House of Commons.–July 28 (Continued from our last.)
A message from the Lords announced that their Lordships had agreed to the Amendments to the Ministers Appointment (Scotland) bill ; to the Newspaper Postage bill ; and to the Orkney Statute Labour bill.
Affairs of Oude
On the order of the day for the third reading of the Universities’ Admission bill being moved–
Mr Herriks[?] took the occasion of calling on Government to explain the circumstances which had occurred in certain transactions between the Board of Controul and the East India directors. These transactions, the hon. gentleman stated, to be the repeated peremptory commands of the Board of Controul to the Directors of the East India Company to prepare a despatch for the purpose of directing the Indian Government to compel the King of Oude, to pay certain claims made on him on behalf of Calcutta bankers, which commands the Court of Directors refused to obey, on the ground that the interference which the Board of Controul required them to exercise with the King of Oude, was inconsistent with the relations subsisting between the British Government and the King of Oude, and would be most mischievous in effect. On the 31st of January the right jon. gentleman had appliedfor, and obtained a rule to show cause why, under the act of Parliament, a mandamus should not issue to compel the Court of Directors to comply with the desire ofthe Board of Controul. On the 31st of January, 1834, the Court of King’s bench was prepared to give its decision upon the application for the mandamus, when, without any reason being assigned, the right hon. President of the Board of Controul withdrew his application.
Mr C. Grant said that in the regret which had been expressed respecting the possible collision between the two authorities, he fully concurred; bu, entertaining such a sentiment, he confessed it surprised him not a little to find his Right Hon. Friend endeavouring to open a dispute already composed. The right honourable gentleman then proceeded to give a brief outline of the case, and referred to the various high authorities connected with India, who had declared in favour of the demand. With regard to his having withdrawn the application for the mandamus without explanation, he had to say that he fully explain his opinions to the Directors, he had re-stated them verbally to the chairman, and he did not think himself required, under the circumstances, to reenter into a long discussion upon the point. The effect of the recommendation to the King of Oude was merely to urge the claim upon his attention.
Sir R. Peel said it was a perfectly novel doctrine, and in the present state of the world most inconvenient, that the nonpayment of debts due to his subjects should give the King of England a right forcibly to intervene with foreign states, except where sanctioned by positive treaty.
Mr Hume contended, that on the whole, the debt was a just one, and ought to be paid.
The subject here dropped.
Admission of Dissenters to the Universities.
On the question that this bill be read a third time,
Mr T. Gladstone rose to oppose it. It would, he said, be useless to pass the bill, for it would of necessity be inoperative. If he were asked why he opposed a bill which, if passed, would be inoperative, his answer was that he objected to its principle, the admission of which was equally destructive, whether it effected the object of its promoters or not. Further, they were bound to respect corporate rights as long as the intentions of their founders were fulfilled ; and no one could deny that the Universities did fulfilthe intentions of their founders.” (Hear, hear.)
Mr V. Smith supported the bill, as one calculated to take away a reproach from the Establishment, and be felt as a compliment by the Dissenters, whose only desire was to exercise their vigorous intellects in the promotion of science and literature.
Mr Baines said, that the original statutes showed that there were then no tests, nor did any exist at Oxford, in either the time of the Lollards or of Wickliff. The term University had in it an argument for thegeneral use of these seats of learning, which were meant to be universal, both as to the subjects taught, and the persons to whom they were communicated. In this sense, the term was understood and applied in other countries, and it was an extraordinary fact, deserving of attention, that the Universities of Oxford and of Cambridge were the only universities that were closed to a large proportion of the upper classes of the people in any country in Europe. This the Dissenters of England felt as a grievous indignity, and they thought it unjust that Englishmen should attempt to degrade Englishmen by excluding them from the best seats of literature and science.
Mr H. Hughes could not accede to the measure, and therefore moved that it be read that day six months.
Mr Goulburn contended that the introduction of the Dissenters, as proposed under the present bill, would be nothing short of the destruction of the present system of education at the Universities. It was indisputable that at a University, religion could only be taught according to some set form : abandon that mode of tuition, and you abandon the religion itself. (Cries of “No, no.”) If they let in Dissenters, it was perfectly obvious the intentions of the founders of those establishments would be completely defeated : he therefore deprecated the measures as injurious to religon and opposed to the best interest of the country.
Lord Palmerstone, Sir R. Inglis, and Mr G. Wood then addressed the house, but amidst such discordant noises as prevented what they said being heard. The laughing, jeering, shouting, were such as has seldom been heard. In particular two hon. members who entered from the smoking room into the opposite gallery during the address of Mr Wood, and who stretched themselves at full length on the seats secure from the observation of the Speaker, kept up a row of the most discreditable character. The Speaker, with much indignation in his tone and manner, called the parties to order.
The motion for the third reading was carried, on a division, by 164 to 25. The Trading Companies Bill, the Arms Importation (Ireland) Bill, and the Court of Chancery (Ireland) Bill, went through committees.
The Four Courts (Dublin) Bill, the Weights and Measures Bill, and the Turnpike Acts Amendment Bill, were read a third time and passed.
