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nesses made no objection to the adoption | Panizzi, he thought that in the present of such a measure as that suggested by the dearth of honours and emoluments for noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Belmore) ; literary men in this country such an office but, on the contrary, they expressed them- ought to have been conferred by Her Ma. selves ready to welcome it. They had also jesty's Government on some gentleman not had before them the solicitor to the Bank of of foreign extraction. He still adhered to England, which establishment is supposed that opinion, although he believed that the to be a large investor in those securities, administration of that gentleman had been and he had expressed a similar opinion. The one of considerable efficiency. He was also Committee themselves were all but unani- aware that a great deal of heart-burning mous in favour of the proposal, the only and discontent had prevailed among the dissentient being the noble Earl the Pre- officers of the establishment during the sident of the Council. He hoped that the period of his administration, and that his attention of the President of the Board of resignation was not regretted by those genTrade would be directed in a more serious tlemen. The question of appointing his and earnest manner to the matter, and successor could not be much longer delayed, that he would be prepared to grapple and he hoped that among the officers of with its difficulties before the conclusion of the establishment some gentleman would the present Session. He was certainly be found for the office in whom the country sorry that a more satisfactory answer had would place confidence. He believed that not been returned by the noble Earl. the delay in filling up the vacancy had been

THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE said, caused by some distrust in the present he wished to express his belief that a mea- administration and constitution of the Bri. sure of the kind suggested by the noble tish Museum. The question had not only Earl (the Earl of Belmore) would not be been frequently discussed in the other injurious to any company that conducted House, but scarcely any question had been its business upon legitimate principles. discussed with so much unfairness and in

justice to individuals. In 1847, a Com. THE BRITISH MUSEUM.-QUESTION.

mission, on which he himself had the honour LORD HOUGHTON rose to ask Her of being appointed, went into the subject Majesty's Government, Whether they in- at great length, but he could only regret tend to introduce any measure respecting that their labours had been futile, and that the administration of the British Museum no action had been taken by the Governand the disposition of its contents ? He ment upon their recommendations. That was induced to put the Question in conse Commission proposed that a Chairman, a quence of two events which had lately oc- person of distinction—should be appointed curred. One of these was the resignation by the Crown, four members should be of the Principal Librarian of the British elected by the Trustees from among themMuseum, who was really at the head of the selves, and two members should be paid by whole of that establishment, and was the the Government, one of them being a man life and soul of its administration. That of high literary, and the other of high resignation, he believed, had taken place scientific attainments. He should add, several months ago, and yet the vacancy however, that he believed those suggestions had not been filled up. The other con- would at present require considerable mosideration by which he was influenced was dification in consequence of the great addithe existence of a rumour that certain pro- tions which had of late years been made to posals had been made by the Government the establishment. He thought that a fair to the Trustees of the Museum for a change trial had been given to the present constiin their constitution, but which had not tution of the British Museum ; he also been accepted. With regard to the first believed that there could not be a body of these points, he should say that the of men more honourable or more desirous resignation of Mr. Panizzi inust of itself of doing good service to the literature and lead to considerable changes in the consti. science of the country than the present tution of the British Museum. When that Trustees ; and if the constitution of the gentleman was appointed to his office, Museum was still unpopular, it was only several years ago, he (Lord Houghton) natural to suppose that the time had come called attention to that appointment in the for effecting in it some alteration. The other House, and he did so because, not- noble Lord concluded by asking Her Mawithstanding the respect which he enter-jesty's Government, Whether they intend tained for the character and abilities of Mr. to introduce any Measure respecting the

Lord Overstone

Administration of the British Museum and EARL STANHOPE said, he also desired the Disposition of its Contents ?

to bear his testimony to the great merits EARL RUSSELL could only say, in and services of Mr. Panizzi. He thought answer to the noble Lord, that he had a it was impossible for any man to have apshort time since made certain suggestions plied himself to the duties of his office with to the Trustees of the British Museum, more zeal, more ability, and more unrewhich he thought would conduce to the mitting attention than that gentleman had better conduct of the establishment; but done. He should add that he could not the Trustees themselves did not think it but think that in the selection of such an desirable that those proposals should be officer all that the Government had to do adopted, and they had declined to carry was to look out for the most competent them into effect. No regular official com- person, and that the fact of a man being munication had passed upon the subject, a foreigner ought to be no reason for not and he would rather not enter further into accepting his services. the details of the question. As matters LORD HOUGHTON said, he did not at present stood it was not the intention of call in question the merits of Mr. Panizzi, the Government to introduce any measure but he still thought that the appointment of the kind to which his noble Friend had ought not to have been given to a foreigner. referred. With regard to the appointment It had been said by a celebrated Frenchof Mr. Panizzi, to which the noble Lord man that a Government that attempted to had referred, he believed that it was a wise appoint a foreigner to the management appointment. He was a man of great abi of the Bibliothèque Impérial at Paris could lity and acquirements, and had conducted not stand for a day. the affairs of the Museum, as far as they EARL STANHOPE inquired whether belonged to his department, under the di- the noble Lord wished them to suppose rection of the Trustees, very much to his that the management of the Bibliothèque own credit and to the advantage of the Impérial was a perfect model of liberal public. He had been obliged to tender his administration ? resignation in consequence of the state of

