HC Deb 09 May 1826 vol 15 cc1051-3

Mr. Huskisson moved the second reading of this bill.

Mr. Sumner

said, that much as he objected to the measure, his objection was still stronger to the introduction of the subject, at an hour which would preclude any discussion; he would therefore move as an amendment, "That the House do now adjourn."

Lord Milton

said, he would make an appeal to the House to go forward with the measure then before it. As the House had already sanctioned the principle of the first question, it would be desirable that the bill founded upon it should proceed; but as to expecting unanimity with respect to it, it would be quite unreasonable. He was anxious to take the present opportunity of asking the right hon. Secretary, whether the two bills now before the House included the whole of the measures intended by government for the relief of the distressed districts? It was well known that a subscription for the relief of the distressed manufacturers had been sanctioned by his majesty's ministers, thus obviously admitting that relief of a pecuniary nature was necessary. The question which he wished to ask them was, whether they were in- clined to propose a grant of a sum of money as a means of relief, or, if it should be proposed by some other quarter, whether it would meet their approbation? Many persons were of opinion that the present was a case of that urgent nature, that it would justify the interposition of parliament in the manner to which he had alluded.

Mr. Secretary Canning

said, that he could not better answer the question of the noble lord, than by informing him, that he had, within a few minutes, communicated with a gentleman, who had a notice of motion upon the subject for tomorrow, requesting him to postpone his motion for a few days; and when that motion was brought forward he would give the noble lord the answer he desired.

Mr. Sumner

again pressed the motion of adjournment.

Mr. Canning

said, that as it appeared to be the general wish of the House that the measure should proceed, and as he felt convinced that it was one which would be greatly for the advantage of the landed interest itself, he was determined to press the second reading that night. But with respect to the second bill (that for the importation of corn), as it was one which would be likely to lead to lengthened discussion, he would not bring it forward that night, but would defer it to afford a more convenient opportunity for going into that discussion.

Sir E. Knatchbull

said, that if he understood the right hon. gentleman to pledge himself not to bring forward the second bill that night, he would consent to the present, and he hoped his hon. friend would be induced not to press his amendment. He was the more inclined to throw out this suggestion, as he found that the opinions of the great majority seemed to be in favour of going on with the first question. He therefore thought it better to let it proceed, and wait for the discussion of the second measure.

Sir J. Sebright

concurred with the hon. member who had just sat down. It would, he thought, be advisable to allow the first bill to proceed, and he hoped the hon. member would not press his opposition.

Sir T. Lethbridge

said, he hoped his hon. friend would listen to the wish of the House regarding the present proposition, and would see that he could not serve the feeling, which all in that House were anxious to promote, by persisting in his motion.

Mr. H. Sumner

observed, that all he could say to the hon. member for Somerset was, that those who thought the present measure was one of no importance to the landed interest might consent to it; but, for himself, he had always been of opinion, that the measure was not only unnecessary, but calculated to injure the interests of the landed proprietors. Having those sentiments, he must act for himself; and if he stood alone, he would take the sense of the House upon it.

Mr. Tremayne

concurred with the hon. member who spoke last, in thinking the measure uncalled for. There was nothing in the state of the country since the 18th of April which could render it necessary. After the full discussion, and the solemn decision to which the House had then come, he thought no alteration ought to be made in the Corn-laws. He would therefore support the amendment.

The House then divided:—For the original motion 174; For the amendment 2. The bill was then read a second time.