§ Lord Althorp,
in rising to move the Order of the Day for the House to resolve itself into Committee on the Reform of Parliament (Ireland) Bill, begged to ask the Speaker a question. When they were last in Committee, his hon. friend, the member for Mayo, wished to introduce an amendment to disfranchise certain towns in Ireland, for the purpose of enfranchising certain others. He thought that his hon. friend could not move such an amendment without an instruction from the House. He had been since informed, that it was competent for his hon. friend to move his amendment in Committee, without a previous instruction. Certainly that would be the more convenient course, but he wished to ask as to the point of form.
§ The Speaker
, before putting the question on the reading of the Order of the Day, would answer the question of the noble Lord. It was no doubt competent to the hon. Gentleman to offer the amendment, of which he had given notice in Committee. The House knew that instructions were only necessary to give a power to a Committee to do acts which the Committee would not otherwise have power to do. Under any other circumstances they were, to say the least of them, useless; for they took up the time of the House by a discussion which could lead to no result. They had also this bad effect; that they went, to a certain extent, to limit the freedom of the Committee, the question involved in the proposed instruction having been prejudged by the House. Any amendment of the description of that proposed by the hon. Gentleman, could be moved in Committee, provided it did not go to alter a part of the Bill previously agreed to, for the Committee could not go back. If he understood the nature of the amendment, its place in the Committee would be after the Bill had been gone through; so that 161 the hon. Gentleman had not lost anything by the delay. The question was, that the Order of the Day for the House resolving itself into Committee on the Reform of Parliament (Ireland) Bill he read?
Mr. Dominick Browne
said, that he would move in the Committee the Amendment, for which it had been his intention to move an instruction to the Committee.