§ Mr. Lynch moved, that it be referred to a select Committee.
§ Motion agreed to, and Committee named.
§ Colonel Perceval
said, if the Bill was to be referred to a Select Committee it should not be a one-sided Committee.
§ Sir James Graham
said, he observed with regret a novel and mischievous proceeding of late growing up in the House, of departing from the usual and proper practice of discussing the principle of Bills on the second reading. It was said, do not discuss the principle of this Bill now as it is to be referred to a Committee up stairs. The consequence of referring important Bills to Committees of that kind (of the present Bill he knew nothing, but it seemed from the remarks of the learned Gentleman (Mr. Lynch), who ought to be considered good authority on the point, that it was a very important one), was that the Select Committee would decide upon it, and the House and the country would hear no more of it till it became a law. That was a bad practice, and he called on the Government not to overlook a consideration of that nature.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, the suggestion of the right hon. Baronet was a good one. It was certainly important that such a Bill be deliberately and dispassionately considered, and the more fairly the Committee was selected, the more likely was it that it would receive just deliberation. He thought it better that the appointment of the Committee on the present Bill should be postponed.
§ The Speaker
said, after the judicious remarks of the right hon. Baronet, he would observe that a material change in conducting the business of the House was gradually taking place; and he would not say that it was a change for the better. No doubt, from the great pressure of business, some alteration might be necessary; but then that alteration should be made after the deliberate consideration of those best qualified to decide on it. By not taking such Question into consideration as formerly, precedents were established and followed from time to time, and a total change of practice gradually took place: a course which must be deprecated, as calculated to countenance dangerous precedents, and affect the proceedings of the House insensibly, but surely.
§ The appointment of the Committee postponed.