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Mr. Wallace on the part of the Dissenters of Scotland, and on the part especially of those whom he had the honour to represent, begged to say, that they had no wish to receive any portion of the public money; he should, therefore, vote for the proposed reduction.
Committee divided on the amendment: Ayes 16; Noes 84: Majority 68. List of the Ayes.
Aglionby, II. A. Turner, W.
Baines, E. Vigors, N. A.
Bridgeman, II. Wallace, R.
Brotherton, J. Warburton, H.
Hobhouse, T. B. White, A.
Lushington, Dr. Yates, J. A.
Salway, Col. Tellers.
Tancred, H. W. Hume, J.
Thomely, T. Handley, II.
List of the Noes. Abercromby, G. Hughes, W. B.
S'.euart, R. Trowbridge, Sir T.
Supply—Secret Service Money.] On the question that a sum of 35,900/. be granted for the purpose of defraying the expenses of Secret Service,
Mr. Williams objected to so large a sum being expended without proper responsibility. He would propose, that it be reduced to 25,900/.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer denied, that there was a want of responsibility as regarded secret service money. It was mainly used for the purposes of the Foreign-office, and no portion of it was disbursed otherwise than by the authority of the Secretary of State, or the UnderSecretary, who declared upon oath the amount so expended, and that the same was for public uses. All sums privately expended in other offices were similarly sworn to. He thought it would be hard if the circumstance of England being a free country should deprive us of those advantages in the way of secret information which our rivals and opponents were always enabled to enjoy. He further observed, that the amount had been gradually reduced, and was this year lower than ever.
Mr. Hume thought the example of other Governments had been too much followed in this matter, and the time had now arrived when secret service money should be dispensed with altogether. It was only a cloak for improper proceedings. He should not vote for its diminution, but against any grant whatever.
The Committee divided on the original motion: Ayes 111; Noes 13: Majority 98.
List of Abercromby, G, Acland, T. D. Ainsworth, P. Alsager, Capt. Baring, hon. W. Barnard, E.' G. Barry, G. S. Bateson, Sir R. Blair, J. Blake, W. J. Blunt, Sir C. Briscoe, J. I. Brocklehurst, J. Bruges, W. II. L. Byng, G. Campbell, Sir J. Carnac, Sir J. R. Chapman, A. Childers, J. W. Clay, W: Clive, E. B. Clive, hon. R. H, Cole, Lord
Rae, Sir W.
Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
liodges, T. L.
PllillpOttS, J. TELLERS.
Plumptre, J. P. Grey, Sir G.
Pusey, P. Steuart, R.
List of the Noes.
Aglionby, H. A. Turner, W.
Blandford, Marq. of Villiers,C. P.
Bridgman, H. Walker, R.
Duke, Sir J. Wallace, R.
Hector, C. J. Warburton, H.
Hindley, C. Tellers.
Jervis, S. Hume, J.
O'Connell, D. Williams, W.
Vole agreed to.
Supply—Education.] On the vote being proposed, of 20,000/. for the Erection of School-houses, in aid of private subscriptions for that purpose, for the education of the children of the poorer classes in England,
Mr. Slaney objected strongly to the present mode of distributing this vole; some efficient system of inspection was indispensable.
The Chancellor of Ike Exchequer hoped, that next Session, some legislative measure for establishing a system of inspection over these schools might be carried.
Mr. Sergeant Jackson thought, that perhaps it would be felt desirable to appoint a minister of public instruction.
Mr. Goulburn protested against the
encouragement, on the part of the Slate, of mere secular education, without any religious instruction.
Mr. Wyse thought the locality ought to provide for the religious instruction of the resident poor, but that the Government ought to provide the means of intellectual education. The locality ought to settle the point as to the mode of communicating religious instruction, but the Government should see, that it was communicated, and, at the same time, take care that a system of literary education was established.
Mr. Acland wished to know what was to be done in a small parish, where there
were members of three different religious communities? Would the hon. Gentleman have three schools established? He thought, that the management of railroads and public works might be very well carried on by boards of direction; but, he thought it was not consistent with our English habits, to establish boards of education, and he hoped it never would be. He did not think the Government, being a human institution, ought to have the control of the religious instruction of the people. The institutions of this country were happily bound up with the Established Church, and that constitution of things ought to be respected. He must say, that there was a very efficient inspection of the national schools carried on by the clergy in each parish, and the benefits of those schools were not confined to the children of members of the Established Church, for a very large portion of the children of the Dissenters attended them.
