HC Deb 18 February 1850 vol 108 cc971-4

moved that upon every alternate Thursday Orders of the Day have precedence of Notices of Motion on the Paper. There had been a gradual decrease from eleven in 1846, to eight in 1849, of Government Motions on Thursdays. His opinion was, that the arrangement now proposed would be the one most convenient for the House. The Amendment placed on the Paper by the hon. Member for Sutherland would most probably answer the object of the Government, but he did not think it would be so convenient to the House.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That upon Thursday, the eleventh day of April next, and every alternate Thursday following, Orders of the Day have precedence of Notices of Motions.


in the absence of the hon. Member for Sutherland, would move the Amendment of which notice had been given. He complained that the time allotted to individual Members was gradually curtailed, and urged that the Amendment of the hon. Member whom he represented on that occasion was a compromise which the Government ought not to decline.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'every' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, 'Thursday following, Orders of the Day have precedence of Notices of Motions; but that the right shall not be reserved to Her Majesty's Ministers of placing Government Orders at the head of the list.'


said, that his only object was to get the Bills through that House in time for their careful consideration in the other House of Parliament. Thinking his Motion the best calculated to effect that object, he must oppose the Amendment.


reminded Ministers that many measures, in the hands of private Members last Session, were obliged to be postponed altogether, in consequence of there not being a sufficient number of days on which such measures had precedence. He considered this was an attempt to stifle the voice of private Members which ought to he resisted.


considered that a Thursday at the beginning of the Session was much better worth having to a private Member than one at the end, while the latter was as valuable to the Government as the former, inasmuch as they could always secure a House. As one who had some interest in the matter—for it was his duty occasionally to trouble the House—he was desirous that the Thursdays should be continued to private Members as long as possible in the early part of the Session, and that they should be given up to the Government at a more advanced period. On a recent occasion he had experienced the inconvenience which the limited number of days now allotted to private Members occasioned, having been obliged to postpone a measure of some considerable importance for a month. He was inclined to support the Amendment, seeing, as he thought, a growing attempt to limit the power of independent Members in that House.


said, that the present proposition was to give every alternate Thursday, from the 11th of April, for Government business; this would give the Thursdays for the first three months of the Session nearly to private Members. The Government were desirous of having the extra day at an earlier period than heretofore, in order that they might he able to send up measures of importance to the Lords before the end of the Session, when they were frequently thrown over, for want of time to consider them. It should be remembered that, besides the two notice days, private Members had the Wednesdays for bringing forward any Bills which they had in charge; and, when they talked of Government days, he believed there was now a general desire, which Ministers were anxious, as far as possible, to meet, that Government should take charge of all measures of public importance, instead of leaving them in the hands of independent Members; therefore, the country in general were interested in affording them facilities to bring forward their business at as early a period in the Session as possible.


was anxious to preserve those popular rights, in regard to the manner of conducting the business of the House, which at present existed, and thinking that the feeling of the House was in his favour he would divide.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 140; Noes 38: Majority 102.


looked upon Motions of this sort as systematic attacks on the privileges of the minority, which had always been regarded as the only hope of a suffering community. He could not understand why hon. Gentlemen should new so willingly and shamefully surrender privileges which had ever been their greatest boast. For his own part, he did not consider either the Motion or the Amendment entitled to their approbation; he protested altogether against surrendering the notice days, which alone afforded to independent Members the opportunity of bringing under the consideration of the House matters often involving the most important public interests, and should take the sense of the House against the proposed order.


would remind the hon. Gentleman that the practice he condemned so strongly had existed since 1840. During the last ten years the Thursdays, from a certain period of the Session, had been given up to the Government; but by the arrangement now proposed, by beginning earlier, and taking only each alternate Thursday, probably fewer days would be taken than in former years.


could only say, that since 1840 there had been a greater arrear of business at the end of each Session than had ever been known before. It appeared to him that they were progressing year by year in making inroads on those rules and regulations which those who used to be looked upon as authorities had often declared to have been framed for the protection of the people.


thought they were going backward every day, and all he could hope for was, that they would soon arrive at that state when they could not get worse, for then there would be some hope of amendment.


not being one of those who were disposed to die on the floor of the House, concurred entirely in the proposition of the noble Lord.


admitted that in the ab- stract two days a week were not too much to give to private Members, in order that they might have the opportunity of questioning the acts of Government, or inviting consideration to great questions of public interest; but he had great difficulty in resisting the appeal of the noble Lord, seeing that for five years in succession he himself had been compelled by a sense of public duty to ask the House to give a similar privilege to the then Government, not for their convenience merely, but to facilitate the progress of legislation. On the whole, he thought the present arrangement an improvement upon that of late years, and that it would tend to the general convenience for Ministers to begin earlier and take every alternate Thursday rather than take every Thursday at a later period of the Session. He was the more inclined to vote for the noble Lord's Motion from the intimation thrown out by the right hon. Baronet the Homo Secretary, that Government were disposed to take into their own hands all measures of public importance, with the view to legislation. That intimation was at variance with the doctrine the noble Lord had held on previous occasions, but he was disposed to think the principle an excellent one, so far as independent Members were concerned, that the duty of preparing measures of legislation should in all cases of general public interest be undertaken by Ministers.

