in rising to move—That, in the opinion of this House, the correspondence on the affairs of Turkey justifies Her Majesty's Government in taking every precaution to discourage the serious encroachments by which the Treaties of 1856 and 1871 are threatened,said: It saves time, my Lords, on an occasion of this sort, to go on at once to a preliminary obstacle, even if it is but a matter of detail, which may occur to those who otherwise are ready to support you. The Bill which came before the House on Thursday night, it may appear to some, anticipates the purpose of the Motion. Had it led to any conflict of opinion, or prolonged debate, or fixed upon itself the marked attention of the world, it possibly might do so. But as the noble Earl the Prime Minister ap- 266 parently considered it so much a matter of routine as not to speak beyond five minutes; as the noble and learned Lord upon the Woolsack, no doubt in the same sense, put the Question with such despatch, that only active men were able to present themselves, and that after the second reading had been carried, it does not seem to me that this effect can be imputed to it. What took place was more like the Appropriation Bill, whose smooth and easy passage through the House—although, of course, it might be thrown out—is not thought to have an international significance. At the best, as things stand, this House has only acquiesced; the other, after many pangs and labours, has initiated. Let me not appear, however, in any way to undervalue the discussion of Thursday last, and least of all the talent it elicited from those who joined in it. But so long as there are some results to be ensured in a considerable difficulty—not to overrate it—while it is uncertain how far that Bill ensures them, the House will not decline to entertain a supplemental proposition. The results which I allude to are the avoidance of a war and the success of any Conference which happens. At the same time, I readily admit that the Motion loses one of the advantages it might have had a week ago; had it been then permitted to come forward. On that day we were on the eve of the German Parliament assembling. It had occurred to me, as it might indeed to all of us, that any Resolution your Lordships carried on that day would have a timely influence in Europe. Wherever a Conference arises, wherever a green table is sot up, even should it be in that favoured spot whore other tables used to be familiar, to save Constantinople at Berlin, will be as much as heretofore, the task of our statesmen. It is still to the last capital that many Powers look to measure the restraint imposed, the latitude accorded. We may be led to think that while the task has not been yet achieved, it is not yet to be despaired of. Unless, it seemed to me, a Motion of this kind, if carried by the House, would even now facilitate it, I could not face the many risks involved in urging it upon them. Before endeavouring to show that it tends to the avoidance of a war, one is compelled to answer those who see no other possible solution of the dangers which surround us. The right 267 of Great Britain to go to war, they may-allege, began when Russia crossed the Pruth without her sanction, and now that Constantinople is menaced day by day, could hardly be contested. Without pretending to deny the force of many things they urge, there is a fact which ought to be considered at this moment, because it seems to throw a light upon the path before us. Since the Revolution of 1688, Great Britain has been involved in nine wars, without including those of Africa and Asia. The first, as it is easy to recall, concluded with the Peace of Ryswick; the last, with the arrangements of 1856. All but three have been, if not brilliant in their course, at least in their termination, satisfactory. In those three the public was divided. They severally finished in 1748, in the loss of the American dependencies and in the Peace of Amiens. The lesson cannot be evaded that much has to be feared in a struggle which is not upheld by a distinct preponderance of judgment and of sentiment. Day by day—it may be said—the Russian Party is collapsing. But it exists. At this moment, it has recentlybeen stated, two London journals only are allowed to cross the Russian frontier. When they are all excluded, unanimity will have declared itself by the most decisive register which it can possibly obtain. That a Resolution of this character tends to avoid a war is seen by merely glancing at the elements by which the public mind is so much agitated at this moment. The occupation of Constantinople would do more than anything, as it has long been pointed out, as everybody feels, to render war inevitable. Whatever indicates the fortitude of Parliament, whatever augurs a conclusion to resist it, diminishes the prospect of its happening. Material defence is sensibly reduced. The lines between the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea, so frequently connected with the name of Sir John Burgoyne, have been abandoned. It is not less important, it is more so, to embody in decisive Constitutional and salutary forms the resolution of Great Britain to impose a check upon the Power, her weakness alone has lured through all its stages of aggression. The Foreign Office still invites us to depend on Russian assurances. Even if we do not look on such assurances with something more emphatic than distrust—the nation does so—it would still be 268 worth while to prop and to encourage their fidelity. Besides, a Resolution of the kind must on obvious grounds impede those separate negotiations between Russia and the Porte from which European war would demonstrably emanate. We are now led to the other point, as to how the Motion bears on the success of any Conference which happens. It is desirable to glance at the advantage such a Resolution offers to any Plenipotentiary who represents us at the Conference and realize, although we cannot do it accurately, the kind of task he has before him. It is easy to perceive, at least, the task is far from being a light one. He is not backed up by a successful war as happened to Lord Oastlereagh at Vienna, to Lord Clarendon at Paris. There are three unfortunate, or at least, uncomfortable instances behind him in which a Conference has not at all secured the objects of his country—however ably directed—that on Denmark, that on the Black Sea, and that which lately happened at Constantinople. He will have to counteract the aims, while he acknowledges the victories, of Russia. He goes there with the recent action of the Holy Alliance in his face, whether he endeavours to resist or to divide it. New problems of many kinds as regards administration in the East, will exercise and harass him. Deep dissimulation, practised incredulity, incessant vigilance, the power of avoiding errors, and the power of repairing them, with every other quality which his profession has matured, will scarcely make him independent of the best support which Parliament can offer him. He ought not to appear as representing a weak, distracted, hesitating Power in any of its branches. The society he enters will be too ready to insist that Great Britain has now permitted Russian influence to sway her; that, come what may, his language will not be sustained by the decision of the State he acts for, that all regard for public law, that all deference to Treaties, that all antagonism to encroachment has lately perished in his country. Will such a Resolution, coinciding with the Vote of Credit, be superfluous? Along the benches of the House there are not wanting individuals who, from their past career, and from the aptitudes obtained in it, might creditably undertake an office of this nature. Let them dismiss, if they think proper, all other 269 trains of reasoning, and merely ask themselves whether, if they were going to-morrow to represent Great Britain at the Conference, they would wish a Resolution of the kind to be adopted or rejected. Unless the answer of their own minds is such as I anticipate, they ought not indeed to act with me to-night. But here it is important to remind them of one circumstance. The Resolution in no way involves the principle that the Treaties of 1856 are never to undergo modification. According to the separate and well-known Protocol of 1871, it is laid down that Treaties may be