HC Deb 02 March 1819 vol 39 cc776-7
Mr. Wynn

said, he had understood last night that it was the intention of the noble lord opposite to subdivide the committee which he had obtained into sub-committees, to each of which a particular branch of the great enquiry on which he had embarked the House, would be confided. This was contrary to the rules and practice of parliament for at least one hundred years, and he now wished to know whether the noble lord intended to move that such power be granted to his committee.

Lord Castlereagh

said, that he had no such intention, and that the members of the committee would make the best arrangements amongst themselves to examine the information which had been or should be collected.

Mr. Wynn

wished to inquire of the Chair, whether such proceedings could be carried on, and whether committees were to be allowed to divide themselves into sub-committees. He contended that it could not be done without the special consent of the House. He had looked over the Journals, and found that in 1640, such a power had been declared to reside in grand committees only. In 1661, and 1667, several instances had occurred, in which that power had been granted by the House upon very particular grounds being shown. But since that period, no other instance whatever had taken place. Regarding such a practice as of a most dangerous tendency, if such a motion was to be made, he trusted that a day would be fixed for its consideration, in order that he might take the sense of the House upon it.

The Speaker

, if the appeal of the hon. member was intended for him, had no doubt in stating, that when a subject was delegated to a committee, it was delegated entire to every member of which that committee was composed. The House limited the numbers of the committee for that purpose.