HC Deb 20 December 1830 vol 1 cc1398-9
Sir Robert Peel

having moved the printing of certain Parish Returns, which ought to be in the hands of Members during the approaching recess,

Sir J. Graham

said, he would take that opportunity, in the absence of the noble Lord (Althorp), of stating the intended arrangement of public business. It was to be proposed that the House, at its rising this night, should adjourn till to-morrow; to-morrow it would be moved that it should adjourn at its rising until Thursday; on Thursday it was intended to move, that the House should adjourn for the recess until the 8th of February. On the 15th of February the House would commence with the Election petitions, in the order in which they stood in the book; three ballots would take place on each of two days in the week, viz. three on every Tuesday, and three more on every Thursday, until the House arrived at a series of petitions, all of which were presented in one day: the priority of those would be best decided by putting them into one urn. There was one exception—the petition from Wigan—the sitting Member for that borough having relinquished his seat: the representation was, therefore, so far incomplete, and in order to remedy the defect it was intended to take that petition into consideration first on the 15th February. He mentioned this as the proposed arrangement, without wishing it to be understood that some variation might not be made by circumstances. The principle was, that all the ballots should be completed before Easter.

Sir R. Peel

was quite aware of the circumstances in which Ministers were placed, and of their natural desire to have an interval of time to make certain preparations; but he could not help saying, that he thought the proposed adjournment too long, looking at the very little business that had been already transacted. He had no wish to embarrass Ministers, and he admitted their claim to an opportunity of maturely considering their measures.

Sir J. Graham, in the absence of his colleagues, did not intend to enter into discussion upon the subject; he only meant to give notice, that on Thursday the Adjournment would be moved. The right hon. Baronet had disclaimed all intention to embarrass Government, and he could not but be aware that time for deliberation was absolutely necessary. He hoped, therefore, that the Adjournment required by his Majesty's servants, to the 8th of February, would not be opposed. So far from its being the cause of delay, he thought that this lengthened recess would be actually the means of expediting public business, as it would give Ministers leisure to prepare and adjust measures adapted to the circumstances of the country.