Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

{

ber may take the fact for what it is ; dues which has not been in the first inworth ; but I may say that, having stance included in the gross tonnage. given up the Morning Sitting to-mor- Motion made, and Question proposed, row, I shall take an early opportunity - That the Bill be now read a second of reverting to the subject.

time.”—(Mr. Chamberlain.) Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. T. E. SMITH expressed a hope

that the right hon. Gentleman would not Debate on Question [2nd May], “That proceed with the Bill at that hour of the Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair,” morning, because, although it seemed to further adjourned till To-morrow.

be a small Bill, it involved an important

question, which would seriously affect MERCHANT SHIPPING BILL. the mercantile community. A number (Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Ashley.)

of persons had built ships which they

believed to be in accordance with the (BILL 115.] SECOND READING.

law; tho law took a different view upon Order for Second Reading read. the question, and an action was tried MR. CHAMBERLAIN: In moving

which ultimately came before the House the second reading of this Bill, I wish of Lords, and was decided against the to explain that it contains only one been various attempts on the part of the

. operative clause, to which I imagine there will be no opposition. It is a Bill Board of Trade to alter the law, and to explain, and to some extent amend, this was only another step in the same the Merchant Shipping Acts with refer direction; he, therefore, trusted that the ence to the measurement of ships for House would not proceed with legistonnage, and it is rendered necessary in lation, until they had an opportunity of consequence of an inadvertence, and is hearing the views of those who were carrying out the recommendation of the interested in the question. The right Royal Commissioners now sitting on the hon. Gentleman said that a Commission tonnage question. It is desirable to pass them have the Report of the Commission

,

was sitting on the subject. Then let it as speedily as possible, as otherwise ships may be built under a wrong who had a large amount of property at

so that those interested in the matter, impression as to the intentions of the law in regard to the measurement of stake, might have an opportunity of exthe tonnage of ships. The usual course pressing their opinion on the new legisis to take the cubical space in order to lation proposed by Her Majesty's Goobtain the gross tonnage, and then from hon. Gentleman, considering the lateness

to the the gross tonnage is deducted the

space devoted to engine-room and other

pur

of the hour, and that a Royal Commisposes. With those matters the Bill sion was sitting on the subject, not to does not propose to interfere ; but a ask the House to proceed with the Bill claim has been made in certain cases

that night. If the right hon. Gentleman to deduct from the gross tonnage the did, he must certainly move, as an spaces which have not been included in Amendment, that the Bill be read a the first instance in the gross tonnage

second time that day six months. --for instance, the space occupied by the

Amendinent, said, he did so for the

MR. W. LOWTHER, in seconding funnel casings and by skylights on deck. It is quite clear that this was

simplo reason that the Bill only came not the intention of the Act, but that it into the hands of hon. Members that was a simple inadvertence, and that ships

afternoon. The subject was a very im. which took advantage of the omissions portant one. A Commission was already in the existing law would be placed at sitting upon it, and he hoped the House an advantage over other vessels, and be would not allow the Bill to be read & relieved, to a certain extent, from ton- second time in that hurried manner.

It is in order to correct Amendment proposed, to leave out that inadvertence that this Bill has been the word " now," and at the end of the prepared, and the effect of the Bill is to Question to add the words " provide that nothing shall be allowed to day six months." --Mr. T. E. Smith.) be deducted from the gross tonnage for

Question proposed, “That the word the purpose of exemption from tonnage 'now'stand part of the Question,"

Mr. Gladstone

1

nage dues.

upon this

Sir R. ASSHETON CROSS said, he Sir R. ASSHETON CROSS: The hoped that both the Motion and the right hon. Gentleman will do me the Amendment would be withdrawn for the justice to suppose that I had ample juspresent. He could not imagine that the tification for the statement I made. right hon. Gentleman the President of MR. DILLWYN remarked, that he the Board of Trade would wish to press had received a copy of the Bill that forward a Bill which had not been in mo

norning the hands of Members and had not been MR. HEALY protested against the way printed. Mr. CHAMBERLAIN : It is on in which the Bill had been brought forthe Table. It was not among the Bills ward. It was introduced and read a first lying on the Table of the House. It time by a very curious kind of subtercould be obtained at the Bill Office that ranean legislation. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon ; but it had not yet been de- morning the right hon. Gentleman got livered in the usual way.

