HC Deb 20 April 1842 vol 62 cc884-6
Mr. C. Buller

rose, and complained of the practice of the Government in bringing on their measures on Wednesdays, which had not been the custom. Wednesday night was the only night on which individual Members, not connected with the Government, could calculate upon having an opportunity to proceed with the bills they had in their charge. He did not now rise for the purpose of offering any opposition to the measures on the paper, but to express his opinion that the new practice was particularly hard upon Members not connected with the Government, and that it was also injurious to the proper discharge of public business, inasmuch as hon. Members had not sufficient notice of the bills which were to be proceeded with.

Mr. Wakley

said, that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, several times during the previous Session, had not hesitated to say that there were some proceedings of the late Government which they would not refuse to follow. He would not say whether it would be a wise and useful determination to imitate the general conduct of the late Government, but he would say that it might be convenient to the House if the present Government would follow the example of the last in two things,—first, in not going on with Government bills on Wednesday evenings, and secondly, in not only stating what business was to occupy the House, but in what order it would be taken. At present it was impossible to foretel whether the first, or the 17th, or the 20th order would be taken first or not. The first order on the list for that evening was the Licensed Lunatic Asylums Bill, which was virtually a Government bill, but one which ought not to be discussed on such a night and in such a House. Of course the regular supporters of the Government would be in attendance on Wednesdays, but of all the other members few would attend, those few consisting chiefly of Members who came down to the House out of curiosity, or those who, not being fortunate enough to get an invitation to dinner, had nowhere else to go. The noble Lord the Member for Monmouth-, shire had promised that this bill should not be proceeded with without previous inquiry; but what new information had been laid before the House on the subject? None, positively none. The noble Lord wanted to renew the powers of the commissioners, on the ground of public advantage. He wished to ask the noble Lord whether he would consent to postpone the bringing up of the report to that day fortnight?

Lord G. Somerset

could not subscribe to the opinions of the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard and of the hon. Member for Finsbury with regard to leaving the members of the Government to take their chance with other Members; but he announced that it was not his intention to bring up the report until that day fortnight.

Mr. V. Smith

said, that he would reserve whatever observations he had to make on the bill until the report was brought up.

Order of the Day read.

House in committee on the