MR. SMITH O'BRIEN
rose for the purpose of appealing to the noble Lord the Member for Lynn to postpone his measure respecting railways in Ireland; and he might perhaps be permitted to state in very few words the grounds on which he made this request. It was only a week since the measure had been brought before the House; and it must therefore be perfectly obvious that the people of Ireland could have had no opportunity of expressing their opinions upon it. It was due to the importance of the proposal, that their constituents should have an opportunity of representing their views on the subject; and he thought it neither fair towards the Irish people or Irish Members that the subject should be forced to a premature decision. It was moreover notorious that the Government had staked their existence on the issue of the division; and the consequence therefore would be, that if the House should pronounce a decision adverse to the view taken by the Government, there would possibly be a change of Ministry. The consequence of such a change would be to throw into confusion legislation of the most urgent and immediate importance to the poor of Ireland—measures on which, perhaps, depended the existence of many thousands of their fellow-countrymen in Ireland. He held, therefore, that they 1207 were not at liberty, for the sake of gaining a great contingent advantage, to risk the possible loss of human life. He had entertained the hope that this measure would not have been discussed by either section of the House as a party question. He had entertained the hope that the noble Lord the Member for the city of London, and the Government, would have proposed to consider the question one upon which it was not necessary to stake the existence of the Government; but that they would rather have acquiesced in what appeared to be the general wish of the House. For his own part, he had no hesitation in saying that if the Government had brought forward a proposal which, on the whole, appeared more desirable than that introduced by the noble Lord the Member for Lynn, he should have felt himself bound to have given it his preference, were it only for the sake of avoiding the contingent change of the Ministry, which he thought by no means desirable. At the same time the proposal of the noble Member for Lynn not having been met by any counter proposal, and the noble Lord's measure being one calculated to give immediate employment and relief to many thousands of the Irish people, without any eventual loss either to this country, and without the imposition of any burden on Irish resources; finding that proposal placed in juxtaposition with a system of temporary expedients, which imposed on this country and on Ireland an unquestionable burden, for which no return was to be given in the way of national advantage, he had no hesitation in tendering, under existing circumstances, his support to the noble Lord; and upon that point, therefore, he did not wish that any doubt or hesitation should exist as to the course which he, at least, was prepared to take: and indeed he thought that a very general disposition prevailed amongst the Irish Members to support the noble Lord. He was, nevertheless, anxious that they should have an opportunity of considering this question with reference to its real merits, apart from the consideration of the existence of a Ministry, and apart from the consideration of the possibility of inflicting upon their fellow-countrymen the inconveniences and sufferings which might arise from arresting the progress of remedial legislation. With these views he should make an appeal to the noble Lord; and he expressed, he believed, the opinions of many other hon. Members, as well as his own, 1208 and would ask him to postpone for a few days the second stage of his Bill.
§ MR. SHAW
concurred with his hon. Friend (Mr. S. O'Brien) in requesting his noble Friend (Lord G. Bentinck) to postpone the second reading of the Bill; but he would not do so without frankly telling his noble Friend the feeling which he (Mr. Shaw) entertained on the subject. He was favourable to the principle of his noble Friend's Bill; he (Mr. Shaw) had always been in favour of a general system of railways for Ireland, to be undertaken or controlled by the Government, and had supported the measure brought forward with that view by the noble Lord at the head of the Woods and Forests, who was then Secretary for Ireland (Lord Morpeth). He (Mr. Shaw) had every hope that if the Bill was postponed, and that the Government found that it was a measure wholly irrespective of party, and applicable to the exigencies of Ireland, that they would give it their sanction, or themselves introduce one of a similar character; but it was only candid that he should inform his noble Friend (Lord G. Bentinck), that if he then pressed forward the second reading of the Bill, in opposition to the Government, and that it was to become a question on which the existence of the Government was to depend, he (Mr. Shaw) could not support the Bill to that extent. He thought that would be a most unfavourable position for the fair consideration of the measure itself; and, moreover, in the present state of parties, and the country, and, above all, the calamitous condition of Ireland, he (Mr. Shaw) would not join in attempting to put out one Ministry and form another upon such a question. He believed the most anxious and unqualified supporters of his noble Friend's Bill were also of opinion that it would be better to postpone it for the present.
