HC Deb 26 May 1837 vol 38 cc1094-5
Mr. B. Hoy

rose, pursuant to notice, to move for copies of the papers relating to certain presents sent to this country for their Majesties by the King of Oude. The presents were sent from Calcutta under an escort of British troops, and embarked under the sanction of the Governor-General; and after having arrived in this country, they were so sent back as amounted to treating the Prince who sent them with contempt. The mere sending them back was a great contempt; but the contempt was greater when unaccompanied with any explanation. He had no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman opposite would clear the matter up, and lay before the House those papers which were necessary to give a full explanation of it. He believed that the charge of misgovernment had been brought against the King of Oude by discarded servants or otherwise dissatisfied persons. He must say, that having received presents from other princes in India, and refused those in question, we had offered an insult to this unhappy prince, whose ancestors had given up the half of their territories to the Indian government for promised protection. He concluded by moving for copies of the correspondence on the subject of the presents sent by the King of Oude.

Lord John Russell

requested of his right hon. Friend near him not to address the House on the present occasion. He did so, not that he did not believe but that his right hon. Friend had to give an explanation which would be satisfactory to the House; but he must submit to the House whether, on the Order of the Day, by which it was proposed to proceed with the Committee on a measure with respect to which the House had already proceeded some way—whether, upon the proposal of proceeding with that Committee, it was desirable and convenient to arrest the progress of that Committee, and for the House to stop, and this for the purpose of attending to a discussion upon a question relative to presents made by the King of Oude to his Majesty? If the speech of the hon. Member had demonstrated anything, it was the necessity of having a Committee appointed for the purpose of inquiring whether the business of the House could be thus impeded, and whether it would not be more convenient for the House to go on in a manner which would be more conformable to the ancient practice. If every Monday and Friday were to be taken up by two or three Members on matters which were more interesting to themselves, and if they could thus set aside that business in which the greater part of the House took an interest, then it would be utterly impossible to proceed with the public business. That was the simple question for the House to determine, and not that which had been brought forward by the hon. Member, and which his right hon. Friend was prepared to defend. The simple question before the House was, whether they were prepared to enter upon the discussion of the subject submitted by the hon. Member, or to go on with the Order of the Day. That was the question which he wished to have decided. He hoped that the House would support him in going on with the Order of the Day.

Motion negatived.