Front Page Titles (by Subject) February to August 1866: - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868
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February to August 1866: - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868, ed. John M. Robson and Bruce L. Kinzer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988).
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February to August 1866
The Cattle Diseases Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, cols. 488–92. Reported in The Times, 15 February, p. 7, from which the variant and responses are taken. This, Mill’s maiden speech in the House of Commons, was delivered in the debate on the second reading of “A Bill to Amend the Law Relating to Contagious or Infectious Diseases in Cattle and Other Animals,” 29 Victoria (12 Feb., 1866), PP, 1866, I, 423–44. Mill says in his Autobiography that the speech “was thought at the time to have helped get rid of a provision in the Government measure which would have given to landholders a second indemnity, after they had already been once indemnified for the loss of some of their cattle by the increased selling price of the remainder”
(CW, I, 277n).
mr. j. stuart mill said, that in the course of the discussion on the Bill many important points had been raised, respecting some of which he was not in a position to form an opinion; and that being the case, he thought it better that he should leave all other topics to Her Majesty’s Government, who had the best means of information, and who were responsible for the failure or success of the measures they might introduce. There was one question, however, which it required no agricultural or special knowledge to understand—that of compensation—it was a purely economical question, and upon this part of the Bill alone he thought himself competent to speak. This question had been raised by his honourable Friend the Member for Birmingham,1 and as his honourable Friend had been rather severely dealt with by the right honourable Gentleman behind him (Mr. Lowe),2 he thought that any one who shared the sentiments of his honourable Friend would be acting unworthily if he did not stand forward and avow them. (Hear.) He did not object to the principle of compensation, but he did object, in the highest degree, to the amount proposed in the Bill, and to the manner in which it was proposed to be provided. It was perfectly true, as his right honourable Friend (Mr. Lowe) had pointed out, that the farmers were to receive compensation, not for their losses as such, but for what they lost through the interference of the Government.3 He (Mr. J.S. Mill) quite agreed that there could not be a more just claim for compensation than this; and, moreover, the grant of it was expedient on account of the inducement it would give not to evade the provisions of the Act. He quite adopted the conclusion of his right honourable Friend, that the farmers who might be the owners of diseased cattle ought not to be placed under the temptation of concealing the fact. But, on the other hand, the more reason there was for granting compensation, the more necessity was there for taking care that the compensation should not be excessive. If, on the one hand, the owner were not to be compensated at all for his loss, there was a strong inducement for him to do, what it was the very object of this Bill to prevent him from doing—namely, to keep the infected animals as long as possible, and thus to be the means of propagating the infection. If, on the other hand, the compensation were excessive, an inducement would exist to be careless as to the spread of the disease; because if his animals on becoming infected were ordered to be slaughtered, he knew that he should get an exaggerated compensation for them. The compensation provided by the Bill for diseased animals slaughtered was two-thirds of the value, when that sum did not exceed £20. But what were the necessary conditions to render that sum a just compensation? It was that the animal should have two chances out of three of surviving, because if it had a less chance of recovery than this, the owner would be an absolute gainer by the compensation he would receive on its slaughter by authority. The value of an animal in the market was its value in its existing astate and with its existing prospects (murmurs)a ; unless, therefore, the marketable value of an animal after infection was two-thirds of its value when healthy, the compensation proposed by the Bill was excessive. Whatever the chances were of the animal’s surviving, that would be the measure of compensation which a reasonable person would propose. He came now to another question—in what manner, and at whose expense, the funds for compensation ought to be raised. In order to judge of that, they ought to consider what would be the natural working of economical laws, supposing no compensation were granted at all. If, setting aside merely momentary effects, they took into consideration the ultimate, and indeed speedy, result, there could be no doubt that in whatever proportion the supply of cattle was diminished, in that proportion the price would be enhanced; and, therefore, in the end, the whole burden of the loss would be borne, not by the producer, but the consumer. Farmers and landlords would indeed suffer, but only to the same extent as other members of the community—that is to say, as consumers. As far as it was the whole community which suffered, no class of the community, as a class, had the smallest claim to compensation from the rest. Some, indeed, were less able to bear the loss than others, and it would not have been surprising if a proposal had been made to compensate them; but now, on the contrary, it was proposed to tax them, in order to compensate those who were able to bear the loss much better. It appeared to him that the farmers as a class had no claim whatever to compensation, and the only reason for granting compensation at all was, not that the loss fell peculiarly upon the agricultural interest, but because it fell upon that interest with such extreme inequality. He apprehended that in real justice the compensation ought to be paid to the less fortunate by the more fortunate of the class: thus establishing what would be equivalent to a compulsory system of mutual insurance amongst the owners of stock. This Bill did the very contrary—though he did not blame the Government for introducing it, considering the way in which the House was constituted. It compensated a class for the results of a calamity which was borne by the whole community. In justice, the farmers who had not suffered ought to compensate those who had; but the Bill did what it ought not to have done, and it left undone that which it ought to have done,4 by not equalizing the incidence of the burden upon that class, inasmuch as, from the operation of the local principle adopted, that portion of the agricultural community who had not suffered at all would not have to pay at all, those who suffered little would have to pay little, while those who suffered most would have to pay a great deal. The only argument of any validity which he could anticipate against the opinion he had expressed, was that a portion of our cattle supply is not derived from home production, but from importation; and, as far as that portion was concerned, the compensation which the consumer would pay through the enhanced price of the commodity would not be received by our own agriculturists, but by the importers. This he must admit; but the importation of cattle, though considerable and increasing, bore so very small a proportion to the entire consumption, that it would diminish the indemnity reaped by the home producers only to a very small extent; and this being the case, it would be unworthy of the landed interest to lay any stress upon so small a matter. An aristocracy should have the feelings of an aristocracy, and inasmuch as they enjoyed the highest honours and advantages, they ought to be willing to bear the first brunt of the inconveniences and evils which fell on the country generally. This was the ideal character of an aristocracy; it was the character with which all privileged classes were accustomed to credit themselves; though he was not aware of any aristocracy in history that had fulfilled those requirements. (Laughter.) It might also be said that the farmers would derive no benefit from the ultimate high price, because one of the effects of the cattle plague was by making them bring their cattle prematurely to market, temporarily to keep down the price. This, no doubt, was the case, but after the grant of compensation, it would no longer be so, since the inducement to hurry cattle to market would then no longer exist.
[The Bill was read a second time, and committed for the next day.]
The Cattle Diseases Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, cols. 609–10, 620. Reported in The Times, 17 February, p. 7, from which the variant readings and responses are taken. Mill’s observations were made in Committee on the Cattle Diseases Bill, Clause 31. (For the Bill, see No. 12.) Clause 31 provided, inter alia, that “All expenses incurred by a Local Authority in pursuance of this Act, including any Compensation payable by it in respect of Animals slaughtered in pursuance of this Act, shall be defrayed, as to Two-third Parts thereof, out of the Local Rate.” Acton Smee Ayrton (1816–86) moved to amend this clause by omitting the words “as to two-third parts thereof,” thereby throwing the full cost on the local rate, and made reference to No. 12, saying that he “had been much impressed by the able speech,” because he thought that Mill had “given admirable reasons” why a poll-tax to cover one-third of the cost should not be imposed (col. 608). Mill’s response immediately follows on Ayrton’s conclusion.
mr. j. stuart mill said, the honourable and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) had referred to some remarks of his with reference to this subject, and as, in all probability through his own (Mr. Mill’s) fault, the honourable and learned Member had not seized the point of his argument, he hoped he might be allowed, with the permission of the Committee, to repeat the substance of what he then said. The honourable and learned Member had laid down a principle which no one could dispute—namely, that taxation ought not to be partial. On that ground he urged that a particular class ought not to be taxed to defray the expense of compensation for the consequences of a calamity by which they had already suffered to so great an extent. But his (Mr. Stuart Mill’s) argument1 was grounded expressly on this—that although they suffered more immediately, they would not ultimately suffer more than the rest of the community who were consumers of food (no). It followed that if they were now to tax the whole of the community in order to give a special indemnity to that class for what they suffered, they would, instead of taxing them, tax the rest of the community in order to relieve them. That was his argument, and nothing he had heard had tended to weaken it; and, consequently, that part of the provision for compensation to which the honourable and learned Member objected, the poll tax on cattle, was the only part which he considered sound in principle. (A laugh.) It appeared to him that the valid claim for compensation was not for the burden, but for the inequality of the burden, inasmuch as some cattle owners suffered much less than others, and some not at all. The class on whom the calamity had immediately fallen would, as a class, be compensated in the natural course of things, by the increased price of meat consequent on the diminished supply; but the individuals of the class who had not suffered at all, or who had suffered less than their neighbours, should contribute for the relief of those who had not been so fortunate. In principle, therefore, the tax, whatever it might be, ought to be a rate on land only. (Oh!) Although the clause as it stood was very objectionable, it would be made still more so by the proposal of the honourable and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets.
[Several members contributed to the discussion, including Lowe (cols. 618–20), who referred to Ayrton’s having accepted Mill’s arguments. Mill replied:]
As the arguments of my right honourable Friend (Mr. Lowe) derive great weight from his knowledge, his character, and his talents, it seems desirable that anything which can be said in reply should be said as soon as possible, and while the impression of his arguments is still fresh. (Hear, hear.) I think what is necessary may be said in a very few sentences. My right honourable Friend thinks it a complete answer to the arguments which I submitted to the notice of the House, to say that the object of the tax is not compensation, but to give a motive to the farmer to declare the disease. Now, Sir, I really think that the motive held out to the farmer to make this disclosure does not depend on the quarter from whence the compensation comes, but on the compensation itself. (Hear, hear.) I should like to know whether, if the farmer receives £20 or any other sum for his beast, it makes any difference in the motive held out to him whether it is paid from a cattle tax, or from the county rate, or out of the Consolidated Fund. (Hear, hear.) In the next place, my right honourable Friend stated that the scarcity of a commodity does not always raise the price in full proportion to the deficiency in the quantity. Well, Sir, that is very true, but it is also an extremely common thing that the effect should be to raise the price a great deal beyond the proportion of the loss, and the case in which this is peculiarly known to happen is when the article in deficiency is one of food. (Hear, hear.) Take, for instance, the commodity which the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington) has brought forward into the prominence which belongs to it, the article of milk.2 In the case of milk, an article which is of first necessity to even the poorest people in the country, it is hardly conceivable that a scarcity should take place without raising the price immeasurably beyond the proportion of the loss. (Hear, hear.) aNow, that is an extremely important element in the case.a In the next place, my right honourable Friend thought it an extremely unreasonable thing in me to neglect and leave out of sight that portion of the supply of cattle which comes by importation. He said I did not mention it on a former occasion. Sir, I did mention it, and referred to it in a most special manner.3 (Hear.) And the answer which I made then I make now, in the words which my right honourable Friend himself quoted—de minimis non curat lexb. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) It seems to have excited a good deal of scorn on the other side of the House because I said it was unworthy of the landed interest of this country or of any aristocracy. (Cries of Oh, oh! in which the conclusion of the sentence was lost.)b There is one more point in my right honourable Friend’s speech which I would wish to notice. He asked, “Is it not absurd that because a man or any of his family is not mad, he should object to being taxed for a lunatic asylum?”4 I ask, is there any economical law by which the patients of a lunatic asylum are compensated for the expense of their maintenance in that asylum? (Much laughter.) If there is, the cases are parallel; if not, not.
[After further debate, Ayrton’s amendment was accepted.]
Suspension of Habeas Corpus In Ireland
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, cols. 705–6. Not reported in The Times. Mill’s speech was on Sir George Grey’s motion for leave to bring in “A Bill to Empower the Lord Lieutenant or Other Chief Governor of Ireland to Apprehend and Detain until the First Day of March 1867, Such Persons as He or They Shall Suspect of Conspiring against Her Majesty’s Person and Government,” 29 Victoria (16 Feb., 1866), PP, 1866, III, 121–4. Of the speech he says in his Autobiography: “In denouncing, on this occasion, the English mode of governing Ireland, I did no more than the general opinion of England now admits to have been just; but the anger against Fenianism was then in all its freshness; any attack on what Fenians attacked was looked upon as an apology for them; and I was so unfavourably received by the House, that more than one of my friends advised me (and my own judgment agreed with the advice) to wait, before speaking again, for the favourable opportunity that would be given by the first great debate on the Reform Bill” (CW, I, 277). (For his successful use of that opportunity, see No. 16.)
mr. j. stuart mill said, that some asperity had been introduced into this discussion which he should not imitate. The occasion was one for deep grief, not for irritation. He agreed with the honourable Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) that this Bill was a cause for shame and humiliation to this country.1 We were present at the collapsing of a great delusion. England had for a considerable number of years been flattering itself that the Irish people had come to their senses; that they were now sensible that they had got Catholic Emancipation and the Incumbered Estates Bill,2 which were the only things they could possibly want; and had become aware that a nation could not have anything to complain of when it was under such beneficent rulers as us, who, if we do but little for them, would so gladly do much if we only knew how. We all knew that in times past England had been unjust to Ireland. Of that national sin this nation had repented; and we were not now conscious of any other feelings towards Ireland than those which were perfectly honest and benevolent, and he did not say this of one party, or of one side of the House only, he said it of all. But we had fallen into the mistake of thinking that good intentions were enough. We had been in the habit of saying pleasant things on this subject in the hearing of foreigners, till, from iteration, foreigners were beginning to believe that Ireland was no longer our weak point—England’s vulnerable spot—the portion of our territory where we might perhaps be successfully assailed, and which, in any case, by neutralizing a great portion of our available force, disabled us from doing anything to resist any iniquity which it might be sought to perpetrate in Europe. This pleasing delusion was now at an end. Every foreigner, every continental writer, would believe for many years to come that Ireland was a country constantly on the brink of revolution, held down by an alien nationality, and kept in subjection by brute force. (No, no!) He did not mean that he shared that opinion; he disclaimed it. He hardly knew to what to compare the position of England towards Ireland, but some illustration of his meaning might be drawn from the practice of flogging. Flogging in some few cases was probably a necessary abomination, because there were some men and boys whom long persistence in evil had so brutalized and perverted that no other punishment had any chance of doing them good. But when any man in authority—whether he was the captain of a ship or the commander of a regiment, or the master of a school, needed the instrument of flogging to maintain his authority—that man deserved flogging as much as any of those who were flogged by his orders. He was not prepared to vote against granting to Her Majesty’s Government the powers which, in the state to which Ireland had been brought, they declared to be absolutely necessary. He was not responsible—they were. They did not bring Ireland into its present state—they found it so, through the misgovernment of centuries and the neglect of half a century. He did not agree with his honourable Friend the Member for Birmingham in thinking that Her Majesty’s Ministers, if they could not devise some remedy for the evils of Ireland, were bound to leave their seats on the Treasury Bench and devote themselves to learning statesmanship.3 From whom were they to learn it? From the Gentlemen opposite, who would be their successors, and who, if they were to propose anything which his honourable Friend or himself would consider as remedies for Irish evils, would not allow them to pass it? The Government had to deal with things as they were, and not with things as they might wish them to be. He did not believe that the power granted to the Government would be strained beyond the necessity of the case. He would not suggest a suspicion that tyranny and oppression would be practised. He knew there would be nothing of the kind, at least with their cognizance or connivance. He was not afraid that they would make a Jamaica in Ireland; and, to say truth, the fountains of his indignation had been so drained by what had taken place in that unfortunate island that he had none left for so comparatively small a matter as arbitrary imprisonment. When, however, the immediate end had been effected, he hoped that we should not again go to sleep for fifty years, and that we should not continue to meet every proposal for the benefit of Ireland with that eternal “non possumus”4 which, translated into English, meant, “We don’t do it in England.” If his honourable and learned Friend the Member for Sheffield thought that nothing was now amiss in Ireland except the Irish Church,5 he would be likely to hear much more on the subject before long, if he would only listen.
[The Bill went through all its stages in one day and was finally approved in the Commons by a vote of 354 to 6 (Mill’s name is not listed in either lobby).]
Representation of the People 
Daily Telegraph, 13 April, 1866, p. 6. Headed: “Reform Meeting in Westminster.” Reported also on the same day in the Daily News (in the third person), the Morning Star, and (in brief summary) in The Times. (Clippings of all the reports but the last are in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) The evening meeting of Westminster electors, in St. James’s Hall, Piccadilly, was in support of the Government’s “Bill to Extend the Right of Voting at Elections of Members of Parliament in England and Wales,” 29 Victoria (13 Mar., 1866), PP, 1866, V, 87–100, which was under discussion in Parliament (see Nos. 16 and 23). Charles Westerton, who chaired the meeting, explained that it could not be held earlier because such a large crowd could not be accommodated anywhere but in St. James’s Hall, which had not been available. He said that Mill and Grosvenor were both in the House of Commons, but would appear later. W.T. Mallinson proposed a motion in favour of the Bill; during his speech, Grosvenor arrived, and made a speech in seconding the motion. During that speech, Mill arrived, and after Probyn had spoken in favour of the motion, he rose. Mill, “who upon presenting himself was received with enthusiastic applause,” then spoke to the resolution.
i sincerely congratulate my honourable colleague on having been beforehand, and not for the first time. I have had the satisfaction of hearing the excellent speech which he made on the first reading of the Reform Bill.1 My attendance in the House of Commons this evening prevented me from hearing more than a part of his speech now, but what I did hear was equally excellent to that which he made in the House of Commons. I think that those who foretold and who calculated that the people of England no longer cared about reform, or if they did that they do not care about this measure, would cease so to think if they could see this present meeting—they would be convinced of their mistake. But, indeed, I think they must be pretty well convinced of that already if the demonstrations that have taken place over the country, and the multitude and quality of the petitions which I have seen this evening presented to the House of Commons—(cheers)—can convince them. It must have shown the most incredulous of them that they have made a great mistake. (Cheers.) It has been said that the electors don’t wish reform—that they don’t wish to extend the privilege to other people. Then of the non-electors it was said that they had grown indifferent to politics—that the only questions which occupied their attention were those of wages and co-operation—that they had grown quite Conservative—(a laugh)—and that those who did care about reform wanted so much more reform than this bill gave them, and that they would not stop to pick it up. Again, he believed that some members of Parliament thought they would lose their seats if they supported reform, whereas he hoped now that they would lose their seats if they did not support reform. a(Cheers.) This was a very crafty calculation, but there were many things overlooked in it.a It was overlooked that in all those constituencies in which the electors were the most numerous, there had been, and always would be, a strong feeling for further reform; secondly, it had been overlooked that there existed such persons as sincere reformers—(hear, hear)—reformers in principle, who had faith in a popular Government. Again, some people were foolish and fanatic enough to believe that nothing could be safe which differed from their opinions. It was forgotten that the £10 electors had not been long enough a privileged class to acquire the odious feelings of one. (Cheers.) The ten-pounders, as they were fond of calling them, had not grown into an oligarchy just yet, nor did he think they would. (Hear, hear.) There was another consideration, and that was that the ten-pounders knew they had but a small portion of power. Land and money now, as always heretofore, were the leading powers in this country. In order to make head against these influences—which are not always salutary—they must be glad to take in you and I to share it with them. (Hear, hear.) Now, respecting the non-electors, if there ever was a delusion on the face of the earth I think it is this, because people—the mass of the people—had acquired a degree of education, a degree of cultivation and of knowledge of politics, a degree of familiarity with newspapers and public events, that they never had before, nor anything approaching to it; and because with these things they had acquired powers of intelligence and combination—which excited the admiration even of Conservatives—in the promotion of their own interests, such as co-operation; because these changes and improvements had taken place, was it true that they had grown less interested in politics—(No, no)—less desirous of the good of their country, and less desiring that they themselves should share in its destiny? I think such a delusion is one of the densest that was ever entertained by human beings. (Cheers.) Do they wish for more than this? No doubt they do. I do myself. What is more, I believe Mr. Gladstone does. (Cheers.) I heard him say this evening that he did not think there would have been any danger in extending the franchise further than this bill; but he said, and said justly, it is the way of this country, a prudent and just way, not to attempt to do everything at once.2 And I do not think any of us—not even those who desire a much greater change than this bill promises—ever thought that we should step into all that we want at a single stride. But there is one thing that I may remark, and that is that I am very glad to see from all the demonstrations of the unenfranchised classes on this question, that they take this extremely rational view of the matter. We are told continually that the working classes desire this bill only as a stepping-stone to something else.3 We think it will give us a better Legislature, and it is because we think that it is good in itself that we think it will give us a better Legislature—a Legislature more likely to give us further reform when the time is come for it. Our opponents have thought it best for their interests not to meet the question by a direct negative, but to meet it by what is called a sidewind—by an amendment which merely turned on the order of proceeding, in the expectation that they will be able to add to their minority a certain number of those who habitually vote with the Government.4 They will—I believe they will—succeed in getting some votes, though not many I think. But it would be a mistake to suppose that all who vote with them on this occasion are insincere reformers, or that they will ultimately vote against the bill. (Hear, hear.) I am not speaking of Mr. Horsman5 or Mr. Lowe. (Hisses and laughter.) They are not insincere. There is no duplicity about them. They tell us they want no reform; that they bwere afraid of it, that they would resist it to the last. (Loud hisses.)b At least, I know that Mr. Lowe says it, and I believe Mr. Horsman says it.6 I think we ought to be obliged to them for telling us the worst at once that is in them. (A laugh.) Still, I have no doubt that some who will vote for the amendment will ultimately vote for the future stages of the bill. I do not think that this amendment need discourage us in the least. Nobody doubts that the amendment will be defeated, and we shall see the bill carried by increasing instead of diminishing majorities. (Great cheering.) I never formed any decided opinion as to which part of reform it would be best to begin with. I could not judge of it so well as those whose duty it is to judge of it; and what is the use of leaders unless we can trust them on a mere matter of tactics? (Hear, hear.) This is the first time since 1832 that a Government has pledged itself to stand or fall by a Reform Bill. (Cheers.) I confide in the Ministry. cRumours have been current in the back slums of the Tory encampment that some members of the Government are not sincere, and—though I hope it is not for that reason—(laughter)—that they will vote and co-operate with the Tory party. They calculate on a possible combination between some members of the Government and themselves. Well, all know how often the wish is father to the thought—(laughter)—and how very difficult it is to get some people to believe in the political sincerity and honesty of others. But I shall requirecdsomething better than the gossip of the Tadpoles and Tapers (as Mr. Disraeli would term it)d7ebefore I shall believe there is any member of the Government who is not sincere in this question. (Loud cheers.) There are two members of the Government, however—Earl Russell and Mr. Gladstone—whose sincerity no one ventures to suspect, and that is the reason the Tories are so inveterate against them.e Their sincerity and earnestness on this subject is so obvious, so transparent, and so indisputable, that no one for a moment can doubt them. (Cheers.) fThey all know from past history that Earl Russell had the greatest share in giving the people the greatest improvement of modern times—the Reform Bill8 —f to which we owe the next greatest improvement—the repeal of the Corn Laws.9gWhat the Tories now reproach Earl Russell with is, after having resisted any further alteration in the representative system ,10 all at once to reopen the question of Reform, which is the highest misdemeanour possible in the eyes of the Tories. (Laughter.) But the people know that the question of Reform was never closed. (Hear, hear.)g Respecting Mr. Gladstone. (Cheers.) What was the use to speak of him on a question of sincerity? (Cheers.) Every year of his official life had been marked by a succession of measures—no year being without them—some great, some small, but all aiming at the public good—to the good of the people of this country, and especially of the poorer classes. These measures were not even suggested to him; they were the offspring of his own mind, will, and purpose—the free gift from him to his countrymen, unprompted, unsuggested. (Loud cheers.) And his countrymen would reward him as they had done already. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Mr. Gladstone seems to be the first statesman who has come up to the idea of a great modern statesman: a Minister should be the leader of a free people—not employing his mind only to do that which the people wished, but pointing out to them that which was for their benefit—offering it to them without even being asked—leaving it to them to accept or refuse it—not thinking that it was his business to act only as he was acted upon, and yielding to pressure. What constituted a great statesman was to take the initiative for the good of his fellow-countrymen. Was it not Mr. Gladstone who first broke silence on the subject of reform after the ridiculous failure of 1860?11hand he was the man who made that celebrated declaration that every human being, inasmuch as he had an interest in good government, had a primâ facie cause for admission to the suffrage.h12 If we do not stand by him as he is doing by our work—if he fails from any defect of ours, from the want of encouragement to go on—the consequence will be that we shall richly deserve to suffer, for we shall not easily find another to serve us in the same way. (Loud cheers.)