up-a few seconds before the House adMR. CHAMBERLAIN said, he had journed-and whispered something to made inquiries at the Office, and had the Clerk which nobody could hear. been informed that it had been delivered Then somebody said, “Merchant Shipthat morning,

ping Bill-second reading, Monday; " Sir R. ASSHETON CROSS replied, and that was all anybody knew about that the right hon. Gentleman had been it. He objected to 2 o'slock in the wrongly informed. The Clerk at the morning legislation ; and, in order to Table had shown him a memorandum

prevent a recurrence of what had just which showed that the Bill had not happened, he should put down a blockbeen delivered. It was quite impossible, ing Notice against the Bill. He trusted therefore, that the House could go on that what had taken place would be a with the second reading. In the list of warning to the Government not to atBills hon. Members were supposed to tempt legislation in whispers. look at, the Merchant Shipping Bill was Mr. T. E. SMITH said, that, after the mentioned as not delivered. But even statement of the right hon. Gentleman, if it had been delivered that morning, he would, with the leave of the House, hon. Members could not have had an withdraw the Amendment. opportunity of examining its provisions.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. It was a Bill which undoubtedly affected very important interests, and, under the Motion, by leave, withdrawn. circumstances, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consent to adjourn the

Second Reading deferred till Thursday. debate. MR. CHAMBERLAIN: I can assure

MOTIONS. the right hon. Gentleman and the House that I have no desire to press the Bill forward with undue haste, and the mo

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROVISIONAL ORDERS ment the House asked for more time I

(ASKERN, &c.) BILL. was prepared at once to fall in with that expression of opinion. If my hon.

On Motion of Mr. HIBBERT, Bill to confirm Friend (Mr. T. E. Smith) will withdraw certain Provisional Orders of the Local Go

vernment Board relating to the Local Govern. the Amendment, I will withdraw the ment Districts of Askern and Atherton, the Motion and postpone the Bill. With Borough of Birmingham, the Local Govern. regard to the remarks of the right hon. ment Districts of Ealing and Hampton Wick, Gentleman opposite, I may say that I the City of Liverpool, the Borough of Middles

borough, and the Local Government Districts had made inquiry at the Voto Office, of Selby and Shirley, ordered to be brought in and I was assured in the most positive by Mr. Hurrekt and Mr. Dopon. terms that the Bill was delivered this Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 152.] morning. (Mr. Moxk: Fear, hear'] I gather from the cheer of my hon.

NEWSPAPERS BILL. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. On Motion of Mr. LaBOUCHERE, Bill for fur. Monk) that he has received a copy. Ither regulating the transmission of Newspapers, have only : inde these remarks, because ordered to be brought in by Mr. LABOUCHERE, I do not wish it to be understood that Sir HENRY DRUMMOND WOLFF, Mr. EDWARD I had moved the second reading of a Clarke, Mr. & M. Sullivan, and Mr. DillBill which had not been delivered. Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 164,2

FORD.

HIGHWAYS AND LOCOMOTIVES (AMEND

SOUTH AFRICA — THE ANNEXATION MENT) ACT, 1878, BILL.

OF THE TRANSVAAL - MR. GLAD.

STONE'S LETTER TO MR. TOMKIN. On Motion of Mr. ASHLEY, Bill to amend certain provisions of “The Highways and Lo

SON.-OBSERVATIONS. comotives (Amendment) Act, 1878," ordered to THE EARL OF CARNARVON rose to be brought in by Mr. Ashley and Mr. Clir- call attention to a letter in The Times of Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 155.] 15th April,

purporting to be written by

the Right Honourable W. E. Gladstone TIDAL RIVERS (INTERMENTS) BILL.

to Mr. Tomkinson on the Transvaal

War. He said: I believe that since On Motion of Baron Henry DE WORMS, Bill Parliament sat this subject has been to amend the Law in respect of the Interment of Persons drowned in Tidal Rivers, ordered to under discussion on several occasions in be brought in by Baron Henry De WoRMS, Sir this House, and I wish to take the SYDNEY WATERLOW, Mr. Boord, and 'Mr. earliest opportunity of making my acRITCHIE. Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill156.] posite (the Earl of Kimberley) for the

knowledgements to my noble Friend op

fair and considerate way in which whenAGRICULTURAL LABOURERS (IRELAND)

ever my name has been mentioned as one BILL.

of those concerned in the annexation he On Motion of Mr. CALLAN, Bill to improve has been good enough to deal with it

. the condition of Agricultural Labourers in Ire- That makes me all the more sorry that I land, and to amend and extend the Laws in have to criticize the letter referred to in respect to the erection and tenure of dwellings the Notice I have given. Ordinarily, I for the labouring classes in Ireland, ordered to should not be prepared to take notice of a be brought in by Mr. CALLAN, Mr. PATRICK MARTIN, Mr. P. J. SMYTH, and Mr. Shaw. letter on a public subject; but this letter Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 157.1 is of a somewhat different character

from others. It is written by the Prime ARTIZANS' AND LABOURERS' DWELLINGS

Minister, and it contains charges of such IMPROVEMENT.