House adjourned at a quarter before his health ; that resignation had been ac

Six o'clock, till To-morrow, cepted, and he (Earl Russell) believed that

half past Ten o'clock. very little delay would now elapse in the appointment of his successor.

LORD TAUNTON said, he scarcely thought it consistent with the famed hospi- HOUSE OF COMMONS. tality of this country to object to a gentle. man of ability on the ground that he was

Monday, February 12, 1866. a foreigner. Although a Trustee of the British Museum, he was by no means wed- MINUTES.]--SELECT COMMITTEE-On Standing ded to its present system of management.

Orders noininated (List of Committee); Com. Having regard to the enormous magnitude

mittee of Selection nominated (List of Com

mittee); On Public Petitions appointed (List of the collections and the difficulty of ar- of Committee). ranging them, and the likelihood of that Public Bills-Resolutions in Committee Cattle difficulty being increased by the scientific Diseases ; Cattle Plague.

Cattle Diseases ; Cattle Plague * ; researches in contemplation, it might be ordered

Pensions ; Labouring Classes' Dwellings; Pubcome necessary to consider whether the

lic Offices Site. affairs of the British Museum might not First ReadingCattle Diseases (6]: Pensions be managed more efficiently than they were [8]; Labouring Classes' Dwellings [9]; Cattle at present, and he had no doubt that some Plague * [7]; Public Offices (Site) [10]. important alterations might be advantage

STANDING ORDERS. ously introduced. He might add that it was not the fault of the Trustees that Select Committee on Standing Orders nomi. sufficient space was not provided for their | CARTER, Mr. Dunlop, Mr. Edward Egerton, Mr.

nated :-Colonel Wilson Patten, Mr. Bonuanvarious collections, and that the difficulty Gregory, Mr. Henley, Mr. Ilankey, Lord Hoin that case arose from the fact that the THAM, Mr. LEFROY, and Mr. WALPOLE. House of Commons refused to grant the necessary supplies for the purpose. Any COMMITTEE OF SELECTION. changes to be made must be dealt with in COLONEL WILSON PATTEN moved a large spirit and must embrace the whole that the Committee of Selection consist administration of the Museum.

of the following Members :—Mr. Bonham

He must say,

Carter, Mr. Dunlop, Mr. Gregory, Lord / replies to those circulars at the earliest
Hotham, Mr. Mowbray, and the Chairman possible time.
of the Select Committee on Standing MR. WALPOLE said, he could not but

think that the suggestion of the hon. and MR. SCOURFIELD said, it was gene- gallant Gentleman was well worthy of conrally admitted that the present power was sideration, regard being had to the state insufficient to cope with the private busi- of the private business. ness of the House. There were two modes however, that increasing the numbers of by either of which the difficulty might be the Referees would be virtually doing that met. One was, strengthening the ma which, though it had been more than once chinery; the other, lessening the amount recommended, the House had not sancof the work. He was of opinion that the tioned—namely, taking the Private Bills private business had increased in conse- out of the hands of the House. If this quence of the Rules of the House not having should be done, and those Bills handed been strictly observed. If hon. Members over to other tribunals, he thought there examined the Bills now being promoted, ought to be a more general measure. Не they would find that a number of them were thought that during the present Session they continuance Bills; they would find that must go on as usual ; but the matter ought Bills had been granted to parties who were to be attentively considered in time for next unable to carry them out ; and they would Session. also find that Bills were being promoted MR. SANDFORD said, he must rethis Session to repeal parts of Bills passed mind the House that with the view of last Session. A recurrence of such a state facilitating the despatch of private busiof things might be prevented in a great ness the number of Members on Committees measure if the rules relating to private had been reduced last Session. Bills were rigidly enforced. If the House ADMIRAL DUNCOMBE said, that he, for did not agree with him as to the expediency one, thought that the House was fully comof applying that remedy, there was the petent to discharge its own business. Last alternative of more powerful machinery. Session he was so struck with the alarm He thought the matter was one deserving expressed on the subject of Private Bills the attention of his hon. and gallant Friend that he went to his hon, and gallant Friend (Colonel Wilson Patten) and of the House. (Colonel Wilson Patten) and said that, in