[The resolution was carried unanimously. A petition was moved calling for the Commons to pass the Bill without delay, and, after other speeches and demonstrations, the meeting ended.]
Representation of the People 
Speech of J. Stuart Mill Esq., M.P. for Westminster, upon the Reform Bill, Delivered in the House of Commons, April 13th, 1866. From the “Daily Telegraph.” (London: Diprose and Bateman, 1866). (The title page of the penny pamphlet is headed by a quotation from the Daily Telegraph of the 14th: “All will read it, and in reading it will learn the views of the boldest, and yet the most sure and measured thinker of the day.”) PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, cols. 1253–63. Reported in The Times, 14 April, p. 6, from which variant readings and responses are taken. Mill’s manuscript draft of the speech (printed in Appendix D) is extant (Harvard); it lacks, of course, Mill’s responses to the debate. Another pamphlet version appeared: Speech of John Stuart Mill, Esq., M.P. for Westminster, During the Debate on the Second Reading of the Representation of the People Bill, in the House of Commons, April 13, 1866. Reprinted from “The Morning Star.” (London: Judd and Glass, ). The copies of the pamphlets in Somerville College have inked corrections that are here accepted; in all cases except the second and the final two, the changes result in the PD version: at 62.4, “consequences they” is altered to “consequences—they”; at 62.27, “classes, in” is altered to “classes; on”; at 63.38, “this or” is altered to “this and”; at 65.20, “and most” is altered to “and much”; at 67.1, “interests” is altered to “interest”; at 68.5, “and is honest” is altered to “and honest” (PD reads “good, honest”); and at 68.11–12, “(hear)—unless I am mistaken. And (it” is altered to “(hear).—Unless I am mistaken, (and it)”. Mill spoke on the second reading of Gladstone’s Reform Bill (see No. 15), specifically on Earl Grosvenor’s motion (technically an amendment) on 12 April: “That this House, while ready to consider, with a view to its settlement, the question of Parliamentary Reform, is of opinion that it is inexpedient to discuss a Bill for the reduction of the Franchise in England and Wales, until the House has before it the entire scheme contemplated by the Government, for the amendment of the Representation of the People” (col. 1227).
although the question which will be put from the chair relates ostensibly to the mere order of proceeding, it will hardly be denied, and least of all after the speech of the right honourable baronet,1 that the question we are really discussing is whether the bill ought to pass. (Hear, hear.) Indeed, the noble Lord the member for King’s Lynn is the only speaker on the Opposition side who has argued the nominal issue as if he thought that it was the real one, or has even laid any great stress upon it.2 That noble lord, in a speech marked by all the fairness and candour which were known to be his characteristics, and by even more than the ability—at least by more varied and sustained ability—has said, I think, the most and the best that can be said in favour of the amendment, considered as a substantive motion. He has brought forward considerations well calculated to make an impression, but only on one part of his audience—on those who, though they may be willing to consent to some reform, look with extreme jealousy on the most important part of it, the enfranchisement of a portion of the working classes—who regard this less as a good to be desired, than as a doubtful and perhaps perilous experiment, and tremble lest they should eventually find themselves committed to giving those classes a trifle more representation than they were duly warned of beforehand. (Cheers.) What is the very worst extremity of evil with which the noble lord threatens the House, in case it should be so unguarded as to pass this bill without the other measures of Parliamentary Reform by which it is to be succeeded? Why, it is this—that if something happens which it requires the most improbable concurrence of chances to bring about, something against which neither the personal honour of the Government, nor the inexorable dates fixed by the Registration Acts,3 nor even the expressed will of Parliament, if Parliament should think fit to express its will, can guarantee us; in this all but impossible case, there may happen—what? That the redistribution of seats may, in spite of all that can be done, possibly devolve upon a House of Commons elected under the enlarged franchise. (Hear, hear.) Now, I put it to the noble lord’s clear intellect—and impartial because clear—is this an argument which can have any weight with anybody who thinks the enlarged franchise an improvement—(cheers)—who thinks it calculated to give us a better Legislature? If the Legislature it gives us is a better one for all other purposes, will it not be a better one for this purpose? (Hear, hear.) If it can be trusted to govern us, if it can be trusted to tax us, if it can be trusted to legislate for us, can it not be trusted to revise its own constitution? (Hear, hear.) Does experience teach us to expect that this of all things is the work in which legislative bodies in general, and British Parliaments in particular, are likely to be rash, headstrong, precipitate, subversive, revolutionary? (Loud cheers.) I think, Sir, that a Parliament which was cautious in nothing else might be depended on for caution in meddling with the conditions of its own power. (Hear.) Sir, this formidable one chance in a thousand with which the noble lord threatens us, is only terrific to those in whose eyes the bill is a rash and portentous transfer of power to the working classes. To those who think that the enfranchising provisions are good in themselves, good even if there were no redistribution of seats (hear, hear), and still better if there is (cheers), this phantom of evil has no terrors. (Hear, hear.) And that I believe to be the opinion of the great body of reformers, both in and out of the House. (Cheers.) We are, I dare say, as sincerely desirous as the noble mover of the amendment that family and pocket boroughs should be extinguished, and the inordinate political influence of a few noble and opulent families acurtaileda . (Cheers and laughter.) We are, I believe, as anxious to bcontrolb the power which wealth possesses, of buying its way into the House of Commons, and shutting the door upon other people—as the wealthiest gentleman present. c(Hear, hear.)c But though we are quite orthodox on these great points of Conservative Parliamentary Reform—(hear)—and look forward with delight to our expected co-operation with gentlemen on the opposite benches in the congenial occupation of converting them from theories into facts—(hear, hear, and laughter)—we yet think that a measure of enfranchisement like this bill—moderate, indeed—far more moderate than is desired by the majority of reformers, but which does make the working classes a substantial power in this House—is not only a valuable part of a scheme of Parliamentary Reform, but highly valuable even if nothing else were to follow. And as this is the only question among those raised on the present occasion, which seems to me in the smallest degree worth discussing, I shall make no further apology for confining myself to it. (Cheers.) Sir, measures may be recommended either by their principle, or by their practical consequences; and if they have either of these recommendations, they usually have both. As far as regards the principle of this measure, there is but little to disagree about; for a measure which goes no further than this, does not raise any of the questions of principle on which the House is divided, and I cannot but think that the right honourable baronet, in intruding these questions into the debate has caused it to deviate somewhat from its proper course. If it were necessary to take into consideration even all the reasonable things which can be said pro and con about democracy d—and I fully admit that the right honourable baronet has said things both reasonable and unreasonable on that subject (laughter)—d the House would have a very different task before it. But this is not a democratic measure. It neither deserves that praise, nor, if honourable members will have it so, that reproach. It is not a corollary from what may be called the numerical theory of representation. It follows from the class theory, which we all know is the Conservative view of the constitution; the favourite doctrine, not only of what are called Conservative reformers, but of Conservative non-reformers as well. (Hear, hear.) The opponents of reform are accustomed to say, that the constitution knows nothing of individuals, but only of classes. (Hear, hear.) Individuals, they tell us, cannot complain of not being represented, so long as the class they belong to is represented. But if any class is unrepresented, or has not its proper share of representation relatively to others, that is a grievance. Now, all that need be asked at present is that this theory be applied to practice. There is a class which has not yet had the benefit of the theory. While so many classes, comparatively insignificant in numbers, and not supposed to be freer from class partialities or interests than their neighbours (cheers), are represented—some of them I venture to say, greatly over-represented, in this House—here is a class, more numerous than all the others, and, therefore, as a mere matter of human feeling, entitled to more consideration—weak as yet, and therefore needing representation the more, but daily becoming stronger, and more capable of making its claims good—and this class is not represented. We claim, then, a large and liberal representation of the working classes, on the Conservative theory of the constitution. (Cheers.) We demand that they be represented as a class, if represented they cannot be as human beings; and we call on honourable gentlemen to prove the sincerity of their convictions by extending the benefit of them to the great majority of their countrymen. (Cheers.) But, honourable gentlemen say, the working classes are already represented. It has just come to light, to the astonishment of everybody, that these classes actually form 26 per cent. of the borough constituencies.4 They kept the secret so well—it required so much research to detect their presence on the register—their votes were so devoid of any traceable consequences—they had all this power of shaking the foundations of our institutions, and so obstinately persisted in not doing it—(loud cheers)—that honourable gentlemen are quite alarmed, and recoil in terror from the abyss into which they have not fallen. (Renewed cheers and laughter.) Well, Sir, it certainly seems that this amount of enfranchisement of the working classes has done no harm. But if it has not done harm, perhaps it has not done much good either; at least not the kind of good which we are talking about. A class may have a great number of votes in every constituency in the kingdom, and yet obtain scarcely any representation in this House. Their right of voting may be only the right of being everywhere outvoted. (A laugh, and hear.) If, indeed, the mechanism of our electoral system admitted representation of minorities; if those who are outvoted in one place could join their votes with those who are outvoted in another; then, indeed, a fourth part, even if only of the borough electors, would be a substantial power, for it would mean a fourth of the borough representatives. 26 per cent. concentrated would be a considerable representation; but 26 per cent. diffused is almost the same as none at all. The right honourable baronet ewho just preceded me has brought forward a very plausible argument on that point. Hee has said that a class, though but a minority, may by cleverly managing its votes, be master of the situation, and that the tenant farmers in Hertfordshire, fthough only a third of the constituencyf can carry an election.5 They may be able to decide whether a Tory or a Whig shall be elected; they may be masters of so small a situation as that. (Laughter.) But what you are afraid of is their carrying points on which their interest as a class is opposed to that of all other classes; on which if they were only a third of the constituency the other two-thirds would be against them. Do you think they would be masters of such a situation as that?—(cheers)—Sir, there is no known contrivance by which in the long run a minority can outnumber a majorityg. What might be done in that way by preternatural contrivance I do not know (laughter) but by no natural contrivance can one-third be made to outvoteg the other two-thirds. (Renewed laughter and cheers.) The real share of the working classes in the representation is measured by the number of members they can return—in other words, the number of constituencies in which they are the majority: and even that only marks the extreme limit of the influence which they can exercise, but by no means that which they will. (Hear, hear.) Why, Sir, among the recent discoveries, one is, that there are some half-dozen constituencies in which working men are even now a majority;6 and I put it to honourable gentlemen, would anybody ever have suspected it? At the head of these constituencies is Coventry. Are the members for Coventry generally great sticklers for working-class notions? (Hear, hear.) It has, I believe, been observed that these gentlemen usually vote quite correctly on the subject of French ribbons—(laughter)—and as that kind of virtue comes most natural to Conservatives—(renewed laughter)—the members for Coventry often are Conservative. But probably that would happen much the same if the master manufacturers had all the votes. (Cheers.) If, indeed, a tax on power-looms were proposed, and the members for Coventry voted for it, that might be some indication of working class influences; though I believe that the working men, even at Coventry, have far outgrown that kind of absurdities. (Cheers.) Even if the franchise were so much enlarged that the working men, by polling their whole strength, could return by small majorities 200 of the 658 members of this House, there would not be 50 of that number who would represent the distinctive feelings and opinions of working men, or would be, in any class sense, their representatives. (Hear, hear.) And what if they had the whole 200? Even then, on any subject in which they were concerned as a class, there would be more than two to one against them when they were in the wrong. They could not succeed in anything, even when unanimous, unless they carried with them nearly a third of the representatives of the other classes; and if they did that, there would be, I think, a very strong presumption of their being in the right. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) As a matter of principle, then, and not only on liberal principles, but on those of the Conservative party, the case in favour of the bill seems irresistible. (Loud cheers.) But it is asked by my right honourable friend the member for Calne, what practical good do we expect?7 What particular measures do we hope to see carried in a reformed House, which cannot be carried in the present? If I understand my right honourable friend correctly, he thinks we ought to come to the House with a bill of indictment against itself (a laugh)—an inventory of wrong things which the House does, and right things which it cannot be induced to do (hear, hear)—and when, convinced by our arguments, the House pleads guilty and cries peccavi, we have his permission to bring in a Reform Bill. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) Sir, my right honourable friend says we should not proceed on a priori reasoning, but should be practical. I want to know whether this is his idea of being practical. For my part, I am only sorry it is not possible that in the discussion of this question special applications should be kept entirely out of view: for if we descend to particulars, and point out this and that in the conduct of the House, which we should like to see altered, but which the House, by the very fact that it does not alter them, does not think require alteration, how can we expect the House to take this as a proof that its constitution needs reform? We should not at all advance our cause, while we should stir up all the most irritating topics in the domain of politics. (Hear, hear.) Suppose now—and I purposely choose a small instance to give the less offence—suppose we were to say that if the working classes had been represented, it would not have been found so easy for honourable gentlemen whose cattle were slaughtered by Act of Parliament8 to get compensated twice over—(cheers and laughter)—once by a rate, and again by a rise in price. I use the case only for illustration: I lay no stress on it; but I ask, ought the debate on a Reform Bill to consist of a series of discussions on points similar to this, and a hundred times more irritating than this? Is it desirable to drag into this discussion all the points on which any one may think that the rights or interests of labour are not sufficiently regarded by the House? (Hear, hear.) I will ask another question. If the authors of the Reform Bill of 18329 had foretold—which they scarcely could have done, since they did not themselves know it—if they had predicted that through it we should abolish the corn laws—that we should abolish the navigation laws—(cheers)—that we should grant free trade to all foreigners without reciprocity—(renewed cheers)—that we should reduce inland postage to a penny—that we should renounce the exercise of any authority over our colonies—all which things have really happened10 —does the House think that these announcements would have greatly inclined the Parliament of that day towards passing the bill? (Loud cheers.) Whether the practical improvements that will follow a further Parliamentary reform will be equal to these, the future must disclose; but whatever they may be, they are not at the present time regarded as improvements by the House, for if the House thought so, there is nothing to hinder it from adopting them. (Cheers.) Sir, there is a better way of persuading possessors of power to give up a part of it: not by telling them that they make a bad use of their power—which, if it were true, they could not be expected to be aware of—but by reminding them of what they are aware of—their own fallibility. Sir, we all of us know that we hold many erroneous opinions, but we do not know which of our opinions these are, for if we did, they would not be our opinions. (Hear, hear.) Therefore, reflecting men take precautions beforehand against their own errors, without waiting till they and all other people are agreed about the particular instances; and if there are things which, from their mental habits or their position in life, are in danger of escaping their notice, they are glad to associate themselves with others of different habits and positions which very fact peculiarly qualifies them to see the precise things which they themselves do not see. Believing the House to be composed of reasonable men, this is what we ask them to do. (Hear, hear.) Every class knows some things not so well known to other people, and every class has interests more or less special to itself, and for which no protection is so effectual as its own. These may be a priori doctrines, but so is the doctrine that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points; they are as much truths of common sense and common observation as that is, and persons of common sense act upon them with the same perfect confidence. I claim the benefit of these principles for the working classes. They require it more than any other class. The class of lawyers, or the class of merchants, is amply represented, though there are no constituencies in which lawyers or merchants form the majority; but a successful lawyer or merchant easily gets into Parliament by his wealth or social position, and, once there, is as good a representative of lawyers or merchants as if he had been elected on purpose; but no constituency elects a working man, or a man who looks at questions with working men’s eyes. (Cheers.) Is there, I wonder, a single member of this House who thoroughly knows the working men’s views of trades unions, or of strikes, and could bring these subjects before the House in a manner satisfactory to working men? (Hear, hear.) My honourable friend the member for Brighton, if any one;11 perhaps not even he. Are there many of us who so perfectly understand the subject of apprenticeships, let us say, or of the hours of labour, as to have nothing to learn on the subject from intelligent operatives? I grant that, along with many just ideas and much valuable knowledge, you would sometimes find pressed upon you erroneous opinions—mistaken views of what is for the interest of labour; and I am not prepared to say that if the labouring classes were predominant in the House, attempts might not be made to carry some of these wrong notions into practice. But there is no question at present about making the working classes predominant. (Hear, hear.) What is asked is a sufficient representation to ensure that their opinions are fairly placed before the House, and are met by real arguments, addressed to their own reason, by people who can enter into their way of looking at the subjects in which they are concerned. (Cheers.) In general, those who attempt to correct the errors of the working classes do it as if they were talking to babies. (Cheers.) They think any trivialities sufficient. If they condescend to argue, it is from premises which hardly any working man would admit; they expect that the things which appear self-evident to them will appear self-evident to the working classes; their arguments never reach the mark, never come near what a working man has in his mind, because they do not know what is in his mind. Consequently, when the questions which are near the hearts of the working men are talked about in this House—there is no want of good will to them, I cheerfully admit (hear, hear)—but all that it is most necessary to prove to them is taken for granted. Do not suppose that working men would always be unconvincible by such arguments as ought to satisfy them. (Hear, hear.) It is not one of the faults of democracy to be obstinate in error. (Hear, hear.) An Englishman who had lived some years in the United States12 lately summed up his opinion of the Americans by saying, “They are the most teachable people on the face of the earth.” Old countries are not as teachable as young countries, but I believe it will be found that the educated artisans, those especially who take interest in politics, are the most teachable of all our classes. They have much to make them so; they are, as a rule, more in earnest than any other class; their opinions are more genuine, less influenced by what so greatly influences some of the other classes—the desire of getting on; their social position is not such as to breed self-conceit. Above all, there is one thing to which, I believe, almost every one will testify who has had much to do with them, and of which even my own limited experience supplies striking examples; there is no class which so well bears to be told of its faults—to be told of them even in harsh terms, if they believe that the person so speaking to them says what he thinks, and has no ends of his own to serve by saying it.13 (Cheers.) I can hardly conceive a nobler course of national education than the debates of this House would become, if the notions, right and wrong, which are fermenting in the minds of the working classes, many of which go down very deep into the foundations of society and government, were fairly stated and genuinely discussed within these walls. (Hear, hear.) It has often been noticed how readily, in a free country, people resign themselves even to the refusal of what they ask, when everything which they could have said for themselves has been said by somebody in the course of the discussion. (Hear, hear.) The working classes have never yet had this tranquillising assurance. They have always felt that not they themselves, perhaps, but their opinions, were prejudged—were condemned without being listened to. But let them have the same equal opportunities which others have of pleading their own cause—let them feel that the contest is one of reason, and not of power—and if they do not obtain what they desire, they will as readily acquiesce in defeat, or trust to the mere progress of reason for reversing the verdict, as any other portion of the community. (Cheers.) And they will, much oftener than at present, obtain what they desire. Let me refer honourable gentlemen to Tocqueville, who is so continually quoted when he says anything uncomplimentary to democracy, that those who have not read him might mistake him for an enemy of it, instead of its discriminating but sincere friend. Tocqueville says that, though the various American legislatures are perpetually making mistakes, they are perpetually correcting them too, and that the evil, such as it is, is far outweighed by the salutary effects of the general tendency of their legislation, which is maintained, in a degree unknown elsewhere, in the direction of the interest of the people.14 Not that vague abstraction, the good of the country, but the actual, positive well-being of the living human creatures who compose the population. (Hear, hear.) But we are told that our own legislation has made great progress in this direction—that the House has repealed the corn laws, removed religious disabilities,15 and got rid of I know not how many more abominations. Sir, it has; and I am far from disparaging these great reforms, which have probably saved this country from a violent convulsion. As little would I undervalue the good sense and good feeling which have made the governing classes of this country h(unlike those of some other countries)h capable of thus far advancing with the times. But they have their recompense—habes pretium,lloris non urerisl .16 Their reward is that they are not hated, as other privileged classes have been. (Hear.) And that is the fitting reward for ceasing to do harm—for merely repealing bad laws which Parliament itself had made. (Cheers.) But is this all that the Legislature of a country like ours can offer to its people? Is there nothing for us to do, but only to undo the mischief that we or our predecessors have done? Are there not all the miseries of an old and crowded society waiting to be dealt with (hear, hear)—the curse of ignorance, the curse of pauperism, the curse of disease, the curse of a whole population born and nurtured in crime? (Cheers.) All these things we are just beginning to look at—just touching with the tips of our fingers; and, by the time two or three more generations are dead and gone, we may perhaps have discovered how to keep them alive, and how to make their lives worth having. I must needs think that we should get on much faster with all this—the most important part of the business of government in our days—if those who are the chief sufferers by the great chronic evils of our civilisation had representatives among us to stimulate our zeal, as well as to inform us by their experience. (Hear, hear.) Of all great public objects, the one which would be most forwarded by the presence of working people’s representatives in this House is the one in which we flatter ourselves we have done most—popular education. And let me here offer to my right honourable friend, the member for Calne, who demands practical arguments, a practical argument which I think ought to come home to him. If those whose children we vote money to instruct had been properly represented in this House, he would not have lost office on the Revised Code.17 (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) The working classes would have seen in him an administrator of a public fund honestly determined that the work for which the public paid should be good and honest work. (Cheers.) They are not the people to prefer a greater quantity of sham teaching to a smaller quantity of real teaching at a less expense. Real education is the thing they want, and as it is what he wanted, they would have understood him and upheld him. (Hear, hear.) I have myself seen those services remembered to his honour, even at this moment of exasperation, by one of the leaders of the working classes—(hear). j[Mr. Bright was here understood to say, So have I.]j —Unless I am mistaken, (and it is not my opinion alone), very few years of a real working-class representation would have passed over our heads, before there would be in every parish a school-rate, and the school doors freely open to all the world; and in one generation from that time England would be an educated nation. (Hear, hear.) Will it ever become so by your present plan, which gives to him that hath, and only to him that hath? Never. If there were no reason for extending the franchise to the working classes except the stimulus it would give to this one alone of the imperial works which the present state of society urgently demands from Parliament, the reason would be more than sufficient. (Hear.) These, Sir, are a few of the benefits which I expect from a further Parliamentary Reform; and as they depend altogether upon one feature of it, the effective representation of the working classes, their whole weight is in favour of passing the present bill, without regard to any bill that may follow. I look upon a liberal enfranchisement of the working classes as incomparably the greatest improvement in our representative institutions, which we at present have it in our power to make (hear); and as I shall be glad to receive this greatest improvement along with others, so I am perfectly willing to accept it by itself. Such others as we need we shall, no doubt, end by obtaining; and a person must be very simple who imagines that we should have obtained them a day sooner if Ministers had encumbered the subject by binding up any of them with the present bill. (Loud cheers.)