§ MR. H. GRATTAN
would state frankly his opinions, without favour or affection for any man or party. He should do his duty to Ireland, and he trusted also to England. It was his intention to have voted for the noble Lord's Motion, and he said so openly and fearlessly. He had supported the hon. Gentleman sitting on his (Mr. Grattan's) side of the House for many years. He had been twenty years in Parliament—and never was there a time when Ireland required more the sympathy and good feeling of the people of England; and yet from his own side of the House he had heard his country attacked, the characters of Irish 1209 Members abused, and themselves insulted. He put all that by. But the people were dying, and here were two great doctors prescribing, and the question was, which remedy was the best. He would undertake to say, that the Government ought to consent to the plans of the noble Lord opposite, and if the Government put it upon that footing, he would prove it to be a debt due to Ireland. He maintained that it was a debt due to Mr. Drummond's memory, as well as to Ireland. The plan proposed by that able man had received the sanction of Colonel Burgoyne, Mr. Griffith, and all the ablest engineers of the country; every one, in short, who had reported for the Government upon the condition of Ireland, from the year 1835 to 1847, had suggested the utility of various railway systems, and had suggested plans for improving the condition of the country; but, he asked, had any one of them been followed up, or the slightest attempt been made to carry any of them into effect? And yet thousands upon thousands of pounds had been spent in Committees of the House—in one instance no less than 60,000l. in one Committee—wrangling about Railway Bills. He contended that, far from being a wasteful expenditure, the measure proposed by the noble Lord would be a saving of money to the English people. For what were the proposals of the noble Lord at the head of the Government? The noble Lord had brought forward three Bills, which were certainly insufficient to meet the exigencies of the case. The famine was extending; and fever was spreading in the north of Ireland, and in Lurgan, Lough Erne, Sligo, and other parts of the country. And what was the plan adopted to relieve the distresses of the people? They had military officers, colonels, majors, and captains, spread over the country, by way of superintending the giving out of soup and meal. He (Mr. Grattan) was too old a soldier to be imposed upon; and he could not understand the necessity for employing those military gentlemen in the distribution of soup. No; he knew better what their purpose was. They were sent there to survey the lakes and mountains, and the bogs of Ireland, in order to be the better prepared, as the times were believed to be dangerous. But he wanted them to guard more effectually against the circumstances of danger; and the first and the best thing they could do would be to send all the Irish Members back again. Yes, he repeated, let them send the Irish Members home to 1210 regulate their own affairs. They could do no good where they were. He had ever honestly upheld that opinion. But to return to the point before the House. The Government measures proposed—how much money for Ireland? Let them see what the next Bill before them was. It was for 1,500,000l. Now, of that there were only 500,000l. for which the present Government could take credit; for the 1,000,000l. had been given before. Let them compare that with the proposal of the noble Lord the Member for Lynn. The noble Lord said, that he proposed a plan which their (the Government's) own officer had, when they were formerly in power, recommended. Mr. Drummond had recommended it; but he should say, that when Mr. Drummond died, the Government, so far as regarded Ireland, died along with him. The people should be fed. They were dying of hunger; and the noble Lord at the head of the Government proposed to advance at the rate of 1,000,000l. a month to feed them, so that by the month of August next the sum that will have been expended had been stated at 6,000,000l. Now he asked if they did not adopt a plan of expenditure which would cause a reproductive employment, how were they to get back the money? There was no immediate chance under the noble Lord's plan of getting back their money. He might with truth say that the Irish nobility and aristocracy were gone. He knew one individual who paid interest on 100,000l., and another who paid 6,000l. a year interest money in London out of 7,000l. a year of ill-paid rents. In one instance, a proprietor could not cut down a tree on his estate without getting permission from an attorney; and the cases of Irish proprietors owing sums of 20,000l. to English capitalists were quite frequent. Why was this? Because these Irish landlords were brought over to London, and induced to remain there, by individuals who led them into expense. He would say that the remedy for such a state of things was a repeal of the Union; and, what was more, he believed that House would soon be willing to repeal it, and be glad to send Irish Members back to make laws for themselves. As he had said before, Ireland was under the care of two doctors, but he thought they were both bad doctors. They had been going on making their patient worse and worse for forty-seven years; and he thought that the patient must, therefore, be incurable, or that the doctors were bad. Compared with 1211 the temporary measures of the Government, he thought that the measure of the noble Lord the Member for Lynn was a good one, and he would, therefore, support it. With the exception of temporary measures, all that was offered to Ireland was a poor law, which they took care never to apply to England, for even under the old poor-law the right of out-door relief to the able-bodied poor was not acknowledged. He was opposed to such a measure for Ireland, because he knew the great expenses incurred by such a system. As a manager of the Mendicity Institution in Dublin, he could state that for years past that establishment had supported 3,000 persons at just one half the expense at which they could be maintained in the workhouses. ["Question!"] That was the question. The question was by which of two measures they should be taxed, and he wished to give his reasons for preferring the measure of the noble Lord to the Irish Poor Law Bill of the Government.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
