HL Deb 08 August 1834 vol 25 cc1047-8
The Marquess of Clanricarde

presented a petition in favour of the South Australian Colony Bill, and expressed a wish that their Lordships would consent to the second reading of the Bill immediately, as it was important that it should be passed in the present Session.

The Marquess of Salisbury

said, the Bill was one of very considerable importance, and ought not to be passed without due consideration.

Lord Ellenborough

observed, that he had not had time to examine the Bill minutely, and he therefore could not consent to reading it a second time without notice.

The Marquess of Clanricarde

said, it was very important to the individuals who were interested in the Bill that it should be forwarded as speedily as possible. He, however, did not wish to take their Lordships by surprise, and he was therefore willing to postpone the second reading till Monday.

The Earl of Falmouth

was surprised at the omission of a formal notice, and also at their Lordships not being summoned on the second reading of such a Bill as this. Many noble Lords who were then absent were anxious to take a part in the discussion.

Lord Wynford

said, there were many points connected with this Bill which would require much consideration. He alluded particularly, for one thing, to the manner in which land, of different qualities, was to be disposed of.

The Duke of Wellington

observed, that if it were absolutely necessary that the Bill should be passed this Session, it certainly was proper that no time should be lost. It was, however, a speculation which called for serious consideration. He strongly objected to grant so large a tract of land as was contemplated by the Bill to any body of speculatists without the right of resumption, if it were, after a time, deemed necessary, on the part of the Crown. He should like to hear what his Majesty's Ministers thought on the subject?

The Marquess of Lansdown

said, the project had been most anxiously considered by the Colonial Department, and certain objections which were raised by them had been removed.

The Marquess of Clanricarde

would not have said another word on this occa- sion, but for the observation which the noble Duke had made on the subject of speculation. Now, he had every reason to believe that the matter had been taken up on the most patriotic and pure motives. The noble Marquess moved, "that the Order of the Day for the second reading be discharged, and that the second reading be fixed for Monday."

The Duke of Wellington

said, he did not mean by what had fallen from him to cast a reflection on any person, and perhaps he ought rather to have said, 'scheme' than 'speculation.'

Lord Ellenborough

said, he observed a clause in the Bill providing that the first money which was received should be appropriated to defray the expense of carrying the measure through Parliament. Now, that gave a character to the whole transaction which appeared strange to him. He felt a degree of curiosity, not very unnatural, to know a little more about the plan, before he consented to this measure. He found that all land, good or bad, should be sold at the same price, not less than 12s. an acre. It appeared, that 50,000 isolated individuals were to be located on a territory nearly as large as Europe, that they were to pay a certain price for their land, and that they were then to get on as well as they could. Now, if this was admitted to be a part of the newly-framed constitution, he should wish to know something about the other parts of it; and if the noble Marquess, on the second reading, could give then, some information with respect to the proposed constitution, it would be extremely gratifying to him, and would, he was certain, gratify the curiosity of all those who took an interest in the matter.

Bill to be read a second time on the en uing Monday.

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