EARL GRANVILLE moved to resolve—
That inasmuch as the Bill for the Transfer of Licences of Public Houses in Ireland is intended to remedy a Construction of the Law in relation to the Transfer of Licences which has been but recently arrived at, the Introduction of the Bill necessarily took place at a late Period; and as the Decisions on the existing Law have been such as to be productive of much public Inconvenience, consequently the Circumstances which render Legislation on the Subject Matter of the said Bill expedient are of such Urgency as to render the immediate Consideration of the same necessary.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
was understood to express his disapproval of the repeated propositions to suspend the Standing Orders.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, that he thought this was a case in which it was desirable to suspend the Standing Order. He would therefore move the Resolution, but he would not divide the House if any one objected.
§ LORD REDESDALE
said, that if anything had occurred recently to make this Bill necessary, he would not raise any objection.
§ EARL GREY
said, that rather than go on in this manner, suspending the Resolution, sometimes for one class of reasons and sometimes for another, it would be better to take the bolder step of rescinding the Resolution at once. If Government intended to persist in this plan of compelling the House to proceed with important measures of legislation at a period of the Session when it was utterly impossible for their Lordships properly to consider it—then, if, that Was the policy which they had deliberately, resolved upon all he could say was, that he wished they had never consented to the Resolution being placed on the Journals of the House.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
protested against the almost un parliamentary language of his noble Friend. His noble Friend had accused the Government of intentionally forcing through the House measures to which their Lordships were not disposed to give their consent. His (Earl Graville) appealed to those of their Lordships who had been present at the discussion some little time before and subsequently to the 24th of July, to say whether his noble Friend was borne out in the statement he believed there was no man in his senses who would have agreed to the Resolution upon the Journals unless it had contained qualifying words. Upon almost every Bill in reference 2024 to which that Resolution had been suspended, communication had been had with his noble Friend the Chairman of Committees. It was only in the case of the Limited Liability Bill that there had been the slightest different of opinion as to the degree of urgency which required their Lordships to read a Bill a second time, and the reason the Government had so large a majority on that occasion was, not that noble Lords opposite were in the country and could not be in their places, but, because a large number of Peers who were usually opposed to the Government were more favourable than opposed to the Bill: when, therefore, his noble. Friend stated that the Government were forcing Bills against the will of the House, he must say that it was a gross exaggeration. If a measure for the removal of the Jewish Disabilities had been to come on that night, he felt persuaded there would be a very good attendance on the opposite side.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
said, that at this period of the Session Government had complete control over the House, and a great number of Peers had gone down into the country, because they trusted in the Resolution of the House, and thought, as he himself had thought, that there would be no matter of sufficient importance to make it necessary for them to attend; and the time that had elapsed since the Bill had been before the House did not admit of their being present to consider the subject.
§ EARL GREY
said, that the Government, by these frequent relaxations of the Resolution, were converting it into a dead letter. Could the noble Earl give him any one Instance in which the Resolution, of their Lordships had stopped the progress of a Bill? It was too true that a party question would be much more potent in bringing a large assemblage of their Lordships; but he thought it was very important that they should act upon some steady principle in dealing with questions in which the interests of the nation and the honour and dignity of the House were involved. He did not believe that the Resolution suspending the Standing order in the case of the Limited Liability Bill would have been carried in a full House.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, that the noble Earl was much mistaken when he spoke of the Order in question as a dead letter. Such was not the case, for the Government had abandoned several measures 2025 in the House of Commons which they would have wished to press, in consequence of an unwillingness to risk a collision in reference to this Standing Order; and other measures were pressed forward by the Government in order to send them up to their Lordships before the Resolution of that House came into operation.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a (according to Order) and committed to a Committee of the whole House To-morrow.