HC Deb 05 February 1856 vol 140 cc219-20

said, he wished to inquire of the hon. Member for the county of Cork, whether he would have any objection to postpone the notice of Motion, which he had given for Tuesday next, in reference to the opening of the Crystal Palace, the British Museum, &c., to the public on Sundays, in order that those interested in opposing it might be allowed a little longer time for the manifestation of their feelings on the subject by petitions?


said, he attached very little importance to petitions, knowing the manner in which they were got up. He had received a letter upon this subject, stating that there were upwards of 20,000 teachers of schools, having the care of about 2,000,000 children, and it was their intention, if the Motion were postponed, to make use of them as a machinery for petitioning. If that were done, it ought to be brought under the consideration of the House, as it was monstrous that the opinion of men of mature age should be thus outweighed by the signatures of children. If, therefore, it rested on that ground alone, he should not think it necessary to postpone his Motion; but inasmuch as another hon. Gentleman had given notice of a similar character, if that hon. Member would bring forward his Motion on the earliest available day he (Mr. V. Scully) would postpone his for the present; and he now gave notice, that should the Motion to which he had alluded be rejected, he should move that the same principle be applied to the rich and the poor, and that it was expedient to introduce a Bill closing the club houses on Sundays.

At a later period of the evening,


gave notice that he should, upon an early day, move a Resolution to the effect— That in the opinion of this House it will promote the moral, intellectual, and social improvement of the working classes of the community, if collections of national interest were thrown open to public inspection after the hours of Divine service on Sundays.

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