English and Foreign.
Lyttelton Times, Rōrahi X, Putanga 611, 15 Mahuru 1858, Page 3
English and Foreign.
NEWS OP THE MONTH. To present our readers with a synopsis of the English and European news arrived by the last mail but with fuller details than a bare summary contains, and at the same time to exhibit in order the rise and progress of the important events,—we subjoin our usual extracts from the London weekly papers published during the month. (For tJie WeeTc ended May 22.J The question raised by Mr. Cardwell's motion has not been settled so quickly in the House of Commons as Lord Shaftesbury's wa3 in the House of Lords. The greater abundance of speakers engendered opportunities for prorogation, which decidedly suited the tactics "of Ministers, and opened the way for many interests adverse to those of the leading Oppositionists. Justice, party feeling, interested motives, and personal crotchet, developed a strange alliance against the scarcely less novel combination on the side of Mr. Cardwell; and the consequence was, a political entanglement exceeding anything that the present generation has witnessed. The affair is so intricate that it is almost difficult to put the story of it in a simple strain. On Friday last, Mr. Cardwell invited the House of Commons, while waiving any opinion on Lord Canning's proclamation, to censure Lord Ellenbrough's letter as tending to weakeu the authority of the Governor-General, and to encourage armed resistance. Down to the first adjournment, the most conspicuous fact which came out was that Mr. Cardwell was sustained by the united support of Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell: who dined together under Lord Palmerston's roof on the same evening. The reported union on that side therefore had been so for accomplished.
On subsequent evenings, even when the main debate stood adjourned, members still seized the occasion to endeavour to extract that note which Mr. Vernon Smith-was accused of suppressing; and that hon. gentleman has had on successive days to ruu the gauntlet of sarcastic inquiry, objurgatory attack and hooting. But a new turn was given to the debate itself, when Mr. Roebuck appeared as an independent vindicator of Lord Ellenbrpugh's " honest despatch" condemning an unprecedented confiscation; while the tribune of the people exposed, the intrigues of the opppsition to restore the '""•cashiered" Ministry of Lord Palmerston. As the debate went ou, the party element came out much more distinctly, especially on the Ministerial side; from which Sir Robert Peel flung one of the most amusing and damaging of his speeches, and Mr. Whitside poured forth an oration calculated -to shake the bar of Dublin to its very wigs.
Still the Opposition had hopes. It was an untoward event that Sir Charles Napier insisted upon introducing on the Tuesday his motion on the subject of manning the navy. As he would not give way, other Members could not be deprived of their right of moving; so that Tuesday became private property. Not entirely; for a little more business was done, still favourably to Ministers —a conversation on the Vernon Smith note and the Oude Proclamation, with the opinions of Sir Colin Campbell and other
persons adverse to that course of policy, furthermore, a question by Mr. DilWyn, whether his motion—approving of Lord Canning's conduct down to the Proclamation, and expressly withholding all opinion on that documentwould be supported by Ministers as a substantive proposition ? Here was an opportunity for Ministers to attach to their party, with an exchange of positive support, a small but valuable off-lying party of Independents; and Mr. Disraeli at once agreed. The bargain wa3 truly laughable, but it abstracted from the calculated resources of the constituted Opposition. Wednesday was the Derby day t and a national usage again enabled Ministers to tide over another twenty-four hours. Thursday began with increased hopes of success in their waiting race. Hopes not diminished when Lord Palmerston brought forward the suppressed note, with a companion note—both in such harmless terms as to raise the question, why suppress them ? Hopes not diminished when Mr. John Bright entered the ring as the wholesale censor of Lord Canning in his public capacity, the thoroughgoing vindicator of Lord Ellenborough's despatch ; or when Sir Jamea Graham with a weighty array of authorities stood out to vindicate Lord Ellenborough's despatch in its substance. There can be no doubt that the great strength of the debating speeches lay on the side of Ministers.
Even at the eleventh hour new amendments were bronght forward by Mr. Dunlop and Mr. Rich —twin resolutious authorizing Governor- General Canning to continue. And thtn cause despatches from In ilia—Lord Canning's "reasons " and Sir James Outram's " representations." Here were the things which Ministers were accused of not awaiting, supplying the " information " claimed by the Opposition,—and not unwelcome to Ministers when it did arrive.
