§ EARL GREY
replied that the Amendment which the noble Duke referred to had been carried at a time when a great majority of their Lordships were absent, not having the least notion that the subject would come under discussion. He thought the decision at which the House had arrived, under such circumstances, should not be considered conclusive; and he hoped and trusted the Government would give their Lordships an opportunity of reconsidering it. If they did so, he for one would support them with his vote.
§ The DUKE of RICHMOND
wished to ask distinctly if it was the intention of Government to reverse the decision to which their Lordships had already come with respect to this case. He had made the inquiry of the noble Earl (the Earl of Ripon) on the last occasion, and he understood from him that it certainly was not the intention of Her Majesty's Government to make any such attempt. He now saw cause to know they had changed their opinions. He was not surprised at any change of opinion on their part, nor at any combination into which they might enter, but thought it necessary that they should state what that change was, and give plenty of notice to their Lordships. As to the remarks which had fallen from the noble Earl (Earl Grey) respecting the absence of a great number of their Lordships when the Amendment was carried, he could only say that if the votes of those noble Lords who attended on Committes in that House from twelve o'clock in the day, and sat again until the House rose at night, were to be rescinded, and their decisions to be reversed, because other noble Lords were at home at the time, he hoped the House would, as many of their Lordships wished, adjourn at seven o'clock every evening. There was no use in noble Lords staying in the House after that hour, if such a doctrine as that were to be laid down.
§ The EARL of RIPON
would remind the noble Duke, that he had received no notice whatever of any amendment, nor was he aware that any opposition was likely to be made on the occasion to which he referred. He certainly, in the conversation he had with the noble Duke, never had intended to convey any intimation, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, that they con- 541 sidered themselves precluded from taking any means which the forms of the House would entitle them to apply to, for endeavouring to carry out their objects. Indeed it would be evident that he could not have made any such agreement, without consulting with his Colleagues in that House, and elsewhere. As to the remarks of the noble Duke respecting change of opinion, he could not see why any man should be censured for an alteration in his sentiments; but on the present occasion nothing of the kind had taken place. There was something in the tone of the noble Duke which he had no reason to expect from him; and he could not but wonder what he had ever seen in him (the Earl of Ripon) to make him think he would be open to the charge he had brought against him.
§ EARL GREY
was perfectly aware that it was not absolutely necessary to give notice of amendments; but when important Bills were before the House, it was usual to give notice whenever any amendment, making a great change in the principle of the Bill, was to be brought forward. No such notice had been given in the present instance. The other House, in the exercise of that right, from which he should be sorry to see any departure, certainly could not accept a Bill so altered and sent back.
§ The DUKE of CLEVELAND
contended that no notice was necessary. He never had heard but one opinion of the Bill, and that was, that it was the shabbiest thing in the world. He had therefore voted against it, and would repeat the vote whenever he was called on to do so.
said it was competent to any noble Lord to move any amendment in Committee without giving any notice whatever; but still, it was usual to give notice of any important amendment.
§ After some further conversation, Report postponed.