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Mr. Gladstone remarks that a survey of economical. The effects of their separation these years, conducted in a historic spirit, will from official Liberalism during the first gorleave on the mind, among other impressions, ernment of Lord Palmerston were easily tracea sense of the great incidental evils which ac- able in the policy of that government as to company the breaking up of those singularly various matters of importance. From this but finely and strongly organized wholes, our time onwards Lord Aberdeen was in retireknown political parties. “Together with Sir

* Together with Sir ment, and Peelism ceased to be, as such, in Robert Peel, nearly the whole official corps of contact with the court, at which it had certhe Conservatives was discharged in 1846; and tainly weighed as an important factor of poiithe discharge proved to be a final one. The tical opinion.” Tories, when brought into office, had to supply the highest places with raw, that is to say,

On the debate on Mr. Lowe's amendment fresh, recruits. This could not be without being resumed, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, some detriment to the public service; but jus- who had long been regarded as one of the tice requires the admission that the body of most elegant, though he was by no means one English gentry, trained in the English fashion, of the most frequent speakers in the house, affords material of great aptitude for public made another strong appeal for continuing the life. There were evils on the other side much war with energy. “Let me suppose,” he said, more serious than this. It took no less than “that when the future philanthropist shall thirteen years to effect the final incorporation ask what service on the human race did we of the Peelites into the Liberal party. When in our generation signally confer, some one they took their places among its leaders the trained perhaps in the schools of Oxford or the official staff on one side was doubled, as on Institute of Manchester shall answer: ‘A the other side it was almost annihilated. It power that commanded myriads--as many as is possible that to this duplication onght those that under Xerxes exhausted rivers in greatly to be attributed those personal dis- their march-embodied all the forces of barcontents and political cross-purposes for which barism on the outskirts of civilization; left the Liberal party has of late years been dis- these to develop its own natural resources ; no astrously remarkable. Moreover, for eleven state molested, though all apprehended its out of these thirteen years of disembodied growth. But long pent by merciful nature existence the Peelites were independent mem

in its own legitimate domains, this power bers. They were like roving icebergs, on

schemed for the outlet to its instinctive ambiwhich men could not land with safety, but tion; to that outlet it crept by dissimulating with which ships might come into perilous guile, by successive treaties that, promising collision. Their weight was too great not to peace, graduated spoliation to the opportunities count, but it counted first this way and then of fraud. At length, under pretexts too gross that. It is not alleged against them that to deceive the common sense of mankind, it their conduct was dishonourable, but their proposed to seize that outlet, to storm the political action was attended with much pub- feeble gates between itself and the world belic inconvenience; and even those who think yond. Then the historian shall say, that we they were enlightened statesmen may feel in our generation, the united families of Engthat the existence of these sensibly large land and France, made ourselves the vanguard segments of a representative chamber, in a of alarmed and shrinking Europe, and did not state of detachment from all the organization sheathe the sword until we had redeemed the of party, acts upon the parliamentary vessel pledge to humanity, made on the faith of two as a cargo of corn in bulk acts in foul weather Christian sovereigns, and ratified at those dison the trim of a ship at sea. Again, as a party, tant graves which liberty and justice shall they had been, like their leader, pacific and revere for ever.” This will be sufficient as an

example of the style of the famous novelist 1 Mr. Gladstone wrote this at the end of 1876. when he made a special effort in parliament.

REPORT OF THE CRIMEAN COMMITTEE.

177

It is a style which can scarcely be said to have that the great powers should distinctly agree survived to our own day, and perhaps if it had, to respect the independence and territorial init would not be often patiently accepted by tegrity of the Ottoman Empire, and should modern political assemblies of persons with bind themselves to consider every act or event differing and opposite opinions.

of a nature to infringe upon it as a question of The debate was closed by a long speech from European interest. Secondly, that the pleniLord Palmerston, in which, as we have noticed potentiaries of Russia and Turkey should proin a previous page, he sharply attacked the pose by common agreement to the conference "peace-at-any-price” party, and gave a shrewd the equal amount of the effective naval forces hit at Mr. Bright by saying that, “judging to be kept up by them in the Black Sea, such from their speeches, their manner, and their amount not to exceed the number of Russian language, they would do much better for ships now afloat in that sea, and that this leaders of a party for war at all hazards.” agreement should form an integral part of the Mr. Baring's amendment was then accepted general treaty; the straits to remain closed, without a division, a conclusion which Mr. but each of the other powers to be authorized Disraeli opposed but in which Mr. Gladstone by firman to station two frigates in the Black concurred.

