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HOUSE OF LORDS,
British House of Commons, and the most Tuesday June 14, 1831.
necessary to the proper performance of
its functions,—the selection of an indiOpening of ParliamENT.). Par- vidual to preside over our proceedings durliament was opened by Commission for ing the ensuing Parliament; a privilege the despatch of public business.
which, as it is one of the most ancient, so The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord it is in many respects one of the most imChancellor, the Marquis of Wellesley, Earl portant which this House can exercise. Grey,and Lord Durham being his Majesty's When we consider that the person whom Commissioners.
select for that high office is called The Gentlemen of the House of Com
upon, not only to preside over the debates mons having been summoned to attend, of this House, but also to become its orupwards of 100 Members of that House gan, the organ of the Representation of came to the Bar of the House of Peers. the country, the organ, therefore, of the The Royal Commission having been read, Commons of the United Kingdom, to their
The Lord Chancellor said : My Lords and Sovereign upon many occasions; when we Gentlemen, we have it in command from consider that, upon those, and other imhis Majesty to let you know, that it is portant occasions, when the sense of this his Majesty's Royal will and pleasure, as House is to be pressed, it must depend upon soon as the Members of both Houses are the person whom we select in what manner sworn in, in person to declare to you the that sense shall be expressed : when cause of his calling together the present we reflect upon these considerations, I Parliament ; but it being necessary that think there are few who will differ from a Speaker should be first chosen, it is his me in thinking that this is among the most Majesty's Royal will and pleasure that important privileges which we can be callyou, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, ed upon to exercise. And, Sir, if it be should repair to the place where you important at all times, it is peculiarly imusually sit, and there proceed to the portant at the present moment, when we choice of a fit and proper person to fill are called upon to enter into the conthat high and important office, and that, sideration of changes and alterations after having chosen him, you are to pre- greater than any which the history of Parsent him here to-morrow, at half-past liament can present. I do not state this two o'clock, for his Majesty's Royal ap- with any view to give an opinion on those probation.
proposed changes and alterations, but Several Peers took the usual oaths.
whether they be or be not desirable, it is
equally necessary that they should be HOUSE OF COMMONS,
examined and debated with attention, with
patience, with temper, with disinterested Tuesday, June 14, 1831.
feelings, and upon the undeviating prinThe Lord Steward attended in the Long ciples of public duty. At a moment when Gallery to swear in the Members of the a degree of excitement and irritation preHouse of Commons: and a considerable vails, almost without a parallel in the annumber were sworn in. The Commons nals of the country-at such a moment being summoned, repaired to the House every one must feel that it is of still greater of Peers, accompanied by the Clerk of importance to select a fit person to enforce the House; and on their return the Clerk the orders of the House, and to maintain informed the Members that a Commission its privileges, privileges which we hold, not appointed by his Majesty had commanded for our own benefit, but for the advantage the Commons to choose a Speaker. Mr. of our constituents. For in nothing can Ley took his place at the Table, and was those constituents be more interested than addressed as Speaker.
that the order of our debates shall be preCHOICE OF A SPEAKER.] Mr. C. W. served ; that no undue haste shall occur Wynn then rose and spoke as follows in our proceedings; that measures shall
- In pursuance of the command which we not be forced improperly through the have just received from Royal authority, House, but that they shall receive that and also in the exercise of our own un- full consideration which the orders of the doubted right, I now rise for the purpose of House have provided for them. For this asking the House to exercise that most im- purpose it is beyond all things important, portant of the privileges possessed by the I that the person whom we select should be
possessed of a high and independent cha- stances of the present period. I cannot racter ; that he should be one from whom also overlook the quantity of business impartiality may be expected on all occa- which we were obliged to leave sions; who should have ability to lay done at the close of the last Session, from down the rules of the House ; who should the great and momentous question which have firmness to enforce those rules against occupied us during the whole of our sitany individual attempting to contravene tings. In order effectually to get through them; and who should, at the same time, that business, it is essential that in chooshave that courtesy which we have for ing a person to fill the Chair of this House many years experienced-informing the we should select one who has that zeal for unexperienced, and putting them in pos- the honour of the House, and that zeal for session of those rules and orders which the public interests, which will induce they might otherwise unintentionally vio- him, instead of thinking his usual and orlate. Sir, beyond all these, there is dinary labours