modified or abrogated by all the Powers which signed them; but not in any other form and not by any other agency. The Resolution I submit, on that point, would only be an affirmation of the Protocol. The House, I am convinced, perceives no clanger that the Treaties of 1856 will be too sedulously vindicated. They will not be an iron wall to the diplomatist. The risk is all the other way. The interest of Europe evidently is to guard them from attack, until a salutary method of replacing them presents itself. As regards the language of the Notice, if something better can be framed, it ought, of course, to be amended. It has long occurred to me that while one man may be able to create a tragedy, an epic, or a novel in three volumes, sometimes even to draw up a code of laws, it requires several to frame a Resolultion which, however brief, becomes the voice of an Assembly. At least half a dozen had in some degree contributed to this one, before the appeal of the Government last week, imposed a general revision of it. But there is not the slightest reason why other noble Lords should not attempt to render it more equal to its purposes. I am ready to accede to anything which does so. The essential point is that the disposition of the House should be conveyed at the right time and in the least objectionable language. My Lords, if I refrain from further argument which bears directly on the Resolution, it is not because it is exhausted, but only from excessive fear of wasting the indulgence of the House, when there are other topics indispensable to glance at. Should anyone be still dissatisfied, I engage him only to reflect upon the present situation under the heads which present themselves to any mind habitually em- 270 ployed upon it. He will arrive himself at stronger grounds than I have offered for the Motion. Lot him reflect upon it as to Treaties, and observe in how anomalous a manner they are suddenly revived by the proposal of a Conference, while the war itself had long consigned them to obscurity. Let him reflect upon it as to British interests, and ask himself how far those traced in the despatch of May 6th, can be secured when Russia has an optional control over the Dardanelles, although a British Fleet is anchored in the Sea of Marmora. Let him reflect upon it as to the welfare of the races subject to the Porte so recently, so vividly debated, and call to mind that all its proper barriers have vanished. The Constitution disappears, the friendly Embassies are silenced, and these races again depend on that ambiguous Protectorate, on that disorganizing sympathy from which the arms, the wisdom, and diplomacy of Europe had released them. If anyone is still dissatisfied, let him reflect upon the situation if he chooses, even as regards some new solution on the Bosphorus. He will find that whatever meditation can invent, ability mature, statesmen organize, or armies take under their shelter is opposed by the tremendous fact, that the catastrophe against which it guards is all but ripe, is all but irresistible already. By reflecting in these great categories on the events around us, he will observe much better than any speaker could explain, the grave and complex task to be imposed upon the British Representative, and the necessity of every aid which Parliament can furnish him. Were it not for long experience of the noble Earl the Secretary of State, upon occasions of this kind, it would not be necessary to defend the Motion any longer. The noble Earl has seemed to look with an unvarying dislike on every Parliamentary proceeding, however favourable to the objects he is bound to cherish. He will not consent that the opinion of this House should be arrayed against the very elements with which he is contending. It was so during the question of the Vassal Principalities in 1875. It was so during the Servian insurrection. It was so when Russia only meditated conquest, and the decisive language of the House might have restrained her. It was so a month ago when the noble Earl, a strict enthu- 271 siastic patron of neutrality, was but required to affirm that neutrality would authorize the very measures which at last the Government are prosecuting. Nothing which falls from me can influence the noble Earl, unless, perhaps, I venture to address him in terms once uttered elsewhere by the Prime Minister—"When will you be warned?" The counsels which brought back the Fleet, which might have bred a mutiny within it, may be arrayed against me. It may be deemed essential by the Government to propitiate the noble Earl by a resistance to the Motion they would cheerfully accede to. However, the noble Earl, like other men, may gain by his experience. There is a line in Coriolanus it would well become him to remember—Sir, those cold ways,Which seem like prudent helps, are very poisonsWhen the disease is violent.I would not finish the quotation so far as to add—Lay hands upon him and hear him to the rock.But unless the tenor of the noble Earl is gravely altered, both in Parliament and out of it, he may draw upon himself from every corner of the Kingdom another line of the same tragedy—He's a disease which must he cut away.But in the matter of Parliamentary proceedings, it is but just to recollect that the noble Earl from time to time may be directed, not by his own mind, but by the Bench which technically speaking is arrayed to criticize his policy. It is a natural if not legitimate infirmity. But to please that Bench for him is utterly impossible, since no mode of thinking on the Eastern Question which exists has not occasionally fallen from it. On this occasion therefore, the noble Earl has nothing but the reason of the case, the interests of peace, the objects of the Conference to guide him. It would be inadvertent to forget that the noble Earl the former Secretary of State (Earl Granville) has gone out of his way to proclaim hostility to such a Motion as the present. He is reported to have said that it was difficult to understand it as a Vote of Censure or of Confidence towards Her Majesty's Administration. It is on this very ground it ought to be adopted. A Vote of Censure would be out of place when the Government are making greater efforts than they did during the autumn. 272 A Vote of Confidence would scarcely be appropriate, when all mankind repeat, that under whatever pressure, or whatever disadvantages, they have brought the country to embarrassments not often known in its history. Where is it laid down that every Resolution which tends to fortify a diplomatic step about to be attempted, or guard against a foreign danger known to exist, must be a Vote of Censure on the one hand, or of Confidence on the other? Is it in Blackstone, or Delolme, if ever the latter personage existed? Is it in May, or Hatsell, who both come nearer to the vitals of the subject? Or is it so expounded by that original, attractive, lucid commentator on our system, the much-deplored, the highly-gifted Mr. Bagehot? When this House resolved, during the Government of Lord Oxford and Lord Boling-broke, that no peace which united the Crowns of Spain and France would be acceptable, was that a Vote of Censure or Confidence? It seems to me to have been rather one of indication of direction, possibly encouragement. In this country, it is usual to remark, one precedent suffices. But I will not pursue the topic as the noble Earl has intimated his reluctance to take a part in the debate. If he divides the House against me, I only ask him to persist in tactics so consummate. But some noble Lords on this side of the House, whose concurrence with the Motion I well know to be essential to it, may reason, that as the late Prime Minister opposed the Vote of Credit, he would be unfriendly to a Resolution in any manner qualified to strengthen its effect. Although he has avowedly withdrawn from Party life, or Party Leadership, they cannot wholly disengage their minds from an allegiance to him. It illustrates his eminence; it is a proof of his ascendancy. His recent conduct, for almost two years, upon the Eastern Question, is much too large a theme for me, although it would be perfectly in Order to allude to it. It is only by some outlying thread which happens to present itself, one can approach it for a minute. There is one point on which he has repeatedly expatiated out-of-doors, if not in Parliament, and