Mr. Villiers said, that the whole of the argument of the hon. Member who had just sat down, was intended to prove, that there was sufficient inspection, because the schools were under the superintendence of the parochial clergy. But what was the facti Was not the complaint general, that the country, in respect to religious instruction, was in a state of destitution, thus clearly showing, that an improved system of inspection was wanted? The hon. Gentleman had alluded to the establishment of a board as hostile to British habits; but surely that was no argument, for he believed, that England was far behind Prussia, and other continental countries, in point of education—a fact which was nowise creditable to England. He hoped the House would consider, that there had been nothing advanced against I
proved system of superintendence; and when they voted the public money, it was surely their duty to see how that money was applied. That money at present was given to two societies, and it appeared to him, that the only rule for its distribution at present was, to give it almost exclusively to the most wealthy sect. Now, it was clear that it ought to be applied fairly to the general purposes of education, and he sincerely trusted, that a better system of inspection would be established so as to insure a fairer distribution of the grant.
Sir R. Inglis could not consent to the doctrine, that because Parliament of late had interfered with the property of the Church, they had a right to interfere also with the religion and mode of instruction adopted and sanctioned by the Church. For himself, he should be sorry ever to see Government interfere in the instruction of the people to such an extent as some hon. Members seemed willing to sanction, as he believed, that such interference could only tend to retard rather than to promote the advance of instruction amongst the people. He objected to the mode in which the grant was disposed of at present, as he considered, that the education of the people ought to be in the hands of the national Church. He would never scruple to say so, because such was his conscientious opinion, and he believed, that there was in the country a growing feeling, that instruction ought to be under the superintendence of the Church*
Mr. O'Connell said, that all they wanted was fair play, while the hon. Member for West Somerset seemed to wish for a dictatorship in favour of the Established Church. As the grant was the contribution of all sects in religion, they wanted that grant to be fairly divided amongst Protestants, Catholics, and Dissenters. They were all met there on equal terms, and all that those on his side of the House asked for was, equality and justice, and that the Government should superintend the distribution of the money, leaving the instruction to the care of the pastors.
Colonel Sibthorp said, that he should afterwards, he trusted, have an opportunity of exposing the system of education commissions, when he brought the general subject of commissions under the consideration of the House. When, however,
he saw,that the Irish Education Commission had cost upwards of 114,000/., and when he reflected on what the Education Commission for Scotland, which had not yet concluded its labours, had already cost the nation, and when he considered what had been the results of the investigation of those two bodies, he could not help saying that the expense attending such inquiries was a gross waste of the public money. Vote agreed to.
House resumed. Committee to sit again.
Qualification Op Members Bill.] Mr. Warburton moved the third reading of this bill,
Colonel Sibthorp opposed it,and moved as an amendment, that it be read a third time this day six months.
The House divided on the original motion :—Ayes 63; Noes 14 :—Majority 49.
List of the Ayes.
Aglionby, H. A.
List of the Noes.
Bagge, W. Cole, Lord Vise.
Blackstone, W. S. Darby, G.
Bland ford, Marq. of Hinde, J. H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Hodgson, R.
HOUSE OF LORDS,
MrNirrE8.] Bill. Read a second tinier-oilcan Forests
Petitions presented. By Lord Glrnoall, two, from Westmeath, against the Poor Relief (Ireland) Bill.—By the Earl of Kipon, from Tamar, to take into consideration the state of the Established Church in Upper Canada.— By Lord Segrave, from Medicsl Practitioners, for a revision of the laws for regulating the Medical Profession. —By the Duke of Cleveland, from a Public Meeting in the county of Durham, for Negro Emancipation.
Blockade Of The Spanish Coast.] Lord Brougham rose, pursuant to notice, to call the attention of their Lordships to certain Admiralty instructions or orders which he understood had been issued, if not authorising the capture of Sardinian vessels, at all events framed for the purpose of preventing the access of such vessels to the coast of Spain. He had, on a former occasion, asked whether there would be any objection, on the part of her Majesty's Government, to produce those instructions, and he was then told, that it would be more regular for him to make this motion. He was anxious, in the first instance, to obtain the papers, if such were in existence, and to defer any statement on the subject until they were produced. But, that having been refused, he was obliged to take the course which he now adopted. The subject, their Lordships must be aware, was one of extreme importance, as it was intimately connected with the law of nations. In support of the doctrine, that all fictitious or paper blockades were contrary to the law of nations, he had the concurrent authority 0f all the jurists and all the judges who had ever written or delivered an opinion on the subject. That had been held to be the true and sound doctrine by all governments, with the exception of the Government of France, under Buonaparte, when intoxicated with power, he had ful
minated his Berlin and Milan decrees, which, however, had led to a confirmation of the general doctrine for their illegality had long since been avowed and stigmatised. He should deplore extremely if this country ever, in the slightest degree, countenanced by her conduct such a system; for nothing could be more disparaging to her fame, nothing could more tarnish her national character, nothing could be more calculated to compromise her real interests, or what, above all things, he should lament, nothing could be imagined more likely to shake the peace of Europe and of the world. As he was willing to avoid any lengthened statement or argument on the subject, he would state the three points on which he wished to receive information, which might readily be met by three short answers. If those answers were given in the way he wished, it would preclude the necessity of his uttering another word on the subject. If his first question were answered in the negative, that question being, "Had any such instructions or orders as he alluded to been issued V—if the answer "No," was given to that question, then away went one third of the points on which he desired information. If, then, his second question were answered in the affirmative (supposing the first to be answered also in the affirmative, and it being admitted that such instructions or orders had gone forth), that second question being, "Have you made the regular and requisite notification of the issuing of these instructions to all neutral states and powers ?"—if that were answered in the affirmative, then much of what he wished to learn would be obtained. But if both of these questions were answered in what he took to be the wrong way—if the first were answered in the affirmative, and the second in the negative, so that it should appear, that although such instructions were issued, yet that no warning had been given to neutral powers, then came his third question, "Can you produce the opinion of the adviser of the Crown on such matters, her Majesty's advocate, that this conduct, on the part of the Government, is not a gross outrage on, and a monstrous infraction of, the law of nations?" If that third quest on were answered in the affirmative, then|he must decidedly say, that he was at issue with that high law authority. If he were wrong—if the doctrine were now otherwise than he had stated it to be—then had the law of nations undergone a total and radical change, a new code bad been established, and that which was formerly acknowledged to be the law of nations was no longer so. He was now in the hands of the noble Lord at the head of the Admiralty, who would answer or not as seemed fit to him.
