the following words :
when I say he has not altogether recollected the whole of it. A sentence has been omitted that had a very great bearing upon the question. I have been a Member of this House for a very great number of years; and certainly, for a long time while I was a Member, whenever a question was sent to a Committee upstairs it was considered exceedingly wrong in any private Member to allude to it in any way, still more for any official Member to do so. I can remember the time when official Members always left the House when there was any question pending about the private business. But of all official Members, for the Vice-President of the Board of Trade to express an opinion when a question was pending before a Committee which might prejudice the decision of that Committee he, I think, is about the last Gentleman that should do so. But I express that opinion with the greatest courtesy to the right hon. Gentleman. We agree to differ. He holds one opinion; I hold another. The right hon. Gentleman certainly did perplex and trouble my waters very much indeed. We have a very difficult question to deride, and whichever way we decide it I feel very little doubt that something more will be heard about it when the Report is made. When the Report is brought up, if the right hon. Gentleman thinks fit to object to the Bill in its reported state, well and good; he will then have a proper opportunity of doing so; but I do not think that the time he selected to call in question the matters before the Committee was the right time for doing so. MR. GLADSTONE: In order that there The right hon. Gentleman said that he obmay be no misapprehension upon this most jected to railway monopoly. Now, upon important subject, I wish to know whether the subject of railway monopoly, which had I am correct in understanding the noble been discussed for a long time before, I Lord to say that he will make his Motion could have said a great deal; but not wish-in the form of an Amendment in Commiting to inflict my speeches upon the House unnecessarily, I said nothing about it. But the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that, while he objected to monopoly as far as it rested upon competition, there was another kind of monopoly which arose out of amalgamation, and that he had no objection on principle to amalgamation. But, after having declared that, the right hon. Gentleman went to say that there was a gigantic scheme of amalgamation going forward in the South of England, and his speech certainly led us to believe that he objected to that scheme. But why and upon what principle did he object to it? He had said just before that he did not object to the principle of amalgamation,
"That this House, while admitting that considerable modifications in the Temporalities of the United Church in Ireland may, after the pending inquiry, appear to be expedient, is of opinion that the disendowment of that Church ought to be reany proposition tending to the disestablishment or served for the decision of a new Parliament."
tee; or, whether he intends to move it as an
Amendment upon the Motion “That the
LORD STANLEY: I shall move it as an Amendment upon the Motion, "That the House do immediately resolve itself into a Committee."
THE PARIS EXHIBITION.-QUESTION.
MR. BAYLEY POTTER said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Privy Council, Whether he is willing to give a Return of all sums expended on
account of the Paris Exhibition, and the names and offices held by the persons receiving such sums?
LORD ROBERT MONTAGU said, the Returns would be laid on the table of the House shortly.
MR. ALDERMAN SALOMONS said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he is aware of the intention of the Metropolitan Board of Works to open new Sewer Outfalls into Deptford Creek, in opposition to the remonstrances of the Officer of Health of the district, who considers the proposed works dangerous to the health of the neighbourhood; and, if such Outfall is not a contravention of the spirit of the Main Drainage Act?
MR. GATHORNE HARDY said, in reply, that he was informed by the Board of Works that they had already a sewer outfall from the Southern High and Middle Level Sewers, which only acted in very heavy storms. They proposed to construct a storm overflow from the low level sewers that would only operate when there were very heavy floods, and the sewers had been completely washed clean. No decision would be arrived at upon the subject until after next Saturday. In the event of the outfalls being made, they would occasion no inconvenience, and would not in any way controvert the terms of the Act.
THE EARL OF MAYO replied that he understood that the Fisheries Commission had recommended the works to be executed; and that, in all probability, those recommendations would shortly be carried out by the Board of Works.
SIR THOMAS LLOYD said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether the authorities of the Horse Guards and War Office consider the refusal by a minor to pay the full amount of a loan, contracted at an extravagant rate of interest during his minority, a sufficient reason for refusing a Commission in the Army?
