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of his argument. He might here say that the loan should no longer be squandered. England, having paid 40,0001. a year from Well, now, one would naturally have conits own finances, on account of the mis- cluded, after such an expression of opinion management of Greece, had a clear right on the part of a nobleman whose language to make its voice heard. He did not wish the House well knew was always guarded to go far back upon this subject, or to ex- and cautious on these matters-one would pose that system of mismanagement which have imagined that after this strong exthe despatches of Lord Aberdeen so fully pression of opinion, those who were enexplained; he would only go back as far trusted with the finances of Greece would as 1846. He found, in a debate in the have devoted their best attention to their Chamber of Deputies in February, 1846, amelioration. But he regretted to say that the Minister of Finance said

that quite the reverse had taken place. " That he came to tell them that the Treasury There was probably no country in Europe Department was completely disorganized —that which had not noticed the extraordinary there were no accounts of the revenue or expendi- financial exhibition which was recently ture—and that he could not furnish to the Cham. made at Athens. On the 3rd of February, ber anything in the shape of a budget, on account of the dishonesty of the public functionaries that 1847, the same Minister of Finance, talkmillions were due to the State, and he did noting of the rich and fertile province of Elis, know by whom."

followed it up with this statement :On the 18th of February, 1846, the same

"I cannot, gentlemen, conceal from you any Minister observed

longer the truth; the robbery of the public reimagine, Sir, that the Minister of Finance venues has surpassed all measure, and is carried cannot obtain any knowledge of the state of the on with an insano impudence. But is this the country-that he is entirely ignorant of its re- fault of the Minister? I did not know any of the sources; you may, therefore, judge what must be candidates ; they were all nominated in the lists the state of the revenue; in these few words I presented by the deputies. I hardly know fifty have proved to you in what ignorance I have employés out of the thousands who belong to my been kepe during the short period of my adminis- department; if each steals a small portion of the tration."

revenue, the diminution must naturally become He was very much afraid, from what had that it is impossible for the Minister of Finance

considerable. Things have arrived at such a pitch recently transpired in Greece, that the to put a check to the abuses.” ** Then,'” said Minister of Finance had not improved in the Judge-Advocate of the Royal Court of Athens, his knowledge of these subjects since he in this case, Monsieur the Minister, you ought made that admission. In the budget which to resign ;' and the sitting was closed in an upwas brought forward immediately after this diseussion of 1846, the foreign debt due to What the Minister said might be a novel England, France, and Russia, was totally mode of paying official salaries; but he omitted; there was no mention whatever feared it was not very economical. Promade of a debt that had gone on increasing bably it was in the knowledge of every from year to year; and the budget was Gentleman in that House that recently a presented as if that debt had no existence Committee had been appointed by the whatever. The total income of the coun- Chamber of Deputies to investigate six try was then estimated at 14,475,299 charges made against the Minister of Fidrachmas, the expenditure at 14,786,546 nance. Those six charges resolved themdrachmas, making a clear and avowed de- selves, however, into two: the first, the ficit of 300,247 drachmas. Then Lord falsification of the revenue, which the Aberdeen, when he saw such a budget Minister had admitted in the Chamber, brought forward in the Chamber of Depu- and given his explanation of; and the ties, sent a despatch to Sir Edward Lyons, second, the falsification of the averages commenting upon it in a strong and marked by which the importation of corn into manner. He said it falsified all notion of Greece was regulated. With regard to a severe economy being exercised, as was the latter, the duties on the importation of asserted by M. Coletti, and that it justified corn into Greece were regulated by the him in adhering to his resolution of apply average prices at nine different markets, ing for the half-year's interest of the Greek and it was the duty of the Minister to loan which was then due. He observed, make public these averages; but from the that if this disordered state of their finances month of August to the month of January should continue, England would be com- last, the Minister of Finance had suspendpelled to take such measures as would ed the publication of the averages, and appear to be necessary to put an end to thereby occasioned the most serious and such a state of things, and to provide that mischievous speculations in the corn trade.