Many members, as they passed down the gangway, close to where the honourable member sits, shook hands with him in congratulation for his able address.
[The debate was later adjourned to 16 April; see No. 17.]
Representation of the People 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, col. 1477. Reported in The Times, 17 April, p. 10, from which the response is taken. During the adjourned debate on the second reading of Gladstone’s Reform Bill (see Nos. 15 and 16), Mill responded to an interpretation by Hugh Cairns of his remarks in No. 16. Cairns said (cols. 1476–7), “It is saying nothing but what the majority of the House think when I state that, on this point [the whole question of Reform], the speech of the noble Lord the Member for King’s Lynn [Lord Stanley] was both unanswerable and has been unanswered. When I say ‘unanswered,’ I will make one exception. The honourable Member for Westminster did give an answer, and to anybody looking at the question from the same point of view I have no doubt the answer was perfectly satisfactory. The honourable Member said, ‘Here is a Bill which will enfranchise 200,000 borough voters. You are apprehensive that possibly 200,000 or 300,000 more may possibly be enfranchised, when the effect of the redistribution of seats is felt, but I am of opinion that the more enfranchised the better.’ ”
mr. j. stuart mill: I said nothing of the kind.
Sir Hugh Cairns: I should be sorry to misrepresent anything that fell from the honourable Member, but I understood him to say that every considerable enfranchisement in itself was good.
Mr. J. Stuart Mill: I said that the enfranchisement which this Bill gives is an absolute good; and that if it produced an improved Legislature, that Legislature might be entrusted to make the redistribution of seats. (Hear, hear.)
The Malt Duty
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, cols. 1524–8. Reported in The Times, 18 April, p. 6, from which the variants and responses are taken. Mill says in the Autobiography that this speech, insisting “on the duty of paying off the National Debt before [the nation’s] coal supplies [were] exhausted,” following on the success of No. 16, further improved his position in the House (CW, I, 277). Fitzroy Kelly (1796–1880), then M.P. for Suffolk, moved “That upon any future remission of indirect taxation, this House will take into consideration the Duty upon Malt with a view to its immediate reduction and ultimate repeal” (ibid., col. 1509). Charles Neate (1806–79), M.P. for Oxford, moved an amendment to substitute: “That in the present state of the taxation and resources of the Country, it is the duty of Parliament to make provision for the systematic reduction of the National Debt, and not to sanction any proposal for any repeal or change of taxes which is likely to be attended with a diminution of the Revenue” (cols. 1523–4). Mill’s seconding speech follows on immediately.
in rising to second the Amendment of my honourable Friend the Member for Oxford, I hope I shall not be suspected of any disposition to abuse the indulgence which the House has so recently and so kindly extended to me. But I have for some time felt so serious, I may say so solemn a conviction upon the subject which my honourable Friend has brought forward, that it is almost a matter of conscience with me not to let slip an occasion of endeavouring to impress that conviction on some honourable Members of this House. (Hear.) Not long ago it might not altogether unreasonably be supposed that the unrivalled growth of this country in every kind of wealth—the limits of which it seemed impossible to define—was an excuse to us, and even a justification, for leaving our pecuniary obligations, without any serious attempt to reduce them, to weigh upon posterity, whom we might reasonably expect to be better able to support them than we ourselves are. This, however, was at no time a conclusive argument or a sound excuse, because future generations will have their own exigencies too; and we have had an example of it in the fact that not many years ago two years of war sufficed to re-add to our National Debt nearly as much as had been subtracted from it by the savings of fifty years.1 (Hear, hear.) But, more recently, facts have been brought to our notice, which have been too much overlooked; showing that the excuse we made to ourselves is not admissible in the case of a nation whose population greatly exceeds that which with the existing resources of science can be supported from its own soil; who are therefore dependent for subsistence on the power of disposing of their goods in foreign markets; and whose command over those markets depends upon the continued possession of an exhaustible material. The termination of our coal supplies, though always certain, has always until lately appeared so distant, that it seeemed quite unnecessary for the present generation to occupy itself with the question. The reason was that all our calculations were grounded upon the existing rate of consumption; but the fact now is that our consumption of coals increases with such extraordinary rapidity from year to year, that the probable exhaustion of our supplies is no longer a question of centuries, but of generations. (Hear.) I hope there are many honourable Members in this House who are acquainted with a small volume written by Mr. Stanley Jevons, entitled The Coal Question.2 It appears to me, so far as one not practically conversant with the subject can presume to judge, that Mr. Jevons’ treatment of the subject is almost exhaustive. He seems to have anticipated everything which can possibly be said against the conclusion at which he has arrived, and to have answered it; and that conclusion is, that if the consumption of coal continues to increase at the present rate, three generations at the most, very possibly a considerably shorter period, will leave no workable coal nearer to the surface than 4,000 feet in depth; and that the expense of raising it from that depth will entirely put it out of the power of the country to compete in manufactures with the richer coal-fields of other countries. I think that if there be anyone in this House, or out of it, who knows anything which will invalidate these conclusions of Mr. Jevons, it will be right for him to come forward and make it known. I have myself read various attempts to answer Mr. Jevons,3 but I must say that every one of them, admitting the truth of everything said, has only made out that our supplies will continue a few years longer than the term which Mr. Jevons has assigned. In fact, it has now come to this, that instead of being at liberty to suppose that future generations will be more capable than we are ourselves of paying off the National Debt, it is probable that the present generation and the one or two which will follow, are the only ones which will have the smallest chance of ever being able to pay it off. Now, what is the duty which facts of this sort impose upon this country? Are we going to bequeath our pecuniary obligations undiminished to descendants, to whom we cannot bequeath our assets? Suppose the property of a private individual had come to him deeply mortgaged, and that the bulk of it consisted of a mine, rich indeed, but certain to be exhausted in his lifetime, would he think it honourable to waste the whole proceeds of the mine in riotous living, and leave to his children the apayment of the debt out of the residue of the estatea ? Then what would be vicious and dishonourable in a private individual is not less dishonourable in a nation. We ought to think of these things while it is still time. This country is at present richer and more prosperous than any country we ever knew or read of, and it can without any material inconvenience or privation set aside several millions a year for the discharge of this important duty to our descendants. I do not think we are much to blame as far as we have yet gone. It was perfectly right to get rid of all very bad taxes, all those which produced a greater quantity of incidental mischief than advantage to the revenue from their imposition. Thanks to the progress of opinion, and thanks also to the enlightened and far-sighted Minister who has administered our finances for some years back (hear, hear),4 this work has been nearly performed. There are very few taxes remaining which are utterly unfit to exist. If there are any, they do not yield so large a revenue but that we may hope, without much difficulty, to get rid of them also. The bulk of our revenue is derived from a comparatively small number of imposts, each yielding a considerable sum, and none of which, I think, is now very seriously objectionable in principle, or greatly mischievous in practice, any further than is inevitably incident on the payment of taxes. I think it is perfectly legitimate to try experiments upon these taxes, if there be any chance, by lowering the amount, to increase the revenue. It is also legitimate to vary the mode of imposing taxes; for example, by levying them at a later stage in the production of the article, by which means we may get rid of objections such as some which have been brought forward by the honourable and learned Member opposite.5 But if we are to abolish any tax which yields a revenue of £5,000,000 or £6,000,000, merely in order to have the satisfaction of expending the amount in some other way, it will be, as it appears to me, a criminal dereliction of duty. (Hear, hear.) If we are able either by increasing our resources or by a retrenchment of our expenditure to dispense with the malt tax, how much wiser and worthier it would be if we were to set apart this tax as a fund for the extinguishment of our Debt. (Hear, hear.) I beg permission to press upon the House the duty of taking these things into serious consideration, in the name of that dutiful concern for posterity, which has been strong in every nation which ever did any thing great, and which has never left the mind of any such nation until, as in the case of the Romans under the Empire, it was already falling into decrepitude, and ceasing to be a nation. There are many persons in the world, and there may possibly be some in this House, though I should be sorry to think so, who are not unwilling to ask themselves, in the words of the old jest, “Why should we sacrifice anything for posterity; what has posterity done for us?”6 They think that posterity has done nothing for them: but that is a great mistake. Whatever has been done for mankind by the idea of posterity; whatever has been done for mankind by philanthropic concern for posterity, by a conscientious sense of duty to posterity, even by the less pure but still noble ambition of being remembered and honoured by posterity; all this we owe to posterity, and all this it is our duty to the best of our limited ability to repay. (Hear, hear.) All the great deeds of the founders of nations, and of those second bfoundersb of nations, their great reformers—all that has been done for us by the authors of those laws and institutions to which free countries are indebted for their freedom, and well governed countries for their good government; all the heroic lives which have been led, and all the heroic deaths which have been died, in defence of liberty and law against despotism and tyranny, from Marathon and Salamis down to Leipsic and Waterloo; all those traditions of wisdom and of virtue which are enshrined in the history and literature of the past—all the schools and Universities by which the culture of former times has been brought down to us, and all that culture itself—all that we owe to the great masters of human thought and to the great masters of human emotion—all this is ours because those who preceded us have cared, and have taken thought, for posterity. (Hear, hear.) Not owe anything to posterity, Sir! We owe to it Bacon, and Newton, and Locke, cand Bentham; aye,c and Shakespeare, and Milton, and Wordsworth.7 I have read of an eminent man—I am almost sure it was Dr. Franklin—who, when he wished to relieve the necessities or assist the occasions of any deserving person by pecuniary help, had a way of his own of doing it, and it was this. He said to them, “I only lend you this; if you are ever able, I expect you to repay it; but not to me: repay it to some other necessitous person, and do it under the same stipulation, that so the stream of benefits may still flow on, as long and as far as human honesty can keep it flowing.”8 (Hear, hear.) What Franklin did from beneficence, in order that the greatest possible amount of good might be extracted from a limited fund, our predecessors, to whom we owe so much, have done from the necessities of the case. The debt of gratitude due to them is such as makes it at times almost an oppressive thought that not one tittle of that vast debt can ever be directly repaid to those from whom we have received so much. But, like the objects of Franklin’s beneficence, we can indirectly repay it, by paying it to others—to those others whom also they cared for, and for whom, and not merely for us, their labours and sacrifices were undergone. What are we, Sir—we of this generation, or of any other generation, that we should usurp, and expend upon our particular and exclusive uses, what was meant for mankind?9 It is lent to us, Sir, not given: and it is our duty to pass it on, not merely undiminished, but with interest, to those who are in the same relation to us as we are to those who preceded us. So shall we too deserve, and may in our turn hope to receive, a share of the same gratitude. (Hear, hear.)
[Neate withdrew the amendment, and the motion was defeated 234 to 150, Mill voting with the majority.]
Inclosure of Hainault Forest
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, col. 2012. Reported in The Times, 26 April, p. 6.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department,1 Whether the Inclosure Commissioners have finally signed and sealed their award for the Inclosure of the newly-created Common set out for the ratepayers of the parish of Chigwell; if he is aware that the timber on the fifty acres of recreation ground granted by Parliament in 18622 for the use of the Metropolitan public is being cut down, thereby destroying the forestal appearance of the spot, which the intention of the Legislature was to keep uninclosed and preserved in its natural wildness; and if the destruction of the timber has been sanctioned by the Inclosure Commissioners?
Sir George Grey: Sir, the Inclosure Commissioners have not finally signed and sealed their award for this inclosure. The appeal meeting was held only on the 17th of this month, and they have not yet received the Report of their Assistant Commissioner on that meeting. With regard to the latter part of the Question of the honourable Member, the Commissioners have no knowledge of the timber on these fifty acres being cut down, and if it is so it is entirely without their sanction. The timber, they believe, belongs to the lady of the manor within which the fifty acres are situated.
Representation of the People 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, col. 2100. Reported in The Times, 27 April, p. 6. During the seventh day of debate on the Second Reading of the Reform Bill (see No. 15), Robert Lowe in a long speech (cols. 2077–99) made repeated attacks on Mill’s position concerning representation of the working classes, and concluded by complaining of Mill’s “narrowness and illiberality” in “saying that those who differ from [him] must be wrong, and that if it were not for the faulty constitution of this House we should see and judge things in the same narrow manner as he does.” Mill immediately rose and, “(amid loud cries of Order)” (The Times), replied.
i wish to correct the last assertion of my right honourable Friend. I never imputed to honourable Gentlemen in this House, or to the landed interest, that they were wilfully wrong.
Chichester Fortescue’s Land Bill
Chapters and Speeches on the Irish Land Question (London: Longmans, et al., 1870), 97–107. The speech appears in PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 183, cols. 1087–97. Reported in The Times, 18 May, pp. 7–8, from which variants and responses are taken. Writing to John Elliot Cairnes on 4 December, 1869, Mill says: “The ‘Chapters and Speeches’ will be out shortly. The reports of the speeches are taken from Hansard. The first of the two, that of 1866 [i.e., this speech], was printed verbatim from my MS.” (CW, Vol. XVII, p. 1667.) There are, however, some substantive variants. (For the second speech, see No. 88.) Mill spoke on the second reading of “A Bill Further to Amend the Law Relating to the Tenure and Improvement of Land in Ireland,” 29 Victoria (30 Apr., 1866), PP, 1866, V, 353–64.
it was in an auspicious hour for the futurity of Ireland, and of the Empire of which Ireland is so important a part, that a British Administration has introduced this Bill into Parliament. I venture to express the opinion that nothing which any Government has yet done, or which any Government has yet attempted to do, for Ireland—not even Catholic Emancipation itself—has shown so true a comprehension of Ireland’s real needs, or has aimed so straight at the very heart of Ireland’s discontent and of Ireland’s misery. It is a fulfilment of the promise held out by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the beginning of the Session, when, in discharging the painful duty of calling on Parliament to treat Ireland once more—let us hope for the last time—as a disaffected dependency, he declared his purpose, and that of the Government of which he is a Member, to legislate for Ireland according to Irish exigencies, and no longer according to English routine.1 To have no better guide than routine is not a safe thing in any case; but to make the routine of one country our guide in legislating for another, is a mode of conduct which, unless by a happy accident, cannot lead to good. It is a mistake which this country has often made—not perhaps so much from being more liable to it than other countries, as from having more opportunities of committing it: having been so often called on to legislate, and to frame systems of administration, for dependencies very unlike itself. Sir, it is a problem of this sort which we still have before us when we attempt to legislate for Ireland. Not that Ireland is a dependency—those days are over; she is an integral part of a great self-governing nation: but a part, I venture to say, very unlike the remaining parts. I am not going to talk about natural differences, race and the like—the importance of which, I think, is very much exaggerated; but let any honourable gentleman consider what a different history Ireland has had from either England or Scotland, and ask himself whether that history must not have left its impress deeply engraven on Irish character. Consider again how different, even at this day, are the social circumstances of Ireland from those of England or Scotland; and whether such different circumstances must not often require different laws and institutions. (Hear, hear.) People often ask—it has been asked this evening2 —why should that which works well in England not work well in Ireland? or why should anything be needed in Ireland which is not needed in England? Are Irishmen an exception to all the rest of amankinda , that they cannot bear the institutions and practices which reason and experience point out as the best suited to promote national prosperity? Sir, we were eloquently reminded the other night of that double ignorance against which a great philosopher warned his cotemporaries—ignorance of our being ignorant.3 But when we insist on applying the same rules in every respect to Ireland and to England, we show another kind of double ignorance, and at the same time disregard a precept older than Socrates—the precept which was inscribed on the front of the Temple of Delphi: we not only do not know those whom we undertake to govern, but we do not know ourselves.4 (Cheers.) No, Sir, Ireland is not an exceptional country; but England is. Irish circumstances and Irish ideas as to social and agricultural economy are the general ideas and circumstances of the human race; it is English circumstances and English ideas that are peculiar. Ireland is in the main stream of human existence and human feeling and opinion; it is England that is in one of the lateral channels. If any honourable gentleman doubts this, I ask, is there any other country on the face of the earth in which, not merely as an occasional fact, but as a general rule, the land is owned in great estates by one class, and farmed by another class of capitalist farmers at money rents fixed by contract, while the actual cultivators of the soil are hired labourers, wholly detached from the soil, and receiving only day wages? (Cheers.) Parts of other countries may be pointed out where something like this state of things exists bas an exceptional factb , but Great Britain is the only country where it is the general rule. In all other places in which the cultivators have emerged from slavery, and from that modified form of slavery, serfage, and have not risen into the higher position of owning land in their own right, the labourer holds it, as in Ireland, directly from the landowner, and the intermediate class of well-to-do tenant-farmers has, as a general rule, no existence. Ireland is like the rest of the world, and England is the exceptional country. Then, if we are making rules for the common case, is it reasonable to draw our precedents from the exceptional one? (Hear.) If we are to be guided by experience in legislating for Ireland, it is Continental rather than English experience that we ought to consider, for it is on the Continent, and not in England, that we find anything like similarity of circumstances. And this explains why so much has been said in Ireland about tenant-right and fixity of tenure. For what does Continental experience tell us, as a matter of historical fact? It tells us that where this agricultural economy, in which the actual cultivator holds the land directly from the proprietor, has been found consistent with the good cultivation of the land or with the comfort and prosperity of the cultivators, the rent has not been determined, as it is in Ireland, merely by contract, but the occupier has had the protection of some sort of fixed usage. (Hear, hear.) The custom of the country has determined more or less precisely the rent which he should pay, and guaranteed the permanence of his tenure as long as he paid it. Such a social and agricultural system as exists in Ireland has neverc, or next to never,c succeeded without tenant-right and fixity of tenure. Do I therefore ask you to establish customary rents and fixity of tenure as the rule of occupancy in Ireland? (Hear, hear.) Certainly not. It is perhaps a sufficient reason that I know you will not do it (laughter); but I am also aware that what may be very wholesome when it grows up as a custom, approved and accepted by all parties, would not necessarily have the same success if, without having ever existed as a custom, it were to be enforced as da lawd . (Hear, hear.) Only I warn you of this. Peasant farminge, as a rule,e never answers fanywheref without fixity of tenure. If Ireland is ever to prosper with peasant farming, fixity of tenure is an indispensable condition. But you do not want to perpetuate peasant farming; you want to improve Ireland in another way. You prefer the English agricultural economy, and desire to establish that. The only mode of cultivation which seems to you beneficial is cultivation by well-to-do tenant-farmers and hired labourers. Well, Sir, there is a good deal to be said against this doctrine—it is very disputable, but I am not going to dispute it now. I accept this as the thing you have got to do, and assuming it to be desirable, I ask, how is it to be brought about? This is not the first time that a problem of this sort has been propounded. The French Economists of the eighteenth century—on the whole the most enlightened thinkers of their time—tried to deal with a state of things not unlike what you have to deal with; and they wanted exactly what you want. They had a wretched, down-trodden, half-starved race of peasant cultivators, and they wanted to have, instead of these, comfortable farmers. Some of the more enlightened of the great landlords of France adopted the doctrines of the Economists, and would gladly have carried them into practice; but nothing came of it, and the reform of the agricultural economy of France had to wait for a revolution. (Cheers.) Now, to what do the best writers attribute the failure of these agricultural reformers? To this—that they aimed at putting farmers in the place of the peasants, when they should have aimed at raising the peasants into farmers. If you are going to succeed where they failed, it can only be by avoiding their error. Instead of bringing in capitalist farmers over the heads of the tenants, you have got to take the best of the present tenants, and elevate them into the comfortable farmers you want to have. You cannot evict a whole nation (cheers)—the country would be too hot to hold you and your new tenants if you attempted it. And supposing even that things could be made smooth for the successors of the existing peasantry by means of emigration, are you going to expatriate a whole people? (Cheers.) Would any honourable gentleman desire to do that? Would he endure the thought of doing it? Supposing even that you sought to use the right of landed property for such a purpose, is there any human institution which could have such a strain put upon it and not snap? (Cheers.) Well, then, how are the present tenantry, or the best of them, to be raised into a superior class of farmers? There is but one way, and this Bill which is before you affords the means. Give them what you can of the encouraging influences of ownership. (Cheers.) Give them an interest in improvement. Enable them to be secure of enjoying the fruits of their own labour and outlay. Let their improvements be for their own benefit, and not solely for those whose land they till. There is no parallel problem to be resolved on this side of St. George’s Channel. The system of tenancy in England is found to be at least not incompatible with agricultural improvement. In England and Scotland a large proportion of the landowners either give leases to their tenants which afford them sufficient time for reaping the benefit of whatever improvements they may make, or, when there are no leases, there is generally such a degree of confidence and mutual understanding between landlord and tenant, that they make their improvements in concert; or at all events the tenant, as a general rule, has no fear that the landlord will take an unfair advantage of him, and, by accepting a higher offer over his head, will possess himself without compensation of the increased value which the tenant has given to the land. This is the case in England: but how is it in Ireland? The reverse in all respects. (Oh, oh!) There are few leases, except old and expiring ones, and no confidence at all between landlords and tenants. g(Oh, oh!) Well, at least one-halfg of the landlords, or some other proportion of them, do not deserve confidence, and the consequence is that the tenants dare not trust the other half. