HC Deb 07 March 1831 vol 3 cc174-5
The Marquis of Chandos

wished to know from the noble Lord, when he meant to move the second reading of the Reform Bill? It WHS important that the House should be in possession of his intentions, as it was rumoured that it was meant not to take the second reading till after Easter.

Lord Althorp

had only to say, in answer to the noble Marquis's question, that Ministers were determined to have, if possible, the discussions on the second reading of the Bill over before Easter, He meant to move the second leading on Monday se'nnight, by which day the Bill would have been about three weeks before the House and the public, so as to admit of a thorough discussion of its provisions; and he trusted they would be found unobjectionable.

Lord Ebrington

thought it but fair in his noble relative, after the courteous answer which he had received to his question, to state the object he had in view in putting it, and the course he meant to pursue in consequence of the noble Lord's explicit answer.

The Marquis of Chandos

. — The course I mean to pursue is this,— if the second reading of the Bill be delayed beyond the day specified by the noble Lord opposite, I shall feel it my duty to exercise my right, as a Member of Parliament, and oppose the proceedings of his Majesty's Ministers, either in going into a Committee of Supply, or in opposing the Mutiny Bills.

Sir James Graham

. —In that case, the noble Marquis shall not long want an opportunity of bringing his menace to the test, for I now, Sir, move the Order of the Day for the third reading of the Mutiny Bill.

An hon. Member intimated, that he had had an understanding that evening with the right hon. Secretary at War, that the Army Mutiny Bill should not be read a third time before Thursday or Friday next.

Sir J. Graham

was not aware of the arrangement just mentioned, and would in consequence postpone the Motion till tomorrow evening, by which time his right hon. friend would be in his place to explain to the hon. Member the conditions of his promise. The right hon. Baronet then moved the third reading of the Marine Mutiny Bill.

Sir E. Knatchbull

deprecated conversations of the nature that had just taken place.

Sir J. Graham

could not help saying, that the noble Marquis had taken a course, which might be attended with extreme inconvenience, and even danger, as the Mutiny Act was about to expire. He hoped that there was nothing in his manner beyond what was justified by his public duty, which he intended to pursue with firmness, but without personal allusions to any man.

Mr. Goulburn

thought, that as the Military Mutiny Bill was postponed, there could be no inconvenience in postponing the Marine Mutiny Bill.

Lord Althorp

explained, that as the law was about to expire, it was necessary to forward the Bill.

Bill read a third time and passed.