Sir, the hon. Member for the county of Limerick, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin, have asked my noble Friend the Member for Lynn to postpone the Bill, which now stands the first among the Orders of the Day, for Railways in Ireland. I rise for the purpose of putting to my noble Friend a prayer of an exactly opposite description. I wish that the noble Lord would proceed immediately with this Bill, as it now stands for the second reading; and if the noble Lord thinks that it is too late on this evening to proceed with the consideration of that Bill, I shall be quite ready to give him any priority he may require to-morrow. But that which I do object to, and which I do strongly object to, is, that this Bill should be postponed for a fortnight, leaving the whole matter in uncertainty in the meantime—leaving it a matter of uncertainty what is the plan which the Legislature will adopt, and what is to be the course of action which the Government of this country is to take. Sir, my noble Friend, in bringing forward this Motion, stated, that he had brought it forward by no means as a party Motion; and I do think my noble Friend will say that I did not answer him at all in the spirit of party. But, Sir, I was obliged to say on that occasion, and I feel now still more obliged to say, what view I take of his measure in reference both to our general policy as regards Ireland, and also as relates to the finances of the country. 1212 We cannot but feel that we are responsible for the management of those finances. We cannot but feel that we are responsible for the application of very large sums to the relief of Irish distress, and for the application of that relief in the manner which in our opinion will be most efficacious, and which will enable this country to be ready to give that support which is necessary for a most immediate and most pressing and most urgent case of distress. Now, Sir, I was therefore led to say—and I feel now that I am under the obligation to say—whether I considered or not that the borrowing of 16,000,000l. for the purpose of laying them out in railroads in Ireland, was consistent, in our opinion, with that which ought to be the policy of the Government of this country. I could not speak as if it were any very small sum of money, or any inferior or doubtful matter of legislation, or as if it were a matter of indifference to the country whether this should be a part of the general finances of the year or not. I am obliged to say, and as long as I fill the situation which I have now the honour to hold, I shall not hesitate in such cases from declaring, whether I entirely adopt the plan of the noble Lord, or whether I think that it ought to be rejected; and I have no hesitation in stating my opinion that that plan ought to be rejected, and that it is not consistent with the plan of the finances of the year which we think it our duty to adopt. Sir, if the House should agree to go into the consideration of this question, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and I shall be prepared to state our reasons why we have come to that conclusion; but at present all that I ask of my noble Friend to do is, to take one of two courses—either to bring this question to an immediate decision, in order that the House may know, and that the country may know, what is to be the policy which is to be pursued, or else to give up entirely his plan for the present Session. I do not care which of the two courses the noble Lord takes, I am ready to enter into the discussion. I am ready (if he thinks proper) to see it abandoned. I will tell him fairly at once, that though I do not wish to commit the Government either to adopt or reject any scheme for the promotion of railways in Ireland—for it would be imprudent so to commit the Government—yet I will say, on the other hand, that I do not think or expect that in the course of the present Session we shall have any large or distinct 1213 measure to produce for the promotion of railways on the part of Her Majesty's Government. I therefore do not wish to induce any man to vote against the noble Lord on this occasion from an expectation that we shall bring forward another measure which would ensure the expenditure of any similar sum of money. I will not say more now than that I think the plan of my noble Friend in 1839 was a wise plan, and that such is my general opinion on the subject; but I think that I have said enough to show I have a fair right to ask—and I think the House has a fair right to ask—that my noble Friend should not listen to the proposition that is now made to postpone his measure. After stating the general nature of my objections the other night, the noble Lord, after hearing those objections, got up at the end of the discussion, and said that it was the intention of himself and his Friends to put forward and bring to a decision this question. Sir, I have no objection to that determination. If the plans of my noble Friend are those approved of by the House and by the country, let them be adopted. All that we ask is, to have the opinion of the House on the subject, or that my noble Friend will cease to urge it on the consideration of Parliament this Session.
