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fore he declined the task. This those talents solely to render the was all he had to say, and in con- formation of any Ministry an imposclusion he hoped the House would sibility. This attempt, too, having believe that nothing would have failed, he was reduced to have reinduced him to follow the course course entirely to the Protectionist he adopted, had he not been con- party, and though there were many vinced that he had acted according men among them who would have to the dictates of the soundest formed able members of a Ministry, principles of wisdom and justice. yet when he considered that with
Lord Stanley then rose, and one exception that party was deproceeded to lay before the House ficient in men of official experience, the several steps of the negotiation that when his Ministry was formed in which he had been recently en- it would have to contend with a gaged. When Her Majesty asked majority most effective for opposifor his advice on the Ministerial tion, if unable to combine for anycrisis, he had begged for a state- thing else, and that the public ment of the reasons which had service rendered a dissolution at induced Lord John Russell to re- the present moment impossible, tire, and when he found that that he had, after mature deliberation, retirement was attributed solely to begged Her Majesty to relieve him the small majority on the occasion from the responsibility of forming of Mr. Disraeli's motion, and to Administration. The noble the defeat which the Ministry had Lord then contradicted the reports sustained on Mr. Locke King's that he had pressed Her Majesty motion for an extension of the to consent to a dissolution, and franchise, he had ventured to ex- that Lord John Russell had forced press his doubts that the resigna- himself on Her Majesty while the tion of the late Ministry was to be negotiations in which he (Lord ascribed solely, or even principally, Stanley) had been concerned were to those causes. He had felt it to in progress, and concluded his be his duty to lay before Her speech by giving á sketch of the Majesty his opinion as to the state course which he should have felt it of parties in the House of Com- his duty to pursue with regard to mons, and to recommend that the Income Tax, to agricultural disbefore he himself undertook the tress, and to Papal aggression, had task of forming an Administration he been successful in forming an an attempt should be made to bring Administration. about an union between Lord John Some explanations between the Russell and the supporters of the Marquis of Lansdowne and Lord late Sir Robert Peel. Lord Aber. Stanley succeeded, after which the deen had detailed the reasons which House adjourned. had frustrated such an union. In the House of Commons, on When that attempt failed, he had moving the postponement of the himself attempted an approxima- first order of the day, tion between the Protectionist Lord J. Russell stated what had party and the followers of Sir occurred since the last meeting Robert Peel, among whose ranks with reference to the formation of were to be found men of the highest a Cabinet. He noticed the contracharacter for ability and official diction-very peremptory in terms, talents, but who seemed to exercise and in manner not very courteous
—which he had received on a hands of Her Majesty, who in former evening from Mr. Disraeli this difficulty had been pleased to when he had announced that Lord command the attendance of an old Stanley, having been sent for by and faithful friend of the Crown, the Queen, had represented to Her the Duke of Wellington, and inMajesty that he was not then pre- tended to pause for a while before pared to form a Government, and any further endeavours were made in justification of his statement he to form a Cabinet. The Noble read (with permission) a letter from Lord then removeda misconception Prince Albert, and an account of what he had said on the last oc written by Lord Stanley, and by casion, explained the motives of his him delivered to the Queen, of his resignation, and defended himself interview with Her Majesty, and against certain charges—especially which Lord Stanley had authorized that of shrinking from the diffihim to make use of. After this culties of his position. These he appealed to the House whether difficulties had arisen out of three these extracts did not bear out his questions—first, that of the comstatement. Lord John then pro- mercial policy which had been ceeded to say that, having been commenced in 1846, and which, desired by Her Majesty to attempt having been found beneficial to the to reconstruct an Administration, great mass of the people, the preand Her Majesty having been sent Government had followed out; pleased to command the attend. Secondly, the Ecclesiastical Titles ance of Lord Aberdeen and Sir Bill, in respect of which he reJames Graham, he had met them tained his opinion that the assumpat the Palace, and communicated tion of these titles was an usurpawith them afterwards ; that no per- tion of power on the part of a sonal considerations stood in the foreign prince which it was imposway of a junction, and upon several sible for Parliament to pass over. points of public importance there with regard to the Bill itself, was no material diversity