Page images

troops, Austrian or French, should quered Sicily, landed in the be used to reinstate these rulers, kingdom of Naples, and entered and Austria declared she would the capital, with a dozen comnot cross her frontier. Lord John panions, as Dictator. The questhen made this statement as re- tion for the King of Sardinia gards the unity of Italy :

then was, what he should do. “But now, as to the unity of Lord John Russell justified his Italy. We have declared that we intervention, on the ground of have no wish that the Grand the anarchy that ensued on the Duke of Tuscany and the Duke arrival of Garibaldi. The extraof Modena should not retum. I ordinary results of this invasion have stated with regard to Naples, had shown that he was welcomed both in this House and in my as a deliverer by the people of communications with the Go- Sicily and Naples. But he could vernment of the Emperor of the not found a solid power at French, that, in our opinion, the Naples, and unless the King of happiness of Italy would be better Sardinia had stepped in, all secured by there being two king- would have been anarchy, and doms of Italy than one, and that Italian independence would have if the King of Naples would have vanished like a dream.

He granted a constitution, we should thought that the King could not have been glad to see two consti- have done otherwise than declare tutional kingdoms in Italy. But himself at once, and he justified still that was question for the the course which the GovernItalians themselves. It was for ment had taken in consequence them to consider whether the of this event, and of the views prince, having hereditary right indicated by other Powers in reon his side, was a prince in whom lation thereto. The policy of they could trust, and they had non-intervention was concurred the perfect right to regulate their in by France; Her Majesty's Gointernal affairs in such a manner vernment entirely agreed with as to secure their own happiness. the Emperor of the French in Was that a wrong principle? We this policy, and we were in close may have been wrong in our alliance with the other great opinion that it would be better Powers. With regard to the there should be two kingdoms in amendment, and the subject of Italy, but we said that the Italians Reform, he thought it was better only ought to be the judges on for the Government not to bring that point.”

forward a measure which, at the Being extremely anxious to present time, must create disapmaintain peace, that the Treaty pointment, and occupy a great of Villafranca should be ob- deal of time without leading to served, and that the Italians any satisfactory result. Upon should settle their own affairs, this question, he always dreaded he wrote the despatch in August, what persons would do by way 1860, recommending Sardinia of compromise. He had come not to enter hastily upon a war. to the opinion that, in order to But, without the knowledge of carry a Reform Bill which would the Sardinian Government, Gari- be of use to the country, there baldi sailed from Genoa, con- must be such an amount of pub

lic opinion in its favour as would mote, had overtaken statesmen carry it through that House and of every country who had negthe House of Lords. The country, lected them, and

had overhowever, had the matter in its whelmed many, and against riskown hands, and might declare ing the loss of their own selfthat nothing would satisfy it but respect as well as the respect of Parliamentary Reform; the Go- the country. vernment were of opinion that Mr. White's amendment having their best course would be to been negatived by 124 to 46, the give their attention to the vari- Address was agreed to. ons subjects indicated in Her On the bringing up of the Majesty's Speech.

report on the Address the next Mr. Bright said he felt a grief day, Mr. S. Fitzgerald revived the which he could not express at discussion respecting the foreign what had fallen from Lord John policy of the Government, and Russell on the subject of a Re- drew a contrast between the tone form Bill, and at the tone in of Lord J. Russell's two dewhich he had treated it. He spatches in August and October. asked the House to consider The object of the first, which what was its position with regard was the maintenance of peace, to this subject—a question more he approved of, though he took important than the consistency some exceptions to its language. of the conduct of any member of The second Mr. Fitzgerald comit. When the present Govern- pared to the devices of the ment came into power, pledges, French Convention, and declared public and private, had been that the doctrines laid down in it given on the subject of Reform, sanctioned insurrection. He asked of the most explicit character, for explanations regarding our and he asked the House whether relations with France and the it was right that the representa- state of Syria. tion should be amended or not; Lord J. Russell, in reply, vinand, if right, whether 'it was not dicated the language of his debetter that it should be done spatches. He said that Mr. Fitznow. The course which they gerald must adopt one of two were called upon to take upon courses—either say there should this question, was not a safe be no interference by a foreign course. If it was good for Power, or show that in this case those entitled to a vote to be Sardinian intervention was unrepresented, it was not good for justifiable. It would be absurd that House that they should be to lay down a rule that all cases permanently excluded. The ques- should be placed in the same tion could not remain as it was ; category.

