HL Deb 21 March 1844 vol 73 cc1351-2
The Duke of Buccleugh,

in reference to some observations which had on a former occasion fallen from a noble and learned Lord opposite, respecting the Three-and-a-Half per Cents., wished to say that in the year 1834, when a similar proceeding was adopted with regard to the Four per Cents., notice was given in the House of Commons on the 6th of May; on the 9th the House went into Committee, so that the Bill was not even brought in until after notice had been given to the holders of Stock; the time given to them being the interval between the 8th and the 28th of May. On the 12th the resolutions were reported, and it was not until the 12th of June that the Bill was read a first time, though the period for expressing dissent had expired on the 28th of the preceding month. On the 16th of June the Bill was read a second time; on the l9th it was Committed; on the 20th the Report was received; on the 25th it was read a third time; on the 9th of July it was returned from the House of Lords, and it was not until the 25th of that month that it received the Royal Assent. The dissentients respecting the Three-and-a-Half per Cents. up to the present time, were to an amount ridiculously small.

Lord Campbell

said, that those who dissented, could not enter their names till a book was opened for that purpose, and the Bank could not open such a volume till the Bill became law. The Resolutions of the House of Commons had not the force of law, and no precedent could justify such irregularity.

The Duke of Wellington

said, the difference between this case and the case of 1834 was just this: that in this case, in all probability, the Royal Assent would be given to this Bill to-morrow, and then there would be time between to-morrow and Saturday to give the dissent legally, according to the opinion of the noble Lord. In 1834 the Act did not pass till three weeks after the period when the legal dissent could be given.

House Adjourned.