« ForrigeFortsett »
had not applied for a supplementary vote for iron ships for the simple reason that the vote taken for that purpose last year had uot yet been expended. The Government shipwrights were devoting all their energies to the construction of iron-cased ships on various principles, for, as the whole system was a new one, it was necessary to derive from experiments that knowledge which no theory could give.
The Duke of Cambridge asserted that every economy consistent with efficiency had been practised in the army; and that, although the expenses for the service had increased, they had been rendered necessary by reforms for the comfort of the soldier called for by the public themselves. Such expenses could be at once diminished if necessary, but, if they were, the corresponding advantages would be lost We had not sufficient infantry at home, and, although he had endeavoured always to keep onethird of our force, he could never succeed in so doing. Under such circumstances, in case of invasion, our main force would consist of irregulars, who, while the regular army kept the field, would be most useful, and most serviceably protected by fortifications. The Government had decided to postpone completing these works, but he hoped that no economy would prevent our defences being made efficient.
Lord Malmesbury rejoiced that Her Majesty's Government had brought forward this Bill,as it provided for the safety of the country in cases of invasion. He proceeded to refute the opinions of those who derided the idea of an invasion by France, and showed
from various authorities how intently the invasion of this country had been meditated by the First Napoleon, and how that invasion had only been frustrated by the victory of Trafalgar. Arguing from the example of France, who was increasing her fortresses in every direction, he insisted on the necessity of having a proper system of forts for the defences of the country.
Earl Grey wished to know whence the men to man these fortifications were to conic, if an army was at the same time to be maintained in the field. If these men were not forthcoming, these fortifications would be an encumbrance rather than assistance, and he believed that it would be impossible to find sufficient men to man them. What we ought to have was an efficient navy and a small army, but so arranged that it could be thrown in a few hours on any given spot. Our policy, therefore, was, by means of railroads and electric telegraphs, to direct a large force in a short time against any place attacked. These arguments seemed to him conclusive against fortifications, for it was certain that we could not spare men sufficient to hold possession of such extensive works. Although he did not intend to divide the House on the Hill, he was entirely opposed to the principle on which it was based.
Earl Russell agreed that our first reliance ought to be on the navy, but insisted that it was our duty to have fortifications to protect those docks and arsenals where the navy was equipped and repaired. Ho refuted the attacks made on French policy, and pointed out
that the Emperor of the French was not antagonistic to this country, or, like Louis XIV. or the First Napoleon, an enemy to the liberties of mankind. In his opinion the Government hnd wisely adopted a medium course on this subject, by neither increasing our forces so as to excite
alarm abroad and discontent at home, nor by allowing the- defences of the country to fall below their proper standard.
The Bill was then read a second time, and having shortly afterwards passed through its remaining stages, received the Koyml Assent.
Colonial And Foreign Affairs—Military Expenditure for the Colonies—Mr. Arthur Mills moves a Betolution in the House of Commons, affirming the obligation of Colonies enjoying self-government to contribute to their own defence—Mr. C. Fortescue, on behalf of the Government, assents to the Resolution, with some modifications suggested by Mr. Baxter—*The Motion is agreed to—Mr. Adderley calls attention to the duty of Canada to provide for her own security against invasion—Remarks of Mr. A. Mills and Mr. Roebuck—Sir George Lewis states the views of the Government with respect to the protection of Canada and the employment of the British force there—Speeclies of Mr. T. Baring, Lord Bury, Mr. Disraeli, and Lord Palmerston— The Earl of Carnarvon, in the House of Lords, enters at large into the subject of Colonial Expenditure in general—Observations of the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of EUenborough, Lord Wodehouse, Lord Lyveden, and other Peers. Foreign Affairs — The State of Poland—The Earl of Carnarvon addresses the House of Lords upon the condition in which that country is placed, and the policy pursued towards it by Russia—Earl Russell's Speech in answer. The New Kingdom of Italy—State of opinion in England upon Italian Affairs— The Marquis of Normanby takes a conspicuous part in denouncing the new regime—He charges the King's Government with unconstitutional and tyrannical conduct—Earl Russell controverts the facts alleged, and vindicates the King of Italy's policy — The Earl of Malmesbury justifies the policy pursued towards that country by the Government under which he acted as Foreign Secretary—Lord Wodehouse arraigns the correctness of Lord Normandy's representations— The Marquis of Normandy a second time brings forward accusations against the Government of Italy—His statements are controverted by the Earls of Russell, EUenborough, and Harrowby, and by Lord Brougham—Sir George Bowyer makes a vehement attack upon the policy of the English Government towards Italy in the House of Commons—He is answered by Mr. Layard—Mr. Pope Hennessy defends the Papal Government from the imputation of misgovernment—The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a very effective speech, confutes Sir George Bowyer's arguments—Speeches of Mr. M. Milnes, Mr. Stansfeld, Mr. Maguire, Lord Palmerston, and other Members. Operati""'* in China—Employment of the British force against the Rebel*'
country—Earl Grey calls attention to these circumstances, and impeaches the policy of interference pursued by the British Government —The Duke of Somerset explains the grounds upon tchich the employment of a British Marine force has been sanctioned—Lord Stratford de Redcliffe approves of tlie course adopted—Earl Russell justifies the conduct of the Government—Mr. White raises the same question in the House of Commons, and moves a Resolution adverse to interference —Mr. Cubden disapproves of the action of the Government—It is defended by Jtord I'almerston and Mr. Layard—Mr. White's Resolution is rejected by 1!)' to 88. Joint Expedition of France and England against Mexico—Lord Robert Montagu impugns the Policy of our Government in joining in the operations in thai country—He is answered by Mr. Layard, rcho enters into a statement of the circumstances that had called fur interference—The debate is brought to a premature close, the House being counted out. Indian Finance — Sir Charles Wood, Secretary of State for India, makes his Annual Statement on this subject—Differences between Sir C. Wood and Mr. Laing, late Finance Minister in Calcutta—Remarks of Mr. H. Seymour, Mr. Smollett, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Kinnaird, and other Members—The Resolution* proposed by the Minister are agreed to. Treaty between Great Britain and the United States of America for the Suppression of the Slave Trade—It is laid on the Table of the House of Lords by Earl Russell— Congratulatory remarks of Lord Brougham and oilier Peers.
