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Hansard trawling for 1859, featuring the wishes of Zouaves, the attention span of George III and cows in Hyde Park.

In part because the 1909 sitting for today is exceptionally dull, and in part because a request for 1859 was made yesterday.

Odd things afoot in Hyde Park:

"MR. W. EWART said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether there is any prospect that the large space near the middle of Hyde Park recently enclosed with iron railings, so as to exclude the public, would be restored for the use and recreation of the public.

MR. FITZROY said, he was afraid he could give no more satisfactory answer to the question now than he gave when it was put to him on a former occasion. Some two years ago great objection was made to giving the cows in the park unrestricted liberty of roaming over the ground, and the cows were consequently removed to an enclosure, and sheep were substituted in their place. The alteration was made to meet the convenience of the public; and if the public wished to again give the cows the range of the whole park, instead of confining them to their present restricted area, he thought the old system must be reverted to".

A reasonable enough answer. I suppose the park counted as common land, hence the outbreak of grazing. Wonder where the cow sheds, milking parlours were? Probably not in Knightsbridge.

Italy - what to do....

MR. SCULLY said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Sovereign of the Roman States has finally accepted or declined the position of President over the Confederate States of Italy; and whether, in the event of the Sovereign Pontiff accepting that office, it is intended on the part of Her Majesty's Government to adopt effectual steps for establishing direct diplomatic relations with the Court of Rome?

VISCOUNT PALMERSTON said, that, as he would not be able to speak twice on the Motion before the Chair, he would delay his answer.

Oh aye. Not avoiding the question at all then. As a bit of background, the unification of Italy was not complete at the time, and the French had just fought the Hapsburg Empire in alliance with Savoy. And won... Taking some chunks of Italy as a pourboire.

Honesty the best policy?

"MR. BENTINCK said, he rose to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether there is any intention on the part of Her Majesty's Government to reduce the Naval Armament of the Country. The question involved considerations of such importance that he should beg the indulgence of the House for a few moments while he stated the grounds upon which he was induced to put it at that particular period. He would admit at the outset that the question was suggested solely by public rumour, but the subject affected so closely not only the honour and the interests, but the very existence of this country as a nation, that he was sure it would be received as more than a sufficient reason for the course he had adopted, and an ample justification for his pressing for a clear and conclusive answer on the part of the Government

Precious of the current lot would be that up front....

The national defences:

"Mr Horsman - The question of the national defences had only to be mentioned in that House to excite a feeling of general interest, and he believed the feeling of that House on the subject was a very inadequate representation of that which prevailed throughout the country. They had just been called on by the Government to make a large increase in the taxes of the year, and the reason on which that demand was grounded was the necessity of adding to our national defences. This year our armaments would cost us £26,000,000, and in order to meet that enormous outlay we should have to submit to an augmentation of the most odious and exceptional of all our imposts. In a time of profound peace we were about to nearly double the income tax, and there was a general disposition throughout the country to inquire whence the great exigency arose"
...
All those armaments and that taxation were necessitated by one cause—namely, the fear of an attack from France—why should they not say it? France knew it, and said it—and all Europe knew it, and said it—and no one differed about it in that House, except perhaps the Member for Birmingham, who disputed the necessity, and the Ministers of the Crown, with whom it would be a breach of etiquette to confess the motive.
...
Every one knew that if in any future wax-that might occur a French general were to laud in England, he would bring with him every soldier for whom transport could he found. It would be for invaders and invaded a life and death struggle. That army would leave its own ports an exultant and, by anticipation, a victorious army. From the moment it landed on the shores of England it would have to fight its way with the desperation of a forlorn hope, and within two or three weeks of the landing of the first Zouave either it would be completely annihilated or London would be taken. It would he less a war than a surprise, and its suddenness would be one element in the calculation of its success.
...
The Member for Birmingham, for instance, as an independent Member of that House, and acting on his individual responsibility, expressed fearlessly what he held consistently, and he had a perfect right to believe that there was not a Zouave in the French army who would not prefer a remission of the wine duties to the sack of London"

Horsman died in Biarritz, by the way.

And over in the Lords

The Liturgy of the Church of England:

"LORD EBURY presented a Petition from the clergy of the Church of England, for a Revision of the Liturgy of the Church of England. His Lordship said that the petitioners prayed the House to address the Queen to appoint a Commission to revise the Liturgy, a subject which he maintained was regarded by all the thinking portion of the national Church as of paramount importance; and he fancied their Lordships would he disposed to attach greater weight to the petition from the fact that it was signed, not by the laity, but by upwards of 500 clergymen of the Church of England".
....

THE BISHOP OF LONDON said, he was sure there was no man less inclined to mislead their Lordships on this question than his noble Friend (Lord Ebury), nor was there any man who had more at heart the best interests of the Church of England. But their Lordships had been led to believe that what the noble Lord desired was simply to shorten the services of the Church...He was ready to admit that this was an object which a great body of the laity, both enlightened and unenlightened, desired; but he did not think that the right way to shorten the services was to take the course which the petitioners desired.
....

VISCOUNT DUNGANNON concurred in all that had fallen from the noble Earl, and expressed his astonishment that any objection should be raised to our most beautiful and impressive Burial service.

LORD BROUGHAM said, he thought that House a most unfit assembly to discuss questions of a theological character. No doubt there were many parts of the Liturgy which might be amended, or at least shortened; but matters of this kind were better left in the hands of the right rev. Bench....it was related by Dr. Paley that he was once at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, when that Creed was read in the presence of George III. When it was commenced His Majesty did not make the usual responses, and the clergyman, thinking this was from inadvertence, began again, whereupon the King shut his book, and, as Dr. Paley said, "left him to go on with his 'Whosoever,' by himself." George III., therefore, as well as Dr. Paley—one of the most useful champions of the Church—did not look upon this Creed as fit to be retained—he meant in respect of the condemnatory words".

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