HL Deb 21 June 1867 vol 188 cc262-5

said, after the discussion which took place last night relative to the Motion of which he had given notice, which appeared to meet with the general concurrence of the House, and also with the consent of Government, he did not think it necessary to preface his Motion with any statement, but would content himself with simply moving the appointment of the Committee in the terms which stood in the paper. In the absence of Earl Granville, he would also move that the words his noble Friend proposed should be added to the Motion: "And to consider what further changes may be desirable for the better transaction of the business of the House." With respect to the other addition proposed by the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) opposite, he did not think it at all suitable for inquiry by the Committee. It was not in pari materiâ. It was rather a subject to be referred to an architect.

Moved, "That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of making such arrangements as shall enable the House to meet at four o'clock instead of five o'clock for the despatch of business."—(The Marl of Shaftesbury.)


quite agreed with his noble Friend that there could be no objection to the addition of the words proposed by the noble Earl (Earl Granville) who was not now present. He would suggest, however, to his noble Friend who had taken charge of the Amendment, that instead of "what further changes," the words "any and what further measures" should be substituted. To neither of the proposals did he offer any objection. With respect to the other addition proposed by the noble Earl near him (the Earl of Carnarvon), he rather agreed that it ought to be referred to a separate Committee if to any at all.


, who had given notice to move the following further addition to the original Motion:— Also to consider whether any and what arrangements can be made to remedy the present defective construction of the House in reference to hearing:"— said the subject of his Amendment had been pressed upon him very strongly by noble Lords on both sides of the House. At the same time he felt that it was not exactly in pari materiâ with those the Committee would have dealt with, and under the circumstances he was quite willing to postpone it. He should take another opportunity of making a substantive Motion for the appointment of a Select Committee on the subject, when he hoped no objection would be made by the Government.


agreed with the noble Earl that the subject of his Amendment was one of great importance. When it was said that there ought to be a fuller attendance of their Lordships, it should be remembered that it was quite impossible for any Peer sitting at the other end of the House to hear a single word of what was going on; so that it was often a mere farce to come down to the sitting at all, and they might just as well send proxies. He should like to ask whether the Committee about to be appointed would take the question of proxies into consideration?


said, it would come under the words added by Lord Granville.


said, he had thought the reasons given last night for continuing proxies were excessively futile. He had voted several years ago for the abolition of proxies, and he had not at all changed his mind on the subject. Nevertheless, he thought that it was for the whole House, and not for a Committee to consider whether that system ought to be abolished.


thought this a very fit subject to be considered by the Committee, but, of course, the Committee could not decide the question. It would be for the House to consider whether proxies should be continued or not.


said, with respect to the Motion of his noble Friend near him (the Earl of Carnarvon) as to the difficulty of hearing in that House, there had been a Committee on the subject twelve or fourteen years ago, and everything was done that could be done after advice taken from architects and scientific persons. The gallery was advanced about twenty feet, and the House was therefore made smaller. Various experiments were gone into, but there was not the slightest hope of success without pulling the House to pieces.

Motion amended and agreed to.

Select Committee appointed to inquire into the Expediency of making such arrangements as shall enable the House to meet at Four o'Clock instead of Five o'Clock for the Despatch of Business, and to consider if any and what Changes may be desirable for the better Transaction of the Business of the House."—(The Earl of Shaftesbury.)

And, on June 24, the Lords following were named of the Committee:

Ld. Privy Seal E. Granville
M. Bath E. Kimberley
Ld. Chamberlain L. Colville of Culross
E. Shaftesbury L, Ponsonby
E. Stanhope L. Redesdale
E. Carnarvon L. Portman
E. Grey L. Stanley of Alderley
E. De Grey L. Lyveden
E. Stradbroke