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pretty well known to this House and Bill " for the more effectual preventing to a large majority of the English people Clandestine Outlawries," read the first who have taken an interest in the subject. time ; to be read a second time.
It is well known that when Lord Palmer
ston was Prime Minister a mission was NEW MEMBER SWORN.
sent to Abyssinia. It would, perhaps, be Viscount Burke, for Galway County.
wasting the time of the House to go
through the whole of the events that have THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS' SPEECH. sent moment-it will be sufficient to re
occurred from that time down to the preMR. SPEAKER reported, That the call the fact that this difficult Abyssinian House had been at the House of Peers question has been several times brought at the desire of the Lords Commissioners before both Houses of the Legislature. appointed under the Great Seal for open- As early as February, 1866, a noble Lord ing and holding this present Parliament; in the other House (Lord Chelmsford), and that the Lord High Chancellor, being put a Question to the Secretary of State one of the said Commissioners, made a for Foreign Affairs on this subject; and Speech to both Houses of Parliament, of no later than last Session a debate ocwhich Mr. Speaker said he had, for greater curred on this subject when the quesaccuracy, obtained a copy; which he read tion was brought prominently forward by to the House.
the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Ilenry
Seymour). I trust that at the outset ADDRESS TO HER MAJESTY ON THE
of a war which may cost the country a LORDS COMMISSIONERS' SPEECH.
large sum of money, it will be felt that MR. HART DYKE: Sir, in rising to it will not only be advantageous to the move that an Address be presented to Her Government, but satisfactory to the House Majesty in answer to Her most gracious and those out of doors who take an inSpeech, I trust I shall not ask in vain for terest in the subject, that the fullest inthe kind forbearance and consideration vestigation should take place, both as to which are ever accorded to one who ad- the causes which have led to the prospect dresses the House for the first time. If I of this unhappy war, and also as to the touch but lightly upon the various topics means which the Government have adopted mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, with the view of bringing it to a successful I would ask the House to believe that it issue. In studying the Papers furnished is not because I underrate their import to the House last Session, it will appear ance, but simply because I feel some diffi. that various measures were adopted with dence in addressing myself to subjects in a view of persuading, as it were, the somereference to which the vast majority of what eccentric King Theodore to deliver hon. Members have had longer experience, up the captives. On the 29th January, and upon which they would therefore be 1866, through the intervention of Mr. better qualified to speak.
Rassam, who was commissioned by this Her Majesty has graciously signified country to endeavour to procure the release Her regret that the necessity has arisen of the prisoners, we find that they were for assembling Parliament at this some- actually liberated. And this reminds me what unusual season ; and the primary of a point which has been urged-namely, cause of Parliament having been thus that the difficulties which have arisen in assembled is as might be expected Abyssinia have been occasioned by offence referred to in the first paragraph of Her given at different times to King Theodore. Majesty's Speech. I need scarcely remind The prisoners, as I have said, were acthe House that Her Majesty's Govern-tually liberated, and a reconciliation took ment having deemed it expedient to send place between them and the King on the a force into Abyssinia for the purpose 29th January, 1866; but shortly after of liberating our countrymen who are which it appears that, without any ostenin captivity there, the necessity must sible reason or provocation, King Theodore, necessarily arise for our voting sup- after bidding them adieu, saw fit to send plies in order to defray the cost of that after them and take them once more into expedition. The circumstances connected captivity, and they were sent to Magdala with the sad events that have occurred in and put in chains on the 6th July, 1866. Abyssinia, at least so far as the earlier The next event which I have to notice part of them are concerned, are already is the autograph lottor sout by ler Ma
jesty to King Theodore, stating in the graphical position of Abyssinia, it would kindest manner the anxiety felt by her- be useless for me to attempt to disguise self and the people of this country for the fact that an expedition to such a counthe liberation of the captives, and at try is fraught with many difficulties, and the same time expressing no ill-will must be costly as regards money, and it towards King Theodore so long as the may also be as regards life. If we can prisoners were liberated. At the same suppose an instance in which we have retime, presents were sent to King Theo-ceived indignities equal to those we have dore by Mr. Flad, a missionary, and subse- received in the present case, the country quently Colonel Merewether was sent out, being easier of access and with fewer diffiin compliance with the King's wish, with culties of transport and climate than Abyscertain artizans, who were placed at his sinia, I think there are few persons who Majesty's disposal. I now come to the would hesitate as to what course we letter written by the noble Lord the Se- ought to pursue ; and I trust that the cretary for Foreign Affairs, to which I country will not be deterred from upwill call particular attention. Surprise holding its dignity and liberating the has been expressed that, inasmuch as the captives by the special difficulties which difficulties surrounding this Abyssinian Abyssinia presents. If during the debate question were well known last Session, that will arise on this subject it can be prompt measures were not taken while shown as I believe it will that Parliament was yet sitting. That would every legitimate means which