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quiry we look upon as an indispensable pre. | cess, send an expedition to Abyssinia to liininary. I have been in communication with
accomplish the object we had in view. the War Department and with the India Office as to the best mode of proceeding. My right Parliament was prorogued on the 21st of hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India has August, and it was not until the 19th of telegraphed to the Indian Government to send August that, having carefully considered over an officer or officers on whom they can rely the information we had received from to meet Colonel Merewether at Aden, and with India, we came to the determination him to examine minutely the points on which information is necessary. I do not wish to antici- to send out an expedition to Abyssinia. pate the result of that inquiry ; but I hope that Having come to that determination on the the House will be of opinion that in making it we 19th of August, at the earliest possible have only done our duty. On the one hand, opportunity on the 21st-we communiwe cannot consent to leave these men to their fate without some attempt to rescue them. On cated that determination to Parliament. I the other hand, by precipitation and by acting trust, therefore, that your Lordships will in the dark we should be running the risk of see that there was no desire on the part involving ourselves in great calamities, and of Her Majesty's Government to keep might bring on ourselves not only political, but back from Parliament their determination also the possibility of military disaster. It is possible that when King Theodore sees that we
to send an expedition to Abyssinia in are in earnest, he may take warning, and release order to procure the release of the prisoners, the prisoners without giving us further trouble. and that there was no contradiction beWe may hope for this, but we ought not to count tween the language held by my noble Relaupon it. If he should not, the responsibility rests tive on the 26th of July, and the subsewith us of deciding upon our future course. must be guided to å great degree by the reports quent determination on the part of the we receive from those whom we employ to make Government to send out the expedition. the investigation to which I have referred. I do Having come to the determination to send not think we should be called upon even now to out the expedition, what was our next give any pledge on the part of the Government as to an expedition, unless it is found to be practi- step ? And here I may mention that some cable with only a reasonable expenditure of men time ago a noble Lord who has spoken this and means. It may be said, “Send it to the evening (Lord Houghton), and whom I coast of Africa, that will be enough. Possibly, now see opposite to me, expressed his opithat may be enough ; but if you send an expedi- nion at a scientific meeting—that of the tion to the coast and that fails, you cannot rest there, you must proceed further, you are free to Geographical Society—that Her Majesty's send an expedition or not to do so; but having Government had not taken proper preonce begun, you are not free to leave off without cautions for obtaining information which success. If you undertake the enterprize at all
, would be necessary to enable them to make you are bound to carry it through. I hope the the proper preparation for securing the House will leave the decision where the responsibility must be left. I think they will see
success of the expedition. by the Papers, which are now all but ready to
LORD HOUGHTON : What I said was, be laid on the table, that whether we have taken that unless Her Majesty's Government had the best or the wisest course or not-on which used every means in their power by condifferences of opinion may exist—at any rate, we bave not been guilty of neglecting or treating
sulting distinguished geographers as to with indifference this most painful business.”
whether there were any other means of [3 Hansard, clxxxix, 252-3.]
obtaining their object before this costly
expedition was sent out, they would not Now, my Lords, it has been said that this have taken all the precautions that were language was held on the 26th of July, necessary. while the first intimation given to Par THE EARL OF DERBY: Very well; the liament of an intended expedition was noble Lord did not make a statement; contained in the Queen's Speech on the he merely made a suggestion ; but the prorogation of Parliament on the 21st of purport of his observations was such August. The explanation of this circum. as to cause the President, Sir Roderick stance is perfectly simple. At the com- Murchison, to rise and state that from mencement of the month of June my noble his own personal knowledge the greatest Relative had, as he stated in his speech, pains had been taken to obtain infortaken steps to obtain the most perfect in- mation likely to promote the objects of formation from the most reliable Indian the expedition, and that every care had sources with regard to Abyssinia ; but been bestowed in preparing whatever was that information was not obtained until required for its use. When we determined the 13th of August, when we received in- upon sending out the expedition we also telligence which led us to believe that we determined for various reasons, with which might, with a reasonable prospect of suc- I need not now trouble your Lordships,
that it should take its departure from (Imperial revenue: There is one more
