Imágenes de páginas

keeping these men prisoners he would Greek, obscure Armenian, Turkish subject, noncoerce the British Government into his descript, &c. In answer to these assertions it is policy. Therefore, I think that every man what Mr. Rassam really is. He was born at Mos

but just to a very deserving public servant to say belonging to such a mission as the noble sul, of Christian parents (his brother is British Lord suggested would have been thrown Vice Consul there), he received his education in into chains; and I need not say how much England, he is a gentleman in manners and con. the difficulties of the case would have been duct, and his qualifications for the peculiar line aggravated by such an event. That Consul

in which he has been employed during the last ten

years cannot be surpassed. I speak with confiCameron had fallen into a state of cap-dence on this point, for Mr. Rassam was my astivity was his own fault; but if the Queen sistant at Aden during many years of trouble ; a had sent from this country an important part of that time he held charge of our political mission, and if all the members of it had relations at Muscat, and acquitted himself to the been thrown into chains, it would then him there. In short, Mr. Rassam's whole pre

entire approval of the Government which placed have been necessary to adopt every mea- vious career well justified the expectation which sure to obtain their release, or the pres. Her Majesty's Government entertained in aptige of England would have been at an pointing him to the delicate and difficult mission end throughout the East. When, there- ment of that expectation is not attributable to

on which he is now employed. The disappointfore, in the case of the present prisoners any fault of his.” we had to decide on the selection of an efficient agent, our choice fell on Mr. I think your Lordships will scarcely, after Rassam. I am at a loss to account for the that statement of Sir William Coghlan, be hostility which the noble and learned Lord of opinion that Mr. Rassam was not a prohas now, and in the previous Session, dis- per person to send on this mission. Beplayed towards Mr. Rossam.

sides, he was at Aden, near the spot, and LORD CHELMSFORD: I have inva- much delay was obviated by his appointriably said that I had no doubt Mr. ment. He was therefore ordered to go in Rassam was a man of very great ability. charge of a letter from the Queen, and reMy only objection to his appointment was quested to put himself in communication - and I considered it a conclusive objec- with the Emperor of Abyssinia, and to tion, that he was not a European.

ask for a safe conduct. It was deemed THE EARL OF CLARENDON: The necessary that he should do this; because noble and learned Lord may have said if, being the bearer of a letter from Her that, but he has also always contended Majesty, he happened to be put in chains that he was an unfit person to be sent out and thrown into prison, an additional inop his present mission.

sult would be offered to this country. He, LORD CHELMSFORD: Only on that moreover, managed to place himself in ground.

communication with Consul Cameron, and THE EARL OF CLARENDON: Only was warned by him not to enter the Emon that ground! The noble and learned peror's dominions unless he had a safeLord could have said nothing more de conduct. This he succeeded in getting ; cisive-such language, I maintain, calcu. but the document was of a somewhat suslated to lead the Emperor of Abyssinia, if picious character, inasmuch as it was not his words reached him, to think that to signed by the Emperor himself. He was, send Mr. Rassam on this mission was an however, advised by Consul Cameron to insult towards him on the part of this accept it. Considerable delay took place country. The noble and learned Lord and in Mr. Rassam's departure for the interior the press have thus, I am sorry to say, while he waited for answers to the letters done their best to second the failure of which he had written to the Emperor. that mission. One would suppose, too, The public at home became very anxious from what has fallen from the noble and on the subject, and my noble Friend (Earl learned Lord, that Sir William Coghlan Russell) did accept the offer of Mr. Palshared with him the opinion that Mr. Ras- grave, who was, however, informed that sam was not a proper person to select, but his mission was not to interfere with that I will read to the House what it is that Sir of Mr. Rassam. It was afterwards reWilliam Coghlan really thinks of that presented that the Emperor might feel gentleman. He says

insulted if the two missions were to go out

at the idea of having what he might sup“Mr. Rassam's antecedents, his status, and his qualifications are greatly misunderstood and mis- pose to be an inferior person, not the represented by a portion of the press of this coun- bearer of a letter from the Queen, sent try. Lle bas been variously styled Levantine, into his dominions, and it was decided that VOL. CLXXXI. (THIRD SERIES.]


