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specious promises and declarations; but, once duped, they are not so easily duped a second time, and confidence once forfeited is not so easily restored to the same person. But even were I disposed to place in the good faith of the declarations of France, or rather of the Emperor of the French, the same confidence as I was prepared to repose in them 14 or 16 months ago, I do not think that the expressions in the Emperor's speech are such as to ensure great confidence. I take it that there could not be a greater calamity for this country and for Europe than the rupture or dissolution of the friendly alliance between the two countries. There are many reasons which ought to bring us closely together, and an amicable intimacy is as important to the one as to the other, and is equally important to the general peace of Europe. But if the alliance is to be anything real and satisfactory, it is obvious that there must exist mutual confidence between the Governments, and a clear understanding as to their intentions and policy. It is impossible to overlook the fact that danger of disturbance in Europe would arise only from the attitude assumed by France, and at the present moment there prevails a degree of apprehension, anxiety, and uncertainty with respect to the future course of that Power. At the same time that the Emperor of of the French makes use of peaceful professions, he is at the head of 400,000 men, and the amount could easily be raised to 600,000. That army, if I am rightly in formed, being sick of idleness, is demanding occupation, and exhibits impatience at the inactivity
to which it is condemned; and the nation to which it belongs would go through great suffering, and sustain a great weight of taxation, merely for the sake of what it deems military glory. Such being the army, and such the nation, with the Emperor of the French at their head, it is not satisfactory to see that potentate at present exerting himself to increase the powers of France, more especially in that particular department in which it is absolutely necessary that we should maintain a superiority if we mean to maintain our independence. When I see the efforts made to raise the navy in France, I cannot-though I do not suppose that the Emperor would do anything to bring himself in collision with this country, but, on the contrary, I believe that his earnest desire is to continue on good terms with England-yet I can- . not, I repeat, disconnect those efforts from the great exertions also made in this country against possible aggression, or help saying that we seem to be running a race of military preparationswith this difference, however, that those in France must be for aggression, while those in England are only for those defences which are essential for the existence of the nation. What possible contingency might not be included under the three exceptions to the peaceful policy of France, set forth in the Emperor's speech? Have the Government still the same confidence in the Emperor? I do not ask the noble earl opposite to reconcile the two despatches to which I have referred; but I ask by which of the two principles the Government are to be guided. This is
not an unimportant question, either as respects the future or the present, for unquestionably it is a state of doubt, and apprehension, and uncertainty, that places on the people of this country an amount of taxation which is absolutely unprecedented in time of peace, which is perfectly intolerable, and which is only made more intolerable by the financial freaks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. How long is this state of things to continue, and when is the country to be relieved from the pressure of this heavy taxation? We are, in point of fact, at a time of profound peace, suffering from almost a war taxation, and we want to know how long the nation is to remain in this position, how long these excessive armaments are to continue necessary, and how long, under the guise of peace, and while apparently in cordial and friendly alliance with our neighbours across the Channel, we are to maintain these preparations for immediate war? We want to know, further, whether Her Majesty's Government are at this moment acting, with regard to European politics in concert with the Emperor of the French, or whether we are with him merely upon the footing on which we stand with Russia or any other country?"
Earl Granville having congratulated Lord Derby on his restored health, of which the House had had so good a proof in his vigorous onslaught on Her Majesty's Government, said, in reply to his speech, that in regard to the production of cotton in India he had the greatest confidence in the resources of that country. As to the affairs of
New Zealand, he had at present no information on the state of the rebellion, but he thought it would be wiser for the House, before it proceeded to consider the causes of the outbreak, to await the quelling of the rebellion. Lord Granville then alluded in very complimentary terms to the reception of the Prince of Wales in Canada, and of his conduct under somewhat difficult circumstances, and passed an eloquent compliment upon the Chinese expedition and the ability which had been displayed in its organization. He proceeded to consider the objections made by Lord Derby to the foreign policy of Lord John Russell, and protested against the construction put on that policy by means of two isolated despatches. In reply to the question as to the state of our relations with France, he informed the House that our relations were founded on the only principles which ought to influence a great nation-neither blind distrust nor blind confidence; and that the two countries acted together because they believed their joint action would be beneficial to the general interests of Europe. In support of his views he referred to the recènt Commercial Treaty with France, which had already done much and would do more to induce friendly feelings between the two countries and avert the calamities of war. In China and in Syria we had acted in cooperation with the French, and the expediency of continuing the French occupation of Syria would be shortly brought under the consideration of the great Powers. It was true that much distrust
existed in various States of the Continent, but there was now a general disposition to grant liberal measures, which would, he hoped, effectually allay all irritation. There was, however, the greatest reason for satisfaction in the condition of our own country. In conclusion, he expressed his regret at the loss which the House had sustained by the death of Lord Aberdeen, to whose memory he paid an eloquent and feeling tribute. "Never," he said, "in public life was there a more honest or honourable man." The Address was then agreed to without a division.
In the House of Commons the Address was moved by Sir T. E. Colebrooke, who commenced by adverting to that part of Her Majesty's Speech which had a personal reference to herself-the allusion to the manner in which the Prince of Wales had been received in the British colonies he had visited, as well as in the United States of America, which he considered an important historical event. He dwelt upon the success which had attended our arms in China, of which, he remarked, many doubts had been entertained by military authorities, and he congratulated the House upon the manner in which the expedition had been fitted out. In touching upon those portions of the Royal Speech which related to the state of the Continent of Europe, he expressed his belief that the Emperor of the French was actuated by a sincere desire for the maintenance of peace. At the same time, Italy was a source of anxiety, and considering the aspect of foreign affairs in general, he thought that im
patience for a reduction of our expenditure should not prevent us from maintaining an attitude of watchfulness. After a few remarks upon domestic topics, he concluded by moving the Address.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Paget, who confined himself to subjects of home interest, expressing favourable anticipations of the results of the Commercial Treaty with France. On the subject of economy in the public expenditure, he declared his conviction, that though the people desired that the money raised by taxation should not be profusely squandered, to reduce the army and navy below what was necessary for the safety and honour of the country would be as unpopular as impolitic.