Sea, and in case of attack, the sultan to open

the passage to all the naval forces of his allies. The last of the Vienna conferences had A considerable amount of diplomatic conalready taken place, and was attended for tention ensued, the result of which was that Austria by Count Buol - Schauenstein and Prince Gortschakoff admitted that he found Baron Prokesch-Osten; for France, by Baron in the general principles of Count Buol's proBourqueney; for Great Britain, by the Earl of ject the basis of a possible solution of the third Westmoreland; for Russia, by Prince Gorts- guarantee. The English and French ambassachakoff and M. de Titoff; for Turkey, by Aali dors both declared that their instructions were Pasha and Aariff Effendi. Count Buol stated exhausted, and thus the matter ended for the that, as a last resource, Austria was prepared time, though it was renewed earlier than had to make another proposition intended to settle been expected. by way of compromise the disputed point of The Crimean committee of inquiry, which the limitation of the naval forces of Russia in had been largely attended, and to obtain adthe Black Sea. In the eleventh conference, mission to which crowds were daily in waiting, held on the 19th of April, M. Drouyn de had brought its sittings to a close. The eviLhuys had suggested that, as Russia peremp- dence was, as we have seen, conclusive as to torily objected to treat with the other great the incapacity of the former administration of powers on the limitation of her own naval affairs in some of the departments most essenforces, an expedient might be found to meet tial to the maintenance of the army and the this difficulty, by bringing about a direct prosecution of the war. The Duke of Camarrangement between Russia and the Porte to bridge had perhaps given the most damaging adjust the balance of their respective forces, particulars, for he stated that while a cabinet which arrangement should have the same va- minister was assuring the House Commons lidity and effect as the general acts of the that the number of men fit for duty amounted conference. To this was added Lord John to thirty thousand, the real number was only Russell's very inopportune declaration of the twelve thousand. It will be remembered, 19th of March, that the best and most admis- however, that little information was obtained sible conditions of peace would be those which from the reports and despatches of Lord Ragshould be most consistent with the honour of lan, and, as we have seen, the evidence related Russia, as well as with the security of Europe. rather to what had been done under another Upon these hints the Austrian cabinet set to administration, than by that in existence at work to construct its final scheme, to the fol- the time of the inquiry. This may have been lowing effect :-It proposed, in the first place, I the reason that the report of the commission, VOL III.

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when it was presented, on the 18th of June, its severe reprehension every member of tie seemed to have little force in it. If it did not cabinet whose counsels led to such disastrous exhibit a “lame and impotent conclusion,” it results.” This resolution was discussed on at all events appeared to reassert, without any the 17th and 18th of July, and dawdled along immediately practical application, what had until it was got rid of by the usual expedient been said in far more forcible language a of moving and carrying "the previous queshundred times before. Indeed it rather pro- tion.” Thus the inquiry was after all extinvided excuse for previous failures, and wound guished. It had done little or nothing more, up with a couple of patriotic platitudes. After after causing the retirement of three able describing the condition of the army, and ministers, than confirm the reports which had reviewing the evidence given before the com- been published in the newspapers, and with mittee, it ended as follows:

