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pointed by Her Majesty's Government. It is impossible to relieve them from that lia- FENIANISM IN THE ARMY.-QUESTION. bility so long as the officers are appointed
COLONEL NORTH said, he rose to ask by the local authorities. At the same the Judge Advocate General, Why Drumtime, that is a strong additional reason for Major Farrell, 1st Battalion 2nd Queen's the alteration of the law. But I was care- Regiment, and Sergeant Butler, 99th Reful, on the part of the Government, to state giment, have not been brought to trial, to the House that the alteration of a law of either before a military or civil tribunal, for this kind, in order to be satisfactory, must the alleged offence of drilling parties of be effected with very general concurrence. Fenians ? It might, he said, be in thereI hoped that the Bill which was introduced collection of many hon. Members that at in 1864 would have met with very general the very outbreak of the Fenian movement concurrence, inasmuch as it passed through these non-commissioned officers were arthe early stages without the appearance of rested and charged with having drilled any serious opposition. A difficulty, how- Fenian recruits. To show the magnitude ever, arose with regard to metropolitan of such an offence on the part of a soldier, collections. There was at that time a he would read to the House a portion of great reluctance on the part of the metro- the oath of allegiance which these men politan districts to be included in the pro
took upon entering the armyvisions of the Bill, and we who were
“1-do make oath that I will be faithful responsible for it found out that there were and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, her many reasons which rendered the Bill heirs, and successors, and that I will, as in duty greatly desirable, if not urgently necessary jesty, her heirs, and successors, in person, crown,
bound, bonestly and faithfully defend Her Mathroughout the country which did not apply and dignity, against all enemies, and will observe to the metropolis. In Committee, there- and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs, fore, we propose to exempt the metropolis and successors, and of the generals and officers from the operation of the Bill. If we had set over me. So help me God.” not done that we should have had great Now, what greater enemy could Her Maopposition in the metropolis, but then the jesty have than a rebel in her own army? omission we had made raised up other He would also read to the House an exopponents, who said they would oppose the tract from the 15th clause of the Mutiny Billif the metropolis were not included. The Act-force of their arguments I failed to perceive, though I was very sensible of the
“If any person subject to this Act shall, at
any time during the continuance of this Act, hold force of their votes. Others at a later correspondence with or give advice or intellistage objected on broader grounds, saying gence to any rebel or enemy of Her Majesty, that it was a measure of centralization, either by letters, messages, signs, or tokens in that it would unduly augment the power of any manner or way whatsoever, or shall treat or
enter into any terms with such rebels or enemy the Government, and that they were op- without Her Majesty's licence or licence of the posed to it on that account. The result general or chief commander, shall suffer death or was that the Bill was rejected by a majority such other punishment as by a court-martial shall of four votes, though it would hardly have be awarded.” been more satisfactory had it passed by a If the outrageous rebels to whom he had majority equally narrow. Now, what I referred did not come within this or some really wish is that Gentlemen would, if they other clause of the Mutiny Act, he hoped can find time, examine this subject; because, his right hon. Friend would insert some though not in the least degree likely to be clause in it which would embrace crimes of come one of political or party importance, such a description. On being shown the it is one which greatly affects a number of documents which contained conclusive evilocal communities as well as individuals. Idence of their guilt, they acknowledged the think there will be a general desire to offence with which they were charged. It change the present system. With regard was expected every day that an example to the intentions of the Government, all I would be made of these two men, yet day can say is that indications of such a state of after day passed without any sign of a feeling would lead the Government to in- court-martial being ordered. Knowing the troduce a measure founded on the same determined character of the gallant officer principle as the last, and that it would be at the head of the army in Ireland he could a matter of satisfaction to them if, at an not understand why such a step had not early period, such an indication should be been taken. This being perhaps the most made.
heinous offence a soldier could commit it
was then supposed that the case was left COLONEL NORTH said, he was not in the hands of the Commander-in-Chief of satisfied, and he was sure the army would the army and not in that of the Commander not be, at this delay. of the Forces in Ireland, and every one was perfectly assured that the honour of the THE CATTLE PLAGUE COMMISSION, army would be safe in the hands of his
QUESTION. Royal Highness. Week after week, how
MR. NEWDEGATE asked, When the ever, passed until it was supposed that the delinquents were to be tried by a civil in second Report of the Cattle Plague Comstead of a military tribunal. At last the mission would be in the hands of Members ? special Commission was issued for the trial It was very desirable that hon. Gentlemen of the Fenians, and many wretched men
should have an opportunity of reading it behad been tried and were undergoing pun
fore the discussion on the subject which was ishment for having attended the drills while appointed to take place on Monday next.
