HL Deb 12 June 1865 vol 180 cc7-9

said, that as the noble Earl (the Earl of Hardwicke), who had charge of the Bill, was not present, he would move that the Lords whose names stood on the Orders of the Day be of the Committee, namely—

D. Richmond. E. Romney.
D. Sutherland. V. Melville.
Salisbury. V. Eversley.
E. Caithness. L. Silchester
E. Hardwicke. L. Rossie.
E. Carnarvon. L. Stanley of Alderley.

said, he rose to call attention to what he thought the very unfair way in which names for the Committee had been selected. The course pursued was only calculated to lead to the belief that it was intended to defeat the Bill by a side-wind. He had been requested to move the second reading of the Bill; but he thought it better that it should be undertaken by a noble Lord on the other side. The Earl of Hardwicke agreed to do so; but the impression from his speech was that he was unfavourable to the Bill; and he finally assented to the proposition that the Bill should be referred to a Select Committee. He (Lord Kinnaird) asked the noble Earl to allow him to see the proposed list of the Select Committee, and was referred to the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Carnarvon), who had moved that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee. On seeing the list, he found that the majority of Peers on it had either spoken against the Bill or had in private expressed opinions unfavourable to it. He asked the noble Earl to put on other names, and it was agreed that the list should not be handed into the clerk that evening in order that he might have an opportunity of consulting the noble Earl who had charge of the Bill. He waited on the noble Earl at his own house, and represented to him that the Committee would not be considered fair, as having prejudged the case. The noble Earl agreed at once to add other names, and on having a list handed to him of Peers in whom the agricultural interest would have confidence, he said that he would put them all on. That was on the 29th, and on the 30th the names stood on the Orders of the Day. He arrived in the House almost five minutes after the Order came on, and was informed that the noble Earl opposite had complained of the addition, and insinuated that there was something irregular in it. It was explained that it had been done by the noble Earl who moved the second reading (the Earl of Hardwicke), and he invited the noble Earl who wished to have the Bill referred to a Committee to be present in the House on the Thursday, to communicate with his noble Friend who moved the second reading. The noble Earl said he would be unable to attend; but to his (Lord Kinnaird's) surprise there appeared in the Votes for the Friday another list of names, This, he thought, was an insult to those Peers whose names had been removed without communication with them, and was a proceeding not worthy of the House. He could not help thinking that such a course of proceeding was extremely unfair, and was not consistent with the mode in which their Lordships' business was usually conducted. He had no interest in the matter except as the owner of two traction engines; but in his district he was satisfied that no magistrate could interfere with them. But the case was different in England, where the Home Secretary had issued an order prohibiting the travelling of traction engines upon public roads except at night, the result of which would be to put a stop to the use of those machines. He was surprised to find that the opposition to this Bill should proceed from the party opposite, who called themselves peculiarly the "farmers' friends." That there was a strong feeling among noble Lords upon this subject he knew, because one noble Lord had given notice that any of his tenants who should use an engine near a road should lose his farm; and in the county of Kent the police had given notice that if an engine merely crossed a turnpike road in the daytime a fine would be enforced. He thought the subject had not been properly dealt with, and he should move that the names of Lords Wenlock, Harris, Ducie, and Strathallan, should be added to the proposed Committee.


said, he had expected that the Earl of Hardwicke would have been in his place that evening to move the names of the Members of the Committee; but in his absence he (the Earl of Carnarvon) considered that, as he had originally moved that such a Committee should be appointed, it was only fair he should submit to their Lordships the names of its Members. He should, however, disclaim any responsibility for the selection of those names, and he thought it was not fair to charge him with attempting to pack the Committee and to prejudge the question. His only object was that the Bill should be carefully considered, because he believed it to be a dangerous measure. The list was the one he had originally proposed, with the addition of two names recommended by the noble Lord opposite. He believed it was a perfectly fair list; but he had not the least objection that there should be added to it the names which the noble Lord had suggested. He thought that it would be better upon occasions of that description to abstain from imputing motives, and he was not aware that he said anything to deserve the noble Lord's censure.


said, that he felt satisfied with the noble Earl's explanation, as far as the noble Earl himself was concerned. But the fact remained that the list had been changed, and he thought he had a right to complain of the manner in which that change had been effected.


said, it was clear that there had been some little misunderstanding upon this matter, and he thought it would be more regular if, in the absence of the noble Earl (the Earl of Hardwicke), the noble Lord would postpone his Motion for adding the names of the noble Lords he had mentioned to-morrow.

Motion agreed to.

And on Tuesday June 13, Lord Harris added in the Place of Dulse of Sutherland, Earl De Grey in the Place of Lord Stanley of Alderley, and Earl Ducie, Viscount Strathallan, Lord Calthorpe, and Lord Wenlock added.