on which it seems to me my noble Friends can never thoroughly concur with him. It is that accusation or invective against Russian policy is futile, because it has now gone for a considerable period. In 273 his own expressive phrase—the phrase could only come, perhaps, from such a master—it ought to be described as "superannuated rolling stock." But yet no change of facts has been pretended to give it such a character, or take away the application, and the force, which previously belonged to it. At least my noble Friends might ask themselves to what extent would this new principle conduct us? Adam Smith has flourished now 100 years as an authority. He has not, therefore, any claim upon adherents. Civil and religious liberty have been asserted for two centuries. We must dismiss them to the lumber-room where ancient samples are collected. The Bill of Bights has lasted many years. It ought no longer to be held in veneration. In what quarter has this appalling paradox originated? It is propounded by a courtier of the masses, who looks to popular excitement as the mechanism by which a new and Russian school in foreign policy may be upheld. From him we learn—it may be in an unguarded moment which restless heat had brought about—that truth is not to be revered when it is no longer esoteric; that all its force is gone as soon as generations have endorsed, and numbers have re-echoed it. But there is another easy test how far my noble Friends ought to accept the late Prime Minister with perfect faith upon these subjects. Have the Continental Liberals supported him, or, on the contrary, repelled him? My noble Friends will recollect that the question does not bear upon the institutions of Great Britain, that it is altogether European and cosmopolite. It would be laughable to urge—and nobody has done so—that as regards the East, Liberal opinion dictated separate conclusions at London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna. If the new doctrine is sound for us, in all those capitals it is so. What has happened? Except among ourselves, too near the wand of the enchanter—as my noble Friends regard him—the representatives of Liberal opinion have utterly disclaimed the school which he is organizing. Kossuth indignantly exposes it, from the volcano men had thought to be burnt out. Karl Blind, well known in the German Empire as something of a democratic leader, no less eagerly assails it. M. Gambetta who has an organ—unlike Her Majesty's Government, as we were told the other 274 night—in that organ is habitually denouncing it. It would be verging upon irony to say that such authorities have local means of studying the Eastern difficulty as great as those of the right hon. Gentleman, when so much more might safely be asserted. He appears, therefore, to be positively isolated from minds whose sanction was essential to the doctrine he proposed. But if no arguments at home, and no facts abroad would be sufficient for the purpose, at least the late Prime Minister himself might disengage my noble Friends from all adherence to his Eastern system. He has done it. Unless so many eyes, so many thoughts were fixed on distant scenes, it would not be forgotten for a moment. Within a few weeks the late Prime Minister has inaugurated a club to the memory of Lord Palmerston. A club in our days, as regards the honour it confers, is like a temple with the ancients. You cannot get beyond it. Statues there are many; but at present only two distinguished names—in politics at least—are kept alive by clubs in the metropolis. What did such a step amount to? It amounted to a solemn fiat, accompanied by all the gravity of which the late Prime Minister is capable, that the mind of Lord Palmerston should now direct our counsels, at least in the sphere in which it was preeminent. The echo comes from every quarter. What do men say in streets, in railways, and in hunting-fields? They say—"If we had only had a week or fortnight of Lord Palmerston." An elector from a distant province wrote not long ago to obtain an order for the Abbey, on the ground that he would take away the backbone of Lord Palmerston, and fling it into the Executive. But if Lord Palmerston is now to animate our policy, the late Prime Minister dethrones himself, while he disperses his adherents. The line of Lord Palmerston can never be a Russian one. It need not be the line of war; it must be that of vigour, preparation, and precaution; it must meet overbearing force with temperate resistance; it must be calculated to support allies, and to intimidate opponents. In that sense the Motion is conceived. In that sense my noble Friends are now at liberty to sanction it. But still I know the doubt which will suggest itself. It will be asked, how comes it that the late Prime Minister has gained or lately 275 had so much control over opinion, over policy relating to this subject, if, in fact, his title to possess it was so slender; and if he now disclaims the title he had formerly usurped? There are many explanations of the circumstance too long, too painful to be given. But I shall touch on one to-night, with the permission of your Lordships. The leading argument against him is in some respects too cogent to be handled. Let me explain myself. In 1853 and 1854 the politicians who desired to array Great Britain against Russia, when her design had been unmasked, had only to point out that, for the interest of Europe, Constantinople and the avenues which lead to it required to be defended. A course of reasoning, on certain geographical, strategical, political foundations had to be submitted, and there the topic ended. Although they still exist, the case is now a different one. To show that when so much was gained, it ought not to be parted with; that blood so freely spent should not be unproductive; that there ought not to be an ignominious flight across the Alma; that the swords of Balaclava should hardly be connected with a murderous parade, the toils of Inkerman reduced into a sanguinary field-day, the debarkation of three armies turned into manœuvres for the autumn; that a peace of 40 years should not be ineffectually broken; that Great Britain should not array herself against the leading tyranny of Europe, to be afterwards its vassal; or establish a benign defence of all the races subject to the Porte, in order to abandon them; or form a citadel of public law to mock and to desert it; this topic, it might well occur to anyone, the united orators of ancient and modern times would not be able fully to delineate. What follows? It is scarcely pointed out; it is forgotten. So, my Lords, extremes are found to meet each other. While one weapon is so slight and fragile that men will hardly take it up, another may be so keen, so ponderous, so irresistible, if adequately handled, that men would rather leave it on the ground than prove their inability for meeting its demands upon them. It is the old story. Nobody could draw the bow of Ulysses. A bow of that sort is in question. The Prime Minister might try it. But, when anyone suffices for the labour, two arrows may perhaps be seen darting from its 276 tension—one to wing its way into the deepest sensibilities, the proudest recollections diffused by the Crimean War alike in hovels and in palaces; the other which, transfixing, would attach for ever to the ground the impious school who have aspired to plough over its laurels. Let me defend the epithet which I have chosen, and show that impious is the very term to be applied to them. The school in question have promulgated a line of foreign policy revolting to the established feelings of mankind, under the flag of zeal for Christianity, in certain parts of Europe, where they think it is degraded. They have never shown that the concessions to encroaching violence they favour would tend in any way to its advantage, or dared to meet the arguments by which they have been frequently encountered. They still, however, try to move the world as friends of Christianity and as accomplices of tyranny. What can be more destructive as regards the object they avowedly pursue? Has Christianity no obstacle in this, as it has had in former ages? Can anyone be blind to the many forms of speculation which assail it, or to the boldness with it is now thought safe and decent to exhibit them? What a triumph is not given to this free