HC Deb 03 July 1837 vol 38 cc1763-7

The House went into a Committee of Supply.

On the vote of 34,000l. for defraying the expenses of the sheriffs (Scotland),

Mr. Wallace

objected to the vote, and said, that he had inquired into the nature of their courts, and into the conduct as well as the duties of the judges, but without receiving satisfactory information. He could, however, state, that there were three judges not only useless, but injurious to the country, and their services ought to be dispensed with. They never attended the court. No witnesses were examined, no counsel pleaded. It was gross absurdity and injustice to continue the system, and he would move, as an amendment, "that 24,000l. be substituted for 34,000l., until the said judges comply with the existing law, which entitles them to salaries."

Vote agreed to.

On the proposal to grant 88,000/. towards defraying the expense of erecting new Houses of Parliament,

Mr. Hume

objected to vote any money under this head until more accurate estimates, sanctioned by a Committee of the House, had been submitted to Parliament. He should move that the vote be postponed till next Session.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, it was a matter of more immediate concern to the House than to the Government. If they were content the House should remain in the present state another year, he could have no objection. At the same time, he did not think it would be very creditable, after the report of a Select Committee, and the other preliminary steps which had been taken, if the vote should be delayed for another year.

Sir George Strickland

thought the general opinion out of doors was unfavourable to Mr. Barry's plan. He strongly objected to the style of architecture which had been adopted, and concurred with the hon. Member for Middlesex, in thinking that the vote should be postponed till next Session.

Sir Robert Inglis

reminded the Committee that the present question was not at all with respect to the merits of Mr. Barry's plan. That had already been decided. After being engaged two years and nine months in preliminaries, he could not conceive a greater waste of time than would be occasioned by another reference of this matter to a Committee up stairs.

The Committee divided on the grant, Ayes 100; Noes 20: Majority 80.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Sir C. Donkin, Sir R.
Aglionby, H. A. Dundas, hon. T.
Alford, Viscount Dundas, J. D.
Alsager, Captain East, J. B.
Archdall, M. Elley, Sir J.
Bagot, M. W. Estcourt, T.
Baillie, H. D. Fazakerley, J. N.
Barclay, C. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Baring, F. T. Fergusson, rt. hn. R.C.
Baring, F. Ferguson, It.
Baring, H. B. Forster, C. S.
Baring, W. B. Gaskell, J. M.
Barnard, E. G. Geary, Sir W.
Biddulph, R. Gresley, Sir R.
Blackburne, I. Grey, Sir G.
Bowring, Dr. Grimston, Viscount
Brocklehurst, J. Hamilton, G. A.
Brotherton, J. Hamilton, Lord C.
Buller, C. Hastie, A.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Hector, C.
Burrell, Sir C. Hind, J. H.
Campbell, Sir J. Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.
Cavendish, hon. C. Hogg, J. W.
Chalmers, P. Hope, H. T.
Chelwynd, Captain Howick, Viscount
Colborne, N. W. R. Humphery, J.
Corbett, T. G. Jephson, C. D. O.
Dalmeny, Lord Jervis, J.
Dennistoun, J. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Dillwyn, L. W. Kirk, P.
Divett, E. Lennox, Lord G.
Lushington, C. Seymour, Lord
Mangles, J. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Moreton, hon. A. H. Sheil, R. L.
Morpeth, Viscount Sheppard, T.
Murray, rt. hon. J. A. Smith, R. V.
Packe, C. W. Stanley, E. J.
Parker, J. Stanley, Lord
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Stuart, Lord D.
Patten, J. W. Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Pease, J. Townley, R. G.
Pollen, Sir J. W. Tracy, C. H.
Price, Sir R. Tulk, C. A.
Reid, Sir J. R. Warburton, H.
Rice, rt. hon. T. S. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Richards, R. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Robinson, G. R. Wyse, T.
Rolfe, Sir R. M. Young, G. F.
Ross, C.
Rushbrooke, Colonel TELLERS.
Russell, Lord J. Hay, Sir A. L.
Seale, Colonel Wood, C.
List of the NOES.
Baring, T. Mackinnon, W. A.
Bateson, Sir R. Maxwell, J.
Becket, rt. hon. Sir J. Mosley, Sir O.
Bridgeman, H. Sinclair, Sir G.
Brownrigg, S. Strickland, Sir G.
Codrington, Admiral Thompson, Colonel
Dick, Q. Wakley, T.
Duncombe, hon. A. Wallace, R.
Evans, G. TELLERS.
Gillon, W. Hume, J.
Knight, H. G. Hawes, B.
Mackenzie, T.

