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expenditure on account of China; two questions—our commercial but, taking the deficiency at only relations with a foreign country, 9,400,0001. for the next year, he and the development of our would find wanting the 1,400,0001. national resources at home; it for malt and hop credits, while asked the House to reject sum. 1,000,0001. would be required for marily and by anticipation the Exchequer bonds. It was because treaty and the Budget.
If we Mr. Gladstone's plan was not like were to face a large expenditure, those he had cited that the motion we ought to do all we could to called upon the House to inter. increase our resources ; and the pose and express an opinion upon two measures were directed to his propositions. With respect to that object, while they would spread the treaty, he and his party had over the other countries of Europe no prejudices against a commercial the sound principles of commercial treaty with France ; on the con- intercourse. trary, if the position of affairs The House then divided, when permitted, nothing could be more there appeared : desirable. But his objection to For Mr. Du Cane's Motion 223 this treaty was, that it was drawn Against it
. 339 with a want of forethought, and of knowledge of the circumstances Majority for Government. 116 with which the negotiator had to So large a majority in favour of deal, and that by the treaty the the financial policy of the Governdeficiency under which we were ment was conclusive as to the ultisuffering would be largely in- mate success of the Budget and creased, to the extent of 500,0001. the French Treaty in the House beyond the amount at which Mr. of Commons, but the propositions Gladstone had calculated his loss. of the Chancellor of the ExcheHe exposed what he characterized quer, involving a great multitude as the great failures of the famous of details, and affecting in various Budget of 1853, which he con- ways a large circle of interests, nected with that of 1860, and had yet to undergo a severe and asked why, after these conspicuous lengthened ordeal in both Houses. failures, the House should put The opposition party, though outconfidence in a wild and improvi- numbered, were by no means dent project of the same financier. daunted, but strove in the numerAdverting to the state of affairs in ous discussions which arose on the Italy, he put it to the House several articles of the treaty and whether this was not a moment the multifarious items affected by when we ought to husband our the Budget, to thwart the policy of resources, instead of sacrificing the Government. Before enterportions of our ordinary revenue. ing, however, into the details of
Lord Palmeraton said he was the financial scheme, Lord Pal. not going to discuss the extraneous merston had undertaken to give topics introduced by Mr. Disraeli. Parliament an opportunity of deHe recalled the House to the claring its opinion explicitly upon subject before it—a resolution the merits of the commercial which, in a short compass, was one treaty, and this he proposed to do of the most important ever sub- by asking the assent of the two mitted to it. The motion involved Houses to an address to the Crown expressing their appro- to the treaty, that it was a bad bation of that engagement. Ac- bargain for the people of Engcordingly, on the 8th March, a land; but he denied entirely that motion was made in the House of the negotiations had been entered Commons by Mr. Byng, M.P. for into in the spirit of a mere barter Middlesex, who invited the House and bargain. This was not a to concur in the following reso- treaty of •reciprocity, but one of lution :—"That an humble address mutual benefit. If we complained be presented to Her Majesty, to that France had not marched at assure Her Majesty that, having the same rate with us in the path considered the treaty of commerce of free-trade, we should recollect concluded between Her Majesty that we had arrived at our present and the Emperor of the French, advanced position by slow and this House begs leave to approach successive steps. After noticing Her Majesty with their sincere the imputed faults of omission and grateful acknowledgments for and commission in the treaty, the this new proof of Her Majesty's questions he would address to the desire to promote the welfare and House, he said, were, whether happiness of her subjects; to as- they believed the commercial sure Her Majesty that we shall treaty to be right in principle; proceed to take such steps as may whether it would conduce to the be necessary for giving effect to a advantage of the two contracting system which we trust will promote Powers; whether by its operation a beneficial intercourse between our trade and commerce would be Great Britain and France, tend extended ; whether it would cement to the extension of trade and the ties of friendship and the manufactures, and give additional bonds of alliance with France ; security for the continuance of the and, lastly, whether they believed blessings of peace."
