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from duty. With regard to the motion now he should ever rejoice that his last words as a before the house he would be himself the first member of Lord Aberdeen's government were to vote for it if it could be proved that it would an indignant protest against a measure useless benefit the army. He believed it would ag- to the army, unconstitutional in its nature, and gravate, rather than alleviate, the evils com- fraught with danger to the honour and the inplained of.

terest of the Commons of England. Mr. Gladstone then pointed out that the last Of course Mr. Disraeli was not silent. He accounts represented matters in the Crimea as gave a few effective hits all round. He said improving. The whole army was improving; his first impression on seeing the honourable warm clothing was being served out; huts member for Sheffield sit down after simply were being erected; the railway was approach- reading his motion was, that the honourable ing completion, and Englishmen would be re- and learned gentleman, as a consummate rhetolieved by a large accession of Frenchmen doing rician, had done so as the most effective of service in the trenches. The honourable supporting his motion. He might well, indeed, baronet (Sir E. Lytton) condemned the govern- dispense with a speech in support of his moment for not destroying Odessa. Why, Odessa tion, for that had been made for him by the was an open town, with 100,000 inhabitants, noble lord who but a few hours before was and with an army of 300,000 men within easy

the first minister of the crown in that house. reach. Would that have proved comfortable It was said that this inotion implied a vote of winter quarters for the British army? He want of confidence. He would ask, in what admitted that the administration of the war government did it imply a vote of want of departments at home was defective; but he confidence? Was it in the government as it did not admit that they were not much im- existed forty-eight hours ago, or was it in the proved, or that they remained so defective as government as it now existed? Why, they to call for censure. He then dwelt upon im

had themselves admitted that they required provements in the military preparations, and reconstruction. Or was it want of confidence in the arms and artillery, and defended the in the government as it was to be? The House Duke of Newcastle against any suspicion that of Commons had often before voted confidence he had not performed the duties intrusted to in a government whose principles they did not him. The complaints as to the state of the know, but now they were called upon to vote hospitals and of the army before Sebastopol confidence in an administration with whose had only become clamorous since the middle very persons they were unacquainted. He of December, What would the house have denied that this motion was directed excluhad his noble friend do? Was he to recall sively against the Duke of Newcastle. His Lord Raglan? Why, the house had just voted own colleagues had described him as deficient their unanimous thanks to that gallant com- alike in energy and experience; but the duke mander ! Was he then to recall the subordi- ought not to be made the scapegoat for a policy nates of Lord Raglan ? Before doing that,

for which the whole cabinet was responsible. his noble friend had called for a report

Neither would he consent to throw the blame from Lord Raglan as to his subordinates, upon a system which, whatever might be its and they had received a statement from Lord faults, when in the hands of able men had Raglan, giving hope that these abuses would accomplished great ends. It was the cabinet be remedied. It was for the house to say as a whole that must be held responsible for whether they would censure the government the evils that existed. Recurring to the exfor trusting to the representations of Lord planatory speech of the noble lord the member Raglan. It was admitted that the appoint- for London, he said it reminded him of a page ment of this committee was improper and from the Life of Bubb Doddington, in the unimpracticable, and was avowedly supported conscious admission it contained of what, in by many members as a means of turning out the eighteenth century, would have been dethe ministry. If this motion were to be carried scribed as profligate intrigue. Such an all



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unconscious admission of profligate intrigue inquiry, and only 148 against it. Instead of was not to be matched in that record which a burst of cheering saluting this unlooked-for commemorated the doings of another Duke of result, a profound silence seemed for a minute Newcastle, who was a minister of England to have fallen on the assembly. Then there when the House of Commons was led by Sir arose a murmur of astonishment, succeeded by Thomas Robinson, and when the opposition a sudden and almost simultaneous outburst of was actually carried on by the paymaster of satirical laughter. the forces and the secretary of war. These The resignation of ministers was announceil dissensions would prove most injurious to the in the House of Lords by the Earl of Abercharacter of England. Two years ago Eng- deen and in the Commons by Lord Palmerland was the leading power in Europe; would ston. In the former assembly the Duke of any man say that she now occupied that posi- Newcastle took the opportunity of defending tion? Under these circumstances he felt that, himself from the charges brought or implied being called upon to give a vote on this ques against him, and he did so with spirit and with tion, he could not refuse to give it against a dignity. There was something both eloquent deplorable administration.