thinking party, as they term themselves, if, under the name of Christianity, nations are instructed to abandon Treaties, to renounce Allies, to become at the same moment greedy of repose and prodigal of honour, incapable of sacrifice, insensible to duty, beyond their limited circumference? It is worthy of remark, however, that these reasoners, who are thus subverting Christianity by the handle which they give to its opponents, are the incessant scourges of the Mahometan religion. No stone is left unturned to weaken it or to vilify it. Their system bursts upon reflection. It is while overbearing power rises at their dictate, by one sinister blow to efface the Cross and Crescent both together, and plunge the world into the Russian night to which the last Lord Strangford—a better friend of the Bulgarians than the invading host—so mournfully alluded. Before that night is fixed, a further opportunity is yet presented to your Lordships to array yourselves against it. My Lords, it is with real concern I find how long I am detaining you. The House, however, will remember how much devolves upon any- 277 one who has a Motion at such a time of such a character, and who may be severely blamed unless it is adopted by your Lordships. To warn my noble Friends—for the last time—against the school I have alluded to, let me remind them of its newest proposition. It is surpassing. That school is now contending that Great Britain ought not to seek the aid of Austria in the Conference, when Austria is beginning to awaken from the slumber in which the force of other countries had involved her. What else is there to rely upon? Those who think, as I have done, upon the Eastern Question for some years, have not the slightest reason to be partial to that Empire. They recall the part, at once a forward and a dangerous one, which Austria took in the Commercial Treaties with the Vassal Principalities. They recall the aid she gave, by means of General Rodich, to all the troubles which are sometimes called the fire of Herzegovina. They are not blind to her manœuvres at that period, although they may ascribe them to the absence from Vienna of the distinguished man who has become, in some degree, the second founder of the State which he adopted. According to the school in question, Austria is unsafe because her aberration is exhausted. So long as she is closely fixed in the Holy Alliance, they adore; as soon as she struggles to revert to her engagements to the Western Powers, she is an object of distrust and alienation. Deformity they hug; but when the wrinkles disappear, when beauty re-asserts herself, they fly away, like owls retiring before sunshine. Beyond that, in their unchecked simplicity, they aim at popular support, while trampling upon everything Hungarian—in other words, on everything genuinely Liberal—within the circle of that Empire. It is true, indeed, they have provided an alternative. Emboldened by the absolute impunity they meet with, and sheltered by a name so well known as that of the late Prime Minister, the new school inquire on what ground Russia and Great Britain cannot act together smoothly in the Conference? It really would not seem to be beyond the ordinary limits of the human mind to answer such a question. Russia seeks to overthrow at once the Treaties of 1856, Great Britain to maintain them until they can be properly re-organized. 278 Russia has in view her own aggrandizement upon the Bosphorus; Great Britain looks to stronger combinations than the present one for checking it. The influence of Russia is wrapt up in the corrupt administration of European Turkey; Great Britain wishes to reform it. Russia looked with absolute dismay on Constitutional development among the subjects of the Porte; with one or two fanatical exceptions, Great Britain encouraged and applauded it as the best security for all improvement in that Empire. Russia, since 1815, has been disturbing and aggressive; Great Britain is bound by interest, by policy, and by tradition, to withstand her. They annihilated Poland; we looked with horror on the crime. They, so recently as 1870, under the present reign and with the present Chancellor in power, openly proclaimed defiance of international engagements; we are only urged to do so by the persons whom their example has depraved, or their diplomacy has fascinated. I shall only add a word or two which bear directly, or even technically, on the Motion now before your Lordships. It will not be denied that the recent Correspondence, including nearly all the history of the times, will justify precautions if they are at all to be defended. It will not be denied that the encroachments which now impend on the Treaties of 1856 are serious and even violent in character. It will not be denied that, however deeply they have slept, however unresisted the arms of Russia have marched over them, those Treaties are the only basis on which a Conference is vindicated. If everything now was lost, it would remain for Parliament, as far as possible, to give a. dignity to fall, and to impart a splendour to calamity. If much remains to be attempted, the more decisively the language of the House is brought to bear upon the spirit of the people, the greater is the hope that, when our policy has ceased to hear a voice too long permitted to demoralize it, it may regain the heights which battle-fields still recent, which graves still young, which heroes ardent yet, entitle it to occupy. The noble Lord concluded by moving the Resolution.Moved to resolve, That in the opinion of this House the recent correspondence on the affairs of Turkey justifies Her Majesty's Government in taking every precaution to discourage the 279 serious encroachments by which the Treaties of 1856 and 1871 are threatened.—(The Lord Stratheden and Campbell.)
THE EARL OF DUNRAVEN
said, that from the moment that the noble Lord (Lord Campbell) placed his first Motion on the Paper he made up his mind to support him, feeling that it was well the House should have another opportunity of pronouncing on the question now before their Lordships—more especially considering that the Bill relating to the £6,000,000 Vote of Credit had passed their Lordships' House unopposed, and practically, as a formal matter. He thought that the moral effect of passing the Vote of Credit in the other House was great and good; but the same process in their Lordships' House was comparatively a matter of form. The result was that their Lordship's House was not placed in complete accord with the House of Commons. He did not propose to enter into any details as to how far Treaties had been infringed, or whether those infringements might have been prevented; and there certainly was no necessity for him to attempt to show that what remained of those Treaties should be kept intact, considering that they afforded the only real ground upon which the European Powers could claim a right that the Eastern Question should be settled by the Conference, and not by private arrangement between the two belligerents. He should, however, just like to allude to the bases of peace, as he found them given in that morning's papers, and to say that he sincerely hoped they were incorrect. First of all, the question of the surrender of six Turkish ships of war was mentioned. If it were not so serious, the proposition would be almost ludicrous. Was it to be supposed that ships built in England, with English money advanced to Turkey, were to be handed over to Russia without England being consulted? Then there was the question of the Egyptian Tribute, which was to be charged as part of the security for the war indemnity—that was already hypothecated to England for special purposes. He thought the British bondholders and the shareholders of the Suez Canal would have something to say in that matter. Then the extradition of the Bulgarian Mussulmans was referred to. He did not know if that was to be made a question of religion or of race—whether the Mussulmans were to be re- 280 moved or the Turks; for, as their Lordships were aware, of the Mussulman inhabitants of Turkey in Europe only about one-fourth belonged to the Turkish race. But, whichever way it might be settled, it was an act of spoliation for which it would be difficult to find a parallel. Then they were brought face to face with the subject of Armenia. For a long time Russia had