HC Deb 17 August 1839 vol 50 cc370-3

Mr. F. Baring moved, that the House do on Monday next, at 12 o'clock, proceed with the Committee on the Bank of Ireland Bill.

Mr. O'Connell

felt called upon to say, that such a measure was too important to be proceeded with at 12 o'clock; and on the question that it be then proceeded with, he was resolved to take the sense of the House.

Sir T. Fremantle

wished to know, if her Majesty's Government seriously intended to go on with the bill? He was sure the House must agree with him that the proceedings which took place yesterday and the day before, were not creditable to the Queen's Government. The right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was not now in his place, had intimated his intention of going on with the bill. That right hon. Gentleman must, of course, be the beat judge of whether Parliament ought, at the present season of the year, be kept sitting for such a purpose. If he thought that the Session should be so continued, then surely the Government ought to take the proper means for securing a sufficient attendance of Members. Whatever course Ministers thought proper to pursue, it was essential that there should be a distinct understanding upon the subject. If it were proposed to proceed with the bill as a Cabinet measure, it should have his support; but to go on as they had been proceeding for some time past, was merely giving a daily triumph to the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, and placing themselves in a ridiculous position.

Mr. Ellis

regretted that the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not then in his place, in order that they might have some clear understanding upon the subject, He had received several letters from Ireland on the subject, complaining that sufficient time had not been allowed for the examination of the bill, and saying that meetings would be held, and petitions forwarded, if the parties had any reason to think that there remained sufficient time to produce any beneficial effect. He hoped that, under the circumstances, they would not proceed with the bill.

Mr. F. Baring

said, that he had nothing to take away from, or add to, what his right hon. Friend had already stated upon the subject. As to their not having made a House yesterday, he could only say that which every person present knew to be the fact, that the sole cause of such an occurrence, was the mistake which had taken place with respect to the commission not having been issued sufficiently early. There were Members enough; they might, if they thought proper, have made a House in Parliament-street.

Sir R. Inglis

observed, that there was only one member of the Cabinet present when the House was counted out, and of the Members then present, not a fourth part were usually supporters of the Government. His hon. Friend near him had said, that he would support the bill if it were made a Cabinet measure; in that he fully concurred, and he must say that unless he received from a member of the Cabinet a distinct intimation that it was to be made a Government bill, and that it was to be supported with the whole strength of the Administration, he for one should not be at the trouble of coming there to give it a support which would not be of much avail. He thought that they ought to be told whether the measure was to be a bill supported by Government or brought in by an individual.

Mr. Gisborne

thought the case appeared to be like one of assault, and the question was, who struck the first blow. In his opinion, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had struck the first blow, by bringing in the bill contrary to agreement, and at an unseasonable time; he therefore could not condemn the steps taken to defeat it, and thought counting out the House was a fair proceeding.

Mr. Wakley

said, it was utterly impossible that the bill could pass into a law this year, and he believed that it ought not to pass into a law. He had heard no reason for pressing the bill on the House, in the unseemly manner it had been pressed on by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Some of the most important measures in which the interests of the public were involved, were discussed in the House when the number of Members present varied from thirty to sixty a-day. He therefore hoped her Majesty's Government would see the propriety of pointing out to the House on Monday next, what they intended to do during the remainder of the Session, because the mode in which the business of the country was carried on, was in the highest degree unsatisfactory.

The Solicitor-General

said, the only question was, whether they should proceed with the bill at 12 o'clock or at 4. The bill must come on at some time on Monday, and he thought it would be more convenient that it should come on at the earliest period. He therefore hoped the hon. and learned Member would not press his opposition, because it could not answer any purpose.

Mr. O'Connell

would yield at once, if he saw any disposition to do justice to his constituents. He heard Gentlemen on both sides of the House, talk very flippantly of the Government not overpowering the opposition to the bill by their numbers. Now he would put it to the House, whether anybody would talk in that way, if it were a question concerning the English people, and what would be said if in a case of that sort, any Irish Member were to get up and say to the Government, "Why don't you bring down your forces, and outvote these English members?" He would certainly persevere in his opposition, and would move as an amendment, that the bill be committed that day three months.

Mr. Kemble

observed, that no one had recommended any overpowering of the opposition to the bill; it had merely been observed, that it was too much to expect that a Government measure should mainly depend for its support on Members of that House who were wholly unconnected with the Administration. The question now before them, was a choice between 12 o'clock and 4. He thought, that if the object of the hon. and learned Member was to obtain a full attendance of Members, that attendance was as likely to be obtained at 12 as at 4 o'clock. But it was useless discussing the question in that desultory way, and the House had better divide at once.

The House divided:—Ayes 34; Noes 9: Majority 25.

List of the Ayes.
Adam, Admiral Inglis, Sir R. H.
Bernal, R. Kemble, H.
Broadley, H. Lushington, C.
Chichester, J. P. B. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Pigot, D. R.
Dalmeny, Lord Price, Sir R.
Darby, G. Pryme, G.
Divett, E. Rich H.
Donkin, Sir R. S. Rolfe. Sir R. M.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Rutherford, rt. hn. A.
Fremantle, Sir T. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. Steuart, R.
Harcourt, G. G. Surrey, Earl of
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Talfourd, Sergeant
Hodges, T. L. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Hoskins, K.
Howard, P. H. TELLERS.
Howard, Sir R. Baring, F. T.
Hutt, W. Parker, J.
List of the NOES.
Duncombe, T. Somerville, Sir W.M.
Finch, F. Vigors, N. A.
Gisborne, T. Wakley, T.
Redington, T. N. TELLERS.
Salwey, Colonel O'Connell, D.
Scholefield, J. Ellis, J.
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