presented a Petition from New Milns, against the Business of the House being carried on at night, and to such late hours.
§ Mr. Cobbett
supported the last petition. The public was entitled to the best hours of the House. All night-work should, if possible, be avoided. Birds of ill-omen—bats—toads—and all noxious things, did their work at night. The Lord Chief Justice came into Court at ten o'clock in the morning. Why, then, could not they, 560 who were the law-makers, commence their business at the same hour as those who had to execute the law? He had already ten petitions on the subject, and he trusted soon to have 100. He should then present them in a mass. In conclusion, he stated, that in his opinion the people would never be satisfied unless the House bestowed their best hours upon public business. If any sufficient number of Members would support him, which he doubted not, he would move the adjournment of the House every night at a seasonable hour.
concurred in the prayer of the petition. He would not, however, take part in any vexatious proceeding, but submit the question to the good sense of the House. Something had been said respecting the inconvenience to Ministers if the House met in the day time. He did not exactly see that such great inconvenience would arise, but at all events, the Ministers should rather be considered as the servants of the House than its masters.
§ Lord Althorp
said, that his Majesty's Ministers would not place their convenience in opposition to the wish of the House, should the House prefer day-sittings.
§ Mr. Matthias Attwood
remarked, that it was not a little singular that those very persons who were so particularly anxious respecting the time which the House devoted to business, were the first to waste that time by long and protracted debates.
Petition laid on the Table,