SIR JOHN PAKINGTON, in reply, said, the Question of the hon. Member was a very general one, and he was not aware whether it was intended to apply to any particular case. The only answer he could give to the inquiry was that the power of determining any such case as that put by the hon. Member would rest entirely with
POST OFFICE-THE SOUTHERN
MR. LOCKE said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether he has received any information of the intended abolition of the Southern District Post Office; whether such abolition will not considerably lessen the number of deliveries over the district; and, whether the inhabitants have received any notice thereof; and, if so, when?
MR. SCLATER-BOOTH said, in reply, that it was intended to abolish the Southern Postal District as a separate district, one portion of it being transferred to the South-Western district, and the remainder
to the South-Eastern, by which change a saving of £2,000 per annum would be effected in the management. In reply to the second part of the hon. Member's Question, he had to state that the proposed abolition would not lessen the number of deliveries in the district, except in the neighbourhood of Kennington, where the number of daily deliveries would be reduced from twelve to eight, and the number of collections from twelve to nine, as was the case in districts similarly situated such as Kensington and Brompton. In reply to the third part of the Question, he had to state that the inhabitants of that part of the district which was to be trans
ferred to the South-Western district had received notice of the proposed change last month, and those residing in the remainder of the district were now being served with a similar notice.
REPRESENTATION OF BRISTOL.
I doubt the expediency, as a general rule, of offering mediation when it is not asked for; and I do not think that mediation would, if offered at the present time, be likely to be accepted. But if, at any time, the mediation of Her Majesty's Government should be desired, or should have any reasonable prospect of success, should almost, as a matter of course, do what is in our power to bring about a reconciliation, and we should be equally prepared to do that either acting singly or in concert with any Power that may be in
MR. NEVILLE-GRENVILLE said, he would beg to ask the hon. Member for Cambridge, Whether he intends to bring before the notice of this House a Petition presented by him, from nearly 7,000 inclined to help us. habitants of the city and county of Bristol, praying the House to declare one of the Seats vacant, and for the issue of a new Writ?
ARMY-TROOPS IN THE MAURITIUS.
MR. POWELL: Sir, having carefully MR. OTWAY said, he would beg to ask considered, so far as I am able to do, the the Secretary of State for War, a Question circumstances of this case; and having the with regard to an Answer which he had fullest confidence that the hon. Member given two or three days since. The right referred to in the Question will act under hon. Gentleman, in aswer to a Question as a due sense of his heavy responsibility to to, whether steps would be taken to remove wards the constituency which returned him a Regiment stationed at Mauritius during to Parliament, under the full assurance that the prevalence of the epidemic at present he was and would continue to be capable raging in that island, was reported as having of sitting and voting in this House, I do said that the removal was a question ennot propose to ask the House to refer the tirely for the decision of the Commandersubject-matter of this petition to a Com-in-Chief. He desired to know whether the mittee; but I hope I may be allowed to add, by way of a more complete answer to this Question, this remark—that if an hon. Member who is proved to be a bankrupt does sit and vote in the House of Commons, then a state of affairs has arisen which is clearly provided for by the Statutes of the Realm and the established usage of Parliament.
WAR IN BRAZIL.-QUESTION.
MR. HORSMAN said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Her Majesty's Government will alone, or in concert with the Government of the United States, have made or intend to make any endeavours to bring about a peaceable settlement of the war between Brazil and its allies and the State of Paraguay?
LORD STANLEY: Sir, Her Majesty's Government sincerely regret the continuance of this war between Brazil and her allies on the one side, and Paraguay on the other. We believe that it is even more useless and more purposeless than wars generally are; and we cannot but see that it is inflicting enormous injury upon all the countries engaged in it. At the same time
right hon. Gentleman had so expressed himself, and whether he adopted those
SIR JOHN PAKINGTON said, that the report of the portion of the Answer referred to by the hon. Gentleman was not accurate. What he (Sir John Pakington) had stated was that the Commander-inChief had sent out orders for a very strict inquiry into the circumstances under which the regiment had been permitted to land, considering the state of the health of the island. But, with reference to the subject more particularly referred to by the hon. Gentleman, he stated that he himself had sent out orders last year, giving full power and discretion to the Officer in command to remove the troops whenever in his judgment the health of the Island should render such a step advisable, and to prevent mistakes he had repeated those orders and again sent them out.
