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gratified that the Members of the late Government should have had entire confidence in the existing Administration, with a conviction that they will not abuse the power intrusted to them. It is a kind acknowledgment on the part of the noble Lord, that they have successors who can repair their blunders, and to whom the honour and welfare of the kingdom may safely be committed."
He now came to the financial measures. There was a deficiency of two millions and a half, an accumulated deficiency of ten millions, and three wars, in Syria, China, and Affghanistan, The Income-tax had been debated sixteen nights, during which Lord Palmerston had maintained an absolute silence; and now, on the very last day of the Session, he came down to the House to fire his small pop gun. The Bankruptcy Bill had no doubt been deferred to a late period of the Session; but it had been carried; and the intermediate delay of it had been mainly in deference to the wishes of Lord Cottenham, who desired to take it in conjunction with the County Courts Bill.
Sir Robert Peel next adverted to the foreign policy referred to in Lord Palmerston's speech; a reply to a speech delivered three months before by Lord Stanley-who could hardly reciprocate Lord Palmer ston's compliment for his skill in "off-hand debate!"
"As regards the foreign policy of the noble Lord, no one can estimate more than I do the noble Lord's activity and attention, But when the noble Lord refers to the free treaty of Texas and his seven treaties about the slave-trade as the result of his activity, I am induced to ask if those are points to
which a Minister, taking a comprehensive view of the foreign policy of the country, can refer with pride and confidence as the result of several years of official labour? Look to the great countries of Europe with which it was your boast to be connected. For six years your constant boast in this House was, that you had been made the great confidant of Western Europe, not only in matters of material interest, but in political opinions, which were to operate as a check upon the march of despotic power. Night after night you spoke of the intimate relations of amity which existed between this country and France. You said that France would join you in rescuing the western Peninsula from the yoke of despotism,-that, aided by the co-operation, and backed by the authority of France, you would exhibit to admiring Europe the effect of your liberal policy, by the intimate union of her great western states; and yet, such was the importance you attached to the maintenance of that union, that, forgetting the doctrine of non-intervention, you sent armies to interfere in the civil war of the Peninsula, to re-establish liberal opinions in Portugal and Spain. How were you situated? And what has been the result? You had not to recover your relations from past hostilities. We had recognized the dynasty of Louis Philippe, when you succeeded to the Government, and a grateful feeling had been already evinced by the friends of that dynasty for our ready acquiescence in the rights of the people. For four or five years you boasted of your strengthened bonds of amity. I lent you all my influence, notwithstanding our political differences, in confirming
those relations. I did what I could to discourage the partisans of the former government in France. How have you left our relations with that country? You may talk of the non-signing and non-ratifying a treaty; but all these difficulties have arisen from the feeling which, whether by your fault or in spite of you, has been engendered amongst the French people. Is that true or not? I say that in 1836 and 1837 you found France disposed to relations of amity with this country. What has happened since to disturb those good inclinations? The world has been at peace; and the commercial intercourse of the intervening period ought to have reconnected these two great countries in the ties of international amity. I say this country has no feeling of hostility to France. [Loud cheers.] There was in this country an universal feeling of generous and natural grief when we heard of the lamentable death of the Duke of Orleans. We earnestly hope that the influence of sound sense, the influence of reason, and even the material influences, if we could get the means of establishing an enlarged commercial intercourse with France, will, at no distant period, lead to the abolition of those discreditable feelings of dissension between two great nations which ought no longer to subsist. I have said that we feel no hostility to France; on the other hand, we have no apprehensions [loud cheers]; we don't feel any fear of France; but never would that ge nerous devotion of our feelings on the melancholy event to which I refer have been demonstrated, if the people of this country had been animated by feelings of hostility to France. [Loud cheers.]