IN connection with the subject of the national defences referred to in the preceding chapter, the protection of our Colonial possessions against aggression, and the provision to be made for their military expenditure and fortifications, were brought on several occasions this year under the notice of Parliament. In the preceding Session a Select Committee of the House of Commons had been appointed, to which the general subject of Colonial military expenditure was referred, and a Report was made by them to the House. To this Report attention was colled early in the present Session by Mr. Arthur Mills, who proposed a Resolution, founded upon the unanimous conclusion of the Committee, for adoption by the House. The Resolution was in these terms:—" That this House
(while fully recognizing the claims of all portions of the British Empire to Imperial aid in their protection against perils arising from the consequences of Imperial policy) is of opinion that Colonies exercising the rights of self-government ought to undertake the main responsibility of providing for their own internal order and security." He indicated the area to which the inquiries of the Committee had been limited, and said his object was to restrict the effect of his Resolution to thoso points within that area upon which the Committee had been unanimous. He read extracts from the evidence taken by the Committee in support of his Resolution, which, he thought, embodied tho right principle on which the Imperial authority ought to act in dealing with those parts of our Colonial
Empire which had undertaken the office and exercised the powers of self-government. He suggested reasons why the Colonies should have the responsibility of self-defence cast upon them, in local quarrels, instead of leaning upon the mother country.
This Motion was seconded by Mr. Buxton, who disclaimed, as Mr. Mills had done, any desire for the dismemberment of our Colonial Empire.
Mr. Baxter approved the Resolution so far as it went, but, in his opinion, it did not go far enough, and did not grapple with the main grievance. He moved, as an Amendment, to add the following words :—" That such Colonies ought to assist in their own external defence." He cited an opinion expressed by the Committee and evidence taken by it in favour of this Amendment
Mr. C. Fortescue snid he agreed with Mr. Mills that the employment of the Queen's troops in internal disorders in the Colonies was most objectionable. But in giving, on the part of the Government, his assent to the Resolution, he observed that thero were some exceptional cases, which did not come within this general condemnation. He concurred wkih Mr. Baxter that the policy recommended in the Resolution would not wenken, but strengthen, the Colonies; he had no doubt it would augment tlieir means of defence, and he hoped that such a Resolution of the House of Commons would impress this truth upon the minds of the colonists. He repeated, however, that there were partial and temporary exceptions to the rule laid down in the
Resolution, there being some of the dependencies of the Crown to which it could not be readily applied. With respect to the Amendment, as it had been modified by Mr. Baxter, he agreed to it on the part of the Government, since it only enlarged, and properly enlarged, the scope of the Resolution. But he again warned the House of the difficulty of a sweeping and rapid application of the principle it embodied.
Sir J. Ferguson thought that Mr. Baxter's amendment went too far: it did not originate in the Report of the Committee, and he was sorry that the Government had adopted it
Mr. Haliburton disapproved of the Motion as ill-timed. He de- • fended the legislation of the North American Colonies, and insisted that Canada did not want British soldiers kept in the country. It was hard, therefore, to charge the colony with their cost.
After a few words from Mr. Childers, the Resolution, as amended, was agreed to.
Towards the end of the Session the same subject, as far as referred to Canada, was renewed by Mr. Adderley, who callcJ the attention of the House of Commons to the defences of that country, and required of the Government that they should declare, before Parliament separated, their intentions on the subject. Was the colony, he asked, thought to be exposed to danger? If not, why were 1'.2,000 British troops retained there? If there was danger, to what was the colony to look for protection? He contended that it was bound to make exertions for its own defence, and that it had no special