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liable to punishment according to the well-known and established laws of England." Such was the declaration of British law and policy in all former times. All that we have to do is honestly to act upon that declaration now. Therefugees whom we protect must not be allowed to commit moral as well as political crime by "inciting to the assassination of a foreign sovereign;" neither can they be permitted to "impair our friendly relations with foreign states by their revilings and their libels." It is British law that shelters them, and to British law they must submit. No man on British soil is superior to the laws, and certainly aliens must not be permitted a license unknown to our own countrymen.
We have referred to this question of the Refugees at some length, because, although the diplomatic difficulty is happily at an end, much irritation still prevails on both sides of the Channel; and because it is to be feared lest some untoward event in the future-some new attempt upon the life of the French Emperor-may rupture the alliance, and involve this country in a war from which we could derive no credit, and which would be full of disaster alike to England and France. indeed to all Europe, except perhaps to Russia.
Grave as was the fault committed with respect to the Walewski despatch, it would be a mistake to regard that as the sole cause of the downfall of the late Government. Several other circumstances had occurred to alienate the confidence of the country from Lord Palmerston, and, indeed, to convert the old and generously bestowed confidence of the House into a well-founded and uncontrollable distrust. The obnoxious "Clarendon regulations" in regard to the passport-system was one of those accessory causes of Lord Palmerston's downfall; but doubtless the most important of them was his conduct in the case of the " Cagliari." The circumstances of that case are easily stated. The "Cagliari " steamer sailed from Genoa in June on one of its usual trips; but hardly had it got to sea, when a number of passengers, who had come on board with concealed arms, seized the cap
tain, put one of their own men at the helm, and compelled the two English engineers on board (Park and Watts) to continue to work the engines. They then steered for Ponza, a Neapolitan station, carefully preventing any signals being made by the crew to the vessels which they passed on their way; and, after releasing a number of prisoners at Ponza, they proceeded to land at Sapri, where the insurgents were quickly met and defeated by the Neapolitan troops. Meanwhile the crew, being left on board the "Cagliari," immediately set sail, with the intent of reporting the affair at Naples; but on their way thither they were met, and carried into port, by two Neapolitan vessels of war. The seizure was made at a distance of six miles from land,-which is beyond the limit within which alone a State may seize a foreign vessel in times of peace, unless that vessel be a pirate, and unprovided with the customary papers. The crew were sent to prisou on the charge of being accomplices in the insurrectionary landing at Sapri; and the Neapolitan law-courts condemned the
Cagliari" as a fair prize of war in contumacio,-the counsel for the owners having thrown up their briefs in consequence of the unfair manner in which they were treated. An important question of international law was raised by these proceedings of the Neapolitan government; namely, as to whether the "Cagliari " was a lawful prize. That the Neapolitan navy had a right to capture the " Cagliari," though beyond the limit of the Neapolitan waters, we may question, but cannot positively demur to; because the fact of the vessel having actually committed an act of war within those waters, seems to put it beyond the pale of the laws of peace, or at least to impart to it a primâ facie piratical character. But it is another question whether she could be condemned as a lawful prize, for that could not be determined till the guilt of the crew was established; and, moreover, in the most famous case of this kindthat of the ship which landed the Duchess de Berri and her followers on the French coast-it was decided that even though the crew of the
vessel were lawful captives, the ship itself must be restored to its foreign owners. Founding upon this case, the Sardinian Government demanded from the Neapolitan Government the restoration of the "Cagliari;" but Lord Palmerston's Government, though appealed to by Sardinia, did not back the demand, nor intervened in any way in the affair. The case against the crew again was this: They were found on board a vessel which had just been engaged in a hostile or pirati cal enterprise, in other words, a prima facie case existed against them, and only after a judicial investigation, or actual trial, could their innocence be established. The letter of the law, therefore, justified the Neapolitan Government in committing them for trial; but we think there was ground for an urgent protest by our Government against the manner in which the case was delayed and protracted, especially in the utter absence of a feasible case on the part of the prosecution. Of course, interference in such a matter brings one on delicate ground. Every country has a right to conduct its legal proceedings in its