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The Amendment was supported by Mr. William Williams, Mr. G. W. Wood, Mr. B. Denison, and Mr. W. R. Stansfield. On a division, it was rejected by 142 to 70.
Among the steps in the direction of commercial relaxation, to which the present Session gave rise, may be enumerated the repeal, at the instance of Government, of the restrictions on the exportation of machinery, imposed by an Act of King William the Fourth, The President of the Board of Trade brought in a Bill for this purpose, the objects of which he explained, on moving the second reading in the House of Commons. The prohibition to export machinery originated in the belief, that if machinery were detained at home, the goods to be made by it would be produced in this country, and thus trade would be increased. But, in fact, the law is nugatory ; and the authorities of the Customs, ever since 1824, have pronounced such a law to be impracticable; so easy is it to export machinery in parts, or under cover of the coasting trade. The effect of the law has been simply to enhance the cost of British machinery to the foreign purchaser; and the consequence is that, to a great extent, the trade has passed from us to Belgium, where there is an increasing trade. It is one almost indigenous with us, meriting as much encouragement as other manufactures; and its export is opposed by no arguments that will not equally apply, for instance, to the export of yarns. Mr. Gladstone quoted authorities in favour of removing the prohibition; and mentioned the case of a Leeds machine-maker, whom
it had deprived of extensive orders for Sardinia, which had been transferred to Belgium. Another ef. fect of the present law is, to drive the inventor—and the Americans have obtained a name for invention—from resorting to this countey, where they could get their work best executed. Mr. Hindley professed his as: sent to the free-trade principle of the Bill; but, with some sarcastic remarks upon the Ministers who had proposed it, after turning their predecessors out of office, for their adherence to similar principles, He objected also to obliging the British manufacturer, with the millstone of the Corn-laws round his neck, to contend against the unfettered foreigner. He moved as an Amendment, that a Select Committee be appointed to consider the laws relating to the exportation of machinery. Mr. Stuart Wortley expressed some suspicion of the Bill, but ended by saying, he should vote for it, as gradual relaxations of the law had left very little protection to fight for. Mr. Labouchere rejoiced in assisting at the removal of the last prohibition that disfigured the Statute Book, Mr. Cobden supported the Bill, on the broad ground that it did away with one of the monopolies. It received a similar support from Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Ross, Mr. Hume, Mr. Duncan, and Dr. Bowring, Mr. W. Williams doubted its policy; and Sir Robert Ferguson opposed it altogether. Sir Robert Peel read some extracts from a letter of Mr. Hirdman, of Belfast, showing that the new French tariff had driven France from competition in foreign markets with our linens, and increased the price to the
EDUCATION.—The Queen's Answer to the Address moved by Lord Ashley—the Factory Bill introduced by Sir James Graham—Discussion on the Second Reading—Objections taken to the Education Clauses—Remarks of Mr. Envart, the Earl of Surrey, Mr. Cobden, Sir R. Inglis, Lord John Russell, Lord Ashley and Sir James Graham—The Bill passes a Second Reading—Active Opposition exerted against the Bill out of doors—Extraordinary number of Petitions presented by its opponents—The Government introduce modifications into the Bill to obviate the objections of Dissenters—Sir James Graham explains the alterations, and makes an earnest Appeal to the House in favour of Education—Lord John Russell approves of the Amendments—Mr. Roebuck moves a resolution declaring that all plans of State Education should be kept clear of any specific religious system—He is opposed by Sir James Graham, who windicates the plan of the Government, and by Mr. Hanes—The Resolution is rejected by 156 to 60–Continued and vehement opposition to the Factory Bill—Immense number of Petitions against it—The Educational Clauses are abandoned by Government—Sir James Graham announces their nithdranwal—Discussion in the House of Commons on that occasion—Remarks of Viscount Melbourne in the House of Lords on the failure of the Factory Bill—Church Extension—Sir Robert Peel brings forward a plan for augmenting small livings and endoming ministers—Detail of the Measure—Remarks of Sir R. Inglis, Lord Dungannon, Mr. Colquhoun, Lord John Russell, Mr. Hume, and other Members—The Motion is carried unanimously. SEEs of BANGOR AND ST. AsAPH-Earl Ponyis introduces a Bill in the House of Lords to repeal the recent Act for consolidating those Bishoprics–His Speech—The Duke of Wellington opposes the Motion, nihich is supported by the Bishops of Salisbury, Exeter, Bangor, Lord Lyttleton, and Earl Fitzmilliam, opposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishops of London, Lincoln, and Nornwich, and Earl of Ripon–The Bill is nithdrann for the Session. CHURCH of Scotland—Lord Aberdeen introduces a Bill to remove doubts respecting the admission of Ministers—His Speech—The Bill is supported by the Earl of Haddington, the Lord Chancellor, and the Earl of Minto, and opposed by the Earls of Rosebury and Burlington, Lords Coltenham, Brougham, and Campbell–Further discussions on the Bill, which passes the House of Lords with considerable opposition —Sir J. Graham moves the Second Reading in the House of Commons—Mr. Wallace, seconded by Mr. Hume, moves the rejection of the Bill—Mr. Rutherford opposes the Measure in a forcible Speech —Lord John Russell, Mr. For Maule, and Mr. A. Campbell speak against it, and Sir W. Follett, Mr. H. Johnstone, Sir G. Clerk, and Sir R. Peel in its support—The Second Reading is carried by 98 to 80–It is again opposed on the Third Reading, but is ultimately passed—Lan Reform—The Registration of Voters Bill—Its objects, as explained by Lord Wharncliffe—Lord Campbell's Bill for the Amendment of the Lan of Libel–Nature of its Provisions—Other Measures of Legal Reform are postponed at a late period of the Session—Parliament is prorogued on 24th August by the Queen n person–Her Majesty's Speech—Results of the Session.