Mr. White said, although very reluctant to disturb the unanimity which generally prevailed upon these occasions, there were omissions in the Royal Speech, and he felt bound to move an amendment. Nothing was said about the question as to the respective functions of the two Houses, and the abandonment of one of the most precious privileges of the Commons. The Royal Speech was defective in relation to a neighbouring State, and to the warlike preparations there; and it made no mention of administrative or of Parliamentary Reform. With regard to China, he observed that the treaty of Tien-tsin could only be considered as a truce, since stipulations so extorted could not be enforced. He moved to add a paragraph to the Address. on the subject of Parliamentary Reform.
The amendment was seconded by Mr. Digby Seymour.
Mr. Disraeli, referring to the manner in which the Reform Bill of the last session had been treated by the supporters of the Government, thought they could not be censured for omitting the topic in the Royal Speech, and he was not displeased at the omission. Subjects had occurred since the House had met, how ever, which he thought justified inquiry of the Government as to the general state of our affairs and the policy we were pursuing. Secret diplomacy, we had been told, had been abandoned; yet, notwithstanding all this candour on the part of the Government the public mind was more perplexed and bewildered as to our policy. He wanted to know what was our policy; what was the real state of our relations with France?
Had we formed, as had been suggested, new alliances, or attempted to form them, and, if so, on what principles? He had always upheld what was called the French alliance with this country: the wisest and most eminent statesmen had been of opinion that a cordial understanding between the two nations was most conducive to the peace of the world, and that it was practicable. But this cordial understanding depended upon two assumptions that France was of opinion that, by the development of her resources, her power would be more securely ensured than by any increase of territory; and that the noble weakness of the French people-the love of glory -- would be satisfied, in any international difficulty, by being consulted. But the policy of our Foreign Secretary had been contrary to that of France, and, as France
believed, hostile to her interests. He proceeded to contend that Lord John Russell had pursued a policy in Italy contrary to that of France by of France by supporting the unity of Italy, to which France is opposed. But had he obtained that unity?
'We hear- we know, that a powerful French army is strongly entrenched in the centre of Italy. We know that the contemplated capital of Italy is not in the possession of the Italians. In this age of jubilant nationality Rome is still garrisoned by the Gauls. (Laughter.) We know that Venetia is bristling with Austrian artillery and swarming with German and Sclavonian legions. We know that even the King of the Two Sicilies, deprived of his crown by universal and unanimous suffrage, unfortunately followed by frequent insurrections and martial law, is even at this moment in possession of the two prime strongholds of his kingdom. We know that in the south of Italy they have combined the horrors of revolution with the shade of conquest.".
"But, granting that unity is obtained, on what terms will the Emperor of the French consent to it? It will not be the moral force of England but the sword of France that will have won it, and, when it is won, the Emperor will come forward as the natural head of the Latin race, the emancipator of Italy, at the head of a million bayonets. If the Minister sought that unity he ought to have interfered by material force and not by a puerile and declamatory diplomacy. Then we should have had grateful allies for our reward. Now, either we must fall back
upon the Treaty of Zurich, or meet a more dangerous situation -Italy united by the sword of France with its resources at the disposal of France." That was the result of the course the Government had pursued. Mr. Disraeli concluded by saying:
"Great influences have been at work during the last yearinfluences more powerful than French emperors and British ministers. They had been slumbering in chaos; but you called forth those anarchical elements, one of which alone may be sufficient to produce a European war. What are these questions which are now agitating Europe, and from the agitation of which inen shrank? You have the rival claims of priests and kings, you have the rights of races and the boundaries of empires-questions, one of which alone caused a war of thirty years. All these questions have now been called forth while Her Majesty's Government have been pursuing the phantom of an United Italy . . . . If the unity of Italy is to be effected, it can be affected only by a Power which occupies Italy in great force, not by a Power which has no force there whatever. That unity cannot be effected under such auspices without results dangerous, in my opinion, to the peace of Europe. That unity can only be effected in such circumstances by placing the Emperor of the French at the head of at least a million of armed men, and making him master of all the resources of Italy. I want to know whether, with the probability of such a result as that, with such dangers as these impending over Europe and more than Europe, inquiries
and explanations have passed between the Governments of England and France as to the intentions and policy of the French Emperor. I want to know whether the Government can inform the House what is the exact state of affairs in that respect, what are the true relations of France with Italy, and what are the prospects on this all-important question which the Government can hold out to the people of England."
Lord John Russell admitted the right of Mr. Disraeli to ask for explanations, but told him he was not justified in complaining of want of information when the papers had just been laid on the table. He then stated the course pursued by the Government in the Italian question. “During the last year and a half, the Government have declared, over and over again, that the Italians should be allowed to settle their affairs as they thought best. Does Mr. Disraeli consider that a right or a wrong principle? He does not say whether he thinks it right or wrong; but he conjures up doubts which have no existence in fact. Mr. Disraeli has always derided opinions in favour of Italian independence. He has sounded the praises of Austria and the late King of Naples." Lord John gave a close narrative of the course of Italian affairs since 1859, to show that the Government had consistently upheld the principle that the Italians should be free to choose their own rulers, and again asked Mr. Disraeli to say whether he thought that a right principle, or whether, after the Treaty of Zurich, he would have employed force to reinstate the GrandDukes. France said that no