HC Deb 10 July 1863 vol 172 cc571-4

asked the hon. Member for the King's County, Whether he intends to fix an early day for proceeding with his Motion on the affairs of Poland?


said, the delay had now been so protracted that he thought it highly desirable that a discussion on this subject should take place speedily. He must therefore appeal to the noble Lord at the head of the Government, whether, if his Notice were placed on the paper for Thursday next, the Government would be prepared to do that which they had promised—namely, to give him the first Government night.


I am afraid I cannot agree to that. We are anxious to get on with Supply. But on Monday week there will be an opportunity for the hon. Member to bring on his Motion.


I beg to say that I shall put my Notice on the paper for Thursday.


hoped, that as they were getting so near to the end of the Session, and as the subject of Poland had been so frequently put off before, the noble Lord would not object to the hon. and learned Member for the King's County's Motion being taken on Thursday. The hon. Member for the King's County would, no doubt, bring on his Motion on the Question of Supply; and if he did not, some one else certainly would. He hoped the noble Lord would therefore adhere to the original understanding.


begged to state that at the morning sitting, after a good deal of conversation, a strong wish had been expressed that another evening sitting should be given to Supply, in order to enable hon. Members who had Motions on going into Committee to bring them forward. In accordance with what appeared to be the general feeling, he then undertook that Supply should be taken on Thursday next.


ventured to suggest that a series of morning sittings might be given to the discussion of Polish affairs.


said, he must call the attention of the House to the conduct of the Government. Pour weeks ago he had a Motion on the paper on the subject of Poland. His Notice stood first on a Supply night. The noble Lord appealed to him to put it off, telling him he would give a Government night for the discussion. The following Monday was fixed; but the supporters of the noble Lord appealed to him not to go on. The noble Lord said he was prepared to assist him in obtaining a night for the discussion—he would give him a Government night. The leader of the House having given such a pledge, it was surely but fair that it should be fulfilled. He had heard with extreme surprise from the noble Lord that he was not prepared to give Thursday. He would, however, place his Motion for that day, and bring it on upon Supply. There were now two Notices with reference to Poland, one in his own name, and the other in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman). He told the noble Lord, if he gave him a Government night for the discussion of this question, his intention was to ask the right hon. Member for Stroud to inaugurate the debate; and he wished now to ask him to bring forward the Motion that stood in his name. If he would put it off till Thursday, he should give way to him, because he could give that Motion his hearty support; and he need not say how willingly he deferred to the great Parliamentary experience of his right hon. Friend. He hoped, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman would proceed with his Notice upon Supply on Thursday next.


did not think the House wished to have any debate on the subject of Poland. They had already given sufficient attention to the Pope's subjects, and Poland was the same question in another aspect. The hon. and learned Member for the King's County had been good enough to intimate his intention to oppose a Motion which stood on the Paper this evening, and which the Government had agreed to, for a return of the number of Jesuits in this country. ["Order, order!"]


informed the hon. Member that he could not discuss a Motion which stood on the Paper before it came on in its regular course.


wished, after the appeal which had been made to him, to state that he did not put his Notice on the paper with the slightest intention to infere with that of his hon. Friend the Member for the King's County. Attempts had been made to evade or put off the discussion on Poland, although he felt assured that the Government did not countenance it; he therefore put a Notice on the Paper to insure a discussion if his hon. Friend were defeated. He was very sorry for the position in which they now stood. He gave the Government credit for all sincerity in this matter; but when a breach of faith had occurred on the part of the House, the noble Lord's supporters not allowing him to redeem the pledge he had given to his hon. Friend, he felt that the question of Poland ought not to be delayed or evaded; that it was a growing question; that if the House were not disposed to facilitate discussion, those who now took their stand upon it would next year have the opinion very much in their favour; and he had therefore resolved, very heartily approving the policy of the Government on this subject, if facilities were not given to the hon. Member for the King's County, to raise the question on Supply on Thursday next, and to do so again and again on every question of Supply, for he was determined, even bit by bit, that there should be a full discussion of the correspondence which had been laid on the table. The House had incurred grave responsibilities by the postponement of this question, and he would be no party to any further postponement.


would say only one word in reply to what had been urged by the hon. Member for the King's County. The hon. Gentleman reproached him with a breach of good faith in not having kept the promise he had made. Now, that he entirely denied. He had promised to give the hon. Gentleman a Government night, and he was prepared to do so. He did not say he would give him Thursday next. He offered him Monday week, which was a Government night. Seekers, it was said, should not be choosers. He had offered that Government night which could be spared with the least inconvenience. But if the hon. Gentleman would bring the question on upon Supply next Thursday—[Mr. HORSMAN: We certainly will]—the Government were no parties to the arrangement.

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