Main Question put:—Ayes 143; Noes 47—Majority 96.

List of theAYES.
Adair, R. A. S. Dawson, hon. T. V.
Alcock, T. Denison, J. E.
Anson, hon. Col. Divett, E.
Armstrong, Sir A. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Raines, rt. hon. M. T. Drummond, H.
Baring, H. B. Drummond, H. H.
Barnard, E. G. Duncan, G.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Duncuft, J.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Dundas, Adm.
Bernal, R. Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.
Blair, S. Dunne, Col.
Bowles, Adm. Du Pre, C. G.
Brotherton, J. Ebrington, Visct.
Brown, W. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Burke, Sir T. J. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Busfeild, W. Enfield, Visct.
Cardwell, E. Farrer, J.
Carter, J. B. Fergus, J.
Castlereagh, Visct. FitzPatrick, rt. hn. J. W.
Cayley, E. S. Foley, J. H. H.
Charteris, hon. F. Fordyce, A. D.
Clay, J. Forster, M.
Clay, Sir W. French, F.
Corbally, M. E. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Glyn, G. C.
Cubitt, W. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Granger, T. C.
Greene, T. Palmer, R.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Palmerston, Visct.
Guest, Sir J. Parker, J.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Patten, J. W.
Harris, R. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Hastie, A. Peel, F.
Hawes, B. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Perfect, R.
Heneage, G. H. W. Plowden, W. H. C.
Hervey, Lord A. Portal, M.
Heyworth, L. Power, Dr.
Hodges, T. L. Power, N.
Howard, Lord E. Pugh, D.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Rich, H.
Humphery, Ald. Roebuck, J. A.
Hutt, W. Romilly, Sir J.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Russell, Lord J.
Jermyn, Earl Sandars, G.
Jervis, Sir J. Scrope, G. P.
Keppel, hon. G. T. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Shelburne, Earl of
Lacy, H. C. Simeon, J.
Langston, J. H. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Lemon, Sir C. Smythe, hon. G.
Lewis, G. C. Somers, J. P.
Loch, J. Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.
Mackinnon, W. A. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Macnaghten, Sir E. Stansfield, W. R. C.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Stanton, W. H.
Meagher, T. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Mahon, Visct. Stuart, H.
Mangles, R. D. Thesiger, Sir F.
Martin, J. Thornely, T.
Masterman, J. Trelawny, J. S.
Matheson, Col. Villiers, Visct.
Maule, rt. hon. F. Wall, C. B.
Molesworth, Sir W. Walpole, S. H.
Morgan, O. Wellesley, Lord C.
Morison, Sir W. Williamson, Sir H.
Morris, D. Willoughby, Sir H.
Mulgrave, Earl of Wood, W. P.
Norreys, Lord Wrightson, W. B.
O'Brien, T. Wyvill, M.
Ogle, S. C. H. TELLERS.
Ord, W. Tufnell, H.
Pakington, Sir J. Grey, R. W.
List of the NOES.
Adair, H. E. Manners, Lord J.
Arkwright, G. Milnes, R. M.
Boldero, H. G. Moffatt, G.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Mowatt, F.
Bremridge, R. Newdegate, C. N.
Bright, J. O'Connor, F.
Chatterton, Col. Packe, C. W.
Dick, Q. Ricardo, J. L.
Disraeli, B. Scholefield, W.
Evans, Sir De L. Scott, hon. F.
Forbes, W. Sibthorp, Col.
Fox, W. J. Sidney, Ald.
Fuller, A. E. Smith, J. B.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Spooner, R.
Gooch, E. S. Stafford, A.
Gore, W. O. Stuart, Lord D.
Gwyn, H. Sturt, H. G.
Halford, Sir H. Thompson, Col.
Hardcastle, J. A. Waddington, H. S.
Hastie, A. Wawn, J. T.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Willcox, B. M.
Hudson, G. Wyld, J.
Kershaw, J. TELLERS.
Lushington, C. Hume, J.
M'Gregor, J. Beresford, W.