HC Deb 04 June 1852 vol 122 cc73-6

Bill read 2°.


said, he should now post pone till Monday next the notice he had given to move for leave to bring in Bills to continue the Act 11 & 12 Vict,, cap. 5, for a limited time, and to consolidate and amend the Whiteboy Acts and Acts against Unlawful Societies.


said, he should therefore move that the House do now adjourn, for he considered that they had been treated with very great discourtesy by hon. Gentlemen opposite. It being the intention of a number of Irish Gentlemen to oppose the continuance of the measure to be proposed by the right hon. and learned Attorney General for Ireland, they had asked him what hour he should consider too late for proceeding with the measure in question; they had been answered that no hour could be fixed as too late. They were decidedly opposed to proceeding with Irish business at half-past one or two o'clock in the morning. The right hon and learned Gentleman would neither expedite public business, nor carry out his views, nor contribute to the sustainment of his party, by treating Irish Members with discourtesy; for he would be met at every step he took by an opposition that would not yield to his suggestions. They would insist upon being treated with the same courtesy that was shown to every other Member, and would not allow him to proceed with business of that importance at that hour of the morning. He did not consider that those measures, even if necessary, ought to be entrusted to a provisional Administration.


said, one of the Bills of which he had given notice was to continue an Act at present in force for a limited time, and he was surprised when he heard that it was the intention of certain hon. Gentlemen to oppose its introduction. When he was asked if he would go on with the Motion that evening;, he said it was his intention to do so at any hour the House permitted him; but when be heard afterwards the arrangements suggested by the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer, of course he felt that he should submit to the views taken by the leader of the House. With respect to the lecture of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Keogh), he should only say that he would treat every person in that House as a Gentleman, and neither threats nor anything else should prevent him from doing his duty as a Gentleman and one of the Law Officers of the Crown.


said, the complaint against the right hon. and learned Attorney General for Ireland was, that he had informed Irish Members that he would bring on this business at any hour; but finding the Opposition benches tolerably filled, he now postponed it till Monday. That left the impression that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was fishing for a night when he might bring it on with no opposition, and that was not a seemly way of conducting business, especially Government business.


said, there was no attempt at present to advance this Bill a stage; and he must say it was not to the honour of the House that their discussions should end every evening with an unseemly brawl. The disorder was become almost chronic. A great deal of time would be saved, and they would get on much better, if they went on with the transaction of business with good temper. The hon. and learnod Member for Youghal seemed always prompt to introduce, not very agreeably, a good deal of temper into their discussions. The hon. and learned Member for Athlone (Mr. Keogh) might think he had some cause of complaint against his right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland; but he was under a misconception, for although his right hon. and learned Friend would be ready to proceed with his Bill, he must be regulated by the directions he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) gave as to the manner in which the business of the House should be taken. He hoped, therefore, the hon. and learned Member would recall his Motion, as a vexatious one.


said, that what they complained of was, that when an Irish Member asked when certain business would be brought forward, they did not receive an answer of yes or no. Irish Members had a right to complain that Irish questions were brought on at so late an hour. They ought to receive an assurance that no important Irish business should be brought forward at an unreasonable hour. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman had only told his (Mr. Soully's) hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Keogh), that this Bill would not be proceeded with, the Irish Members might have gone to bed long since.


said, they were met there to do the business of the nation, and they could not have a distinction drawn between English and Irish business. It could not be said that Irish Members were to go home when English business was brought forward, or that English Members should go to bed when Irish business was brought on. They must bring on the business of the country at the best time they could. It was never his intention to bring on a question of this importance when a discussion could not be taken, The hon. and learned Gentleman shall have a full opportunity of discussing the Bill.


I told the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland that I would oppose the Bill at every stage, and in every line.


said, he must admit that it was not only most inconvenient to attempt to press upon Parliament the consideration of important measures at an unreasonable hour, but most futile, and led to those unseemly brawls to which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had alluded; but the right hon. Gentleman had misunderstood his hon. Friend the Member for Tipperary (Mr. F. Scully). What his hon. Friend meant to say was, that there should be no distinction drawn between English and Irish business. No Government would press English measures at that most unreasonable hour of the morning (a quarter to two o'clock); but the practice had arisen with the late Government of pressing upon the consideration of the House Irish questions at a late hour, and they had always been obliged to yield after much temper and unpleasant discussion.


did not think the hon. and learned Member for Athlone was in earnest when he said he would oppose the Bill in every stage, seeing that when the measure was introduced in 1847 by the then Home Secretary, the hon. and learned Gentleman had voted at every stage of the proceedings in favour of the measure.

Subject dropped.

The House adjourned at Two o'clock till Monday next.