HL Deb 30 July 1849 vol 107 cc1109-10

LORD BEAUMONT moved— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, to request that Her Majesty will be graciously pleased to give Directions that a Gallery be erected below the Bar, according to a Plan submitted by Mr. Barry, and approved of by this House.

[The object of this Motion is to make the present gallery for the reporters a permanent erection for their accommodation.]

Motion agreed to.


then moved, "That the Standing Order, No. 18, be considered."

[The purport of the alteration proposed to be made in this Order is, that if any noble Lord shall wish to speak to another, they shall retire to the Prince's Chamber, and shall not converse in the space behind the woolsack; and, if they do, the Speaker shall call them to order, and shall stop the business then in agitation.]


was inclined to object to that part which gave the Speaker the peculiar privilege of calling their Lordships to order. Their Speaker had not the same power as the Speaker of the House of Commons on points of order. He could only call their Lordships to order in his capacity as a Peer, and not as Speaker. He observed, that it would be much better if their Lordships would speak on their legs, and not on their seats. None but Judges had a right to speak on their seats; and to their Lordships speaking on their seats he had a fundamental objection. The conversation in the space behind the woolsack was conversation out of the House.


said, the question was whether the House should give its Speaker the same power as the Speaker had in the House of Commons. On that point much might be said, as the House was now more numerous, and he must add, more disorderly, than it was at the time when its Standing Orders were originally framed. Any Peer could call to order when conversation was going on within the House; but what was everybody's business (according to the old proverb) was nobody's business. What Lord Beaumont proposed was only this, that when Peers were engaged in conversation behind the woolsack, the Speaker should call them to order, not as Speaker, but as an individual Peer, which he had a right to do.

Order amended.