HC Deb 04 July 1865 vol 180 cc1164-5

I am sure this House would be unwilling to close the Session without recording its sense of the zeal and assiduity with which many Members have performed duties totally independent of the Public Business, and confined to the transaction of that Private Business which necessarily falls under the jurisdiction of this House. The sacrifice of the time of Members which is required, the immense labour they have to give, and the inconvenience and sometimes injury to health which is threatened by the attendance of those who are actively engaged in this portion of the business of the House of Commons, are things very little understood by the public at large; but, nevertheless, those who perform these duties are entitled to the thanks of the House and the acknowledgment of the country. There is one Gentleman in particular to whom our thanks are due—I mean the hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. Charles Forster)—who has devoted all his time, in a Session which I believe has been more productive of Private Business than almost any other of this Parliament, to the discharge of these duties. There is, also, a body recently established which has likewise performed the arduous and responsible duties which devolved upon them to the entire satisfaction of those concerned—I mean the Referees, who were appointed under this year's arrangement. I am not proposing any Vote to those Gentlemen, but I think it right to state what I believe to be the feeling of the House; and if any other hon. Member shares in those opinions I am sure it will be gratifying to the persons referred to that an acknowledgment of their services should proceed from others besides myself.


Sir, there is no subject on which there will be a more unanimous feeling on the part of Members of this House than the appreciation of the valuable and important services rendered by those who conduct the Private Business of this House. And if there is any one point on which I differ from the noble Lord, it is only so far as to say that there is now in the public mind a more due estimate of the great labours of those Committees which do the work and conduct the Private Business which comes before this House than there was some years ago, when it was thought that the House of Commons met only for the purpose of great debates, and the public were not aware how much the business of the country depended upon the assiduity of Members who deal with the Private Business of the House. I think, therefore, that the Gentlemen who devote themselves to the Private Business of the House are entitled to our thanks; and I quite agree with the noble Lord that the manner in which the duties, both arduous and novel, of the Referees have been performed entitle them to the thanks of the House and the gratitude of the country.

Motion agreed to.

Standing Order as to Sittings of the House on Wednesdays read, and suspended for To-morrow.—(Sir George Grey.)