that it would bear the scrutiny of If he were called upon, he said, time and the judgment of posterity. to define what ought to be our If they answered these questions foreign policy, he should say a in the affirmative, he claimed their dignified forbearance, calm con- co-operation in the address. ciliation, friendly intercourse with Mr. Baines seconded the moall nations, and an absence of un- tion. He thought it was desirable necessary interference in their to stimulate the trade with France. affairs. This policy, he observed, The treaty would cement the was no reason why we should not friendship and advance the inendeavour to promote our trade terests of the two greatest nations with the rest of the world. When in the world. he looked at the commercial treaty Mr. Lindsay moved an amendwith France, he did not wish to ment, expressing a desire to see over-rate its benefits to ourselves, the benefits of the treaty extended or to undervalue its disadvantages. to navigation. He explained the If he was asked why he supported existing state of the French navithe treaty, he should say that it gation laws, and showed that they was because he saw in it the were more injurious to France than almost entire abolition of protec- to England, keeping down the tive duties and the simplification growth of their shipping and reof our tariff. It had been objected stricting their trade. He declined, however, to press his motion, the negotiators could have had thinking it better to bring it for their attention directed to the subward in a substantive shape at some ject of the linen trade. He speci. future time. Mr. Peacock and fied other objections to the manner Mr. B. Cochrane objected to the in which the treaty had been policy of the treaty. Mr. Ewart framed, and commented upon the congratulated Mr. Gladstone on spirit-duty, originally fixed at 10s. his great achievements. Mr. per gallon, which was subsequently Maguire warmly defended the reduced to 88. 2d., and he asked treaty, which he insisted would what concession had been made by prove very beneficial to Ireland. the French Government for this Mr. Ridley, Lord Adolphus Vanels. 10d. He contrasted the vigiTempest, and Mr. Slaney also lance of the French negotiators of spoke in favour of it.
the treaty with the supineness of Sir Hugh Cairns intimated the ours, and, with reference to the view taken by the party with which 11th article, he observed that up he was connected. He said: to that moment the House had not
“I should regret very much if had any explanation of the object this motion were not carried. The of the Government in regard to rejection of it would be the over- that article, and be asked what throw of the treaty, and, for my right they had to surrender a part, I do not desire that the treaty power to probibit the export of should be overthrown. But if my coal, possessed for political purassent to the motion were to be poses, and which had no relatiou to held to imply that I believed this commerce. Although he considered to be a treaty wise in its details, the treaty one-sided, imperfect, and well-considered in its provisions, halting, he supported the motion or such a treaty as the trade of the because much greater injury would country required, and had a right be done, and greater risk incurred, to expect, the opinion which I en- by arresting it than by assenting tertain of the treaty would be very to it, and he was not prepared to much misapprehended ; and it is take the responsibility of defeating in order to prevent that misappre- the treaty in that way. hension that I do not wish to give Mr. Milner Gibson was glad to a silent vote on the present occa- hear that Sir Hugh Cairns would sion." It had been denied, he throw no impediment in the way observed, that the treaty was a bar of the treaty, by which we should gain; but, if it was not a bargain, obtain what was good in itself, as what was the meaning of the terms well as beneficial to the people of in the treaty under which the both France and England. With validity of its stipulations depend. regard to Irish linens, he had been ed upon the sanction of the House assured by a deputation from the of Commons ? His objection was manufacturers of Belfast that they that it was not only a bargain, but a would be satisfied if they were put very bad bargain for us. He dwelt upon the same footing as those of upon the defects of the treaty in Belgium, and they were to be so relation to our shipping, and to the placed in June, 1-61. In respect linen and linen yarn of Ireland, to coals, what could be done by loaded with an almost prohibitory international law before the treaty duty, expressing his doubt whether could be done afterwards; the nonprohibition of the export of coal was treaty, for financial arrangements only in a commercial sense. The were mixed up with the treaty. It spirit duty was governed by con- was, therefore, impossible for him siderations relating to the Excise to join cordially in the motion. survey and regulations applicable Mr. Horsman observed that, by to British spirits, which the differ- the treaty with France, the power ence of duty was intended to cover; which Parliament should possess and, as to shipping, he insisted over the taxation of the country that the treaty placed British ship- had been abandoned, and we had ping in a better position, and con- tied and bound ourselves, as long ferred upon our shipowners an im- as the treaty lasted, to France. portant advantage." He should be This was a great sacrifice, he said, glad to see, he said, all navigation which could be justified only by laws entirely abolished; but the some great impending evil to be restriction of the French law had averted thereby, or some great but a small effect upon British good to be secured. The House, shipping, and too much importance therefore, ought to ask what were was, in his opinion, attached to the motives of the treaty. Glowsuch a matter. But the House, ing prospects, he observed, had he observed, must look at the been held forth as the results of principles of the treaty ; had the the treaty, but his objection was negotiators travelled from the broad that these prospects, like many principle into the minute details others, were based upon false calalluded to by Sir Hugh Cairns, culations. The equivalents we they would have failed altogether. were to receive were of two kinds, He hoped the House would give material and moral. The material an unanimous vote in favour of the consisted in the extension of the address.