too troublesome and opanother qualification which I hold to be pressive, to call upon the House to devote of the gr est consequence, because with additional time to the discharge of our out it all others must be vain. I mean duties. Such a person we have in Mr. that we should select a person who has the Manners Sutton. I cannot reflect but thorough confidence of the House; and with satisfaction, that it is now fourteen one who by experience has proved that he years since I had first the opportunity of deserves it. High and important as the testifying, when the nomination of the right office of Speaker is, he possesses no au- hon. Gentleman first took place, my sense thority whatever but that which he derives of his fitness for the high office, and of prefrom the confidence and support of this dicting to the House, that if they elected House. To none can that confidence him, they would experience from him that and support be given with equal satisfac- union of firmness and courtesy, which I tion, with so little hesitation, as to a per- think they will all agree with me in saying son who has, usefully and advantageously he has shown, during the whole of this to his own credit, and to our benefit, fill-long period, he most eminently possesses. ed that situation now for fourteen years; Sir M. W. Ridley: I am sure that I to him who has already been five times only express the unanimous sentiments of selected by the House to hold that high the House when I second the motion situation, and who has each time received which has just been made by my right it with an increase of our confidence and hon. friend. If there were any hesitation approbation. Upon these grounds, Sir, on the subject, I need only refer to the I should not feel it necessary to detain statements and arguments of my right hon. the House longer than simply to move, friend, to show that Mr. Manners Sutton that the right hon. Charles Manners Sut- possesses in an eminent degree the qualities ton do take the Chair of this House ; and which qualify him to fill the Chair of this I am convinced that I only echo the ge- House. It is perhaps, somewhat singular neral sense of the House when I express that when the right hon. Gentleman was my wish that he may continue to occupy first called to the Chair of this House, I was that situation as long as his health will one of those who opposed his appointpermit. There is one circumstance, how-ment, and I actually seconded the nominaever, peculiar to the right hon. Gentleman, tion of my right hon. friend, who has which I think it would be very unjust on the present occasion nominated the towards him to pass over ; I mean the right hon. Gentleman. I trust that from manner in which, during the last two years, this circumstance the House will perceive he has shown his readiness to devote several that in the present proposition neither my hours of the day, even whole days, to busi- right hon. friend who makes it, nor myness which the indulgence of the House has self, can be actuated by any other motive usually allowed the Speaker for rest, in than the conviction which the experience consideration of the fatigue arising from of fourteen years has produced ; and the the execution of his duty. Mr. Manners justice which we feel due to the talents Sutton has been the first to call upon the and the zeal of the right hon. Gentleman, House, on more occasions than one, to give and which compels us to come forward him an opportunity of devoting that time and offer our humble tribute of gratitude, also to the service of his country. I have and express that respect for the right hon. already adverted to the peculiar circum- Gentleman which must be cherished by the whole House. As has been well ob- Mr. Manners Sutton: I hardly know how served by my right hon. friend who pre- to address the House on the present occeded me, the interests of the public de casion. After the terms in which my append materially on the choice of the per- pointment to the high situation of Speaker son who is to fill the Chair of this House of this House has been proposed by my
is an office which requires an intimate right hon. friend, and my hon. friend the knowledge of the law and constitution of member for Newcastle, and after the manParliament, an independence of party ner in which the House has been pleased feelings, and freedom from private animo- to receive that proposition, I cannot but sities. It is most material that we should be sensible that any expression of gratihave an individual presiding over our pro-tude on my part must fall infinitely short ceedings who has the firmness to check of the feeling which I entertain. If, in whatever might impede the progress of expressing my deep obligation to my right the public business on the part of others, hon. friend, whose parliamentary knowand who can himself promote that progress ledge and experience certainly entitle bim by his knowledge and his learning. Were to be considered as a high authority on I only addressing those Members who sat all matters that come under the cognihere during the late Parliament, I should zance of Parliament, and of the qualificarather refer them to their own experience, tions of the individual called to preside than presume to recommend Mr. Manners over our Debates, and whose constant Sutton from mine. The experience of attendance in his place, and unwearied those who have witnessed his qualifications attention to our proceedings and privimust be amply sufficient to induce them leges, render him so fit a judge of the proto wish to continue that right hon. Gen- priety and efficiency of the manner in