HL Deb 18 June 1858 vol 151 cc1-3

wished to ask a question to which he did not expect to receive an answer until the noble Earl at the head of the Government was able to be present, but it referred to a subject of overwhelming importance, which indeed, was not yet under the consideration of their Lordships, but which could not but be constantly within their view. He referred to the new settlement of the government of India. That subject required as much deliberation by their Lordships' House as by the other House of Parliament, but although a great many weeks had passed the matter had not yet come before their Lordships. It appeared from those sources of information with which they were daily supplied, that this great question, after assuming various aspects, and presenting itself in every possible form, had at last lost its way in the House of Commons, but by great good fortune it seemed now to have recovered the right road. Having determined to proceed no further with the Resolutions and to bring in a Bill the Go- vernment were now able to communicate to their Lordships the progress they had made. He had no other object than that there should be an early despatch of this great measure so far as was consistent with that opportunity of full consideration which their Lordships were entitled to demand. He wished therefore to ask whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to propose to the other House of Parliament that the Resolutions agreed to by that House should be communicated to their Lordships without waiting for the passing of the Bill? He was willing to acquiesce in what seemed to be the general feeling of the Government and of their Lordships, but it appeared to him that by the communication of these Resolutions the House might have the advantage—if advantage it were—of being enabled to enter upon the consideration of some of the most important topics without waiting for the Bill itself, which might possibly not come before them for a long period, and such a course might contribute to the saving of time when the Bill did at last reach them.


said, that in the absence of his noble Friend at the head of the Government, he must ask the noble Marquess to allow him to postpone a positive answer until Monday. He very much feared that his noble Friend would not be well enough to appear in his place on that day, but he would communicate the question of the noble Marquess, and he was sure his noble Friend would give it that attention which any suggestion coming from him always deserved.