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The Hudson's Bay Company page 3


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Mr. Disraeli gave a somewhat similar explanation in the Lower House. Lord Palmerston acknowledged the courtesy and fairness of his statement. He did not consider the late vote as one of censure; as such he would not have supported it. He thought the advice given to Her Majesty was very unwise. If he were to attempt to prophesy the result, he would say that the new Parliament would be far more likely than the present to decide that power should be transferred to other hands. After some more discussion on the dissolution, the House hastened to wind up the session by disposing of the necessary business, which was interrupted only by a short debate on the affairs of Italy. On the 9th of April, therefore, Parliament was prorogued by commission. The royal speech was a mere formal production, except the concluding paragraph, which stated that the appeal which Her Majesty was about to make to her people had been rendered necessary by the difficulties experienced in carrying on the public business of the country, as indicated by the fact that within little more than a year two successive administrations had failed to retain the confidence of the House of Commons; and she prayed that the step she was about to take would have the effect of facilitating the discharge of her high functions, and of enabling her to conduct the government of the country under the advice of a Ministry possessed of the confidence of her Parliament and her people.

The results of the general election, at which the Government, as might be expected, put forth all its influence to secure a working majority, fully verified the predictions of Lord Palmerston, for the new Parliament was not even disposed to give the Derby Cabinet a fair trial. The members were summoned for the 31st of May. The late Speaker, Mr. Denison, was re-elected unanimously. The session was opened on the 7th of June, the process of swearing having been then completed. The Queen delivered the royal speech in person. It contained nothing remarkable, except a suggestion that the subject of parliamentary reform should be postponed till next session. The debates on the address in both the Houses were unusually animated. Lord Granville expressed regret that, in spite of the result of the elections, the Ministry had determined to carry on the government in a minority. Lord Ellenborough stated that what the country required was a strong government j and he ox- pressed his conviction that this result had not been obtained by the general election. Lord Derby defended the conduct of his Government, and in reference to some of the Irish elections, denied that any compact existed between him and Cardinal Wiseman. If he saw any chance of a strong government, he would gladly lay down the responsibility he had assumed; but considering the state of foreign affairs, he thought it his duty to his sovereign to remain at his post. The address in the Lords was agreed to without a division; not so in the Commons, where an amendment was moved by the Marquis of Hartington, leading to a debate which lasted for three nights. He admitted that it was a party move, in order that power should not be left in the hands of a party antagonistic to all progress. In the course of this debate great distrust in the foreign policy of the Government was betrayed; and the Italian question had much more to do with the premature dissolution of the Cabinet than the Reform question. The nation sympathised warmly with the cause of freedom in Italy, and had a decided conviction that a Conservative Government was not a fitting medium through which that sympathy might be conveyed. Upon a division, therefore, the numbers were as follows: - For the amendment, 323; against it, 310; majority against the Government, 13.

In consequence of this adverse division, Lord Derby announced the resignation of his Cabinet on the 19th of June. On the same evening Mr. Disraeli made a similar announcement in the House of Commons. Lord Palmerston was then called upon her by Her Majesty to form an Administration, the Queen having at first applied to Earl Granville. The New Ministers were all returned for the constituencies which they had represented previous to the resignation of Lord Derby. The following are the names of the members who comprised the new Cabinet: - Lord Palmerston, Prime Minister; Lord Campbell, Chancellor; Lord Granville, President of the Council; the Duke of Argyll, Privy Seal; Sir George C. Lewis, Home Secretary; Lord J. Russell, Foreign Secretary; the Duke of Newcastle, Colonial Secretary; Mr. Sidney Herbert, Secretary for War; Sir Charles Wood, Secretary for India; Mr. Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer; the Duke of Somerset, First Lord of the Admiralty; Lord Elgin, Postmaster- General; Sir George Grey, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; Mr. Milner Gibson, Chief Poor-law Commissioner; Mr. Cardwell, Chief Secretary for Ireland; the Earl of Carlisle, Viceroy. The other members of the Irish Government were the Right Hon. Maziere Brady, Chancellor; Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald, Attorney-General; Mr. Richard Deasy, Solicitor-General.

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Mr. Locke King, M.P.
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