I say more: we have no feeling of rivalry with France, except the generous rivalry of the race of civilization. I believe I speak the feelings of the people of this country when I say, that we view with pleasure-we rejoice to see-the advance of civilization and improvement in that country, and we do it disinterestedly; or, if we entertain any selfish idea in the matter, it is because we know that the improvement of France will react on our own, and must have done so long ere now, if the slightest steps had been taken by the Government of the noble Lord to encourage and maintain relations of amity between the two countries. Sir, this is a most important consideration, and it ought to have confirmed the noble Lord in his endeavours, which he tells us he made, for the purpose of securing the preservation of peace. When the noble Lord came to the Foreign-office, the ancient feelings of hostility between the countries were gradually abating; that vulgar feeling of our superiority to the French was gradually giving way; more enlightened views were gaining ground. But what was the cause which is assigned as sufficing to alienate and disturb the spirit of amity which ought always to subsist between two countries, whose amity would give peace to the world? The Turkish empire! What! was that one of the facilities which you bequeathed to her Majesty's present advisers? You restored the Turkish empire, you say. You restored the appearance of empire, you left anarchy behind you."
He deprecated the spirit of Lord Palmerston's remarks respecting the question with the United States because they necessitated a disclo
sure of that which for the present was better kept secret.
"First, then, with respect to the United States. I am sorry that the noble Lord tried-I will not say that the attempt is likely to be successful-but tried to put in jeopardy the settlement of a question between that government and this, for the settlement of which attempts have been making for forty years. Yes; for forty years this question has been waiting for settlement. For the sake of the interests actually involved,for the sake of the possession of a swamp is it wise for a great statesman to say that we are bound to risk our amicable relations with that country? Why, such is the blindness of your hostility to Her Majesty's Government, that every word you have used is a two-edged sword which may be used against yourself. You came into the Government in 1831. Did you, when you so came into office, knowing nothing about the question, manfully confess your ignorance? No, you were ready to assent to the terms proposed? Is it not true that you were then ready to assent to a boundary which you now denounce as an unjust one? Why did you not answer in 1831, "I know nothing about the matter; I have had no time to consider it; I have sent out no commission to inquire; I know not which are the proper highlands mentioned in the treaty, I will take two years to inquire?" Is not that the answer that a wise man would have given? But you did the exact contrary. You were ready to accede to an unjust demand, according to your present doctrine-a demand which you now say, if acceded to, would be ruinous to this country. And then you talk of the necessity of
supporting the honour of the country. I hope I am prepared to go as far as any man to vindicate the honour of this country; but of the United States I say, as I say of France, that the differences between this country and each of those two countries ought, for the interests of humanity, to be settled with the least practicable loss of time. You may say there are difficult questions which subsist between us and those countries, and you may make them more difficult to settle by the groundless charges and the ungenerous imputations which you throw out against Her Majesty's Government. I know that we come into contact with the United States on another question, which it is also very necessary to settle without delay. But the question is, what is the best course to be adopted? Mr. Fox has observed, and I think justly, that no country ought to go to war for the maintenance of its interests, because it was almost certain that success would not pay for the expense of the war; but that he would go to war willingly for the maintenance of the honour of the country, because, paradoxical as it might seem, that was always advantageous in the end. But I do hope that these two great countries, speaking a common language, and having so many points of common interest, may adjust these differences, under the impression that every blow which each inflicts on the other it is inflicting at the same time on itself. I do hope that means may be found of establishing relations of amity consistently with measures of a perfectly conciliatory character, and consistently with the maintenance of national honour on the one side and on the other."
But the noble Lord had reserved for his climax-Affghanistan !
"The noble Lord presumed much on my forbearance in what he said with respect to the Affghan war; and I will not be betrayed by any language of his to forget what I owe to the public service in replying to him. It is easy to say, why don't you move troops to Candahar, and why don't you move other troops somewhere else?' The noble Lord finds no difficulty in this; but does he recollect that 26,000 camels, carrying the baggage of the troops in Affghanistan, were sacrificed before they reached it? The noble Lord says, 'Who contemplated the abandonment of Affghanistan?' I could tell the noble Lord. Beware, I say, let the noble Lord beware, of indiscriminate reflections upon those now in office. [Cheers.] The affairs of Affghanistan shall undergo serious consideration. When the noble Lord put a question to me respecting them the other night, I did give him a cautious and a guarded answer; but why did I do so? Look at the circumstances by which I am surrounded. Look at the public press in India -its sources of information, and the facility with which it gives it to the public. Look at the despatches creeping out by piece meal; and then look at my position when I am asked, if such and such orders are given, and if such and such reports are true-orders and reports which I cannot explain, and which the noble Lord ought not to ask me to explain, knowing as he does that my answers may be read in Affghanistan in the short space of six weeks. The noble Lord, I say, knows that I cannot answer his questions; he knows that I must lie open to his
innuendoes, and that I must submit to his imputations: but let me tell him this, that I will rather submit to all the innuendoes and imputations he may bring against me, than I will compromise the safety of one man engaged in the service of his country."