principles of free trade; but, as Sir Stafford Northcote consider- he understood them, the object and ed that the objections of Sir H. result of these principles were to Cairns had been very feebly dealt unite countries in one common inwith by Mr. Gibson, and had not terest, so that France and England been answered at all. Whatever should be as closely connected as opinion might be entertained of Lancashire and Yorkshire. But the general character of the treaty, how did this consist with the methe House ought not to be pre- nacing attitude of France, which cluded from discussing its details, imposed upon us taxes and burand he proceeded to review and dens in time of peace? The moral enforce the objections founded equivalent was the securing of upon some of those details, dis- friendship and peace with France. puting the theory of Mr. Gibson If these results were to follow the as to the sense of the 11th article, treaty, he admitted that they would and contending that this article be cheaply purchased by ten times fettered our liberty of action; and the sacrifice; but he could not conthis, he said, was his objection to ceive how this conclusion could be the treaty, confessedly a clumsy reached by wounding the amour one, that it tied up the hands of propre of the French. By this Parliament for ten years. The treaty we made enemies of the motion proposed to thank Her commercial classes, the only classes Majesty for much more than the hitherto averse from war. The error arose from coufounding the Wales alone to answer all the exFrench Emperor with the French ports, and supply the wants of the nation, whose views, he contended, country for 750 years. were antagonistical. Having con. Mr. Bentiuck addressed the sidered the sacrifices made on our House in opposition to the propart, he predicted that, as a com- posed amendment. mercial speculation, the treaty Sir Robert Peel gave his cordial would fail, and then discussed its support to the motion, and urged political objects, confessing his ap- that, although the treaty might prehensions that commercial con- entail some losses on this country siderations predominated too much for the present, it would obtain for in our political relations. But us greater advantages hereafter. what, he asked, did a political alli- Jr. Disraeli observed, that if ance with France mean? Our the Government were of opinion policies differed altogether; in re- that, upon the whole, it was wise lation to Italy and to Savoy, in to enter at once into arrangements respect for treaties and reverence with the French Government, infor national rights, we were, he stead of waiting for a year, it would said, the very antipodes of each have been better, by some alteraother. After summing up his ob- tions in our mutual tarifls, to have jections to the treaty upon econo- attained all the ends that could mical, fiscal, constitutional, and po- be at present acquired; and at a litical grounds, he dwelt at con- later period to have completed siderable length upon that article the work, and accomplished the in the treaty which gave to foreign ulterior results by a treaty. He nations what he termed a vested should have objected to tie up right in English coal, contributing the hands of this country so long to the exhaustion of one of the great for objects which might be realized elements of our commercial pros- by a simpler process. These were perity and our political strength, the views under which he should and enhancing its price, and there have regarded the treaty under orby, in effect, laying a tax upon divary circumstances; but no one this country for the benefit of fo- could say that this treaty had been reigners. He concluded by moving, negotiated under ordinary circumas an amendment, to add to the stances; the circumstances were of resolution the following words :- a most exceptional character, and
" But humbly to represent to le objected to it upon three grounds Her Majesty that, in the opinion -financial, diplomatie, and poliof this House, Article 11 imposes tical. His first objection was to on the Crown and Legislature of the creating a large deficiency of the country unnecessary and impo- revenue for the purposes of this litic restrictions to which this treaty. l'pon the second ground, House cannot assent; and to pray he objected to the treaty that it Her Majesty to effect the omission had been unskilfully and negliof that article from the treaty." gently entered into, and he ad
Mr. Vivian showed that the ad- duced proofs of what he considered vantages of the Article in question precipitation, and of carelessness were in favour of England, as it in regard to British interests. had been proved that there was Then the political objections sufficient coal in the mines of the treaty were a part of the subVoi CII.