of views having been told by persons of between them; but there was one competent authority that its prosubject upon which they differed, visions, though carefully framed, —namely, the Ecclesiastical Titles might interfere with ordination Assumption Bill. That, though he and with existing endowments, he thought it necessary to persevere said at once that that was not the with that Bill, he had consented to intention of the Bill, and he should make considerable alterations in it, be ready to re-examine its proviwhereas Lord Aberdeen and Sir J. sions, and make such alterations Graham were of opinion that any as would prevent any such interlegislation upon the subject was ference, without departing from its unnecessary; which was so wide a original scope. The last question difference as to render an approxi- -a very important one-was that mation impossible. He(Lord John) of the extension of the suffrage, thereupon again repaired to the the subject of many deliberations Palace and resigned the commis- held with his colleagues previous sion with which he had been in- to the meeting of Parliament. He trusted; and Lord Stanley having had prepared an outline of a meabeen again sent for, he had since sure which he thought might be resigned his commission into the proposed to the House; but there
was a preliminary question, whe- ingham Palace, when Her Majesty ther, looking to the duration of informed them that, Lord Stanley the present Parliament and to the not being then prepared to form situation of the country, it was de- an Administration, she had emsirable to introduce such a Bill powered Lord John Russell to enduring this session; and they had deavour to reconstruct one, and all concurred in thinking it should suggested that they should meet be deferred and matured until the his Lordship in an amicable spirit next. He had been perfectly a command which they had most satisfied with the general working cheerfully obeyed. With reference of the Reform Act; but he thought to the three leading points to if the number of persons enjoying which Lord John Russell had rethe franchise could be increased ferred, on the first, the free trade without danger to our representa- policy, there could be no difference tive system, that system would be between them; neither could there placed upon a wider and safer be any difference on principle as to basis. With regard to the nature the extension of the suffrage—& of the measure, however, the question which he (Sir James) was greatest caution should be used. not unwilling to entertain, with the He should dread any change which reservation that he could consent would deprive the House of Com- to no extension which he did not mons of those conservative ele- believe consistent with the mainments that ought to belong to it, tenance of the existing form of and he believed that a House of Government. In respect to the Commons representing merely remaining point, he was bound to numbers would jar with the other say that, with all the modifications branches of the Legislature, and promised by Lord J. Russell, he not conform to the spirit of the could not reco cile it to himself to constitution.
be an assenting party to the meaMr. Disraeli explained what he sure before the House. The promeant to say on the former day. posed modifications would leave He happened to see Lord Stanley the Bill for all practical purposes immediately before the House met, utterly inoperative, while it would and he authorized him to contra- be regarded as penal and offensive, dict any statement that he was not and as opposed to the policy of the prepared to form a Government; last twenty years. Lord Aberdeen, but there was no intention on his with whom he had never communipart to be peremptory in words or cated upon this subject until he discourteous in manner.
had asked his opinion on the first Sir James Graham, who was day of the session, entirely concalled for by several Members, curred with him. Upon this point, said, that as the House seemed to therefore, the difficulty in the way expect some explanation from him, of a junction between them and though he had no official cha- Lord J. Russell was insuperable. racter, he should not withhold As that noble Lord, though he one in the present critical position had offered to modify this Bill, reof affairs. On the evening of the fused to abandon it, this was a 22nd instant, Lord Aberdeen and cardinal objection, a fatal impedihe received the commands of Her ment to a junction; and in the Majesty to wait upon her at Buck- present excited state of feeling in the country, it presented an impe- more likely to follow him than Sir diment equally insuperable to the J. Graham. formation of a Government by After some remarks from Colonel Lord Aberdeen himself. To en Sibthorp, Mr. P. Howard, Mr. deavour to conduct an Administra- Spooner, Mr. Wyld, Mr. Wakley, tion upon the principle of not legis- and Mr. Bankes, the House adlating upon this subject, in the journed. present state of the country, would On the 3rd March, the ultimate involve Great Britain and Ireland adjustment of the Ministerial crisis in an angry struggle. He knew was announced in both Houses that this ground was an unpopular of Parliament. The Marquis one, but he was convinced of its of Lansdowne thus narrated the soundness and policy.