SIR GEORGE GREY said, that a copy those who drilled them remained to the
of that Report had been laid before Her present moment untried and unpunished. The army was at a loss to understand why Majesty, having been received by him only these men had been kept under arrest for the day before yesterday. He had renearly five months, during which time no Commission, stating that the Appendix,
ceived a letter from the secretary to the proceedings had been taken against them, and he could assure the right hon. Gentle containing the opinions referred to in the man that no class in the army felt more on
Report, was not yet ready, but that it this subject than that honourable class, would be in a very few days. He had reto which these men belonged, the non- quested the secretary to send the Appendis commissioned officers. He hoped his right perhaps it might be convenient to place the
without delay ; but if that were not done, hon. Friend would give the House some information in reference to this matter.
Report itself in the hands of Members MR. HEADLAM said, that the men without waiting for the Appendix. alluded to would be put upon their trial by Friend aware that the first Řeport of the
MR. WALPOLE: Is my right hon. court-martial in the course of a very few days. One man, indeed, was put upon his Commission is not yet in the hands of
Members ? trial yesterday, and another was to be tried to-day. It might be true that a longer delay first Report on the first day of the Session,
Sir GEORGE GREY: I presented the had taken place than would have been right under ordinary circumstances; but, at but I am not responsible for its circulation.
Viscount CRANBOURNE: May I ask the same time, the circumstances surrounding the Fenian conspiracy were quite ex
the right hon. Gentleman who is responsible
for its circulation ? ceptional. The delay had arisen in conse. quence of the authorities in Ireland having
Sir GEORGE GREY: That question considered it desirable that the trials should should be addressed to the right hon. Genbe postponed. Some time ago he had tleman in the Chair. Of course, I do not written a letter to Ireland to state that he mean that the right hon. Gentleman is thought it desirable that the trials should personally responsible for its circulation, take place as soon as possible, and the but some officer of the House under the following was the reply he received :
right hon. Gentleman's direction must be I have the honour to state that the delay arises Motion agreed to :-House at rising to from the circumstance that the witnesses whose adjourn till Monday next. evidence is material to prove the existence of the Fenian conspiracy, including a man named Warner, and a number of other witnesses, are at
QUEEN'S SPEECH. present in attendance before the civilian commis
REPORT OF ADDRESS. sion sitting in Dublin, and therefore cannot take part in the proceedings before the court-martial.” Report of Address brought up and read. He hoped that his hon. and gallant Friend
On Motion, to agree to the Addresswould be satisfied with this statement, and SIR JOHN PAKINGTON: Sir, I readily that he would say nothing which would assented to the suggestion made to me last fetter the action of the authorities. night by the right hon. Gentleman the Chan
COLONEL NORTH: What is the date of cellor of the Exchequer, because I felt the the letter?
force of the appeal which he made to me MR. HEADLAM: The 31st of January. with regard to the possible postponement
of that interesting question of the cattle greateat pleasure, those of the Mover and plague on Monday night. Most sorry, in- Seconder of the Address, and which were so deed, should I be if any course taken by me full of talent and of promise. Both of those should have the effect of postponing for one speakers adverted to the Jamaica question, single hour the action of the House with as it was, of course, indispensable to the regard to that most terrible affair. On the position they occupied that they should; but contrary, Sir, I do entertain a most earnest I think that I should not do justice to the hope that the Government are at last about noble Lord and to the hon. Gentleman if I to grapple with this calamity; the present were not to admit in the broadest manmagnitude of which I am sorry to say I, for ner that the tone and temper in which they one, am disposed to attribute to their neglect referred to the unfortunate occurrences in and to their selfish fear of assuming that Jamaica showed a degree of forbearance, responsibility which, in my opinion, it was and moderation, and justice that left nothe bounden duty of Her Majesty's Govern- thing to be wished for. [** Hear, hear !") ment, as the Government of this country, to I hear that observation cheered on the other incur. I look forward, therefore, to the side of the House, and I, for one, say that I measure of Monday night in the earnest heard the observations of the Mover and hope that the Bill will include those pro- Seconder of the Address with sincere grativisions on which I may say now there is fication and pleasure ; and in po part of really very little difference of opinion exist their speeches did I more entirely concur ing. If that Bill should not appear to than in the portions in which they stated satisfy the just and reasonable expectations their opinion that it would be now premature of the country upon this most important and improper for any Member to rise in the subject, I hope that, independently of party course of the debate and enter into anyconsideratione, general support