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) If a tenant does trust his landlord, he does not trust, for he does not know, the next heir, or the stranger who may buy the property in the Landed Estates Court. The extent to which this want of confidence reaches is really one of the most remarkable facts in all history. There have been incontestable proofs of late years that the tenant farmers of Ireland often possess a considerable amount of savings. Where do these savings go to? They go into banks of deposit; they go into the English funds; they go under the thatch; everywhere but to their natural investment, the farm. (Hear, hear.) There is something, to my mind, almost tragical in this state of things. For the fact is decidedly honourable to Irish landlords that these savings have been made by their tenants; it exculpates a large proportion of them from the indiscriminate charges often brought against the entire hclassh (hear, hear); it proves that a much greater number of them than has often been supposed are neither greedy nor grasping, do not rack-rent their tenants, or take the last farthing in payment of rent; and in spite of this, the tenants are so absolutely without confidence in them, that even the sums which the landlord’s forbearance has enabled them to accumulate are sent away everywhere—are employed for any purpose—except the most obvious and natural purpose, the improvement of their farms. (Hear, hear.) Now, are you going to let this state of things continue? If we all deplore it—if we all are ashamed of it—what remedy is there but one? Give the tenant compensation, awarded by an impartial tribunal, for whatever increased value—and only for the increased value—he has given to the land. Do not use the fruits of his labour or of his outlay without paying for them, or without giving him assurance of being paid for them. (Hear.) The Bill appoints an impartial tribunal. When the parties do not agree, the case is to be adjudged by authorities who even in Ireland deserve and possess the confidence alike of landlords and tenants. Valuers appointed by the Government Board of Works will decide in the first instance, and the assistant barrister, the stipendiary Chairman of Quarter Sessions, is the Judge in appeal.5 I believe no one doubts that such arbitrators as these would be impartial, and would be trusted by the Irish people. But the right honourable gentleman who spoke last (Mr. Lowe) said it was not so much the giving compensation he objected to, as to the fact that improvements might be made under the Bill, to which the consent of the landlord had not been previously obtained.6 That provision, however, if we consider the matter, is the very essence of the Bill, and is indispensable to its operation. If improvements are only to be made by the landlord’s permission, and on his voluntary promise of an indemnity, that can be done now; saving, indeed, some insufficiency in the legal power of a limited owner to bind his successors. But experience proves that when there is a want of confidence between landlords and tenants, improvements which require the previous consent of the landlord are not made at all. The tenant is afraid to serve a notice on his landlord. He is afraid to announce before hand to the landlord that he is in a condition to make improvements, lest, being mostly a tenant-at-will, he should be thought to be also in a condition to pay a higher rent. Or he fears that the landlord will do what some landlords have been known to do—withhold his assent, on the speculation that the tenant may make the improvement notwithstanding, and the landlord may be able to profit by it without paying any indemnity. (Hear, hear.) Or he thinks that the landlord may dislike an improving tenant, from a mere wish to keep his tenantry in a state of dependence. And what does the landlord sacrifice by renouncing the condition of previous consent? Nothing whatever but the power of taking for himself the fruits of the labour of others. (Hear, hear.) He will still be free to improve the estate himself, if he can and will. But if he does not, and his tenant does, he will be prevented from appropriating the value which the tenant has created, without paying him an equivalent. What he will have to pay, will be determined not by the outlay of the tenant, but by ithei value actually added to the farm by the tenant’s labour or outlay, in the opinion of an impartial tribunal. It is of no consequence how much the tenant may have expended; unless he has made the land worth more money to the landlord for the landlord’s uses, he will receive nothing. Even in such a case as that to which the right honourable gentleman alluded, and to which reference was frequently made before the Committee7 —the case of a landlord wishing to consolidate his farms, and the buildings erected by the tenant not being required when such consolidation takes place—this circumstance would be taken into consideration by the valuer, and the tenant would have to bear the loss. Indeed, in no case would the landlord sustain any pecuniary loss. He would simply have to pay for value received. The objection is what would be called on almost any subject but the present, a purely abstract objection. The Bill is thought to violate a certain abstract right of property in land. I call it an abstract right, meaning that it is of no value to the possessor though it is hurtful to other people. Of what earthly use to any landed proprietor is the right of preventing improvement? (Hear, hear.) It is the right of the dog in the manger. Yet, wonderful to relate, even this the Bill does not take away; it leaves to the landlord the power of preventing the tenant’s improvements by a previous stipulation. But it does this in the confidence—I believe the well-grounded confidence—that the power will seldom be used, except when there is something to justify it in the special circumstances of the case. The framers of the Bill place a just reliance in the influence of a sound moral principle when once embodied in the law. They know that there is a great difference between requiring the tenant to ask permission from the landlord to make improvements, and throwing the onus on the landlord of prohibiting by anticipation a public benefit (hear), which the law, if this Bill passes, will have declared its purpose of encouraging. I maintain, Sir, that the claim of the improver to the value of his improvements, so far from conflicting with the right of property in land, is a right of the very same description as landed property, and rests on the same foundation. What is the ground and justification of landed property? I am afraid some honourable Members think that I am going to give utterance to some grave heresy on this subject. At least, those honourable gentlemen who have been so obliging as to advertise my writings on an unexampled scale, and entirely free of expense either to myself or jto myj publisher (a laugh), seemed to be much scandalized by some passages they had discovered, to the effect that landed property must be more limited in its nature than other proprietary rights, because no man made the land.8 Well, Sir, did any man make the land? If not, did any man acquire it by gift, or by bequest, or by inheritance, or by purchase, from the maker of it? These, I apprehend, are the foundations of the right to other property. Then what is the foundation of the right to property in land? The answer commonly made to this question is enough for me, and I agree in it. Though no man made the land, men, by their industry, made the valuable qualities of it; they reclaimed it from the waste, they brought it under cultivation, they made it useful to man, and so acquired as just a title to it as men have to what they have themselves made. Very well: I have nothing to say against this. But why, I ask, is this right, which is acquired by improving the land, to be for ever confined to the person who first improved it? If it requires improving again, and some one does improve it again, does not this new improver acquire a kind of right akin to that of the original improver? Of course I do not pretend that when one person has acquired a right to land by improving it, another, by improving it again, can oust the first man of his right. But neither do I admit that the man who has once improved a piece of land, acquires thereby an indefeasible right to prevent any one else from improving it for the whole remainder of eternity (hear, hear); or a right to profit, without cost to himself, by improvements which some one else has made. Landed property in its origin had nothing to rest upon but the moral claim of the improver to the value of his improvement; and unless we recognise on the same ground a kindred claim in the temporary occupier, we give up the moral basis on which landed property rests, and leave it without any justification but that of actual possession—a title which can be pleaded for every possible abuse. We have heard a good deal lately about “thoughtful Reformers” kwho seemed to be held in some sort of contempt of late (a laugh)k . It seems there are a great many thoughtful Reformers in this House—some of them very thoughtful ones indeed. I wish there were as many thoughtful Conservatives; but I am afraid they keep most of their thoughtfulness for Reform. However, we know there are thoughtful Conservatives, and they cannot be all on this side of the House. Let me remind them of a writer with whose works they must all of them be familiar—the most thoughtful mind that ever tried to give a philosophic basis to English Conservatism—the late Mr. Coleridge. In his second Lay Sermon, this eminent Conservative propounds a theory of property in land, compared with which anything which I ever hinted at is the merest milk and water.9 (A laugh.) His idea of landed property is, that it is a kind of public function—a trust rather than a property—which the owner is morally justified in using for his own advantage, only after certain great social ends, connected with the cultivation of the country and the well-being of its inhabitants, have been amply fulfilled. I am not claiming anything comparable to this. All I ask is, that the improvement of the country and the well-being of the people may be attended to, when they are proved not to be inconsistent with the pecuniary interest of the landowners. This modest demand is the only one I make; because I believe, and because it is believed by those who are better judges of the condition of Ireland than I can pretend to be, that no more than this is necessary to cure the existing evils. Sir, the House has now a golden opportunity. When I think how small a thing it is which is now asked of us, and when I hear, as I have heard, Members of this House, usually classed as of extreme opinions—men who are Irish of the Irish, who have the full confidence of what is called the National party—when such men assure us that the tenantry, who have been scarcely touched by any of the things you have hitherto done for the benefit of Ireland, will, as they hope, and as they think there is ground to believe, be reconciled to their lot (hear, hear), and changed from a discontented, if not disloyal, to a hopeful and satisfied part of the nation, by so moderate—I had almost said so minute—a concession as that which is now proposed;10 I confess I am amazed that those who have suffered so long and so bitterly are able to be conciliated or calmed by so small a gift (hear); and deplorable would it indeed be if so small a gift were refused to them. Even if we ourselves had not full confidence in this remedy, there is nothing in it so alarming that we need be afraid to try, as an experiment, what is so ardently wished for by a country to which we owe so much reparation that she ought to be the spoilt child of this country for a generation to come—to be treated not only with justice but with generous indulgence. (Cheers.) I am speaking in the presence of many who listened, like myself, to that touching speech which was delivered on the last night of the Reform debate, by the honourable Member for Tralee (The O’Donoghue)—when he, who is so well entitled to speak in the name of the Irish people, and of that portion of them of whom we have had the hardest thoughts, and who have had the hardest thoughts of us, held out his hand to us and declared that if there is even one party in this House and in this country who reciprocate the feeling he then showed, and really regard the Irish as fellow-countrymen, they will be fellow-countrymen to us—they will labour and contend by our side, have the same objects with us, look forward to the same and not to a different future, and let the dream of a separate nationality remain a dream.11 Many, I am sure, must have felt as I felt while I listened to his eloquent and feeling words, that if this House only wills it, that speech is the beginning of a new era. Let us not fling away in want of thought—for it is not want of heart—the reconciliation so frankly tendered. History will not say that we of the present generation are unwilling to lgovern Ireland as she ought to be governed:—let us not go down to posterity with the contemptible reputation of being unable to do sol . Let it not be said of us that, with the best possible intentions towards Ireland, no length of time or abundance of experience could teach us to understand her—whether it is insular narrowness, making us incapable of imagining that Ireland’s exigencies could be in any way different from England’s; mor because the religious respect we cherish for everything which has the smallest savour of a right of property, has degenerated, as is sometimes the case with other religions,m into a superstition. Let us show that our principles of government are not a mere generalization from English facts; but that in legislating for Ireland we can take into account Irish circumstances: and that our care for landed property is an intelligent regard for its essentials, and for the ends it fulfils, and not a servile prostration before its mere name. (Loud cheers.)
[After further debate on 25 July the Bill was withdrawn.]
Representation of the People 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 183, cols. 1590–2. Reported in The Times, 1 June, p. 6, from which the variants and responses are taken. The continued debate was on the motion to go into Committee on the Reform Bill (see No. 15) and “A Bill for the Redistribution of Seats,” 29 Victoria (7 May, 1866), PP, 1866, V, 33–48. The discussion was on an amendment opposing the government’s proposal to group boroughs. After considerable debate Pakington spoke, followed by Mill.
honourable gentlemen opposite in considerable numbers have shown a very great desire to inform the House, not so much as to their views on the question before us, as with regard to what I have said or written upon the subject, and they have also shown a great desire to know the reasons I have for the course which they suppose I am going to take upon the question.1 I should be sorry to refuse any honourable Gentleman so very small a request, but I must first of all correct a mistake made by the right honourable Baronet (Sir John Pakington) who has just sat down. I did not allow myself to be persuaded not to speak upon the Bill of my honourable Friend the Member for Hull (Mr. Clay).2 I had various reasons for the silence which I observed on that occasion. One of these I have the less hesitation in stating, because I think it is one with which the House will fully sympathize—a decided disinclination for being made a catspaw of. (Hear, hear.) What other reasons I had may possibly appear in the very few observations that I am now about to make, for the gratification of those honourable Gentlemen who show so much friendly concern for my consistency. No doubt it is a very flattering thing to find one’s writings so much referred to and quoted; but any vanity I might have felt in consequence has been considerably dashed, by observing that honourable Gentlemen’s knowledge of my writings is strictly limited to the particular passages which they quote. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I suppose they found the books too dull to read any further. But if they had done me the honour to read on, they would have learnt a little more about my opinions than they seem to know. It may be that I have suggested plurality of votes and various other checks as proper parts of a general system of representation; but I should very much like to know where any Gentleman finds I have stated that checks and safeguards are required against a £7 franchise? (Laughter.) The proposals I made had reference to universal suffrage, of which I am a strenuous advocate. It appeared to me that certain things were necessary in order to prevent universal suffrage from degenerating into the mere ascendancy of a particular class. Is there any danger that the working class will acquire a numerical ascendancy by the reduction of the franchise qualification to £7? It is ridiculous to suppose such a thing. (Hear.) The effect of the present Bill will not be to create the ascendancy of a class, but to weaken and mitigate the ascendancy of a class; and there is no need for the particular checks which I suggested. I must, however, except one of them, which is equally desirable in any representative constitution—the representation of minorities; and I heartily congratulate the right honourable Baronet on the qualified adhesion which he has given to that principle.3 It is not intended specially as a check on democracy—it is a check upon whatever portion of the community is strongest—on any abuse of power by the class that may chance to be uppermost. Instead of being opposed to democracy, it is actually a corollary from the democratic principle, for on that principle every one would have a vote, and all votes would be of equal value; but without the representation of minorities all votes have not an equal value, for practically nearly one-half of the constituency is disfranchised, for the benefit, it may happen, not even of the majority, but of another minority. Suppose that a House of Commons is elected by a bare majority of the people, and that it afterwards passes laws by a bare majority of itself. The outvoted minority out of doors, and the outvoted minority of the Members of this House who were elected by the majority out of doors, might possibly agree; and thus a little more than one-fourth of the community would actually have defeated the remaining three-fourths. (Hear, hear.) On the principle of justice, therefore, and on the principle of democracy above all, the representation of minorities appears to me an absolutely necessary part of any representative constitution which it is intended should permanently work well. If the right honourable Gentleman who has declared in favour of the representation of minorities (Sir John Pakington) will bring forward a Motion, in any form which can possibly pass, with a view to engraft that principle upon any Bill, I shall have the greatest pleasure in seconding him. (Hear, hear.) I desire to make a brief explanation in reference to a passage which the right honourable Gentleman has quoted from a portion of my writings, and which has some appearance of being less polite than I should wish always to be in speaking of a great party. What I stated was, that the Conservative party was, by the law of its constitution, necessarily the stupidest party.4 (Laughter.) Now, aI do not retract this assertion; but I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid;a I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. (Laughter andcheers.) I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any honourable Gentleman will question it. Now, if any party, in addition to whatever share it may possess of the ability of the community, has nearly the whole of its stupidity, that party, I apprehend, must by the law of its constitution be the stupidest party. And I do not see why honourable Gentlemen should feel that position at all offensive to them; for it ensures their being always an extremely powerful party. (Hear, hear.) I know I am liable to a retort, an obvious one enough, and as I do not intend any honourable Gentleman to have the credit of making it, I make it myself. It may be said that if stupidity has a tendency to Conservatism, sciolism and half-knowledge have a tendency to Liberalism. Well, Sir, something might be said for that—but it is not at all so clear as the other. There is an uncertainty about half-informed people. You cannot count upon them. You cannot tell what their way of thinking may be. It varies from day to day, perhaps with the last book they have readb, and therefore they are as likely to prove Conservatives as Liberals, and as likely to be Liberals as Conservativesb . They are a less numerous class, and also an uncertain class. But there is a dense solid force in sheer stupidity—such, that a few able men, with that force pressing behind them, are assured of victory in many a struggle; and many a victory the Conservative party have owed to that force. (Laughter.) I only rose for the purpose of making this personal explanation (hear, hear), and I do not intend to enter into the merits of the Amendment, especially as I concur in all that has been said in the admirable speech of my right honourable Friend the Member for London (Mr. Goschen).5 (Cheers.)
[After lengthy debate, there was an adjournment to the following day; another long debate then led to a further adjournment to 4 June, when there was agreement to go into Committee.]
The Ministerial Crisis
Daily News, 25 June, 1866, p. 3. Headed: “The Ministerial Crisis. / Westminster.” Reported identically in substantives in the Morning Star, and the Daily Telegraph; the version in The Times is a generally compressed rewording with some additions. (Clippings of the Daily News and The Times reports are in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) The meeting of the electors of Westminster was held on Saturday evening in the Pimlico Rooms, Winchester Street, W.T. Malleson in the chair, “to urge the propriety of dissolving Parliament, and voting unabated confidence in the Ministry,” following Gladstone’s defeat on the Reform Bill (see the debate and votes on 18 June in PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 536–643). The room was about half full, and there were only some eight or nine on the platform. Malleson apologized for Grosvenor’s unavoidable absence, assuring the audience of his loyalty to the cause. Of Mill he said, “the whole country was proud, and he believed that they would seldom find in the history of the House of Commons any occasion on which a new member had so suddenly risen to so prominent a position, had so rapidly established himself in the House of Commons, and had so soon made a firm place for himself in the hearts of his fellow-countrymen. (Cheers.)” (Daily Telegraph.) Probyn moved, Merriman seconding, a resolution expressing confidence in the Ministry. Mill, “on rising, was greeted with tremendous applause, the whole assembly rising and cheering with extraordinary vehemence.”
he said they were called together that evening in order that they might ask themselves the question whether or not the people of Westminster cared for reform. That was the question before them, and that was the only question. Who would be the men for whom her Majesty would send to form an administration if she accepted the resignation of her present advisers of course they could not tell, but he could state what her Majesty ought to do, if she followed the old constitutional practice of sending for the leader of the victorious party, and that was to send for Mr. Lowe. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) It was he who carried with him the triumphant majority the other night, for although he was the only man amongst the opponents of the present bill who in direct terms declared he was against all reform whatever, yet all who had heard, as he had done, the shouts of rejoicing which greeted every anti-popular sentiment to which Mr. Lowe gave utterance, would know that the whole of the sympathies of the tory party were against any measure of reform, whatever it might be.1 He believed that there were only two opinions as to what might be the course the conservatives would pursue if they were able to form a ministry—first, whether they would propose a reform bill at all; and second, whether they would propose a reform bill which was not reform. They said that any bill on this subject must be a compromise. Well, the liberal party made a compromise at the commencement of the session, and a very great compromise it was. They gave up the best part of the matter in dispute to the tories, and now after the liberals had given up to them the better half they cried halves for the remainder. (Laughter.) The difference was split with them in the first instance, and now they wanted to split the other part. But it was worse even than that, and he was going to tell them something which they had all the means of knowing, but which few had paid much attention to, and a very significant and characteristic process it was. He would tell them what was proposed by one of the best of the tory party. They all knew, perhaps, that a political party had heads and tails. The tails of the liberal party sometimes thought that the heads were not quite so good as they should be, but the tory heads were unquestionably a great deal better than the tails. One of the best of the tory heads was Sir Stafford Northcote, a gentleman for whom every one ought to entertain a very sincere respect, because it was to him, in conjunction with Sir Charles Trevelyan, that they owed those competitive examinations by which government appointments, instead of being given, as they used to be, to party connexions for political purposes, were given to proved fitness tested by fair examination.2 Now, when a man agreed that all the spoils of office and all the booty of political life, which unprincipled politicians desired to appropriate for the interests and advancement of their party, should be given up not for the reward of political subserviency, but to persons of whatever class or rank who could prove themselves qualified for public appointments, although they might never have, perhaps, seen the face of a member of parliament, nothing should persuade him that such a man was really a tory, aor wished to postpone the interests of the people in order that he might advance the prosperity of his own party. That was what he thought of Sir Stafford Northcote. Well, what did theya put Sir Stafford Northcote up to do? They followed out their usual tactics in putting up their best men to do their shabbiest things. All present knew how much had been said about large numbers of working people being admitted to the franchise, and how solemnly parliament had been warned that if they let in many more there might be a majority, who would be induced to let in others, until at length the door was opened so wide that all were let in, and that then Heaven knew what would be the result. Now what did they think Sir Stafford Northcote proposed?3 If a working man could occupy a 10l. house it must in most cases be by letting some part of it, but Sir Stafford Northcote proposed to disfranchise all such persons, unless they were able to show that, after deducting all they received from letting, they paid 10l. or 7l., or whatever other sum might be agreed upon, to their landlord. bProbably he would have spared those who were at present on the register, but he would not consent that any one hereafter should be on the register who did not pay to his landlord that 10l. or 7l., or other sum. That was a condition which very few working men could fulfil;b and if that proposition came from one of the best, most honest, and most liberal members of the conservative party, what might they expect from the others? (Hear, hear.) Now, as to the foreign policy of the tories, he wished all those present could have listened as he had done to the five hours of solemn abuse of the Italians, in which the tories had indulged when the Reform Bill should have been brought under discussion.4 Liberals, panting to help and defend the noble Italians against the calumnies heaped upon them, were restrained from entering upon the discussion, clest they should have delayed the bill on which the hearts of reformers were setc . But now came the question of the present government. All knew the noble manner in which they had held up the banner of the people through the late stormy session. Their political enemies had been taunting them and insulting them day after day, saying that here was a government which started with a clear majority of seventy, and had converted it into a minority of eleven. Well, so they had, and why had they done it? There was a majority of seventy pledged to support a liberal government, and who would have supported them if they had followed out Lord Palmerston’s policy of doing nothing, and glossing it off as an excellent joke.5 The government might have a seven years’ undisturbed lease of power if they had adopted a similar course—that is, if they had determined on doing nothing in the way of reform. But they had chosen to resign office, to receive baiting, taunts, and insults, directed against them all; but more particularly against Mr. Gladstone, the greatest parliamentary leader which the country had had in the present century, or, perhaps, since the time of the Stuartsd, by those who ought to have been in ecstacies of admiration at the way in which he outdid himself and at the beautiful feeling which animated his eloquence. Like Hotspur, he had been nettled and stung by pismires ,6 that annoyance had been inflicted in the hope that either he might be led to give way to something like foolish irritability, or that those eloquent lips, which gave such happy expression to every feeling that became an honest and upright politician, might deny to themselves the utterance of honest indignationd. Whatever the speculation might have been, it had been defeated—the hopes of the opponents of the government had not been fulfilled. (Hear, hear.) eAs to dissolution, he, as member for Westminster, was the last who should speak to his constituents of a dissolution; because, perhaps, he was the only member of the House of Commons whose election had cost him nothing.e It would appear to him the most natural thing that his constituents might not like to incur this great expense twice in the same twelve months. (Yes, yes.) It was very natural that they should not wish it, and he should not have the face to ask it for himself. If they thought they could fight this battle more advantageously with any other candidate than himself—any candidate who would bear the expenses that must necessarily be incurred, or part of them—he trusted that no consideration for himself would induce them to refrain from taking that course. fSo far from thinking himself slighted, he would be the first to condemn them if they lost the seat on the chance of preserving it for him.f They had, above all things, to consider how they could carry this bill and support the government, and he most sincerely hoped that no other consideration would induce them to allow that object to be interfered with.
gAt the close of the honourable member’s speech the meeting with one accord declared that the electors would pay the expenses of his election 50 times, if necessary, and would esteem themselves honoured in having him as their representative. The resolution was then agreed to. In reply to a question from an elector, Mr. Mill said that Captain Grosvenor had not suffered in the estimation of his political friends by his vote in favour of Sir R. Knightley’s amendment for an instruction to the committee to add to the Reform Bill provisions against bribery and corruption .7 It was a question of tactics. He voted the other way; but, no doubt, Captain Grosvenor thought his vote was in favour of the best policy, and it had not shaken the confidence of the Liberal party in the honourable and gallant gentleman’s political honesty.g
[Another resolution in support of the Ministry was moved and accepted unanimously. The meeting concluded, as usual, with a vote of thanks to the chairman.]
The Jamaica Committee
Daily News, 10 July, p. 3. Headed: “The Jamaica Committee.” Reported also in the Morning Star, The Times, and (in brief summary) in the Daily Telegraph. This special meeting of the Jamaica Committee was held in the evening in Radley’s Hotel, Bridge Street, with P.A. Taylor in the chair. The meeting was called because Charles Buxton had published a letter in The Times, 30 June, p. 12, and other papers resigning his chairmanship and strongly criticizing the Committee’s action. He believed that the Executive Committee had decided by a vote of 11 to 3 to prosecute the ex-Governor of Jamaica, Edward John Eyre (1815–1901), for the murder of George William Gordon 1818–65), a popular Jamaican leader. The meeting opened with a summary of events by Taylor, who condemned the way Buxton had proceeded, his view being that the general opinion at the earlier meeting, not confirmed by a vote, was that the Committee should press the Government to prosecute Eyre for murder, failing which they should give assistance to Gordon’s widow to carry on a prosecution. When Buxton defended himself, Bright countered in scathing terms. Ludlow moved “That this committee approves and confirms the resolutions passed by the executive committee on the 26th of June”; Goldwin Smith seconded. T.F. Buxton spoke in support of Charles Buxton’s actions, and after further speeches the resolution was passed with one dissenting vote. A motion by Beales that Mill be elected chairman was adopted unanimously. Then Mill spoke.
gentlemen, I think you for this honour and mark of your confidence. I accept the post you have given me. (Cheers.) I do so in the full conviction that the objects of this committee are simply to ascertain whether there exist in this country any means for making a British functionary responsible for blood unlawfully shed—(applause)—and whether that be murder or not. I believe it to be murder. (Hear, hear.) This committee ought not to rest until it obtains from the legislature the assurance that men like Mr. Eyre will be made responsible for their criminal actions. (Hear, hear.)
[Votes of thanks were passed to Messrs. Gorrie and Payne, solicitors, for their services in Jamaica, and to the chair, and the meeting separated.]
