HC Deb 19 April 1833 vol 17 cc323-6
Lord Althorp,

before moving the Order of the Day for the House going into a Committee of Supply, wished to ask the hon. member opposite (Mr. Matthias Attwood) if he intended to persist in bringing forward his motion set down for that day? He thought that so important a motion ought not to come before the House merely by way of Amendment, but as a substantive motion. And therefore, if that hon Member persisted, he would not move the Order of the Day, but he trusted that the hon. Member would give way, and put off his motion till Monday.

Mr. Matthias Attwood

said, it would appear from all he had heard on the subject, as if it would be impossible that his Motion should be brought forward to-night without the greatest disadvantage and inconvenience being incurred and without exciting feelings that, if he persevered in the Motion, it would be calculated to embarrass the Government. For the purpose of at once freeing himself from an imputation which he felt he did not deserve, he should state in the outset that he was willing to postpone his motion. At the same time he felt bound to state, that it was not above a fortnight since the subject had been mentioned with a view to fixing the period for its introduction to the House, and he had heard nothing of public business interfering with his motion of to-night until yesterday, and then it appeared, according to the statement made to him, that Ministers wanted this evening for purposes connected with supply, which, unless they could carry into effect, the greatest possible inconvenience and disadvantage would be occasioned to the public service; and indeed the matter had been stated to him so strongly as almost to induce him to think that scarcely could the public payments be made if to-night were refused the Ministers for supply. Now, however, he found that the noble Lord proposed not that the House should give up the night to supply, but to the consideration of the Budget. He asked the noble Lord, if he ever knew of such a motion as that which he now proposed, to make being brought on after one night's notice, to the interruption of a proposition long fixed for discussion? On this point he could not help going back to the very similar manner in which several other motions of the same description with his own had been put off by the Government, particularly that of the hon. member for Birmingham, and that of the hon. member for Lincolnshire, relative to the repeal of the Malt-tax, which had been coolly put off by some member of the Government moving as an Amendment, that the House should proceed to discuss some matter relative to Ireland. It was a most extraordinary thing that matters so intimately referring to the dreadful distresses of this country should be thus delayed and dallied with by a Reforming Ministry and Reformed House of Commons. He was perfectly at a loss to understand how the business of the country was to be carried on, if the Government were allowed to interpose with these repeated interruptions. They created the most lamentable confusion and delay. He thought that the motion he had wished to bring forward was most intimately connected with the public welfare; however, he must, of course, give way, for he knew that many Members who went entirely with him in his views on the subject, yet supported Ministers in this proceeding, from a notion of not obstructing public business, or embarrassing the Government, and that what sup port he might receive, if he persisted, would be reluctantly granted on the same supposed grounds. He himself would be one of the last either to embarras Ministers or obstruct public business. On the contrary he wished to expedite it; and as such appeared to be the wish of the House, he would consent to postpone his Motion, provided the noble Lord would pledge himself that on Monday the motion should not be again postponed.

Lord Althorp

said, that nothing but a consideration of what was due to the public service induced him to pursue the present course. It was very true, that his right hon. friend the Secretary to the Treasury had told the hon. Gentleman that the Ordnance Estimates were very pressing; and his right him friend thought that they might be brought forward to night. It was, however, found subsequently that they might be postponed, and therefore be had proposed to avail himself of this evening to bring forward his financial statement. He would frankly tell the hon. Gentleman, that he thought it desirable that the financial statement should be heard before the hon. Gentleman's member was gone into, and his proposition was made with that view. He was glad the hon. Gentleman permitted him to make his statement before the motion was brought forward. So far as he himself was concerned, he would be ready to give the hon. Gentleman every possible facility for bringing on the question on Monday next. He would now move the Order of the Day for going into a Committee of Supply.

Mr. Attwood's Motion postponed.

The House then resolved into a Committee of Supply