HL Deb 03 August 1854 vol 135 cc1214-5

said, that as their Lordships had decided to proceed with the Bill, he begged to say that he concurred in what had fallen from his noble and learned Friend as to the expediency of not making any alterations in the Bill, so as not to endanger it by sending it down to the House of Commons to be considered and altered at a time when the other House would hardly be able to take such alterations into consideration. He regretted that his noble and learned Friend had seen this objection with regard to the other House, and had not also applied the same argument to the consideration of the Bill by their Lordships, and seen that it was equally objectionable that the Bill should be proceeded with by them at the present late period of the Session. He thought the best course now to be adopted would be for their Lordships to accept the Bill as sent up by the Commons, adding simply the Amendment proposed by the noble Duke, in order to make the measure temporary, and so give Parliament an opportunity of reconsidering the subject at an early period. On the part of himself and his Friends he begged to say that they should offer no further opposition to the progress of the Bill, and the noble Duke might, if he thought fit, suspend the remainder of the Standing Orders, and take the Bill through all its stages this night.


in reference to what had fallen from the noble Earl, said that if the Amendments to which he had referred as desirable had been of such a nature that without their introduction this Bill could do no good, it might have been a reason why he should have opposed the further proceeding with the Bill. The Amendments were not, however, of this character. He thought that they would improve the Bill, but he was not willing to risk the measure elsewhere by pressing them, because he thought there was quite enough good in the Bill to justify their Lordships in accepting it as it was.


gave notice of his intention to amend the clause which allowed what were called "reasonable expenses," by moving the insertion of the word "not"—and so to alter entirely the whole purport of the clause. He reminded their Lordships that this clause was carried by but a slight majority in the House of Commons, and, therefore, might fairly be considered a subject of argument. He was one of those who considered it a monstrous proposition to allow those "reasonable expenses;" for it would leave a man with a long purse, who was inclined to bribe, immense opportunities of indulging in those practices, and of defeating a poor candidate. Upon the bringing up of the report he would therefore move that those expenses shall not be allowed.


with pleasure concurred in what had been said by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Clanricarde), and he rejoiced that he had adopted a different course from the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby), and had stated his intention of moving an Amendment. While, on the other hand, he (the Duke of Newcastle) was not prepared to avail himself of the kind offer of his noble Friend to suspend the Standing Orders for the purpose of proceeding at once with all the stages of the Bill, he was, on the other hand, prepared to discuss with readiness any Amendments that might be proposed, and to adopt them if the Government approved them. Although the noble Earl had said that he and his Friends intended to wash their hands of the Bill and to take no further steps with respect to it, yet he (the Duke of Newcastle) was anxious that the Bill should pass in such a form as would prove beneficial and effect the object for which it was introduced; with this aspiration and hope, he trusted that other noble Lords would make such suggestions as they might think would conduce to that object. He had, in moving this Resolution, made a short statement and did not deem it necessary to enter into further details as to the Bill, but he would, either in reply to objections to the second reading or in Committee, give any explanations deemed necessary. The noble Duke moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.


took this opportunity of observing to the noble Marquess, with reference to his proposed Amendment, that a division was taken in the House of Commons, and a specific vote was given in favour of excluding the word "not" from the travelling expenses clause, and if, against the sense of the House of Commons, the word were inserted, he thought that it would add great force to the argument of his noble and learned Friend as to not adding Amendments likely to endanger the Bill in the other House.

On Question, agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the whole House To-morrow.

House adjourned till To-morrow.