§ MR. BERNAL OSBORNE
said, he was not one of those who thought they should let a question with which the monetary interests of this country were so deeply concerned, be postponed for a fortnight, for he thought that these great interests would be affected by such a matter being left hanging in suspense for such a length of time. He thought that hon. Gentlemen who asked for a postponement of the question were not justified in so doing by their own views. His hon. Friend the Member for Limerick said, he supported the Bill because he thought it would give immediate relief to the labouring population. Now, he was for going on at once with the Bill for that very reason. The noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government should remember that after the month of April the population would be totally unemployed, except in agricultural labour; and if no system of employment were introduced, many would then be idle. He supported the measure also, because he was of opinion that it would put an end to the wasteful system of expenditure that was now going on in Ireland, and which was at the same time draining this country 1214 of immense sums of money, and bringing a great deal of unnecessary odium on Ireland and her people. For these reasons he had listened to the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Lynn the other night with great satisfaction; and if the noble Lord went on with his Motion, he should be prepared to prove that the measure of the noble Lord was much better than the system of lending money to the landlords. For these reasons he would join his request to that of the noble Lord the Member for London, that the Motion should not be postponed.
An HON. MEMBER
observed, that if the Irish Members did not now support the measure of the noble Lord the Member for Lynn, they would not deserve to have it brought forward on any future occasion.
§ MR. P. S. BUTLER
said, it appeared to him to be very difficult for the noble Lord the Member for Lynn to decide what course to take under the circumstances in which he was placed. He was not at liberty to tell the secrets of the prison house, or else he would mention to the House the result of a meeting of Irish Members that had taken place that day. ["Order!"] If he could not allude to the meeting, he had, at all events, a right to speak of what occurred afterwards. The Irish Members met in conclave, and they came to this conclusion almost unanimously, and after having entered into a long discussion, which he should be extremely sorry, at this period of the debate, to repeat to the House, that, under all the circumstances, it would be desirable that the noble Lord the Member for Lynn should postpone his Motion to a more convenient opportunity. He was merely giving a simple narrative, and he had not, individually, up to the present moment, expressed any opinion of his own on the matter. They conveyed, in the most respectful manner, their sentiments to the noble Lord; and they had been subsequently led to believe, that the noble Lord, in the most courteous manner, conveyed to them an intimation that he was willing, on the present most important occasion, to be guided by the opinions of the Irish Members. He would not have risen on the present occasion if he had not seen the extraordinary predicament in which the noble Lord was placed. He said this from seeing two Irish Members calling on the noble Lord to withdraw his Motion, while two others begged of him to go on. There was no Irish Member less disposed than he was to act in a spirit of hostility to 1215 Her Majesty's present Government; but having a few days ago stated his opinion that the measure of the noble Lord was eminently calculated to benefit the country in the present state of almost mendicancy to which it was reduced, and having also stated that he was one of those who felt bound to give that measure his most unqualified support, he certainly would not shrink from that promise; and while he hoped and trusted the noble Lord would consent to a postponement, yet if the noble Lord felt himself to be so trammelled that he must go on that evening, he felt himself unquestionably bound as a man of honour and a gentleman, and as one who did not wish to compromise his character in any way, not to shrink from the pledge which he had given, and he would therefore divide with the noble Lord.
MR. M. J. O'CONNELL
had never listened to a discussion which gave him more pain than the present. In the very first instance there was a difference of opinion between hon. Gentlemen from Ireland. He had hoped to have seen an unanimous feeling on this subject; but here were they hampered between two contending impressions—approbation of a principle which most of them thoroughly approved, and apprehension of danger to their country by checking the measures of Government, which, though only temporary, were of vital importance to the interests of Ireland. He had hoped, he said, to have seen Irish Members unanimous in supporting the principle of the Bill, which was not so much the advance of 16,000,000l. as the introduction of railways into Ireland by means of the credit of Great Britain; and that it would have been disembarrassed of the other grave question which was now mixed up with it. But, unfortunately for Ireland, it was her curse that her representatives could never agree, even upon matters the most vital. He must himself own that he had been disappointed at the course of the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown, at his pressing upon the noble Lord the Member for Lynn to move the second reading of his Bill, for he was one of those who were inclined to support the policy of the Government, and therefore it seemed hardly fair for the noble Lord to press for a decision on the measure. Hon. Members from Ireland were placed thereby in a most embarrassing situation. How to choose between two evils was a matter of considerable difficulty—a matter so difficult, that, but for the recollection 1216 of the principle that, in this case, the boldest course was the best, he should have been at a loss how to decide. If there had been any chance, he should have added his request to those of his Friends to the noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) to postpone the second reading; but he feared that, after the call of the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), one from him would have very little weight. If, therefore, the measure went on, he should leave the responsibility of it upon the noble Lord and his followers.
