HC Deb 16 July 1867 vol 188 cc1626-8

asked, Whether it had been finally determined that the proposed Naval Review was to take place tomorrow or not?


regretted to say that, in the absence of his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, he could give the House no positive information on the subject. The Review, he believed, depended upon circumstances, over which the Government had no control. He begged to move, in anticipation of its coming off, that the House at its rising, do adjourn till Thursday.

Motion agreed to.

Moved, "That, on Thursday and Friday next, this House will meet at Twelve o'clock, subject to the Standing Orders relating to sittings of the House on Wednesday."—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)


said, it would appear that the House was about to adjourn over to-morrow for the purpose of being able to attend the Naval Review, without knowing whether that event would really take place or not. They were resolved, in other words, to have a day's holiday, without knowing whether the promised amusement would or would not be provided. Now he, for one, doubted the wisdom and propriety of the House of Commons, as a body, deciding to take a holiday with the object of having a day's enjoyment when there was a pressure of public business. That was altogether a new thing, and there was but one precedent for it in its history. He hoped the present occasion would be the last on which such a course would be taken, for it seemed to him to be one which was not consistent with the dignity of the House. The House of Commons was not part of the pageant of the country. It was the Sovereign whose duty it really was to display the State of this great nation. The House of Commons was no part and parcel of that State. They had their own proper duties to discharge, and it was no business of theirs to vote themselves a holiday under such circumstances. In speaking thus, he was, he feared, laying down an unpopular doctrine; but, be that as it might, it was at all events quite clear that the House were entitled to be informed whether there was to be a Review or not.


replied that the understanding on which the House was to adjourn till Thursday was that the Review should take place to-morrow. Of course the Government were not responsible for the state of the weather, and it was possible that such a state of the weather might arise as would make it undesirable to hold the Review.


intimated that it would be for the convenience of hon. Members that they should receive some definite information on the subject before the House broke up.

Motion agreed to.