said nothing, or very little, as to that. The Northern Eagle had taken upon itself the nature of that preternaturally wise parrot, which said nothing but thought all the more; and now we heard that the cession of all Armenia was demanded. But he begged the House to notice that Russia was already very close to England in the North of India. The distance which separated them was not greater than that from Perth to London. Now, if Russia were allowed to extend herself in Armenia and to command the Euphrates Valley, she would not only be close to England in the North, but she would be in a position to place herself close to her in the South; and British India would be like a nut between a pair of nutcrackers, ready to be cracked whenever it should so please the Czar. That contingency might not occur in their own time; but on this question they had a duty to perform to posterity. Englishmen had inherited this realm, in which they had only a life interest, and they were bound to deliver it—if not improved, at any rate intact, to those who came after them. It would be criminal and cowardly selfishness on the part of England in the present to shrink from spending money, and, if necessary, blood, in the defence of her interests, and to entail upon England in the future—and not in the far-distant future—an expenditure that might go far to ruin the country, and a war that might drain the life-blood of the country. As to the danger of minimising the advantages of the Christians in the Conference, he thought the sympathies of England had been so far aroused towards the Christians of Turkey that there was considerable danger of English interests being sacrificed in Europe. There was a strong feeling in the country, not warranted by facts, that Turkey had become so completely demoralized as not to be worth thinking about as a European Power, and that she could no longer be regarded as a bulwark against the aggressions of 281 Russia. He doubted very much if that was the case. If there was one fact that stood out from the war and had attracted attention everywhere, it was the marvellous vitality that Turkey had displayed. Whatever might become of the Sultan or of the governing classes, a people that had shown such wonderful moral and physical courage, and such high qualities, could not be wiped clean off the political slate by any such disaster as had befallen Turkey. He did not know what people were likely to be found stronger than the Turks to occupy their place. They knew what the Russians thought of the Roumanians. What were they to think of Servia, standing shivering and whining on the brink for months, anxious to obey the whistle of her master, but afraid to plunge into the cold waves of war? Did they think that Roumania or Servia afforded a better material of which to form a barrier to Russian progress in Europe than Turkey, weakened as she was? He had heard a great deal about "the unspeakable Turk," and the Mussulman religion being incompatible with progress and freedom. A great deal of this might be true; but he could not quite forget that to the Mohammedan Moors we owed the first revival of literature and science, which had introduced all the knowledge we now possess, and which was the best part of our boasted civilization. He could not forget that when Hungary, fighting for Constitutional freedom, was beaten down to the ground, the remnant that escaped were received by the hospitable Turks, who refused to give them up to the united demands of Austria and Russia. However black the pages of Turkish history might be, one could find something tangible to set up against it. But, on the other hand, when we looked at the other side of the account, what had we but empty protestations and high-sounding Christian professions with which to balance the long list of items under such headings as Poland, the Caucasus, and Khiva? He did not wish to be the apologist for Turkey or the Mohammedans. He had seen a good deal of them in many countries, and was not prepossessed in their favour; but he thought the sympathies of English people had been unduly raised in the one case, and their horror unduly aroused in the other. He thought it a matter for discussion whether the condition of 282 the Christians was going to be improved so very much by their new masters. The parallel of Ireland had several times been mentioned within the last Session, and it was a good one. In Ireland we had two races—in reality they were but one, being completely blended—but, for the sake of argument, he would say two—and we had two religions. One race belonged to one religion, and the other to the second. And yet, out of this comparatively simple confusion, England, using its best endeavours, had been unable to produce good feeling and order. In Turkey they had five principal races—Slavs, Greeks, Bulgars, Wallachs, and Osmanlis—besides several minor races, such as Circassians, Tartars, &c.; and there were four great religions—Greek, Catholic, Mohammedan, and Gregorian; and, to make confusion worse confounded, the boundaries of races did not coincide with the boundaries of religions; yet they wondered that Turkey had been unable to evolve order out of that awful chaos and confusion. He did not say she had used her best endeavours; but he thought that under no other state of things would matters be much mended. He rather fancied that when they had driven out this single devil—"the unmentionable Turk"—seven other devils worse than he would enter in and take possession, and that the last state of that country would be worse than the first. Do not let them suppose for a moment that he was speaking in favour of war. He hated the very name of war. He had had an opportunity of seeing something of it, and he knew the reverse of the picture well. He was saturated with disgust at the horrors he had seen in war; but he was certain that the best way of keeping out of war was to show a bold front and take up a strong position. That, too, was the only means by which the excitement in the country could be allayed. It was very natural the country should be excited. Nothing was more dangerous than sudden reactions. England had been dancing very prettily to the sound of Russian piping for some time, and had but lately discovered how close to the edge of a precipice she had been drawn. The country was properly alarmed, and her nervousness could not be allayed by such telegrams as were read out to the House on Thursday, and which were, to his great 283 surprise, enthusiastically received. They were told the Russians would not enter Gallipoli if we did not, and would not disembark troops on the Asiatic coast if we did not—and this announcement was applauded very much; but the Russians were within 15 miles of the lines of Boulair, into which they could walk any morning; and how long would it take us to disembark troops there? And one would suppose that they had no troops in Asia Minor. This was not fair play. He had never seen much profit made by playing pitch-and-toss with an adversary who adopted the principle of "heads I win, and tails you lose." They could not quiet the country with this kind of soothing syrup; England was not a child to be fed on such political pap. Being convinced that peace could only be maintained by our showing a bold and united front, and that this was the best means of allaying the excitement in the country, he hoped their Lordships would give unanimous support to the Resolution before them. He would like to mention one fact, though it was a disagreeable one, to their Lordships. England's word was not so strong as it used to be; it was not looked up to with the same respect. He knew it was hard for them to understand this; for they knew that England's heart beat as stout and true as ever it did, and that her arm had not lost its nervous vigour—but other nations did not know this. There was a time when England's word was very powerful; but such was not the case now. He knew it; for he spent the winter of 1869–70 at Versailles, when a little difficulty arose about some question of coal being contraband of war, and it was not pleasant for him as an Englishman even now to look back upon what he heard, felt, and saw then. For these reasons, it was necessary that England should assert herself very strongly, and therefore he hoped the House would unanimously support the Resolution.
