HC Deb 03 April 1856 vol 141 cc386-7

said, he wished to impress upon the propriety of hon. Members taking care to assure themselves that the "unopposed" Returns for which they were in the habit of moving had received the sanction of the heads of the various departments to which such Returns related. He found that in his absence yesterday three Returns were moved for and ordered, the production of which would be attended with considerable expense. He thought the privilege of moving for Returns ought to be exercised with very great care. He was sure the hon. Gentlemen who had moved for the Returns to which he referred had been under the impression that they were unopposed by the Government; but as there was great objection to those Returns, he felt it his duty to move, that the orders for their production be discharged. The Returns to which he alluded were, one moved for by the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Miehell), and the other two by the hon. Member for the City of London (Sir J. Duke). The Return moved for by the hon. Member for Bodmin was for all the general orders made in the Customs Department since 1816, involving, of course, much detail, and which would occasion very great expense to prepare and print; and the two for which the hon. Member for London had moved were duplicates of papers already before Parliament.


said, he would suggest that in future the consent of the Government should be given in writing to Motions for unopposed Returns.


said, he thought it more satisfactory to obtain the personal consent of a Member of the Government to whose department Returns might refer.


said, that some years ago it was agreed, that before any Member moved for a Return he should consult the librarian to ascertain whether such Return had been previously granted or not, and he had been under the impression that that course was still pursued.

The Motion of Mr. WILSON for the discharge of the orders was then agreed to.