Electoral Franchise for Women
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 996–8. Reported in The Times, 18 July, p. 8, from which the variant and responses are taken. Mill spoke in moving “for an Address for ‘Return of the number of Freeholders, Householders, and others in England and Wales who, fulfilling the conditions of property or rental prescribed by Law as the qualification for the Electoral Franchise, are excluded from the Franchise by reason of their sex.’ ”
sir, I rise to make the Motion of which I have given notice.1 After the petition which I had the honour of presenting a few weeks ago, the House would naturally expect that its attention would be called, however briefly, to the claim preferred in that document.2 The petition, and the circumstances attendant on its preparation, have, to say the least, greatly weakened the chief practical argument which we have been accustomed to hear against any proposal to admit women to the electoral franchise—namely, that few, if any, women desire it. Originating as that petition did entirely with ladies, without the instigation, and, to the best of my belief, without the participation of any person of the male sex in any stage of the proceedings, except the final one of its presentation to Parliament, the aamount of response which became manifest, the number of signatures obtained in a very short space of time, not to mention the quality of many of those signatures, may not have been surprising to the ladies who promoted the petition, but was certainly quite unexpected by mea . I recognize in it the accustomed sign that the time has arrived when a proposal of a public nature is ripe for being taken into serious consideration—namely, when a word spoken on the subject is found to have been the expression of a silent wish pervading a great number of minds, and a signal given in the hope of rallying a few supporters is unexpectedly answered by many. It is not necessary to offer any justification for the particular Motion which I am about to make. (Hear, hear.) When the complaint is made that certain citizens of this nation, fulfilling all the conditions and giving all the guarantees which the Constitution and the law require from those who are admitted to a voice in determining who shall be their rulers, are excluded from that privilege for what appears to them, and for what appears to me, an entirely irrelevant consideration, the least we can do is to ascertain what number of persons are affected by the grievance, and how great an addition would be made to the constituency if this disability were removed. I should not have attempted more than this in the present Session, even if the recent discussions in reference to Reform had not been brought to an abrupt close. Even if the late Government had succeeded in its honourable attempt to effect an amicable compromise of the Reform question; any understanding or any wish which might have existed as to the finality, for a certain period, of that compromise, could not have effected such a proposal as this, the adoption of which would not be, in any sense of the term, a lowering of the franchise, and is not intended to disturb in any degree the distribution of political power among the different classes of society. Indeed, honourable Gentlemen opposite seem to think, and I suppose they are the best judges, that this concession, assuming it to be made, if it had any effect on party politics at all, would be favourable to their side (hear); and the right honourable Member for Dublin University, in his humorous manner, advised me on that ground to withdraw this article from my political programme;3 but I cannot, either in jest or in earnest, adopt his suggestion, for I am bound to consider the permanent benefit of the community before the temporary interest of a party; and I entertain the firmest conviction that whatever holds out an inducement to one-half of the community to exercise their minds on the great social and political questions which are discussed in Parliament, and whatever causes the great influence they already possess to be exerted under the guidance of greater knowledge, and under a sense of responsibility, cannot be ultimately advantageous to the Conservative or any other cause, except so far as that cause is a good one. And I rejoice in the knowledge that in the estimation of many honourable Gentlemen of the party opposite, the proposal made in the petition is, like many of the most valuable Reforms, as truly Conservative, as I am sure it is truly Liberal. I listened with pleasure and gratitude to the right honourable Gentleman who is now Chancellor of the Exchequer, when in his speech on the second reading of the Reform Bill,4 he said he saw no reason why women of independent means should not possess the electoral franchise, in a country where they can preside in manorial courts and fill parish offices—to which let me add, and the Throne. (Hear, hear.)
[Spencer Walpole said he would consent to the motion, without pledging himself to any future action, and the motion was agreed to.]
The Disturbances in Jamaica 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1064–6. Reported in The Times, 20 July, p. 5.
mr. j. stuart mill said, wishing to spare the House the monotonously painful details contained in the Questions of which he had given notice, he would simply ask the right honourable Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer,1 Whether any steps had been or would be taken by Her Majesty’s Government for bringing to justice those who had been concerned in the commission of various illegal acts in Jamaica?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer:
I should prefer, Sir, that the honourable Gentleman should ask the Questions in detail. I think the Questions which the honourable Gentleman has thought proper in his discretion to address to the Executive should be well known to the House, as many honourable Members have not really had an opportunity of making themselves acquainted with them. Under these circumstances, it is due to the House and to the subject that the honourable Gentleman should address himself now to the House, and let them hear what the Questions are. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. J. Stuart Mill:
Does the right honourable Gentleman desire me to read the whole?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer:
Mr. J. Stuart Mill:
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial Lieutenant Adcock,2 for unlawfully putting to death two men named Mitchell and Hill without trial, and six persons, after alleged trial by Court Martial, on charges not cognizable by a Military Court; for flogging, without trial, John Anderson and others, and authorizing one Henry Ford to flog many men and women without trial, one of whom, named John Mullins, died in consequence: Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial Captain Hole for hanging one Donaldson without trial; for shooting, and permitting to be shot, various persons without trial; for putting to death by hanging, or shooting, thirty-three persons, after trial by a so-called Military Court, for acts not cognizable by a Military Court, and without observance of the rules prescribed by the Articles of War; for flogging various men and women without trial; and for being accessory, after the fact, to the unlawful putting to death of numerous persons by soldiers under his command: Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial Lieutenant Oxley, for putting John Burdy to death after a similar unlawful trial, and for permitting the men under his command to fire at unarmed peasants and cause the death of several persons: Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial Ensign Cullen and Dr. Morris, for putting three men3 to death without trial, and Dr. Morris for shooting one William Gray: Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial Stipendiary Magistrate Fyfe, for burning houses of peasantry, putting to death one person without trial,4 and being accessory to the unlawful putting to death of various others: Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial Attorney General Heslop, Lieutenant Brand, Captain Luke, and Captain Field, for sitting as presidents or members of alleged Courts Martial, by whom numerous persons were unlawfully put to death: Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial General O’Connor, for having been accessory before and after the fact to numerous unlawful executions, some of them without trial, and others after the illegal trials already specified: Whether any steps have been or will be taken to bring to trial Colonel Nelson, Brigadier General in Jamaica, for unlawfully causing to be tried, in time of peace, by Military Courts irregularly composed, for acts alleged to have been done before the proclamation or beyond the jurisdiction of Martial Law, and after such trial to be unlawfully put to death, the following persons:—George William Gordon, Edward Fleming, Samuel Clarke, William Grant, George Macintosh, Henry Lawrence, Letitia Geoghan, and six other women, one of them in a state of pregnancy;5 Scipio Cowell, Alexander Taylor, Toby Butler, Jasper Hall Livingston, and various other persons who had been previously flogged, and about 180 other alleged rebels; and for authorizing the flogging without trial of Alexander Phillips, Richard Clark, and numerous others: Whether any legal proceedings have been or will be ordered to be taken against Mr. Edward John Eyre, lately Governor of Jamaica, for complicity in all or any of the above acts, and particularly for the illegal trial and execution of Mr. George William Gordon: And, if not, whether Her Majesty’s Government are advised that these acts are not offences under the Criminal Law?
[In response, after expressing his annoyance at the way in which Mill had embodied opinions in his questions, thus “trespassing in some degree upon the liberty and freedom of expression” of the House, Disraeli pointed out that the first nine questions assumed that illegal actions had been taken by individuals, while the tenth asked if the Government was of opinion that the actions were illegal. Not only were the questions put in a form that could lead to great inconvenience, but in substance they were inaccurate. First, Mill ignored the fact that martial law was in force in Jamaica, and so ordinary law was superseded. Second, he ignored the fact that the cases against Cullen and Morris were not proved on the evidence presented, and that further inquiries were being made. Similarly, the statements Mill made against Nelson were not founded on fact. Disraeli then went on to state what had happened: the former Government had—properly in his view—set up a Commission of eminent men whose inquiry led them to recommend the removal of Eyre, and had acted on the Commission’s recommendation. The Commission also recommended that the conduct of subordinate officers should be investigated by the Admiralty and the Horse Guards; the former had decided no fresh inquiry was needed, and the latter was still considering the matter. In the circumstances, Mill was quite wrong to be impatient and press for actions that would, if necessary, be taken at the appropriate time. “This being the state of the case,” Disraeli concluded, “I am not prepared to offer any further information to the honourable Gentleman.”]
The Reform Meeting in Hyde Park 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 1075. Reported in The Times, 20 July, p. 3, from which the variant is taken. P.A. Taylor first asked the Home Secretary, Spencer Walpole (1806–98), then M.P. for Cambridge University, by whose authority, and under what law, the Police Commissioner, Richard Mayne, had issued an order forbidding a public meeting in Hyde Park. Walpole replied that he had himself instructed Mayne, on the grounds that a meeting in a Royal Park would interfere with the recreation of quiet and orderly people. Mill then put his question.
i wish, sir, to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether we are to understand that the prohibition which he authorized to be issued as to the contemplated public meeting is based only on the circumstance that the meeting was announced to be held in one of the parks? If so—a(Cries of Order, order, which prevented the honourable member from proceeding.)a
Mr. Walpole: I may perhaps be permitted to say that the notice which has been issued is grounded on the circumstance that the meeting was to have been held in Hyde Park; and I may venture to add, as this Question has been put to me, that I hope the notice which I have caused to be issued will not be interpreted as being intended in the least degree to prevent the holding of ordinary public meetings for political discussion, but simply for the preservation of the public peace.
W.E. Gladstone 
Daily Telegraph, 23 July, 1866, p. 2. Headed: “The Cobden Club.” Reported fully in The Times, the Morning Post, and (in shorter form) the Daily News. (A clipping of the last is in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) The report in the Daily Telegraph gives the background to the formation of the Club, mentions its advanced liberalism, and gives a list of the eighty-five members from the Commons, including Mill. The occasion was the inaugural dinner of the Cobden Club, on Saturday evening, at the Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond. A meeting of the Club was held before the dinner, at which fifteen members, including Mill, were appointed as a governing committee. Gladstone presided at the dinner, Mill being one of the vice-chairs. Just before the speeches began, several ladies took seats in a small gallery placed at the side of the room. After the traditional toasts to the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, Gladstone gave the toast of the evening, “To the Revered Memory of Mr. Cobden,” in a long speech. The toast was drunk in silence, and then Goldwin Smith, “in a very animated” (but unreported) speech, gave the “Health of Lord Russell,” to which Russell replied at length; Russell next proposed the health of Mrs. Cobden. Mill, “who met with the most cordial reception,” then spoke.
there is one part of the business of the evening which still remains to be performed; and though I am sensible of my incompetency to do it justice, I cannot but feel some pride in its having been entrusted to me. It is that of tendering our grateful acknowledgments to the distinguished statesman who has done this club the honour of presiding at its inauguratory meeting. (Loud cheers.) The nature of this commemoration, which is not of a party, nor even, in the narrower sense of the term, of a political character, adisclosesa to us on this occasion many of the most important topics which are connected in all our minds with Mr. Gladstone’s name. (Hear, hear.) One thing, however, not only may but ought to be said on such an occasion as the present; that to him of all men belonged the post of honour in a celebration of the great apostle of commercial freedom, being, as he is, the one survivor of the three eminent men by whom, as Ministers, that cause has been most effectually served. (Cheers.) If Mr. Huskisson opened the long and arduous campaign; if Sir Robert Peel achieved its most signal and most decisive victory,1 Mr. Gladstone will be for ever remembered as he who completed the conquest, and who not only made freedom of trade and industry the universal rule of the institutions of our country, but by the brilliant success of his application of it is fast converting the whole of Europe to its principles. (Cheers.) There is another thing which this is, perhaps, a suitable opportunity for saying. Veneration for the memory of Mr. Cobden is not confined to any section of the Liberal party, nor even to the Liberal party itself. (Hear, hear.) But it has so happened, owing principally to the cast of Mr. Cobden’s own political opinions, that an unusual proportion of the original members of this club is composed of gentlemen who would be classed, and who would class themselves, as what are called advanced Liberals. (Cheers.) As being one of these, I may say for myself, and I believe they would all join with me in saying, that we claim our fair share, and no more than our fair share, in the great leader of the Liberal party. (Cheers.) It is one of the differences between a party of Progress and any Conservative party, that its political sympathies are not restricted to those who conform, or who pretend to conform, to those of a distinctive creed. We have not bound ourselves by any narrow articles of orthodoxy—ours is a broad church. (A laugh.) The bond which holds us together is not a political confession of faith, but a common allegiance to the spirit of improvement, which is a greater thing than the particular opinions of any politician or set of politicians. And if there ever was a statesman in whom the spirit of improvement was incarnate—of whose career as a Minister the characteristic feature has been to seek out things which required or admitted of improvement, instead of waiting to be compelled or even to be solicited to it—that honour belongs to bthe late Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House of Commonsb . (Cheers.) I might stop here; but, fresh as most of us are from listening to that magnificent speech which went forth last night2 to the furthest extremity of Europe as the utterance, in the noblest language, of what is felt and thought by all the best part of the British nation—(loud cheers)—for sympathy with freedom and national independence is not exclusively confined to any section, or even to any party, among us—I should not do justice to the feelings of those present were I to sit down without giving expression to the pride, and more than pride, to the hopefulness with which we are filled when we see the author of that speech standing at the head of the Liberal party to lead it to victory. (Cheers.) That speech was not only a splendid specimen of oratory, it was also a good action; for it will ccheerc those who are struggling and suffering in the cause of freedom and progress; while its value is inestimable in raising—when I remember certain speeches, I might almost say in redeeming—the character of England. I propose “The health of the Right Honourable William Gladstone.” (Loud cheers.)
[Gladstone in reply] expressed his sincerest thanks to Mr. Mill for the kind way in which he had given the toast, and to the company for the reception they had been pleased to pay it. He was the more grateful to Mr. Mill because he could not forget that he was one of the most distinguished and powerful critics of the day, and, at the same time, possessed the most generous feelings of the heart. (Hear, hear.) [He also expressed thanks to Russell and to colleagues in the House for their support. The dinner concluded about eleven o’clock.]
The Reform Meeting in Hyde Park 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1410–12. Reported in The Times, 25 July, p. 7, from which the variants and responses are taken. The debate was initiated by a question from Bernal Osborne (cols. 1385–6) to the Home Secretary about the instructions given to Mayne (see No. 27). Ayrton rushed in with other questions in a long speech, in which, after asking what steps Walpole had taken “for disabusing the minds of the people of the erroneous impression that they have a right to use the park for their own purposes” and for preserving the peace of the metropolis, he moved adjournment. Mill joined the ensuing debate.
sir, I have no intention of taking up much of the time of the House, but this is no ordinary occasion, and it seems to me that noble Lords and honourable Gentlemen opposite are by no means aware of the extreme seriousness of it, and of the serious consequences to which it may lead aif some steps be not taken, of which at present there appears no promisea . (Hear.) I am not going to enter into the question of the right of the people to meet in Hyde Park. We know that Her Majesty’s Government have the opinion of eminent lawyers to the contrary.1 We know that they believe they have the right to exclude the people. But lawyers are not unanimous on the subject; there are other distinguished lawyers, who, on legal and high constitutional grounds, have contended that the people have a right to meet there. But I do not desire to lay any stress on this circumstance. I maintain that if the people have not that right now, they ought to have it. (Hear.) I maintain further, that if, for reasons unintelligible to me, it was thought necessary for the maintenance of any supposed or nominal right that the people should ask permission to hold a meeting there, that permission ought to have been granted. (Hear.) And it ought ten thousand times more to have been granted to them under such circumstances as these, when they believed, erroneously or not, that they had the right; for surely this circumstance, when the people were already in an excited state of mind on another subject, ought to have warned right honourable Gentlemen opposite that the consequences would be such as have actually occurred, and which I believe the people deplore equally with himself. But I maintain that the public ought to have the use of the Park for this purpose, for if not, what other place is there that can suit them? In what other place can they meet where there would be less interruption to recreation? Is there likely to be less interruption to traffic, or to other pursuits or persons, in Trafalgar Square than in Hyde Park? Does a public meeting, if it were held once ba month—in the evening, too—b cause a thousandth part of the interruption that an ordinary review or meeting of Volunteers in the Park does? If such reasons as these are to exclude the public from meeting in the Parks, which assuredly must be held to belong to the public, for they have been ceded by the Crown to the public for a consideration—like other Crown lands—if these reasons are to prevail to exclude the people, there is no place for which equally strong reasons might not be given for their exclusion. Perhaps this is what honourable Gentlemen opposite wish. I give full credit, indeed, to the assurance which the Home Secretary has given us, that he has no desire to prevent political meetings.2 I believe in the perfect sincerity of what he said; but I cannot say that it has altogether reassured me. He said he had no objection to open air meetings at proper hours and in the proper places; but he did not tell us what the proper times or the proper places were in his opinion, and the newspaper scribes of the Government are already declaring that no open air meeting ought to be tolerated in the metropolis.3 I advise them to try that. I promise them that they will have to encounter an opposition of a very different kind, and from different persons, to any they have yet encountered. (Hear, hear, from the Ministerial side of the House.) Noble Lords and right honourable Gentlemen opposite may be congratulated on having done a job of work last night which will require wiser men than they are, many years to efface the consequences of. (Hear, hear.) It has been the anxious wish of all those who understand their age, and are lovers of their country, that the necessary changes in the institutions of the country should be effected with the least possible, and if possible without any, alienation and ill blood between the hitherto governing classes and the mass of the people. Her Majesty’s present advisers seem resolved, so far as it depends upon them, that this anxious desire should be frustrated. (Cries of Oh, oh, and Hear, hear.) We know that there is a kind of people who can do more mischief in an hour than can be repaired in a lifetime. (Ministerial cheers.) I am afraid that the Members of the present Government are animated by the noble ambition of inscribing their names on the illustrious list of those cpersonsc . (Hear.)
[The debate was ended by the withdrawal of Osborne’s question (col. 1416).]
The Value of Land
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 1482. Reported in The Times, 26 July, p. 6. Mill’s intervention came during the second reading of the Tenure and Improvement of Land Bill (see No. 21), after Frederick William Heygate (1822–94), M.P. for Londonderry, had said that Mill had (in No. 21) made an error when comparing rents in England and Ireland without taking the larger Irish acre into account. Mill, however, made no such error, nor, apparently, did anyone else in the debate.
mr. j. stuart mill explained, that he had made no comparison of the value of land per acre in England and Ireland. Either, therefore, he must have ill expressed himself, or the honourable Baronet must have attributed to him remarks made by some other Member.
[The Bill was withdrawn after a few more speeches.]
The Reform Meeting in Hyde Park 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1540–1. Reported in The Times, 27 July, p. 2. from which the variants and responses are taken. In his Autobiography Mill puts great weight on his intervention in this affair: “At this crisis I really believe that I was the means of preventing much mischief. . . . I was invited, with several other Radical members, to a conference with the leading members of the Council of the Reform League; and the task fell chiefly upon myself of persuading them to give up the Hyde Park project, and hold their meeting elsewhere. It was not Mr. Beales and Colonel Dickson who needed persuading; on the contrary, it was evident that those gentlemen had already exerted their influence in the same direction, thus far without success. It was the working men who held out: and so bent were they on their original scheme that I was obliged to have recourse to les grands moyens. I told them that a proceeding which would certainly produce a collision with the military, could only be justifiable on two conditions: if the position of affairs had become such that a revolution was desirable, and if they thought themselves able to accomplish one. To this argument after considerable discussion they at last yielded: and I was able to inform Mr. Walpole that their intention was given up. I shall never forget the depth of his relief or the warmth of his expressions of gratitude. . . . I have entered thus particularly into this matter because my conduct on this occasion gave great displeasure to the Tory and Tory-Liberal press, who have charged me ever since with having shewn myself, in the trials of public life, intemperate and passionate. I do not know what they expected from me; but they had reason to be thankful to me if they knew from what I had in all probability preserved them. And I do not believe it could have been done, at that particular juncture, by any one else. No other person, I believe, had at that moment the necessary influence for restraining the working classes, except Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright, neither of whom was available: Mr. Gladstone, for obvious reasons; Mr. Bright, because he was out of town.” (CW, Vol. I, pp. 278–9.) Bernal Osborne having put questions to the Home Secretary concerning his discussions on 25 July about the Reform League’s plan to hold a meeting in Hyde Park on the following Monday, Walpole replied that the situation had been much exacerbated by the League’s action in announcing that the Government had given permission, when in fact no permission for a meeting in Hyde Park had been or would be given until legal opinion had been received. A meeting could be held on Primrose Hill if the League wished. Mill spoke immediately after Walpole.
sir, I rise to make a statementa, with the indulgence of the House,a which I believe will give satisfaction to the whole House. I have just had an interview with Mr. Beales1 and several leading members of the League, including all those who were present at the second interview to which the right honourable Gentleman has referred.2 I have full authority from them to say this, that so far as they are concerned there is no intention of renewing the attempt to meet in the Park. There has been no council of the League held, and they are not, therefore, in a position to speak for the League. (Laughter.) That ribald laugh might well have been spared. Do honourable Members suppose that Reformers do not mean what they say? I tell them that they do. What I have to say is that these gentlemen regret exceedingly that a misunderstanding should have occurred with regard to the communication made to them by the right honourable Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department. They are perfectly certain that the misunderstanding is in no way imputable to him. The interview left on them the most favourable impression of his feelings, disposition, and character, and there is nothing which they would more regret than to say anything which bcould in the slightest degree reflect onb him. (Hear, hear.) That being the case, it is unnecessary to enter into the circumstances, though I might state something that might, perhaps, account for this misunderstanding. But the misunderstanding having taken place, the same motives which induced them to exert themselves last night so as to prevent what they believed would have otherwise resulted in bloodshed, preclude them from taking any advantage of, or in any way acting on, what is now shown to have been a misconception. Whether they will accept the offer of Primrose Hill, or consider that on this occasion it is better to abstain from meeting altogether, I am not authorized to state, and probably they do not consider themselves authorized to decide on that offer without consulting the council of the League. But, so far as their influence goes, nothing will be done that can possibly afford cause for any further cdisturbancec . (Hear, hear.)