and touching in his assertion of his devotion Lord John Russell rose to enter into expla- to the public service, and his protest against nations and to attempt to refute the attack. If being accused of want of zeal and industry. the whole of what had passed between himself “I have been charged with indolence and and Lord Aberdeen and the Duke of Newcastle indifference. My lords, as regards indolence, were placed before the house the transactions the public have had every hour, every minute would have a different complexion, but he of my time. To not one hour of amusement would not enter into that subject. He would or recreation have I presumed to think I was

I repel the expression characterizing his conduct entitled. The other charge of indifference is as a political intrigue. As a precedent for what one which is still more painful to me. Indifhe had done he referred to the substitution of ference, my lords, to what? Indifference to Lord Stanley for Lord Goderich as colonial the honour of my country, to the success and secretary in Lord Grey's administration. No the safety of the army? My lords, I have man would characterize that as a profligate myself, like many who listen to me, too dear intrigue, and he had proposed no more than hostages for my interest in the welfare of the was done there. In his anxiety to keep clear of military and naval services of the country to everything like intrigue he had, unadvisedly allow of such a sentiment. I have two sons for himself perhaps, not communicated his engaged in those professions, and that alone, I intention of resigning to any of his colleagues. think, would be sufficient; but, my lords, as

Those who thought that the resignation of a minister—as a man-I should be unworthy Lord John Russell caused the overthrow of to stand in any assembly if the charge of the ministry were mistaken. If the country indifference under such circumstances could did not trust them, neither did it trust him; fairly be brought against me. Many a sleepand when a new ministry had to be formed he less night have I passed in thinking over the was incapable of inspiring confidence in his ills which the public believe and say that I I ability to keep a cabinet together, or even to could have cured, and which, God knows, I head a government that could stand for an would have cured if it had been in my power. hour. Nobody really believed that the coali- Indolence and indifference are not charges tion was so weak as it really was; and had it which can be brought against me; and I trust been as strong as was supposed Mr. Glad- that my countrymen may, before long, be stone's determined attitude and Lord Palmer- satisfied whatever they may think of my ston's protest, already referred to, which prac- capacity-that there is no ground for fixing tically wound up the debate, might have saved that unjust stigma upon me.” it. As it was, when the house divided there It was a true and manly defence, and vinwere 305 votes in favour of the committee of dicated the speaker against the particular

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charges of which he complained; but there wrote on the same day in which he received remained the belief that he was not capable the offer, “I have come to the conclusion that of grasping the situation in which he had if I were to join your government, as proposed been placed. It was a pretty general opinion by you, I should not give to that government that nothing in his official life became him so the strength which you are good enough to much as the leaving of it.

think would accrue to you from my acceptIt was all very well to turn out the Aber- ance of office. I shall therefore deem it my deen ministry; but who were to replace its duty, in the present critical state of affairs, to members? Johnny had again succeeded in give, out of office, my support to any governupsetting the coach; but who was now to take ment that shall carry on the war with energy the reins with any chance of reaching the end and vigour, and will, in the management of of the journey? A strong government was our foreign relations, sustain the dignity and needed, and there was considerable difficulty in interests of the country, and maintain unimsecuring any government at all. Lord Derby paired the alliances which have been formed. was the head of the party which was most I have conveyed to Gladstone and Sidney numerous, and they had helped to carry Mr. Herbert the communication which you wished Roebuck's motion; to him, therefore, the royal me to make to them; but it seemed to me to message was first seut.

