HC Deb 11 June 1839 vol 48 cc148-9
Lord Ashley

wished to ask the hon. Member for Finsbury whether, as it was not likely there would be much chance of the attendance of the House affording him an opportunity of bringing forward his motion relating to the three Scotch witnesses examined in regard to the operation of the Factory Act, whose petition had been presented to the House, it was his intention to postpone it; and if so, whether he would bring it forward on a future day.

Mr. Wakley

said, it certainly was his determination to bring forward the motion to which the noble Lord had referred, but he very much regretted, that there was little chance of his doing so that night with the slightest chance of success. The hon. Member for Penryn had a motion on the paper which was likely to occupy several hours, and, more than that, he found that her Majesty's Government were determined to oppose him. It was, therefore, his intention to postpone his motion until that day three weeks, when he should certainly bring it forward, and press it to a division.

Mr. F. Maule

could not allow this motion to be postponed without protesting against the course which the hon. Member for Finsbury had taken. The motion carried with it an attack upon a public servant, and he must say that putting it off from day to day—this being the second time it had been deferred—was most unfair, not only to that individual, but to those who had to defend his character, and who had a considerable quantity of other business, both in and out of the House, to attend to. He had come down to the House prepared to meet the motion of his hon. Friend, and he thought it rather hard that it should be put off in this way.

Mr. Wakley

said, he had not before postponed his motion at all. He had fixed on a day for bringing it before the House, and he had lost no opportunity of doing so; but he now found that the Government were strongly opposed to it, and that they had "whipped" for it. He had no means of "whipping" in support of the motion. He could see very well what the state of the benches was at this moment, and he knew equally well what it would be when the time came for him to be called upon by the Chair, He had made no attack on the character of Mr. Stuart; but if he had done so, he should not have acted worse than that individual had behaved towards three helpless men. He felt convinced that he should be able to prove that, when he had a proper opportunity of bringing the case before the House.