The denouement occurred on Friday (May 21) but not in the shape of a division. Mr. Cardwell, appealed to from different quarters, and under the judicious advice of Lord Palmerston, who saw that the whole plan of attack had been dislocated, withdrew his motion.
In the present temper of the public and official mind, the debate on the manning of the navy is likely to be followed with practical results. Sir Charles Napier not only exposed the fact that we are deficient in seamen to put our war-ships in motion as well as to work them, but he showed that we have undone some of the measures already taken to keep up an effective naval corps. For instance, the men engaged for
"continuous service" have been discharged. The excuse has been before given—that several of the men became reluctant to continue "after they had joined; and it is unquestionably true that sailors are all the better for occasionally passing a period on shore. Still there can be no doubt
that our naval army, if we may call it so, has hitherto been allowed to depend too much upon the vessels actually afloat, and has consisted too exclusively of men engaged for the job; and our dissatisfaction is not diminished when we learn that the navy seldom draws many recruits from the merchant service. It is true that in the case of an • emergency,' a great stimulus would be given to the manning of vessels, and probably from the merchant service; bnt it is a bad plan to wait for emergencies. To do so, is deliberately to go upon the principle of shutting the door when the steed is gone. Sir Charles Napier wished to include other subjects besides the raising of men, but he consented to limit the enquiry to that practical object; and Admiral Duncombe, who had an amendment in favor of a committee, also gave way to the argument that a Royal Commission is the better machine, since it can be locomotive and can be composed of men who are not in the House of Commons, coupled with the assurance that it should not only consist of old naval officers, but should include civilians. Perhaps the best guarantee for the good composition of the commission lies in the character of Sir John Pakington.
" Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."— suddenly and peculiarly acquired. "With all his power, the Emperor Napoleon finds himself not unfrequently at fault, and this week is full of disagreeable portents. The constituency of the Haunt Rhin has set aside the official injunctions, pointing out a peculiar good Jboy —a man who imitates his grandfather, and ought therefore to be elected ; and the constituency has chosen instead that same Chevalier Migeon, who has been convicted of wearing the decoration of legion of honour—which he was not proved to have worn—and has, under the Imperial prosecution, been made a : sort of petty martyr. The gigantic power of a Louis Napoleon is not enough absolutely to crush even a Migeon.
And the Emperor's own instruments turn against him. The sword he holds cuts his fingers. A Monsieur Hyene, a Sous-officer, has brutally insulted and perhaps mortally wounded a M. Henri de Pene, a satirical writer who had bantered the Sous-officers on want of skill in the management of their spurs amid ball-room flounces. Hyene was second with a principal whom De Pene had already fought, the renewed attack havingall the appearance of a conspiracy to kill the writer, and exposing something like a spirit of military hostility in a deadly shape to the civilian society of France.
And while the Emperor is undergoing these checks at home, the death of the Duchess of Orleans, who has immortalized herself by her devotion as a widowed mother to the task of maintaining and vindicating; the rights of her son, painfully reminds France that there are other claims to the throne, and other virtues besides thoae which at present find favour in the Imperial Court. ■A. new Eastern question has established itself for the interference of Jjie Western Powers, It promises to be entangled enough to make a good deal of diplomatic ; sport. By dint of their mountain wildness, the Montenegrins have maintained a quasi-independence, though their territory merges in lands which are under the-, suzerainty of the Porte. They have been vindicating: their independence, and not for the first time, by raids on the neighbouring land. It is reported of them that they have perpetrated a massacre on the Turks who were sent against them during an armistice. But since a 'row' in that part of Europe might be dangerous for the peace of the continent, the Western Powers are about to interfere on behalf of the 'status, quo/ Should they maintain that respectable position, it wawld
amount, in Montenegro, to the continuance o perpetual expeditions of the Porte for the purpose of vindicating its suzerainty, with perpetual risings and raids of the Montenegrins to vindicate their independence of law as well as
The 'Indipendente 1 of Turin, and "Subalpine," a correspondent of the 'Daily News,' whose identity may easily be guessed, announce an interesting event. The Government of the Duchess Regent of Parma has broken away from the restrictive and despotic Customs Union of Austria, and is about to join Sardinia in a Commercial Customs League, the first step towards a national union of Italy on a national basis. The important tendency of the event can scarcely be over-estimated. " Subalpine " points out a good opportunity for England to employ her influence beneficially, by appointing a diplomatic agent to reside at the court of Parma. It is an act that would be worth an army to the Italy of the future.