à very grave and dark character that it Select Committee appointed, “ to consider the is hardly possible for me to avoid taking working of The Artizans' and Labourers' some notice of it. I think, therefore, Dwellings Improvement Act, 1875,' and the the earliest notice which it is in my amending Act of 1879, with a view of consider power to take is the best. The letter ing how the expense of and the delay and diffi- purports to be a letter from the Prime culty in carrying out these Acts may be reduced, and also of inquiring into any causes

Minister to Mr. Tomkinson, who, I which may have prevented the reconstruction understand, was a Liberal candidate for of dwellings for the Artizan Class to the full West Cheshire. The earlier part of the extent contemplated and authorised by these letter I need not trouble your Lordships Acts and of recommending such Amendments with ; but I must read the concluding as may be most expedient for carrying out the full intention of these Acts, and also to con

sentences. They aresider the working of the Metropolitan Streets Improvement Acts, 1872 and 1877, and of 31 to the Transvaal you take the bull by the horns,

“I am glad that in your address in relation and 32 Vic. c. 130, and 42 and 43 Vic. c. 64."

and avow your approval outright. I can assure (Sir Richard Cross.)

you that when we come to the discussion in the House adjourned at Two o'clock.

House of Commons I shall adopt no apologetic tone. It was a question of saving the country from sheer blood-guiltiness. I chiefly regret the discussion, because it will oblige us to go back and censure anew what it would have been

more agreeable to spare.” HOUSE OF LORDS, There are three different points in these

paragraphs. As regards the singular Tuesday, 10th May, 1881.

illustration of taking the bull by the horns, I was prepared for something very startling by the vehement meta

phör with which it was ushered in; and MINUTES.)--PUBLIC BILLS-Second Reading I was, therefore, surprised when I found Inland Revenue Buildings * (73).

that all Mr, Tomkinson did say was Committee -- Municipal Franchise (Scotland) that he strongly approved of the moral (65).

courage of the Government in their policy in the Transvaal. It is rather a pared to defend it. At the time no moderate expression to evoke so strong voice was raised against it. Two years a simile. The points which are of con- subsequently, in this House, when the sequence are in the sentences which question was mooted, I stated the facts, follow. When Mr. Gladstons says he and there was not a shadow of opporegrets the discussion “ because it will sition. It is not too much to ask now, oblige us to go back and censure anew if it is to be condemned on new grounds, what it would have been more agreeable that those new grounds should be disto spare,” that sentence, as far as I can tinctly and formally stated. When they read it, can point only to one of two are so stated I shall be perfectly prepared persons-either to Sir Theophilus Shep- to defend the course I took, and to stone, who practically carried the an- vindicate the course of the Government nexation into effect, or to myself. Sir of which I was a Member. I pass on Theophilus Shepstone is a man whose now to another point in one sentence of name, until within the last few years, the letter, in which the right hon. Gentlewas not known in this country. He was man leaves the region of vague charges one of those public servants of which and comes to the more substantial this country has so many and feels so ground, direct propositions. The right proud, whose whole lives are spent in hon. Gentleman says, “It was a question the conscientious and faithful discharge of saving the country from sheer bloodof their duty abroad. His has been a guiltiness.” I can truly say that when very long and unblemished career; but I read those words I was lost in astonishI shall not attempt to defend him until ment as to what their meaning was. I know more distinctly what are the They are hard words. What does charges made against him. It is only blood-guiltiness mean? Blood-guiltiness fair that the accusations against such a is a term you apply to murderers and man should be formulated. Whenever other criminals of the highest degree of any charge is directly made against him depravity. If the words had fallen from I am perfectly prepared to take my full the lips of some irresponsible speaker share of responsibility in the matter; perorating on the subject, I should not and I feel confident that I can put his have troubled your Lordships or myself conduct in a light which will satisfy your about them. But this is a very different Lordships and the country. As regards case; these are the words of the Prime myself and Mr. Gladstone's wish to spare Minister; and they are not words spoken censure, I have no desire to be spared in the heat of debate; they are words in the matter at all. I ask for no for- coolly and deliberately set down in bearance, and I am prepared to face any writing, and used as a manifesto at an charge that may be made against me in Election, which was declared far and this matter. I would, however, venture wide to be a test Election of public to offer to the right hon. Gentleman a feeling. If there were blood-guilticaution, and it is that when he makes ness at the time of adopting the policy, these charges he should beware lest in his there must have been blood - guiltihaste he involves some of his Colleagues ness in continuing it; there must have in the common accusation. I cannot been blood-guiltiness in fighting the help thinking that my noble Friend op battles of Majuba, Ingogo, and Laing's posite, the Colonial Secretary, expressed Nek, and, above all, in proclaiming