which the country was already familiar. “ Your committee report that the sufferings The censure upon the government, and of the army resulted mainly from the circum- much depreciation of the manner in which stances under which the expedition to the the war was conducted, had to some extent Crimea was undertaken and executed. The been mitigated, however, and this result was administration which ordered that expedition partly attributed to a speech made by Prince had no adequate information as to the amount Albert at the annual banquet at the Trinity of forces in the Crimea. They were not ac- House on the day after the closing of the quainted with the strength of the forces to debate on Mr. Lowe's amendment, when be attacked, or with the resources of the crimination and recrimination had run so high. country to be invaded. They hoped and ex- The speech had been well thought out beforepected the expedition to be immediately suc- hand, and it was certainly telling, not only on cessful, and as they did not foresee the pro- account of the gravity with which it was bability of a protracted struggle, they made spoken, but because of the serious representano provision for a winter campaign. The tions which it contained -representations, the patience and fortitude of the army demand truth of which was afterwards largely acthe admiration and gratitude of the nation on knowledged. It was in proposing the toast whose behalf they have fought, bled, and of her majesty's ministers that the prince suffered. Their heroic valour and equally said :heroic patience under sufferings and priva- “ If there ever was a time when the queen's tions have given them claims on the country government, by whomsoever conducted, rewhich will doubtless be gratefully acknow- quired the support-ay, not the support alone, ledged. Your committee will now close their but the confidence, good-will, and sympathy of report with a hope that every British army their fellow-countrymen, it is the present. may in future display the valour winch this It is not the way to success in war to support noble army has displayed, and that none may it, however ardently and energetically, and to hereafter be exposed to such sufferings as run down and weaken those who have to conhave been recorded in these pages,"

duct it. We are engaged with a mighty That Mr. Roebuck considered the result adversary, who uses against us all those wonnot quite in accordance with the threats which derful powers which have sprung up under had originated and accompanied the inquiry, the generating influence of our liberty and may be inferred from the terms of the motion our civilization, and employs them with all that he almost inımediately brought forward, the force which unity of purpose and action, " that this house, deeply lamenting the suffer- | impenetrable secresy, and uncontrolled deings of our army during the late winter cam- spotic power give him; whilst we have to paign in the Crimea, and coinciding with the meet him under a state of things intended for resolution of their committee, that the conduct peace and the promotion of that very civilizof the administration was the first and chief ation--a civilization the offspring of public cause of those misfortunes, hereby visits with discussion, the friction of parties, and popular

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ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM-CHARLES DICKENS.

179

control over the government of the state. ficult to preserve the freedom, which had long The queen has no power to levy troops, and been claimed, for open discussion and complete none at her comm: mand, except such as volun- examination of public affairs in the press

of tarily offer their services. Her government the country, and yet to impose a limit of discan entertain no measures for the prosecution cretion. The leading newspapers had already of the war without having to explain them exposed our mismanagement in the Crimea, publicly in parliament; her armies and fleets and the result had been an amendment of adcan make no movement, nor even prepare for ministration, without which we might never any, without its being proclaimed by the have succeeded in maintaining a position in press; and no mistake, however trifling, can the Crimea at all. It was not likely, therefore, occur, no weakness exist, which it may be of that details of the movements of our troops the utmost importance to conceal from the and of the operations before Sebastopol would world, without its being publicly denounced, be suppressed, although they were said to have and even frequently exaggerated, with a mor- given the Russians information which generals bid satisfaction. The queen's ambassadors seek for with eagerness, but under great diffican carry on no negotiation which has not to culties through the medium of spies and debe publicly defended by entering into all the serters. In a private despatch from Lord arguments which a negotiator, to have success, Cowley it was stated that the young Emperor must be able to shut up in the innermost of Russia had said to a French prisoner, General recesses of his heart-nay, at the most critical Lagardie, “We do not learn much from you moment, when the complications of military (the French); it is the English press which measures and diplomatic negotiations may be gives us information, and certes it has been at their height, an adverse vote in parliament most valuable to us.” may of a sudden deprive her of all her confi- General Simpson, too, wrote to Lord Pandential servants.

mure complaining of the particulars published “Gentlemen, constitutioual government is in the papers. “There is a paragraph in the under a heavy trial, and can only pass tri- Morning Post,” he said, "giving the exact umphantly through it, if the country will grant strength of our guards at the trenches, lines its confidence-a patriotic, indulgent, and self- of relief, &c. It is very disgusting to read denying confidence-to her majesty's govern- these things, which are read at Sebastopol ment. Without this, all their labours must some days before they reach us here.” The be in vain.”