tion of my Government had been previously directed to the important object of increasing the means of moral and religious education among the working-classes of my people; and the assurance of your cordial co-operation in measures which I consider so necessary, confirms my hope that this blessing will be secured by legislative enactment.” On the same day Sir James Graham introduced his promised Bill, for regulating the employment of children and young persons in factories; enumerating its chief provisions, first, as to the regulation of the hours of labour, and other details of internal government. The hours of labour Vol. LXXXV.
for children were to be reduced from eight to six-and-a-half hours a day; the whole to be performed in the forenoon or in the afternoon. The minimum age of children to be lowered from nine to eight years. At present, the work-time of “young persons,” those above thirteen and under eighteen, was limited to twelve hours; the maximum age of female “young persons” would be raised to twentyone; the time on Saturday to be limited to nine hours. Machinery to be guarded so as to prevent accidents; and not to be cleaned while in motion. The power of making up for lost time where water-power is used to be limited. Qualified surgeons to be appointed to attend the several mills of a district. With regard to the other part of the Bill, Sir J. Graham said he should not then enter at large into the Education Clauses, for it would be unnecessary for him to restate what he had said upon former occasions, but he hoped that on the whole the measure would give general satisfaction. Thus much, however, he should say with respect to the Education Clauses, that he trusted the effect of the measure would be greatly to increase the number of children receiving the benefits of education. The Bill would include within the scope of its operation all children employod in silk factories, and he hoped still further
by a separate Bill brought in with the sanction of Her Majesty's Government to include the lace factories and the children engaged in printing, thus comprehending all the children employed in all the great branches of our manufactures. There was one omission in his statement which he begged to supply; it was that in all the manufacturing districts the children of any parents, whether those children were employed in factories or not, should have the benefits of education at an expense not exceeding 3d. per week. The education being to some extent compulsory, it would go far to establish a national scheme of instruction upon a large scale. Lord Ashley concurred in the proposed arrangements regarding education. He regretted that further limitations had not been introduced with regard to the hours of labour, and, as that did not seem to enter into the plan of his right hon. Friend, he (Lord Ashley) should himself propose it in Committee. Mr. Hindley wished that the hours of labour should be left an open question. Leave was then given to bring in the Bill. On the Motion that the Bt.. be read a second time, which came on for discussion on the 24th March, a discussion of considerable interest on the proposed scheme of education took place in the House of Commons, which elicited much variety of opinion. Sir James Graham stated that it was proposed on an early day to go into Committee on the Clauses regulating the hours of labour, but to postpone the Education Clauses until after the Easter recess. Mr. Ewart, Mr. Hume, Mr. M. Phil
lips, and several other Members on the Opposition side of the House then started objections to the Education Clauses, as giving a too exclusive management of the schools to the Clergy of the Church of England, to the prejudice of the Dissenters and Roman Catholics ; and Mr. Hawes designated it as an attempt to place the education of the great mass of the country in the hands of the Church of England. Sir James Graham explained that the vote upon the second reading would only determine the question, whether or not the funds of the State should be devoted to the purposes of education ; the details of the method and management of education, and even principles involved in those details, would be open to future discussion. Lord John Russell admitted that; but he thought a discussion of the objections to the education part of the measure would be useful in limine. Accordingly, the question that the Bill be read a second time having been formally put, the House launched into the discussion, and the objections already indicated were more specifically stated. The principal were, that although Dissenters formed a majority in the manufacturing districts, and the Roman Catholics were an increasing body, they would be practically excluded from the benefits of the measure, by the composition of the school-trusts, the appointment of a clergyman as a chief trustee, and the approval of the masters by the bishop of the diocese, the power of inspection, which it was assumed would be exercised on behalf of the Established Church, and the “teach