will be given thing like a discussion of the Jamaica to the Bill that has been announced by my question, or the conduct of the officers conhon. Friend the Member for North North- cerned in it. I subscribe entirely to that amptonshire (Mr. Hunt). As the debate opinion, and it is with that feeling that upon the Address concluded last night, I I am bound to say that I think that it hope that I shall not be considered as would now be premature and improper unduly occupying the attention of the House to enter into any discussion of the merits if, for a few minutes, I advert to one or two of the Jamaica question or of the conduct subjects of great importance in the gracious of the officers or others connected with it. Speech of Her Majesty that have not been This being so, I do think that this is emitouched upon at all. Let me say that I nently the moment when it behoves indemake no complaint of the debate that has pendent Members of the House to give occupied the House for two nights upon the expression to the regret-I had almost Address. The course of that debate has said indignation—with which we have obbeen unusual, but I think I may say it has served that this reserve has not been pracbeen highly beneficial. Two subjects of tised out of doors during the recess. That extreme importance have been debated upon by a portion of the public press, at various these two nights, one of those nights being public meetings, and I am sorry to say by given to each subject, and I think that I some Members—some eminent Members of may add that those subjects have been dis- this House, the conduct of the officers in cussed with a degree of ability and of practi- Jamaica has been discussed, prejudged, and cal talent that has been highly creditable to condemned. This has been done by men who the first debate of this newly assembled had not the means of judging in their possesHouse of Commons. But there are one or sion, who had not before them the evidence two subjects in Her Majesty's Speech, the upon which alone a sound and candid judgimportance of which is so great that I think ment could be formed, and in reference to it would be hardly right, and, indeed, hardly whom, therefore, it was impossible for the respectful, if we should pass them over Government and the public not to have felt without some further comment before these deep regret when they heard the opinions debates are brought to a close. One of those which have been expressed. I see the subjects are the unhappy occurrences which hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) we all unite in deploring—the unfortunate opposite, and I say frankly, that I think occurrences in Jamaica. The occurrences that none of the expressions of those who in Jamaica have been in the debate entirely commented upon these transactions during unnoticed except in the two speeches to the recess are open to so much censurewhich I am sure we all listened with the which I, for one, read with so much regret
—there are none as those used by the hon. reputation. He is known to many friends Member for Birmingham. I hold in my and acquaintances of mine, and I never hand an extract from a speech of the hon. heard any report of him but one-namely, Member, made last month in the town of that he is a highly honourable public ser. Rochdale, and in it I find this sentence. vant, and that if there be one quality for Speaking of the trial and execution of Mr. which he has been distinguished more than Gordon, the hon. Gentleman used this lan- another, it is for the humanity and kindness guage
and good feeling with wbich he has treated “I say from the beginning to the end it is a
and considered the welfare of the native mass of illegality, and I believe there is not a Judge races in various colonies. I say that such a who sits upon the bench in the United Kingdom, man is not one who ought to be branded with who, speaking in his private capacity, would doubt the crime of murder, unless upon the very for one single moment that Mr. Gordon was mur- clearest evidence and most ample demondered.”
stration. The hon. Gentleman the MemThis might, perhaps, have been said in the ber for Glasgow (Mr. Graham), in secondwarmth of public discussion. [Mr. Bright: ing the Address, said that justice must be Not at all.] But I am sorry to say that done ; and I entirely concur with him, and I hold in my hand distinct proof that it so will every dispassionate man upon both was not, for on another occasion he used sides of the House. But, on the other language to the same effect. At a meet- hand, let us all remember and I can ing at Bradford, the hon. Member said —
hardly believe that there is a man sitting “I take my opinion only from documents fur listening to me in this House who will fail nished here by those whose interest it is to put to remember that if Governor Eyre did the most favourable interpretation on their con- err, if he was led into any conduct of which duct, and I say that murder is foul, and that there
we sitting calmly and safely in England is no murder more foul than that done by men in authority under the pretence of law; 'I say if may feel ourselves compelled to disapprove, murder has not yet changed its name, and be yet a
he acted in a most grave and trying emercrime visited with punishment in this country, then gency and from a zealous desire to do his I hope that the Governor of Jamaica and his ac- duty to his Queen, his country, and the complices will have to stand at the bar of justice colony committed to his charge. for the murder of Mr. Gordon."
