§ Lord John Russell
wished to know from the hon. Gentleman - opposite (Mr. G. Price), whether it was his intention to bring forward that evening his motion to have the notice of the hon. and learned Member for Kilkenny, with reference to a change in the constitution of the House of Lords, expunged from the books; or whether he would wait, and bring it forward on some future day on going into a Committee of Supply?
said, that he intended to move that the hon. Member's (Mr. G. Price's) notice be expunged from the book.
Mr. Grove Price
said, that he would shortly state to the House the course which it was his intention to pursue with reference to the notice of motion to which the 1153 noble Lord alluded. It certainly had been his intention to bring forward his motion when he gave notice of it, with a view to prevent a discussion respecting the other House of Parliament, from which, it was his conviction, that nothing but evil con sequences could arise. Although he entertained not the slightest doubt of the over whelming majority with which the House would repudiate the notice which it was his object to have expunged from the books, and the attack upon the privileges and constitution of the other House of Parliament which it designed, yet he was un willing to bring about a deliberate debate upon such a subject. Since he had given his notice, he had been informed by some gentlemen to whose judgment and opinions he was at all times ready to pay the greatest deference, that there were some technical objections in the way of his motion; and, that being the case, he would not risk the loss of a question of such tremendous magnitude upon a mere point of form. While he thus waved, for the present, bringing forward his motion, for the reasons he had stated, he begged it to be distinctly understood that he did not abandon it on any principle connected with the important subject which it embraced, and that at a proper season, in tempore et in loco, he should bring it forward, in order to place upon the Journals of the House, the strongest expression of the feelings which he entertained upon the subject of it. He knew the dexterity of those with whom he had to contend, and how adroitly they would endeavour to turn him round upon a point of form; and as he looked upon this question to be the most important and momentous that had been brought under the consideration of the House since the year 1648, he should take the necessary time to consider what would be most judicious for him to pursue respecting it hereafter; but at the same time he begged to repeat his determination not to lose sight of the object he had in view.
begged also to assure the House, that he should not lose sight either of the object which he had in view. He knew of no technical objection to prevent the hon. Member from bringing forward his motion, and he (Mr. O'Connell) was ready to meet it, whatever opinions might be entertained upon the subject either at the camp of Don Carlos or by the Morning Post. The question would ultimately be 1154 decided as the people of England willed that it should be.
Mr. Grove Price
explained. He had already stated, that he withdrew his motion on technical grounds. There was, how ever, another reason. If he had succeeded in his motion, for which there was but one precedent, and that a hasty one, the hon. Member for Kilkenny, or some other hon. Member, might have brought it forward on any supply night.
§ Lord John Russell
was glad the hon. Gentleman had expressed his determination not to persevere in the motion of which he had given notice. It was his intention to have opposed that motion, as it was his intention, whenever it came on, to oppose the motion of the hon. and learned Member for Kilkenny. It was certainly his opinion that, as it was the undoubted right of that House to entertain Bills to regulate the succession to the Throne, and to reform the representation of the people in Parliament, so, likewise, it was the undoubted right of that House to introduce and to favour, if they should think fit, Bills respecting what was called reform, but what he did not consider reform, in the constitution of the other branch of the Legislature. That was the -opinion he entertained—the opinion he should have been prepared to maintain and argue upon, if the hon. Member had gone on with his motion. He was very glad, as he had already stated, that the hon. Gentleman had listened to the advice of others—as he presumed, the advice of the right reverend Prelates of the Church. A motion, it would be recollected, had recently been made in that House, not for any reform with respect to the number of Prelates sitting in Parliament, but to remove Bishops from sitting in Parliament altogether. Now, as the Lords spiritual had as full a right, and he was determined to maintain that, right, to sit in the other House of Parliament, it certainly would have been a bad compliment to those right reverend Prelates if the House of Commons had shown itself ready to discuss and divide upon a motion with respect to the removal of the Bishops, while it could not entertain a motion with respect to the removal of the lay Lords. He thought it was very likely, therefore, that the right reverend Prelates, feeling somewhat hurt at the course in tended to be pursued by the hon. Member, had suggested to him the propriety of 1155 withdrawing his motion, in order that they might not be placed in an invidious situation as compared to the lay Lords. He had much greater respect for the right reverend Prelates than the hon. Gentle man. He would maintain their right to sit in the House of Lords—-he would maintain the right of the lay Lords—he would maintain them both equally, and therefore he was not prepared to make that invidious distinction between the spiritual and temporal Lords of Parliament, which was involved in the motion of the hon. Member.
§ Notice of motion withdrawn.
§ The House resolved itself into a Committee of