that of the King of Italy. Now, my concert with the other Powers, to join in a Lords, I am happy to find by the general Conference for the settlement of Speech of His Imperial Majesty, which this question ; but that invitation they was delivered yesterday, that His Ma- have neither accepted nor declined. Her jesty's views upon this question entirely Majesty's Government would be most coincide with the hopes which have been happy to second the efforts of the Emperor expressed by Her Majesty's Government, to restore peace and to secure Italy against and that he sees the time approaching further complications, and on personal when the French troops may be with- grounds I am bound to say that we should drawn from Italian soil. The noble Earl deem it a most satisfactory thing to be who opened the debate (Earl Russell) enabled in the slightest degree to relieve has commented upon the terms of the the Emperor of the French from any emConvention of September, and has ex. barrassment he may feel from the state of pressed his opinion with regard to various his own country in return for the cordial parts of it, and particularly the arrange- friendship and the goodwill which he has ment whereby the Papal Government always exhibited towards this country. might employ mercenary troops. I, how. But, before accepting the invitation to a ever, may say that Her Majesty's Go- Conference, various subjects required to be vernment were no parties to that Con- taken into consideration. First, is the vention, and that therefore it is not their Conference acceded to, and will its deterduty, nor that of any British statesman mination be accepted by the two Powers sitting in his place in Parliament, to com- mainly concerned - Italy and the Pope ? ment upon the terms of that Convention, To call for a Conference to arrange the with which this country has nothing what- affairs of two countries, neither of which ever to do.. The Convention was between concurs in being represented, and neither France and Italy, and in my opinion of which holds itself bound by the decision those countries alone are concerned with tha may be arrived at, appears to me, my it. Nor, my Lords, do I think it neces- Lords, a perfect waste of diplomatic energy sary-nor do Her Majesty's Government and ability. But, again, have we any think it necessary-to express any opinion reasonable prospect, where the points of whatever upon the policy adopted by the divergence are so great as between the Emperor of the French in despatching Papal programme and the Italian prothe expedition to Rome. The Emperor of gramme-of having to the Conference a the French, no doubt, felt himself bound practieal basis on which its proceedings by the terms of the Convention to protect may be founded? To call for a Conthe Papal territory, not against the popu- ference of the Powers without any basis lation of the Papal States, nor against the on which they should proceed, simply to Italian Government; but against certain discuss the affairs of Italy and the Pope, Italian invaders who had managed to would be only launching on an intermia elude the vigilance of the Italian Govern- nable sea of difficulty, which could afford ment. But that object having been no definite prospect of improvement. effected—a perfectly legitimate object I Therefore, unless these questions were may venture to say on the part of the satisfactorily answered, I confess I cannot Emperor-notwithstanding that Her Ma- see any advantage in entering into a Conjesty's Government do not feel called upon ference of so vague a character. That, in to express any opinion upon the policy of point of fact, was the answer we sent to that measure, it was perfectly legitimate the invitation—that we should first know for Her Majesty in her Speech from the whether the consent of the two parties throne to express a hope that all ground mainly interested had been obtained; and of a misunderstanding between the French next, what definite basis would be suband Italian Governments may be prevented mitted for the consideration of the Conby the withdrawal of the French troops, ference. whose continued presence in Italy must be I now turn, my Lords, to the next a source of jealousy to the Italian people paragraph in Her Majesty's Speech, which and of additional embarrassment to that treats of the Fenian conspiracy, with reGovernment. The noble Lord has also ference to which I heard with great regret expressed a hope that no hasty decision the noble Earl (Earl Russell), in commentwill be come to by Her Majesty's Go- | ing upon it, cast some imputation on the vernment with reference to the proposed Government and on the local authorities Conference on Italian affairs. Her Ma- for what he considered great remissness in jesty's Government have been invited, in Inot having taken more complete precau.
tions. Now, in the first place, whatever, of which they have to complain, but the degree of blame there be, if any-which I avowed distinct object is to upset the Godo not admit-it did not attach to the vernment of the Queen in her dominions Government, because it was entirely at- and to constitute an Irish Republic. That tributable to the course pursued by the is a distinctly treasonable object, and I local police of Manchester. But the noble must say there is a ludicrous side to it, Earl greatly misapprehends, and therefore because the very idea of an Irish Republic misrepresents, the course which was pur is one that to any man who knows that sued. The noble Earl says the Fenian country and the condition of its populaprisoners were left under the protection of tion must appear entirely ridiculous, and three policemen only. Now, that was by there is no possibility of any such a scheme, no means the case. They were sent to under any circumstances, being carried prison specially guarded by twelve police- | into effect. I am as satisfied as of anymen, some of whom were on the van and thing in the world that if an Irish Reothers were following in cabs for the pur- public could be established and every pose of affording protection. But certainly, British soldier withdrawn from Ireland it did not enter into the conception of any every cultivator would be driven from of the authorities that an attack would be Ireland ; in less than six months the made, in broad daylight, in the middle of leaders would be quarrelling among themthe town of Manchester, of so determined selves, and in twelve months they would a character as that which took place, and be cutting each other's throats from consequently the police were only armed one end of the island to the other. But with their ordinary weapons, and were not there is some respect to be paid to those in sufficient force to meet the forty or fifty who may entertain opinions however men who made the attack armed with re. erroneous — some respect to those who volvers and quite prepared to take life for openly and avowedly come forward to opthe purpose of effecting their object. , I do pose constituted authority, and are prenot think, therefore, that the police of pared by force of arms to establish their Manchester are liable to the charge of re- principles and views. To such cases as missness in duty which the noble Ear! these the character of political crimes brings against them.