own way; and Englishmen cannot contest this point, unless they are willing to let Frenchmen in this country be tried according to French laws, or Russians by Russian laws-in which case we should legalise amongst us a very summary sort of justice, and the punishment of the knout. The case against the crew was of the most flimsy character. The only inferences of guilt which the Neapolitan Government could imagine and adduce against them, was (1) that the "Cagliari," when captured, was on its way back to Ponza to transport more men from thence to join the insurgents although the vessel had not coal enough to make such a trip; and (2) that the "Cagliari" had not all the required papers, though it carried all that are usual in vessels of the kind. Against these most shadowy inferences were to be put the much stronger presumptions on the other side, quite tallying with the statements of the prisoners, which in turn were corroborated by the declarations of the original conspirators—although
some of the liberated malefactors from Ponza (men of no character, and justly open to the suspicion of being tampered with) at first made depositions somewhat unfavourable to the innocence of the prisoners. In such circumstances it at least behoved the British Government to show an active interest on behalf of the engineers-all the more so, as, in September, nearly all the crew were set free except Park and Watt. In truth, we entertain no doubt that these two men were detained and put on trial along with the actual insurgents, from no other motive than to retort upon this country, and insult and "snub" our Government through these two unfortunate men. Although this malice was covered and protected by the letter of the law, it ought certainly to have influenced our Government to greater urgency and vigilance, for it was a persecution less likely to be persevered in if the British Government were seen to be thoroughly in earnest in securing fair play for the accused. As the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say, Civis Romanus sum!' so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and strong arm of England will protect him against injustice and wrong." Such were the famous words of Lord Palmerston on the 24th June 1850, in defence of his bold demonstration against Greece, on behalf of the goods and chattels of Don Pacifico. But in this far more urgent case of Watt and Park, Lord Palmerston never stirred a finger. He had wished to call into play the broadsides of the British fleet on behalf of the old chairs and crockery of Don Pacifico, but he did not even engage in a paper-war on behalf of the lives and liberties of two innocent British subjects, harshly imprisoned in the dungeons of Naples. And this at the very time he was committing the grave error of seeming to alter our own laws at the demand of the French Government. No wonder that such a policy cost the late Premier the confidence of his party. Nor has Lord Palmerston improved his position by the "explanations" which he proffered after he took his place
on the Opposition benches. He then stated that the cause of his non-intervention was his belief that the "Cagliari" had voluntarily surrendered to the Neapolitan frigates; but that, as it had latterly been acknowledged that the "Cagliari" was compelled to surrender, that altered the case, and justified intervention. Despite this assertion, not the slightest trace was discoverable by his Lordship's successors in office of the least change having taken place in the opinions of the late Crown lawyers as to the legality of the seizure of the "Cagliari." We question whether the compulsory surrender of the vessel suffices to alter the essential law of the case; seeing that not only had a prima facie act of war or piracy previously been committed by the ship within the Neapolitan jurisdiction, but also that the captain avowedly designed to carry his vessel into the Neapolitan waters, and even deponed, on his first examination, that he had surrendered voluntarily, and not upon compulsion. But whatever be the law upon this nice point, Lord Palmerston at least knew, or ought to have known, that the Neapolitan Government avowed that the seizure was compulsory, fully six weeks before he quitted office. Yet, up to the last moment of his remaining in power, not a single step did he take to challenge either the acts or the animus of the Neapolitan Government. The late Ministry never showed that they were sensible of any hardship or injustice being done; and so the case was protracted for eight months. No sooner, however, did the new Administration take up the case, in a manner which indicated that they were aware of the bad spirit in which the Neapolitan Government was conducting its proceedings, and were resolved to check it by every means fairly available, than the grasp of the despot over our poor countrymen began to relax, and on the 18th of March, one of the prisoners, Watt, was set free. We believe the energy and patriotic philanthropy of the new Administration will speedily bring the whole affair to a satisfactory conclusion; and assuredly the release of these two unfortunate men from a most
vile capivity and cruel trial, will be a success most gratifying to the personal feelings of the Conservative Ministers, and will not be unremembered by the British public.
