HL Deb 12 June 1820 vol 1 cc1034-5
The Earl of Liverpool

reminded their lordships of the order which had been made on Thursday, that the Secret Committee should not meet until to-morrow. He had made the motion for that order, not on any specific ground which could induce him to think it necessary, but upon hopes which appeared to be entertained by their lordships. Since that period communications and explanations had taken place on the subject. He was not prepared to say what might be the result of these communications and explanations, but the state of the business was certainly such as to make a farther adjournment of the meeting of the committee desirable. He, therefore, intended to propose that the day of meeting should be fixed for Saturday next. Before he sat down he thought it necessary to observe, that a fabricated account of the correspondence on this subject had appeared, in which the documents were most scandalously falsified, and converted into libels. It was an aggravation of this conduct that it must have been done by some persons who had seen the originals, and who therefore could not be ignorant of the fabrication. It was, however, bat justice to say, that no blame could be imputed to her majesty's legal advisers. They had very honourably and voluntarily communicated to his majesty's ministers that they were no parties to the publication, and that nobody could regret it more than they did. He concluded by moving that the meeting of the secret committee be postponed to Saturday next.

Lord Holland,

after what had passed, did not intend that day to present the bill of which he had given notice on Friday; and in rising now, he meant to do nothing more than to assure their lordships that the bill he proposed to introduce was simply a bill for the repeal of the royal marriage act. Having stated what its object was, he hoped, as some very extraordinary rumours had prevailed on the subject, that their lordships would also indulge him so far as to permit him to state what the object was not. However much, since he had a seat in that House, he had, during the last twenty-five years, on various subjects differed from their lordships, he surely had never done any thing that could lead to so absurd a supposition as that he wished to propose a bill which would have a retrospective effect. He therefore begged leave again to state, that the bill, and the only bill he had in view to introduce, was one for the repeal of the royal marriage act. He could not at present precisely fix the day for presenting this bill, because he was not yet certain as to the state of the circumstances by which he wished to be guided; but he hoped their lordships would not consider themselves taken by surprise if he introduced it before the day fixed for the meeting of the committee. That it should have been introduced some time or other during the present session had always been his intention, independently of any circumstances which had occurred. He again begged their lordships not to suppose that he wished to take them by surprise if he presented a bill in the course of this week on an earlier day than that fixed for the meeting of the secret committee.

The motion was agreed to.