Viscount Melbourne declined answering the questions of the noble and learned Lord.
Lord Brougham continued. When a noble Lord declined to answer questions of such a nature as he had propounded, it must be clear to the meanest apprehension, it must be evident to any one possessing even the smallest particle of capacity, that the refusal was given because those questions, if answered at all, must be answered in what he called the wrong way, and not in the way in which they ought to be answered. This being perfectly evident to him, he should assume, 1st, that some such instructions as he had referred to had been issued; 2nd, that no warning had been given to foreign powers (for if such warning had been given, it was easy to produce it); and last, that no opinion of any law authority was to be cited for this total violation of, or total change and alteration in, the most fundamental principles of the law of nations. Now, in the argument he was about to raise, he would first assume, that we were at war, he would take it for granted that we stood in the posture of belligerent, that we were parties to a conflict, that we took part with one side, and were at war with the other, and, therefore, that we were justified in claiming and exercising all belligerent rights. He would first ask, then, whether the authority which we had exercised was or was not one of those rights? The case was a very short one, it lay within a very narrow compass. If there were one principle of the law of nations better established than another, it was this — namely, that no belligerent could blockade the port of another belligerent for the purpose of preventing the access, the free ingress and egress, of all neutral nations to such port, unless that belligerent had a force stationed on the coast amply sufficient to prevent the entrance of those neutral powers—a force not only perfectly efficient, but constantly sustained in point of time, so that, at no part of the circle, there should be any way to escape the blockade, and that it would
be totally unsafe for any vessel to go in or out of the port so blockaded. That undoubtedly was the law. But they would, perhaps, be told, that our orders in council proceeded on a different principle— that they constituted merely a paper and fictitious blockade. The answer to that was, that the necessity of the case called for them, and that their principle was never justified by us. The French Government had placed this country in a state of blockade by their Berlin and Milan decrees, and the orders in council which followed, had always been held by Sir William Scott as purely retaliatory measures. On the subject of blockade he begged to cite the opinion of Sir William Scott, which was to be found in the sixth volume of Sir Christopher Robinson's Admiralty Reports. Sir W. Scott distinctly said, "It is illegal, and no blockade, unless the belligerent has the means of drawing an arch round the mouth of the port, and effectually securing it." Now, why should such .a master of the law talk about "drawing an arch,"and not a circle, round the port? That was explained afterwards; because, " if one point or iota of that arch failed, if the prevention were not perfect and complete, the whole blockade was useless, and crumbled to nothing." It was also necessary, to perfect a blockade, that there should be, not only an efficient force, but that there must be, in point of time, a stay and continuance of that force in the neighbourhood of the place blockaded. He would ask, had they, in this instance, any such arch marked out? There was nothing of the kind. The blockade extended from the Pyrenees to the gut of Gibraltar. Those instructions directed the stoppage of vessels laden with warlike stores on the coast of Valencia as well as of Catalonia. Had they a force afloat in those seas sufficient to maintain such a blockade? He apprehended not. If, therefore, they even were belligerents, the blockade, according to the doctrine laid down by Sir W. Scott, was illegal. In 1689, after the Revolution, when this country was in alliance with Holland, we entered into a treaty with that power, by which it was directed that vessels carrying stores to any of the ports of France, should be seized by British or Dutch cruisers, and made prize of. This was acted on for some time; but, on the 15th of March, 1693, two northern powers (Denmark and Sweden) entered into a counter treaty, protest*