HC Deb 15 June 1854 vol 134 cc229-31

said, he should move that the Order of the Day for the reading a second time, at twelve o'clock to-morrow, the Registration of Births (Scotland) Bill, be discharged.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Order for the House to resolve itself into a Committee to-morrow at Twelve o'clock, on the Registration of Births, &c. (Scotland) Bill, be now read, for the purpose of being postponed.


said, he was somewhat surprised, after the opinion which the House seemed to entertain on the subject of morning sittings, that the right hon. Gentleman should make this proposition now. He had already mentioned the Bills which it was intended to proceed with to-morrow, and not a word of objection was raised.


said, if the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) would divide the House, the Scotch Members generally would support him.


said, it had been understood by the Scotch Members for the past ten days that this Bill would come on to-morrow, at twelve o'clock.


said, it was rather unfortunate that the opinion should go forth that the Government were anxious to close Parliament hastily at this particular crisis. The suspicion was abroad, however, that the sitting of Parliament at the present moment was inconvenient to the Government—that, in fact, it would be more convenient to noble Lords and right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury bench if Parliament were prorogued, and the discussion of certain unpleasant questions altogether avoided. He must say that what had fallen from the Treasury bench that evening was rather calculated to give strength to that suspicion. But as the propriety of morning sittings had already been discussed and decided upon, it was hardly fair for the right hon. Gentleman to reopen that question by moving that the Order of the Day for reading this particular Bill to-morrow be discharged.


said, it would have been quite impossible for him to have divided the House against the previous Motion of the Lord President (Lord J. Russell). That noble Lord had suggested that, in a fortnight's time, it was his opinion recourse should be had to morning sittings; and though he (Mr. Disraeli) should be unwilling to pledge himself with regard to the subject, still a fortnight was, a considerable time, and, in deference to the opinion of the leader of the House, he was not prepared to divide On the question; probably, indeed, if called upon to express an opinion respecting it, he should agree to the proposition of the noble Lord. As to the noble Lord being surprised that he (Mr. Disraeli) should now rise, after the feeling manifested by the House, to propose the Motion he had just made with reference to proceeding with public business, not on Thursday se'nnight, but to-morrow at noon, in fact he rather ought to say to-day at noon, it being now nearly two o'clock, he begged to tell the noble Lord that he would not have been surprised had he been present the last time the subject was discussed, on which occasion the feeling of the House was quite opposed to the course the noble Lord now recommended, and seemed to wish the House to sanction. For on that occasion the House approved of the withdrawal of the Orders that stood on the paper for twelve o'clock on Tuesday and Thursday, and he (Mr. Disraeli) was urged by many of his Friends to move for the discharge of this very Bill also. Why did he not comply with their request, when a majority would no doubt have given him their support? Simply because he thought the noble Lord the Lord President would be in his seat in the interval, and that the House would be able to come to a fairer and more satisfactory conclusion on the subject in his presence than by snatching a decision in that way. The noble Lord's taunt was not, therefore, a justifiable one. As a general rule, he was of opinion that it was inexpedient to have recourse to morning sittings so early in the Session, and particularly in this instance, and against the opinion of the Scotch Members, to call upon them to meet at twelve o'clock to-morrow.


, said, that the right hon. Gentleman stated that he was quite warranted in making the present Motion to discharge the Order for to-morrow, on the ground that there had been no previous question which enabled him to raise the present issue except the Motion for fixing the Common Law Procedure Bill for Thursday se'nnight. But it was quite right that he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) should inform the House that the right hon. Gentleman was entirely in error, for since the discussion which took place with respect to the Common Law Procedure Bill, the Drainage of Lands Bill had been fixed for Thursday next. [Mr. DISRAELI: Thursday se'nnight.] Thursday next, and not only so, but the Towns Improvement (Ireland) Bill had been fixed for Tuesday next. These being the facts, the right hon. Gentleman now proposed again to raise the question of morning sittings, though a number of Members had left the House in the belief that it was settled. He certainly hoped that the House would not support him in the attempt.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 58; Noes 131; Majority 73.

The House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock.