HC Deb 03 May 1842 vol 63 cc92-4
Mr. Ferrand

moved, that the following Gentlemen be nominated as Members of he select committee on the payment of wages:— Mr. Ferrand, Lord Ashley, Mr. Stuart Wortley, Mr. John Fielden, Viscount Jocelyn, Mr. Sharman Crawford, Mr. Henry Red-head Yorke, Mr. Baird, Mr. George William Wood, Earl of Hillsborough, Mr. Thomas Duncombe, Mr. Beckett, Mr. Charles Pelham villiers, Sir John Hanmer, and Sir John Guest.

Mr. Brotherton

complained, that there was not a Member connected with the Manufacturing districts, connected with the committee. Whatever report the committee might make, constituted as it was, it could never give satisfaction.

Mr. C. Buller

said, that as it was a matter of great importance, and as it was desirable to have a committee of some character,—he meant by that of some weight—he thought his best course would be to move the adjournment of the motion. He accordingly moved, that the motion be adjourned.

Mr. Ferrand

said, that the hon. Member for Salford had complained that there was no Member on the committee connected with the manufacturing interest. Among the names he would find those of Mr. J. Fielden and Mr. G. W. Wood, who, he believed, was a partner in business with the hon. Member for Manchester. He begged further to state, that he had found great difficulty in inducing hon. Members to allow themselves to be nominated on the committee. He had applied to one of the hon. Members for Birmingham, and to the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Wakley), but both had refused to sit on the committee. He had not named the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Cobden), because the hon. Member had published a communication which, in his opinion, was a strictly private one.

Mr. Cobden

said, that there was again some misrepresentation on this point. He had told the hon. Member that he should treat everything as public which came from him in that House, and the publication of the communication alluded to, could not, therefore, form any just charge against him. If a suspicion of partisanship was to exclude him (Mr. Cobden) from the committee, what would be thought of the qualification of the hon. Gentleman opposite to sit on the same committee.

Mr. Hume

called the attention of the Government to the manifest unfairness that a Gentleman who had made a charge against a whole body should sit upon the committee, whilst those who had come forward to defend that body against the charge, were to be excluded.

Sir J. Graham

did not think it was a matter for the executive Government to take up. He should be sorry if the hon. Member for Stockport were excluded from the committee.

Mr. Villiers

said, it was important that persons should be placed on the committee who represented places where it was charged the truck system was carried on.

Sir J. Graham

suggested, that as it would be impossible the hon. Member for Tynemouth could attend the committee, the name of the hon. Member for Stockport be substituted.

Viscount Palmerston

said, that some one connected with the Government ought to be appointed on the committee.

Mr. Wakley

trusted the suggestion of the noble Lord would be acted upon. He recommended to the especial notice of the Member for Stockport the system of truck among farmers. It was quite fair, that this should be looked after also.

Mr. Brotherton

disclaimed any wish to be on the committee, but thought that some one connected with manufactures ought to be placed thereon, so as to be placed in a position to ascertain the truth of the charges that had been made. The hon. Member then alluded to the abuse that had been lavished upon him, because on a former occasion he had said to the hon. Member for Knaresborough, that the hon. Member for Stockport never had a cotton-mill, while at the same time he (Mr. Brotherton) knew the hon. Gentleman was the owner of print-works. Observations had been made as if he (Mr. Brotherton) had been guilty of a mental reservation on the point; but the fact was, that he well knew that the hon. Member for Knaresborough was quite aware of the distinction between the two, for the hon. Member's own father had a cotton-mill, and worked the children there night and day.

Sir B. Hall

said, that the riots which had taken place in Wales had been attributed mainly to the truck system there, and he thought the committee ought to be postponed, with a view to some Gentlemen connected with Wales being placed upon it.

House adjourned.