Vote passed.

On a sum of 114,160l. 14s. 6d. being proposed for advances on account of arrears and charges for the administration of justice and the civil government of the province of Lower Canada,

Mr. Hume

objected to the vote, which was nothing but a fine imposed on the people of England for the bad government of the colonists.

Mr. Robinson

complained that the resolution affirming the principle of discharging all arrears of salaries from the Canadian exchequer as well as the other resolutions agreed to by the House with respect to the colony, had not been followed up by a legislative enactment, and that the people of England should now be called on to vote so large a sum. The amount of the vote might have been applied, but for the remissness of Government, reduce nearly the whole of the duty on marine insurances, or to give relief to other important interests which required it.

Lord John Russell

said, that the House had, in conformity with the message from her Majesty, agreed not to proceed with any measure likely to give rise to much discussion. Ministers had by no means abandoned the principles of the resolutions, though they were precluded by circumstances from introducing a Bill founded on them; and should he have the honour of holding the office he now filled in the next Parliament, he would feel it his duty to endeavour to give effect to them by legislative enactment.

Lord Stanley

said, that Government were highly censurable in delaying to bring in a Bill immediatly after the resolutions had passed. Such a step would have been most valuable as an evidence of their sincerity to that portion of the community of Lower Canada which they had by the resolutions declared it to be their intention to protect, and for the suppression of those indications of discontent and partial disturbance which now appeared. Admitting that Government had no other course to take at present than that which they had adopted, he must regret they had not at an earlier period manifested their determination to act up to the resolutions. If this vote were a fine upon the people of England, as the hon. Member for Middlesex had termed it, no power on earth would induce him to consent to it, but he consented to it because it held out the most solemn pledge which, under present circumstances, Government could give to the people of England and of Canada, that they would act up to those resolutions. They had been pledged over and over again in that House, and now they gave security to keep their pledges in the sum of 140,000l. It was absolutely essential that this advance should be made as a guarantee to both nations that Ministers should not shrink, if they were desirous of shrinking, from the declarations they had made. It had given him great satisfaction to hear the frank declaration of his noble Friend, that should he continue to hold his present office in the next Parliament, he would endeavour to give effect to the resolutions, whatever party might oppose him.

Mr. Hume

advised the noble Lord not to take counsel from an enemy. It was vain to talk of giving effect to the resolutions. A bill for such a purpose would be mere waste paper, unless Government were prepared to send an army to Canada to compel its people to obedience.

Lord John Russell

might deny entirely the justice of the charge which the noble Lord opposite had brought against the Government. He did not think it would have been right in Ministers to abandon every other measure for the sole purpose of carrying a Bill regarding Canada. He did not at all believe in the existence of general discontent in that country, nor did he anticipate that it would be necessary to have recourse to any measures of harshness or severity to give effect to the line of policy laid down in the resolutions.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 43; Noes 10: Majority 33.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Sir C. Moreton, hon. A. H.
Bannerman, A. Murray, rt. hon. J.A.
Baring, F. T. Palmerston, Viscount
Barnard, Edward G. Pease, J.
Campbell, Sir J. Pechell, Captain
Dalmeny, Lord Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Dillwyn, L. W. Richards, J.
Donkin, Sir R. Robinson, G. R.
Dundas, J. D. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Estcourt, T. Russell, Lord J.
Ferguson, rt. ht. R. C. Shaw, right hon. F.
Gladstone, W. E. Sinclair, Sir G.
Gore, O. Smith, R. V.
Grey, Sir G. Stanley, Lord
Hawkins, J. H. Stanley, E. J.
Hector, C. J. Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Vivian, J. E.
Howard, P. H. Walker, R.
Howick, Viscount Wood, C.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Young, G. F.
Lefevre, C. S. TELLERS.
Lowther, hon. Colonel Seymour, Lord
Mangles, J. Parker, J.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Thompson, Colonel
Bowring, Dr. Tulk, C. A.
Brotherton, J. Warburton, H.
Fenton, J.
Gillon, W. D. TELLERS.
Humphery, John Hume, J.
O'Connell, M. J. Elphinstone, H.

Vote agreed to. House resumed.