It was, however, one be best that they should write to you themthing to lead a large party, and quite another selves.” The reply of Gladstone and Sidney thing to be able to hold the House of Commons Herbert was not reassuring, but it was, apin control; and it soon became evident that no parently, such as had been expected, for Lord ministry could be formed except by a fresh Derby had already suggested to the queen coalition. To begin with, it was necessary to

hat hould he fail to obtain their assistance obtain the support of Lord Palmerston. The she might attempt other combinations with general opinion of the country had decided Lord John Russell and Lord Lansdowne and that he alone was competent to direct the their friends. In the event of all other atfuture progress of the war. Lord Derby did tempts failing, however, he would be "ready

“ not agree altogether with this conclusion, and to come forward to the rescue of the country instead of offering to him the appointment of with such materials as he had, but it would minister of war, proposed that he should join be a desperate attempt.” No time was lost. the government as leader of the House of In a few hours he had to inform her majesty Commons--a position which Mr. Disraeli was that Lord Palmerston, Mr. Gladstone, and ready to relinquish in his favour. Even with Mr. Herbert could offer him only “an indeLord Palmerston, however, it would have pendent support,” which, he said, reminded been hopeless to expect success unless the him of the definition of the independent memsupport of the party still known as “Peelites” | ber of parliament, namely, one that could not could be secured, and it was believed that be depended upon. Palmerston's influence might induce them to The state of affairs was serious. Abroad take office in a Derby administration. Pal- the condition of England was being discussed merston was reluctant to belong to any gov- with little friendly feeling. The reports which ernment in which the management of foreign had been so fully published concerning the affairs did not remain in the hands of Lord state of our army in the Crimea and of misClarendon, and to this there would probably management in the prosecution of the war have been little opposition; but it would seem were now emphasized by the sudden collapse that in face of the public demand that he of the government and the difficulty of formshould be placed where he could direct the ing a strong administration. Prince Albert, prosecution of the war, Palmerston would not in a long conference with Lord Derby, disconsent to occupy a less influential place in cussed the critical condition of affairs and the the ministry. “Having well reflected upon unpatriotic attitude of statesmen, who took the proposition which you made to me,” he | advantage of every mishap and strove to


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aggravate it for the purpose of snatching party | find men enough to carry on the war effecadvantages. Lord Derby capped some of the tually, although she might effect great exprince's illustrations of the effect which had ploits; that the Russians everywhere were in thus been produced on the opinion of foreign the highest spirits; that the Emperor Nicholas governments, by quoting a em: alleged to had written to his sister, she might rely on have been made by Count Walewski, the his assurance, Sebastopol vever would be French representative, on the subject of our taken.1 probable position at the approaching confer- As Lord Derby had failed in the attempt ence at Vienna. “What influence can a coun- to form a ministry, the queen sent to ask the try like England pretend to exercise, which advice of Lord Lansdowne. That veteran has no army and no government?" Supposing peer, who had left office with Lord John that Walewski ever said this, it was certainly Russell in 1852, might himself have formed a indiscreet, and had his imperial master known ministry in which both Palmerston and Rusit he might have received a sharp rebuke, or sell would have taken office; but it could only perhaps the emperor would have made light be a temporary one, for he was seventy-five of it, as be afterwards did of a really authen- years old and suffering severely from gout. ticated speech communicated to him by the A temporary administration would be worse queen while she was in Paris. Her majesty than useless; and moreover, he believed that was frankly explaining to him the footing on though Lord Palmerston could form an adwhich she stood with the Orleans family; that ministration, it would certainly fall to pieces they were her friends and relations, and she unless it included Lord John, who an 'the could not drop them in their adversity; but other hand could not expect that Palmerston that they were very discreet, and politics would again serve under him. The strange were not touched upon between them. The part of the business was that Lord John himemperor replied that he quite understood this, self seemed to believe he was strong enough and felt that she could not abandon those who to forin a government without the aid of the were in misfortune. The queen rejoined that “Peelites," and Lord Lansdowne thought that she was certain this was the emperor's feeling, no effective combination could be made until but that other people tried--and Walewski he had been called upon to try and had failed. was one-to put a great stress on her com- That he would fail was a foregone conclusion. munications with the family, and to make her The queen did the best she could by addressunderstand that the emperor would be very ing herself “ to Lord John Russell as the permuch displeased. “That is just like Wa- son who may be considered to have contrilewski,” replied the emperor. Doubtless it buted to the vote of the House of Commons was also just like Walewski to say that Eng- which displaced her last government,” and land had no army and no government; but expressing her hope that he would be able to the phrase perturbed the prince consort, who present to her such a government as would thought there was truth in it—that “every give a fair promise successfully to overcome one here took pains to prove that we had no the great difficulties in which the country was army, and to contrive that the queen should placed. She also added a distinct declaration have no government.” The prince was likely that "it would give her particular satisfaction to hear a great deal of the depreciation of if Lord Palmerston would join in the formaEngland by foreign critics, and it is not to be tion.” This was naturally a very pleasant wondered at that he should have attributed intimation for Palmerston, who saw in it the rather undue importance to another remark obliteration of former objections and disagreeretailed by “one of the shrewdest observers ments. With his customary cheerful alacrity in Europe, who was in a position to hear what was said in the most influential quarters i Life of the Prince Consort, by Sir Theodore Martin. abroad," that England as a great power was