§ LORD DORCHESTER
said, that the feebleness and reticence of the Government had brought things to such a crisis that the season was passed for effective action. The proceedings of Her Majesty's Government in sending the Fleet to the Dardanelles and then telegraphing for it to come back on the following day had subjected this country—as he supposed the noble Earl the Foreign Secretary must be well aware—to the ridicule 284 and derision of Europe. It was believed by the European Powers that England was a weak Power, and was divided against herself. But England was neither weak nor divided against herself. In this country there was a strong love of peace; but there was such a want of the expression of public feeling on this question as had not been known on any previous occasion when England was in half the danger she was in now. It was not his intention to decry anyone; but he thought that the hesitation that had been exhibited by the Government could hardly be said to be characteristic of an united Cabinet—and that, whether from internal differences or from whatever other cause, Her Majesty's Ministers had not exhibited that firmness of action which had been shown on former occasions in our history. He might be permitted to recall the action, not of Chatham, of Pitt, of Castlereagh; of Canning, or of Wellington, but of Lord Palmerston, who, writing some 25 years ago said—The policy pursued by the Russian Government has always been to push forward its encroachments as far as the apathy or want of firmness of other Governments would allow; but always to stop and retire when it was met with decided resistance, and then to wait till the next favourable opportunity to make another spring upon its intended victim. In furtherance of this policy, the Russian Government has always two strings to its bow—he did not know if it was the bow of Ulysses—Moderate language and disinterested professions at St. Petersburg and London; active aggression by her agents on the scene of operations. If aggression succeeds locally, the St. Petersburg Government accepts it as a fait accompli which it cannot honourably recede from; but if it fails, the acts of her agents are disowned.He appealed to their Lordships whether that was not exactly the present situation? As to those wild and well-meaning enthusiasts who called public meetings in the Parks, he should imagine that what occurred yesterday in Hyde Park would satisfy them that the British public was not quite so easily led by the nose as they supposed. He yielded to no man in his Liberal sympathies, but he must say he thought this war had been very much promoted by these very enthusiasts. It was said that Russia had entered into the war from religious motives. What was the Russian religion? But he did not intend to take up time by a religious 285 discussion, especially as the right rev. Prelates on the bench opposite might dispute his theory. He thought that any man must have but a small share of common sense who conscientiously believed that this war was undertaken upon religious principles. It was a war of aggression—it was a war of aggression like those that had resulted in the acquisition by Russia, of Finland, Livonia, Lithuania, Poland, the Crimea, and the Caucasus. He hardly believed that even the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll), who had been bracketted with the penny-a-liners, could entertain conscientiously the opinion that this war had been carried on by Russia upon religious principles. It was with this feeling that he would urge their Lordships to support the Motion of the noble Lord, who had so independently, so fearlessly, and so ably brought this Resolution before their Lordships.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
My Lords, I have been waiting to see whether any other noble Lord would rise to address you upon the subject of the Motion which has been made. As that is not the case, I will offer a few remarks; but in so doing I must decline to go over the wide field which has been opened by the noble Lord who brought in the Resolution. The noble Lord, as far as I am able to judge, has certainly the advantage of most speakers who address your Lordships, in respect of the difficulty anyone must feel in rising to reply to what he has said. The difficulty, to my mind, consists in this—that before answering his speech it is necessary to comprehend the meaning of the noble Lord's observations. The noble Lord has introduced a large field of subjects. He spoke of the bow of Ulysses, and then proceeded to speak of the clubs of London. He next dealt with the Crimean War, and touched upon the history of the successful and unsuccessful wars in which this country has been engaged since the Revolution of 1688. Then he went on to quote the opinions of Lord Palmerston and other distinguished statesmen. All these are interesting subjects for conversation; but how the noble Lord brought them to bear upon his Motion I confess, though it may be my fault, that I have been at a loss to see. I hardly know whether to notice the elaborate attack the noble Lord made upon me personally. I un- 286 derstood, on the whole, from the noble Lord's remarks, that, in his opinion, the Eastern Question will never be satisfactorily settled until something very disagreeable happens to me. Whatever may happen to me, the Eastern Question will, I am afraid, take a great deal both of time and of labour to settle; but of one thing I think your Lordships may feel certain, that it will not be settled by any mere outpouring of confused rhetoric and pompous platitudes. The noble Lord seems to think that I object to any Parliamentary action in regard to foreign affairs, even when taken in support of the policy which I myself advocate. I need hardly vindicate myself against such a charge—which, if it were justified, would imply not merely folly, but absurdity on my part. It is true, however, that during the last two or three years I have more than once deprecated the discussion of Re-solutions proposed by the noble Lord—I have done so on the ground that those Resolutions would have no particular use or advantage if carried, and that if they did not represent the unanimous sense of the House, they would only have the effect of showing disunion—while the aim was to show that we were united. Well, the noble Lord says, that by passing this Resolution, we shall lessen the chances of war, and prevent separate negotiations between Russia and the Porte—how it would have that effect the noble Lord did not show—and he said it would prove that all regard to International Law and the observance of Treaties had not died out in this country. The noble Lord added that the passing of this Resolution would also produce many other excellent results which he would not enumerate in detail. If all these excellent results could be obtained by the adoption of this Motion of the noble Lord, I should certainly be one of the first to support it. But I fail to see how the Resolution of the noble Lord is to accomplish these objects. He says that it is neither a Vote of Censure nor one of Confidence; but it seems to me that it is a Vote, the meaning of which must be either that we are justified in taking the precautions that we are taking, or that there are other precautions which we should have taken, and which we have omitted to take. In the first of these two cases, the Motion is unnecessary; and, in the second, it says by implication that we have not done something which we ought to have 287 done—and, in so far, it would be a Vote of Censure. In either case—whether the Motion is unnecessary or whether it is hostile—I shall ask your Lordships to meet it with the Previous Question. I now come to the speech of the noble Earl (the Earl of Dunraven), who supported the noble Lord; and I am sure your Lordships, whether you agree in all that he said or not, must have listened with interest and pleasure to the remarks which he made, and that you will join with me in hoping that he will not unfrequently address the House on future occasions. The noble Earl said he was glad that we had in the Resolution of the noble Lord an opportunity of expressing the opinions of your Lordships upon the Eastern Question. But I think your Lordships will agree with me, that there has not been any scarcity of such opportunities since the commencement of the Session; and, more than that—that these opportunities, so far as my recollection goes, have not been allowed to pass unused. I do not at all regret that it should have been so; on the contrary, I am glad of it, for I think when a subject so entirely occupies the public attention as this question does at the present moment, it cannot be otherwise than beneficial that it should be fully discussed in this House. The noble Earl went on to ask one or two Questions which I am not at present in a position to answer with certainty. He asked whether the Porte had been called upon to surrender her men-of-war? I do not like to give information which may be inaccurate; and, therefore, I will only say upon that, as I understand the present position of matters, that a demand was made for some part of the Turkish Fleet, that the Porte has refused, and that that refusal has been persisted in. If such a demand has been really made, which seems probable, though not absolutely certain, I have strong reasons for hoping that it will not be persisted in by the Russian Government. With regard to the second point which the noble Earl raised—that of a war indemnity, to be secured on the Egyptian Tribute—if that be so—if any such intention is really entertained—it will raise questions which will undoubtedly have to be considered as affecting British interests. In regard to the third point—the alleged demand for the expulsion of the Mohammedan population from 288 Bulgaria—when I heard