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Stanley) was authorized to say that there would be no objection on the part of Her Majesty's Government to such an inquiry, and that the subject of the Irish Poor Law, involving the important question of medical relief, should be submitted to the consideration of a Committee in this or the other House of Parliament. The Government were not prepared to recommend the introduction of any Vagrant Act, considering the impossibility of putting down mendicancy in Ireland, and the expense of attempting to do so; nor, as at present advised, were they prepared to legislate on the question of medical relief. He did not deny that the present law might be, in some respects, deficient; but, till the fullest inquiry should be made into the working of the whole law next Session, they were not prepared to advise any further amendment of the existing law.

The Marquess of Londonderry said, he had opposed the introduction of a Poor Law into Ireland; but it having been introduced, he hoped their Lordships would give it a fair trial, and he was convinced it would prove in the end a beneficial law. If their Lordships would pass a Bill for leaving Ireland alone for three or five years, it would be one of the best measures ever introduced.

The Marquess of Clanricarde had had no reason to change the opinion he entertained from the first, that a Poor Law would be productive of no good for Ireland. He had petitions from all parts of Ireland-one from the extreme west, and another from the extreme east-all stating that mendicancy had increased since its introduction, and he had himself been a witness to the increase of mendicancy in the streets. The Poor Law had failed in every respect, and disappointed those who had brought it in. Petitions read, and ordered to lie on the Table.

House adjourned.

Tuesday, July 8, 1845.

MINUTES.] BILLS. Public.-10. Ecclesiastical Patronage (Ireland); Art Unions (No. 2).

Reported.-Colleges (Ireland); Scientific and Literary So

non and Mr. Moffatt, from Yass and Illewara (New South Wales), for Repeal of certain Acts relating to that Colony. By Mr. T. Duncombe, from Leigh, for Inquiry into the Anatomy Act.-By Mr. S. Crawford, from Coventry, against Commons' Inclosure Bill.- By Mr. Pusey, from Surrey, in favour of Commons' Inclosure Bill.-By Mr. Tuffnell, from the County of Cornwall, for Alteration of the Duchy of Cornwall Lands Act.-By Lord George Bentinck and Mr. M. Sutton, from King's Lynn and Cambridge, for Repeal or Alteration of Insolvent Debtors' Act. By Mr. J. Collett, from Poor Law Guardians of the Athlone Union, for Alteration of Law relating to Landlord and Tenant (Ireland).-By Mr. T. Duncombe, from Joseph Digby, Esquire, for Inquiry into Treatment of Lunatics. By Mr. T. Duncombe, from Mansfield, for Removal of Treadwheel in Mansfield Union.-By Mr. Divett, from Edward Carter, Ottery St. Mary, against the Physic and Surgery Bill.-By Mr. Bannerman, and several hon. Members, from the County of York, in favour of the Ten Hours' Factories Bill.-By Viscount Castlereagh, from County Down, for Alteration of the Grand Jury Laws (Ireland).-By Mr. W. Fielden, from Blackburn, for Repeal or Alteration of Insolvent Debtors' Act. By Mr. Smith O'Brien, from the Loyal National Repeal Association (Ireland), for Alteration of Law relating to Landlord and Tenant (Ireland).-By Mr. Tatton Egerton, and Mr. Wakley, from Birkenhead and a great number of places, for Postponement of Physic and Surgery Bill.

COMMONS' ENCLOSURE BILL.] The House met this day at twelve o'clock, and devoted the morning to consider the Commons' Enclosure Bill in Committee; which, with some conversational discussion on the separate clauses, was carried through as far as the 70th Clause, when it being four o'clock, the House resumed, and the Committee was ordered to sit again.

The House adjourned till five o'clock, and then met again.

SOUTH WALES RAILWAY.] Mr. E. Buller brought up the Report on the South Wales Railway, and the Monmouth and Hereford Railway Bills.

Mr. J. H. Vivian moved that the Report be considered on Friday next.

Captain Berkeley thought that they should not depart from the usual course of proceeding, namely, of taking the Reports on Railway Bills into consideration on Tuesdays.

Mr. Greene said, it was most necessary that the rules of the House should be ob served, because if they were departed from in one instance, they would be interfered with in others.

Lord Granville Somerset said, any de

cieties; Bills of Exchange, &c.; Schoolmasters (Scotland). lay in Railway Bills was most material

3o and passed ;-Field Gardens; Turnpike Trusts (South
Wales); Constables, Public Works (Ireland).
Private.-29. Manchester and Leeds Railway (No. 2);
Gildart's (or Sherwin's) Estate.

Reported.-South Wales Railway; Monmouth and Hereford Railway.

