HC Deb 22 July 1844 vol 76 cc1255-6
Mr. Barneby

moved that three be the quorum of the Gilbert's Unions' Committee.

Captain Pechell

considered the Motion wholly unprecedented. The hon. Mover, who was Chairman of the Gilberts' Incorporation Committee, had stated no ground whatever for the proposal he had made; and the very proposition itself showed that the inquiry ought to be given up for the present Session. He had been most regular in his attendance, and was most desirous to afford every information in his power; but very important interests were at stake; strong accusations were made against the Poor Law Commissioners; and the inquiry had only finished with reference to the southern districts. Yorkshire and the midland counties, the most important of all, had yet to be inquired into, and now the chairman came down to the House with a proposal to reduce the quorum to three. This amounted, first of all, to a reflection on the Members of the Committee; the proceeding itself was altogether irregular, especially unfair to the minority of the Committee, and must prove to the public that the result ought not to be considered satisfactory. He should resolutely oppose the Motion.

Mr. Wakley

hoped if there was other formal business to be gone through, the hon. Member would withdraw this Motion. If the Resolution was carried, no report whatever could be made this Session.

Sir J. Graham

had no objection to the withdrawal of the Motion, provided the hon. and gallant Member for Brighton engaged not to withdraw from the Committee for the purpose of reducing the quorum of five. He understood there had been some threat of that sort held out for the purpose of impeding the progress of this Committee.

Mr. Wakley

begged to say, he had never withdrawn from the Committee for the purpose of reducing the numbers, nor had he ever heard of any Member having done so; that it was impossible Members of that Committee could do their duty and also attend the early sittings of that House when the Poor Law Amendment Bill was to be discussed. The proper way would be to abandon the inquiry for the present, and resume it next Session.

Sir J. Graham

, at all events, hoped they would have the benefit of the evidence that had been taken.

Mr. Colvile

felt that insinuations had been thrown out that ought to be retracted. On more than one occasion he had been anxious to divide the Committee, but he had declined to do so because there was not a quorum. The whole conduct pursued in that Committee was so bad that he was compelled to complain of it. It was quite impossible that the result of the inquiry could be satisfactory to the public. However, on condition that this proposition was withdrawn, he should postpone his Motion till to-morrow, (this day.)

Motion withdrawn.

House adjourned at a quarter to two o'clock.