HC Deb 29 August 1833 vol 20 c907
Sir Robert Inglis

, on presenting the forty-second report from the Select Committee on Public Petitions, took that opportunity to observe, that there had been presented a greater number of petitions than had ever been presented during any former Session of Parliament, and that the House had sat a much longer time than had distinguished any previons Session. It might be deemed a cruel mockery to compare their labours with the factory labours; yet a slight reference to facts would show that the duties of Members of that House had been severe in the extreme, judging from the duration of time. It appeared by a very ably drawn paper, that the House had sat twice as many days as some former Sessions, and nearly three times as many hours as the Session of 1826; during which, the House of Commons sat sixty-four days, and 457 hours. Even during the long Reform Session of 1831, the House sat only ninety-eight days or 918 hours; but up to yesterday, the House had sat during the present Session 142 days, and 1,270 hours. The Session of 1806 had lasted 125 days, and 645 hours, an average of five hours a-day. In 1811, the House sat 135 days, and 588 hours, being an average of four hours and a half a-day. In 1814 it sat 127 days, and 476 hours, being an average of less than four hours a-day. As he had already stated, the present Session had sat 1,270 hours. Before Easter the House had often sat nine hours a-day; since Easter it had often sat considerably more than twelve hours a-day; the average for the whole Session, however, was nine hours a-day. He begged to remark, that the results which he had here detailed were not stated from inquiries of his own, but they were the details of a most intelligent and valuable officer of the House (Mr. Rickman); but in whose presence he would say no more. They were partly derived from the examination of the "votes" of the present Session, and partly from the report of the Select Committee of which Sir Robet Peel was Chairman; and for some of the most curious particulars laid before that Committee, they were indebted to the same intelligent officer.

Report to be printed.