HC Deb 10 March 1809 vol 13 cc267-9
Lord Folkestone

declined moving to rescind the order for a Call of the House, understanding that it was impossible the debate upon the question into which it was just about to enter could be gone through to-night. He therefore thought it necessary to postpone the order for calling over the house until Monday; and thinking it would be improper to follow up the discussion tomorrow, he would take leave, as it had not been proposed on the other side, to make the usual motion, that the house should on its rising adjourn till Monday.

General Gascoyne

observed, that if he forbore to follow up his notice of moving that this order should be discharged, it was not in consequence of any argument that had fallen from the noble lord. But it was his wish to avoid any discussion that might tend to prolong a debate which had already been prolonged to an unreasonable time, and because it was desirable, for the sake of the illustrious person more immediately concerned; for the sake of the public mind, which was so much agitated about it; and through regard to that personage, whose name could not be consistently introduced to influence the debates of that house, that it should be brought to a termination as soon as possible. The house had already been occupied two long nights upon the subject, and he had little doubt that so much sitting up was likely to disable more members from attending the final decision, than the noble lord's Call was capable of collecting. But he hoped the business would be gone through this night. He really thought that if gentlemen would have patience to attend until eight or nine in the morning, if necessary, it would be practicable to bring the question to a vote by that time. There was nothing in fact occasioned delay so much as the frequent adjournments; for thus every man at all inclined was afforded opportunity and encouragement to speak, whereas if it was determined to conclude the discussion in one night, gentlemen of moderate talents would be apt to give way. But if the house went on as it had, and supposing only five members, out of every 100 of which it was com- posed, delivered their sentiments, when in the name of common sense was the discussion likely to close? How few had already spoken considering the length of the debate. But really if gentlemen orators would not contrive to compress their matter within smaller limits, which was very practicable, and confine themselves to a reasonable time, which was highly desirable, he should feel it his duty, perhaps within the present sessions, to move that the two figures at St. Dunstan's church should be placed upon the clock, in order that their striking should apprise those gentlemen the number of hours in which they occupied the attention of the house, and also to produce an effect which was generally necessary, in order to rouse a drowsy meeting. Although he thought it his duty to submit these observations, he still did not mean to oppose the adjournment.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

saw no objection to the motion. But he hoped that no mistaken idea would be entertained that he did not think it probable that the house would come to a division that night, although it was improbable that the debate upon the main question could terminate before Monday. He thought it necessary to protest against any such understanding, lest it might lead many members to withdraw. It was understood to be the. intention of an hon. friend of his (Mr. Bankes) to propose a motion which would lead to a bye discussion upon the proper mode of proceeding, and upon which the house would probably come to a division in the course of this night; still the general question would, as the noble lord stated, stand over until Monday. Although he was not disposed to follow the argument of the hon. general in the gallery, that by staying up until eight or nine in the morning, the house was likely to come fresh to a decision, yet he thought it desirable, and he hoped they would, in order to forward the business, continue its sitting longer than it had yet done upon this subject. The motion of his hon. friend would involve the question, whether the house would adopt an Address or a Resolution, and after this preliminary question should be disposed of, still the general question would remain. Therefore he thought the discussion would go over until Monday.

Lord Folkestone

in explanation said, that the right hon. gent. was under a mistake, if he understood him to state that no divi- sion was likely to take place in the course of this night; as all he meant to say was, that the discussion would not, according to the general understanding, terminate before Monday, and therefore he moved the adjournment, which was agreed to.

Mr. C. W. Wynn,

as the important discussion before the house was about to be continued on Monday, postponed his notice relative to the Duke of York's Letter; he would decline until the main question was decided, to mention any particular day for bringing forward this motion, as also the resumed discussion upon general Clavering's evidence, which stood for Tuesday, and which he also postponed.