Mr. Rassam should proceed on his mission. The next letter which I shall quote is from I can assure the noble and learned Lord Mr. Cameron to Mr. Rassain, and is dated that Her Majesty's Government are as from Magdala Prison, Abyssinia, Septemanxious as to the result of that mission as ber 18, 1865. It sayshe can possibly be, and since he gave “We have had some trouble in getting comnotice of putting a Question on the subject fortably through the winter, owing to the difficulty on the first night of the Session, I have of getting provisions, but there has been no one received letters relating to it which I shall ill except Rosenthal, who has been shut in for

about ten days with neuralgia and sore eyes. I 'be glad to read to the House, although, I

am stronger and better than I have ever been am sorry to say, they do not contain proofs since leaving England. Please God, all may end of the deliverance of the prisoners. The well. Pray send the two accompanying letters to first is from Colonel Merewether, and is England, and God bless you, my brave Rassam, dated Aden, January 21. It is as fol- and grant that we may leave this horrid country

together." lows :

Although, therefore, I cannot communi“ The Victoria returned from Massowah this cate to your Lordships the gratifying news morning, bringing news from Rassam up to the that these prisoners have been set at 8th of November, and from Cameron to the 28th of September. I enclose copies of Cameron's let- liberty, it is still some satisfaction to know ters to Rassam ; also one from Mr. Stern to that they are in better health than could Rassam. These letters from the prisoners were have been anticipated. I think the policy received by M. Munzengen on the 16th of De which has been pursued by Her Majesty's cember. The delay on the road was caused by Government in sending Mr. Rassam, who the messengers being afraid of the cholera, which they were told was raging at Massowah. M. is as fitted for the task as any could be, Munzengen adds that he had received no news is better than would be the tempting direct from the prisoners later than the 28th of of Providence by sending out agents who September. It was said that King Theodore had would probably share the fate of the capcome to Godjan, and M. Munzengen thought the tives already in the Emperor's power. news was authentic. When the King had come 80 much nearer to Metemneh, Mr. Rassam could

LORD CIIELMSFORD, in esplanation, not delay to enter into communication with him, disclaimed having said anything in hostility and M. Muuzengen felt sure that decisive news to Mr. Rassam, but quoted the opinion of would very shortly be received. It was given out that the King was taking the prisoners with bim, Sir William Coghlan, to the effect that but that required confirmation. Rassam will have Mr. Rassam's endeavours had failed; that told you all about his own progress in his letter there was nothing for it but to make anto you. M. Munzengen reports that Rassam left other effort from England ; that the long Kasala on the 9th of November, and was ex- delays which had taken place had added pected to reach Metemneh by the 20th. Long ere this I hope he has had an interview with the King to the difficulty incident to this matter, but and effected the release of the captives. Dr. that that difficulty must be encountered. Beke arrived here on the 10th, and, as the Victoria was proceeding to Massowah on the 11th, I THE CATTLE PLAGUE-DEPUTATION gave him and an Abyssinian priest he had with

FROM THE CONFERENCE AT ST. him a passage in her. Some of his stores had not arrived here yet, and he cannot go up country

JAMES' HALL.- QUESTION. without them, he told me; so I hope before they reach him we shall hear of Rassam's complete

LORD BATEMAN rose to put the Quessuccess, so as to render any further attempts of tion to the noble Earl at the head of the Dr. Beke's unnecessary.”