These remarks are cited as an indication of the reports

that came to the prince, but the name of “one of the to be feared no more; that she never could shrewdest observers in Europe" is not mentioned.


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and good humour he requested an audience ago as unfit to be minister for foreign affairs, for the purpose of assuring the queen of his should now have broken up a government readiness to do anything in his power to because I was not placed in what he conceived put an end to the existing difficulty. He was to be the most important post in the present willing to take office under Lord John Russell state of things.” as leader of the House of Commons, but he When this was written a conclusion had considered it essential that Lord Clarendon been arrived at, which a good many people should remain at the foreign office-an opin- must have been expecting for several days. ion in which, as it turned out, Lord John The crisis had really become serious. From himself entirely agreed. But Lord Clarendon the 23d of January to the 4th of February utterly repudiated the idea of the ability of (1855) there had virtually been no governLord John Russell to form a government. ment, and on the latter date Lord Cowley had Nobody really believed it to be possible that written from Paris to Lord Clarendon, speakhe could command a permanent ministry, ing of the mischief which was being done to composed as it would be of the same men our reputation and the disrepute that the delay who had been utterly defeated in 1852, and was bringing to constitutional government. minus two of their number, Lord Lansdowne There was nothing for it but to send for Lord and Lord Grey. Were he (Lord Clarendon) Palmerston, and he had shown enough of public to remain at the foreign office his language to spirit to make it desirable, if not necessary, for foreign countries would lose all its weight, be- the queen to ask him if he could form a miniscause it would be known not to rest on public try capable of acting in “that momentous opinion; and what would be thought of him crisis.” The Earl of Aberdeen behaved nobly, were he to accept as his leader, the man who, and with a high-minded and unselfish deterwhile in the late ministry, had worked for mination to devote himself to the service of the overthrow of Lord Aberdeen and his col- the country which had always distinguished leagues and for the reinstatement of an ex- him whatever may have been his failings of clusively Whig ministry? Lord Clarendon statesmanship. Palmerston was able to report respected the loyalty of his colleagues too the next day that Lord Lansdowne, the lordmuch to form an alliance with the minister chancellor, Lord Clarendon, Lord Granville, who had overthrown them though they were Sir George Grey, and Sir Charles Wood had his colleagues also.

agreed to take office under him, and there Lord Palmerston considered that he could were sufficient indications that he might hope not refuse his support, for, as he afterwards for success, but in order to make that success wrote in a letter to his brother, Sir William secure, it was most desirable that he should Temple, " John Russell, by the way in which be able to count on the support of the men he suddenly abandoned the government, had who represented the strength of the late so lost caste for the moment, that I was the ministry in the House of Commons, and Mr. only one of his political friends who was will-Gladstone, Mr. Sidney Herbert, and the Duke ing to serve under him. I could not refuse to of Argyll declined to give in their complete do so, because he told me that upon my answer adhesion on the ground that to do so would depended his undertaking to form a govern- be to act disloyally to Lord Aberdeen and the ment, and if I had refused, and he had de- Duke of Newcastle. But the Earl of Aberdeen clined the task, and the queen had then sent and the Duke of Newcastle were not the men for me, people would have ascribed my refusal to permit the interests of the country to suffer, to personal ambition. Besides, he broke with if, by an act of self-abnegation, they could the late government because the war depart- prevent it. They called on their friends, and ment was not given to me, and it would have by their persuasions induced them to change been ungrateful of me to have refused to assist their determination. Palmerston was not unhim. It is, however, curious that the same grateful. “I called at your door yesterday, man who summarily dismissed me three years and was sorry not to have found you at home,"

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