HC Deb 09 March 1841 vol 57 cc74-7

Mr. Greene moved for leave of absence for Mr. Ingram to go the circuit.

Mr. Pattison

did not see why leave of absence to barristers going circuit should pass as matters of course. He did not recognize any particular right of barristers to be exempted from their attendance at that House more than other hon. Members, who were obliged to give up their private business for that purpose. There were election committees to be ballotted for; why should legal Gentlemen be exempted from attendance more than others.

Mr. Goulburn

said, that from the earliest period the House had recognized the advantage of allowing banisters to enter as Members and to go out on circuit. He thought the precedent ought to be followed.

Mr. Mildmay

would not assent to the principle of allowing barristers to be exempt from the business of the House in this way. If they had any valid claim, let them be exempt altogether.

Mr. Greene

said, that no objection had been made to the motion for leave of absence for Lord Clements.

Mr. Wrightson

said, that Lord Clements was not a lawyer, but was going to attend his county as a grand juror.

An hon. Member

observed, that when the bill regulating election committees was in progress it was clearly understood that barristers were not to be exempted.

Mr. Goulburn

admitted that fact, but at the same time no objection was made to their being allowed to go circuit.

Mr. Kelly

observed, that the very first motion for leave of absence for a barrister after the new bill passed was for his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-general.

Sir G. Grey

said, that that was a par ticular case, where his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-general had to attend a trial at York, and the leave given was only for such time as was necessary for that attendance.

Sir R. Peel

thought, that if lawyers found their duties as Members of that House onerous, they were not obliged to retain their seats. If there was a pressure of business in the House requiring the attendance of Members, he did not see why lawyers should be exempted more than others, for in such cases they ought to take their fair share of the duties of Members. In former times lawyers scarcely ever attended election ballots. They did not answer to their names, and the matter passed over because a sufficient number of other Members was easily found. If lawyers were allowed to go circuit in the early part of the Session, there was no reason why they might not attend at another time. In the present Session leave had been given to some barristers, arid, that being the case, he thought it would be invidious to refuse the leave in this instance. However, in the beginning of a new Session, when there might be a press of election business, he thought that barristers might be called on to take their fair share of duty.

Motion agreed to.

Colonel Paget moved, that Mr. W. O. Stanley have leave of absence till after Easter, on urgent private business.

Lord Howick

thought that the nature of the "urgent private business" should be stated before the House assented to the motion.

Mr. Pringle

was of the same opinion, and would not consent to the motion if such statement were not made.

Lord Stanley

said, that he happened to be in the same panel as the hon. Member, and it certainly would be very convenient to him to have his attendance put off from the 25th, but though he should have to go down to the country, it was his intention to be back in time for attending at the call of the panel on which his name stood. As the hon. Member's (Mr. W. O. Stanley's) name was in the panel which stood for so early a day, he thought that the nature of the urgent private business should be stated to the House by the hon. Member who made the motion, for urgent private business might be anything or nothing. The hon. Member ought to state in his place that he knew the business on which he founded his motion was of an urgent nature.

Colonel Paget

said, that as there seemed an objection on the part of the House, he would not persevere in his motion.

Mr. E. J. Stanley

hoped that his hon. Friend would not withdraw his motion, Of course, the House would act on the same principle in all other cases.

Lord Eliot

wished that the objection had been stated earlier in the Session.

Leave given.