He must say

The Committee of which he had spoken to require such an extravagant degree of was constituted on the 20th of February, assurance, that he could not help thinking and presented its report on the 10th of there was some mistake; still the authority March. It was a long and elaborate re. admitted of no doubt. Now, after what port, the reading of which he should be had occurred in the early part of the Sessorry to inflict

upon the House; but in that sion, and considering the delicate nature report the Committee found the Minister of our relations with our neighbours across guilty of the charges brought against him, the Channel, he should have been glad if and they were all but unanimous in com- he could have concluded his statement ing to that conclusion. There was only without noticing the part which that counone member of the Committee who had try had taken in this matter. He alluded doubted as to the propriety of the course to the unhappy influence which France had which the great majority adopted. Their exercised in the councils of Greece. It report contained the following passage, was useless to blink the fact. If he which gave, he thought, very fairly, the thought that he could at all advance the all but unanimous opinion of the Commit- satisfactory settlement of the question by tee:

omitting to take any notice of French in“ The commission, convinced by the reasons fluence in Greece, he should be glad to do above expressed that the Minister Ponyropoulos so; but he could see no such prospect, and has knowingly committed these illegal acts, thinks he thought that the best way of meeting it needless to inquire whether, besides the illegal the difficulties which that influence threw tax which strikes the foreign grains, the Treasury has sustained a loss by the diminution of the du- in the way of a better state of things, was ties on exportation."

to watch and counteract it. The effect, therefore, of the Minister's that the conduct pursued by France, and conduct had been to diminish the amount avowed by the French people, stood in of duty which ought to have been paid: very unfavourable contrast to the conduct and the Committee asked the Chamber of pursued by England, and avowed and sancDeputies to proceed to an impeachment. tioned by the English people. Nor could He was bound, however, to say, that in he refrain from expressing here his high the Chamber of Deputies a small majority estimation of the great services of Sir E. of eleven rejected the first part of the re- Lyons, our Minister in Greece. It was no port; but in what position did the Chancel- more than his due that he should be told lor of the Exchequer of Greece stand ? in the House of Commons that so long as He stood convicted by a Committee who he persisted in the course which he had had investigated the charges; and he stood hitherto pursued, he would receive the absolved in the Chamber by a small ma- support not only of the Foreign Minister jority. As to the other charge, the Minis- for the time being, but also the support of ter, as he had already said, had admitted the popular assembly of this country. in his place in the Chamber that he had Lord Aberdeen, writing to Sir E. Lyons, presented a false report of the revenue; in 1843, said but he had at the same time expressed a “ In the whole of your proceedings at this imhope that bis patriotic reason for so doing portant crisis, you will constantly bear in mind would induce the Chamber to sanction his that the good of Greece alone is the principle conduct; and the reason which he gave ment. We desire to establish no British influence,

which guides and animates Her Majesty's Governwas, that a surplus revenue would have and we equally deprecate the establishment of been shown over the estimated expendi- any other exclusive national influence in Greece. ture, and that foreign Powers would then we wish to see Greece independent, and under be justified in expecting that some of the the auspices of a sound and well-regulated constiinterest on their loan would be paid. Now, tutional system of government, in which cach

power in the State shall have its due weight and if he had not known that fact upon the influence, growing daily in strength, in credit, and most unquestionable authority, he would in prosperity. The exercise of any extraneons hardly have believed it; it was so difficult and exclusive influence over her counsels, can but to believe that any one filling an office of tend to retard that growth.” such high trust and importance could have That was the language of Lord Aberdeen ventured to state in the Chamber of Depu- in 1843; his only wish was to keep free ties that he had falsified the public ac- from foreign control the waters of the counts in order to cheat the country Piræus; and yet, in 1846, Coletti, the which at a considerable sacrifice had en Prime Minister of Greece, was heard abled Greece to keep its head up amongst boasting in the Chamber that it was the nations of Europe. So to do did seem France who gave them so many presents;

