§ Sir George Clerk
rose to present a Petition, very respectably signed, against the Bill for Legislative Reform—[cries of "Order, order."] The hon. Member said, he was willing to do his duty to the petitioners, if the House would allow him; if not, he must attempt it on another occasion.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
observed, that as the measure of Reform consisted of three Bills—one Bill for England, another for Ireland, and a third for Scotland, it would be very desirable, since they were all three parts of the same measure, that some idea should be given to the House as to the particular details of each measure, before they came to a division on the second reading of the Reform Bill for England.
intimated, that the Bill for Ireland was ready, and might be brought in at any time that was deemed to be convenient; but as it was agreed amongst his colleagues, whenever that Bill was brought forward, that it would be desirable that he should enter somewhat more extensively, and more in detail, into the subjects, of the Bill, than had been hitherto judged advisable, it was also concluded, whilst there was so much anxiety abroad on the subject of the Reform Bill before the House, that there should be no fresh topic of excitement introduced upon another branch of the Reform measure, and he had, therefore, abstained from bringing forward the Bill at present.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
expressed it as his opinion, that the House would be better prepared to come to a decision on this Bill by being informed what were the principal enactments of the Bill for Ireland.
Lord J. Russell
said, he had forty or fifty Petitions to present in favour of the Bill; and other friends of his had each a number of similar petitions to present. Under such circumstances, he could see no reason why the House, acting on an understood Order for its convenience, after choosing to proceed only to further business after such an hour as had now long since elapsed, should violate that rule solely to let in the anti-Reform Petition bf the hon. member for Edinburghshire, whilst so many persons had been precluded from an opportunity of presenting those in favour of Reform. He trusted, therefore, there would be no objection made by the hon. Member to the Order of the Day being read.—Agreed to.