HL Deb 12 July 1867 vol 188 cc1427-31

, in moving an Address for certain Returns connected with the Inland Fisheries of Ireland, complained that the Salmon Fisheries (Ireland) Act Amendment Bill, introduced by his noble and learned Friend (Lord Cranworth), was rejected on the 5th instant on the Motion for the third reading, at the instance of a noble Lord (Lord A Linger) who had not given notice of his intention to oppose it.

Moved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty for,

Return of all Expenses of the Special Commissioners for the Inland Fisheries of Ireland and attending the Administration of the Act of the 26th & 27th Vict. Cap. 114. and any Renewals thereof since the passing thereof; specifying the Salaries, Fees, or Gratuities paid to each of the several Special Commissioners, naming each Person, to the Secretary and the several Clerks appointed or employed under that Act, naming each Person, and also to all other Persons in any way employed, with the several Amounts of all travelling Expenses or Allowances paid to each or any of the said several Parties from the Commencement of that Act: Also,

Return of all other incidental Expenses defrayed by Public Money, including legal Expenses attending Appeals or other Administration of that Act and the several Renewals thereof: And also,

Similar Returns in relation to the Special Commissioners for England and the Administration of the "Salmon Fishery Acts 1861 and 1865," the 24th and 25th Vict. Cap. 109., and 28th and 29th Vict. Cap. 121.—(The Marquess of Clanricarde.)


said, there was no objection to granting the Returns moved for. The Irish Commission would expire shortly by lapse of time, but that it had nearly completed the business which it was appointed to do; the English Commission, however, had far from finished its work.


, with reference to the complaint of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Clanricarde), said, that it was very inconvenient and almost always unfair to oppose a Bill in its last stage without notice. The Bill of the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cranworth) referred to no common matter; it did not deal with the question as to whether we should have more or less salmon in England, but with a question of justice to certain persons. The measure was therefore of importance, and several noble and learned Lords took great interest in it. The noble Lord who moved the rejection of the Bill (Lord Abinger) had certainly surprised their Lordships, though, he believed, unintentionally, as the noble and learned Lord who had charge of the Bill had told several Peers that it would not be opposed. This case exhibited in a marked manner the inconvenience arising from making important Motions in their Lordships' House without notice.


said, he had not expected such a reflection as that which had fallen from the noble Earl to come from the Ministerial Bench, as only last evening the Secretary for the Colonies (the Duke of Buckingham) had moved the rejection of the Adjutants of Volunteers Bill, without having given notice of his intention to do so, on its third reading. Believing that the Salmon Fisheries Bill referred to would have reversed the policy which had been pursued for years, with regard to an important branch of industry in Ireland, he thought that he and those who had acted with him were justified in the course which they had taken.


understood that notice was given by his noble Friend (the Duke of Buckingham) of his intention to move the rejection of the Bill.


said, he had heard to a contrary effect, and he asked the noble Marquess whether he had given notice to his noble Friend (Lord Abinger) of his intention to bring forward this matter to-night, in order that he might have been present to defend himself. For his part he thought his noble Friend justified in the part he took.


said, his noble Friend had had recourse to the very worst of all arguments in opposition to the noble Earl, the tu quoque. It certainly seemed as if a canvass had been made with the express purpose of securing the rejection of the Bill.


interrupted the noble and learned Lord by saying that the noble Lord who moved the rejection of the Bill on its third reading, assured him that he had made no canvass (out of doors) at all.


said, that when the Bill was read a second time, fifty-one Peers voted in its favour, and twenty-two against it, while at the time appointed for the third reading, out of a House of only forty Members, twenty-three voted against the Bill.


explained how completely the noble Lord (Lord Abinger), who had been absent in Scotland, had acted without conferring with those who came down to oppose the Bill of the noble and learned Lord.


said, that, as far as he himself was concerned, he had felt perfectly at liberty to vote against the Bill, and the majority, he believed, was not due to any canvass.


rose to defend his noble and gallant Relative (Lord Abinger), and denied that his course was identical with that which the Government had taken yesterday.


said, that at the earliest possible moment after he found it necessary to object to the Adjutants of Volunteers Bill he sent a note by a messenger to the house of the noble Lord who had charge of that measure (Lord Campbell).


said, he had received the note sent by the noble Duke, but it only stated that some objections might be taken, and opposition was therefore possible. On coming to the House he was informed by the noble Earl the Under Secretary for War that the noble Duke objected to the Bill individually, but no opposition was intended on the part of Her Majesty's Government. But for that assurance he should not have thought of proceeding that night with the third reading.


could assure the noble Lord that the subject of exempting Adjutants of Volunteers from service on juries was never at any time brought under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, or made a Cabinet question in any way. So far, indeed, from there being any previous consultation as to the course to be pursued, very little conversation at all on the subject passed between the Members of Her Majesty's Government, and that little was confined to the period when the noble Lord rose at a late hour and in a very thin House to move the third reading of a Bill which had not been discussed at any of its previous stages. As noble Lords were aware, the Members of Her Majesty's Government were frequently under the painful necessity of remaining in the House after most other noble Lords had left, and noble Lords who brought forward Motions at such a time, if they had reason to anticipate opposition from the Government, did so at considerable disadvantage. The fact that at the time of the division there were only twenty-four Peers present was sufficient to show that no great effort had been made to secure its rejection, and among those who honoured the majority with his vote was a noble Lord opposite who was not generally regarded as an active supporter of Her Majesty's Government. If the noble Lord who had introduced the Bill believed it to be one of so much importance, it would at least have been wise on his part to have secured the attendance of some of his Friends, and to, at all events, have taken care not to be left in a minority of 6.


, so far from having reason to anticipate opposition from the Government, had reason to count on their support.


said, he told the noble Lord that he had heard no intention of opposing the Bill, although he had heard the noble Duke, some few nights previously, express himself unfavourably on the subject. He certainly never pretended to possess any authority for stating the course which the Government intended to pursue; but, as a matter of fact, the Bill did not meet with any Government opposition at all. He did acknowledge that he had no opposition to offer to it on behalf of the War Department—and he had, indeed, intended to vote in its favour; but he was induced to alter his decision on hearing the arguments which the noble Lord offered in its support.

After a few words from the Marquess of CLANRICARDE,

Motion agreed to.