In conclusion, Sir R. Peel said, that he did not know even now what was laid to his charge; he had not changed the principles which he had aided Mr. Huskisson in carrying out; he had no hope of reward for the cares of office, but the hope of future fame :
"It is to that reward that I and my colleagues aspire. If there be another reflection which cheers me onwards in my course, it is that, much as I may have disappointed, much as I may have dissatisfied the honourable Friends whom I see around me-much as they may asperse me in private parties, to which the noble Lord has access and I have not-still I have found through all the difficulties of the session, that they have not withdrawn from us in power that confidence and support which cheered and inspired us in the blank regions of Opposition. Next to the hope of that fame which is the sole reward to which we aspire, their kindness and confidence has been our leading impulse. It is a matter of great congratulation to me, to be enabled to compare their strength in 1833 with their strength at present; and to be permitted to entertain the hope, that in pursuing the course I believe to be best, not in deference to their fears or opinions if I believe them wrong, shall still, despite all anxieties and all disappointments, hold that place in their esteem which I value more than I do their political support." (Loud and long-continued cheers.)
Mr. Cobden said a few words after Sir Robert Peel sat down. He asked whether the leaders of parties had nothing better to do than getting up these quarrels be tween Whig and Tory. He cited documents in confirmation of his assertion, that Mr. Clay had no chance of being elected President of the United States, and that the Free-trade party in America would soon be in the ascendant. He warned the two disputants, who had said but little on the distress of the country, that it would haunt them in their retirement. He urged Sir Robert Peel further to carry out his commercial policy; and assured Lord Palmerston, that there was a growing opinion in the country, that we had meddled too much in the affairs of foreign countries.
Mr. Hume and Mr. Ewart concurred in Mr. Cobden's views.
The motion was agreed to. The business of the session hav ing been brought to a close, the prorogation took place on the 12th of August.
The Queen having taken her seat on the Throne, the Commons were summoned.
The Speaker delivered a short Address, concisely enumerating the chief operations of the session.
The Queen, having given the Royal Assent to several Bills, de livered the following Speech
"My Lords and GentlemenThe state of public business enables me to release you from further at tendance in Parliament. I cannot take leave of you, without expressing my grateful sense of the assiduity and zeal with which you have applied yourselves to the dis charge of your public duties during the whole course of a long and most laborious session.
“You have had under your consideration measures of the greatest importance connected with the financial and commercial interests of the country, calculated to maintain the public credit, to improve the national resources, and, by extending trade and stimulating the demand for labour, to promote the general and permanent welfare of all classes of my subjects.
"Although measures of this description have necessarily occupied much of your attention, you have at the same time effected great improvements in several branches of jurisprudence, and in laws connected with the administration of domestic affairs.
"I return you my especial acknowledgments for the renewed proof which you afforded me of your loyalty and affectionate attachment, by your ready and unanimous concurrence in an Act for the increased security and protec tion of my person.
"I continue to receive from all Foreign Powers assurances of their friendly disposition towards this country.
"Although I have deeply to lament the reverses which have befallen a division of the army to the westward of the Indus, yet I have the satisfaction of reflecting, that the gallant defence of the city of Jellalabad, crowned by a decisive victory in the field, has eminently proved the courage and discipline of the European and native troops, and the skill and fortitude of their distinguished commander.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons - The liberality with which you have granted the supplies to meet the exigencies of the public service, demands my warm acknowledgments