the Roman Catholic Relief Bill; and from Roman Ca

it was she who kept her schools open to try, which was that there should be perfect their children-she who placed her fleets publicity given to the administration of the at their disposal. But perhaps it might be law. By this Bill two magistrates would thought, after the course he had pursued, be empowered, on the complaint of one no great dependence could be placed on the party, to adjudicate and determine on cases statements of Coletti; but he was now of simple larceny, and felony punishable as about to call the attention of the House to simple larceny, obtaining money under false a much more important personage in this pretences, escheats, and misdemeanors. most complicated and unhappy drama. M. One justice, on the confession of the party Guizot had addressed the French Chambers accused, was to have the power of deciding on the subject.

the case in his own private parlour. No An Hox. MEMBER moved that the body of men should be intrusted with such House be counted, and forty Members a power, and no body of men who wished not being present, the House adjourned at to stand well with the community could dea quarter before Eight o'clock.

sire to take it upon themselves. The Bill

provided for the summary conviction and HOUSE OF COMMONS,

punishment of offenders; but these advan

tages might be obtained by increasing the Wednesday, April 28, 1847. number of times on which public courts Miretes.] PUBLIC Bills.—2o Juvenile Offenders; County could sit. The Bill before the House was Buildings.

so concocted as to be productive of the Reported.-Naval Prisons.

The PETITIONS PRESENTED. By Mr. Adderley, from Biddulph, greatest possible amount of mischief. for Repeal of the Maynooth College Act; and against proceedings were to be in secret; there was

no responsibility attached to the uninstructtholics of Alton, against the Roman Catholic Bill.-By ed party who was to judge and determine Mr. Brotherton, from Belfast and Methven, against the Use of Grain in Breweries and Distilleries.—By Mr. P. the nicest points of law. He might act as Serope, from several places, in favour, of the Poor and he pleased; and who was to determine wheWarwick, against, and by Mr. Waddington, and Mr. ther he decided rightly or wrongly? These Bucă, from several places, in favour of the Rating of extraordinary powers were to be given, not Tenements i No. 2) Bill. --By Mr. V. Smith, from Guar- to a learned Judge, but it might be to a dians of the Northampton Union, in favour of the Goverminent Plan of Education ; and by Sir W. Moles.

for-hunting justice; and the trial might be worth, from Liverpool, for Alteration of the same.-By conducted in such privacy that private pasof Towns Bill. -- By several Hon. Members, from different tives might be put into motion to carry out Sir G. Grey, from Devonport, in favour of the Flealih sions, particular interests, and sinister moT. Esmonde, from County of Wexford, for Alteration the wishes of particular parties. As he unof Poor Relief (Ireland) Bil.--By Sir J. Y. Buller, from derstood, the great object was to prevent Devon, for Repcal or Alteration of the Poor Removal Act: and from Guardians of the Honiton Union, for Al. the contamination of young persons by their teration of the Law of Settlement.

congregating in prison; but by this Bill,

although there was the power of summary JUVENILE OFFENDERS BILL.

conviction, yet the punishment was impriSir J. PAKINGTON moved, that the sonment. He would not enter further into Juvenile Offenders Bill be read a Second the details of the Bill; but would ask the Time; upon which

right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for MR. ROEBUCK moved, that it be read the Home Department, whether he was a second time that day six months. He prepared to give it his support ? wished to know whether the Government MR. BANKES said, that feeling the were prepared to sanction the measure ? very great necessity, which had been long The hon. Gentleman opposite had present- known to exist by those who took any ed petitions from certain magistrates in its share in the administration of the law, of favour; but it struck him that those gentle some alteration of the kind proposed by men understood very little of what was for this Bill, he thought they could not be bettheir own interest, to say nothing of the in- ter employed than in considering how far it terests of the country. It was proposed was practicable to improve the exercise of that two magistrates, sitting in private, not the criminal law in regard to juvenile ofin a public court, should have the option to fenders. But although he should vote for adjudicate on cases where the age of the the second reading, he could not support offender did not exceed fifteen years, and the Bill in its future stages, unless it should when the property did not exceed the value convey in its enactments a direct and speof 40s. Now, that was opposed to the cific option to the party accused, of an apprinciple of the constitution of this coun- peal to a jury if he desired it. Some VOL. XCII. { Series }


