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on the commercial prosperity not only of this metropolis, but of the country at large.
I cannot meet you to-day without having one recalled to my memory who used to sit on my left hand on all former occasions, and who was honoured and beloved by this Corporation, and justly so, as its Deputy Master. Captain Shepheard was one of those unobtrusive but noble characters whose sterling qualities of head and heart secured to him the confidence of all who knew him; and I can appeal to no greater proof of the estimation in which he was held than the fact that he was at once Deputy Master of this Corporation, Chairman of the East India Company, and Chairman of the Hudson's Bay Company. His successor, like himself, is an Aberdeenshire man, but, unlike him, has passed his life in the Royal Navy, and not the merchant service. I can wish him no better success than to possess the approbation of his brethren in an equal degree with his predecessor! I propose to you to drink his health, and Prosperity to the Corporation of the Trinity House.
We are honoured by the presence of Her Majesty's Ministers. The Corporation is much
gratified at their having found it possible, amidst the many avocations and duties which so peculiarly press upon them during the Parliamentary season, to devote an evening to the Trinity House. I propose to you to drink their health. We can wish them nothing better than good health, to enable them to withstand the fatigues of their laborious and harassing life; and by making the fullest use of their talents and energies, to gain that public recognition and confidence upon which so much of their success and usefulness must depend. This is not a political meeting, and we cautiously abstain from alluding to politics; whilst, therefore, the Ministers escape our criticism, they must also forego our praise ; but we can give them what may be more valuable to them than either—the expression of our esteem and good will.
“Lord Palmerston and Her Majesty's Minis66 ters.”
We must not omit to acknowledge the presence of some of our Honorary Brethren, whose admission to our body sheds lustre upon the Corporation. The known presence of their names upon our Roll gives the public an assurance that
we are well thought of and well looked after by some of the best in the land,
I beg to drink to the health of Lord Derby and the Honorary Brethren.
Brethren of the Trinity House, -Let us, before separating, thank our guests for the honour they have done and the pleasure they have given us by their presence at our annual dinner; and let us drink to their health and happiness. I beg to couple this toast with the name of the Duke of Newcastle.
ON OPENING THE
INTERNATIONAL STATISTICAL CONGRESS.
[HELD IN LONDON, JULY 16Th, 1860.]
THE Statistical Congress of All Nations has - been invited by the Government to hold its fourth meeting in this metropolis, in conformity with the wishes expressed by the late Congress held at Vienna in 1857. Although under these circumstances it would have been more properly within the province of a member of the Government, and Minister of the Crown, to fill this Chair, and open the proceedings of the day, as has been the case in previous meetings of the Congress in other places, the nature of the institutions and the habits of the people of the country in which this Assembly was to take place could not fail to make itself felt and to influence its organization. We are a people possessing and enjoying the most intense political life, in which every question of interest or importance to the nation is publicly canvassed and debated; the whole nation, as it were, from the highest to the lowest, takes an active part in these debates, and arrives at a judgment with regard to them, on the collective result of the thoughts and opinions thus called forth.
This Congress could therefore only be either a private meeting of the delegates of different Governments, discussing special questions of interest in the midst of the general bustle of political activity, or it had to assume a public and a national character, addressing itself to the public at large, and inviting its co-operation. The Government have chosen the latter alternative, and have been met by the readiest response from all sides. They have, I think, wisely chosen; for it is of the utmost importance to the object the Congress has in view—namely, not only the diffusion of statistical information, but also the acquisition of a general acknowledgment of the usefulness and importance of this branch of human knowledge—that the public, as a whole, should take up the questions which are intended to be investigated, and should lend its powerful aid.
Gentlemen, this explains, and must serve as an apology for, my presuming to hold the post