The Reform Meeting in Hyde Park 
Daily News, 31 July, 1866, p. 3. Headed: “The Reform League Demonstration in the Agriculture-Hall.” Reported also in The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Morning Star, and the Morning Post (in The Times and the Morning Post Mill’s speech is given in the third person, in the latter case in brief summary) (A clipping of the Daily News version is in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) The meeting, held in the Agriculture Hall in Islington at 8 p.m., was chaired by Edmond Beales. Placards had announced that several Members of Parliament would be present, including Mill (who, the Morning Post says, “did not seem in good health”). In his Autobiography, following his account of his role in the discussions between Walpole and the leaders of the Reform League (see No. 31), Mill says: “After the working men had conceded so much to me, I felt bound to comply with their request that I would attend and speak at their meeting at the Agricultural Hall: the only meeting called by the Reform League which I ever attended.” (He dissented from the League’s proposals for manhood suffrage and the ballot.) (CW, Vol. I, p. 278.) The enormous building, in which it was very difficult to hear speeches under ideal conditions, was occupied by thousands of working men, and some women. While admission to the body of the hall was free, entrance to the galleries cost 1s., while a few reserved seats on and adjacent to the platform were priced at 10s. The turbulent and noisy crowd, stimulated by songs (the “Marseillaise” being particularly popular), made it virtually impossible for any of the speakers to be heard; the reporters’ table, originally protected by the reserved seats, was eventually exposed to the surges of the crowd, making even less reliable the reports of the speeches. When the platform party arrived, Beales was unable to act in the normal fashion, and had to mount a table to make his opening remarks, which could be heard only after fifteen minutes. His truncated speech was followed by the reading of a resolution: “That the present Government, by assisting to defeat the Bill introduced by the late Government for the amendment of the representation, and by themselves indefinitely postponing the whole question of Reform, and finally by their employing the police to forcibly prevent the working classes from peaceably meeting in Hyde Park on Monday last to complain of the suffrage being withheld from them, have forfeited all claim to the confidence and support of the country.” The resolution was seconded, and then Mill rose. “The friends of the honourable member upon the platform were loud in their manifestations of applause when he rose to speak, but those in the body of the hall, even within tolerable hearing distance, were evidently unacquainted with the personal appearance of the honourable member for Westminster, for one of their number, under the full conviction that he had gained an insight into what was coming, led an encouraging cry of ‘Bravo, Mills!’ The chairman pressed the honourable member to address the meeting, like the other speakers, from the table; but the offer was politely declined. Mr. Mill doubtless felt it to be questionable whether in the universal clamour any advantage of position would enable him to make his utterances audible; certain it is that beyond the reporters’ table, and not even to all who were there collected, did his meaning penetrate.” (The Times.) Mill, “who seemed deeply impressed by the spectacle of the teeming and swaying multitude before him,” spoke (according to the Morning Post) “in so low a tone that scarcely a word could be gathered.”
ladies and gentlemen, this avast meetinga is a sufficient guarantee that the cause of reform will suffer nothing by your having determined to hold your meeting here instead of repeating the attempt to hold it in the park. (Cheers.) But I do not want b(so the honourable member was understood)b to talk to you about reform, you do not need to be stimulated by me on that subject. This meeting is a sufficient reply to any one who supposes that you do cwant to be stimulated. (Cheers.) You want to discuss reform.c You have been very much attacked for holding such large meetings, on the ground that they are inconsistent with discussion. (Loud laughter and cheers.) But discussion is not the only use of public meetings. One of the objects of such gatherings is demonstration. d(At this point the address was interrupted for some minutes by a violent lurch of the mainbody below in the direction of the platform, which seemed in danger of being carried by storm. An appeal from some of the principal members of the League restored order, but not till two or three gentlemen had been propelled bodily to within a few feet of where Mr. Mill was standing.) The honourable member proceeded:d —eYou want to make a display of your strength, and I tell you that the countries where the people are allowed to show their strength are those in which they are not obliged to use it.e As regards the parks, your chairman, who is a lawyer, does not doubt your right to meet in them. I am not a lawyer, and know nothing about the matter. But you thought it right to assert your claim, and only to withdraw under protest. Your protest has been made, and you have—I think wisely—determined not to renew it. (Interruptions.) You have been promised a fair opportunity of having the question settled by judicial decision, and you have wisely resolved that until that decision is given the question shall remain where it is. f(The soundness of this advice was unquestionable, but just at that moment the crowd manifested a disposition to do anything but remain where they were, for a further and more violent surging in the direction of the platform took place.)fgThe government, without abandoning what they thought were their legal rights, might have permitted the park for one meetingg when permission was asked, and I think it would have been a wise policy and a gracious act to have granted it—(tremendous cheers)—but it was refusedh, and the consequence was—(The meeting was not destined to hear more, for a fresh invasion of the platform took place, and the aspect of affairs at the moment was so threatening that although there were cries of “I will defend you, Mr. Mill,” “Our friends will be steady again in a minute,” “This is a meeting of men and not of children,” etc., the honourable member felt it hopeless to persist in his address and retired at once from the hall.)h
[After an interval to allow order to be established, the resolution was passed, and Bradlaugh moved a second one, calling for a petition to the House of Commons to establish a committee of inquiry into the conduct of Sir RichardMayne and the police under his command in preventing the meeting in Hyde Park on 23 July and during the next two days. In the course of his remarks he said “Mr. John Stuart Mill has just enunciated a proposition in which I cordially concur. He said if you have not a legal right to meet in the parks you ought to have it. (Loud cheers.)” The resolution was seconded, and passed after another interruption by newly-arrived marchers. Then Colonel Dickson moved a third resolution calling for financial contributions to the Reform League, which after seconding was also passed, and the meeting concluded at 9:30 with the usual vote of thanks to the Chair and three cheers for Bright, Gladstone, and Beales, and then three “For all who strive to preserve the right dearest to England—the right of public meeting.” Sectional meetings were held in different parts of the hall. Then the main part of the spectators (“sightseers,” The Times says, for “auditors they could not be called”) formed again into processions behind their bands, being joined by the huge crowd outside the hall, and did not finally clear the area until 11 p.m.]
The Disturbances in Jamaica 
“Mr. Mill’s Speech on Mr. Buxton’s Motion,” in Jamaica Papers, No. III. Statement of the Committee and Other Documents (London: Jamaica Committee, ), 7–18. A manuscript fragment (Yale University Library, John Stuart Mill Papers, Box 2, MS #350) is printed in full in variant note u-u. In PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1797–1806. Published in The Times, 1 August, p. 7, from which variants and responses are taken. Charles Buxton (1823–71), M.P. for East Surrey, moved the following Resolutions: “1. That this House deplores the excessive punishments which followed the suppression of the disturbances of October last in the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica, and especially the unnecessary frequency with which the punishment of death was inflicted. / 2. That this House, while approving the course taken by Her Majesty’s Government in dismissing Mr. Eyre from the Governorship of the Island, at the same time concurs in the view expressed by the late Secretary of the Colonies, that ‘while any very minute endeavour to punish acts which may now be the subject of regret would not be expedient, still, that great offences ought to be punished;’ and that grave excesses of severity on the part of any Civil, Military, or Naval Officers ought not to be passed over with impunity. / 3. That, in the opinion of this House, it is the duty of Her Majesty’s Government to award compensation to those whose property was wantonly and cruelly destroyed, and to the families of those who were put to death illegally. / 4. That, since considerably more than 1,000 persons are proved to have been executed or severely flogged on the charge of participating in these disturbances, all further punishment on account of them ought to be remitted.” (Col. 1763.) When Buxton had finished his speech, Adderley replied, and then Mill spoke.
those who seek to obtain an authoritative condemnation of the transactions in Jamaica, whether they take the milder view of my honourable friend the mover of the resolutions, or the severer one of the body which has been so disrespectfully spoken of, the Jamaica committee, could have desired nothing better for their cause than that the speech which has just been delivered*a should go forth to the country as the defence of the Government for not taking any measures to bring those events under the cognisance of a judicial tribunal. I would myself be well content to go to the country on my honourable friend’s speech, and that of the right honourable gentleman, without any further discussion. (Hear, hear.) But since nothing has byetb been said in vindication of the view I take as to the proper course to be pursued, which is different from that recommended by my honourable friend, cI shall state to the house what to my mind justifies that coursec . The honourable mover of the resolution has called upon the house to consider the proceedings of the civil and military authorities in Jamaica, which have been so deservedly but so mildly condemned by her Majesty’s commissioners of inquiry,1 and has invited the house to express an opinion on those proceedings, to the same effect and nearly in the same language as the commissioners. I, also, contend that the acts which have been committed demand the particular attention of the house, not however for the purpose of itself pronouncing any judgment on them, but for the purpose of requiring that they be referred to an authority more competent than this house—the only authority that is competent to pass a binding judgment on such acts—the authority of a judicial tribunal. (Hear, hear.) According to the catalogue furnished by the commissioners, 439 of her Majesty’s subjects, men and women, have been put to death, not in the field, not in armed resistance to the Government, but unarmed, after having fallen into the hands of the authorities, many after having voluntarily surrendered to them. (Hear, hear.) dA partd were executed without any semblance of a trial; the remainder after what were called trials, by what were called courts-martial.2eBesidese those who were put to death, not fewer than 600 men and women were flogged, partly without trial, and partly by sentence of the same courts-martial; and about 1,000 houses, besides other property, were destroyed by military violence. Now, if after due investigation the Government and the country generally had made up their minds that all these lives were justly and properly taken, and all these floggings and burnings justly and properly inflicted, there would have been no ground on which to require the Government to prosecute the agents and authors, though private individuals would be at liberty to do so if they pleased. The case, however, is far otherwise. Respecting the degree of culpability of these transactions there is a wide difference of opinion, but that there has been serious culpability no one now disputes. (Hear, hear.) The events have undergone a minute inquiry, by commissioners carefully selected, and invested with full power to ascertain the facts, but not, I must remind the right honourable gentleman, empowered to declare what is the character of those facts in the eye of the law. The commissioners have emphatically condemned a large portion of the proceedings.3 They declare that many more persons have been put to death than ought to have been put to death; some of these on evidence which they declare to have been, so far as it appears on record, wholly insufficient to justify the findings: while in other cases, assuming the evidence to be unimpeachable, the sentences were not justified by the facts deposed to. The floggings they pronounce to have been reckless, and some of them positively barbarous; the flogging of women they reprobate under any circumstances, and in that I am sure the house will not differ from them. The burnings they pronounce wanton and cruel. There is no need to go one step beyond the verdict of the commissioners. I am almost ashamed to speak of such acts with the calmness and in the moderate language which the circumstances require. The house has supped full of horrors throughout the speech of my honourable friend. But we need not go beyond the dry facts of the commissioners’ summary. On their showing, the lives of subjects of her Majesty have been wrongfully taken, and the persons of others wrongfully maltreated; and I maintain that when such things have been done, there is a primâ facie demand for legal punishment, and that a court of criminal justice can alone determine whether such punishment has been merited, and if merited, what ought to be its amount. The taking of human lives without justification, which in this case is an admitted fact, cannot be condoned by anything short of a criminal tribunal. Neither the Government, nor this house, nor the whole English nation combined, can exercise a pardoning power without previous trial and sentence. I know not for what more important purpose courts of law exist than for the security of human life. fIt has been the boast off this country gthat officers of Government must answer for their acts to the same laws and before the same tribunals as any private citizen; and if persons in authority cang take the lives of htheir fellowh subjects improperly, ias has been confessedly done in this case,i without being called to a judicial account, and having the excuses they make for it sifted and adjudicated by the tribunal in that case provided, we are giving up altogether the principle of government by law, and resigning ourselves to arbitrary power. (Hear, hear.) jThe most proper course, therefore, which could in my opinion be taken by any memberj of this house, was to attempt to elicit from her Majesty’s Government, before the end of the session, some statement of their intentions respecting what, to me and others, appears the solemn duty of bringing the authors of at least the most flagrant of these universally condemned acts before a criminal tribunal. The house knows that this attempt was made,4 and it knows what was the result. We obtained by it no direct, but a good deal of indirect, information. Since then I have redoubled my efforts to learn, or to divine, what reasons there are against the propriety of a criminal prosecution: and I have arrived at the conclusion that if those I have heard are the best, there will not be much difficulty in resisting any of them. I have been told, for instance (but by whom or on what occasion the rules of the house forbid me to recollect), that to warrant a criminal prosecution for homicide, it is necessary that the act should have been done with malice prepense.5 But the right honourable the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot make such a mistake as this; for if not a lawyer himself, he has able lawyers for his advisers, and one need not be a lawyer at all to know that there is such an offence as manslaughter k(for example)k which I have hitherto in my ignorance believed to differ from murder precisely by the absence of malice prepense. The wonder which I felt at this singular specimen of legal knowledge would have been still greater than it was, if I had not just before been told by a very eminent person (but it could not be the right honourable gentleman) that I was grossly inconsistent in assuming through nine questions that certain acts were unlawful, and asking in the tenth whether they were unlawful or not?6 Now, since what I asked was, whether they were offences under the criminal law, I must conclude that, in the opinion of this eminent person, no actions are unlawful but those which are offences under the criminal law. Did he ever hear, I wonder, of such a thing as an action for damages? which everybody knows will lie in many cases in which a criminal proceeding could not be sustained. And, again, is he not aware of cases in which the law imposes pecuniary penalties, but leaves them to be enforced by anybody who chooses to sue for them by a civil action? lSince it appears to be the opinion of this high authority that acts which cannot be prosecuted criminally are not unlawful, I presume he thinks that the courts give damages, and the law imposesl penalties, for lawful acts. (Hear, hear.) mI hope the right honourable gentleman will tell us this evening that he disclaims all participation inm these peculiar views. I am nwilling to defer to himn as an authority on omanyo subjects, but I shall be quite unable to accept his guidance in any matter of criminal law (hear), unless he entirely throws over that other great luminary to whom I have been referring. Then, again, it is asked, how can we think of prosecuting anybody for putting people to death, when we cannot possibly suppose that those who did it believed them to be innocent? Well, very probably they did not, though even this is by no means a thing which it is permissible to take for granted. But admitting the fact, it is an excuse that may be made for actions of still greater atrocity than I claim any right to attribute to these. Did the perpetrators of the massacre of St. Bartholomew think their victims innocent?7pDidp they not firmly believe them to be hateful to God and to all good men? qDidq the authors of the September massacres—did the French revolutionary tribunals and the Terrorist Government, believe in the innocence of those whom they put to death?8 Were they not fully persuaded that they were traitors and enemies of their country? I do not want to compare Governor Eyre and his subordinates to Robespierre and Fouquier Tinville, though I confess that their modes of proceeding sometimes remind me very forcibly of some of the minor actors in that great tragedy: but the same sort of excuse may be made for Robespierre and Fouquier Tinville as for them. I dare say that if gentlemen on the other side of the house, and I am afraid some on this side, had had the duty of sitting in judgment on those very vigorous rulers, they would have thought it quite enough to visit them with the penalty with which, for example, Governor Darling has been visited for following his constitutional advisers in an erroneous interpretation of the constitution of Victoria.9 We should perhaps have been told that the case as respects Robespierre was closed by dismissal from his office as a member of the Committee of Public Safety. As for Fouquier Tinville, it probably would not have been thought advisable, after so many errors of judgment, to re-appoint him to the responsible situation of public prosecutor. We might have been told, in words with which the house is probably familiar, that it would be desirable “to entrust that arduous task to some other person, who may approach it free from all the difficulties inseparable from a participation in the questions raised by the recent troubles,” and that by placing the office “in new hands,” Government were “taking the course best calculated to allay animosities, to conciliate general confidence, and to establish on firm and solid grounds the future welfare of” France.10 Again, we are told that in proposing to make the authors of those acts criminally responsible for them, we forget that those acts were done under martial law. Sir, we are not at all likely to forget that (hear, hear); we remember it but too well: and we shall remember as long, what it has been declared by the leading member of the Government that martial law is—the total suspension of all law.11 The right honourable gentleman r(Mr. Adderley)r will admit that this is something worth remembering. Well; martial law while it lasts, is the negation of all law; and therefore (such is the conclusion of the right honourable gentleman)12 it is the negation of all responsibility. Not only, as soon as martial law is proclaimed, the civil and military authorities and their agents may run amuck, if such is their pleasure—may do, as far as any legal restraint is concerned, anything they please; but, if they please to do what is wrong, they cannot be made to account for it afterwards, except to their official superiors, nor to suffer any but the official penalties which those superiors can inflict. If that is our condition, and if any Government or any local administrator that chooses to proclaim martial law can place us under this regimen, we have gained little by our historical struggles, and the blood that has been shed for English liberties has been shed to little purpose. (Hear, hear.) But it is not so, sir; it is not so. I do not deny that there is good authority, legal as well as military, for saying that the proclamation of martial law suspends all law so long as it lasts; but I defy any one to produce any respectable authority for the doctrine that persons are not responsible to the laws of their country, both civil and criminal, after martial law has ceased, for acts done under it. The legal opinions, which the right honourable gentleman misunderstands, affirm only this, that martial law is another word for the law of necessity, and that the justification of acts done under that law consists in their necessity. Well, then, we have a right to dispute the necessity. If the right honourable gentleman will consult his legal advisers, he will find that the law is perfectly settled on this point. With the permission of the house I will read a short extract from a law opinion given specifically on the point by two gentlemen, both of them ornaments of their profession, and one of them a member of this house:13
The officers of the crown are justified in any exertion of physical force extending to the destruction of life and property to any extent, and in any manner, that may be required for this purpose. They are not justified in the use of excessive or cruel means, but are liable civilly or criminally for such excess. They are not justified in inflicting punishment after resistance is suppressed, and after the ordinary courts of justice can be reopened. The principle by which their responsibility is measured is well expressed in the case of Wright v. Fitzgerald. Mr. Wright was a French master, of Clonmel, who, after the suppression of the Irish rebellion in 1798, brought an action against Mr. Fitzgerald, the sheriff of Tipperary, for having cruelly flogged him without due inquiry. Martial law was in full force at that time, and an act of indemnity had been passed to excuse all breaches of the law committed in the suppression of the rebellion. In summing-up, Justice Chamberlain, with whom Lord Yelverton agreed, said: “The jury were not to imagine that the legislature, by enabling magistrates to justify under the indemnity bill,14 had released them from the feelings of humanity, or permitted them wantonly to exercise power, even though it were to put down rebellion. They expected that in all cases there should be a grave and serious examination into the conduct of the supposed criminal, and every act should show a mind intent to discover guilt, not to inflict torture. By examination or trial he did not mean that sort of examination and trial which they were now engaged in, but such examination and trial the best the nature of the case and existing circumstances would allow of. That this must have been the intention of the legislature was manifest from the expression ‘magistrates and all other persons,’ which provides that as every man, whether magistrate or not, was authorised to suppress rebellion, and was to be justified by that law for his acts, it is required that he should not exceed the necessity which gave him the power, and that he should show in his justification that he had used every possible means to ascertain the guilt which he had punished; and, above all, no deviation from the common principles of humanity should appear in his conduct.” Mr. Wright recovered £500 damages; and when Mr. Fitzgerald applied to the Irish parliament for an indemnity, he could not get one.15
In the year 1866, thirty-four years after the passing of the Reform Act, we have to reaffirm the principle of this judgment, and reassert the responsibility of all officers of the executive to the tribunals, in order that in our regard for law and liberty we may be on a level with the Orange Government and the Orange Parliament of Ireland in the most tyrannical period of modern Irish history, the rebellion of 1798. (Hear, hear.) And great cause is there why we should assert this responsibility. If martial law indeed is what it is asserted to be, arbitrary power—the rule of force, subject to no legal limits—then, indeed, the legal responsibility of those who administer it, instead of being lightened, requires to be enormously aggravated. So long as the power of inflicting death is restricted by laws, by rules, by forms devised for the security of innocence, by settled usage, by a long series of precedents—these laws, these forms, these usages and precedents, are a protection to those who are judged; but they are also eminently a protection to those who judge. If a law is prescribed for their observance, and they observe the law, they are, in general, safe from sfurthers responsibility. The less we leave to their discretion, the less necessity is there, in the interest of the general safety, for making them personally accountable. But if men are let loose from all law, from all precedents, from all forms—are left to try people for their lives in any way they please, take evidence as they please, refuse evidence as they please, give facilities to the defence or withhold those facilities as they think fit, and after that pass any sentences they please, and irrevocably execute those sentences, with no bounds to their discretion but their own judgment of what is necessary for the suppression of a rebellion—a judgment which not only may be, but in a vast proportion of cases is sure to be, an exasperated man’s judgment, or a frightened man’s judgment of necessity (hear, hear); when there is absolutely no guarantee against any extremity of tyrannical violence, but the responsibility which can be afterwards exacted from the tyrant—then, sir, it is indeed indispensable that he who takes the lives of others under this discretion should know that he risks his own. (Cheers.) I do not wonder that there are conscientious military men who shrink from so vast a responsibility, and prefer any view whatever of martial law to that which we are given to understand is the true one. I hold in my hand a letter written to me by a retired general officer,16 which, after saying that the intelligent officers of the army feel bewildered at the very idea of martial law, from the absence of all precise instructions on the subject, goes on to say,
I had fully made up my mind how I should act if ever called upon to enforce martial law. I had resolved, as the only safe and prudent plan, to consider martial law as simply military law extended to civilians, feeling convinced that a fixed or written code was indispensable, and that what was sufficient to curb soldiers in war was surely sufficient to restrain civilians in revolt.
Taken fighting with arms in their hands should alone justify the summary execution of rebels; whilst the composition and powers of the courts-martial on rebels should follow the articles of war, which are amply sufficient to cover all cases that could ever arise under martial law. (Hear, hear.)
We are now informed that neither the Articles of War nor the Mutiny Act17 are in force at all during the proclamation of a martial law, and that the courts-martial are not bound by their provisions. But the oath which is administered to the members of every court-martial, and which was taken by all the members of the courts-martial in Jamaica, begins with these words: “You shall duly administer justice according to the rules and articles for the better government of her Majesty’s forces, and according to an act now in force for the punishment of mutiny and desertion.”18 This is what they swore to do: nobody pretends that they did it; and tthe Government now justifies themt by saying that they were not bound by their oath. Sir, I have stated to the house the principles on which I am acting, and on which those act with whom on this subject I am co-operating. We want to know—as the noble lord, the secretary for India, said on a not more important occasion19 —we want to know who are to be our masters: her Majesty’s judges and a jury of our countrymen, administering the laws of England, or three naval and military officers, two of them boys, administering, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer tells us, no law at all.20 This we want to know; and this, if it be humanly possible, we mean to uknow. It remains to be seen whether the people ofvthis country will sustainv us in the attempt to wprocure au solemn reassertion of the principle, that whoever takes human life without justification must account for it to the laww . This great public duty may be discharged without help from the Government, but without help from the people it cannot. It is their cause; and we will not be wanting to them if they are not wanting to us. (Hear, hear.)
[Eventually the first resolution was accepted, and the others were withdrawn following Governmental concessions (cols. 1839–40).]
The Reform Meeting in Hyde Park 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 1905. Reported in The Times, 3 August, p. 4, from which the variants and response are taken. For the meeting alluded to, see No. 31.
mr. j. stuart mill presented the petition adopted at the meeting in the Agricultural Hall, complaining of the exclusion of the public from Hyde Park on Monday week, and praying the House to institute an inquiry into the conduct of the Chief Commissioner of Police,1 and of the Police generally.
Major Stuart Knox2said, he would beg to ask the honourable Gentleman,awho he understood was connected with the Reform League,aWhether a letter which appeared in that morning’s paper from Mr. Beales was genuine;3and, if so, whether he can inform the House who the “bpublicbleaders” mentioned in it were?
Mr. J. Stuart Mill: Sir, cI can assure the honourable and gallant Gentleman that I have not the slightest objection to give him any information which I can command in reply to his question.c Sir, I am not in the least degree authorized to make any communication to the House on behalf of the Reform League, of which I am not even a member; and I beg to refer the honourable and gallant Gentleman to those who are members, and particularly to Mr. Beales himself. (A laugh.)
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 1908. Not reported in The Times. Mill’s interjection came in the debate on the third reading of “A Bill [as Amended by the Select Committee . . .] to Amend the Law Relating to the Public Health,” 29 Victoria (29 June, 1866), PP, 1866, IV, 425–48, Clause 39. This clause, concerning proof that inmates of a house or part thereof were family members, put the onus of proof on the claimants. Ayrton moved (unsuccessfully) to strike out this clause. He was followed by Thomas Chambers, who said “nothing could be easier than for the parties charged to show that they were one family, while it would be an impossibility for the police to prove the negative.” Mill replied.
mr. j. stuart mill said, the only proof that would be required would be repute.