diplomacy have been the case ; but I should state has at its command have been adopted that the letter to which I have referred for the purpose of effecting the liberation was addressed to King Theodore, inform- of the captives, I believe the conclusion ing him that unless the British authorities at which the Government have arrived to at Massowah were made acquainted within send out an expedition will be acquiesced three months of the time the letter was in and endorsed by the majority of the despatched to the King with the fact that people of this country. As a young and the captives were released, the King would a humble Member of this House I trust be held responsible for the consequences, the day will be far distant when Parliaand the answer to that letter only arrived ment will hesitate to vindicate and prothree days before Parliament was dis- tect the representatives of this country missed from its labours at the close of last when they are subjected to indignities and Session, and therefore it would have been ill-treatment in a foreign land. clearly impossible for the Government to Sir, the events which have recently have taken any action in the matter 80 occurred in Italy, and the complications far as Parliament was concerned. Her to which they are likely to lead, have Majesty and the Government have been given rise to much anxiety, in many
imated solely by an honest desire to minds; and that anxiety must be mingled secure the release of the captives in with regret when we consider the present Abyssinia, and not by any wish for ter- state of that country, requiring as it ritorial aggrandizement or by any ulterior does, above all things, peace and order for motives. If any hon. Member will search its permanent consolidation, that violent history through, he will find that there persons should have proceeded to harass are few instances in which indignities in- and disturb it, and have thus tended, flicted on a country have been borne with by their own precipitancy, to defer to an greater moderation and patience, or where indefinite period the result they have been more humane and moderate means have desirous of bringing about. Our ally, the been resorted to for the purpose of effect- Emperor of the French, has been placed ing an object such as we have now in in a position of no ordinary difficulty with view. I need not tell the House that in regard to this question; but I trust the the expedition already upon its way the confident hope expressed by Her Majesty Government look for no increase of ter- | in Her gracious Speech, founded on the ritory, nor to obtain any special ad- enlightened wisdom and moderation of vantage on the coast of Abyssinia. I feel that monarch, may be speedily fulfilled. and I am sure many in the country will When we remember how many anxious agree with me—that there is something questions connected with foreign affairs which we have always held dearer than are at present before the political world, it ambition, and that is our national honour. must have been a matter of general gratiAcquainted as the House is with the geo-'fication to all who heard, in the recent
reception of our new representative in question, and will facilitate its settlement. Paris, the cordial sentiments expressed by Many hard things have been said in rethe Emperor, affording, as they do, a clear ference to the measure of last Session. indication of a continuance of that policy When we consider the amount of legisof peace and goodwill towards England lation yet to be got through with regard which he has not only invariably ex- to Parliamentary Reform, I think we had pressed, but which he has conscientiously better pass over anything like recriminaendeavoured to carry out as long as he has tion respecting the past, and set to work sat upon the throne.
honestly to make complete the partial settle. Sir, the miserable attempts of certain ment we have arrived at. Representing a misguided men among our countrymen and constituency (West Kent) which has cerothers are referred to in Her Majesty's tainly as important and varied interests Speech. It is with feelings of pain and as any, I may say that a feeling of thankregret that all who love the cause of order fulness and satisfaction pervades all classes in this country, and all who wish to see a that a question about which so much has brighter future dawn upon the sister been promised and so little performed, and country, have observed what has lately which has become a stumbling block to taken place in Ireland on the part of every kind of legislation, has been so far violent and unprincipled men, our country- settled. The Commissioners appointed to men and others, who have so far disturbed consider the boundaries of the new bothe existing order of things that trade has roughs have, I am informed, bestowed been paralysed, agricultural operations much time and attention to their duties; have been almost suspended, and many and when their Report is laid on the manifest advantages to the progress of pro- table, considering the amount of pains sperity which might have been opened up they have taken to collect information in that country have been for the present and the impartiality they have displayed, sacrificed. I cannot help offering my I have no doubt this important feature meed of praise to the authorities in Ire- of the Reform Act will speedily become land and elsewhere for the firm and tem. the law of the land. Her Majesty's perate manner in which they have met Speech promises the introduction of mea. the emergency. There have also been sures for the suppression of bribery. This certain cases of outrage which have oc- is unfortunately a thing which has becurred in the streets of London-miserable come so engrafted on our political system attempts by a few men armed with re- that it will be difficult to deal with it. volvers to upset the law. I trust that by Like a long-seated disease, which has a wise administration of the law, and by spread through every nerve and every the good feeling and forbearance that are sinew, bribery will be difficult of eradi. being shown, we shall soon hear that cation ; but I understand that legislation there is an end to this unhappy state of on this subject will proceed on the basis of things.
