HL Deb 15 June 1865 vol 180 cc256-8

moved, that the Earl of Malmesbury be added to the Select Committee on this Bill.


said, he would take this opportunity to call attention to the inconvenience of the new Standing Order, which required a day's notice for the nomination of any noble Lord to serve on a Select Committee. Formerly the Committee was formed, and Peers could be added as the exigency demanded. He felt great interest in the Locomotives on Roads Bill, and on Tuesday he mentioned to his noble Friend who had charge of the measure (the Earl of Hardwicke) that he should wish to serve on the Select Committee. A day's notice being necessary, his noble Friend had been unable to move the addition of his name till this evening; but the Committee had been sitting all day, and, perhaps, had got through their business. Again, in the case of the Mortgage Debentures Bill, he himself was anxious to substitute two names for those of the Postmaster General, who had told him he would be unable to attend, and his noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury), who would be prevented from serving owing to domestic affliction; but, as notice was necessary, he should not be able to make the change until Monday, so that at this late period of the Session two valuable days would be lost in consequence of the operation of the new Order.


said, the new system retarded public business.


defended the Standing Order. The old system was indefensible, as under it the House had no control over the nomination of its Committees. Formerly the list was settled by a leading Member on each side of the House, and the only notice the House had of the Committee was when the Lord Chancellor read the names from the woolsack. The change of system had first been tried in the House of Commons, and gave general satisfaction, and the objections which had been urged arose rather from the inconveniences incident to the introduction of a new system. If any improvements in detail could be suggested he would be glad to adopt them; but he had settled the Resolution on which the new system was founded after consultation with the Clerk of the Parliament, and he believed it would be of service.


said, he thought the new system was calculated to insure regularity in the proceedings, and that the Standing Order should be adhered to.


said, the old system worked more smoothly.


concurred with his noble Friend (Earl Stanhope) in thinking that the new Order had a beneficial operation.


thought the Resolution was likely to lead to great inconvenience, and if he met with any support he would move its repeal.


thought that it would be very objectionable to move alterations in their Orders upon the spur of the moment. They had certainly found the greatest advantage in referring Bills to Select Committees, who put them into a satisfactory shape before they came to their Lordships for consideration; and, therefore, it was a course which, instead of delaying, frequently expedited the progress of Bills. Upon the present occasion a delay of two or three days was of no consequence, because they certainly were not so near the end of the Session as to render this short period of importance. With regard to the Standing Order, no doubt it might occasionally cause inconvenience; but, speaking generally, notice on the change of names was just as necessary as on the original nomination.

After a few words from the Earl of HARROWBY and Earl STANHOPE, Motion agreed to; the Earl of Malmesbury added to the Select Committee on the Bill.