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proportion would be excessive. Again, the Bill did what it ought not, and did not do what it ought. It compensated an entire class of persons connected with the land for that of which they bore their share with the rest of the community; and it did not do what it ought to do in equalizing the circumstances of that class itself. For, inasmuch as the compensation was to be a local charge, the consequence was that those portions of the agricultural interest which had not suffered at all would not have to pay at all. In other words, those who suffered least would have to pay least; and those who suffered most would have to pay most. On the whole, therefore, he preferred a general rate upon the land or upon cattle to any local rate.
Lord Cranborne said it was a narrow view to treat the question as one purely affecting the agricultural interest. If it were one of that kind the House would not have heard so much of it as they had done. The question was, whether a great public benefit would not be attained by granting compensation, and he was of opinion that it would. To the principle of the Bill of the Government, however, he objected on the ground that it paid ill-timed and ill-placed respect to local authorities, and because the Government did not seem to have realized the fact that infection was a question of geography and not of traditional jurisdiction.
The argument urged by Mr. Mill on the subject of compensation produced so much effect that the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated his intention of modifying the clause to some extent, being now fully alive to the danger of fixing the rate too high. Accordingly he proposed to limit the amount of the compensation for diseased animals slaughtered to one-half of the value (instead of two-thirds), providing also that the amount should never exceed 201. Some opposition was raised to this proposal, but eventually it was agreed to by the House. A more important amendment was carried against the Government on the motion of Mr. Ward Hunt, to the effect that no cattle should be moved on any railway before the 25th of March, 1866, or along any highway, canal, navigation, or river, except in certain cases to be expressly provided for.
Sir G. Grey said this proposal necessarily involved the stoppage of every market for fat cattle throughout the kingdom. The effect of that would be to change the supply of live cattle into dead meat, and thus, in the absence of the requisite facilities, materially interfere with the supply of food and greatly enhance its price to the people.
Mr. Henley supported, and Mr. Headlam opposed the amendment.
Mr. Lowe expressed his strong opinion in favour of adopting one simple rule.
After much discussion the amendment was carried by 264 votes against 184.
The Government having accepted this amendment and agreed to engraft it on their Bill, some further discussion took place as to the source from whence the compensation should be supplied. Some members objected strongly to the proposition of a “cattle rate,” by which it was proposed to raise one-third of the amount required. Among other suggestions it was recommended by some that the compensation should be taken from the Consolidated Fund, by others from a general county rate. Ultimately the Government acquiesced in the proposal to withdraw the clause imposing a “cattle rate” and to throw the whole charge on the county and borough rate.
The Bill thus amended was sent to the House of Lords, where it underwent but little discussion, and being rapidly passed through its stages received the Royal assent. Meanwhile Mr. Ward Hunt had brought a Bill into the House of Commons, the object of which was to provide a complete code respecting the movement of cattle by railways, roads, canals, highways, &c., specifying the exceptional cases in which such movements were to be allowed. This Bill, involving a great multiplicity of details, was canvassed at much length and underwent much diversity of criticism in the House of Commons, and was afterwards referred to a Select Committee in the House of Lords; but ultimately all the discussion which had been spent upon it proved fruitless, for the Bill was returned to the Commons in so greatly altered a shape that its former supporters declined to adopt it, and it was withdrawn.
Another subject to which the Ministers early invited the attention of the Legislature, was that of the oaths taken by members of Parliament. This matter had been a good deal discussed in the preceding session on the occasion of a Bill introduced by Mr. Monsell for altering the oath required to be taken by Roman Catholic members in pursuance of the Relief Act of 1829, which Bill, after passing the Commons, was thrown out in the House of Lords. The Government on that occasion had been urged, from various quarters, to take up the question and to bring in a Bill for assimilating the oath to be taken by the members of all religious communions without distinction. Acting on this suggestion Sir George Grey now moved for leave to bring in a Bill. The right hon. gentleman said that he adhered to the opinions which he expressed last session in the debate on Mr. Monsell's Bill, and that he thought the time had come when one general oath should be taken by all members of Parliament indifferently. It was not, he thought, necessary any longer to maintain the portion of the oath relating to abjuration or supremacy, or the maintenance of the Established Church, as the existing law was quite strong enough for the purpose. He therefore proposed that the present oath should be repealed, and that a short form of oath should be substituted, as follows:-“I, A. B., do swear that I will faithfully bear true allegiance to her Majesty Queen Victoria, and defend her to the best of my power against all conspiracies whatever which may be made against her power, crown, or dignity.”
Mr. Newdegate opposed the Bill, and said this was not the time, whilst the Fenian conspiracy existed in Ireland, to sweep away a portion of the oath of supremacy. He appealed to the number of petitions which had been presented to the House against any relaxation of the Protestant securities. Mr. Chambers and Mr. Whalley also opposed the Bill; but on a division being taken on the motion of Mr. Newdegate, the second reading of the Bill was carried by a great majority, only five dissentients voting for its rejection. The bulk of the Conservative party, it thus appeared, were not disposed to resist the proposed alteration; only Mr. Disraeli gave notice of certain amendments which he should propose, in order to strengthen the guarantees which he considered necessary. With this view he moved that the following paragraph be added to the oath of allegiance proposed by the Bill :
“And I do faithfully promise to maintain, support, and defend the succession to the Crown, as the same stands limited and settled by an Act passed in the reign of King William III., intituled 'An Act for the further Limitation of the Crown, and better Securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject.'
Sir George Grey intimated that there would be no objection to the addition of these words, which were accordingly adopted.
Mr. Disraeli next proposed to add another paragraph in these words :—"And I do further solemnly declare that Her Majesty, is, under God, the only supreme governor, of this realm, and that no foreign prince, prelate, stato, or potentate hath any jurisdiction or authority in any of the courts within the same.
