HC Deb 28 January 1818 vol 37 cc65-6
The Lord Advocate

of Scotland, having learned that a noble lord had yesterday fixed his motion on the subject of the state prosecutions in Scotland for that day fortnight: but had expressed, at the same time, a wish to consult, as much as possible, his (the lord advocate's) personal convenience, by naming any other day that might be more suitable to him, he now informed that noble lord, that as far as his personal convenience was concerned, he would not call on him to alter his notice; but the noble lord must be aware, that the absence of an individual in the situation which he filled, for any length of time, must be attended with great inconvenience to others, as well as to himself. The courts in Scotland were all sitting at this time, and in the court of exchequer the presence of the king's advocate was more particularly necessary. He was quite anxious and ready to go immediately into the question. If the noble lord could bring it on in the beginning of next week he should be ready—or indeed any day during the week; but if the noble lord could not bring his motion on next week, he hoped it would be postponed till after the rising of the Scotch courts.

Lord A Hamilton

said, the learned lord had placed him in rather an awkward predicament, It must be manifest to the House that this was not a question between himself and the learned lord. He was willing to postpone the question to any day, not exceeding a month or five weeks from the present time. But the learned lord asked a delay of a much longer period. The court of session would not rise till the 12th of March, and from the time when the learned lord could reach London to the Easter holydays, there would only be one single day for his motion, namely, Tuesday, the 17th of March. Now he would ask, if it was a fair thing to request of him to consent to such a delay? With respect to the. other request of the learned lord, he, for his own part, could have no objection to accede to it, if he were the only person interested in the question, but if the subject was brought on so soon, it would prevent some members from taking a part in the discussion, who had been informed that the motion would not come on before a certain day, and who could not have an opportunity of being informed of his change of intention. He was quite willing, however, to put oft' his motion for three, four, or even five weeks.

The Speaker

observed, that it was extremely unusual to accelerate a motion of which notice had been given, by fixing afterwards an earlier day. Such a mode of proceeding was not consistent with the practice of the House, and would be attended with great inconvenience.

Here the conversation dropped.

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