PETITIONS PRESENTED. By Mr. Botfield, from Hereford, for Compensation (Ecclesiastical Courts Bill).-By Sir James Graham and Mr. Oswald, from several places, against the Universities (Scotland) Bill.-By Mr. Mackin

at this advanced period of the Session; and in the present instance if the Motion of the hon. Member were not acceded to, the effect would be that a most important railway would be delayed for another Session.

Mr. Labouchere said, he had only a

general knowledge on the subject of the Railway Bill under consideration, and he did not wish to do anything which would have the effect of preventing the Bill from passing this Session. It was, however, very well known that the project for the South Wales Railway was supported by powerful interests having much influence in that House; and he would ask, were they, under such circumstances, to depart from the Standing Orders in favour of a Bill so supported, while they declined doing so in other cases.

Mr. Vivian said, his Motion went no further than that the Report should be taken into consideration on Friday instead of on Tuesday; and he did not think, therefore, that it could be seriously objected to at the present advanced period of the Session.

Mr. Sheil said, he had no personal connexion with the measure, but as an Irish Member connected more particularly with the south of Ireland, he felt a very great interest in the advancement of his country generally, and more especially with that portion of it to which he more immediately belonged. He believed the interests of Ireland would be materially promoted by the proposed railway; and he could assure the House that this was the opinion of the Representatives of the south of Ireland generally; and he should, therefore, give his support to the Motion of his hon. Friend. He believed, from the position of the districts through which the proposed railway would pass, and the south of Ireland, that they would be reciprocally benefited by it-that what was for the benefit of South Wales was for the benefit also of Ireland; and, on the other hand, that whatever would benefit Ireland, would, at the same time, benefit South Wales. He would beg to remind Members of Her Majesty's Government that the First Minister of the Crown had stated with reference to an Irish railway, that he would not consent to allow small obstructions to lie in the way of it; and that the interests of Ireland were so deeply involved in the passing of the measure that the Government should exert itself to promote it. He did not mean to say that the Bill now under the consideration of the House was of equal importance with the Irish Bill to which he had alluded; but still he thought it belonged to the same class, and he should, therefore, give it his support.

Viscount Howick said, he was exceedingly averse to applying favours to one Railway Bill which were not extended to others; but though he knew nothing of the particular merits of the South Wales line, he would say generally, that he thought railways ought to get particular indulgence this Session. The House required the promoters of all lines to lay their plans in the first instance before the Railway Department of the Board of Trade, and suspended all proceedings upon the Bills until the Reports of the Board were made. They thus threw back all the railway schemes for a full month of the Session later than they might otherwise have been brought forward, and he thought that circumstance ought to induce them now to show some indulgence to the promoters of these schemes in enabling them to have their Bills passed. He did not think that any substantial injury or injustice would be done by acceding to the Motion before the House, and he was, therefore, disposed to vote in favour of it. He should, however do so only on the understanding that a similar indulgence would be extended to other Railway Bills.

Motion agreed to.

PETITION OF CAPTAIN BERKELEY.] Mr. Warburton moved that the Order of the Day be read for the consideration of the petition of Captain Craven Berkeley relative to the East India Steam Ship Company Bill, and the action brought against him by Mr. Scott. The hon. Member presented the petition from the gallant Captain, praying that the House would allow its officers to attend a trial, in which he was defendant, in the Court of Common Pleas, and moved that the prayer of the petition be complied with.

Mr. Baine was understood to say that he had been requested by Messrs. Scott, the plaintiffs in the action to which the petition referred, to state to the House the facts of this case. In 1840 Messrs. Scott had entered into a contract with the company in question to furnish them with a ship for India, at an expense of 35,0002. The manner in which the ship was built increased the expense to 40,000l. Messrs. Scott, in entering upon this contract, had had before them the prospectus of this company, containing the name of the hon. Member for Cheltenham. That prospectus had been extensively circulated, with the

name of the hon. Member in it. In addition to this they had had before them an Act of Parliament authorizing the formation of the company, and also including amongst its original subscribers the name of the hon. and gallant Member. They had all along, therefore, thought that they might come upon him as a partner in the contract, if the other contractors failed to perform their part of their contract. The contract had not been fulfilled, and the Messrs. Scott had lost 50,000l. by it. Under these circumstances they had brought an action against the Secretary of the Company, and had got judgment against him. They had since brought an action against the hon. and gallant Member for Cheltenham, as the only director within their reach. On the former trial, the evidence of the officers of the House had been requested, but the House had thought fit to refuse it. The defendant now, however, said, that their absence would be prejudicial to his cause. did not know how this might be; but whether so or not, Messrs. Scott had no


desire that the evidence of the officers should be withheld.