the Bill mentioned in this House last year, No doubt the Government will supple- and that it is proposed that instead of ment the recent Act for the representation Election Committees sitting in London, of the people of England by other mea- competent Judges will be sent to the consures affecting the representation of the stituencies involved to make the inquiries people of Scotland and Ireland. In intro- on the spot. I believe that such a course ducing those measures Her Majesty's Go- will facilitate the administration of the vernment will be able to bring to bear on law, for there is no doubt that the heavy the subject the consideration they must expenses of inquiries in London prevents have given to it during the recess. The prosecutions for bribery. One great diffianxious consideration given to the question culty to be dealt with is that of definition, of the franchise last Session will prevent as it is more difficult in cases of bribery that subject giving us as much trouble in than it is in criminal matters to define the dealing with the new Bills as would other exact point at which it might be said the wise have been the case. With regard to Rubicon is crossed, and a man, instead the latter part of the Bills—the distri- of conscientiously canvassing for a vote, bution clauses there will doubtless be is endeavouring to use corrupt influence. some difficulty ; but I trust that the The next question referred to in Her Masame policy of forbearance and goodwill jesty's Speech was that of Education, and as was adopted last Session will charac- it is one there is great difficulty in dealing terize our future debates on the Reform with ; but I believe, when we consider the
enormous mass of evidence taken by Com- gone through the chief topics mentioned mittees and Commissions which the House in Her Majesty's Speech. The House now has before it on this subject, we may must be aware that we are met on the express a hope that the question will soon present occasion to consider matters more receive a satisfactory solution. Nor do I especially connected with foreign affairs ; think there is any question more urgent at but there are many questions affecting the the present moment. It only requires you amelioration of the law of this country, to look at the calendar at any assizes, and with which, though they are not touched to notice the large proportion of prisoners upon in Her Majesty's Speech, the Gowho are returned as unable to read and vernment will at least attempt to grapple write, or who at best are able to read and with before the Session closes. This has write imperfectly, to perceive how short- been called “a moribund Parliament;" but sighted å policy it has been not to deal I am sanguine that though it may be drawwith the subject long ago. As a mere ing to its close, it will retain its vigour to matter of pounds, shillings, and pence—as the end, and will transmit to its successors a mere matter of saving the county rate-- an honoured name. Thanking the House it must be a prudent thing to give the for the attention it has paid to me, I will lower population at starting on their walk conclude by expressing my earnest hope in life some chance of learning those things and confidence that we may so legislate which are likely to make them better and in this last Session of Parliament as to happier members of the community. preserve those institutions which
I Last year a Motion was brought for believe, dear to all classes of the comward having reference to the better ma-munity, to uphold the interests of this nagement of the Mercantile Marine ; and I country abroad, and insure that prosperity am glad to see that Her Majesty's Govern- at home with which, under the blessing of ment intend to legislate on a subject which Providence, we have been so largely enis so nearly connected with the very bone dowed. The hon. Gentleman concluded and sinew of our commerce.
by movingIt is a matter of congratulation that we
“ That an humble Address be presented to Her no longer receive those gloomy, returns Majesty, to convey the Thanks of this House for relating to the cattle plague which used to Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech : come to us once a fortnight; and I am glad to hear that a Bill is shortly to be
• Humbly to thank Her Majesty for the graintroduced on this subject. I believe that cious expression of Iler Majesty's regret that She sad experience of this disease has estab. has found it necessary to call for our attendance lished the fact that its ravages are chiefly at an unusual, and, as Her Majesty is pleased to to be traced to the ports where cattle are say, probably an inconvenient season : disembarked from the Continent, and that
“ To express the regret with which we learn one great centre for spreading the contagion has been the Metropolitan Cattle that the Sovereign of Abyssinia, in violation of Market. It is satisfactory, therefore, to all International Law, continues to hold in captilearn that a proposition is about to be vity several of Her Majesty's Subjects, some of made for the institution of a separate
whom have been specially accredited to him by market for cattle imported from abroad, Her Majesty, and that the persistent disregard by which are to be slaughtered within a con
that Sovereign of friendly representations has left fined area and in separate slaughter-houses. Her Majesty no alternative but that of making a Under present legislation it is provided peremptory demand for the liberation of Her that cattle landing at any of the out-ports Subjects, and of supporting it by an adequate shall be slaughtered within a confined area
Force : in each port. Under the Metropolitan “Humbly to thank Her Majesty for informing Traffic Act, a provision will come in force
