§ MR. SPOONER
trusted that the noble Lord who had a notice of Motion on the paper for that night relative to colonisation, would give him permission to bring, in the first instance, under the notice of the House the case of the late Sir Eardley Wilmot. Nothing was likely to fall from him likely to provoke debate. He wished simply to state the charge against Sir Eardley Wilmot, and the manner in which the charge had been refuted. He believed that refutation would be admitted and confirmed on the part of the last Government; and he had every reason to hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite would not feel it necessary to enter into any discussion. At the present moment, under the melancholy circumstances which had occurred, and amidst the deep grief to which they had given rise, it was particularly desirable that the refutation of such charges as had been made should be forthwith stated.
The EARL of LINCOLN
, though most unwilling to postpone his Motion, could not consistently with his own feelings refuse his assent to the proposal of his hon. Friend; but he should not feel himself justified in yielding precedence unless others who had also Motions on the Paper were prepared to take them in the same rotation, as if no precedence had been given to the hon. Gentleman.
The EARL of LINCOLN
wished to ask a question as to a point of form. There were several notices after that of his hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham. Even if precedence were given to the hon. Gentleman by himself and all those whose Motions intervened, would those, who followed the hon. Gentleman in the order of the Motions on the Paper have precedence of those who had yielded their precedence in favour of the hon. Gentleman?
§ MR. SPEAKER
replied, that the general understanding of the House seemed 1369 to be in favour of giving precedence to the hon. Member for Birmingham; and when the hon. Member for Birmingham had concluded, the course which he apprehended he should have to take was to call upon the noble Lord.
§ MR. HUME
must protest against interference with the order of business without reason assigned. The present was the only case of its kind which he believed had ever occurred in the history of Parliament. Whatever was said would be said under the feeling that nothing should be said which might be considered offensive.
§ SIR J. GRAHAM
would regret any departure from the established rules of the House. But, at the same time, he felt there was almost injustice in postponing a statement of what were the circumstances of this melancholy case, affecting a gentleman who had long sat in that House. The least possible delay ought to be interposed before an explanation was given. It appeared to him that on Thursday next a most legitimate opportunity would present itself, in connection with the transportation question, for bringing forward the subject.
§ SIR G. GREY
knew not whether he should be grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his suggestion. The subject of transportation had been postponed from time to time, and it was desirable that it should be kept quite distinct from any incidental questions. He had hoped the hon. Member for Montrose would acquiesce.
LORD J. RUSSELL
said, he should have been glad if the hon. Member for Montrose would have allowed the hon. Member for Birmingham to go on. At the same time, if the hon. Member insisted upon claiming his privilege, he thought it would be an inconvenient course for the House to overrule him, and to declare by any vote or majority that the hon. Member for Birmingham should have precedence. Therefore, while he should be happy if his hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) would wave his privilege, at the same time, if he insisted upon it, he must support him.