HC Deb 02 May 1839 vol 47 cc754-5
Sir F. Trench

rose to propose the resolution of which he had given notice, namely, that it is the opinion of this House that the present mode of lighting the House with wax candles and green shades is satisfactory; and that, therefore, further experiments and expense are unnecessary. Gentlemen were, probably, not aware of the expense attending the experiments that were being carried on respecting the lighting of the House. He believed that the hon. Member for Kilkenny was the main director of the present experiment. Hon. Gentlemen would perceive that there were eight large lenses inserted in the roof of the House, and undoubtedly the light that was intended to be given was of a very beautiful nature, but it was almost as brilliant as the light of the sun, and was not fit for an assembly of English gentlemen; indeed he did not think that it would be tolerated by an assembly of eagles. It might be an admirable light for a light-house, but it was not fit for the House of Commons. He cared not one farthing for the expense of the experiment, but he could not help complaining of the manner in which he had been stinted in his light, and that he had not equal facilities afforded to him that were given to the Member for Kilkenny. In the proposed plan there were eight lenses, in each lens there were eight lamps, and each lamp had eight burners, each of them had a separate dépôt of oil, and a supply of oxygen. Although oxygen was not in itself calculated to do any harm, yet, in producing it, they must have retorts, and these might be productive of great danger to the House. They were told that there was no danger attendant on these experiments; but so the Trinity-house was told with respect to Drummond's light, which, however, on one occasion, led to an explosion, which carried off the roof of a lighthouse. It would also be extremely disagreeable in case of the overturning of any of these lamps, to have the oil pouring down on the heads of Members. These lights also would require constant superintendence, and if they had not a philosopher to look after every light, they would at least require more than one peripatetic philosopher to superintend them. If the present light was deficient or bad, there would be a reasonable ground of complaint; but if there was any defect, it arose from not adhering to his instructions. They had taken away sixty of his lights, and then they had given him some of inferior quality. Gentlemen would hardly believe that, instead of giving the same candles on Friday as they gave him on Thursday; they were materially diminished, and of inferior calibre. He had taken great pains with the subject, and for the future he washed his hands of the matter; but he trusted that the hon. Member for Kilkenny would use his influence so that he had a proper supply of candles. He should not trouble the House further, but conclude with withdrawing his motion.

Motion of which notice had been given, withdrawn.