tleman in the public service. But to which the duties of the Speaker of this those hon. Members who are now sitting House may have been discharged; if, also in the House for the first time, I may in expressing my obligation to my hon. perhaps be allowed to say, that in acced- friend, the member for Newcastle, whose ing to the motion of my right hon. friend, high character, and whose station in the they will be not only doing an act of justice country, entitle his opinions to so much to the immediate object of it, but they will respect; if, under such circumstances, and confer a benefit on themselves. If a per- in the pursuit of an object of hon. ambifect knowledge of the constitution and tion, I may for a moment forget how much Taws, and a thorough cognizance of the I owe to the partial estimate of my right proceedings of Parliament--if the great hon, and bon. friends, and how little I can est urbanity of manners-if the utmost pretend to on my own merits, I hope the readiness to give up his time to public ob- House will pardon me, and that it will not jects-if these, or any of these, be essen- attribute my conduct to self-sufficiency or tial qualities in the Speaker of this House, arrogance. I have had fourteen years'
assure the new Members present, experience of the high office to which it is that a very short experience will show now proposed again to raise me. I well them, tbat in the right hon. Gentleman know all the difficulties attendant upon they have a constant, a steady, a sincere the discharge of its duties, so forcibly deadviser, who will enable them to transact scribed by my right hon. friend; difficultheir business in a manner most conducive ties frequently enhanced by the suddento their own credit, and to the benefit of ness with which the performance of some their constituents. It would be idle and of those duties is called for. But I have absurd for me to detain the House longer also found, that whether those difficulties upon this subject. I will conclude, there are of a complicated nature, resulting fore, by saying, I so perfectly agree with from circumstances requiring deep and all that has fallen from my right hon. patient investigation, or whether they arise friend who preceded me, that I think the from some unforeseen emergency of the House would be guilty of the greatest de- moment, whoever has the honour to fill reliction of its duty to the public, if it were the Chair of this House, may confidently to let the opportunity slip of again securing rely on its support and protection. I well the services of the right hon. Gentleman know from the experience which I have in question, by declining to accede to the had the advantage of enjoying, that all
sition which has been made by my which is required from the person who right hon, friend.
fills that Chair, is an honest, a strict, an
assiduous, and an impartial discharge of ertions necessary on the part of the person the duties of his situation. I well know who fills the Chair of this House can be that if he so performs his duties, he will fully appreciated. It has been impossible receive the reward of the approbation of to witness the greatly increasing business the House; and, if it shall be the pleasure of this House, and not to admire the of the House again to place me in their earnest zeal and patient assiduity with Chair, I assure them that every exertion of which you have devoted yourself to its my mind and body shall be devoted to the performance. Regardless, as has been service of the House and the country. justly observed by my right hon. friend,
The right hon. Gentleman was voted of all private considerations, regardless of into the Chair by acclamation, and con- your ease, I might almost say regardless ducted into it by the Mover and Seconder. of your health, you have dedicated the When the right hon. Gentleman had whole of your time to the public service ; taken the Chair, he said as,
considerably abridging the intervals of The Speaker, I again thank the House pleasure and repose enjoyed by your prefrom this place, and I return most unaf- decessors. I fear we cannot hold out any fectedly and gratefully my acknowledg- hope of a future abridgment of your laments to the House for the honour which bours; but we may diminish their severity they have conferred upon me. I again by co-operating with you; and I am quite state my entire concurrence in the descrip- sure we cannot better discharge our own tion which my right hon. friend gave of duty than by maintaining your dignity, while the duties of the Speaker of this House, you are engaged in preserving the freedom and I will endeavour to discharge them to of speech, and in upholding the character the best of my ability. As I have not and honour of Parliament. Most sinhad the honour before of addressing many cerely congratulating the House and the Members who are new to the House, I country on the choice which has just been beg to assure every one of them, until he made, I move that this House do now is satisfied by personal experience of the adjourn. truth of what was stated by my hon, friend Sir Robert Peel said, in seconding the the member for Newcastle, that I shall be motion for adjournment, I trust, Sir, I most ready to give every hon. Member may, without presumption, avail myself of every assistance in my power in the dis- the opportunity of joining in the exprescharge of his public duties, and in facili- sion of congratulation on your most hontating the progress of any business which ourable, because unanimous, re-election, , he
may have to conduct through this for the sixth time, to the Chair of this House.
