HL Deb 08 February 1849 vol 102 cc437-9

having referred to the proceedings of the Select Committee of their Lordships' House, last Session, upon the Navigation Laws, said that the inquiry had been left imperfect, al- though some seven thousand questions had been asked. Since the last Session, no fewer than four Members of the Committee had been rendered unable to attend, by various circumstances. Among them was the Earl of Hardwicke, the Chairman, who took a most active part in the inquiry. He wished to ask the noble Marquess whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government, under these circumstances, to propose a renewal of the Committee?


said, it was quite true that there had been withdrawn from the Committee, and partially from the House, no less than four of its most active Members, among whom was the noble Earl the Chairman (the Earl of Hardwicke), who had accepted the command of one of Her Majesty's ships. Under these circumstances, it was not the intention of the Government to propose a renewal of the Committee. If any noble Lord, however, saw reason to move for its renewal, he did not know that he should feel it his duty to oppose the Motion; but if he agreed to it, it must be upon the understanding that no measure introduced by the Government upon the question was to be delayed for the report of the Committee.


said, he had seen, with great indignation, certain slanderous attacks upon the noble and gallant Earl, as if he had been a party to a job, when he was appointed to the command of one of Her Majesty's ships. Anything more meritorious than the conduct of his noble and gallant Friend, in accepting a command from pure love of his profession, he did not know. He thought it was highly desirable to see men of such rank in the command of Her Majesty's ships.


was bound to say, that the noble Earl bad accepted the command of one of Her Majesty's largest ships, strictly in the line of his professional duty; and that the First Lord of the Admiralty had bestowed it upon the person he thought best entitled to it.


would readily bear testimony in favour of the noble Earl's desire for employment in his profession. During the time that he (the Earl of Minto) was at the Admiralty, Lord Hardwicke frequently stated to him that, though he had no wish to be employed afloat before others, he was very far from having abandoned his profession; and that if he could be useful in active service, he trusted he might be employed; and it was in consequence of that offer that he had given him the command of a ship.

House adjourned 'till To-morrow.