HC Deb 03 June 1878 vol 240 cc1084-5

Sir, I have now to move that the House will immediately resolve itself into Committee of Supply. That is a formal Motion, consequent on the events of last Friday; but I wish to take this opportunity of referring to another subject, which I had hoped to have addressed myself to for a more practical purpose—namely, the loss which the country has recently sustained in the death of the distinguished statesman who was for so many years the Leader and the ornament of this House. It was the wish of Her Majesty's Government to have been able to propose the honours of a public funeral for that very distinguished man; and, if it had been in accordance with the feelings of his family, and with the directions which Lord Russell himself had left, no doubt the House would have most gladly joined in doing honour to his memory. But the House is probably aware of what has been said in "another place"—that the family of Lord Russell have felt themselves constrained, by the terms of his own direct instructions in his will, not to accept that proposal; and I, therefore, only express what I am sure is the feeling both of those among us who have had the privilege of sitting in this House with Lord Russell, and also of those who, being later Members, have only known of his reputation here from others, when I say that the House deeply regrets the removal, even at so advanced an age, of one who has been so great an honour to his country, and whose services have been such a great advantage to his country, and that we ought to express our heartfelt sympathy with his family in the loss they have sustained.


Sir, I am sure the House has received with great satisfaction the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the intentions entertained by Her Majesty's Government with respect to the funeral of Lord Russell. Those of us, as has been remarked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had the honour of a seat in this House when Lord Russell was still among us, will remember well how his name had come to command the respect, not only of those with whom he was immediately associated, but of men of all Parties and all sides of the House. There are, indeed, very few among us now who can recall from personal recollection the great part taken by Lord Russell in some of the most extraordinary events of English history, and few who can remember the great services which he rendered to the cause of civil and religious liberty, or the necessity which then existed for those services. Those events and services of Lord Russell have to a great extent been brought back to our memory by the records which we have all had the opportunity of reading during the last few days; and I am sure the House and the country will feel that any honour it is in the power of the State to confer would be well bestowed on the memory of one who during so long a period of his life exerted so much ability and energy in the service of his country.

Motion agreed to.

Resolved, That this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee of Supply.—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)

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