§ Sir Edward Hyde East
rose to propose a Speaker for the choice of the House. The honorable Member was understood to say, that when a new Parliament was assembled, it was essential to their future proceedings that they should obey the invitation they had received, and choose a Speaker. That was the first act the Commons had to perform. For a Speaker they ought to choose a person of the greatest ability, and possessing a character of the highest integrity—a person who by his worth and talents was fit and proper to represent the House of Commons, in all 3 its proceedings before the eyes of the country, in its relations to the other House of Parliament, and in its communications with the Throne itself. They ought to choose a person who was capable, both by his public talents and his private virtues, to confer dignity on the proceedings of Parliament. In calling on the Members to make such a choice, he should not have thought himself entitled to claim their attention, had he not been assured that the Gentleman to whom he should propose that they should do the honour of offering the chair was a person already well acquainted with all the great interests and with all the wishes of the House; and that he was only giving expression to a desire which must be felt by every Gentleman of the House. They ought to choose a person of a high description, who was impressed with a necessity of preserving order in their proceedings, who had abilities to preserve that order, and who had, moreover, eloquence, grace, and dignity, to give effect to the proceedings of the House. He should be a person of great constitutional knowledge, well versed in the orders and forms of proceeding of the House, able to express the sentiments of the House as well to an individual appearing at the bar as to the other great branches of the Legislature. Besides the knowledge which was requisite to fill this great office efficiently, it was necessary, as every Member knew who had been engaged in private business, that the Speaker should be a gentleman of frank, conciliating, intelligent manners, not only able to give effect to the public acts of the House, but to give that information to individual Members which was necessary to facilitate the performance of their duties. There was no one qualification necessary and proper to execute the duties of this high office which had not been exhibited, as the House and the country well knew, by the right hon. Gentleman who had filled it for four successive Parliaments, and who had in an exemplary manner performed those duties, both private and public, which it was so important to the House should be well performed. He might say a great deal more in his praise, but it was unnecessary, when, from long acquaintance, it must be known to every Member of former Parliaments, that there was not one virtue, nor any species of ability necessary to fill that high station, and give effect to the proceedings of the House 4 in the eyes of the country, which that gentleman did not possess. His merits were known to all the Members, and to the country at large. He would not further trespass on their time, but at once propose "That the right hon. Charles Manners Sutton be chosen Speaker."
§ Mr. N. Calvert
said, that the House required as Speaker, a Gentleman able to preserve order in its proceedings, well acquainted with constitutional law, and with all the forms of the House; endowed with good temper, and of great impartiality. He should be a person easy of access, and whose gentlemanly manners would ensure him the support of all the Members, and to whom all might with pleasure refer all doubtful points, particularly of private business. He had looked over the list of representatives, and he had not been able to find one gentleman so well qualified to fill the office of Speaker as his right hon. friend, Mr. Manners Sutton, and he therefore had great pleasure in seconding the Motion.
§ Sir Joseph Yorke
observed, that if ever there was a time when, from the state of public affairs, it was necessary, in order to gain the confidence of the Members, and give full effect to the proceedings of the House, that they ought to choose a proper person as Speaker, the present was the time. He concurred in all that had fallen from the Mover and Seconder. He was sure that there was not in the House a single person better qualified—that there was no one equal, he would not say—for amidst all the Members of the House, men of talents, of different professions, of great virtue and integrity, some equally proper person might be found; but he must say, that from the great suavity of the individual named, as well as his great knowledge, he was a fit and proper person to fill the Chair in as tremendous times as ever any man was called to fill it in.
§ Mr. Manners Sutton
Long as it has been my pride to be the servant of the House, and frequently as I have had occasion to address it, yet it is impossible for me entirely to divest myself of embarrassment, and not to feel some distrust of myself in returning my thanks to my hon. friends who have proposed me to the House as a fit and proper person for the high office of Speaker, as well as for the terms in which they were pleased to express their sentiments of me; I must also acknowledge the speech of the Gal- 5 lant Admiral, and his great kindness and cordiality. I would beg them to believe that I feel the great kindness and obligation with which the House received, and one of them made, and the other seconded, the motion. I think it most respectful to the House of Commons at once to declare that I am proud to submit to its will. If the House places me in this situation, I shall with pride and devotedness exert myself to maintain all its rights and privileges; and to the extent of my abilities I will discharge all the duties of the station. I know, from some experience, that the difficulties of the situation are not small, but experience has also taught me that honesty of purpose, and earnest and strict impartiality, will ensure the encouragement, the support, and the protection of the House. [The right hon. Gentleman was voted into the chair by acclamation, and conducted into it by the mover and Seconder.] When the right hon. Gentleman had taken the chair, he said, I am most anxious that the House should believe that I am not indifferent to these expressions, and that I am deeply grateful for the honour conferred on me. I beg to assure the House that I am deeply sensible of this mark of its confidence, and that I will do all in my power to deserve it.