Government of which he had given notice, The next is from Mr. Rassam himself. but said that he desired to preface it by Mr. Rassam, writing from Kasala on the

a few observations on the subject to which 8th of November, says

it referred. A very large and influential “ The head cameleer, who has been ordered to turists from every part of the kingdom,

meeting, composed of eminent agriculget camels for me by the Governor, hopes that we shall start this afternoon, or at the latest early with a deputation from forty-four or fortyto-morrow morning; if so, I hope to be at Me- five counties in England and Scotland, temneh on or about the 20th instant, five days later had been held on the previous day in St. than I calculated upon when I left Massowah, as James' Hall, in order to confer together I did not expect to have had so much difficulty in on the subject of the cattle plague, and obtaining camels. letter about Christmas time, when I hope to be to determine what representations they enjoying myself with His Majesty of Ethiopia. should make in regard to it to the Govern[This letter was received on the 7th of February.] ment. Certain resolutions of the strongest I trust that I shall yet succeed in accomplishing nature were passed at that conference. doubt of that end through the good wishes of my Although all parties and shades of opinion, friends."

as well as all classes interested in the cattle The Earl of Clarendon

trade, were represented at that meeting, State for the Home Department to the and although there might have been some Deputation from the Cattle Plague Conslight difference of view manifested on ference held at St. James' Hall ? certain minor points of detail, yet he EARL RUSSELL: In reply to the Questhought he was justified in saying that tion of the noble Lord, I have to say that there could not possibly have been greater my right hon. Friend (Sir George Grey) has unanimity displayed than was exhibited at not given any formal answer to the deputhat conference. It was arranged that a tation this morning. He received them, deputation should wait upon the right hon. but he did not state what was the intention Gentleman the Home Secretary on that of the Government. The better and cermorning; and the object of his present tainly the more regular and convenient Question was to ascertain from the noble course to pursue when a measure is about Earl the nature of the reply given by Sir to be proposed to Parliament is to allow George Grey to the members of that de. the Minister who is charged with the inputation. He wished to impress on the troduction of that measure to explain its noble Earl that that deputation was not provisions, and state the views of the Gothe first by a great number which had al. vernment on the subject to which it refers. ready attended at the Home Office. The It is, no doubt, important that there should county with which he was connected-one be no unnecessary delay ; but it was only of the largest cattle-breeding counties in last Tuesday that Her Majesty delivered the country (Herefordshire) - had made re- Her Speech from the Throne, and the inpresentations of the same kind to the Home terval between that day and Monday is, I Secretary without the slightest result. He think, not unreasonable. The noble Lord therefore now desired, if possible, to ex- says, and I agree with him, that the tract from the Goveroment sone indication measure of the Government ought to be of what their policy with reference to that discussed with an absence of party spirit, fearful scourge was likely to be. There and I trust it will be discussed in such a had already been far too much delay, and way that the Legislature may come to the great interests involved could not con- right decision. In France and Belgium tinue to wait while the Government were measures have been adopted by the Gohearing this person and that person, and vernments of those countries which have making a party question of that subject. been in a great degree successful. I hope It was not a party but a national ques that the proposals made by Her Majesty's tion. Those with whom he acted did not Government will be equally wise, and in wish to make it a party question, but to the meantime I trust that the delay from press their views with respect to it upon this day to Monday will not be productive the attention of the Government, and to of inconvenience to the interests conelicit some answer to the representations cerned. daily being made to them from all parts of THE EARL OF DERBY : There is one the kingdom. If he was not misinformed, very good reason, as it seems to me, why the Royal Agricultural Society of England this question should not be considered a applied a few days ago to be received as party question, and that is, because the a deputation, and the Government told feeling seems to be unanimousmeven the them that they must put it off till Monday general supporters of the Government connext. Now, they had had too much put- cur in deprecating the course which the ting off ; and that was the very thing they Government have pursued. I cannot help complained of. There was, certainly, the adverting to what seems to be an inconpromise that a Bill should be introduced sistency in the course taken by the noble into the other House. It might not be in Earl at the head of the Government. strict accordance with the usages of Par- During the whole of the autumn and liament that some idea of the nature of a winter the various Orders in Council have measure about to be brought into the other been justified by saying that it was neces. House should now be given to their Lord- sary to ascertain the views of the country, ships; but on a vital question of such ex- and that the Government had to feel their treme urgency as that, he really thought way in order to know how far they might the Government might, without impropriety, go-80 that if they found the feelings to afford some intimation of their probable be strong and general they might adopt policy. The noble Lord concluded by ask- more stringent measures. Now, if there is ing the noble Earl the First Lord of the anybody able to speak with authority on Treasury for the Answer of the Secretary of this question and represent the opinion of the country, it is the Royal Agricultural their minds to see this terrible plague Society of England. If, however, I un-ravage the country during the whole of the derstand aright, they requested the honour summer. During the discussion in the of an interview with the noble Earl at the other House of Parliament, frequent rehead of the Government in order to lay marks had been made upon the Report of before him the unanimous opinion of the the Royal Commission. He thought it his Society. I should have thought that the duty to make a few observations upon noble Earl would have been glad to receive those remarks, and he only regretted such a body ; but the voble Earl, I am in that their Lordships had not the advanformed, has told them that although he tage of hearing some member of the will be very glad to hear what they have commission better able to explain their to say, he cannot receive them until two views. It had been asserted that the o'clock on Monday—that is, two or three Government were justified in not takhours before the measure of the Govern- ing more stringent measures by the very ment, which will then be cut and dried, is great division of opinion that existed submitted to the House of Commons. If | among the members of the Commisthe noble Earl was really desirous to ob- sion. It was true that as many as four tain the opinion of the Royal Agricultural reports were appended to the ReSociety, it appears to me he ought to ob-port of the Commission ; but if these retain it before Monday, so that if desirable ports were examined it would be found that the Government might act upon their re- there were not such great and important presentations. Seeing them on the very differences as were alleged to exist. It day the Government measure is to be was true that Mr. M'Clean, an eminent brought in does not, I confess, seem to engineer and a member of the Commission, me a very advantageous mode of profiting differed from his colleagues in not attaching by the advice of the Royal Agricultural so much importance to the cattle plague as Society.