in a very honourable and fair approval of the Queen's Speech on the 6th of January the measure at the time. In the other that measures would be taken to vindiHouse, the Chief Secretary for Ireland cate the authority of the Crown. If this (Mr. W. E. Forster) never hesitated to policy was right, it was right at every declare his concurrence in the measure; step; if it was wrong, it was wrong at and I believe that no fewer than four every step. But it really seems to have Members of the present Government been reserved to the Government to voted in favour of the first Transvaal make this notable discovery after we grant, while there were others who by had sustained three severe and heavy their silence assented to it. I am not defeats; after one massacre which the now going into any defence of the late Parliamentary Papers show to have original annexation of the Transvaal; been treacherous and cold blooded; and but when I hear the grounds on which after a capitulation obtained by frauduit is attacked, I shall be perfectly pre- lent means, promised to be cancelled,

[ocr errors][merged small]

but which, as I understand, has never | leave that part of the question alone. been so cancelled. And it is after this But I must venture on this occasion to succession of events, that for the first express my very strong protest against time this discovery is made. I should the time and manner in which it has be the last person to accuse anyone of been made. I should have thought the blood-guiltiness; and it is not my prac- reversal of the annexation under any tice to use hard words; but I must, in all circumstances most impolitic; but it coolness and deliberation, say, if there might at least have been done without be real responsibility for this measure- the discredit which now attaches to it. I do not say conscious responsibility, but | First, you inight have abandoned it when a real responsibility for the unhappy you came into Office. Secondly, when events which have taken place--that re- the scheme of Confederation broke down sponsibility is to be found in the actions you had a fresh point of departure. And and words of the right hon. Gentleman there was another opportunity -- you himself, coupled with such acts as the might have marched your army to Proappointment of Mr. Courtney to an toria, and, probably, without shedding Office in the Government. Nothing can one drop of blood, laid down the ternis be more certain than this—that the un

on which you were propared to grant fortunate speeches which he made in his peace. But you waited for three deMid Lothian canvass contributed to pro- feats, and an unfortunate capitulation, duce these unhappy events. [Laughter.] and then gave up everything the Boers My noble Friend seems to doubt it. had been demanding-ternis which every (Earl GRANVILLE : Very much.] My officer and soldier and man of honour noble Friend may doubt; but if there in the country know to be terms of be one thing more certain than another humiliation and disgrace.

Allow me, it is that the words used then were taken my Lords, to add one warning. The up and carried from mouth to mouth, position of my noble Friend opposite is and have exercised a most sinister in one of danger at the present moment. fluence on the Boers of the Transvaal. First, because he does not know with Can it be wondered that it was believed whom he is negotiating. Who are the the annexation would be reversed when negotiators? They are men

- I wish to they had the assurance of the right hon.

measure my words - whose hands are Gentleman ? Can it be wondered at scarcely clean, I will not say from that when that annexation was not can- blood, but from complicity in blood celled their disappointment broke out foully shed. They are men who have into insurrection ? The very leaders scattered far and wide the grossest, most with whom you are in negotiation had scandalous, and false accusations against appealed to the right hon. Gentleman's English officers.

They are men who speeches, and in a remarkable Petition, have declared from first to last that signed by Dutch people in Holland, they would take nothing short of indepen. which, no doubt, your Lordships have dence from the Zambesi River to Simon's read, the same confident language was Bay; and, worst of all, men who have held. When the reports of the right no real authority over their followers. hon. Gentleman's speeches reached the They are powerless to execute that which Transvaal, they were printed and circu- they pledged themselves to carry out

. lated with every kind of exaggeration Look at the evidence we have of the and approval, and it was said that the state of things to which this unhappy Transvaal would be restored. But there policy is bringing us. came a telegram from this country that condition of the Transvaal now with the annexation must be maintained. what it was four years ago.

It was Upon which, the Boers said~" Then then overrun with Native Tribes. It there is nothing for us but to saddle was bankrupt. There was only 128. 6d. our horses and get out our arms.". I in the Exchequer.

The Boers were do not here want to say anything trembling for their lives. We stepped of the terms on which this peace has in and saved them. Their cattle were been made.

My noble and learned preserved ; their lives were saved ; and Friend (Earl Cairns), some few weeks the anarchy which existed gradually disago, went at length into the subject

. appeared. Prosperity so far revived that The Commission is at present sitting, the finance of the Province is not only and it may be wiser for the present to in a state of equilibrium, but there is

The Earl of Carnarvon

Compare the

« ForrigeFortsett »