HL Deb 16 July 1846 vol 87 cc1137-8

wished to call the attention of their Lordships to a question which he conceived to be of some importance. He alluded to the Protest of certain noble Lords against the third reading of the Corn Importation Bill. That protest was signed by ninety-three Peers; now, he (the Earl of Radnor) always understood that those Peers only who were present at the time of putting the question could enter their Protest; and that was a salutary rule. He (the Earl of Radnor) was present when the question was put, and he denied that more than one third of the Peers who had signed the Protest were present. It appeared, on an examination of the Journals of the House, that ten or twelve Peers had put their names to the Protest against the third reading of the Corn Importation Bill, who were not in the House during any part of the discussion of that measure. He (the Earl of Radnor) was not desirous that any Peer who wished to have his name handed down to posterity as professing the opinions expressed in that Protest, should be deprived of that honour; but he thought that, under the circumstances he had stated, it was a matter for their Lordships' consideration, and he would leave the House to deal with it as it thought proper. He found, on comparing the number of Peers in attendance on the discussion of the Bill, with the number of names affixed to the Protest, that the names of ten or twelve Peers who were not present at the time were appended to that Protest. Now, if their Lordships overlooked the first objection, he hardly thought they would overlook the second, because the inference would be that any Peer at any time, whether he took part in the discussion or not, might come down and protest against it, even although his arguments and reasons had been refuted in the course of the debate.


conceived that his noble Friend had done a great service by calling their Lordships' attention to this irregularity, which he had no doubt was unintentional, and arose from those noble Lords not having attended to the rule of the House. The rule was, undoubtedly, that no person in that Parliament who was not present could protest. It was not so in the Irish Parliament; for in the Irish Parliament they could vote by proxy and protest by proxy.

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