HC Deb 11 March 1825 vol 12 cc990-2

Mr. C. Calvert moved, "That all persons who came to the Committee on this bill have voices."

Mr. Grenfell

deprecated the motion for an open, after the House had appointed a select, committee. From what he had seen of the practice of gentlemen in committees, corning in at the close of the day and voting on matters which they had never heard discussed, he thought that the interests of any bill would be better attended to by a select than an open committee. This he considered a very unfair attempt, and he would make a stand against it.

Mr. Hume

thought, that, after a select committee had been appointed on a bill, it was not quite fair to move that it be an open one, without giving a notice of such motion.

Mr. Calvert

was anxious to have this an open committee, as all others upon which opinions were much divided. It would tend to put an end to the system of canvassing for votes, which had already been carried to such a height. For his own part, he had never canvassed for a vote in those committees. He wished other members could say as much.

Mr. Sumner

said, that the members already appointed were quite sufficient.

Lord Folkestone

said, that as to the objection of several members coming in and voting at the close of the day without having heard the evidence, he did not see how that could be remedied, unless by some law of the House, which would oblige all members to hear every thing which was said upon a question before they voted on it. This, perhaps, would not be found very convenient in the House itself; where large bodies of the members were seen coming down at a late hour to vote on a question, of the arguments on which they had heard not a word. He could not see why an opposition should be made to having this an open committee.

Mr. Alderman Heygate

complained, that none but those known to be favourable to the bill were selected upon it, while not a single member representing places whose interests were hostile to it was named. He therefore would vote, that the committee should be an open one. Indeed, he should wish to see all committees on private bills open, or appointed by the House itself; and not by the members interested in the bill.

Mr. Huskisson

expressed himself favourable to the bill, as he thought the accommodations which those docks would afford were required by the commercial interests of London and the ports; but, as those interests were very general, he would not wish to limit the number on the committee. He therefore would support the motion, that all who came have voices. At the same time he could not but deprecate those daily discussions, in which motives were attributed to hon. members, while acting in the discharge of duties imposed upon them by others.

The motion was agreed to.