House. This is a dignity valuable to any
man, constituting him, as it does, the ADJOURNMENT.] Sir James Graham : first Commoner in the country; but to In rising, Sir, in the absence, the unavoid- you it is, I know, more valuable, as it able absence of my noble friend the Chan- enables you to continue that career of pubcellor of the Exchequer, to move the ad- lic usefulness, in which you have already so journment of the House, I beg to congra- highly distinguished yourself. Sir, I contulate you on the distinguished mark of gratulate you, not only on your re-election the unanimous confidence of the House but on all the circumstances attending which you have just receiv To be that event. I well remember, fourteen thought worthy by the Commons of the years ago, my right hon. friend by whom United Kingdom of presiding over their you were this day proposed, entering into deliberations is, indeed, an honour of an honourable competition with you for the which any man may be justly proud. In Chair ; and, although your competitor, your case it is an honour which has been prophesying, that if the House 'should conferred, not for the first time; for I select you for the high station, experience bave to congratulate you and the House would justify their choice. Of this I am on your now having for the sixth time re- satisfied, that the same honourable spirit ceived this striking proof of their
confidence. which induced him to utter that prediction By those who in former Parliaments renders him among the foremost to rejoice have observed how faithfully, how zeal- in its complete fulfilment. With characously, and how ably you have discharged teristic diffidence, you have attributed the the duties of your high station, and by successful discharge of your duties to the those alone, the laborious and severe ex- co-operation of the House in your efforts, This declaration, however, although un- I his Majesty be pleased to disapprove of intentionally, involves the highest com- the choice made by his faithful Commons, pliment to yourself. For the co-operation they would have no difficulty in selecting of the House has arisen from their respect another Member better qualified than I for your integrity, and from their admira. am to discharge the important duties of tion of the promptitude and justice of your such a distinguished situation.” decisions, the firmness with which you The Lord Chancellor : “ Mr. Charles have enforced those decisions, and the Manners Sutton, we have it in command courtesy which has deprived that firmness from his Majesty to assure you, that he of all the harshness of character which relies on your constant zeal for the public might have diminished its effect. The service, and on your tried efficiency to able speeches which have been made by discharge the arduous duties of the high the right hon. and hon. Gentlemen who situation to which you have been called, have preceded me, render it totally unne- in respect as much of your long and tried cessary to dilate upon these points; but I experience as of your deep learning and could not refuse myself the gratification of extensive acquaintance with all the forms, bearing my personal and public testimony and customs, and proceedings of the to your merits, and of offering my congra- Commons House of Parliament. Relytulations, not alone to you, Sir, but to ing, therefore, on your constant imparParliament, that, assembled as it is under tịality and firmness, united with temper to circumstances of peculiar difficulty and im- discharge efficiently all the duties of the portance, is enabled once more to avail office of Speaker, I am commanded to itself of the inestimable advantage of your inform you, that his Majesty approves of services.
the choice which, on this occasion, his The House then adjourned.
Commons have made.”
The Speaker : “My Lords, with all
gratitude and respect I submit to his HOUSE OF LORDS,
Majesty's Royal commands; and it now Wednesday, June 15, 1831.
becomes my duty, in the name and on the
behalf of his Majesty's faithful Commons, ROYAL Assent TO THE CHOICE OF A to claim the full and free exercise of all SPEAKER.) The Lord Chancellor, the rights and privileges granted to them by Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Lans- his Majesty's predecessors, and, more down, and Lord Durham sat as his Ma- especially, those of freedom from arrest jesty's Commissioners, to signify the for themselves and their servants—freeRoyal Assent to the choice of a Speaker dom of Debate-free access to his Mamade by the House of Commons. The jesty's Royal Person when occasion may Commons having been summoned to the require, and a favourable construction of bar, the Speaker, accompanied by a great all their words and actions.
For myself, many Members, and supported by Mr. C. my Lords, I beg most humbly to pray, W. Wynn and Sir M. W. Ridley, his pro- that should any faults or errors be composer and seconder, appeared there. mitted, they may be imputed to me, and
The Speaker elect then addressed their not to his Majesty's faithful Commons.” Lordships in the following words :-“I The Lord Chancellor : “Mr. Speaker, am to acquaint your Lordships, that in We are further commanded by his Majesty obedience to his Majesty's commands, to inform you, that he fully confirms to his and in the exercise of their undoubted faithful Commons all their rights, priviprivileges, his Majesty's most faithful and leges, liberties, and immunities, to the loyal Commons have proceeded to the same extent as has ever been granted election of a Speaker, and they have them by any of his royal predecessors. chosen me. I am deeply sensible of the With respect to yourself, Nr. Speaker, high importance of the situation I have you require no stronger assurance of his thus been called on to fill, and of the Majesty's royal approbation; but his Mamany imperfections under which I labour jesty has commanded us to inform his in my attempt to discharge its duties ; faithful Commons, that he is disposed at and although the experience of fourteen all times to put the most favourable conyears, during which I have filled the struction on all their words and actions ; Chair, may have influenced the House in and his Majesty is fully sensible that you, its election, yet, I have no doubt, should individually, cannot in any way invalidate