COLONEL WILSON PATTEN observed, order to facilitate business, he was ready that it was quite impossible to look at the to serve twice during the Session ; but list of Private Bills before the House with instead of any such additional service havout feeling that, in the present Session, ing been required of him, he had not been there would be very great difficulty in deal. called upon to serve even once. ing with private business. He did not

Motion agreed to. think they should take any other than the usual course in proceeding with the Bills ; Committee of Selection nominated :-Mr. Bonbut, seeing that there were 633 Private HAM-Carter, Mr. Dunlop, Mr. Gregory, Lord Bills to be disposed of, he thought it was Select Committee on Standing Orders.

Hotham, Mr. MOWBRAY, and the Chairman of the for the Speaker's consideration whether one Court before which these Bills came

LICENSING OF THEATRES, ought not to be strengthened — he alluded to the Court of Referees. He believed it

OBSERVATIONS. must be admitted that this Court had saved MR. LOCKE asked the Secretary of the time of hon. Members during last Ses- State for the Home Department, Whether sion ; and as there were at present in the his attention has been directed to the preHouse nearly 200 Members inexperienced sent state of the Law as to the Licensing of in the transaction of private business, he Theatres and other places of amusement in asked whether a second Court of Referees the Metropolis, and whether it is his intenought not to be appointed to sit at the tion to bring in a Bill on the subject? same time with the other. It was custo- SIR GEORGE GREY said, that his atmary with the Committee of Selection to tention had been called to the subject, send out circulars inquiring of hon. Mem- which was a very complicated one-the bers at what period of the Session it would more so because the law rested upon old be most convenient for them to give their statutes, which, to a certain extent, had services on Committees. He would re- become obsolete. His hon. Friend the quest of hon. Members to send in their Under Secretary for the Home Depart.

Colonel Wilson Patton

ment intended to move that a Select Com- the case which I desire to submit to the mittee be appointed to inquire into the law judgment of the House, and therefore I before any proposal was laid before the will state what is my view of the privileges House on the subject. That Motion his that I think have been grievously violated hon. Friend would make on an early day. on the present occasion. From the earliest

time the House has always claimed, and THE POOR IN THE METROPOLIS.

for two centuries at least, has exercised,

the most complete power over every quesQUESTION.

tion affecting the election of Members of VISCOUNT CRANBOURNE asked the this House, whether those questions affect President of the Poor Law Board, Whether the rights of voters, the conduct of return. it is his intention to introduce any mea-ing officers, or any transaction connected sure for more effectually securing the ex. with the election itself; and it has always ecution of the Laws relating to the Poor in claimed and exercised the right of deterthe Metropolis ?

mining as to the position of any Gentleman MR. C. P. VILLIERS : In answer to sitting in this House and of any person the inquiry of the noble Lord, I beg to claiming to be a Member. But these say that it is my intention to introduce rights and privileges are of a twofold kind. a measure for more effectually securing There is the right of the House itself to the execution of the laws relating to the vindicate its own privileges and the privi. relief of the poor in the metropolis, and leges of its Members, which it has exercised that this measure will be substantially

upon the Motion or suggestion of a Membased on the Report of the Select Com- ber of the House. And there is also mittee appointed by the last Parliament to another right-namely, that of individuals inquire into this matter.

who consider themselves aggrieved, and

who have always enjoyed the power of THE SUEZ CANAL.- QUESTION. petitioning the House to complain of any MR. SANDFORD asked the Under mistake or error in an election. Such Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, petitions have always been treated like a Whether the award of the Emperor of the suit in a law court-examined and decided French in the affairs of the Suez Canal upon by the House as a court of justice. bas been definitely accepted ; and, if so, It is obvious that these two powers are whether Her Majesty's Government ad necessarily separate and distinct. The one hered to that award, and whether they has been asserted by the House for the will lay the papers relating to it upon ) maintenance of its own rights, and the the table of the House ?

other has been asserted by individuals for MR. LAYARD : In reply to the Question the vindication of theirs. It was, howof my hon. Friend, I have to state that the ever, found that so much inconvenience award of the Emperor is not yet complete. arose from the House in its collective caCertain inquiries have yet to be made, pacity acting as a judicial tribunal, that it aided by a Commission appointed by the became necessary a century ago to transTurkish, Egyptian, and French Govern. fer that power of adjudicating upon petitions ments, and the Suez Canal Company. Those to special Committees selected for the purCommissioners are engaged in their in- pose, who proceed according to the provi

This quiries ; and when those inquiries are com- sions of the statute then in use. pleted, I shall be in a better position to procedure has continued with some modispeak on the subject.

fications from that day to the present time.

