HC Deb 11 March 1834 vol 22 cc61-3

Sir Andrew Agnew moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enable Local Authorities to change Saturday and Monday Fairs and Markets to other days.

Mr. Philip Howard

opposed the Motion. He was decidedly opposed to granting local authorities such an extent of arbitrary power as would be allowed them under the proposed Bill. To give them the power of changing the fairs and markets of the whole country was giving them a power which they should not possess, and which, if exercised, would spread alarm, discontent, and mischief, through the entire country. In fact, it would interfere with the mercantile transactions of society, and disturb all the commercial and agricultural relations of the kingdom. If it were designed to cure one evil, it would produce many. He could not conceive how that multiplication of Bills could tend to a better observance of the Sabbath.

Mr. O'Connell

concurred with the hon. Member who had just spoke, and must really suggest to the hon. Baronet that he was rather premature in thus bringing on his third Bill before he had made sure of the two first, or the first. The House had merely given him leave to introduce the Bills; they said nothing about allowing them to pass. The hon. Baronet, while he was about it, seemed determined to cut the working part of the week short enough, or rather too short; for no sooner had the House allowed him so far to have his way about his Sunday Bill, than he set to work upon Saturdays and Mondays. This was rather too much.

Sir Matthew White Ridley

observed, that if there was any Bill which contained little or nothing objectionable, it was this. It merely gave a power to Magistrates to change the days on which a fair or market might be held, and he saw no mischief that could ensue from depositing this power in their hands.

Mr. Mark Philips

said, that great inconvenience would ensue from such a Bill. The town which he had the honour to represent, had its market-day on a Saturday, and one of the great Smithfield market days was held on a Monday. He presumed it was intended by the hon. Baronet to close the manufactories at an early hour on the Saturday in order to allow the artizans to go to market early on the Saturday afternoon, but he thought this object hardly attainable.

Lord Morpeth

said, that as an opposition had been offered to this pacific measure, he felt it his duty to remind the House that he had formerly presented a petition from a large number of the graziers of Skipton, whose prayer was in accordance with the spirit of the Bill proposed to be introduced. He thought that this fact showed that no practical inconvenience would ensue on the enactment of the proposed measure.

Mr. Gisborne's

objection to this Bill lay against investing Magistrates with so much power. As for the measure itself, it was so exceedingly preposterous, that he should not waste any observations upon it. In almost all county towns the market was held on the Saturday. He hoped the House would not entertain the Motion.

Sir John Wrottesley

maintained, that the effect of the measure sought to be introduced by the hon. Baronet, would be to displace all the subsisting arrangements which related to the times of holding fairs and markets. In the country many small towns depended on their market in a great degree; and if the market-day of any large town, Birmingham for instance, were to be changed from Saturday to some other day in the week, the consequence would be the ruin of the smaller towns in its neighbourhood, whose market-day would thus be fixed for the same day on which Birmingham market was held. As far as his own observation had extended, he thought that a great improvement was visible of late years in the general observance of the Sabbath. But if, in order more effectually to guard against the profanation of it, Saturday and Monday were to be taken out of the list of market-days, all existing arrangements would be completely deranged, and the greatest confusion created.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that if leave were given to bring in the Bill, that would not pledge the House to the provisions of it more than the House was pledged to the provisions of the former Bill. It was better to let all the Bills be brought in, that the House might see the whole plan. The present Bill might be considered one of the wings of the previous Bill. He (Sir R. Peel) by voting for the Motion was not pledged to the provisions of the Bill; but if they rejected the present Bill, it would imply ipso facto that they admitted the principle of the other Bills.

The House divided—Ayes 137; Noes 181: Majority 44.

List of the AYES.
Astley, Sir Jacob Clive, Hon. R.
Attwood, M. Curteis, H. B.
Baines, E. Curteis, G. B.
Bewes, T. Dalmeny, Lord
Bell, M. Dugdale, W. S.
Blackstone, W. S. Duncannon, Viscount
Bentinck, Lord G. Dundas, Captain
Blandford, Marq. of Dunlop, Captain
Blaney, Hon. C. Eastnor, Viscount
Brocklehurst, J. Ebrington, Viscount
Browne, J. Evans, W.
Buxton, T. F. Ewing, J.
Buckingham, J. S. Fancourt, Major
Burton, H. Fenton, J.
Burdett, Sir F. Fergusson, R. C.
Bruce, C. C. L. Fielden, W.
Buller, E. Foley, T. H.
Campbell, Sir H. Folkes, Sir W.
Calvert, N. Forster, C. S.
Chichester, J. P. B. Fremantle, Sir T.
Cavendish, Lord Gaskell, D.
Chapman, A. Gaskell, J. M.
Christmas, W. Gladstone, W. E.
Corry, Hon. H. Grosvenor, Earl
Conolly, Colonel Grosvenor, Lord R.
Glynne, Sir S. Peter, W.
Grant, Rt. Hon. C. Pigot, R.
Grey, Sir G. Poulter, J.
Goulburn, Rt. Hon. H. Pringle, R.
Graham, Rt. Hn. Sir J. Rice, Rt. Hon. T. S.
Handley, B. Richards, J.
Halse, J. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Halcombe, J. Ross, C.
Heathcote, G. J. Russell, Lord J.
Hardy, J. Scott, Sir E. D.
Hughes, W. H. Shaw, F.
Halford, H. Smith, Hon. R.
Hoskins, K. Sheppard, T.
Handley, W. F. Simeon, Sir R.
Hardinge, Sir H. Smith, R. V.
Ingilby, Sir W. Stanley, E.
Johnstone, Sir J. V. Stanley, Rt. Hon. E.
Johnston, A. Steuart, R.
Inglis, Sir R. Stewart, E.
Kerrison, Sir E. Stewart, Sir M. S.
Keppel, Hon. G. Stewart, J.
Lambton, H. Somerset, Lord G.
Langdale, Hon. C. Talbot, C. R. M.
Lincoln, Earl of Tooke, W.
Lister, E. C. Tower, C. R.
Lemon, Sir C. Trevor, Hon. G. R.
Lennox, Lord A. Todd, R.
Littleton, Rt. Hn. E. J. Tyrell, Sir J.
Madox, J. Vernon, Hon. G. S.
Maxwell, J. Verney, Sir H.
Morpeth, Viscount Walter, J.
Marryat, J. Waterpark, Lord
Miles, W. Watkins, J. L.
Marsland, T. Whitmore, T. C.
Meynell, Captain Williams, W. A.
Neeld, J. Wilks, J.
Neale, Sir H. Wilbraham, G.
North, F. Willoughby, Sir H.
Oliphant, J. Winnington, Sir T.
Patten, J. W. Whalley, Sir S.
Paget, F. Wood, Colonel
Pease, Joseph
Pinney, W. TELLERS.
Peel, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Agnew, Sir A.
Penleaze, J. Hodgson, J.