HC Deb 16 May 1845 vol 80 cc433-6
Sir R. Peel

moved, in pursuance of the Notice he had given, that after Monday, the 2nd of June next, Orders of the Day have precedence of Notices of Motion on Thursdays. Looking at the state of the Public Business before the House, and the fact that it had been usual in former years to agree to such a Motion at about the same period of the Session, he hoped the House would acquiesce in this proposal. It would not, he believed, interfere with any existing Notice. Last year, a similar Resolution had been in operation from the 3rd of June.

Mr. H. Berkeley

considered that a degree of hardship would be inflicted by the Motion on those hon. Members who, from the counting out of the House, or the House not being made, had been disappointed in bringing on Motions of which notice had been given. He had been so disappointed last night in regard to his Motion for a Committee to inquire into the operation of the Insolvency Act of last Session—a Motion of great importance to his constituents, and which he hoped the Government would yet enable him to bring under consideration.

Sir R. Peel

said, the hon. Member could not be more disappointed than he was that the House was counted out yesterday. The hon. Member for Finsbury had made his statement, and it was most desirable that the Government should have an opportunity of replying to it. He could assure the hon. Member that it was not by the wish of the Government that the House was counted out, nor was any Member of the Government a party to that proceeding. There had been fewer instances this Session of the House being counted out, or of its failing to be made, than in any previous one—he believed in two instances only had there been any failure in making a House during the Session. With regard to the Motion of the hon. Member for Bristol, the Government had no wish to throw any impediment in its way.

Mr. H. Berkeley

hoped some opportunity would be afforded him of bringing forward his Motion. He did not wish to make a long speech, and should be quite satisfied if the Government would agree to appoint a Committee.

Dr. Bowring

said, that a very great anxiety prevailed on the subject of the hon. Member's Motion, and he thought the nomination of a Committee was imperatively called for.

Mr. Ward

remarked that he had strong claims upon the right hon. Baronet, in regard to his Motion for inquiring into the peculiar burdens on land. If the Resolution now proposed were carried, it was probable that he would not have an opportunity of bringing forward that Motion during the present Session; and considering that he had on a previous evening, abstained from using his influence to cause a House to be made, he might almost say, at the personal request of the right hon. Baronet, but certainly in consequence of his appeal on the ground of great fatigue, he thought he had some claim to ask that facilities should be afforded him by the Government for bringing on his Motion.

Sir R. Peel

thought when the House remembered the number of Government measures which were yet to be discussed—many of them measures of great importance—he might allude especially to the Scotch and Irish Banking Bills — they would concur with him that every facility should be afforded for proceeding with the Government business. It had been usual to give up the Thursdays to Orders of the Day, at about the same period in previous Sessions, and he hoped no objection would be made on the present occasion. With regard to the Motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield, he did not see how he could afford him any facilities for bringing it forward, as he was already under an engagement to one hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ewart), to afford him an opportunity for bringing under discussion his Motion as to the duties on butter and cheese. The noble Lord's (Lord John Russell's) Motion was also fixed for a night which was usually set apart for Government business; and, looking at the state of that business, and the advanced period of the Session, he hoped the House would acquiesce in the usual Motion he had submitted.

Mr. Ward,

under the circumstances he had stated, thought he might fairly appeal to the fight hon. Baronet's courtesy, as well as to his sense of justice, to afford him facilities for bringing on his Motion.

Sir R. Peel

felt grateful to the hon. Member for his courtesy; but he had not understood that he was under any obligation to him in this matter. He did not propose to take any of those days which were now set apart for notices of Motions for Government business, until Thursday the 7th of June; and before that time he hoped the hon. Member would have an opportunity of bringing forward his Motion on some Tuesday or Thursday.

Mr. Ward

said, there was not a chance, for the Notice Paper for each of those days was already filled.

Mr. Wakley

said, as reference had been made to him, he might be permitted to state, that although the Government had certainly assisted in making a House on the previous night, he was not aware that they had made any very powerful efforts to keep it. It was true he had had an opportunity of saying a great deal, but he had not expressed the half of what he had intended to say. He would admit, that so far as form went he had been allowed to finish his speech; but he saw where the dial pointed—he saw it was approaching the fatal hour of seven—and feeling that it was expedient, that the right hon. Gentleman should have an opportunity of replying, he concluded, in the hope that that reply would be listened to, and be the means of keeping a House. It was most important that independent Members should have an opportunity of bringing forward those questions in which their constituents and the country felt an interest; but that would be impossible if the Government took from them the Thursday, while this mode of interrupting the business of the House was resorted to. Although not more than thirty Members were present when the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) rose to speak on the previous evening, no attempt had been made by hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House to count the House out. It had been done by an hon. Gentleman on the opposite Benches; and perhaps that hon. Gentleman, the hon. Member for Northamptonshire, would now be good enough to state the grounds that had induced him to move that the House be counted. He and others felt, that the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) ought not to persist in his Motion; but if the right hon. Baronet would consent to withdraw the Medical Bill altogether, he would not say anything more on the subject. Looking at the Bill as it had been presented to them that morning, with the proposed Amendments, it was quite impossible for it to pass during the present Session, and he hoped if the right hon. Baronet intended to persist in his Motion, it would be at once withdrawn.

Mr. Stafford O'Brien

said, as the hon. Member opposite had made his name a striking part of his speech, he begged to say a few words in reply to the question he had put to him. Though he had received no intimation or suggestion from the right hon. Baronet or any Member of the Government on the preceding evening with regard to the counting out of the House, he had, during the speech of the hon. Gentleman, received repeated applications to make that Motion from hon. Gentlemen on the hon. Member's own side of the House. At one period of the hon. Gentleman's speech there were not more than a dozen Members present to listen to him; but he declined to interrupt the hon. Member, for, he said, the hon. Member for Finsbury always speaks well, and you will get more information by listening to him here than at the Reform Club. But he added that when the hon. Member had concluded his speech he intended to move that "the House be counted." Notwithstanding this courtesy the hon. Member now turned round upon him, and charged him with interrupting his Motion, though it was well known that if, depending on his friends, the hon. Member had been allowed to carry on his Motion to a division, the House would not—to use his own peculiar phraseology—have survived the operation.

Motion agreed to.

Orders of the Day to have precedence of Notices of Motions, on Thursdays, after June 2nd.