HC Deb 03 March 1835 vol 26 cc524-5
Sir Samuel Whalley

moved the following resolution: "That as a number of Members, larger than there is any precedent of, has divided within the present House without inconvenience, it is expedient, with a view to save time, and to relieve the Speaker from an unpleasant duty, that all divisions shall for the future take place within the House." Great inconveniences were occasioned by the present mode of proceeding, among which, loss of time, and loss of seats, were not the least. It was well known, too, that the state of confusion in which the House invariably was after a large division, prevented the transaction of any business in a proper or satisfactory manner. He, therefore, trusted there would be no objection to the adoption of the Motion.

Mr. Warburton

said, that if means had been adopted by the House for taking down the names of Members in each division, he might, perhaps, agree to the Motion of the hon. Member for Mary-la- bonne; but as the hon. Member's Motion would add to the great difficulty already existing, of ascertaining the names, he would oppose any such Motion as long as the House took no steps towards regularly registering the names of Members voting upon each division.

Mr. Littleton

wished to know how it would be possible, supposing the hon. Member's Motion carried, for a House, containing 620 Members to divide, if the minority, consisting of only 20 Members occupied one side of the House, and all the rest of the Members were obliged to go to the other?

Sir Samuel Whalley

said, the same rule would then apply, as was at present observed, with respect to divisions in Committee, or the Speaker might direct the majority to go into one or both the galleries.

Mr. Pryme

recommended the adoption of the suggestion, that the Speaker should be empowered to direct either side to withdraw to the lobby, in case of a division, should it be considered necessary for either party to do so.

Sir George Clerk

thought, that less confusion and loss of time would arise from one party withdrawing to the lobby, than from any other course that could be pursued. Much inconvenience would be found to result from the majority passing over to the seats previously occupied by the minority. At present, the arrangement was, that the party which opposed the Speaker's decision on any question, had to go out; thus, it often happened that the majority might be compelled to go into the lobby, if they called for a division.

Sir Samuel Whalley

would not press the Motion after the strong feeling which the House had displayed with respect to it. The object he had in view in bringing it forward, was solely to promote the convenience of the House. If hon. Gentlemen had adopted his views on this point, he had intended to suggest, with regard to taking the divisions, that the Clerk should accompany the Tellers, on taking the divisions, with a printed list, and that he should prick with a pin opposite the name of each member as he voted.

The Motion was withdrawn.