HC Deb 23 December 1830 vol 2 cc64-5
Colonel Sibthorp

wished to ask the noble Lord, as he observed that the hon. Member for Bletchingly had been appointed Clerk of the Ordnance, if it was the intention of the Government to fill up the other offices in the Ordnance, such as that of the Treasurer, as they fell vacant? If he understood that such was its intention, he would give notice of a motion for a committee to inquire into the state of that department, the number of persons employed, and the amount of their salaries.

Lord Althorp

begged to remind his hon. friend, that the Government had not filled up the place of Lieutenant-general of the Ordnance. An inquiry had already taken place before the Finance Committee, as to the necessity of keeping up the offices he had alluded to; but the decision was reserved till after the inquiry should have been made into the utility of the offices of Paymaster-general, Treasurer of the Navy, and other offices. When that question was reserved, it was impossible to make any report till the connected question should be decided. A similar course would now be pursued by his Majesty's Government. It was necessary, till the arrangements were made to try how the Ordnance affairs could be conducted, to fill up these offices. The House was not to consider the matter as settled. Steps were to be taken to consolidate the offices of the Ordnance, and to abolish at least two of them.

Colonel Sibthorp

wished to know if the noble Lord thought the Clerk of the Deliveries a useless officer?

Lord Althorp

replied, that when the House again met he should be able to give the hon. Gentleman a satisfactory answer.

Mr. Cutlar Ferguson

deprecated the practice of hon. Members asking questions of the Government, which it was impossible for the Government to answer. It ought to have due time given it to make its own arrangements, and questions ought not to be put to elicit its opinion.

Mr. Ruthven

again attempted to address the House, but was called to order.

Petition to be printed.

Sir A. Chichester

presented a Petition from certain individuals in Belfast, for the repeal of the Coal Duties.