HC Deb 30 March 1843 vol 68 cc154-5
Mr. Rice

begged to know from the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, whether the report of the Land Emigration commissioners would be laid on the Table of the House. It was usual to lay it on the Table of the House at an early period.

Lord Stanley

said, that he was obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving him an opportunity of answering his question. The hon. Gentleman was mistaken in supposing that it was usual to lay that report on the Table so early. On the contrary, no report had been laid on the table on this subject until last year. He had then stated that it would be expedient that a report from the emigration commissioners should be produced, stating the progress of emigration, and of other matters in connection with the subject; and a report had been accordingly produced, but not until the month of August. The practice had been to lay on the table of the House, from time to time, such information as was received from the various colonies. The hon. Member was not aware, perhaps, of the extent to which these papers had gone. Last year, there had been laid on the Table of the House no fewer than forty-three papers, extending to 2,700 folio pages. Of these between 500 and 600 pages had been produced upon the motion of the hon. Member for Limerick; and another hon. Member had moved for like returns, which would take two months in preparation, and which could not be yet produced for a considerable time. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton, had also moved for some very useful papers relating to Canada and Australia; but until last year, no general report had been laid before the House. The plan which he had suggested to the commissioners was, that they should lay an annual report of all matters which they deemed it expedient to bring before the House on the Table, and he found that they would be able to make their report, in each session, shortly before the Easter recess. Before that time, they could not have the returns made out; and therefore, before that time they could not produce their report. He should feel very much obliged to hon. Members if they would, for the future, postpone, until the report was received, all motions for detached papers. After the report had been made, such mo- tions might be brought forward, and any returns in which the report was deficient, would be afforded with the greatest pleasure,