they did. With regard to the other eleven EARL RUSSELL: With regard to the Commissioners, they agreed as to the first observation of the noble Earl, I am identity of the disease with the rinderpest, informed that a very distinguished mem- which was 80 well known in Germany, ber of the Royal Agricultural Society, the Prussia, and Russia, and known not only hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, has ex- to history, but by sad and constant experipressed an opinion that Her Majesty's Go-ence every year.

All the medical men and vernment have done all that they ought to veterinary surgeons abroad had studied the have done. No doubt others are of disease, and the only thing they were agreed opinion, on the contrary, that the Govern- in recommending was the adoption of the ment ought to have taken more vigorous most repressive and stringent measures.

I have this very day presented As to the cure of the disease, when it once a petition from an association in that county broke out they gave it up. The Commis.

- Aberdeen—which has shown so much sioners were, therefore, of opinion that vigour and energy in taking measures strong and stringent measures must at once against the cattle plague, suggesting that be adopted in this country to stop the dithe measures adopted in that county are They did not wish to leave the worthy of consideration. If the Royal adoption of these measures in the hands of Agricultural Society had come to me a the local authorities, believing that the fortnight ago I might have appointed an Government were better able to carry earlier day to receive them, but when they them out and to instruct the country in applied to me I was unable to see them regard to what was necessary to be done. before Monday next.