the rumour of that demand, I did all I could to ascertain whether there was any truth in it. If such a demand as this has been made for the removal of a great body of people, I do not know where to look for a precedent for it. For two centuries and a-half certainly there has been no similar instance—none, in my belief, since the expulsion of the Moors from Spain. Upon the other hand, if, as I supposed from the first, the report on the subject was an exaggeration of something that had really been suggested, then I would say that in that case it is very desirable to ascertain in the first place what the demand really was, and now far it has been persisted in, before entering into a discussion, which is likely to give occasion for the expression of considerable indignation and excitement. I believe that, in any case, whatever the demand was, if any demand of that kind was really put forward, it has either been withdrawn, or greatly modified. Probably we may soon be in a position to say what has passed on the subject; but I hope we may relieve our minds from the apprehension that anything is likely to take place of such a nature as has been supposed. My Lords, I do not know that I need follow the noble Earl (the Earl of Dunraven) in the remarks which he made as to the importance of Armenia to this country. That is a question, as we all know, upon which great difference of opinion exists among persons who are competent to speak with more or less authority upon the subject. For the present I content myself with observing that I do not think the noble Earl has given a very good reason for the importance which he ascribes to the possession of the Armenian territory, when he said—"You are apt to forget how near the Russians are to India." That may or may not be true, but the acquisition of Armeniaby the Russians, whatever other consequences it might have, would not have the effect of bringing the Russian Armies nearer to India. I must advert, at the same time, to the remaining statement of the noble Earl, and to the remarks which were made by the noble Lord who followed him (Lord Dorchester). Both of them complained that we had not taken the firm and resolute attitude in this matter which the circumstances called for, and that England had, in consequence, been lowered in 289 the opinion of foreign countries, and that generally we were thought weak and divided—not from the absence of a decided public opinion, but because that opinion had not been fully expressed. Whatever may be thought of the present situation, I do not think that it can be said that public opinion on both sides of this question has not had a very full and fair expression. The truth, I believe, is this—that a large number of persons who thoroughly supported the policy of neutrality in the first instance did so, perhaps, not altogether foreseeing or not altogether considering what that policy of neutrality involved. We had three courses open to us at the beginning. We might, as some few persons proposed, have so far sided with Russia as to join our action with hers, and prevented her acting in an isolated manner. That proposition was supported by so small a minority of persons that I do not think I need further refer to it. There were the other two alternatives open to us—either to remain neutral, or to do as we did at the time of the Crimean War, and to have announced our intention to maintain the Treaties of 1856 and 1871, and to support that determination by war. Those proposals were fairly put before the country and the Government, and a great majority of the English people deliberately determined that, under the altered circumstances of the time, an adherence to the policy which led to the Crimean War was no longer desirable. When we took the determination to remain neutral every reflecting person knew what it involved. We knew that Russia was the more powerful of the two combatants; we knew that, sooner or later, whatever resistance might be made by Turkey, that resistance must be overpowered, and that a state of things would be brought about very different from what had existed before. I can quite understand that many people who a year ago felt nothing so strongly as the undesirableness of engaging in war, are now of a different opinion, because they did not then fully contemplate the results of a policy of neutrality. But I say with respect, that before any charges of vacillation, hesitation, or want of firmness are brought against us, we ought to know upon what fact, upon what act, or absence of action, these charges are founded. We defined our 290 conditions of neutrality at the beginning of the war; we have adhered to those conditions so defined, and no one either inside or out of this House has attempted to show that we have departed from the line we then laid down. I think when that is shown it will be time enough to charge us with weakness, vacillation, or inconsistency; but I say it is not fair to complain of those who have to administer the affairs of the country, because a state of things has occurred which is the natural, the necessary, and the inevitable result of that policy which the Government, supported by the nation, deliberately adopted 12 months ago.
thought the noble Earl had hardly done justice to the Resolution. Its main object was to declare that the present state of things justified Her Majesty's Government in taking every precaution to discourage the serious encroachments by which the Treaties of 1856 and 1871 were threatened, and he thought its adoption by their Lordships might take place without implying any condemnation of any portion of the Government's former policy. The noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) had spoken with a certain sense of injury of a small amount of criticism being brought to bear upon the conduct of the Government; but when it was considered that from the very begining of the Session no censure had been passed—almost all criticism had been abstained from, lest there should seem to be a divided opinion in that House—the noble Earl ought not to be surprised that on the present occasion, when public opinion was so very much excited upon this matter, he should have been subjected to criticism. It was in consequence of the action of the Government that he thought the basis of the Resolution of his noble Friend was required. The neutrality of Her Majesty's Government was from the beginning a "conditional neutrality;" and a distinguished Member of Her Majesty's Government (Mr. Cross) laid down the conditions of that neutrality with very great precision—he thought, indeed, with too great precision—for he did not consider it advisable that those special points should be selected from the general political action of Her Majesty's Government in the distinct way in which they were. That very distinctness had already caused 291 some misapprehension, and might yet be the cause of serious difficulties to Her Majesty's Government in the future. One of the points laid down in those conditions was that a Russian occupation of Constantinople was one of the special bases upon which Her Majesty's Government should feel themselves justified even in taking hostile action. That being the case, Her Majesty's Government could not be surprised that, when the Russian forces were massed within 20 miles of Constantinople, the public mind should be very much exercised, and that they should be seriously questioned as to whether they meant their words to be taken in a literal sense—in the way in which they had been interpreted by the country. He was the last to desire to cast a censure upon Her Majesty's Government; but he could not help feeling that the very precision they gave to those terms was a pregnant cause of the great public excitement. His noble Friend (Lord Campbell) wished to lay down as distinctly as possible the fact, that if we entered into any discussion upon this matter either with Russia or any other of the Powers of Europe, it should be on the basis of those great Treaties which had been entered into. One of the greatest political misfortunes which had followed the present disastrous state of things had been the depreciation and disavowal of Treaties which had come from the lips of distinguished persons both in that and the other House of Parliament. Treaties, of course, were not perpetual, and they must sometimes be revised and even abrogated; but, surely, the present was not the time for such an assertion to be made. It was of the utmost importance that it should be understood that this country did rely absolutely and distinctly upon those great national obligations, and that we took no part whatever in any infringements of them. He entirely dissented from the noble Lord's proposition that the sending of the Fleet to Constantinople without the consent of the Sultan was an infraction of that principle. The Sultan, at present, was not a free agent; he gave his consent to what was forced upon him. If the Russians had a right to be at Constantinople, so, of course, had we. By what possible principle of international obligation could it be said that the invader 292 might go to the very throat of his opponent, and we, who respected international obligations, had not the right, if we chose, of going to the rescue? However that might be, it ought to be clearly understood that if we went into Conference, we should do so on the bases of these Treaties. If this country recognized the right of one party to an engagement to tear it up, it would, by so doing, declare that the Ottoman Empire was extinct, and that Russia was dominant in the East. It was for that reason, he thought their Lordships would do well to accept the Resolution of his noble Friend, and carry out those obligations which had been accepted by the English people, and which they were ready to maintain at any sacrifice.