Lord G. Somerset said, when the petition was presented the other night, he was opposed to it, only because he thought that what was sought to be proved could be proved by other means than the attendance of the officers of the House. As the hon. Member for Cheltenham, however, feared that the withholding these witnesses might prejudice his case, he saw no reason why the House should not alter its


Mr. C. Berkeley said, he was now, as he had been when the petition of the plaintiffs was presented, only anxious for the fullest inquiry. He desired the attendance of the parties in question, only because he thought that the plaintiffs' counsel would be able to prejudice the case in the eyes of the jury, if the powerful shield of that House appeared to be thrown over one of its Members. With regard to the case itself, he could assure the House that he was no more conscious of his name having been inserted in the Act of Parliament as a director of the company, than any other hon. Member of that House. As the question was now a judicial one, he would, however, add no more upon it.

ders, that no Company proposing to include, in the act of its incorporation, a list of the directors, should be permitted to do so, till the Standing Orders' Committee should have received a list of such directors. And no Company should be permitted to use the name of any director, unless such director should have given his written consent, which should be registered in a book accessible to all the world. This was an act of a public nature, that was to say, it might be pleaded as a public act; and if all men were bound to know the laws, more especially were they bound to know the laws who had a voice in passing them; therefore they ought to know what names were inserted in every Bill.

Motion agreed to.

RIGHT OF SEARCHING AMERICAN VESSELS.] Mr. Sheil inquired of the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government what was the number of American vessels over which we had exercised the

right of visiting since the Treaty of Washington was signed?

Sir R. Peel said, that the number of vessels visited had been very considerable. He trusted, however, that the right hon. Gentleman would not require a specification of the exact number, when he informed him that the right of visiting had been exercised in every case where a vessel had excited a reasonable suspicion. He was happy to be able to add, that the exercise of that right had hitherto not led to any injurious consequences, nor had it provoked any ill-feeling on the part of any portion of the American squadron which had acted in co-operation with us. haps the House would allow him to read the two latest communications received by the Government from the coast of Africa; one as to a case where the Right of Search was exercised by a British cruiser alone, after the signing of the Treaty of Washington, and the other where there was a co-operation between the combined English and American squadrons. The first letter was as follows:"ENCLOSURE of a Letter to THE SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY, OF THE 20TH OF MAY, 1845.


"Her Majesty's Brig Heroine, at sea, April 22. 1845.

"Sir-In obedience to the orders contained in the general instructions for commanders of Sir R. Inglis took the opportunity of Her Majesty's vessels employed in the supsuggesting that it would be desirable to pression of the Slave Trade, I beg leave to make an addition to the Standing Or-inform you that on the 22nd ultimo, I visited

THE SLAVE TRADE.] Viscount Palmerston then rose to move

in Mayamba Bay an American schooner, the Henry, and on the 21st of February the American brig Starling, of Beverley, in order to ascertain their nationality, and, no objections having been made to the visit, I found them to be bona fide Americans, and left them as soon as possible. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,


Lieutenant and Commander, commanding on the West Coast of Africa."

The next was where there was a conjoint operation. It ran as follows:

"Her Majesty's Ship Penelope, Ascension, May 6.

"Sir-I have the honour to enclose a Report from Commander Russell, of the Ardent, reporting operations in the Rio Pongas, in which he was cordially assisted by Commander Bruce, of the United States sloop, the Truxton. The result was successful, and highly satisfactory in all respects, two slavers having been surprised, and taken in one of their inner haunts; one vessel under Spanish colours was seized by the Ardent's boats, while at the same moment the officers of the Truxton took possession of another schooner, under American colours. The latter vessel

has since been sent to Boston for adjudication. This incident, and other indications of sincerity on the part of the American officers now serving on this station, lead me to hope for a degree of future co-operation which cannot but have desirable effects.—I have the honour to be, &c.


Commodore and Senior Officer commanding "The Right Hon. H. T. L. Corry, &c., Admiralty."

Commander Russell writes

"Lieutenant Johnson mentions the cordial good feeling that existed between the officers and men of the two nations, in the highest terms; and the zeal, energy, and activity that prevailed among them, which is gratifying for

me to record."

"That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House a Return of the Names and Description of the Witnesses examined before the Mixed British and French Commission, appointed to inquire into the best means for suppressing the Slave Trade; and Extracts of such parts of their Evidence as relate to the value of a mutual Right of Search as a means

for the Suppression of the Slave Trade,”

The noble Lord said: Sir, in rising to make the Motion of which I have given notice, and to call the attention of the House for a short time to the subject of the Slave Trade, I feel that the House will not require from me any apology for such an encroachment upon their time. The subject is one which has, for many years past, excited the deepest interest both in Parliament and the country. It relates to one of the greatest and most flagitious, the most atrocious, and the most widely-extended crimes which have ever yet afflicted mankind. It relates to a crime which barbarizes and desolates Africa-which degrades and demoralizes the nations of America-I may say, from north to south ;-which debases and brutalizes Asia-and which, I regret to say, still stains some of the nations of Europe with what I must hold to be unpardonthe victims of this crime cannot with any able guilt. Sir, the frightful number of precision be ascertained. My hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead (Mr. Hutt) the other night told us, that the number of human beings carried off annually from Africa to America, including those who were landed and those who died in consequence of the passage, amounted, according to his calculation, to no less than 200,000. You will remember, too, that whatever the number may be, an

He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would rest satisfied that the right of visit-equal number must be reckoned as having ing had been exercised in every case where it was desirable, and that it had, as far as he was aware, been exercised with forbearance and caution, and without any interruption of the good understanding between the two squadrons.