Each must be judged it must be settled, and he be- by its own merits. lieved that, in this session of all several instances of interventions others, a moderate and useful that had taken place, viz. in measure of Reform, if the Go- Greece against the Sultan-in vertiment were in earnest, might Belgium against Holland — in pass both Houses of Parliament. England against James I. Were He warned the House of dangers these instances to be condemned ? which, though regarded as re- It was unjust to say that the

He gave

[ocr errors]

despatch of October contained a any attempt to establish an indegeneral declaration in favour of pendent Italy, I thought that the insurrection. Mr. Disraeli and voice of this country might be Mr. Fitzgerald had both evaded heard on the other side, and that the facts. The latter said he it might be shown that one concould not discuss the general stitutional monarchy at least bearings of the Italian question: would be glad to see the Italians but in his (Lord J. Russell's) free themselves by their own opinion, the rights and wrongs exertions.” The discussion then of the Italian people formed the terminated. whole matter in question. Re- One of the first steps taken by viewing the history of Naples the Government in this session since 1821, showing how Austria was with a view to remedy the had interfered to put down the evils so much complained of in Constitutionalists, how the ex- recent sessions, arising from the king had forsworn himself-how slow progress of public business, he broke faith with his ministers and the uncertainty and irregu--the noble lord justified the larity of Parliamentary proceedrevolt of the Neapolitans, who ings. The opinion was enterwere seeking constitutional go- tained in certain quarters that the vernment. Let me observe, procedure of the House of Comfurther,” added the noble lord, mons was in some degree charge" that there are now in Europe, able with these consequences ; as there have been at various and with a view of investigating periods, three parties. There are the truth of that allegation, the those who are for despotism, Government proposed to institute there are those who are for dis- an inquiry into this matter in order, and there are those who both Houses. Lord Palmerston, are for constitutional monarchy; on the 7th of February, accordand I say that it is not unbefitting ingly moved the nomination of a the English Government to de. Committee of the Commons, to clare that when there is a contest consider whether, by any alteraamong these principles they can- tions in the forms and proceedings not favour despotism, they cannot of that House, the despatch of show any countenance to dis- public business could be more order; but that with the cause of effectually promoted. He ohconstitutional monarchy and of served that there had prevailed representative institutions, under both in and out of the House an the ægis of a king who can keep opinion that some of its forms bis word, they do feel sympathy, . might be dispensed with, so as and that they are glad to see considerably to accelerate the such a cause flourishing in a public business. He reminded country which is so glorious for the House that improvements of its ancient recollections, and so this kind had been made, obdistinguished for the ability, in- serving, at the same time, that dustry, and activity of its sons, as they ought to be very cautious in is Italy. Therefore it was that adopting such changes, as expewhen Russia and Prussia, and dition was not the sole purpose impliedly Austria and France, for which the House met, the expressed their disapprobation of great object being the discussion of measures. It was not for the had outgrown its forms of proExecutive Government to pro- cedure, these forms might be pose any changes, but he threw safely and beneficially abridged, out some suggestions which had which would accelerate the probeen made by various members. gress of the business without He proposed that the Comwittee encroaching upon the right of should consist of 21 members. debate. After some further dis

