HC Deb 14 July 1837 vol 38 cc1908-10

The Order of the Day having been read for the consideration of the Lords' amendments to the Ecclesiastical Appointments Suspension Bill,

Lord John Russell

said, he could only repeat what he had stated yesterday, —namely, that he disagreed with the clause which had been inserted by the Lords, in regard to the provision of certain appointments for the chaplains of the House, simply on the ground that he thought a provision for the officers was a matter exclusively for the consideration of the Commons, and one with which the House of Lords had no right to interfere. The clause which had been inserted, took the matter entirely out of the hands of the Commons, and implied that the House had been guilty of injustice in not conferring some mark of favour on the three chaplains to which the clause had reference. That was an interference with the privileges of the House which he considered highly improper, and to which he would not submit. The hon. Member for the University of Oxford said, "Accept the clause, and leave the Crown to act upon it or not, as might be deemed proper;" but he did not think that was a fair mode of dealing with the question, and he preferred at once disagreeing with the amendment. With respect to the general question, whether the three rev. Gentlemen ought or ought not to have certain appointments conferred upon them, he should not at present discuss that point; but as the Bill was only suspensory for one year, he would, when the matter was again brought before the House, re-consider his opinion, and give their claims every attention in his power. He did not object to the clause, but only to its insertion by the Lords. The noble Lord concluded by moving, "That the House disagree with this amendment of the Lords."

Sir R. Inglis

agreed with the amendment, as he thought the honour of the House, as well as the honour of the Crown, were pledged to what the noble Lord (John Russell) called a favour, but what he considered an act of justice. In 1832, an Address had been sent from that House to his late Majesty, praying that his Majesty would be pleased to confer on the three Rev. Gentlemen some preferments in the Church as a recompense for their services as chaplains of that House. To that Address, Lord Althorp had brought down a message from the Crown, stating that his Majesty would comply with the prayer of the Commons; but since that time no ecclesiastical appointment had been conferred on either of the rev. Gentlemen. These, then, were the grounds on which he would support the clause. The House had requested the Crown to confer on their chaplains appointments in the Church, the Crown had consented to comply with their solicitation, and further, he was sure that there was not one Member in the House at the time when that compliance was communicated, who would have considered himself justified in opposing any plan for compensating these officers of the House. The only point, however, was, whether the motion for compensation ought to have originated with that House or with the House of Lords? Now, in his opinion the insertion of the clause could not be considered as an improper interference or the part of the House of Lords; for their Lordships had only enabled her Majesty to do what the Commons had solicited and what the Crown had consented to perform; and he would not, therefore, on the authority of any one he saw opposite deem that the Lords had, in this matter interfered improperly with the privilege! of the Commons. It was no compromise of their dignity to do an act of justice and the present could only be considered as a matter of right, and not of favour.

Mr. Hume

was surprised at the speech of the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, considering the manner in which he generally stood forward in defence of the privileges of the House. In his opinion, the House would do wrong to agree to the amendments of the Lords; but he allowed, that the rev. Gentlemen had a claim to some preferment, and he should be glad to see the House take the matter into its consideration.

Mr. Estcourt

fully agreed with what had fallen from his hon. Colleague (Sir R. Inglis), as he considered the claim of the rev. Gentlemen upon the House and upon the Crown, to be of so strong a nature, as to amount almost to the force of a vested right. It should be remembered, that if the clause were rejected, the Crown would be prevented from doing what more than one House of Commons had requested to be done; and, under these circumstances, he should vote for the retention of the clause.

The House divided:—Ayes 47; Noes 11: Majority 36.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Sir C. Anson, hon. Colonel
Alston, R. Attwood, T.
Bannerman, A. Lynch, A. H.
Barclay, D. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Bowes, J. Ord, W.
Brotherton, J. Pechell, Captain
Campbell, Sir J. Philips, M.
Chalmers, P. Roche, W.
Chetwynd, Captain Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Colborne, N. W. R. Russell, Lord John
Dennistoun, J. Scholefield, J.
Dillwyn, L. W. Seymour, Lord
Ellice, right hon. E. Smith, B.
Fergus, John Stanley, E. J.
Harvey, D. W. Strutt, E.
Hastie, A. Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Hawes, B. Thompson, Mr. Ald.
Hawkins, J. H. Thompson, Colonel
Hay, Sir And. Leith Wakley, T.
Hector, C. J. Warburton, H.
Hoskins, K. Wilks, J.
Howick, Viscount Young, G. F.
Lambton, Hedworth Wood, Charles
Lushington, C. Labouchere, H.
List of the NOES.
Alsager, Captain Gladstone, W. E.
Bonham, R. F. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Borthwick, Peter Patten, J. W,
Callaghan, D. Williams, R.
Duncombe, T. TELLERS.
Egerton, Sir P. Inglis, Sir R.
Elley, Sir J. Estcourt, T.

The other amendments of the Lords were agreed to.

Back to
Forward to