The Extradition Treaties Act 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 2023–6. Reported in The Times, 4 August, p. 7, from which the variants and reponses are taken. Mill spoke in the debate on the second reading of “A Bill Intituled An Act for the Amendment of the Law Relating to Treaties of Extradition.” 29 & 30 Victoria (26 July, 1866), PP, 1866, III, 39–42. The Bill eventually passed (see No. 39), though Mill says in the Autobiography that he “joined with several other independent Liberals in defeating an Extradition Bill, introduced at the very end of the session of 1866 and by which, though surrender avowedly for political offences was not authorised, political refugees, if charged by a foreign government with acts which are necessarily incident to all attempts at insurrection, would have been surrendered to be dealt with by the criminal courts of the government against which they had rebelled: thus making the British Government an accomplice in the vengeance of foreign despotisms” (CW, Vol. I, pp. 282–3). He may have in mind that his proposal to limit the duration of the Act to one year had later been accepted (No. 39). In any case, as he says further: “The defeat of this proposal led to the appointment of a Select Committee (in which I was included) to examine and report on the whole subject of Extradition Treaties; and the result was that in the Extradition Act, which passed through Parliament after I had ceased to be a member, opportunity is given to any one whose extradition is demanded, of being heard before an English Court of justice to prove that the offence with which he is charged is really political. The cause of European freedom has thus been saved from a serious misfortune, and our own country from a great iniquity.” (Ibid., p. 283.) For Mill’s part in the Select Committee, see App. B.
sir, I do not mean to say anything against the French Government, but I think it is neither in any way improper nor at all impertinent to the question to say something about the French law, and particularly those parts of it which are thought most defective by the best Judges in France itself. There are many things in that law which are worthy of great praise, and many from which we in this country have a great deal to learn; but I never met with any enlightened Frenchman who did not think that the worst part of the French law is the law of criminal procedure, and that the mode in which the preliminary evidence is taken is the worst part even of that.1 The depositions which are taken preparatory to a criminal trial in France by the juge d’instruction are taken in secret. They are not taken in the presence of the accused; he is not confronted with the witnesses, much less has he any opportunity of cross-examination. It is, therefore, the easiest thing in the world to get up a false charge against a person, if on the part of any other person there is the slightest disposition to do so. I have, indeed, much confidence in the love of justice and the integrity and dignity of the French Judges, who, very often, when the trial comes on, are able to prevent these great defects in the preliminary proceedings from issuing in final injusticea, but with this final trial the House has nothing to do, fora we are now called upon to surrender the accused persons upon the original depositions only. (Hear.) Now, we are told2 —and it is true—that the committing magistrate has the power, and is bound, to consider whether the evidence is such as would in his own opinion establish a primâ facie case against the accused, sufficient to warrant a committal for trial. But there is great danger lest the magistrate, not being fully aware of the differences between French and English criminal procedure, might be led, unless something is put in this Bill to guard against it, to attach the same weight, or nearly the same weight, to those depositions as if they had been taken in his presence. It would be very desirable if the magistrate is to have the power of ordering the extradition of an accused person, that something should be done in the way of directing him how to exercise it. When even so experienced a magistrate as the Chief Magistrate at Bow Street, appears to have laboured under some misapprehension in this respect,3 it appears to me important that magistrates should receive warning from their superiors not to attach more than the due weight to those depositions. If, however, they attach no more than the due weight to those depositions, the effect desired will not be produced. Consequently, either the French Government will have to waive the point of honour which they are said to entertain,4 or the new Act will be as much a dead letter as was the old one.5 We are told by high authorities, in a place not far from this, that the old Act was an entirely dead letter;6 and it has been said by every one who has spoken in favour of the Bill that the objection to it is equally an objection to the law as it stands, under which we are subject to the same obligations as are now sought to be imposed on us. I admit that nothing can be more harmless in appearance than this Bill. No substantial alteration, it is argued, is proposed in the law, and therefore nobody can possibly object to the Bill. But it unfortunately happens that although nominally there is no alteration, practically there is the greatest alteration in the world. bThe old Act, we are told, has not been acted upon at all—nobody has been surrendered under that Act—and it is precisely in order to call the Extradition Treaty7 out of the condition of a dead letter into that of a practical fact, that this Bill is brought in. If it does not do this, it answers no purpose. Therefore, if the Bill passes, one of two things must ensue: either our magistrates will give up offenders, on evidence which would be in great danger of being insufficient, or it will be necessary to come to us again on some other occasion to reinforce this Bill and make it still more easy to effect the extradition of accused persons. I can conceive that in the case of ordinary offences it may not be necessary to insist upon these considerations. But as soon as an application is made for the extradition of a political offender, we shall find the strongest reasons for hesitating on the question. If the laws of any country afford facilities for getting up a false case, that false case is very much more likely to be got up where political offences are concerned. Political offences eo nomine are not, it is true, included in the Extradition Treaty, but acts really political often come within the definition of offences which are so included. Apply this observation to the case of the French Emperor at Boulogne,8 and you will perceive—as doubtless the Emperor himself would perceive—the force of what I am advancing.b The noble Lord who has introduced this Bill (Lord Stanley) has expressed his willingness, if it be possible, to exempt offences really political from being made the grounds for extradition, under the name of murder, or attempt to murder.9 This declaration is worthy of the noble Lord, and is such as might be expected from his character. I perfectly sympathize in the difficulties he feels. His difficulty is the case of political assassination. I do not pretend, if the only question were with reference to persons who had really done these things, that I should have much to say against it. People who do such things ought to make up their minds to sacrifice their lives; and if they have any honest feeling in the matter they generally do. (Hear, hear.) When there has been an actual attempt at political assassination, it is not perhaps difficult, in most cases, to distinguish between a false charge and a true one. But it is often uncommonly so in the case of complicity in such an attempt; and these are precisely the cases in which there is most danger of a false charge. It is a thing which may happen any day, our being called upon to deliver up some person charged with complicity in such an offence; and this charge may be the most false imaginable, and yet such as is extremely likely to be entertained. If I may offer, merely by way of illustration, a case fresh in the memory of every Member of this House, I will say that Governor Eyre felt convinced that Mr. Gordon was an instigator of the insurrection in Jamaica,10 and on that ground Mr. Gordon was put to death, although the evidence has been pronounced by those who have examined it judicially—one of them expressed himself very strongly on the point in this House11 —utterly insufficient to establish this charge. Well, we have heard no end of testimony from both sides of the House as to what a good man, a clever man, and a blameless man Mr. Eyre was. Well, then, let Mr. Eyre be all this: it follows, that let a man be as good, and wise, and blameless as it is possible for a man to be, he may yet make this mistake; and, if a Governor may make it, a King or an Emperor may make it. We cannot doubt that in such cases depositions will always be forthcoming, and that, if undue weight were attached to these depositions, it would be extremely difficult to resist the extradition of anyone charged with complicity in an attempt on the life of any foreign Sovereign or statesman. The great majority of people, especially people in power, are ready to believe almost anything against their political enemies, especially those who have said or published things tending to excite disapprobation of their conduct; as witness the case of Mr. Gordon. I am not contending for the impunity of these persons. Even those who look with the least horror on political assassination do not doubt that it ought to be punished as murderc. The least the Government of this country could demand in such cases is that the foreign Government should send over here the same evidence that would be necessary to put the man on his trial in the country that shelters him. (Hear, hear.) I cannot approve a Bill under which our magistrates will be called upon to surrender prisoners upon depositions taken in secret, and under no circumstances ought an extradition treaty to deal with political offenders. (Hear, hear.)c
The Extradition Treaties Act 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 2056–7. Not reported in The Times. A motion had been made to take the Extradition Treaties Act Amendment Bill (see No. 36) into Committee.
mr. j. stuart mill appealed to the Government to postpone the further consideration of this Bill, on the ground of the absence of his honourable Friend the Member for Reading (Sir Francis Goldsmid), who had an Amendment on the paper, to which he attached great importance.1 His honourable Friend was obliged to leave the House yesterday before the division, and was probably unaware of the intention of the Government to have a sitting of the House that day, in order to pass that as well as other measures on the paper through their remaining stages.
Mr. Walpole asked, whether the honourable Member for Westminster was not prepared to move the Amendment?
Mr. J. Stuart Mill doubted whether he should be able to do justice to the subject, as he had come to the House totally unprepared to undertake the task.
[The Committee was deferred until the 6th.]
The Naval Dockyards
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 2067. Reported in The Times, 6 August, p. 6, from which the variant is taken. Adjournment had been moved by John Pakington (cols. 2057–60) so that the House could discuss allegations of extravagance by officials in the Royal Dockyards.
mr. j. stuart mill thought the conclusion to be drawn from this discussion was, that a great improvement had been attempted in the mode of conducting public business, but that, as is often the case with first attempts, it had not proved very successful. Every one must feel the great advantage it would be to this House and the public if the facts in any matter relating to public expenditure could be authenticated and agreed upon on both sides aby previous inquirya before the question founded on those facts was brought before the House. His honourable Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. Seely), with great credit to himself, applied to be allowed to ascertain his facts in the best possible way, and with the assistance of those best qualified to help him:1 and the Admiralty consented to that arrangement,2 though they did not appear to have persevered in that laudable intention to the end. The misunderstanding which appeared to have arisen was to be regretted, as they all knew how much more information could be obtained on a complicated matter across a table than across this House, and how much more complete and intelligible that information was likely to be when asked for in a friendly than in a hostile manner.
The Extradition Treaties Act 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 2115–18. Reported in The Times, 7 August, p. 7, from which the variant and response are taken. Goldsmid, now being in the House (see No. 37), moved his amendment to the Bill (see No. 36 for it and the related Acts), to add a clause: “That nothing in this Act, nor in any previous Act relating to Treaties of Extradition, shall be construed to authorize the extradition of any person in whose case there shall be reasonable grounds for belief that his offence, if any, had for its motive or purpose the promotion or prevention of any political object, nor to authorize the extradition of any person the requisition for the delivery of whom shall not contain an undertaking on the part of the Sovereign or Government making such requisition, that such person shall not be proceeded against or punished on account of any offence which he shall have committed before he shall be delivered up, other than the offence specified in the requisition.” Mill spoke after Lord Stanley.
mr. j. stuart mill felt that many of the sentiments which they had just heard from the noble Lord1 were of a very reassuring character, and if the noble Lord were always to be Foreign Secretary, he should not require much further security; but since the country was not likely to be always so far favoured, he could not help regretting that the deliberations of the noble Lord had not led him to frame some other clause, if that already proposed did not meet with his approbation. It should be remembered that if a person charged with political assassination were not given up, he would not necessarily escape punishment; for he might still be prosecuted in the country where he had sought refuge. Nobody wished that political should enjoy any more impunity than any other kind of assassination; but if we had only the alternative of trying in this country persons charged with political offences, or of giving up everybody charged with homicide of a political character, he (Mr. Stuart Mill) should prefer the former. At the same time, he did not think it impossible to define political offences. Various attempts at definition had, to his knowledge, been communicated to the noble Lord. aOne of them, suggested by a learned Gentleman, he would mention. It was,a “Any offence committed in the course or in furtherance of any civil war, insurrection, or political movement.”2 That he thought would not include political assassination. It appeared to him that this matter required much more consideration than it had yet received; the more one examined into it the worse it looked. There was at the present moment the utmost uncertainty as to the nature of the inquiry which an English magistrate was bound to make, previous to delivering up any person charged with a political offence. He found in the papers before the House two entirely different views of the law of this country. The Extradition Act said—
It shall be lawful for any justice of the peace, having power to commit for trial, to examine upon oath any person or persons touching the truth of such charge, and upon such evidence as according to the law of that part of Her Majesty’s dominions would justify the apprehension and committal of the person accused if the crime had been there committed, it shall be lawful for the magistrate to commit the prisoner into the custody of the officers of the Power so demanding him.3
Now, it was stated in the able and excellent letter of Lord Clarendon to Lord Cowley, that a magistrate, when called upon in this country to commit any person for trial, was authorized to examine into the truth of the charge; that, according to our practice, when a person has made oath that another person has committed a certain crime, a warrant is issued for his apprehension; and that the next step is to bring the accused person before a magistrate, when the accuser must appear with his witnesses and be confronted with him in open court, and it must be proved to the satisfaction of the magistrate, before committing the prisoner for trial, that there was sufficient primâ facie ground for believing, first, that the crime had been committed, and next, that the prisoner was the party who had committed it.4 According to this view of the law, it would be in the power of the person accused, before the order is passed for delivering him up, to produce witnesses and have them examined. By the treaty now entered into, the prisoner might be delivered up on the production of written depositions. But he had always understood that, although the depositions might be received in evidence, yet conformably with our practice it would be open to the prisoner to produce counter evidence in contradiction to them, which might show them to be untrustworthy. But now look at the memorandum of the Conference at the Foreign Office on the 8th of February. It was there stated that an impression prevailed in France that the English magistrate actually tried the case; and that that impression was unfounded.5 Of course it was, because there was a great deal of difference between the inquiry previous to committal and the actual trial. But, then, the memorandum went on to say, that when the prisoner was brought before the magistrate he would be entitled to have the depositions read in his presence; but that he would not be allowed to controvert the truth of those depositions, or to produce counter evidence, except as to his identity. Could there be a more flagrant case of contradiction between theory and practice? They were entitled to ask Government whether the law laid down in the Act or the practice laid down in the Foreign Office memorandum was right. If the practice were to prevail over the law, a law should be made to legalize it; but it ought to be considered whether such a law would not be an absolute enormity. Could it be dreamt of that even in respect to an ordinary offence, depositions taken unknown to the person charged—which he had no opportunity of disputing—with reference to which he was not permitted to cross-examine his accusers, should be sufficient to require his surrender?6 Were these depositions, produced in evidence in a court in this country, to be made the grounds for delivering up a person to be tried in the country in which the depositions were made, on the sole condition that he was not shown to be the person named in the warrant? If he really were the person charged, was he not to be allowed to tender any evidence to show that the depositions did not establish a case against him? That was a subject on which the noble Lord the Secretary of State should tell them his mind. Then they had been led to think that there was an understanding with foreign Powers, including the Government of France, that political prisoners should not be delivered up. It now appeared, however, that there was no such understanding, but it was assumed that the French Government would not ask them to deliver up such persons. If that was the case, it was extremely honourable to the French Government, or to our own, perhaps to both—honourable to the French Government if they did not desire to have such persons delivered up, honourable to the reputation of our own Government in foreign countries, if the absence of the demand was grounded on a conviction that it would not be complied with. They had the noble Lord’s assurance that he would not deliver up such persons, but they ought to have some more complete security. Was that intention grounded on an understanding that the treaty did not require us to give up persons charged with political murder, or on a belief that, although the treaty did bind us to deliver them up, the demand would not be made? Surely it would have been better to have some words inserted in the Act showing that it was not the intention of Parliament that the Act should authorize the extradition of political offenders. It was admitted that the Act in terms admitted the extradition of political offenders, but we were told that the right was not exercised. That might be the case with regard to a particular Sovereign, but what security had they for the conduct of his successors. It seemed now that there had not been even a verbal understanding, and that absence of any demands from which it had been sought to infer one, might have arisen only from the circumstance that during the period which had elapsed there had not been a sufficiently strong desire for the surrender of any person included in the class referred to, to induce the French Government to demand his extradition. It was said that we could get rid of the treaty in six months, but that could not or would not be done until something irrevocable had taken place, until, perhaps, some illustrious exile had been delivered up, whose surrender would cover this country with ignominy. He entreated the noble Lord to apply his mind to the subject, and see if it were possible to insert words that would show at least the will and intention of Parliament that the extradition should not extend to political cases, so that there might be something to be relied upon by the Secretary of State in justification of the course he might have to take. This Act was an experiment which they were going to try for the first time, and surely it would be worth while to try it avowedly as an experiment. Would the noble Lord limit the duration of the Act to twelve months? At the expiration of that time they would perhaps have better means of judging than they had now, and might be able to renew the Act from time to time for a longer period. (Hear, hear.)
[Later in the debate Kinglake suggested acceding to Mill’s suggestion of limiting the duration of the act to one year, so that the House could consider the matter more carefully; Goldsmid’s amendment was withdrawn, and Kinglake’s clause added (col. 2124). The Bill thus amended passed its third reading.]
The Disturbances in Jamaica 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 2160. Reported in The Times, 11 August, p. 6.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether any further information has been received as to the apprehensions which he stated to be entertained by the authorities in Jamaica of a new outbreak in the Colony;1 and whether he has any objection to state more particularly to the House the information which had previously been received on that subject?
Mr. Adderley said, in answer to the honourable Member’s question, he must beg to state that just before the recent debate on the subject of Jamaica despatches were received, from which it appeared that disturbances were apprehended by the Custos of the parish of Metcalfe, a Member of the Colonial Government, as likely to take place in his district during the present month of August. Her Majesty’s Government immediately took such precautions as they deemed fully adequate to secure the peace of the colony, and they ascertained from the Admiralty that a considerable naval force was about the island, and available for any emergency which might arise. The Governor, Sir Henry Storks, felt no distrust in the powers which he possessed to meet any such disturbances as were apprehended. No further information had been received since the arrival of those despatches, but he had laid papers on the table that day which gave the despatches in extenso, together with the fullest information up to the most recent period respecting the late lamentable occurrences.
The Lord Chief Baron
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 2165. Reported in The Times, 11 August, p. 6.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he rose to move for an Address for Copies of all the Correspondence which has taken place between Members of the Government and Mr. Rigby Wason in relation to the appointment of Sir FitzRoy Kelly to be Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer;1 and of any Correspondence between the Members of Government and Sir FitzRoy Kelly upon the same subject.
Mr. Walpole said, he had no objection to the first part of the Motion; but as the second part related to communications made to him by the Lord Chief Baron which were of a private character, he (Mr. Walpole) could not assent to their production. There might be an investigation into the matter in another Session, and in that case he thought that the Lord Chief Baron should have an opportunity of considering what answer he should make.
[Mill’s motion, which came on the last day of the Session, was not acted upon.]
[1 ]John Bright (1811–89), Speech on the Cattle Diseases Bill (14 Feb., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, cols. 476–80.
[2 ]Robert Lowe (1811–92), M.P. for Calne, like Bright a Liberal, but increasingly critical of the party’s leadership and direction, criticized Bright (ibid., cols. 483–8).
[3 ]Ibid., col. 484.
[a-a]TT] PD condition
[4 ]See the General Confession in the Order for Morning Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer.
[1 ]See No. 12.
[2 ]Actually the argument was made by William George Hylton Joliffe (1800–76), M.P. for Petersfield; see PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, col. 611.
[3 ]In No. 12.
[b-b]TT] PD , the quantity imported being so small in proportion to the whole supply.
[4 ]PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, col. 620.
[1 ]Speech on the Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill, Ireland (17 Feb., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, col. 686.
[2 ]10 George IV, c. 7 (1829), and 12 & 13 Victoria, c. 77 (1849).
[3 ]Bright, cols. 689–90.
[4 ]“We cannot.” This was the formula for such refusals since Pope Clement VII so responded to Henry VIII’s request in 1529 for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
[5 ]John Arthur Roebuck, Speech on the Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill, Ireland, cols. 695–6.
[1 ]Grosvenor, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (12 Mar., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, cols. 87–90.
[2 ]Gladstone, speech of 12 April, ibid., col. 1139.
[3 ]E.g., by Lowe, ibid. (13 Mar.), col. 149, and by Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne Cecil (1830–1903), then M.P. for Stamford, ibid., col. 234.
[4 ]Hugh Lupus Grosvenor (1825–99), then M.P. for Chester, Motion on the Representation of the People Bill (12 Apr.), ibid., cols. 1152–63.
[5 ]Edward Horsman (1807–76), then M.P. for Stroud, a nominal Liberal who, like Lowe, was opposed to the reform of parliament proposed by the party’s leaders.
[b-b]DN] DT detest it.] MS disliked it, and would resist it to the last.
[6 ]See Lowe, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (13 Mar.), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, cols. 141–64; Horsman, ibid. (12 Mar.), cols. 90–114.
[c-c]+MS[in third person, past tense DN as MS . . . sincere upon reform, and that they were consequently fit company for them. The wish was often father to the thought, and it was difficult for some people to believe in the political honesty of other people. But . . . as MS]]
[d-d]+DN] MS very great proof
[7 ]Tadpole and Taper are political hacks in Disraeli’s Coningsby, where they first appear at the end of Chap. i.
[e-e]+MS] DN before he believed these rumours. At any rate Mr. Gladstone and Earl Russell were sincere.
[f-f]MS] DT We know the past history of Earl Russell, and the great share which he had in giving us the greatest improvement we have yet had—the Reform Bill
[8 ]Lord John Russell (1792–1878), a perennial Whig leader, had been instrumental in formulating and securing the passage of the First Reform Act, 2 & 3 William IV, c. 45 (1832).
[9 ]9 & 10 Victoria, c. 22 (1846), repealed 5 & 6 Victoria, Sess. 2, c. 14 (1842).
[10 ]See Russell, Speech on the Address in Answer to the Queen’s Speech (20 Nov., 1837), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 39, col. 70.
[11 ]“A Bill Further to Amend the Laws Relating to the Representation of the People in England and Wales,” 23 Victoria (1 Mar., 1860), PP, 1860, V, 597–608 (not enacted).
[12 ]See Gladstone, Speech on the Borough Franchise Bill (11 May, 1864), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 175, col. 324.
[1 ]Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton (1803–73), then M.P. for Hertfordshire, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (13 Apr., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, cols. 1237–53.
[2 ]Stanley, ibid., cols. 1163–76.
[3 ]The dates before which names must be added to the voters’ lists are specified in 6 Victoria, c. 18 (1843) (cities and boroughs), 13 & 14 Victoria, c. 69 (1850) (Ireland), 19 & 20 Victoria, c. 58 (1856) (Scotland), and 28 Victoria, c. 36 (1865) (counties).
[a-a]PD abridged] TT curtailed
[b-b]PD curtail] TT abridge
[c-c]TT (A laugh.)
[d-d]+TT [in third person, past tense]
[4 ]“Returns of the Total Number of Voters in Every Borough and City in England and Wales,” PP, 1866, LVII, 747–9.
[e-e]+TT [in third person, past tense]
[5 ]Bulwer-Lytton, col. 1242.
[g-g]TT [in third person, past tense)] P —by which one-third of the electors can outnumber
[6 ]“Returns,” pp. 747–9.
[7 ]Lowe, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (13 Mar., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, col. 161.
[8 ]29 Victoria, c. 2 (1866).
[9 ]Enacted as 2 & 3 William IV, c. 45.
[10 ]By, respectively, 9 & 10 Victoria, c. 22 (1846), 12 & 13 Victoria, c. 29 (1849), 23 Victoria, c. 22 (1860), 3 & 4 Victoria, c. 96 (1840), and 28 & 29 Victoria, c. 63 (1865).
[11 ]Henry Fawcett (1833–84), economist and politician, a close associate of Mill in and out of the House.
[12 ]Not identified.
[13 ]Mill is undoubtedly referring to exchanges during his election meetings in 1865; see esp. No. 8.
[14 ]Charles Alexis Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (1805–59), French politician and social analyst, De la démocratie en Amérique, 2 vols. (Paris: Gosselin, 1835), Vol. II, Chaps. v and vi, and, especially in the latter, p. 109.
