HL Deb 09 August 1842 vol 65 cc1178-9
The Earl of Ripon

moved the second reading of the Newfoundland Bill, and briefly explained its provisions.

Lord Campbell

said, that he could not approve of the bill, although it was not his intention to offer any opposition to it. He certainly did not approve of the present constitution of Newfoundland, he thought it required amendment; but the reform ought to have been carried into effect with due deliberation, and the constituent body of the colony should have been heard upon the subject. The present constitution was perhaps of too democratic a character, but the one proposed to be established under this bill erred in the opposite direction. It appeared to him that the nominees of the Crown would completely predominate in the new assembly. The manner in which the qualification was dealt with by the bill appeared to be objectionable. The qualification was not fixed directly, but power was given to the Crown to fix it. This might be drawn into a precedent, and ought not to be sanctioned.

The Earl of Ripon

explained that it was necessary to pursue the course objected to by the noble and learned Lord with respect to the qualification, because the constitution having been originally granted by the Crown, the Crown could not alter the qualification without the intervention of Parliament.

The Marquess of Clanricarde

said, that he did not intend to oppose the bill, but he really must remark upon the period at which it came up to the House. He thought it strange that nobody had ever said anything respecting the feelings of the people of Newfoundland on the subject, It was the first time that the House had ever legislated on such a matter, without even the slightest inquiry as to the feelings of the people whom the measure would so particularly affect.

Bill read a, second time.

House in committee on the