us that She has directed an Expedition to be sent in 1874, prohibiting slaughter-houses from for that purpose alone, and that She confidently being erected within a certain distance of relies upon the support and co-operation of Her dwelling-houses; and while we consider
Parliament in Her Majesty's endeavours at once how large the number of cattle slaughtered in London, and how calculated the trade to relievo our Countrymen from an unjust impriin hides and other things of the kind is to sonment, and to vindicate the honour of Her
Crown: spread disease, I have no doubt this enactment will prove a great and salutary boon. “To thank Her Majesty for directing Papers on
I have now-very inefficiently I fear— this subject to be forthwith laid before us ;
“ Humbly to express the gratification with “ Humbly to thank Iler Majesty for informing which we learn that Her Majesty's relations with us that a Bill will be presented to us for the more Foreign Powers are friendly, and that Her Ma- effectual suppression of Bribery and Corruption jesty sees no reason to apprehend the disturbance at Elections, and that the Public Schools Bill, of the general Peace of Europe :
which has been already more than once submitted Humbly to thank Her Majesty for informing
to Parliament, will again be laid before us. us that, in consequence of the invasion of the “To express our hearty concurrence in the Papal States by a band of Italian Volunteers, opinion expressed by Her Majesty, that the Eduwithout authority from their own Sovereign, His cation of the people is a question that requires Majesty the Emperor of the French felt himself the most serious attention of Parliament, and called upon to despatch an Expedition for the humbly to assure Her Majesty that She may rely protection of the Sovereign Pontiff and his domi- upon our approaching the subject with a full apnions :
preciation of its vital importance and acknowledged “ To express our concurrence with Her Ma- difficulty : jesty in the hope that, as the object of the Emperor “ Ilumbly to thank Her Majesty for informing has been accomplished, and as the defeat and
us that measures will be submitted to us, during dispersion of the Volunteer Force has relieved the present Session, for amending and consolithe Papal Territory from the danger of external dating various Acts relating to the Mercantile invasion, his Imperial Majesty will find himself Marine ; and to concur with Her Majesty in enabled, by an early withdrawal of his Troops, opinion that the exemption which the Country to remove any possible ground of misunderstand has now for some time enjoyed from the Cattle ing between His Majesty's Government and that Plague affords a favourable opportunity for conof the King of Italy:
sidering such permanent Enactments as may re"To assure Her Majesty of the deep regret lieve the Home Trade from vexatious restrictions, with which we learn that the Treasonable Conspi- and facilitate the introduction, under due regularacy commonly known as Fenianism, baffled and tion, of Foreign Cattle for Home Consumption : repressed in Ireland, has assumed in England the
Hunbly to thank Her Majesty for informing form of organized violence and assassination :
us that Measures for the amendment of the Law, " To convey to Her Majesty our participation which have been deferred under the pressure of in the opinion which she expresses that such more urgent business, will be submitted to us ; outrages as have been committed require to be and that other questions, apparently calling for rigorously put down, and to express our confidence Legislative action, have been referred to Commisthat Her Majesty may rightly rely, for their effec- sioners, whose Reports will be laid before us as tual suppression, upon the firm Administration of soon as they may be received : the Law, and the loyalty of the great mass of Her
Humbly to assure ller Majesty, that in common Subjects :
with Her Majesty, we earnestly pray that all our “To thank Her Majesty for having directed deliberatious may be so guided as to conduce to the Estimates for the ensuing year to be laid the general contentment and happiness of Her before us in due course, and for informing us that People.” they will be framed with a view to economy, and COLONEL HOGG: Sir, in rising to seto the necessary requirements of the Public Ser-cond the Address which has been so ably vice :
moved by my hon. Friend, I feel painfully “ IIumbly to thank Her Majesty for informing conscious of my own inability to underus that, as a necessary sequel to the Legislation take the task ; but I know full well that of the last Session, Bills will be laid before us for I can rely on the indulgence of the House amending the Representation of the People in of Commons, which is always granted to Scotland and Ireland :
young Members on similar occasions. My
hon. Friend has so fully and ably gone “ Humbly to thank Her Majesty for informing into the early causes of the Abyssinian us that She has reason to believe that the Com- war, that it is unnecessary for me to missioners appointed to inquire into and report dilate upon it; but there is one thing he upon the Boundaries of existing Boroughs, as said that I think ought to be enforced on well as of the proposed Divisions of Counties and the Government and the country, and that newly enfranchised Boroughs, have made consi. is that it was impossible for the Governderable progress in their inquiries, and that no ment before the close of the last Session time will be lost, after the receipt of their Report, give an ample or full explanation of in laying before us their recommendations : their policy ; because in the despatch