§ On the motion that the dropped orders of yesterday be disposed of.
§ Mr. Ward
said, that he wished to take the earliest opprtunity of relieving the House from any uncertainty as to the course which he intended to take with respect to his motion regarding the Irish Church. He did not bring forward this motion without promise of support from many leading Members in that House, and he was led to understand that many hon. Gentlemen intended to have addressed the House on the subject, and he regretted, 224 that in consequence of the foolish fancy of some hon. Member, the debate was not allowed to proceed. He had no fault to find with the Government on the subject; it was not their fault that the House was counted out yesterday, but rather from a want of a combination of this side, for many of his hon. Friends who intended to speak on the subject were not in their places. At the same time, he could not let the subject drop without observing that he thought that this mode of getting rid of a discussion which was resorted to yesterday was a silly, childish, practice, unworthy of grown-up men—and, above all, when, as was the case yesterday, there was only one or two less than the number present which constituted a House. He admitted that he was not in the House himself, as he saw that there was a want of speakers on his side, and he went upstairs to induce some of his Friends to come down to speak. By seven or eight Gentlemen walking out of the House at about seven or eight o'clock, upon almost every evening important business might be got rid of for the night, and if the practice was not checked by common courtesy, it would degenerate into a system of mutual annoyance, to the serious impediment of public business. The mode in which the question was treated last night would be regarded as an intended insult to Ireland, and perhaps his hon. Friend near him (Mr. Roche) might quote it as a proof how little the people of Ireland had to expect from an Imperial Parliament. He thought that the least the Repeal Association of Dublin could do for the hon. Member for Winchester, was to make him an honorary member of that body.
§ Mr. B. Escott
had listened with satisfaction to certain parts of the able speech of the Member for Sheffield, and if he chose to use the hon. Member's own hard word, nothing could be more childish, after so many sensible remarks, than the impotent conclusion at which the hon. Member arrived. He did not intend to say one word of harshness at the nonattendance of hon. Gentlemen in their places on such an important discussion. He did not think the rules of the House should be despised nor disregarded, and he did not think that those who took advantage of the rules of the House to ensure the discussion of important subjects in a becoming manner, should be taunted by the hon. Member and others who were not present. The hon. Member should have 225 thanked him for having done his duty, and that he had remained in his place from the beginning to the end of the debate; and if the hon. Member and his Friends had done the same, the debate would have been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
thanked the hon. Member for the course that he had taken on the part of his own constituents, and of the people of Ireland, for by doing so he had torn away the disguise in which that House masqueraded with regard to Ireland. He had remained in the House during the whole of the discussion, with the exception of a few minutes, and although the Members of the Government attended in their places, the leaders of the Whig party were all absent. This question of the Irish Church was the pet question of the Whigs, and was said by them to be the moving cause of the agitation in that country, but it appeared they were indifferent to it. He himself had seen, evidently, that there would be a count out, and considering how matters were going on, he had himself felt a strong inclination to count out the House; but he thought it might be said "Oh, that repealer is factious," so he refrained from carrying out his wish. He thought the hon. Member for Sheffield, whose speech displayed such transcendant talent—such immense research—was quite right in not renewing the question; it was for the country to pass its opinion upon the conduct of the English representatives, who upon a subject of such vital importance, did not think it worth their while to attend in their places. The event of last night was another proof that Irish interests could not safely be entrusted to other than an Irish Parliament.
said, that when the hon. Gentleman attacked English Representatives for not having been in their places last night, he should not omit to mention the circumstance that when the House was counted out, there were but five Irish Members present, on both sides of the House.
§ The dropped orders were disposed of.