Order for Committee read.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
vernment is that vessels navigating its waters must have a pilot on board, and be navigated under the authority and by the direction of a pilot. But it so happens that exceptions to this first principle are pretty nearly as numerous as the cases to which the principle itself is applied. The Merchant Shipping Act passed in 1854 is a consolidating Act. It sets out the exemptions from compulsory pilotage, and, with the permission of the House, I will read them. Section 379 says
"The following Ships, when not carrying Passengers, shall be exempted from compulsory pilotage in the London district and in the Trinity House Outport districts; that is to say-1. Ships employed in the Coasting Trade of the United burthen. Kingdom. 2. Ships of not more than 60 tons 3. Ships trading to Boulogne, or to any place in Europe north of Boulogne. 4. Ships from Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, or Man, which are wholly laden with stone, being the produce of those islands. 5. Ships navigating within the limits of the port to which they belong. 6. Ships passing through the limits of any Pilotage district on their voyages between two places, both situate out of such limits, and not being bound to any place within such limits, nor anchoring therein."
MR. CANDLISH: Sir, although the Question which I propose to bring before the notice of the House is not one to excite any very general interest, it is, nevertheless, a question of no small importance. It affects and stands in connection with all our sailors, numbering hundreds of thousands, and with the whole of our population travelling by sca, numbering millions. The registered tonnage of the United Kingdom in the year 1866 amounted to 5,692,010 tons; the value of our exports and imports for the same period was £534,000,000; and the entries and clearances at the Custom House, in our foreign trade, were about 31,000,000 tons, and in our coasting trade a similar amount. All those persons and all those interests those sailors and travellers by sea; owners of vessels and owners of goods exported and imported-are all materially affected by the condition of our pilotage laws; and, if the House will favour me with its attention for a few minutes, I think I shall be able to show that it is expedient-nay, that Now, the anomalies and absurdities which it is pressingly necessary-that these laws result from these exemptions are almost should be altered and improved forthwith. incredible; and, in my opinion, are discreditAt present there are about fifty or sixty able to the legislation of this House. These pilotage authorities existing around the exemptions were secured by this Act purcoast of the United Kingdom; that is to posely, as I apprehend, to restrain the fursay, pilotage authorities, all of whom possess ther action of the compulsory system of some amount, more or less, of legislative pilotage; the policy of the Parliament of power; and the laws which are in operation 1854 being to restrain compulsory pilotage in the several districts are very nearly as as much as may be, and henceforth to various as the districts are numerous. perpetuate all the pilotage which, up to From perfectly free and voluntary pilotage that time, had been voluntary. Just let -in other words, between places where me show the House the anomalies which the captains and owners of ships have it in result from the first exemption set out in their discretion either to accept or reject this clause, "Ships employed in the Coastthe pilot's services, to other places where ing Trade of the United Kingdom," by it is pretty nearly altogether compulsory-reference to an example. A small vessel, all intermediate conditions prevail. This want of uniformity-this variety in the laws of the country governing the pilotage system around our coast-is productive of the greatest possible inconvenience, and the anomalies which result from this variation of law are most embarrassing to the Mercantile Marine and shipping generally of this country, but more particularly so within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Deptford Trinity House, which is the great authority on pilotage. That body governs the river Thames and all the approaches to it, north and south. It governs besides not a few of our outports; and the general principle which lies at the basis of its go
say of 61 tons burthen, coming through the Downs from a port on the coast of France or Spain, is subjected to compulsory pilotage, and must take a pilot; while a large ship of 300 or 600 tons, or any larger size, and whatever her value, coming from an English port-say, on the South coast, or from Swansea or Bristoland navigating the same waters as the 61ton ship, notwithstanding her increased size and value; and the greater necessity for additional precautions in navigating her, is exempted from compulsory pilotage, and may take a pilot or not, as her commander may think most expedient. With the permission of the Ilouse, I will quote an au