HC Deb 04 June 1855 vol 138 cc1315-6

said, he had seen that morning the professional gentleman who was in attendance upon Mr. Speaker, and had been told that, although the right hon. Gentleman was only suffering from a sprain which he received last week on alighting from horseback at a yeomanry review, still some days' rest, he thought, would be essential to a rapid recovery; and therefore it would not be advisable that Mr. Speaker should come down to the House for a few days. Under these circumstances, and in order to avoid the delay which would take place every day in complying with the forms required by the Standing Orders, he would, with the consent of the House, move the following Resolution— That in the event of Mr. Speaker's absence continuing for more than this day, Mr. FitzRoy take the Chair in like manner as on this day, on each subsequent day during Mr. Speaker's absence. The Standing Orders at present required that Mr. Speaker should write a letter every day explaining his absence, and as that letter had to be read to the House, and a Motion made, some delay would always be caused to public business.


said there had been no prayers that day, and in consequence Members were unable to secure their seats for the evening. He wished to ask whether, in the event of the Resolution being agreed to, that disadvantage would continue to exist?


said, that there had been no prayers that evening, because prayers were never said in that House on the occasion of the election of a Speaker; but if the House would agree to the Resolution, prayers would be read as usual on the next and following days.


said, he would suggest that the words, "in like manner," should be omitted from the Resolution, otherwise there would never be any prayers till Mr. Speaker came back.


said, he would agree to leave out the words, "in like manner."


said, that if it were intended to pass this Resolution indefinitely, they would be introducing a grave alteration in their proceedings. For one or two days it might be unimportant, but the House could not appoint a Speaker without the approval of the Crown.


said, the original Resolution providing for the occasional absence of the Speaker had received the approbation of the Crown. It was competent for the House to rescind this Resolution at any time, and thus the whole matter rested entirely in its own hands.


said, it would be placing the House in an invidious position to call upon them to rescind any Resolution to which they had agreed on a former occasion. He thought this very question had been discussed in the Committee, and they were of opinion that the course the noble Lord now asked the House to take would not be expedient.


said, perhaps it would be sufficient to say that the proposed arrangement should continue during the present week, if necessary.


said, he would beg to suggest whether it might not be possible for the House to avail themselves of the absence of Mr. Speaker to get rid of a complication of Amendments in one of the most useless and mischievous debates that had ever taken place in that House.

Ordered—That in the event of Mr. Speaker's absence continuing for more than this day, Mr. FITZROY do take the Chair on each subsequent day during the present week.