HC Deb 15 December 1837 vol 39 cc1117-9

The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order of the day for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House on the Civil List Bill.

Sir G. Sinclair moved, as an amendment, that the nomination of the Committee on the pension list be proceeded with.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

thought, that it was always regarded most proper that hon. Gentlemen should consent to the Government being allowed to bring on its business at that which it considered to be the most suitable time for doing so. It was, he thought, much more proper to bring on the grant of the civil list to her Majesty rather than the nomination of the Pension List Committee. He begged to assure the hon. Gentleman, that he had no intention of bringing on the nomination of the Pension List Committee, but at such a period of the night that it could be most fully discussed.

Sir G. Sinclair

stated, that if it was to be understood that the question would not be brought on before ten or eleven at night he should be satisfied, and to press his amendment.

Mr. Harvey

trusted, that the hon. Member would persevere in his motion, because it was the first time in which reference had been made to an individual Member of that House in the manner that a reference had been made to him upon this point. He did not consider it becoming nor fair to allow a Member of that House to stand upon the votes of that House in the manner that he was, leaving it to be a matter of conjecture, and of whispers to all sorts of irresponsible persons, as to the intentions of others respecting him. He had been asked by almost every Gentleman coming into that House, whether or not he was to be on the Committee? If it were true, as it was the impression of the country, that Members of a Committee were well paid, then, perhaps, any anxiety experienced might be excusable; but when he looked to the labour and the toil and the nature of his other avocations, he might well say that he should be very well pleased to be excused altogether. He thought, however, it was due to him from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to say, whether it was intended or not to put him on the list of the Committee, he being the individual with whom the inquiry originated. The right hon. Gentleman had taken this matter out of his hands, after he had, through good report and through evil report, conducted it to its present position, and so far, too, had the compliment been paid to him that the right hon. Gentleman had adopted his resolution; and yet after all this it was permitted to be a matter of conjecture whether he was to be on the Committee. Now, he wished to be relieved from all apprehension on the subject, and he begged to say that if the right hon. Gentleman was not at that moment prepared to say, whether he was to be on the Committee or not he would not serve on it.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

remarked, that the hon. Gentleman had said that unless he was then prepared to make a certain statement, that hon. Gentleman would not serve on the Pension List Com- mittee. The question to which the hon. Gentleman referred would come on at a fitting and proper time. There was a notice on the order book respecting it, and he should be ready to answer it distinctly when the motion came on; but if he were called upon categorically to answer a question upon one motion when another motion, that respecting the civil list, was before the House, he would not do it. His doing so, he considered, would lead to very great inconvenience upon other occasions. If there had been no notice given upon this point there might be some reason for asking the question; but as the hon. Gentleman had taken his own course, he should reserve himself for the discussion which the adoption of that course must lead to.

Amendment negatived; order of the day read.

On the question that the Speaker leave the chair,