§ (The Lord Chancellor.)
§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading, read.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a."—(The Lord Chancellor.)
, as a consistent opponent of this measure, and as one who thought that the House in parting with its appellate jurisdiction would incur great loss not only in point of dignity, but also of usefulness, moved that the Bill be read a third time that day three months.
§ An Amendment moved to leave out ("now,") and insert ("this day three months.")—(Lord Denman.)
§ LORD REDESDALE
begged to repeat his opinion that the passing of this Bill was an act of political suicide on the part of that House. The country had not asked for it—it was not called for by anybody, yet upon the evidence of this Bill their Lordships stood self-condemned, as unable to perform duties which they had discharged from the earliest days to the present time. He had dissuaded his noble Friend from taking the sense of the House on a former occasion, and must do so now; but he must express his belief that the sense of the House had never been properly taken on this question. He did not hesitate to assert that if, on the Amendment he moved on the committal of the Bill, noble Lords had voted in accordance with their opinions, the Bill would never have received the sanction of the House. The attendance of their Lordships was a small one, although the Leaders on both sides of the House supported the Bill. A very strong whip had been issued, but the Government were only able to muster 22 votes of their own men, themselves and other officials included, and they were therefore in a minority but for the support 415 they received from the opponents of the Conservative party. Two Cabinet Ministers stayed away, and some noble Lords on both sides followed their Leaders against their own judgment. Had they voted as they thought, the division would have been different.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, his noble Friend always expressed himself jealous of the honour of the House; but the noble Lord himself now stated that, on a recent division, noble Lords had given their votes contrary to their opinions.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The noble Lord had not, however, stated whether these noble Lords sat on the Ministerial, or on the Opposition side of the House, or whether the Bill was carried by the assistance of a contingent from both. That he would leave his noble Friend to settle with the Members of the majority. No doubt, the noble Lord had himself expressed his views with great sincerity, and he respected the Protest he was about to offer. But when the noble Lord described the passing of this Bill by their Lordships as an act of political suicide, he could only look upon this as one of those grandiloquent expressions which sounded large and meant little.
§ On Question, That ("now") stand part of the Motion—and there being no second Teller for the Not-Contents, Resolved in the Affirmative; Bill road 3 a accordingly; Amendments made; Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.