(For the Week ended May 29._) The holidays of Whitsuntide have brought the customary suspension of all recognised business; but the momentum of political excitemeut was too strong before the holidays to slacken much in the interval, especially in the case of Ministers. After the break down in the House on Friday, her Majesty's Opposition retired from the scene, ■and little has been heard of it subsequent!}'; it is the Ministers who hare shown forth in all their glory. The amusements of the season have comprised some remarkable political entertainments. Pirst, in the order of time, though not importance, was that eclogue between Lord Shaftesbury and Lord Derby, in which each Earl has been accusing the other of an appeal to religious cant; Lord Derby, according to the construction of his antagonist, having referred invidiously to the supposed attendance of Lord Shaftesbury at Cambridge House on Sunday; and Lord Shaftesbury, according to the construction of his antagonist, gladly making the worst of the case, and putting a forced interpretation upon the words in question.
-But far more important than the duet between "Shaftesbury and Derby, though that was qiiite in the broad and shouting style of Verdi, has been Mr. Disraeli's solo to a chorus of admiring ■adherents in his own county. It was a rattling speech, excelling- Mr. Disraeli's ordinary manner in copiousness and force, with something more than his ordinary hyperbole. The total discomfiture of the Opposition was a subject in which he" fairly revelled. The settlement of the Cagliari question, and of the Indian question, which—at' least in Buckinghamshire,— he has already accomplished, and the great measures of improvement which nothing but the shameful Opposition had prevented him from accomplishing.—these were the themes on which he pugnaciously enlarged, with enough of truth to give zest to the cleverness of the display, and 1o make all serious Liberals feel that it is high time to look about them. Mr. Disraeli's characteristic modesty crept forth, as usual, in some remarkable sallies. Proposing the health, of the farmers, " on public grounds," he expressed a hope that he should not be accused of " impertinence" if he confessed that a sentiment of affection mingled with Ms esteem! After his advertisement in letters a foot and a half long of what the Government has done, and will do, —after trampling like a St. Michael on the dragon of the Cabal, he hoped that " what we have done I have placed before you with no undue urgency." We laugh; but, after all, Disraeli is master of the situation, and undoubtedly he renders popular politics very entertaining. It is amusing to be coolly told in effect, that the discharge of the British engineers was entirely owing to the terror produced by Lord Malmesbury's coming into the Foreign Office: and that the war with France, which Mr. Disraeli so discreetly told his audience was at his advent to power " an affair of hours," was likewise averted by the exertions of the new Government, rather than by the vote on the Conspiracy Bill. One cannot help thinking of the fly on the wheel in the fable. It is gratifying to learn that Mr. Disraeli and his colleagues are " building up an empire," though we should be made happier if we knew precisely what the process was. Mr. Disraeli has evidently not forgotten Vivian Grey. The speech -was plainly not the speech of a statesman " to the manner born" of-responsibility and office, it is not without its serious aspects for the consideration of the Liberal party. And while Ministers and the public are thus enjoying their holiday, the Board of Control is left likewise to its Whitsuntide vagaries with.out even a President to be master over it. For .-amongst the "difficulties" which Mr. Disraeli •described Lord Derby as overcoming, he could not Teokon that of selecting the proper person to •place over the Indian department. .The signs and portents in France do not become less discouraging. M. Migeon has not taken his seat, but, it is said, foreseeing some arbitrary step to prevent his taking it in peace, he contemplates retiring, and placing a friend of his own in his room, of course with the concurrence of the department of the Haut Rhin; and •it is supposed that the department is quite ready ibr that compact alliance ogainst the Emperor. Even in defeat, therefore, Migeon seems to have .the better of the Eagle!
