§ On the motion that the House should go into Committee on this Bill,
§ Lord Lyndhurst
said, he had no objection to the other three Bills, which he embodied parts of that Bill from the amendments made, in which the other House had dissented; but he considered that their Lordships could not adopt the present Bill, without abandoning the determination they had come to, with respect to those amendments, therefore he felt it to be his duty to move, "that the Bill be committed this day three weeks."
§ The Lord Chancellor
was surprised at the motion made by the noble and learned Lord. He begged their Lordships would bear in mind, that everything which this Bill contained was in the former Bill when it left that House, and went back to the House of Commons. It comprehended merely those provisions that were necessary to remedy the acknowledged inconveniences which both Houses of Parliament had agreed ought to be remedied. The measure provided against some accidental omissions in the Bill of last year, set at rest some questions of construction, supplied some defects in the present mode of revising the burgess-list, and corrected other inadvertencies. The only argument that had been used to induce their Lordships to throw out this Bill was, that certain parts of it formed part of another Bill, in which a point arose, which became a point of disagreement between the two Houses of Parliament. But as this Bill contained only such parts of the former Bill, as were assented to by their Lordships, as well as by the other House of Parliament—as it did not contain a single disputed point—he did trust that they would not be of opinion that there existed any fair ground for opposing its further progress.
My Lords, this is passing strange! It goes beyond anything I could expect! I certainly did think, that when the noble and learned Lord moved for a list of the rejected Bills, that he did not mean to add this one more to that catalogue of unfortunate measures. My Lords, I remember having been invited to dine many years ago, with an American gentleman, who was an exceedingly hospitable man, and who pressed his company to drink a great deal of wine—more wine, I must own, than it was proper for us to drink. We sat very late. When the dinner was over, and we were about to retire quietly to tea, he stopped us, that we might look at a pile of black bottles under the sideboard, saying, "These are the bottles we have emptied." Now, I cannot help thinking, that the American gentleman in question, and the noble and learned Lord must have had some acquaintance, for he also appears to derive a peculiar satisfaction from pointing to the black bottles. But there is this difference between them: my American friend did not urge us to go back and drink more. When we thought we had settled quietly to our tea, he did not beg us to return and drink more bottles, and add to the pile. My Lords, it appears to me impossible for the House of Commons to have proceeded in a way more deserving of your Lordships' consideration than they have done in this instance. Your Lordships objected to apart of the former Bill, and upon that objection the Bill was lost. The House of Commons then split the Bill into four different parts, preserving only such portions as your Lordships did not object to. I would ask, could there be a proceeding more courteous, more conciliatory towards [your Lordships, or more deliberate?
§ Lord Lyndhurst
what I contend is, that this Bill we ought to consider, in connection with the other Bills, to form the same Bill as that in which we made the amendments. I have no objection to the Bill if the amendments are added to it; but for this House to pass it otherwise would be to render its proceedings ridiculous. After the conferences, and the free conferences, that have been held, it would be, absurd if the same measure were passed as would have been if, instead of agreeing to preserve our amendments, we had abandoned them.
§ Lord Lyndhurst
Then I repeat that to pass this Bill would be to make the proceedings of this House ridiculous; it would be then in precisely the same situation as if it had not resolved to adhere to the amendments.
§ The Lord Chancellor
The subject matter of the amendments has nothing to do with this Bill. One of the questions involved in the amendments was, as to what course should be taken at elections when the number was equal. The other applied to the trustees. Here is totally different subject matter.
§ The Duke of Wellington
said, it appeared to him that the four Bills must be taken into consideration at the same time. The four Bills formed together a substitute for the one Bill that had been thrown out. It could not be expected that their Lordships on this the last day of the Session would consent to pass Bills so materially differing from the measure that had been rejected. If introduced at all, they ought to have embodied all the amendments. Whatever inconvenience the rejection of the measure involved might then have been avoided.
§ Viscount Melbourne
It was never meant to leave in the hands of the former trustees for another year the power of administering the charitable funds; and we will not do it, cost what inconvenience it may.
§ Their Lordships divided, Contents 14: Not Contents 30;—Majority 16
|List of the CONTENTS.|
|The Lord Chancellor||VISCOUNTS.|
§ Bill to be committed in three months.