led into an error, if error it be, upon rea. [Mr. BRIGHT : Hear, hear!] The hon. sons which whether they are well founded Gentleman cheers, but I am glad to find we do not yet know; and let us be cautious that he is not supported in that cheer. I how we form a premature opinion. He feel with deep regret that a Member of acted in the full persuasion and belief that this House, a man of the just eminence of the lives of the handful of Europeans who the hon. Member for Birmingham, should inhabited that island were not safe from have allowed himself, by party or other attack by the 400,000 of half-civilized and considerations, to be led into the use of infuriated negroes. I say, under these language that is, in my opinion, absolutely circumstances, it is cruel and unjustifiable unjustifiable. The use of such language for any man of eminence in the country, by any man, before the evidence arrived in before large bodies of his countrymen, to this country, and before anybody could endeavour to excite them and lead them know the facts of which he was judging, away from a calm decision upon this questhe general, the universal opinion, I say, tion by charging Governor Eyre with a of dispassionate men must be that the use crime such as that which the hon. Member of such language was not only indecorous, for Birmingham has laid to his charge. I but grossly unjust. Who and what is the hope that the House will agree with me man whom the hon. Member brands with that these discussions should not close with. murder? The hon. Gentleman says mur- out some voice being raised to protest der is foul. So also are false accusations. against this premature decision, and to Who is the man thus branded with the assure Governor Eyre, that there is at least horrible crime of murder? I have not the a portion of the Members of the House, honour of a personal acquaintance with and I hope that I may say that that porGovernor Eyre. I think he was not in the tion includes in it Her Majesty's Ministers, public service when I, for a short time, held who will not shrink from censuring any the seals of the Colonial Office. At all part of his conduct if it should be necesevents, I have no personal acquaintance sary, but who will do him justice, and who with him. I speak of him wholly without do not sympathize in premature and harsh any personal bias. But he is known by allegations that ought never to have been
Sir John Pakington
With regard, Sir, to the conduct for Birmingham (Mr. Bright), and the hon. of Her Majesty's Government in having Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster). issued a Commission of Inquiry into the The hon. Member for Birmingham, in admassacres in Jamaica, I feel bound to say dressing various meetings on this subject that I am not disposed to censure or find of Reform, intimated very plainly, with fault with them in that respect. I do think great openness--and I think with great that they were somewhat premature in justice too—what he thought the minimum issuing that Commission, and that they degree of the alteration of the franchise would have done better, would have acted which could possibly be proposed by Her with more fairness and prudence, bad Majesty's Government. The hon. Member they waited for further explanations from for Bradford also delivered a speech to his Governor Eyre, and for the real facts that constituents on the same subject. He occurred during these unhappy transac- held very strong and decided language. tions._I owo I am not free from the fear The hon. Member for Bradford said I am that Her Majesty's Ministers may have quoting from memory, but I believe corbeen unduly influenced by that scandalous rectly—that he thought it absolutely inscene that is said to have occurred in the dispensable for Her Majesty's Government Colonial Office between the Secretary for at the earliest possible moment after the the Colonies and a deputation from the meeting of Parliament to come forward Anti-Slavery Society. But be this as it with a comprehensive and satisfactory meamay, I think that sooner or later the Go- sure of Reform. The hon. Gentleman then vernment must have been bound to issue a proceeded to advise his friends and constiCommission to inquire into these unhappy tuents on the course they ought to take matters. I am very glad, further, to bear under such circumstances. He told those my testimony to the fact that I think that who were in favour of the Reform Bill not the Government having decided to issue a to prepare a Bill themselves but to go to Commission I doubt whether it was possi- the Government, and tell them that they ble to exercise a better discretion in the had pledged themselves as men never were selection of the persons who are to carry pledged before-as men of honour—to leon that inquiry- I say I feel perfect con- gislation on this subject; and, being so, fidence in the gentlemen selected, and I, for they (the constituents) would not insult one, shall yield the utmost possible atten- them by supposing that they would bring tion to their decision. I do not wish to forward anything but a comprehensive and detain the House, but having adverted to satisfactory measure.
Weil, Sir, in the one paragraph of the Speech from the very same paper in which this speech was Throne that I think it was really right reported, I saw also announced the hon. should be noticed by discussion, I will take Member's appointment to the office of leave to trespass upon the House for a few Under Secretary to the Colonial Departmoments with reference to another subject ment. In what light, then, are we to of importance, Parliamentary Reform. I regard the hon. Gentleman now? Are we think I may add that, under all the circum- to regard him as the ultra-reforming Memstances in which that question stands, we ber of Parliament, or as the meek and have a right to expect from Her Majesty's submissive Member of Her Majesty's GoMinisters some declaration upon the sub-vernment with his teeth drawn ? I beg ject. I am not sure whether I may not to say with all sincerity that I do not intend say that the right is strengthened by what to imply any disrespect to the hon. Mempassed this evening. We should hear some. ber for Bradford. During his occupancy thing, at least, in reference to this most im- of his seat in this House, tbe hon. Member portant subject. During the recess-espe- for Bradford, I am bound to say, has shown cially since the death of Lord Palmerston much ability and great familiarity with the
- this question of Parliamentary Reform many subjects on which he has spoken. has occupied rather an unusual degree of The hon. Gentleman has also taken a public attention. It has been made the sub- manly and decided course of action, and I ject of discussion at several public meetings, do not believe that the hon. Member has and of speeches from several hon. Mem- entered into any intentional compromise bers of this House of more or less political upon thuse questions in respect to which he eminence. Some of the most remarkable has expressed strong and decided opinions. of the speeches delivered on this subject of Well, I am not quite sure whether the Parliamentary Reform were those which pro-bon. Member for Birmingham has not also ceeded from the mouths of the hon. Member joined Her Majesty's Government. If he