The Almanack Stamps Repeal Bill, the Assessed Taxes Repeal Bill, and the Militia Ballot Suspension Bill, were brought in, and read a first time.
The house was counted out at three o’clock in the morning.
Tuesday, July 29.
Sir John Cam Hobhouse and General Sir Edward Barnes, took the oaths and their seats ; the former for Nottingham, in the room of Lord Duncannon, raised to the Peerage ; the latter for Sudbury, in the room of M. A. Taylor, Esq. deceased.
On the motion of Mr Alderman Thompson the Durham and Sunderland Railway bill was read a third time and passed.
Mr S. Rice moved the order of the day for the house to resolve into Committee upon the Bill for the Colonization of Southern Australia,
Mr A. Baring rose and stated various objections to the project. The hon. member contended that at this period of the year there was not time to deliberate upon such an important subject, and, independent of this preliminary objection, he said he did not conceive that government ought to sanction any such experiment without a full conviction that there was a reasonable probability of its success. In his opinion the experiment was founded upon bases more mistaken than any similar one which had ever been tried. In fact, according to the plan which had been laid down, the colony would be tied up by mortgages in such a way, that it would not again revert to the Crown, so that the territory would be lost. The result would be, that if the gentlemen who set the project on foot were mistaken–as he was sure they had been–we would be prevented from touching this large portion of Australia, unless we could pay off the debt which had been contracted. While he stated these objections to the plan, he was anxious not to be understood to be inimical to colonization, for he was very favourable to it. Every new opening to colonization he was convinced was a substantial benefit to the poorer classes, (Hear, hear, hear.) It was not, therefore, to the principle of colonization that he was opposed, but he objected to this bill becaue the plan was a most mistaken one, and would eventually shut up this large portion of the world. One of his main objections was to the extent to which it was proposed to carry the experiment. Let the gentlemen take, if they like, 100 square miles, but let them not risk the whole of a great continent. People, like fuel, he said, could not well be carried too far ; they might get a few thousands to go out, but they would never get the tens of thousands to go which were required for the success of the project. The hon. member then objected to two of the principles which were laid down by the projectors, that land should not be sold lower than 12s. per acre, and that no credit should be given. He was convinced that any man acquainted with the practical workings of the system in other colonies, would blow up the whole plan in a moment. No man who went out to Australia would think of taking less than two hundred acres. Now that would cost him t120; it would cost him t120 more to get himself and his family over; which, with stock and other expenses, would amount to t500 or t600. He would, therefore, ask any gentlemen in that house, whether they thought any man who had t500 or t600 in this country, would go out and set himself down on two hundred acres in Australia. (Hear, hear.) He therefore suggested to his right hon. friend to consent that the committee be postponed until another session, and then have it referred to a select committee. He concluded by moving, as an amendment, that the bill be committed on that day six months.
Mr W. Whitmore was thakful for the very candid manner in which the hon. member had stated his objections to the bill. With respect to the large extent of territory, he (Mr W.) thought that was necessary, as it was intended to introduce a completely new system of colonization–one very different from any thing ever before attempted. The extent of land it was intended to take under this act was from 500,000 to 600,000 square miles, and it was the leading principle of the bill that all the money arising from the sale of lands should be applied to the purpose of sending out labourers free of expense.– (Hear, hear, hear.) If this plan succeeded, there would be a constant stream of emigrants going out. The land sold by the Canada Company had been at a higher price. He had sanguine hopes that all the money it would be necessary to borrow would be easily repaid. He most conscientously considered that this bill would prove a very great benefit to the country. It would tend exceedingly towards facilitating and amending the conditions of the people of England and Ireland, and therefore he hoped it would pass.
Mr O’Dwyer contended that, before the house thought of agreeing to such a bill as this, they ought to do something towards the ameloriation of the condition of the people of Ireland. The various reports which committees of that house had made, showed that one-fourth of the land of that country was untilled, but was at the same time what was called reclaimable land, and well calculated for the cultivation and produce of grain. Let this country advance some of the surplus capital talked of by the hon. member towards the cultivation of this bog land, and discontent would flee[?] from Ireland entirely. The Irish people wanted employment, give them that and the house would hear no more about murders, fires, and other outrages.
Mr S. Rice in reference to the allusion made by the hon. and learned member, begged to say that, although much of the bog land in question belonged to private individuals, yet a portion of it was the property of the Government, who had been, and still were, making experiments, with a view to ascertain if the views of the Commissioners could be carried into effect. With respect to the manner in which the hon. member for Essex had opened this question, he must confess that he had brought with him much of usefulness and of experience, and of such a character, too, as could not fail to carry weight. The right hon. gentleman then proceeded to speak in favour of the proposed colonization of South Australia
After some farther discussion, strangers were ordered to withdraw, and the house divided, when there appeared–For going into committee, 72; against it 7–Majority, 65.
The bill went through the committee. The report was received, and ordered to be taken into further consideration on Thursday next.
Several petitions were presented, and, at three o’clock, the Speaker left the chair.
Citation: Scotsman (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 02 August 1834, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/243.