§ LORD G. BENTINCK
Sir, I feel in a very painful and difficult position. "No change has come over the spirit of my dream." As I was upon the first day of the Session, so I am now, deeply impressed with the conviction that the measure which I have introduced to the House, is one in which the dearest interests of Ireland are vitally concerned. Sir, it is true, as has been stated by the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Mr. P. S. Butler), that at four o'clock to-day I received a requisition from three or four and thirty Members of both Houses of Parliament, all gentlemen from Ireland, requesting that I would postpone my Motion for the second reading of this Bill to some future day. I confess, Sir, with my feelings, that that proposition gave me the deepest pain, inasmuch as I am deeply impressed with the conviction that there has been no measure proposed by Her Majesty's Ministers for the immediate relief to the people of Ireland, for immediate relief to the burdened finances of this country, that can come into comparison with that which, on behalf of my party, it has been my honour to introduce to the House. But, Sir, though such were my feelings, I was prepared, at the united request of the Irish Gentlemen, to forego my own wishes, and so were my Friends, though many of them had been summoned here—my English and Scotch Friends—from the furthest corners of England and Scotland, and from foreign parts, to support this Motion. Though some of them, I say, had come from foreign parts, still I felt there was not a man among them who, from the warm sympathy he felt with the calamities of Ireland, at this present time, would for a moment have weighed his convenience against the convenience of the Irish people. And, therefore, when I was told there had been a meeting at the Foreign Office, at which a notice had been given by the noble Lord at the head of the Government, that he intended 1217 to stake the existence of the Government upon this measure; and when the Irish Gentlemen told me that great inconvenience would arise to Ireland if the measures for the temporary relief of the destitute poor, and the other measures of Her Majesty's Ministers, were to be indefinitely postponed by a change of Government, I was prepared for a short time to postpone my Motion for the second reading of this Bill. Sir, I must say again that I have heard with the deepest regret the announcement from the First Minister of the Crown, that the fate of the Government must be staked upon this measure. Sir, upon the first day of the Session, Her Majesty charged us that it would be our duty "to consider what measures would be required to alleviate the existing distress in Ireland;" further, Her Majesty told us She had likewise to direct our earnest consideration to the permanent condition of Ireland; and Her Majesty was graciously pleased to say to us—You will perceive in the absence of political excitement an opportunity for taking a dispassionate survey of the social evils which afflict that part of the United Kingdom.In humble obedience to Her Majesty's commands, I did hope that the same impartial consideration would be given by Her Majesty's Ministers to any measures proceeding from this side of the House, which we have shown so warm a wish to bestow upon the measures of my noble Friend. That wish has not been shown in public alone. In private I have staked my honour to my noble Friend, that neither I nor any of my party have the smallest desire to make any measures connected with Ireland the battle-field of party. I am here to-night again to repeat that assurance to my noble Friend and to the country; and my right hon. Friend the Lord Mayor of York is ready to offer his still more valuable assistance, without fee or reward from Her Majesty's Government, in carrying those measures into execution. I did, therefore, hope that we might have come to the consideration of this question with all party and political feelings merged. But, Sir, since I am challenged by the First Minister of the Crown—willing as I am to pay attention to the requests of Gentlemen from Ireland, I feel that when the Queen's Minister, who is responsible for the safety of the country, tells me that it is for the advantage of that country that this measure should be forthwith discussed, and 1218 speedily decided, I feel I should be wanting in duty to Her Majesty, as well as to my country, if I were to hesitate in persevering now with my Motion. And, Sir, whatever may be the result, however important the consequences, upon my head is not the responsibility. Should it be the pleasure of Her Majesty's Ministers, in the present difficulties of Ireland, to desert the helm of State, great as I admit those difficulties to be—greater than any which, any previous Government has ever encountered in the conduct of the affairs of Ireland—my Friends are not appalled at those difficulties, and will not shrink from any responsibility which, unsought, may be forced upon us.