Mr. Horsman remarked, that cussion, Mr. Horsman withdrew the report of the Committee of his amendment, and the motion 1838 contained two classes of was agreed to. recommendations, one of which, Earl Granville made a similar relating to the forms and pro. motion the next day in the ceedings of the House, had been House of Lords. It had been, adopted; but the other, applica- he said, at first proposed to have a ble to the conduct and manage- joint Committee of both Houses, ment of business by the Govern- but the Government had prement-upon which the Committee ferred the plan of separate Comobserved its acceleration mainly mittees, having a power of mutual depended-had been very much communication. The Earl of disregarded; and he proposed to Derby cordially assented to the enlarge the instruction to the motion, and it was carried. Select ('ommittee, so as to extend The Committees thus appointed its inquiries, whether the business pursued their inquiries at some could not be accelerated by a length, and after a short period more careful preparation of mea- presented their reports. That of sures, their early introduction, the Commons Committee recomand a judicious distribution of mended certain alterations in the them between the two Houses, arrangement of business, which on the part of the Government were partly adopted by the House. He moved to amend the terms of The most iinportant changes reference in the motion to that were the substitution of Thurs. extent.

day for Friday as a Government Mr. Disraeli said he could not night, and the adoption of Tuessupport the amendment, which day as a supply night. The last implied a censure upon the lio- alteration was considered at the Vernment in the conduct of busi. end of the session to have had a nens He was satisfied with the decided effect in accelerating buoriginal motion, which contained siness. all that the House could deal with. On the 14th of February, Lord

Mr. Bright boped the amend. Herbert of Lea, as Secretary of ment would not be pressed. State for War, moved a vote of

Sir George Lewis objected to thanks in the House of Lords to the addition proposed. He pointed the officers and men in Her Maout what be conceived to be the jesty's service who had been enmain defects in the arrangement gaged in the recent operations in of Parliamentary business, and China. The noble lord gave a the causes of its being thrown brief sketch of the organization into arrear.

of the expedition for avenging Sir J. Pakington was of opinion the defeat of the Peiho, and adthat as the business of the House verted to the ability which had been displayed by the officers medical staff attached to the in command in embarking and forces. It was the first time that landing their troops in the high- a medical officer had been sent est state of efficiency. On the out solely for sanitary purposes, 1st of August, the troops under and the appointment had been General Grant landed in China productive of great benefits to and occupied the forts of the the army. Already Her Majesty Peiho. They subsequently, after had expressed her sense of the encountering unexpected hard- services which had been renships, advanced through a diffi- dered by the troops in China, cult country, the obstacles of and it now remained for their which were much lessened by Lordships to express their approthe gallantry of the Sikh ca- bation by giving their assent to valry. The Taku Forts were the motion. next attacked, and after a short Lord Derby said that he felt it but gallant resistance, carried in incumbent upon him to express the most successful style. le his satisfaction at the perfect deemed it necessary to dwell on organization of the expedition to these points, because, since the China, reflecting, as it did, the capture of Pekin and the signing greatest credit upon the departof the treaty, people were inclined ments concerned with it, and to forget the difficulties which especially upon their chiefs, Lord had been overcome. Lord Her- Herbert and the Duke of Cambert next referred to the action bridge. Although the campaign which took place before Tien- in China could not compare tsin, and vindicated Sir Hope either in magnitude or in inGrant from the charge that he terest with late events in India, had forced hostilities on the Chi- yet when he remembered how nese at this period, when they much had been done by a comwere particularly desirous of paratively small force, how that peace. Between the military and force had passed through a thickly. naval services he was delighted inhabited country, advanced to to state that there had been the the gates of the capital, and there most cordial co-operation. In dictated its terms of peace, he terms of indignation he pro- could not refrain from thinking ceeded to detail the horrible bar- such vast results achieved by barities inflicted by the Chinese such inadequate means read on the unfortunate gentlemen more like a page of romance than whom they had captured by a a fact of history. Having highly foul act of treachery. This atro- eulogized the various operations, cious crime necessitated some he complained of the meagre sort of punishment, one which information which had been laid should fall upon the instigators before the House by the Governof it, and not upon an unoffend- ment, and insisted that more ing people, and the punishment papers should have been preselected had been the destruction sented to their Lordships on the of the Summer Palace of the merits of officers whom they were Emperor. From these topics he about to thank for their services. passed to speak in terms of great No words, however, could be too approval of the commissariat and high to mark their sense of Sir

« PreviousContinue »