I think it was in 1848 that the law relating KING'S COUNTY RETURN.

to election petitions was completely and

comprehensively reviewed, and a general OBSERVATIONS.

Act was passed by which undoubtedly every MR. AYRTON: I claim the attention case of individual complaint of grievances of the House for a short time wbilst I that could be brought under the notice of bring under its attention a question which the House by petition was referred to the concerns most deeply not only the privi. tribunal constituted to try election petitions. leges of the House in its collective capa- This Act was repealed and another was city, but also the rights and privileges of more recently passed, but there is no subindividuals elected to sit in this House. I stantial difference between them, except believe that there is some misapprehension perhaps that the last Act is not so complete in the minds of some hon. Members as to and comprehensive as the former one. But I am not going to raise a question able to take his seat, because the return under these Acts. My case is entirely in- was not of a character to permit of his dependent of them; but in considering being recognized as a Member. Sometheir effect, I think I may state that it is times the return has not stated accurately & sound and true principle that the privi- the place for which he was elected, and leges of the House are to be treated like sometimes there has been another name the Prerogative of the Crown, that they differing from that which the Member bore, cannot be taken away by any intendment and on all these occasions the House has of language, but only by most express and received information of the fact of the precise terms. In this way alone can the election, and then proceeded on its own Prerogative of the Crown be affected. The authority, without any election petition, House has to consider whether these Acts to see that the form of the return corhave in any way diminished or abrogated responded with the fact of the election, and its own inherent privileges ; and I think amended the return. This being the practhat a moment's reflection will show us tice of the House, it is my duty to state that nothing that has transpired in legis- that I hold in my hand a letter from the lation has in the least diminished the Under Sheriff of the King's County, which supreme power of the House to vindicate I will venture to read, rather than to state and maintain its own privileges and those its effect; but I may state, in the first of its Members. In considering what the place, that at the last general election three House should do when any question is gentlemen were proposed as candidates brought under its notice in reference to the for the King's County, and one of those maintenance of the privileges of Members gentlemen, who is stated to have been arising out of an election, I think that the elected, does not appear in the return. House will recognize the wisdom of the Consequent upon this state of things the distinction that has been maintained by a gentleman communicated with the returnsolemn judgment of the House. Some ing officers, the sheriff and his under years ago a gentleman having been elected sheriff, by a letter to the under sheriff. came to the table and took the oaths and This letter is dated the 9th of February, his seat without any return having been 1866, and is signed “ John Pope Henmade of the election. Upon this the ques. nessy," and is in these terms— tion naturally arose in the House whether “With reference to your communication to me it was competent for a gentleman to eit this morning, to the effect that Mr. Longworth by his election and not by his return. The authorized you to tell me that he had inspected House was struck with the gravity of the the King's County poll book since the election,

and was now satisfied that I had the majority of question, and it was referred to a Com-votes over Sir Patrick O'Brien, may I trouble mittee of the most distinguished Members you to let me know whether you have also cast of the House, and they came to a Resolu- up the books, and can corroborate the statement tion. The case, I may say, was that of of the high sheriff that I have the majority." Mr. Hawes, in 1848, and the Committee To this letter Mr. Hennessy received the solemnly determined, by Resolution

following reply, dated February 10:“That although the return of the indenture to “ My dear Sir,-I have just received yours of the Crown Office has always been required by the yesterday's date, asking me if I can corroborate House as the best evidence of a Member's title to the statement of the high sheriff that you had a be sworn, yet that the absence of that proof cannot majority of votes over Sir Patrick O'Brien, and affect the validity of the election, nor the right of in reply beg to state that I myself inspected the a person duly elected to be held a Member of this poll books at the Hanaper Office on the 31st of House.”

July last, and was then satisfied that there had

been a mistake in the totting up, and that you This Resolution was accepted by the bad a majority of votes. My conversation with House, and it was held that Mr. Hawes the high sheriff to which you allude took place had been properly sworn, and no further only a few weeks ago.” step was taken in the matter. This de- It is therefore that I communicate to the cision being recorded, we at once under House the startling fact that although this stand the numerous precedents that have gentleman's name does not appear upon occurred consequent upon the election the return, yet that, according to the unof Members when the House itself has doubted facts of the election, he was elected taken the initiative. Cases have arisen in on that occasion. He is now unable to which the House has been informed by a present himself at the table of the House, Member in his place that an election had though he has been duly elected according occurred, and that a Gentleman was un- to the statements both of the high sheriff

Mr. Ayrton

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