HC Deb 17 August 1835 vol 30 cc613-4
Mr. Waller

said, he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question relative to a Motion of his which had stood upon the paper for several days past. What he desired to know was, whether the right hon. Gentleman would undertake that no further sum should be advanced by his Majesty's Government towards the Thames Tunnel undertaking till next Session. If the right hon. Gentleman would enter into such an understanding with him, he would defer his Motion till next Session; but if the right hon. Gentleman declined the arrangement he proposed, he should feel it to be his duty to make his Motion to-morrow, by way of Amendment upon the Motion for taking into consideration the Orders of the Day.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said it was quite impossible for him to accede to what the hon. Gentleman had just proposed. To allow the circumstance of a Motion having been merely entered upon the order-book, there having been no discussion upon it by which the sense of the House could be arrived at, to interrupt the progress of the public business, would be to establish the principle that any Motion of which only notice had been given might interfere with the most important business of the country. He might engage to this extent—that due care should be taken that there should be no further grant without such a satisfactory report having been laid before him with regard to the expenditure which had taken place, as well as to the course which was to be pursued in future, as would enable him to justify whatever proceeding he might recommend. He was aware that this was a matter which required great consideration; the amount to be granted was a large sum of money; and the hon. Member might be sure that no one could have a stronger personal interest than himself in seeing that the money was not expended improperly, or that the grant was not made in a manner such as would not enable him to present to Parliament a satisfactory statement on the subject. He was prepared to say, with regard to the Motion, that he would be the last in the world to resist it, if it could be shown that there existed any ground for a Parliamentary inquiry. He was quite willing that any acts of his, or of the Government, should be made the subject of investigation; but if the Motion were only to inquire into the circumstances under which an Act of Parliament had been passed, that appeared to him not to be such an object as would warrant the House in granting an investigation.

Mr. Walter,

on the Order of the Day being moved, would make his Motion.