§ VISCOUNT CARDWELL,
having expressed his regret that his noble Friend (Earl Granville) should have been in the country, and therefore unable to represent his friends on this occasion, said, that for himself, he (Viscount Cardwell) deprecated debate on this question at the present time. The noble Earl the Foreign Secretary had said that at the present stage of the correspondence there were many points of the utmost importance with which he himself was unacquainted. How, then, could it be possible for the House to give an opinion which would carry the weight which their Lordships' opinion ought to have in such a state of affairs as at present existed? It was plainly the duty of their Lordships' House, while the Government was engaged, as the House was told the other night, in ardent and arduous endeavours to preserve the peace of Europe, to do nothing which could have the effect of frustrating or interfering with the success of those endeavours. A division on this Motion would not only have the effect of inducing the opinion that difference of opinion existed where, in fact, there was an united wish to promote the interests of the country and uphold the honour of the Crown, but, it would, in the present state of feelings in this country, and in what they believed to be the state of feeling among the people of Russia, be like carrying fire into a powder-magazine. To debate the question would be eminently unwise; to go to a division upon it would be to take an unnecessary and mischievous step; and, therefore, he hoped it would be withdrawn.
§ VISCOUNT BURY
agreed with the noble Lord, that a division on the Motion would be a useless waste of time. In a time of general European conflagration and disturbance, the noble Lord opposite (Lord Campbell) discussed these Treaties as if they were still in existence; whereas everybody knew that the Treaties in question had been rent in shreds; and that, as was said the other day by the Czar—or, at all events, was attributed to him—his dearest object was to tear up the Treaties of 1856 and 1871, and strew them on his father's grave. At this moment a Power, for which so many wars had been waged, no longer existed. Turkey lay at the feet of Russia, and it now only remained to be decided by a European Congress or Conference what was to be the ultimate destiny of that country. Under those circumstances, it was a perfect mockery to discuss the details of the Treaty of 1856. It must be remembered that the Treaty was imposed upon Russia at the time of her direst despair, when she was on her knees with the bayonets of half Europe at her throat. When unable to resist, she was obliged to sign that Treaty, which took from her many of what she considered her rights, which she had fought for on many a bloody field, and which had been guaranteed to her by numerous Treaties—the Treaties of Kainardji, Jassy, Bucharest, and Adrianople. The Treaty of 1856 was looked upon by Russian statesmen as the disgrace of their manhood, and they wished now utterly to wipe out and destroy it. It could not be supposed that at this moment, when the Czar had made so many sacrifices, he would yield to this country merely because it sent its Diplomatists into a Conference. We might depend upon it that, whatever it was essential to the interests of this country to maintain of the shreds of the Treaty of 1856, we must be prepared to fight for. He (Viscount Bury) was not for war; he hated war as much as any man in that House; but he could not but conceive that the only way of preventing our drifting into a war, was to be prepared for it in away which we were not at present. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had said, with reference to the demand made for the Turkish ironclads by Russia, that he was inclined to believe that demand would not be persisted in—but the 294 country would feel it as a painful circumstance that at this time, and under these circumstances, the Foreign Minister should have no more decided expression of opinion to give to the country upon a matter so vitally concerning its interests. In the forthcoming Conference were we prepared to back the opinions of our Diplomatists by energetic action if necessary? It was only by being prepared that we could obtain any single concession from Russia—because, looking at the sacrifices which that country had made, it could not be expected that she would yield anything otherwise. Had we mobilized any portion of our Army? Had we called out our Reserves? Had we taken any of those military precautions which, if our Diplomatists should find it necessary to resist any of the demands of Russia, would enable us to enforce that resistance? The public had a right to have their feelings upon such a subject truly represented, and that feeling was this—that we should go forward with full preparation. The noble Earl at the head of the Government might be satisfied that the country fully and entirely trusted in him, and that they looked to him that the strength of his personal character and influence should be so used in foreign affairs that they might regard the future without dismay.
in reply, said, if no other noble Lord would now come forward, the House would easily perceive that he was bound, by the course of the debate, to offer a few words in answer before the question was disposed of. First of all, he must acknowledge in the strongest terms the valuable aid he had received from his noble Friend upon the right (Lord Houghton), his noble Friend upon the left (the Earl of Dunraven), and his noble Friend behind (Lord Dorchester). The noble Earl the Secretary of State had not on this occasion evinced to him remarkable civility, or anything, indeed, to which that term was usually applied. He (Lord Campbell) had no cause to be astonished. The noble Earl was so prodigal of urbanity, of courtesy, of deference, to those who came down to the House to weaken and to enervate his policy, that—every stock being limited—nothing of the sort was left for those who had habitually laboured to uphold and to invigorate it. At 295 the same time, when anyone, however high his post or eminent his talents, so far forgot the usages of Parliament as to exalt himself into an arbiter of speaking, and to describe as "pompous platitude or confused rhetoric," the train of reasoning he was utterly unable to encounter, he (Lord Campbell) felt at liberty to view him as oppressed by care, upset by responsibility, or inflamed by the criticisms of which he knew himself to be the object. It was easy to re-state the grounds on which the Motion had been vindicated—as adapted to render war less probable, and to support the British Representative in any Conference which happened. Under neither of these heads had it been resisted as superfluous or mischievous. He (Lord Campbell) had defended it by arguments which, according to the noble Earl, were quite beyond his comprehension. He was bound to offer arguments, and he had done so. But he was not bound to furnish to the noble Earl the comprehension he disclaimed, and without which it usually occurred that arguments were useless. As a great part of his (Lord Campbell's) remarks had been directed against the Russian school, the bitter mode in which the noble Earl alluded to them could only lead to one impression—namely, that in that school he had now become a pupil. One object of the Motion was to encourage the Government to adopt various precautions they had not yet adopted, and which, in the opinion of the public, it was now essential to adopt. The noble Viscount (Viscount Bury) had objected that the Treaties of 1856 were now too obsolete to mention. Whenever the noble Viscount approached the Correspondence-he did not seem yet to have done so—he would find that a Conference was vindicated, urged on nothing but the basis of those Treaties. As to the appeal of another noble Viscount (Viscount Cardwell), against any division, he (Lord Campbell) regarded him as far too much identified with the late Prime Minister to guide him, or to direct the House, upon an Eastern subject. The Government had resolved—although the noble Earl the Secretary of State was wholly unsupported even by his Colleagues—in deference to him, to move the Previous Question. He (Lord Campbell), in concert with his noble Friends, should resolve how to act ac- 296 cording to the temper of the House at the very moment when the question was submitted to it.
§ Then a Question being stated, the Previous Question was put, "Whether the said Question shall be now put?" Resolved in the Negative.
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Eight o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.