On this point they were all agreed ; and EARL SPENCER said, he would en- they were also unanimous in thinking that deavour not to weary their Lordships, but the only measure likely to be really effihe hoped to be allowed to make a few ob cacious was in putting a total stoppage servations upon the subject introduced by to the movement of all the stock in Great the noble Lord (Lord Bateman). He was Britain. Then came the difference beof opinion that we had come to a great crisis tween the Commissioners to which he had in the matter of the cattle plague. In a adverted. The minority of the Commis. very short time the grass would begin to sion—and he was one of that minority grow, and it was necessary to act with shrank from advising the Government great vigour during the short interval that to adopt a

80 novel and so remained, unless their Lordships made up gigantic in its proportions as the majority

The Earl of Derby




thought the Commissioners ought to recom- he was bound to confess that a measure mend. The minority were of opinion that restricting the locomotion of cattle could they were called upon to recommend some not now be recommended with the same practical measure which the Government confidence as a cure for the cattle plague could put into execution. The arguments as it could have been six months ago. He that weighed with them were that to stop especially doubted very much whether the the trade in cattle was impossible, that total stoppage of cattle traffic would put there were many parts of the country in an end to the disease in Cheshire, because which the disease had not appeared, and he believed the air of the district was so that the country at that time was not thoroughly impregnated with it as to be aware of the importance of the subject. past cure, until the infection actually died The minority considered that the course out of itself ; he felt, therefore, that this and custom of so important a trade could measure alone would not be sufficient. He not be revolutionized by a stroke of the would, therefore, ask the Government seripen under such circumstances. They, ously to consider the proposals of so large therefore, recommended measures which and influential a meeting as that held yesbe admitted were not so efficacious, but terday. He thought it would be necessary which they thought were more useful be- to go as far as to cleanse all the places cause they would be carried out. It was where any diseased animals had been. He thus only as to the degree of stringency agreed with Dr. Lyon Playfair who had that the Commissioners differed. This was stated that if the recommendations of the in the month of October. He must say Commission were to be carried out with he still entertained the opinion that the the intention of doing good, it would be minority of the Commissioners were right absolutely necessary for Government to in the view they took and the recommen- give the strictest instructions to disinfect dations they made at that time. But

every shed where diseased cattle had been. matters had now changed. On the 4th of In referring to Dr. Lyon Playfair, he must November the total number of cattle that allude to what had fallen from the noble bad died of the plague was not more than Duke (the Duke of Argyll) on a previous 10,000, while the number of deaths was occasion, with reference to a letter which now 11,000 a week, and the deaths al. Dr. Playfair had written to Lord Grenville together amounted to 120,000. The on this subject; and which the noble Duke country was now thoroughly alarmed. stated had influenced the Government in Another circumstance favourable to the not acting on the Report of the Commisre-consideration of the subject was, that a sioners. He felt certain that Dr. Playfair change was taking place in the meat had written that letter not to deter the Gotrade. There had been of late an en- vernment from adopting the Report, but, ormous increase in the dead meat of the on the contrary, to incite them to greater country, and the result was that, if it were exertion. But time was wanted to do this, indispensable to stop the movement of and the proposed suspension of all cattle stock in the country, the trade would be traffic would give time for the cleansing able to accommodate itself to the change, not only of the market places and sheds, while in October they would have been but also of the railway trucks, so that in unable to do so. Another point was de. the spring there would be no fear of serving of consideration. In two months' animals catching the infection by being time the grass would be growing, and the placed in infected places. He had had farmers would be obliged to purchase their considerable difficulty in bringing himstock and replenish their herds. After that self to see the necessity of such stringent had been done the adoption of restrictive measures ; but when he saw an influential measures would be almost impossible. Was meeting such as that of yesterday, repreit, therefore, too much to ask the large senting all the counties in England, agreetowns to put themselves to some slight in. ing upon the question, he was willing to convenience for only six weeks ? He con waive his own opinion, and consent with ceived that a vast difference existed between the rest to the course proposed. And even that proposition and what was contemplated if the stoppage of cattle traffic and other in October last, when the large towns would measures for the period suggested failed to have had to submit to stringent measures accomplish the one great object all had in for six months without having any very view, still the advantages which would reclear idea as to what the result would be sult from the arrangement would be very upon the supply and price of meat. Still, great. The disease would certainly be

« AnteriorContinuar »