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at an early period three Bills, for pointing to reduction in expendithe purpose of amending the laws ture and taxation, and to the rerelating to marriage and divorce, sumption of legal and other reforms. testamentary jurisdiction, and ec- Sir Andrew Agnew seconded clesiastical law. In the other the motion. House a Bill would also be brought Mr. Disraeli delivered a long in to meet those crimes of breach speech, in which he commented of trust which had lately shocked with caustic severity on the foreign the public confidence. His Lord- policy of Lord Palmerston. He ship indicated several other re- described the condition of the great forms of a similar nature to which Powers at the termination of the the Government intended direct- late struggle as affording a fair ing their earliest attention: among prospect of permanent tranquillity others a Bill which would be brought for this country; and he wanted to in by Sir George Grey, having know, he said, why we were disappeculiar reference to secondary pointed of this expectation-why punishments.
wars and rumours of wars should Earl Grey's amendment was pervade the whole Speech? He then put, when there appeared proceeded to argue that the seeds
Contents . . . . 12 of difficulties in our diplomatic
after the treaty of peace; first, Majority . . . . 33 with reference to Italy, our interIn the House of Commons the meddling with the affairs of which Address was moved by Sir John country had, be observed, for six Ramsden, who reviewed the prin- months diverted the mind of Engcipal topics referred to in the Royal land from the consideration of its Speech, noticing the omission of domestic interests, at that very any reference to our convict crimi- time a secret treaty being in existnal population, and expressing his ence guaranteeing to Austria, with hope that the attention of the the assent of the British GovernLegislature would soon be directed ment, the whole of her Italian doto the defects of a system at once minions. Was a Minister, le grievous to the community and asked, justified in holding out to discreditable to the Legislature. Italy and to Europe, under these Adverting to foreign affairs, Sir circumstances, that he was deterJohn dwelt at some length on the mined to change the aspect of negotiations rendered necessary by social and political life in Italy? the Russian misconstruction of the He insisted that this was an imtreaty of Paris ; on the conduct of posture practised upon the people Lord Clarendon, who, although he of this country, while time was could not prevent that miscon wasted and expense unnecessarily struction, had shown that he could incurred. Then came the Russian defeat its object; and on the cou- difficulty. What, he asked, was rage of Lord Palmerston in pro- the reason why we were on the claiming that, although this country point of losing one of the very obvalues her alliances, she is not de- jects for which we went to war ? pendent on them. Passing lightly He contended that it was owing to over the ruptures with Persia and a blunder of our own negotiator, China, he spoke of domestic affairs, who was a principal member of the Cabinet. Yet, instead of an avowal stone, between whom and the of the mistake, every means were Opposition "a compact was entered used to excite the passions of the into.” The proposition of a sucpeople of this country against cession duty was intimately conRussia, as if she desired to recede nected with the settlement of the from the treaty. All these difficul. income tax. The promise that ties in foreign affairs, which occu- the income tax should cease in pied nearly a year, were attributa. 1860 was accepted as an equivalent ble, he argued, to Ministers, who, for the succession duty. If the when the question about Bolgrad settlement of 1853 were disturbed, and the Isle of Serpents was ad- the questions respecting the differjusted, had advised a course in the ence between precarious and perNeuchâtel dispute calculated, but manent incomes, and of exempfor the prudence of the Swiss, to tions, were raised, and also the old involve them in war and to embroil bitter quarrel as to the peculiar the Continent. The tranquillity burden of taxation on the holders of Europe was, however, so well of real property. His conclusion established that even a firebrand was that we " ought to adhere to Minister could not subvert it; but the settlement of 1853." There in another quarter of the globe we ought to be no doubt as to what Gohad, not rumours of wars, but vernment intended. The question actual war; and he thought it was should be brought forward by some the duty of that House to inquire one who undoubtedly spoke the what was the cause of these per- feelings of a large party in the petually-recurring difficulties. Re- House, and should be brought forcollecting the case of the war in ward early. “I should have been Affghanistan, he should, when the glad that some gentleman who sits papers were before the House, scru- near me should have undertaken tinize very closely the real causes the task; but it has been thought of the war with Persia ; and, with by many that I ought not to regard to the Chinese difficulty, he shrink from it; and on this day believed it was the consequence of fortnight, if it be convenient and instructions from home, sent out agreeable to the House, I will ask some time ago. The House, he their opinion upon this subject. thought, would do well to curb and My course will be to move for a control the power of the Minister Committee of the whole House, in to pursue such a system as he had order that I may introduce resolusketched, so dangerous to the inte tions. My first resolution will be rests of the country. Turning his to express the opinion of this attention to domestic topics, Mr. House, that taxes which have been Disraeli adverted to finance, and granted in time of war for the purespecially to the income tax. All pose of carrying on hostilities, by the topics of controversy which way of income tax, should not be we thought settled in 1853 were levied in a period of what we are re-opened. Recapitulating the cir- assured by the honourable mover cumstances under which Mr. Glad- of the Address is one of profound stone's budget was accepted, Mr. peace. My second resolution-of Disraeli contended that the Opposi- course I am not pretending to give tion at that time was silenced by the language I shall lay upon the the terms offered by Mr. Glad table of the House—will be, that
the House should express its opi. matters of importance the quesnion that the settlement of 1853 tion which arose respecting the of the right honourable gentleman treaty of Paris, the settlement of the Member for the University of the Central American dispute, and Oxford should in spirit be adhered the Persian war. He should have to." If these resolutions were been glad, he said, if the unhappy carried, it would be a significant events in China bad been noticed expression of the opinion that in the Speech in terms somewhat England should not be a military na- different; and, with regard to tion; and it would give an impetus Persia, he wished to know by to a salutary economy. He was whose authority that war had been not afraid to say that he was jealous waged, whether the expedition and of a standing army, and of the its policy had been approved by the new mysterious military policy; Court of Directors of the East India and he would rather see the army Company, or whether that body in the hands of the Queen than was only the nominal authority. under the control of the Parliament He wanted likewise to know at of England.