The scandal of the duel docs not diminish, notwithstanding a feeble, a-very feeble act of .authority on the, part of the Government, —a circular to Colonels, hinting rather than commanding, that officers, should refrain from interfering with civilians. A party of officers have presented themselves at the office of a journal, in ■uniform, and have compelled the insertion of a ■ : statement justifying the transaction in terms -.which aggravate the military offence. There -are some signs that this reiterated provocation, this unblushing display of conscious and irresponsible, power, is provoking a serious reaction :,in society. It is not at all likely that such conr duct -will facilitate admission of the sous-officers into ball-rooms and hospitable saloons, in which ■they have hitherto disported themselves. If their manners in society—the perfumes of cheap tobacco, the unrestrained readiness for the supper, and the want, of skill in the management of ■their spurs amid the extensive petticoats of the Indies, provoked .satire, their mode of encountering that kind'of warfare is not likely to conciliate guests or multiply cards of invitation. A iiliird officer, it is said, has presented himself, ar
the cabaret in which De Pcne lies dying, in order to take the earliest opportunity of calling him out again; but some working men in'the neighbourhood showed signs of roughly handling the champion of military honour.
It is not understood that the Bonapartists as a faction are implicated in these proceedings; on the contrary, the army, we hear, is Bonapartist only in the higher ranks: in the inferior ranks it is neither Bonapartist,' nor Orleanist, nor anything else, political or moral; it is simply soldatesque—panting for a military regime, pure and simple. Of course this cannot be; but the attempt to bring it about may cause a great deal of confusion, especially if it be made just now, when the Imperial Government is resorting to all kinds of shifts for the purpose of rubbing on. To raise the drooping funds, with Three per Cents below 69, it has proposed a forced sale of property belonging to charitable foundations, with a state "stock" in lieu thereof; another remarkable idea is a forced abstinence from the issue of shares in order to promote a rise in value of such property. Such are the results of the Imperial consultations with great capitalists; who will make their profits, whatever becomes of charities, Emperors, or empire.
Reports from St. Petersburg announce new reforms. A council of Ministers is established, and a fresh impulse is given to the statistical department—the government desiring information, and the Emperor being so busy that he cannot get through his work without the help of a council. These have the appearance of improvements quite in accordance with our ideas of such subjects; yet we cannot accept them as unequivocally sound. It will be observed that they all tend to centralised administration.
The speech of Count Cavour in the Sardinian Chamber of Deputies is calculated to have a very powerful effect, not only within the confines of King Victor Emmanuel's dominions, and in countries abroad that sympathise with the Piedmontese Government, but throughout the Peninsula and Austria. The subject under discussion was a loan which the government requires to balance its income and expenditure; the expenditure being greatly augmented by the magnificent works which the government is undertaking, including the tunnel under Mont Cenis. These works are calling forth the constructive energy of the northern Italians, and will more than 'double the value of all property public or private. The school of pedantic economists, however, object on the score that the first duty of a state with an adverse balance must be to curtail its expenditure. The political rivals of the Count dislike the energy of his measures; the ultra-Radicals side with the economists, and rather desire to embarrass a government which is constitutional and not republican. The minister replied to the motives as well as the arguments of opponents. In his allusion to the subject of church property, which he is desired to confiscate, rendering the clergy pensioners of the state, he argued that a clergy thus reduced to dependence becomes a tool at once for Absolutist and ultra-Papal influences, clinging to the centralization by which it is paid and to the infallible head, from whom it obtains its warrant. He' declared that liberalism in politics alone can give to a national Government the power of carrying on material improvement's. But while insisting upon the necessity of having a Liberal administration in power, he declared his readiness to employ, as he has employed, an finance, and in the business of material improvement, his own political enemies, to whose talents, and patriotism, and national feeling, individually, he gave the strongest testimony, at the very hour when they were endeavouring to thwart his measures and pull him down. The courage of this position is only equalled by its sound policy. It proves Cavour to be a thoroughgoing Liberal, but at the same time a practical constitutionalist; and it is calculated to strengthen that feeling which, it is said, has made Tuscany, as well as Parma, decline to hang upon the skirts of Austria, or to admit the right of the twobeaked eagle to dictate in the name of "Italy."
(To be continued-)