By their judicious conduct, and the success which has attended their efforts both in the Refugee question and in that of the "Cagliari," the new Cabinet made a most favourable debut, and we have no doubt their subsequent policy will be such as steadily to increase their reputation. The public is somewhat chary at present of giving them its confidence, but it will soon perceive that its confidence could not be better placed. The Liberals have had for years such a preponderance of power in the press, that the measures and policy of Liberal Cabinets are never fairly criticised before the eyes of the reading public, while those of the Conservatives are as much depreciated and misrepresented as their rivals' doings are palliated and extolled. But if the nation look calmly at the matter
-as we believe it is now not indisposed to do it will perceive that the consequences of the last five years of Liberal rule have certainly not been such as to make one regret its termination. Not that we regard those evil results as a necessary product of a Liberal régime, but as a consequence of the ill-constructed or incapable Cabinets which the Liberals have chosen to set up or follow. It was the Coalition Cabinet of 1853-5 that inflicted upon us and Europe the war with Russia. On this point no candid man can now entertain a doubt. They first led the Czar to believe that they would not oppose his designs upon Turkey, yet afterwards were forced by public opinion to do so; and the result of their "antiquated imbecility was to entail upon the country a cost of nearly a hundred millions sterling of debt and taxation -while their boasted "administrative capacity" was shown by the loss of an army before Sebastopol from famine and exposure, although the national purse-strings were never so liberally opened. It is strict truth to say that the Persian war was a direct consequence of the war with Russia, as it was produced partly by the direct instigation of Russia,
and partly by the desire of Persia to possess herself of Herat at a time when England's strength was fully occupied by the struggle in Europe. The British public escaped the expenses of this war, only by the cost being laid upon the Indian Government. But the disasters produced by the policy of the Coalition Cabinet are not yet done. For not only was the Persian war a direct consequence of that with Russia, but-as is now clear from the revelations made at the trial of the King of Delhi, as well as from other corroboratory proofs - the Indian Revolt was in turn greatly induced by the fact of our hostilities with Russia and Persia, by the stories of our disasters in the Crimea and at Kars, and by the withdrawal of troops from India to carry on the war in the Persian Gulf. The three years of Lord Palmerston's rule were in many respects an improvement upon those of the Coalitionists. The war with Russia was prosecuted with admirable spirit, no exception can be taken to the conduct of the shortlived Persian war, and it is only fair to say, that though some valuable time was lost in the commencement of the Indian war, this was not attributable to Lord Palmerston personally, and all the subsequent operations of the late Premier in that great emergency were worthy of his high repute for energy and military promptness of action. To this praise Lord Palmerston is fairly entitled; and the votes of the Conservatives, so often recorded in his favour, gave substantial evidence of their candid approval. In domestic legislation, however, the late Cabinet proved itself singularly inefficient, and in this capacity at least it justified the saying of Mr Bright, "that it was the worst Cabinet he ever remembered." Lord Palmerston is a statesman of rare ability, but he was miserably supported by his colleagues; and though enjoying, we are happy to say, a vigorous old age, still his years were too many to allow of his achieving what perhaps was impossible for the ablest man at the best period of his life. With such a crisis existing in India, we should say that Mr Vernon Smith was a more
than sufficient burden for any Premier to carry; and as some other incapables were in the Cabinet, it was not to be expected that Lord Palmerston could supply all their shortcomings. Some of the Ministerial stud were lazy or good-for-nothingmost of the others, when they took up the running, were always going wrong; and the aged Premier found he had quite enough to do to keep his working colleagues from going wrong, without setting the lazy ones to work also. This made a very inefficient Ministry. In truth, whatever may be thought of the late Administration in other respects, it must figure in history as one singularly destitute of originating talent in all matters relating to domestic legislation.