." The Attorney-General opposed the motion on two groundsfirst, that the words were incongruous with and unnecessary to the object of the oath ; and secondly, that it would be obviously mischievous in itself. It was a mere abstract declaration, a truism, and a platitude, only of use as a test. But this was not all, for it could not be said that it was even harmless, inasmuch as it really limited the jurisdiction of the Queen.
Sir II. Cairns and Mr. Whiteside supported the amendment, which was opposed by Lord E. Howard and Mr. Synan.
On a division it was negatived by 236 to 222
The Bill, thus amended, was sent up to the House of Lords; where it met with a favourable reception, the Conservative leaders in that House not insisting on their objection to it. In the debate on the second reading, the Earl of Derby, although admitting that the present offensive oath ought not to be retained, said there was yet a further question, whether that portion of it which protected the Protestant Church in Ireland should be struck out. The oath, in whatever terms it was framed, should express allegiance to the reigning sovereign, recognize the Protestant succession, and maintain the supremacy of the Crown. A difficulty however arose as to the mode in which the supremacy of the Crown should be expressed, and whether it should be confined merely to the civil and temporal authority of the Crown, or extend to its supremacy also in matters ecclesiastical. He would not offer any opposition to the Bill, but he thought it ought to be amended in committee, so as to render it more acceptable to all classes of the community, especially with reference to the question of supremacy. Lord Ravensworth opposed the Bill.
Lord Chelmsford did not approve of the omission from the new oath of the declaration that no foreign prince, prelate, or potentate hath or ought to have jurisdiction within this realm, and the disclaimer of any intention to interfere with the Established Church. He gave notice therefore that he should move in committee the addition of an amendment to effect the objects which he had in view.
On the committal of the Bill, an amendment proposed by the Marquis of Bath with the professed object of excluding Jews from Parliament having been negatived, Lord Chelmsford moved a proviso declaring that the supremacy of the Crown should not be impaired by the repeal of any of the Acts contained in the schedule. Lord Camoys, as a Roman Catholic Peer, did not object to this amendment, though he thought it might lead to misunderstanding. Earl Grey saw no advantage in it. Lord Ellenborough was in its favour. Earl Russell thought its adoption would have no practical effect, and would not oppose it. It was therefore adopted.
The approaching marriage of the Princess Helena with Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg, which had been announced by Her Majesty in the Speech from the Throne, gave occasion on an early day in the session to messages from the Crown to the two Houses, asking them to concur in making a provision for the Princess, and also for Prince Alfred on his coming of age. Propositions were made in the House of Commons for these objects by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, in introducing the subject, observed, that with respect to the Princess Helena, her position was a peculiar one, as she was the eldest unmarried princess of the Royal Family when the most crushing calamity that could befall humanity descended upon Her Majesty ; and that during that trial all the prominent qualities of the Princess's character-her strength, her wisdom, and her tenderness-were put to the test. Her Royal Highness was then, and had been since, the stay and solace of her illustrious mother. The proposition which he had to make to the House was, that Her Royal Highness should, on her approaching marriage with Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg, have an annuity for life of 6,0001., in addition to a dower of 30,0001. With regard to Prince Alfred, the proposal was that he should be granted an annuity of 15,0001. during his life, to commence from the day last year on which he attained his majority, and to be settled on His Royal Highness in such manner as Her Majesty should think proper. With reference to His Royal Highness, there were certain contingencies which might render a further application to Parliament hereafter necessary. For example, in the event of Ilis Royal Highness contracting marriage, it would be the duty of the Government to call upon the House to make such further provision as the circumstances of the case might require.
Mr. Disraeli said that the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was well-considered and judicious. When occasions like the present arose, there was no embarrassment for the Crown, and no difficulty for the Minister; and Her Majesty might be sure that upon this, as on similar occasions, the claim made only elicited a fresh renewal of respectful affection from a grateful and devoted people. The resolution granting an annuity to the Princess Helena was then put and agreed to.
Mr. Bouverie, adverting to the reference made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to "contingencies” in the case of Prince Alfred, said that the impression left on his mind was, that one of those contingencies was the possible accession of His Royal Highness to the principality of Saxe-Coburg, of which he was the heir presumptive, and the question whether, in that event, Parliament would continue the annuity. If the public feeling were consulted, the cesser of the annuity would probably be acceptable, but for his own part he would rather see the annuity granted absolutely for life, than that Parliament should hereafter be placed in the invidious position of discussing the propriety of discontinuing it or not.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he was not prepared to insert such a provision as the right hon. gentleman seemed to think would be popular, because it would be impossible to define absolutely the contingent circumstances under which a cesser ought to take place at all, while nothing could be more inconvenient than to refer to some one contingency, and thus by implication exclude
The provision proposed for Prince Alfred was also agreed to, nem.
The House of Lords having cordially concurred in these votes, the Bills for giving effect to them passed speedily into law.
Another proposition was made to the House at the same time as the above votes were proposed, for the purpose of testifying the estimation in which the late Prime Minister was held by his countrymen.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved an address praying that the Queen would give directions for erecting a monument in the abbey church of Westminster to the memory of Lord Palmerston, observing that he desired to make the proposal not as the tribute of a party, but of Parliament and the nation. There were two incidents in the career of Lord Palmerston which were truly national. It was, first, his happy lot, as Foreign Minister and subsequently as Prime Minister, to be associated with the extension of constitutional freedom in Europe. Secondly, it was his fortunate mission to have brought to an honourable conclusion a war that had taxed severely the energies of his country, but which had been undertaken to prevent the breach of a principle necessary for the peace, the safety, and well-being of Europe. Moreover, Lord Palmerston had the reward of his untiring zeal, immense energy, and long