HC Deb 07 April 1865 vol 178 cc895-6

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, were it not for exceptional legislation in each particular case, the greater part of the offices held by Members of Her Majesty's Government would not come under the category of "new offices or places of profit under the Crown," which, according to the provisions of the 6 Anne, c. 7, disqualify the holder from sitting in the House of Commons; and, whether it be desirable or consistent with the principles of modern Constitutional Government that one particular office, and that having a seat in the Cabinet, should be allowed to remain under a rule which has been abrogated by special legislation in the case of every other important office of the Government? The Act of Anne was passed soon after the Union, when the House was apprehensive of being overwhelmed with a flood of Scottish placemen; but circumstances were now altered, and the House was extremely anxious now-a-days that persons representing important departments should have a seat there. What he would like to hear from the noble Viscount was the constitutional point of view by which the Government justified the anomaly of retaining the exclusion from the House of Commons of one only of the officers of Her Majesty's Government—namely, the Postmaster General.


If I understand the hon. Gentleman's Question rightly, he wishes to know whether it is the intention of the Government to propose to this House a Bill to enable the Postmaster General to sit as a Member of the House of Commons. In reply, I have to say that we do not see that there is any sufficient necessity for such a Bill, and therefore it is not our intention to introduce it.

Motion agreed to.

House at its rising to adjourn till Monday, the 24th April.

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