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Sketches in Parliament

The Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1272, p. 142.

August 6, 1864


...On the Thursday a remarkable occurrence took place. It was in the afternoon, and there were certainly not more than ten or twelve members present, and the Government was represented only by Mr. Layard, when Lord Edward Howard, who had placed on the paper a motion, very modest in its terms, with regard to emigration to America, rose, and in that simple but earnest manner which belongs to him, and which gives every one who hears him the impression that they are listening to an honest man of kindly feelings and warm sympathies, delivered a statement of facts the relation of which kept the small audience present, as it would have kept a larger one, enchained for the whole time he was speaking. His disclosure of the system of kidnapping Englishmen and Irishmen as recruits for the Federal army, and his irresistible statements of the disappointments and sufferings of emigrants who, escaping the perilous devices of crimps who have learnt their business in the school of the slave-trade, attempt to utilise their labour in what they believe to be a new and more favourable field than their own country affords them, struck so much conviction into the minds of those that heard this Parliamentary speech, that Mr. Layard declared that the best remedy for the evil would be the dissemination of that address amongst those whom it most concerned; and Mr. Ferrand, in his impulsive way, asked if the Government would not print and circulate it in the form of a pamphlet. Lord Edward himself made an earnest appeal to th agents of the "ordinary channels of information" to present him to the public in the most unquestionable shape that their art could mould. For the first time, perhaps, in the annals of Parliament the Reporter's Gallery was directly addressed, the Speaker being for the time ignored....

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