[15 ]By 9 George IV, c. 17 (1828), 10 George IV, c. 7 (1829), and 21 & 22 Victoria, c. 49 (1858).
[i-i]PD,TT cruci non figeris
[16 ]Horace, Epistles, in Satires, Epistles, Ars poetica (Latin and English), trans. H. Rushton Fairclough (London: Heinemann; New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1929), p. 354 (I, xvi, 47). This gives the version in the pamphlet; the concluding clause in Parliamentary Debates and The Times has not been found.
[17 ]In 1862, Lowe, then Vice-President of the Committee of Council for Education, introduced the Revised Code (see PP, 1862, XLI, 115–62, 167–88); it applied to the capitation grants to elementary schools the principle of “payment by results” (determined by the performance of pupils on examination in the three R’s). In 1864 Lowe resigned following a vote of censure in the House of Commons initiated by opponents of the Revised Code and its author (see “Education—Reports of the Inspectors of Schools—Resignation of Mr. Lowe” [18 Apr., 1864], PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 174, cols. 1203–11).
[j-j]+TT [TT’s square brackets]
[1 ]See “An Account of Gross Public Revenue and Expenditure from 1851–1857 Inclusive,” PP, 1857–58, XXXIII, 134, and “An Account of the Expenditure for the Army, Navy, Ordnance, and Militia from 1851–1857 Inclusive,” ibid., p. 135.
[2 ]William Stanley Jevons (1835–82), economist and logician, The Coal Question: An Enquiry Concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of Our Coal Mines (London and Cambridge: Macmillan, 1865).
[3 ]Possibly including anonymous reviews of Jevons in the Colliery Guardian, 27 May, 1865, p. 380, and in the Athenaeum, 27 May, 1865, pp. 714–15; Joseph Holdsworth, On the Extension of the English Coal-fields beneath the Secondary Formations of the Midland Counties (London: Middleton, 1866); and J. Jones, “Our Future Coal Fields,” Intellectual Observer, VIII (Jan. 1866), 435–9.
[a-a]TT duty of paying upon the residue of his estate the interest of heavy mortgages upon what then turned out to be unproductive property.
[4 ]I.e., Gladstone.
[5 ]Kelly, Resolution on the Malt Duty, cols. 1512–14.
[6 ]See Joseph Addison (1672–1719), The Spectator, No. 583 (20 Aug., 1714), p. 2.
[7 ]Francis Bacon (1561–1626), Isaac Newton (1642–1727), John Locke (1632–1704), Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), William Shakespeare (1564–1616), John Milton (1608–74), and William Wordsworth (1770–1850).
[8 ]Cf. Benjamin Franklin (1706–90), U.S. founding father, diplomat, and inventor, Letter to Benjamin Webb (22 Apr., 1784), in The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin (London: Colburn, 1817), p. 54.
[9 ]A play on the characterization of Edmund Burke by Oliver Goldsmith (1728–74) as one who “to party gave up, what was meant for mankind” (Retaliation: A Poem [London: Kearsly, 1774], p. 7 [l. 32]).
[1 ]George Grey (1799–1882), long a leading Liberal, at that time M.P. for Morpeth.
[2 ]By 25 & 26 Victoria, c. 47 (1862), Sect. 1.
[1 ]Gladstone, Speech on the Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill, Ireland (17 Feb., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, cols. 721–2.
[2 ]Lowe, Speech on the Tenure and Improvement of Land Bill, Ireland (17 May), ibid., Vol. 183, col. 1086.
[a-a]TT the English race
[3 ]Disraeli, in his Speech on the Redistribution of Seats Bill (14 May), ibid., col. 899, referred to the argument ascribed to Socrates (469–399 ) by Plato; see Apology, in Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus (Greek and English), trans. H.N. Fowler (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1914), p. 106 (29b).
[4 ]Plato, Protagoras, in Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus (Greek and English), trans. W.R.M. Lamb (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1914), p. 196 (343b).
[b-b]PD,TT in an exceptional fashion
[d-d]TT an act of positive legislation
[g-g]PD] TT (Oh, oh!) Well, at all events, half] CS One-half
[5 ]See “A Bill Further to Amend the Law Relating to the Tenure and Improvement of Land in Ireland,” pp. 360–2.
[6 ]Lowe, cols. 1077–8.
[i-i]+PD] TT the fair
[7 ]Lowe, col. 1083; “Report from the Select Committee on Tenure and Improvement of Land (Ireland) Act” (23 June, 1865), PP, 1865, XI, pp. 405 and 509, for example.
[j-j]PD] CS,TT the
[8 ]A phrase used in several places by Mill, but most significantly in his Principles of Political Economy (Bk. II, Chap. ii, Sect. 6), CW, Vol. II, p. 230. Both his supporters and opponents quoted much from the Principles and Mill’s other works during his parliamentary career.
[9 ]Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), Second Lay Sermon, in On the Condition of Church and State, and Lay Sermons (London: Pickering, 1839), esp. pp. 413–18.
[10 ]For example, Fulke Southwell Greville Nugent (1821–83), also known as Colonel Greville, M.P. for Longford, Speech on the Tenure and Improvement of Land Bill, Ireland (30 Apr., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 183, cols. 225–6. Cf. other speeches on the occasion by the Irish members Jonathan Pim (cols. 228–9), John Francis Maguire (cols. 230–1), and Edward Sullivan (col. 230).
[11 ]Daniel O’Donoghue (d. 1889), then M.P. for Tralee, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (27 Apr., 1866), ibid., col. 42.
[l-l]TT treat Ireland in a spirit of kindness, fairness, and generosity
[m-m]TT let it not be said that they regarded Irish affairs with the aspect of religious prejudice, for if they viewed them in this light their religion would degenerate
[1 ]There had been repeated reference to Mill and his opinions in the debate of 30 May on the Elective Franchise Bill. See the speeches by Robert Montagu (1825–1902), M.P. for Huntingdonshire, who referred (col. 1491) to Mill’s describing people lacking participation as a flock of sheep (Considerations on Representative Government, CW, Vol. XIX, p. 412); James Whiteside (1804–76), M.P. for the University of Dublin, who quoted (cols. 1505–8) several passages from Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform (CW, Vol. XIX, pp. 323–8); Charles Bowyer Adderley (1814–1905), M.P. for North Staffordshire (col. 1529); John Locke (1805–80), M.P. for Southwark (col. 1532); and Stafford Northcote (col. 1541). Thomas Dyke Acland (1809–98), M.P. for North Devonshire, offered (cols. 1542–3) to surrender the floor to Mill if he would speak; PD records that Mill “shook his head.”
[2 ]Pakington quoted (col. 1578) from Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform (p. 327), and (col. 1579) from Representative Government (p. 450), and asserted (col. 1579) that Mill had been persuaded not to speak on “A Bill to Extend the Elective Franchise for Cities and Boroughs in England and Wales,” 29 Victoria (22 Feb., 1866), PP, 1866, II, 493–514, brought in by James Clay (1804–73), M.P. for Hull.
[3 ]Pakington, cols. 1582–3.
[4 ]Pakington (col. 1574) quoted from Representative Government (p. 452n) part of a passage in which Mill had referred favourably to Pakington while criticizing Disraeli; in the key phrase Mill had said: “The Conservatives, as being by the law of their existence the stupidest party,” adhered less to their true principles than the Liberals.
[a-a]TT Conservatives are probably stupid, but
[5 ]George Joachim Goschen (1831–1907), Speech on the Representation of the People Bill, and the Redistribution of Seats Bill (31 May), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 183, cols. 1560–72.
[1 ]Robert Lowe had led the “Adullamites,” the Liberals dissenting from parliamentary reform, who had voted with the Conservatives to defeat the Reform Bill. Mill refers specifically to his speeches of 13 March, cols. 141–64, and of 31 May, cols. 1625–50.
[2 ]Charles Edward Trevelyan (1807–86), who had served with the East India Company, had, while Assistant Secretary to the Treasury, co-authored with Northcote the “Report on the Organisation of the Permanent Civil Service,” PP, 1854, XXVII, 1–31, which led to Civil Service examinations.
[a-a]TT nor an aristocrat in the ordinary sense of the term. No doubt, Sir Stafford Northcote wanted good government rather than the government of a class; and yet what did they think the tory party had.
[3 ]Motion on the Representation of the People Bill (14 June, 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 449.
[b-b]TT He did not wish to do the honourable baronet any injustice, and, therefore, he assumed that it was his intention to spare those already on the register; but so adverse would the plan he proposed be to working men that, if applied to those who occupied 10l. houses, it would disfranchise most of them.
[4 ]Debate on the State of Europe (11 June), ibid., cols. 117–76.
[c-c]TT but they did not do so because they knew that the object of the other party was to delay the Reform Bill, and because Mr. Gladstone, in his usual noble manner, said what ought to have been said on the subject
[5 ]Henry John Temple (1784–1865), Lord Palmerston in the Irish peerage, a member of every administration except those of Peel and Derby from 1807 till his death, Prime Minister 1855–58 and 1859–65, and best known for his control over foreign affairs.
[6 ]Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, I, iii, 240; in The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974), p. 853.
[7 ]Rainauld Knightley (1819–95), M.P. for Northamptonshire South, made the motion in his Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (28 May, 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 183, cols. 1320–1; Grosvenor’s vote is recorded ibid., col. 1345.
[1 ]See “Parliamentary Intelligence. House of Commons, Friday, June 8,” The Times, 9 June, 1866, p. 6. (The notice of motion is not recorded in PD or the Journals of the House of Commons.)
[2 ]“Petition for Admission of Women to the Electoral Franchise” (7 June, 1866), Reports of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Public Petitions, Session 1866, p. 697. The petition had 1521 signatures, headed by those of Barbara Bodichon, Clementia Taylor, and Emily Davies.
[a-a]TT ladies themselves who had originated the petition had been surprised at the great number of signatures it had obtained
[3 ]James Whiteside, Speech on the Elective Franchise Bill (30 May, 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 183, col. 1509.
[4 ]Disraeli, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (27 Apr., 1866), ibid., col. 99.
[1 ]Benjamin Disraeli.
[2 ]For the people named in this question, see App. H. The six hanged by Adcock were John Landran, Dick Hall, John Lawrence, James McKenzie, William Winter, and one whose name is unknown.
[3 ]Richard Walton, John McCall, and Tommy Miles (alias Tom Bell).
[4 ]Henry Patterson.
[5 ]Ellen Dawkins, Judy Edwardes, Mary Ann Francis, Justina Taylor, Mary Ward, and another, unnamed woman who was shot during delivery of a child, according to one witness.
[a-a]TT] PD (Order, order.)
[a-a]MP] DT,DN closes] TT recalls
[1 ]William Huskisson (1770–1830), advocate of free trade, influential cabinet minister and member of the Board of Trade 1823–27; Robert Peel (1788–1850) during his term as Prime Minister was responsible for the reduction of many duties and worked for the repeal of the corn laws.
[b-b]DN,MP,TT] DT Mr. Gladstone
[2 ]Gladstone, Speech on Foreign Policy (20 July), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1241–52.
[a-a]TT from the step which they had taken
[1 ]Walpole, Speech on the Reform Meeting in Hyde Park (24 July, 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1391–8.
[b-b]TT in every two or three years
[3 ]See leading articles in The Times, 21 July, p. 9, and 24 July, p. 9.
[c-c]TT mischief makers
[1 ]Edmond Beales (1803–81), a barrister, was President of the Reform League.
[2 ]Walpole, Speech on the Proposed Reform Meeting in Hyde Park (26 July), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 1538.
[b-b]TT might be offensive to
[a-a]DT] DN building] TT vast multitude assembled in that hall] MS crowded meeting in this vast hall
[c-c]DT] DN not want to discuss reform. (Hear, hear.)] MS (hear, hear). Neither do you want to discuss reform.
[d-d]TT] DN (Hear.)] DT (Loud cheers.)] MS (Hear, hear.)
[e-e]TT The best way to show strength sometimes was by abstaining from employing it.] DT You wanted . . . as DN . . . strength. (Hear, hear.) The countries . . . those where the . . . as DN . . . it. (Cheers.)] MS They tell you you want to make a display of your physical strength. The countries where the people can . . . as DT . . . it. (Hear, hear.)
[g-g]TT It was true, the honourable member continued during a momentary lull, that without abandoning their right the Crown might have permitted the use of the parks for a single meeting.
[h-h]TT] DN [paragraph] At this point the crowd in front of the platform became, from the inevitable effect of pressure, so tumultuous and noisy that it was impossible for the honourable gentleman to proceed so as to make himself audible even to those who were nearest to him, and accordingly he made no attempt to complete his remarks.] DT (Cries of Shame.) [paragraph] At this moment great confusion took place in consequence of the pressure from behind forcing those standing around the reporters’ table completely over it. The tressels having given way, the top fell, and seriously endangered those who were using the table. Mr. Mill did not resume his speech.] MS (Loud cheers, in the midst of which Mr. Mill retired.)] MP The honourable member cut short his address somewhat abruptly, after signifying his assent to the resolution, which was put by the chairman and carried by acclamation.
[* ][JP] By Mr. Adderley. [Charles Bowyer Adderley (1814–1905), Under-Secretary for the Colonies, M.P. for Staffordshire North, Speech on the Disturbances in Jamaica (31 July), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1785–97, esp. 1788–9.]
[a]PD,TT by the right honourable Gentleman
[c-c]TT therefore he should embody it in an amendment
[1 ]“Report of the Jamaica Royal Commission,” PP, 1866, XXX, 489–531.
[d-d]PD,TT Some of these
[2 ]Ibid., p. 515.
[e-e]PD,TT In addition to
[3 ]Ibid., p. 531.
[f-f]PD,TT Hitherto in
[g-g]PD,TT the agents of the executive Government have had to answer for themselves in the same Courts of Law as the rest of Her Majesty’s subjects. (Hear.) But if officers of the Government are to be allowed to [TT in past tense]
[h-h]PD,TT the Queen’s
[i-i]+PD,TT [TT in past tense]
[j-j]PD,TT Under these circumstances, it appears to me that the proper course to be adopted by Members [TT in third person, past tense]
[4 ]By Mill on 19 July; see No. 26.
[5 ]By Disraeli, in his Speech on the Outbreak in Jamaica (19 July, 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 1069. The act governing this issue is 24 & 25 Victoria, c. 100 (1861). For the rule of the House discouraging references to prior debates, see Thomas Erskine May, A Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament (1844), 14th ed., ed. Gilbert Campion (London: Butterworth, 1946), p. 426.
[6 ]See No. 26.
[l-l]PD Now, as the authority to whom I allude said that no act that could not be the subject of a criminal prosecution is illegal, it follows that, in his opinion, the law awards] TT as PD . . . follows that the law awards [in third person, past tense]
[m-m]PD,TT The right honourable Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer is just now absent from the House, but I trust that in the course of the evening he will utterly repudiate [TT in third person, past tense]
[n-n]PD,TT ready to accept the right honourable Gentleman
[7 ]The persecution of the Huguenots in France was marked especially by the massacre beginning on St. Bartholomew’s Day, 24 August, 1572.
[p-p]PD,TT On the contrary, did
[q-q]PD,TT Again, did
[8 ]Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (1758–94) and Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville (1747–95) were leading prosecutors on behalf of the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror (1793) in the French Revolution.
[9 ]Charles Henry Darling (1809–70), Governor of Victoria, 1863–66, was recalled in February 1866 for injudicious comments on petitioners against practices he had permitted; he then resigned from the Colonial Service.
[10 ]Mill is adapting the words of Edward Cardwell (1813–86), Secretary of State for the Colonies, M.P. for Oxford, concerning Governor Eyre, from “Despatch from the Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P., to Lieut.-Gen. Sir H.K. Storks, G.C.B., G.C.M.G.,” PP, 1866, LI, 143.
[11 ]Disraeli, speech of 19 July, col. 1067.
[12 ]Adderley, speech of 31 July, col. 1789.
[13 ]James Fitzjames Stephen (1829–94), barrister, and Edward James (1807–67), M.P. for Manchester.
[14 ]38 George III, c. 19 (1798), Irish Statutes.
[15 ]Mill is quoting from the legal opinion obtained for the Jamaica Committee; cf. “The Jamaica Committee,” The Times, 16 Jan., 1866, p. 3, where much of the material appears. The quoted judgment is found in Thomas Bayley Howell, A Complete Collection of State Trials, 34 vols. (London: Longman, et al., 1809–28), Vol. XXVII, col. 765.
[s-s]TT all penal
[16 ]Not identified.
[17 ]The Articles of War, published annually, codify the military law for governing and disciplining troops for lesser offences. Offences punishable by death are covered by Mutiny Acts; the one here referred to is 28 Victoria, c. 11 (1865).
[18 ]The oath, still in use, was included in the Mutiny Acts up to 1858; see, e.g., 19 Victoria, c. 10 (1856).
[t-t]PD they are now justified
[19 ]Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne Cecil (1830–1903), Lord Cranborne, M.P. for Stamford, Speech on Electoral Statistics (23 Mar., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, col. 876.
[20 ]Disraeli, speech of 19 July, col. 1067.
[u-u]Manuscript know. We stand here to assert the authority and majesty of law. That cause we will not desert or compromise, neither from a weak pity for Governor Eyre because he is a public functionary and a gentleman while those whom he hanged and shot were coloured people and peasants—nor from an idle fear of being called vindictive. It would be well, perhaps, if people were a little more vindictive, for other people’s wrongs, than they are. Vindictiveness of that kind had formerly another name, it was called the love of justice—and used to be strong in Englishmen. I wish I did not think that while we have improved in so many other respects, we have gone back somewhat in this; but I hope there is enough of it left to give us the support without which our efforts must be unavailing. It now remains to be seen whether the British people will sustain us in the attempt to procure a [the manuscript fragment contains only this passage]
[v-v]PD,TT England will support [TT in past tense]
[w-w]PD,TT assert the great principle of the responsibility of all agents of the Executive to the laws, civil and criminal, for taking human life without justification
[1 ]Richard Mayne (1796–1868).
[2 ]William Stuart Knox (1826–1900), Conservative M.P. for Dungannon.
[3 ]A letter purporting to be from Beales to the committee of the Athenaeum, whose property had been damaged during the commotion, was published in The Times, 2 Aug., p. 5; on 3 August (the day this debate was reported), a letter of 2 August from Beales to the editor repudiated the earlier letter as a hoax (The Times, 3 Aug., p. 3).
[c-c]+TT [in the third person, past tense]
[1 ]Code d’instruction criminelle, Bull. 214 bis (17 Nov.-16 Dec., 1808), Bulletin des lois de l’empire français, 4th ser., Livre I, Chap. vi, Sect. iii, Arts. 71–3.
[a-a]TT [in the past tense PD . But]]
[2 ]Just before Mill spoke, by the Attorney General, Hugh MacCalmont Cairns (1819–85), M.P. for Belfast, in his Speech on the Extradition Treaties Act Amendment Bill (3 Aug.), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 2022.
[3 ]Thomas James Hall (1788–1876) had been Chief Magistrate at Bow Street from 1839 to July 1864. For his misapprehension, see Frederick Thesiger (1794–1878), Baron Chelmsford, the Lord Chancellor, Speech on the Extradition Treaties Bill (19 July), ibid., col. 1055.
[4 ]Cf. ibid., col. 1056.
[5 ]The new Act, resulting from the Bill under debate, 29 & 30 Victoria, c. 121, was given royal assent on 10 Aug., 1866. The old Act, 6 & 7 Victoria, c. 75 (1843), was accompanied by a facilitating Act, 8 & 9 Victoria, c. 120 (1845).
[6 ]In the House of Lords, by Thesiger, speech of 19 July, cols. 1054–5, and by George William Frederick Villiers (1800–70), Lord Clarendon, who had served as Foreign Secretary for many years, on the same occasion, cols. 1058–9.
[b-b]TT It was, however, because the French Government wished to call the treaty out of its present condition of being a dead letter that the present Bill was brought in. The French Government, in fact, wished to have such a law as would have compelled the English Government to give up the present Emperor of the French for shooting the sentinel at Boulogne. (Hear, hear.)
[7 ]“Convention between Her Majesty and the King of the French, for the Mutual Surrender, in Certain Cases, of Persons Fugitive from Justice” (13 Mar., 1843), PP, 1867–68, VII, 257.
[8 ]In 1840 at Boulogne, Napoleon III (1808–73), then Louis Napoleon, with fifty-six followers, failed to instigate a rebellion in the 42nd Regiment, with the aim of establishing himself Emperor of France. For an account mentioning his shooting the sentinel referred to in the variant note, see “Enterprise of Prince Louis Napoleon,” The Times, 10 Aug., 1840, pp. 4–5. (He was elected President in December 1848 and, after a successful coup in December 1851, became Emperor in 1852.)
[9 ]Edward Henry Stanley, Motion on the Extradition Treaties Act Amendment Bill (3 Aug.), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 2007–8.
[10 ]Eyre, “Despatch to the Rt. Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P.” (20 Oct., 1865), PP, 1866, LI, 151–60, Sect. 48.
[11 ]Russell Gurney (1804–78), M.P. for Southampton, Speech on the Disturbances in Jamaica (31 July, 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 1833–4.
[c-c]TT [in the third person, past tense PD ; but if the case be genuine, the foreign Power should take the trouble to send over the evidence, and the accused should be tried here.]]
[1 ]Francis Henry Goldsmid (1808–78) made his motion on 6 August (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, cols. 2108–12), proposing that political offenders be exempt from the provisions of the Act. (See No. 39.)
[1 ]Charles Seely (1803–87), in his Speech on Supply—Navy Estimates (1 Mar., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, cols. 1361–2, had asked that his assistants be allowed to confer with the Admiralty’s staff, and that points of dispute be submitted to a professional accountant.
[2 ]Clarence Edward Paget (1811–95), M.P. for Sandwich, Secretary to the Admiralty, indicated (ibid., col. 1366) willingness to explore the issues with Seely. In the event, the Government did not act on Seely’s request.
[1 ]Stanley, Speech on the Extradition Treaties Act Amendment Bill (6 Aug.), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 2114.
[a-a]TT He would suggest something like this:—
[2 ]The originator has not been identified. Edward George Clarke (1841–1931), A Treatise on the Law of Extradition (London: Stevens and Haynes, 1867 ), p. 6, quotes this definition, and attributes it to Mill.
[3 ]6 & 7 Victoria, c. 75, Sect. 1.
[4 ]“The Earl of Clarendon to Earl Cowley” (10 Jan., 1866), in “Correspondence Respecting the Extradition Treaty with France,” PP, 1866, LXXVI, 375–8. Henry Richard Wellesley (1804–84), 1st Earl Cowley, was Ambassador to France.
[5 ]“Memorandum of the Conference at the Foreign Office” (8 Feb., 1866), ibid., p. 390.
[6 ]As in the French Code d’instruction criminelle, Livre I, Chap. vi, Sect. iii, Arts. 71–3.
[1 ]Adderley, speech of 31 July, col. 1787.
[1 ]Peter Rigby Wason (1798–1875) had been M.P. for Ipswich 1832–37, during which time he had been opposed in elections by Fitzroy Kelly. Three decades later, when Kelly’s appointment was announced, Wason wrote to Walpole, the Home Secretary, and to the Prime Minister, objecting on the grounds that Kelly had lied to the election committee that had unseated him after he defeated Wason in 1835. Wason succeeded in bringing the matter before the Lords in the next session, by which time Kelly had responded (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 257–73).