HC Deb 24 December 1852 vol 123 cc1719-21

Sir, I believe it will be convenient for the public service that the House at its rising should adjourn till Monday next, at Two o'clock, I make that Motion.


said, he wished to trespass upon the House for two or three minutes. He was sure there could be but one feeling, that no degree of blame attached either to the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, or to any Member of the Government, for these constant adjournments; but it was lamentable that the country should be left in its present state of suspense, occasioning an interruption to all the public business of the country. He, and, no doubt, many other hon. Members, were anxious to move for returns, but they were quite at a loss to know to whom to apply for them. He was bound to say, that he had always received the greatest attention and courtesy from every department of the Government, and he was confident others would say the same thing; but he repeated that it was lamentable the country should be kept in its present suspense, owing to the in competency of those who had dared to wrest the Government of this country from the only hands competent to perform the duties of office in a manner satisfactory to the public at large. But a fair and honourable trial had not been afforded them, and they were now about to be displaced by men who knew nothing of their business, who had run away from their posts, and who had put him more in mind of Sir John Falstaff's ragged corps than any other body of men he could think of. When was this to end? It reflected no credit on the party opposite, who were attempting to come in, and he trusted that the country would express its deep sense of their misconduct. He firmly believed that if they did get in they would not retain their offices for any long period. They were black sheep, and would show themselves in their colours before many weeks were over. He had thought it his duty, on the part of the country—[A laugh]—and of those whom he represented, to make these observations. Hon. Gentlemen might laugh, but the day would soon come when their countenances would bear a very different appearance. That was his honest opinion.


said, he wished for one moment to call the attention of the House to a subject which he was sure was equally interesting to both sides—he meant the late Arctic Expedition. Her Majesty's present Government had for some time been desirous that an expedition should be sent out in search of the vessels which had long been missing in that direction; and he was anxious that right hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House should not merely carry out that object in the full sense intended by their predecessors, but that they should do still more, and, instead of sending a mere sailing vessel, as was at present intended, should apply the agency of steam, which had hitherto been found one essential element of success in such an undertaking. Whatever had been done hitherto, humanly speaking, had been by the intervention of steam vessels; and he trusted, therefore, that the successor of the noble Duke at present at the head of the Admiralty would not only adopt all that that noble Duke had contemplated, but would apply steam navigation to this purpose, which was not only one of science and humanity, but of actual justice.

Motion agreed to.

House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock till Monday next.