transaction : Mr. Hume had listened to the “My Lords, I may as well, beexplanation of Sir J. Graham with fore I move the adjournment of satisfaction, but had heard that of the House, discharge my duty by Lord J. Russell with deep regret, acquainting your Lordships, that showing upon what ground the in the circumstances of the preimpediment to a strong Adminis- sent moment, and after the failure tration rested the determination of three successive schemes for of the noble Lord to persevere in the construction of a new Adan impolitic Bill.
ministration, Her Majesty, after Sir R. Inglis justified the deter- duly reflecting upon the situation mination of the noble Lord. The in which she was placed by that Papal aggression was such an auda- failure, has been pleased to call city as in the worst times had not upon those of her Ministers who proceeded from the Church and had been recently in office to reCourt of Rome. The people of sume those offices, and to endeaGreat Britain would not be satis- vour, at least, to carry on the Gofied with a less measure. The vernment of the country. My great complaint was that it did Lords, that step upon the part of not meet the real grievance. Her Majesty was not taken without
Mr. J. O'Connell appealed to full and due deliberation ; and I English statesmen, whether they have the authority of Her Majesty did not now think it time to do to state, that having during the justice to Ireland ?
time she was so pausing had reMr. Osborne thought the coun- course to the advice and opinion of try had been reduced to a very hu- a noble and illustrious Duke, the miliating condition, handed about most distinguished member of this between two or three noble Lords, House--and who is now sitting at without any attempt to form a your Lordships' table- both his Government upon great and liberal advice and his opinion were in principles.
conformity with that step. Under Mr. Newdegate observed that these circumstances, I have to inthe explanations they had heard form your Lordships, that Her had elucidated many points. How. Majesty's late Ministers have ever he might be opposed to the thought that they had no alterpolicy of Lord J. Russell, upon native but to undertake the task one important point he should be thus, of necessity almost, devolving upon them. Having made which would in the end be plunged that statement, I may be permitted into the contest with the grievous to add, what I am sure your Lord- disadvantage of being hampered ships will readily believe, that no by fatal admissions and faintperson laments more deeply than hearted acquiescence. I do the existence of those differ- Lord Brougham having preences of opinion which, it is ob- sented several petitions from various vious to your Lordships, and is places in Ireland against the Ecclewell known to the public and the siastical Titles Bill, observed that world, have prevented the con- those petitions lavished on that struction of a new, a stronger, and Bill all the expressions of reprobaa more effective Administration. tion which it was possible to If there were one wish that I employ: he could not be expected could entertain as an individual to go along with them in those more strongly than another, or if expressions, and would at present there were one thing which it express no opinion on the Bill; would give me more satisfaction but nothing he had yet heard had than any other, either in or out shaken his opinion. Just on acof office, by any effort of mine to count of the statement made by contribute to effect, it would be his noble Friend with reference to to put an end to those difficulties the establishment of a strong Gowhich have proved obstacles to the vernment, and just on account of construction of that which is most what they had been told of the feeldesirable for the interests of the ings of the people of Ireland and country—a strong and effective Scotland, he implored Her Majesty's Administration.”
Government to pause before they The Duke of Argyll made some rejected the advice not to proceed observations respecting the Papal to legislate, at least at present, on aggression, and the bearing of the this subject, but to be satisfied late Ministerial negotiations on with a resolution of both Houses that question. The noble Duke of Parliament. That course would observed, that under the particular be attended with two inestimable circumstances looking to the high advantages. It would postpone principle and the incorruptible for the present that religious agitafaith exhibited in the attempts tion, the worst of all agitations, which had been made to form a which was tearing society to pieces Ministry—there was reason to re- on both sides of the Channel, joice at the failure. He rejoiced though in opposite directions; it that no Government had been would postpone, at least, if it did formed in England on the basis not altogether allay it. It would of passing over in total silence an avoid the constant renewal of that act that had been proved to be an agitation and acerbity of feeling aggression against the public law that at present too much—he might of Europe, and against the spirit, if say, too fatally-prevailed on both not the letter, of the municipal law sides of the Channel ; and it would of England, and above all, an afford time for inquiry, which in aggression which, if passed over, his opinion was urgently needed on would infallibly lead to further this subject. encroachments on this country,
The Earl of Aberdeen corrected