may be attached ; but no such character EARL RUSSELL: They had a telegram can be given to crimes where the sole from Dublin, had they not, informing means of effecting the object of disturbthem that a rescue would be attempted ? ance — subversion of authority and com
THE EARL OF DERBY : No doubt there plete anarchy throughout the countrywas a telegram from Dublin to Manchester are secret incendiarisms, attacks on unto say that a rescue of the prisoners would protected houses, murders of single and be attempted, and that therefore it was unarmed policemen, attacks on police bardesirable that extra precautions should be racks which are known not to be defended, taken. But those precautions were taken attempts to fire houses by men who have in a very large increase of police in at- not courage to show themselves, who at tendance on the van. Certainly no infor- the appearance of a corporal's guard betake mation reached the authorities which led themselves to flight and leave their unforthem to apprehend so desperate and bloody tunate comrades to suffer the penalties of an attack. My Lords, I ought not to say their crimes. Therefore, whatever may anything, more especially under present be urged in mitigation of the crimes com. circumstances, when four men are lying mitted under this Fenian conspiracy; what. under sentence of death-I ought not to ever the disposition on the part of the say anything to aggravate the crime of this Crown and people to show all mercy in Fenian conspiracy ; but, at the same time, consistency with the judicial vindication I must protest in the strongest terms of the law, I cannot for one moment-and against those who, in the public press or I am sure the country will not for one elsewhere, have assumed that those out-moment-connect the idea of offences of rages—those cowardly and dastardly out this description with those ordinarily rages-are to be classed in the category of known as political offences, and which, political offences, and therefore to be as political offences, may be regarded treated differently from murders ordinarily with some sort of respect by a large porcommitted. In the first place, the object tion of the people. of this Fenian conspiracy — indefinite, My Lords, I do not think it necessary reckless, hopeless-is not the removal of now to deal with those measures which any grievance, not the redress of any evil Her Majesty's Government announce their
intention of bringing before Parliament,, that on this, the first day of the Session, nor will I follow the noble Earl into his there is entire unanimity among us. discussion of the general principles of the Reform Bill which was carried last Ses- and Ordered to be Presented to Her Ma
Address agreed to, Nemine Dissentiente, sion in reference to England. That Reform Bill, he seems to think, ought not to jesty by the Lords with White Staves. be introduced for Scotland and Ireland.
CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES. I am not prepared to enter into any dis
The Lord REDESDALE appointed, Nemine cussion with regard to the merits of those Bills. The noble Earl will have an earlier Dissentiente, to take the Chair in all Com.
mittees of this House for this Session. opportunity than last year of discussing the merits of the Scotch and Irish Bills ; COMMITTEE FOR PRIVILEGES — Appointed. and in the meantime, though greatly indebted to him for the arguments by which
SUB-COMMITTEE FOR THE JOURNALS he suggests I might vindicate them, I Appointed. must be permitted to use my own discre.
APPEAL COMMITTEE-Appointed. tion and to use my own arguments when I bring them forward. I will not deal
House adjourned at Eight o'clock, with the other topics adverted to in the
to Thursday next, a quarter Speech. The question of Education, no
before Five o'clock. doubt, is one that requires the most serious consideration of Parliament. The circumstances of the three portions of the Kingdom are very different in regard to it, and it may be necessary to deal with each in a HOUSE OF COMMONS, different manner and at a different time. For my own part, I agree with
noble Tuesday, November 19, 1867. Friend behind me (Lord Hylton) in regard to education in England; it requires much
The House met at half after One of the more information than we possess; and I clock. cannot but feel that the time is hardly
A Message from The LORDS COMMISripe for coming to a definite conclusion in regard to it. Though we have ample in- SIONERS, by Colonel : Clifford, Yeoman
Usher of the Black Rod formation as to assisted schools and some unassisted schools, yet, with regard to that
“MR. SPEAKER, large portion of the population absolutely “The Lords authorized by virtue of without education at all, we stand in need Her Majesty's Commission, desire the imof much more information than we possess mediate attendance of this Honourabl before we can safely come to a conclusion House in the House of Peers.” on the whole subject. The question of education for Ireland is under the conside. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, with the ration of the Commission, with reference House, went up to the House of Peers : to the appointment of which considerable difficulty has been experienced, owing to
And being returned ; the reluctance of the Roman Catholics of
NEW WRITS DURING THE RECESS. Ireland to take any part in assisting the Government to come to a careful and un Mr. SPEAKER acquainted the House that, biased investigation on the subject, and during the Recess, he had issued Warrants also from the lamented death of the Earl for New Writs, for Galway County, v. of Rosse, who was so universally respected, Lord Dunkellin, deceased; for Bradford, and who from his singularly conciliatory v. Henry Wickham Wickham, esquire, and discreet course would have been a deceased; for Rutland, v. Hon. Gilbert most efficient president. My Lords, I Henry Heathcote, called up to the House leave the other questions noticed in Her of Peers ; for Leicester County (Southern Majesty's Speech to be dealt with when, in Division), v. Charles William Packe, due time, they are brought under your esquire, deceased ; for Manchester, v. Lordships' consideration. I will therefore Edward James, esquire, deceased. content myself with expressing my satisfaction that the noble Earl and
your ships generally do not see any ground for Ordered, That a Committee of Privileges objection to Her Majesty's Speech, and be appointed.