§ Mr. Harvey
said, it was not necessary for him, after what had so recently passed in the House, to trouble the House with any remarks. He, therefore, moved, for "an Address to her Majesty, for copies of any appointments 1048 made by the Earl of Durham, as Lord Commissioner of the British North American Colonies, previous to his departure from England, and during his stay in Canada; the name of each person appointed, the amount of salary, if any, and the nature of the duties to be performed."
§ Lord J. Russell
said, the only objection which could be made to this motion was, he believed, this—that the papers in question were already on the Table of that House. He observed, that the motion of the hon. Member did not contain that which appeared to be most essential for his purpose—namely, the dates of the appointments, although he believed that the dates were included in the papers already before the House. He would, therefore, suggest to the hon. Member, whether he had not better consult the papers already before the House, to see if he required any additional information.
§ Mr. Harvey
thought it would be more convenient for hon. Members to have a small paper in their hands with the simple facts contained in it, than to have to wade through a large volume, which very few would take the trouble to do. As to the fact about the dates of the appointments, that might be at once ascertained by a compliance with the motion for the returns, because it called upon Lord Durham to make a return of the dates of the appointments before he left England, as well as of those made while he was in Canada; and he apprehended, that the time of the departure of Lord Durham from England, and the time of his leaving Canada, were matters of no uncertainty; and therefore, if a return were made of those two periods, it would be easy to arrive at the object which he sought. At the same time, it would be more correct to insert in the return, the day and the date of each specific appointment. But as to calling the attention of the House to the whole report to which the noble Lord had alluded, it must be obvious, that it would be far more convenient that an extract should be made of the simple facts required.
§ Mr. Labouchere
said, the papers already before the House comprised all the appointments made by Lord Durham both before he left the country and afterwards; and that it was not consistent with the usages of the House to require the same return to be given again.
§ Mr. Harvey
said, he must confess that he was somewhat surprised and a little 1049 mortified to find that there should be any resistance made to this motion. It looked like an attempt to defeat the object of it; for though it might be conceded, as was known to every one who had read the report to which the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman had alluded, that Lord Durham had therein stated that he had appointed Charles Buller, Esq., to an office, and two or three other persons to other offices, and that he might also have given dates, yet the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman must be aware that the appointments themselves were not set forth therein.
§ Mr. Harvey
No, not the appointments themselves. What he wanted, was to have before the House the specific appointments under the hand and seal of Lord Durham. Now, they certainly did not appear in the papers before the House; and what pretext there could be for not producing in a more comprehensive form the return he wanted, he could not understand, unless it might be with a view to give the go-by to this question. Let the House deal with the motion as it might, he cared nothing about it. He only wanted to bring his mind—which he owned he found it difficult to do—to something like a conclusion, that impartial justice might be obtained in that House. When the motion was made for a similar return in his case, no objection was made to it: there was none of the zealous opposition which appeared now, then manifested to the production of the date of his appointment. Whether the House rejected or agreed to the motion, was equally a matter of indifference to him. If it would be any convenience to the noble Lord to let the motion stand over for the purpose of introducing any specific word as to the object of the motion, he would most readily yield to the suggestion. But if the object was to defeat the motion, he should certainly take the sense of the House upon it, and see whether it would refuse to do that in one case which it had thought absolutely necessary to be done in another.
§ Lord J. Russell
said, there was not, he believed, the smallest objection to the motion; and certainly, if the hon. Gentleman thought it more convenient to have a single sheet of paper, and have the appointments without the dates rather than with them, it was not worth while to have any dispute upon the subject, He must say, however, 1050 that it appeared to him to be rather a remarkable accusation to make, that the Government were endeavouring to conceal facts which were already fully before the House.
§ Mr. C. Buller
said, he had a very strong objection to the motion. Simply for this reason, that it tended greatly to delay the decision of the House upon this question. He was surprised, that the hon. Member for Southwark, in coming forward to attack his seat, should have thrown out such imputations against the noble Lord as he had heard, because the information with respect to this subject had been laid before the House in two distinct returns last Session; and no new information could be added upon the points in question. Let the House, however, if it thought proper, appoint a Committee from either side; he should be quite ready to abide by the decision of any Committee.
§ Mr. Harvey
would observe, in reply to the noble Lord, that he could not contemplate that they could have copies of any appointments, without the dates of those appointments, including every other particular relating to the making and reception of those appointments. It was very true, as the hon. Member for Liskeard had stated, that these facts were already before the House, and that they had been before the House last Session as well as the present. That was just the matter of which he complained. He was surprised, that there should have been a return made last Session, setting forth, that Members of that House had accepted offices of emolument under the Crown; and yet that such a return had not attracted the attention of those hon. Gentlemen who had been so anxious in other cases to distinguish themselves by insisting on the strict observance of the rules of Parliament. As to unseating the hon. Member for Liskeard, he had never wished to unseat him. All he wanted was, to see the rules of the House kept with strict impartiality in all cases. He wanted to bring these matters under the eyes of other persons. He did not want to unseat the hon. Gentleman, or any other hon. Gentleman, but that those persons should have their attention drawn to the subject who had already been occupied with similar questions. He did not want to send the hon. Gentleman back to his constituency merely because he (Mr. Harvey) had been sent back to his. He disclaimed any petty 1051 feeling of that sort. He had no desire to disturb others, because he had been disturbed. All he wanted was, to make the public believe that there was an uniform sense of justice in that House.
§ Motion agreed to.