HC Deb 23 April 1839 vol 47 cc495-7
Sir F. Trench

wished to preface his observations by an apology to the Speaker for his observation when he made a complaint on Friday night.

The Speaker

assured the hon. Member that no apology was due to him. He should have been most happy to have entertained his complaint, but he did not prefer it in a regular manner.

Sir F. Trench

should not have felt satisfied without having made the apology. He had often heard the Speaker say, that he was the servant of the House. Now, in his opinion, the Speaker was their master. He regarded him as a schoolmaster, the great majority of whose pupils were as riotous, as untoward, and as undisciplined a body of youths as any pre- ceptor ever controlled without the power of corporal punishment. The complaint he had to make was, that though the extra number of lights ordered had been restored, yet that they were more of an inferior quality, so that 240 candles gave no more light than 180 did before. There never was a more dangerous, a more injudicious, or a more impracticable experiment than that which was about to be made. If he had given comfort or satisfaction even to a small portion of the Members, he should feel amply rewarded for all the trouble he had taken on this subject. He had as hon. Members were aware, taken much trouble to obtain for the House the best possible light, but he should now wash his hands of it, and leave it to the proper authority, the Office of Woods and Forests, which was responsible for it. The hon. and gallant Officer concluded with the following motion:— That it is essential to the safety of this House, and to the health and safety of its Members, that a report be obtained from competent scientific authorities, whether the adoption of the oleo-oxygen Bude light, may not expose this House and its Members to the danger of explosion, or to the minor annoyance of a tainted atmosphere, from any trifling accident. "That there be laid before this House an estimate of the probable expense of the experiment of the oleo-oxygen Bude light now in progress. Also, of the probable expense of the machinery proposed to be employed to produce this light. Also, of the estimated nightly cost of the light to be produced. Also, of the proposed mode of remunerating the patentee, whether by salary, by contract or by gift.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

hoped the hon. and gallant Member would withdraw his motion, until the experiments about to be tried were proved to be satisfactory or unsatisfactory; and he thought the House of Commons might be better occupied than in wasting their time with discussions of this sort, which could only make them look ridiculous in the eyes of the public

Motion withdrawn.