This brief retrospect of the Liberal Cabinets which overthrew and succeeded Lord Derby's Administration, may well suffice to content one that the series is at length interrupted, and that a new set of statesmen have been called to the helm of affairs. On returning to office, the Conservative Ministers certainly find the affairs of the nation in a very different condition from that in which they left them. Within five short years three wars have come upon the British empire-two of them of a magnitude never but once before encountered in our history. A hundred millions of additional debt or taxation have been thereby imposed upon this country, and probably about thirty millions upon the Government of India. Moreover, when the Conservatives returned to power, they found the Anglo-French alliance, which they were the chief means of originating, and upon which hangs the peace and welfare of Europe, on the eve of a most threatening rupture. And besides all this, within the last six months a terrible commercial crisis-the most disastrous on record-has swept over the United Kingdom, prostrating trade, ruining thousands, and throwing myriads of the working classes out of employment. Both the industry and the capital of the country have thereby experienced a severe blow. Yet, at the same time, when the late Ministry fell, its estimates
showed a deficit of two millions sterling, requiring to be made up by extra taxation upon the incoming year, independent of the heavy falling-off certain to be produced in the revenue by the continued stagnation of trade.
Such are the circumstances in which the Conservatives have returned to power. The new Cabinet, even in the opinion of its opponents, will bear comparison with any of the present generation in point of personal character, homogeneity of composition, and administrative talent. They are all men in the vigour of life, and most of them are remarkable, even amongst British statesmen, for their powers of application and earnest energy of purpose. Ellenborough, Stanley, Disraeli, Pakington, Walpole, Thesiger, and Fitzroy Kelly, are names more associated in public estimation with hard work and high talent than any others in Parliament; while Lord Malmesbury's able management of our foreign affairs in 1852 has not yet been forgotten by candid observers; and Lord Derby unites in himself every requisite for commanding the regard and directing the energies of so great a party. These statesmen so comported themselves when in opposition, that they now return to power without having displayed the slightest approach to factious policy or manœuvres, or having justly irritated a single opponent. "Ever since the day that the late Government was formed," said Mr Horsman, "the opposition to it has been conducted with a moderation and forbearance to which I remember no parallel in all my Parliamentary experience. I have a strong persuasion," he added, "that if those on this side of the House had then been occupying the Opposition benches, a very different course would have been pursued. When we (the Opposition) occupied those benches before, we had more party divisions in three weeks than the gentlemen now in office ventured on in three years."
We believe the new Ministry will obtain what is called a "fair trial." Not that we rely upon the voluntary moderation of the ex-Ministerial chiefs not that we think them -sufficiently magnanimous to copy
the example of the Conservatives when in Opposition,-but because the state of parties in the nonMinisterial portion of the House is such as promises to prevent, for the present, any repetition of the disgraceful coalition-tactics of 1852. What brought the Conservatives into power was the simple fact that they were able to take office, and no other party is. The Liberal party at present is split up into three distinct sections, each jealous or mistrustful of the others, namely, those who follow Lord Palmerston; those who adhere to Lord John Russell; and the Independent or Manchester party. For three years past the Palmerstonians have been in the ascendant; but now that his Lordship has fallen from office, it is hard to say which of the three Liberal sections can muster strongest. We have no doubt that Lord Palmerston's party is already half-dissolved; certainly it no longer exists as the leading section of the House. This is a strange turn of fortune's wheel, but it is only an illustration of the peculiar character of the times. In ordinary times, even those of Lord Palmerston's party who, by voting against him, placed him in a minority on the Conspiracy Bill, would have rallied to the side of their leader as soon as the momentary cause of disagreement was withdrawn ; in which case, considering the powerful majority returned to support him at the last Elections, no other person could have formed an Administration with the least chance of success, and the Ministerial crisis could only have ended by his Lordship being recalled to office. It is alleged that, on tendering his resignation, the late Premier had a strong expectation that such would be the result. But Lord Palmerston's party was abnormal in its character as the times and circumstances which produced it. It included almost all the Whigs, some of the Radicals, and many of the Conservatives, who coalesced in support of Lord Palmerston on the ground either that he was a "safe" man in home politics, or that he was the best upholder of British interests abroad. During the ten months which intervened