whose charge the war was to be The Chancellor of the Ex- carried on. If this country was to chequer, declining to follow Mr. bear the charge, or any part of it, Disraeli into the wide field of our then it was the duty of the Goforeign policy, replied very briefly vernment to have called Parliato his remarks on the state of the ment together at an earlier period. public finances. As to the future Leaving questions of foreign policy, year, he said it was his anxious Mr. Gladstone adverted to the wish to lay his statement of the paragraph in the Royal Speech probable expenditure, and of the relating to the Bank of England, means of meeting it, before the protesting against its being underHouse at the earliest possible op- stood to import any foregone conportunity ; but the estimates must clusion as to the precise terms of first be submitted to their consi- the renewal of the Act of 1844, deration before the financial state, considering it to be completely ment could be made,
open to Parliament to determine if Mr. Gladstone expressed his that Act be not capable of improve. surprise that the Chancellor of the ment. With reference to the inExchequer should not have noticed come tax, and to the agitation and replied to the allegations made against the tax, he earnestly deby Mr. Disraeli on the subject of sired, he said, to bring the minds our foreign policy, some of which of the people of this country to a were definite enough, and which, consideration of the questionif correct, bore materially upon the which must be first disposed of advice given to the Crown by its as to what was the just and reaMinisters. He thought there was sonable scale of expenditure. If justice in the statement of Mr. the 9d. tax were given up without Disraeli, that, although we had ac- an equivalent reduction of the esticepted peace, and wished it to be mates there must be either new real, its fruits had been but par- taxation or a loan. He would not tially realised. He noticed the ab- be a party to either; he felt it to sence in the Royal Speech of any be bis bounden duty to lay hold promise of information respecting first of the expenditure, and to battle with the estimates. Passing right honourable gentleman, Mr. from the estimates to the income Disraeli, announced his intention tax, Mr. Gladstone denied that rashly, I thought-of proposing there was anything in the nature such a rate; but he had not an opof a “compact" with parties in the portunity of bringing it forward. House of Commons in the arrange- But there are other matters before ment of 1853. Of such a compact us that are of a practical character. he knew nothing. He explained As far as my duty is concerned, the circumstances under which the it will be my effort and labour to arrangement was come to, regard secure a fulfilment of the pledges ing the acceptance of his plan as given in 1853. I understood those an act of generous confidence ex- pledges as the right honourable tended from the Parliament to the gentleman understands them. I Government. This settlement it have not forgotten them. I never was incumbent to maintain-"the can forget to the latest day of my pledge of the Government was life, and I shall always rememgiven in 1853, and we received ber with gratitude the conduct value for it. It referred mainly of the House of Commons at the to something that was to take period when those measures were place in 1860. Four years of the adopted, and the generosity of the seven have passed away. It is to sentiments which they evinced. I my mind reasonable and just that must endeavour to answer that the right hon. gentleman on behalf conduct, at least so far as depends of his friends, and that every man on me; and I shall endeavour to on his own behalf and on behalf of answer that conduct by striving his constituents, should acknow. to bring the expenditure of the ledge the duty of the House of country and its fiscal arrangeCommons to say now, in 1857, ments into such a shape as will whether the pledges of 1853 are allow the extinction of the income or are not to be fulfilled. I tax in 1860." With regard to the deprecate all schemes-except in resolutions announced, Mr. Gladdebating societies of comparison stone said, he felt that the prebetween direct and indirect taxa- cise time and mode of bringing tion, so far as they stand between them forward must have some the House of Commons and its reference to the estimates. But practical duty. I deprecate those whenever they were brought forinquiries about a uniform and a ward, at a proper time and in a varying rate. What is the use of proper form, they would find in voting a perpetual income tax be- him one of their warmest and cause you think the rate should be most determined supporters. varying, and then all your life long L ord Palmerston, observing that finding that you are supporting a Mr. Disraeli had displayed reuniform rate? Now, that has been markable talents in the compothe case practically up to the pre- sition of works of imagination, sent time. The question as to a pronounced the greater part of his varying rate is a question between speech an entire romance. He the air and the clouds; it has never detailed the course of proceeding become practical. No Minister which resulted in the treaty of
sitting on that bench has ever been peace, and the history of the , able to devise such a rate. The boundary line, contending that the