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, he was not very often in the habit of supporting any proposition that came from the Treasury Bench. He did not, however, like to see what he thought an injustice done on any occasion; and he thought that unless some Members not connected with Ireland expressed their feelings, very unfair impressions might go abroad as to the present condition of Her Majesty's Government. The noble Lord opposite had endeavoured to fix upon the noble Lord at the head of the Government the imputation of making this what he called a party question. A simple statement, he was sure, would carry conviction to the mind of the noble Lord opposite, that the noble Lord at the head of the Government could do nothing but that which he had done. The noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) said, that at the commencement of the Session, he told his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) he did not wish to make Ireland the battle-field of party. But he had since placed on the Table of the House a measure which, if carried, must materially affect the financial position of the country. Supposing this measure to be successful, was not the noble Lord called upon, in justice to himself, to say whether he would bear the responsibility of it, added to, and superinduced upon, and overbearing his own. The noble Lord merely said, "If the House of Commons pass this Bill, all I can reply is, it is not my act, and I will not be burdened with the responsibility of carrying it into effect." Was this making it a party question? What was the meaning and feeling of responsibility, if the noble Lord had not taken a correct and common-sense view of it? He (Mr. Roebuck) would tell the noble Lord the Member for Lynn, that if there ever was a person who ought to be accused of making this a 1219 party question, it was the noble Lord himself, and those who concurred with him. The noble Lord the Member for Newark (Lord J. Manners) had made some very significant statements upon this very question: whenever he had the opportunity, he had appealed to the Gentlemen from Ireland. "It is not we," he said, "that are opposed to the progress of Ireland." He did the same as to the Factory Act. He had distinctly stated—My noble Friend and myself, and all who follow him, are determined to bring this matter to an issue; we will press it upon the House of Commons.And, turning to the noble Lord, he continued—If a majority of this House decide to carry this Bill, he will not interpose the prerogative of the Crown to stop the decision.The noble Lord, however, said, he would not be responsible for the measure if it were carried; and that was a wise determination. It was not, then, to be "a party question," but a question of mere "convenience" to Irish Members. What was the meaning of "convenience" to Irish Members? There were two or three measures upon the Table affecting Irish landlords; and the "convenience" of Gentlemen from Ireland signified the convenience of that party. "Give us," they said, "as much as you can from your side of the House (the Ministerial), and when we have squeezed you dry, bring in the plan of the noble Lord, and give us something more." He would not mince phrases. The House had been told all sorts of strange things by the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Grattan), as regarded the way in which England had dealt with Ireland. When the time arrived for that discussion, there should be no misapprehension—there should be no soothing phrases. If they were to speak the truth, the truth should be spoken. Let the House go into the discussion of this Bill. But the hon. Member behind him (Mr. P. Butler) had let out the secret. This measure, which was said to be for the immediate relief of the poor of Ireland, was to be delayed for the "convenience" of Irish Members. "For God's sake," exclaimed the hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. S. O'Brien), "do not bring this Bill in tonight, because some of us shall be forced, in strict conformity with our notions of duty, to support the Government." ["No, no!"] Yes, yes! There was a split in the camp at the solemn conclave; it was dangerous; and the hon. Member for 1220 Limerick was put forward as a stop-gap to give the noble Lord the Member for Lynn a plausible pretence for not bringing on the question. Let him, however, say one word for England. Here we had a "great party." The noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) called it "my party." This "great party" had been called from all the four quarters of the globe, he supposed, paying no regard to personal convenience, not for English convenience, but for Irish "convenience." They had been called together to agitate the question of this Bill, which materially affected the whole financial and mercantile interests of the country. He therefore said, as one who felt an interest in the well-being of his country, it was the duty of the noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) to bring this question to an immediate issue; and he was glad that, in spite of Irish "convenience," the noble Lord had been forced to bring it to an immediate conclusion.
§ Order of the day read, and
§ LORD G. BENTINCK
, amidst calls to "go on," and, for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, moved, that the Bill be read a second time to-morrow.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
, as he had already stated, was quite ready to give the noble Lord precedence to-morrow, upon the understanding that no objection was made to the third reading of the Relief of Destitute Persons Bill.
§ Second reading deferred till the following day.