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ago he had introduced a similar mea- | That subject had been a good deal under sure, containing a clause by which that op- consideration; and although he was not at tion was given; and providing that where the moment prepared to lay before the the party accused was young, and had no House any definite plan, yet he hoped in parents or friends with whom he could ad- the course of the present Session to submit vise, the guardians of the poor of the dis- to Parliament a measure which would entrict should watch over his interests, and able counties or boroughs, or unions, to make that election which might be most provide some asylums for criminals of the desirable for him. As the sessions were kind-if they could be called criminals, for at present conducted, young persons might it was rather their misfortune than crime remain in gaol for two or three months —where they might receive a certain deafter commitment before they were tried, gree of punishment, for punishment must it being almost impossible for them to pro- be connected with criminality; but more

with a view to their reformation, which was Sir G. GREY said, that when the hon. the great object after all. If that were Baronet moved for leave to bring in this accomplished, and the subject was underBill, he (Sir G. Grey) stated to him that the going very full consideration, then it would subject was one of the greatest importance, be much more easy and practicable to give and that he was glad the hon. Baronet had a summary jurisdiction, attended with those brought it before the House. He should guards which there ought to be in all cases be sorry now to say one word dissenting where they consigned offenders of that class from the principle of the measure, namely, to prison, so that they might avoid not only that some more speedy mode of trying ju- that contamination of a long detention in venile offenders was desirable; but he was prison previously to their trial, which it was bound to say there were very serious ob- the object of the hon. Baronet's Bill to projections to most of the details of the Bill. tect them from; but that which might be The subject required very full and ample occasioned by their imprisonment subseconsideration; and he could not express a quently to their trial and conviction. He hope, that during the present Session this would, therefore, venture to express a hope Bill could be put into such a shape as to that, under these circumstances, the hon. receive the sanction of the Legislature. It Baronet would not press his Bill in the prewould only be a partial measure upon a sent Session, seeing, as he did, no probabisubject which required very full considera- lity of its becoming law. At the same time, tion. The objections of the hon, and learn- if the hon. Baronet wished to have an affired Member for Bath were addressed en- mation of the principle that there should be tirely to the details; but to one of those a more speedy trial of juvenile offenders, objections—namely, that if this summary he should be sorry to vote against it; but jurisdiction were to be exercised at all, it beyond that he could not go. He thought ought to be exercised in public, and not in that if the details of this Bill were as perprivate-he thought the hon. Baronet would fect as possible, it would require to be assent. [ Cheers.) He understood from that accompanied by other measures. cheer that the principle was at once con- tion arose as to who should exercise this ceded. But other questions arose, and one jurisdiction. He did not agree with some of them was a most difficult one, namely, observations of the hon. and learned Memas to the punishment to be inflicted on ju- ber respecting the local magistrates, who, venile offenders in such cases as those in most instances, exercised the authority which occurred day by day-of children of and jurisdiction vested in them in a manner seven, eight, and nine years of age, being most satisfactory; but if the Legislature sentenced to transportation, the sentence extended their jurisdiction, he thought it being accompanied with a recommendation became a very material question whether from the chairman of quarter-sessions, or they ought not, in populous districts, to the judge, that it should not be carried into have stipendiary magistrates. It had been effect, and which no one would dream of extended lately to a great degree; and carrying into effect; but that the offenders from the representations made to him from should be taken charge of by the Govern- certain districts—such as the mining disment, with a view to their reformation, and tricts of South Wales—he thought they of their not falling back into the hands of might look forward to an extension of the the parents or friends who had totally neg- appointment of those magistrates—not to lected their education, and who had allow- supersede the local magistrates, but to act ed them to be trained up in vice and crime. with them; and that a system of that kind

