HL Deb 19 June 1884 vol 289 cc778-9

Amendments reported (according to order).


said, he wished to direct their Lordships' attention to the more Constitutional view of the measure. It was admitted, he believed, that the Bill involved the abolition of the Office of Lord Privy Seal. He held that that Office was of great value, as it was one of those Cabinet posts to which a small salary was attached; and as there had lately been a great growth of Public Business, that growth had a tendency to increase, and it was very difficult for any Cabinet Minister to keep abreast with the mere routine work of his Department. If they added to that work the business of Deputations, the business of the Cabinet, and the Business of Parliament, there remained no time whatever for the consideration of larger and graver questions. The remedy put forward, they all knew, was the division of work and the increase of Cabinet Offices. Anyone, however, who knew anything of Cabinet work must know that a small Cabinet could accomplish more than a large one. The Office of Privy Seal had been specially held by old statesmen, who were not capable of undertaking the heavy labour of a large Department; and it would have been unfortunate if the men who had held that Office in recent years had not taken a part in the Councils of the nation. This was a matter for the Government of the day to decide; but he was sure that a majority of those who were likely to take part in the Government of the country in the future would regret the unfortunate change brought about by the Bill.

Bill to be read 3a To-morrow.