success of the expedition to Kertch was mainly There was for a time a great outcry against due to the fact, that the English press had no the declaration that constitutional govern- chance of divulging the point on which it was ment was under a heavy trial—and the words to be directed. had been distorted into an assertion that con- The charges agairst the administration in stitutional government was “on its trial;" their prosecution of the war were, however, but nobody, except those who were either not permitted to sleep. Before the dismissal ignorantly misled or were wilfully perverse of Mr. Roebuck's motion of censure Mr. Layard attributed to it any but its real meaning, and had introduced into the house the subject of the intentions of the speaker were not only adminictrative reform, which was being disunderstood, but appreciated, by the leading cussed outside with increasing interest and newspapers of the country, as well as by its vigour, Mr. Charles Dickens having been most intelligent politicians.

amongst the foremost speakers at one of the The allusion made by the prince consort to large meetings. The resolution by which Mr. the effects of information conveyed to the Layard endeavoured to claim attention to his enemy by means of unrestrained reports and declarations was, that the house “views with comments which appeared in the English deep and increasing concern the state of the newspapers, was not without considerablefoun- nation, and is of opinion that the manner in dation; but it would have been extremely dif- which merit and efficiency have been sacrificed,

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in public appointments, to party and family | valued the difficulties of a contest with Russia, influences, and to a blind adherence to routine, and was of opinion that the war could not has given rise to great misfortunes, and terminate in a treaty between that power and threatens to bring discredit upon the national the allies, but rather in a general treaty, in character, and to involve the country in grave which all the great powers of Europe must disasters.” The house went to a division, and take part and give their security for maintainthe resolution was negatived by an immense ing the integrity of Turkey. In this view of majority; but during a two nights' debate the case he thought it of the highest impormany of the evils complained of were ad- tance to secure the co-operation of Austria, mitted, and the subject was at all events to which government he attributed no bad “ ventilated.”

faith whatever. He thought the proposition It was at this time, that by an order in emanating from Count Buol, combined with council, candidates for the public service were one by which there should be a counterpoise ordered to be subjected to educational tests, to any force which Russia might have in the and this was afterwards extended to a more Black Sea, did afford a basis for a treaty of public and competitive examination.

peace. That proposition was, that a treaty But a still more important parliamentary should be entered into between the powers,-event had occurred before the disposal of the France, England, and Austria,-guaranteeing report of the commission of inquiry, and the the integrity and independence of Turkey. motion that arose out of it. Lord John Rus- He was not authorized to agree to this; but sell bad again resigned--unwillingly this time, he told Count Buol that he would communicate and in consequence of the false position in them to his government. Those propositions which he was discovered to have placed him- were deliberately considered by the British self, and of a severe resolution which was government, which came to the conclusion that brought forward by Sir E. L. Bulwer. they did not offer a safe basis for a peace. The

Mr. Milner Gibson had on the 6th of July French government came to the same concluasked the government for some further ex- sion-Austria still declaring that she thought planations of what bad really been done at the third point admitted of more than one Vienna, for an avowal of their candid opinions solution, and that she was not therefore bound and their true designs. He, as a representative to go to war with Russia. He was of a differof those who desired peace, had understood ent opinion, although Austria had represented that Lord John Russell had gone to Vienna that her proposition should be made an ultiin order to make peace; but his colleagues matum to Russia. If he had left office on the seemed to have thwarted him. It appeared decision of the government he would be asto him that, assuming Count Buol's statement suming as a plenipotentiary a course of conto be correct, Lord J. Russell, when he was duct which could not be justified by such a calling upon the house to continue the war, position; while on the other hand, as a minister inust have known that proposals had been of the crown, he felt it his duty not to emmade, likely to lead to a peaceful solution of barrass a government placed in the difficult the question at issue. If this were so, the circumstances which surrounded that of his house should be informed of the fact.

noble friend. On the contrary he felt that he The answer given by Lord John,—though it ought to support his government, and he was showed that he was not at one with the minis. open to the censure of those who entertained try which had appointed him as their represen- a different opinion. tative on a mission of the utmost importance, This statement roused Mr. Cobden to inand was therefore exceedingly damaging to the dignant remonstrance. He had never, he government,-might have been less remark- said, heard a speech that filled him with more able but for his former warlike and uncom- grief than that of the noble lord; for he could promising speeches, delivered after his return not help thinking that he had not dealt with from Vienna. He said he had never under- / fairness or candour towards the country, nor

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