A ques

would tend very much to facilitate the was to give to justices the power of trying exercise of a more summary jurisdiction boys under sixteen years of age in private; by persons who would be more responsible a principle most dangerous to the liberty to the Government of the country than the of the subject; upsetting the great princilocal magistrates. He believed that all ple of trial by jury, and substituting for it the apprehension he had entertained as to a secret tribunal, where no counsel could the abuse of power might be removed by be heard on the prisoner's behalf. As a those safeguards to which he had before magistrate who had frequently taken part referred. The principle of this measure in the business of quarter-sessions, and was not new, for in 1840 a Bill of this who had occasionally acted as chairman, nature had passed through that House, and he thought he might venture to say that was rejected elsewhere. But the subject he was not altogether without experience. was now attracting more attention than at He trusted, therefore, that he should not that time. A Committee of the House of appeal in vain to his brother magistrates Lords was sitting on the criminal law and throughout England when he entreated the administration of it; and he thought them not only not to ask for such powers the object of the hon. Baronet might be as this Bill would impart, but not to be defeated by any attempt at hasty legisla- parties to having such powers put upon tion. At the same time, he entertained them. It was only under the pressure of the hope that at no distant period this a Government measure that they ought to subject would be placed on a more satis- submit to the responsibility and burden of factory footing.

such authority. There had always been MR. LAW said, that concurring as he great difficulty in procuring competent did very much in what had fallen from the chairmen at sessions; and even the most right hon. Gentleman, he must join with competent of that class often found themhim in his application to the hon. Baronet selves exceedingly embarrassed without to withdraw this Bill. He agreed with the aid of skilful and learned counsel. He the principle of the Bill, as enunciated in hoped the House would reject the Bill ; the first part of it; but he thought enough but he hoped, also, that the Government had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman would take it up,

and not expose the counto convince the hon. Baronet that the sub- try to the danger of having it renewed in ject was not ripe for discussion, especially private hands. upon so narrow a basis as that laid down Sir J. PAKINGTON said, that after in this Bill. The question of punishment the speech of the hon. and learned Member of juvenile offenders was one of the deepest for Bath, and after the other speeches importance; and he thought it deserved which they had heard in the course of the consideration whether, in ordinary cases of present discussion-after the favourable repetty larceny, there should be a conviction ception also which the principle of the Bill of felony, with the forfeiture of goods. If had on previous occasions experienced-he this Bill were proceeded with, he should trusted that the House would indulge him certainly insist, as a condition of his sup- with the opportunity of trespassing upon port, that all offences made the subject of their attention for a few minutes. He the present measure should be designated quite agreed with those hon. Members who as misdemeanors. He greatly regretted that said that a measure of this description a Bill of this description should be entrusted ought to be in the hands of the Governto private hands. In legislating upon a ment; but unfortunately the Government subject of so much importance, the House had never taken it up, and he had been ought to be aided by the experience and informed that the Government entertained by the authority of the Government; when no intention of bringing in any such meaa careful digest of all its details might sure during the present Session. Neither inspire the hope that speedy alterations had he the least reason to suppose that any would not be necessary. It should be a professional Gentleman entertained any incomprehensive and a permanent measure. tention of proposing the subject to Par

MR. E. B. DENISON said, after what liament. He trusted, therefore, that, inhad fallen from the right hon. Baronet the fluenced by such abstinence on the part of Secretary for the Home Department, he the persons whose duty it really was to trusted the hon. Baronet would withdraw bring forward such a measure, it would not his Bill. If he did not, he (Mr. Denison) be considered to have been presumptuous should consider it bis duty to oppose the on his part to submit such a measure to the second reading. The principle of the Bill consideration of Parliament. The first

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