Sir C. Napier would be glad to know whether any British vessels had been searched by the Americans?

Sir R. Peel was not aware of any instance in which that had occurred; no doubt if suspicious circumstances arose, the Right of Search would be exercised.

been the previous victims of the violence used in their capture, and of the sufferings endured on the march; and whether the number be, as the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) has supposed, greatly exaggerated, or whether it be near the truth, at any rate the Christian share in the Slave Trade, is, in its extent, most appalling. Now, Sir, every man, be his country what it may, whose mind has not been contaminated by participation in this atrocity, must feel the most ardent desire that this great offence should cease; and I am

ply of slaves, and I apprehend you will have achieved the best and shortest mode of destroying slavery. When you ask people to put an end to slavery, to emancipate their slaves, you ask them, almost in so many words, to give up their property-to give up that on which, perhaps, their existence depends; and you can, therefore, hardly expect them to assent to your proposal. But when you ask them to concur with you in the abolition of the Slave Trade, all you require of them is, that they should combine with you to prevent other persons from committing the crime; and you are much more likely to succeed in this object with them: the same motives which operate with them against your proposition in the one case, influences them in your favour in the other; for you would very frequently find the same owners who would struggle against you to the last for the preservation to them of the means by which they cultivate their slave-worked lands, eager to aid you in preventing the introduction, on the part of others, of fresh negroes, the em

sure there cannot be an Englishman who | ter in a practical point of view, we ought would not glory in the idea that his country to apply our great efforts to the suppreshad had the honour of taking a leading sion of the Slave Trade: cut off the suppart in the accomplishment of so great a purpose. But we are told, and in some degree I think truly, that of late a change has taken place in the opinion of many men in this country who feel the deepest interest in this important matter; not a change indicating the slightest abatement in the horror and detestation which they feel for this practice-not a change consisting in the slightest diminution of their ardent desire to employ every practicable means of putting an end to it--but the change to which I allude consists in this, that many men whose good intentions I respect, and whose judgment in general is entitled to great weight, but who, I think, have looked only superfi. cially at this matter, seeing on the one hand that the efforts which we have made since the year 1814 to put an end to the practice have not entirely effected the object-seeing that the Slave Trade still continues, have begun to despair of obtaining their object by the suppression of the Slave Trade, have adopted the opinion that our efforts are fruitless, have directed their efforts to another object; and think-ployment of whom would be bringing into ing that they could best succeed by labouring for the abolition of slavery, have slackened in some degree in their efforts for the suppression of the Slave Trade itself. Now, with all respect for those persons, I differ entirely from the opinions which they entertain. I regard their despair of suppressing the Slave Trade as without reason, and I think the conclusion to which they have come quite erroneous. It is undoubtedly and obviously true that slavery is the cause, and object, and purpose, of the Slave Trade; and that if we could, by possibility, abolish all over the world the condition of slavery, the Slave Trade would, of itself, necessarily cease. But it is also equally true, that the Slave Trade is the root which gives life, and spirit, and stability to the condition of slavery. Seek to upheave a vast living tree, whose mighty roots are strongly, vigorously, and deeply imbedded in the soil, it will baffle the utmost exertions of your strength; but lay your axe to the root, cut off the supply of nourish-century, before Committees of the House, ment, and the tree will sicken and decay, and otherwise, must see that it would be and you will no longer find any difficulty absolutely impossible for the evils of the in bringing it to the ground. It is on this passage to the wretched captives to be principle I hold that, looking at the mat-aggravated beyond what they have been.

cultivation fresh tracts of land, whose produce would enter into injurious competition with that of their own existing estates. Do not, then, be persuaded to turn your attention from the Slave Trade to the condition of slavery. But it is urged that our efforts for the suppression of the trade have been fruitless. Now, I take upon myself to deny that proposition. It is said that we have not diminished the Slave Trade; that we have not reduced, by all our exertions for the last thirty years, the number of slaves transported from Africa; and that we have not succeeded in mitigating in any degree, but have, on the contrary, aggravated the sufferings of the negroes on the passage. I will take the last point first; I admit that we have not succeeded in mitigating those sufferings; but I altogether dispute the assertion that the means we have taken to prevent, have aggravated them. Any man who will dispassionately review the evidence given at various times during the last half

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